You're a stay-at-home mom. You want to make some extra money to help out with household expenses and you've got some mad administrative skills. The keyboard's on fire because you type that fast. So, after giving it some thought/prayer/discussing it with your significant other, you've decided you want to venture out as a virtual assistant.
Sweet! Good choice. Because the virtual assistant industry is HOT and shows no sign of letting up.
No idea what a virtual assistant does? Well, a virtual assistant provides a slew of services to clients virtually. Services can include social media management, online business manager, transcription -- the list can go on and on, but you get the idea. Overnight, you can become a business owner, managing a client workload, dealing with accounting and a host of other responsibilities. I've been doing it since 2007 and until I took a position at a local ministry, it was my sole source of income. Let's just say I have a passion for the industry.
But before you start designing your home office, let's get a few things out in the open.
Virtual assistant work is rewarding but it is WORK. When I first started working from home, I had to tell more than one person that I wasn't sitting around eating bonbons all day and watching "Oprah." I was working. Scratch that, I was running a business!
There are LOTS of virtual assistants nowadays but there are a few things that make some virtual assistants stand out from the pack, the ones who can demand top dollar for their services and clients won't bat an eye because they're just THAT good, the ones who have a waiting list to take on new clients. What makes a rockstar virtual assistant?
- They're eager and willing to learn new things. The virtual assistant game is always changing. What was new and flashy yesterday can be old hat the next. Technology changes. If you manage social media accounts, you need to know the latest Facebook image dimensions. What hashtag is hot at the moment? You've got to stay on top of those changes and embrace them. Your clients and potential clients want someone who knows their stuff. That's why they hired you in the first place - so they don't have to keep up with all that stuff. You are the peanut butter to their jelly. Having said that, you've also gotta be...
- Proactive. If you are the type who doesn't take the initiative in getting things done, if you need direction for each and every little thing, then I hate to break it to you but you're not going to cut it as a virtual assistant. Period. Entrepreneurs need someone who GETS their business, someone who can sense the next move, the next thing that needs to be done without having to be told. That's why you were hired, remember? Make suggestions to your client on how to improve things, come up with tools and resources to make those changes and then implement. Believe me, clients love that type of thing! That brings us to the last thing...
- They're clear communicators. Unless you live close to your client, chances are you will never lay eyes on each other. Well, there's Skype, Google Hangouts, Face Time, stuff like that. Face-to-face, I mean. To avoid lots of emails back and forth, make sure to communicate your message in as concise a way as possible. Get it all down in one email, if you can. Use bullet points for lengthier messages so it's easier for your client to know exactly what you need.
Well, that's it! I'd love to hear from virtual assistants and clients alike on their thoughts. In your opinion, what makes a virtual assistant the cream of the crop? Share your thoughts in the comments.