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7 essential skills to make a good virtual assistant

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Outsourcing is the trend in all over the world. There are many kinds of outsourcing services: content writing; advertising posting; data entry, internet research; online marketing; trading promotion, software design, … But in my point of view, VA- a kind of outsourcing service is very creative and smart.

What is VA?

VA stands for Virtual Assistant. According to Wikipedia.com, the definition of Virtual Assistant is:

“A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits, except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VA's fees. Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies. Clients pay for 100% productive work, and can work with Virtual Assistants, individually, or in multi-VA firms to meet their exact needs. Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses but can also support busy executives.”

With these roles of a Virtual Assistant, many people agree that there are 7 essential skills to make a good virtual assistant.

Organizing

Good organizational skills are also important because you may be working on several different projects for several different clients all at the same time. You will need to be organized in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Time management:

Of course, time management is not only important to a virtual assistant, but also everyone. Virtual assistants must be able to prioritize work on a daily basis, and multi-task when necessary. Plan your day according to deadlines and schedule blocks of time to complete each task. Set a timer if you need to. Recognize distractions and find ways to minimize the interruptions.

Typing:

The role as an assistant, obviously, typing is imperative.

Writing and Grammar:

As a virtual assistant you should also have good writing skills. Clients will need a wide variety of projects written for them (everything from articles to business letters and email messages). Such projects not only showcase your own professionalism but your client's as well since you are doing their writing tasks for them. Grammar is correct that will guarantee the professionalism of business emails in the eyes businessmen.

Networking:

As a virtual assistant, networking can provide the critical link to the outside world in an otherwise solitary profession. In addition to regular contact with like-minded individuals, networking is the key to acquiring new business and referrals. People like to work with people they know.

Computer skills:

Since all of your work is going to be done on your computer, you will need to have excellent computer and Internet skills. Not only will you need to know how to run the various programs, especially MS Word, Excel, Publisher, Google, Skype… that you will need to use as a virtual assistant but you will also need to know how to do basic computer maintenance as this is important because if your computer goes down, both you and your client's work will come to a halt.

Sales and Marketing:

Last but not least, as a virtual assistant, you are your own sales and marketing team. Home-based business owners must generate business by cold-calling or otherwise prospecting for new leads. If you are uncomfortable with sales, consider attending a workshop to build your confidence.

These knowledge and information that I learned when working in an outsourcing services agency, I hope it’s useful for you when starting a job as Virtual Assistant.

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