Most people say that entering the virtual assistant (VA) industry is easy. All you need to have is a working laptop or a personal computer and a reliable internet connection from an equally reliable internet service provider. While having a computer and a good internet connection are the essential prerequisites in jumpstarting a virtual assistant career, it takes much more than just that.
Technological advances like Internet and online communication significantly fueled the demand for virtual assistance providers. People can now communicate and exchange information faster than ever before regardless of location and time. In a work setting, clients, colleagues, and contractors can immediately discuss projects, innovations, research, and other work-related concerns just by sitting in front of a computer.
Such technological feat has revolutionized the way virtual assistants perform their tasks. Initially, virtual assistants serve their clients and receive instructions via phone and fax. With the entry of the Internet, providing virtual assistance services has become a lot simpler, and in some ways, more complex.
If you are planning to become a virtual assistant yourself, and you already have the two tools mentioned above, perhaps the best thing you can do at this point is take a step back and analyze the whole thing. As an industry, the virtual assistant sector is a booming one. But that is because many are dedicated to their craft, providing excellent virtual assistance services to clients and employers in various niches and areas. Many virtual assistants have developed certain habits and good practices throughout the years they have been in the industry.
Sure, an internet connection and a functional laptop can easily get you a client or two. But if you want to become a lot more, then here are some expert tips you should check out:
Mark your working space and make it your own. This is a given. All virtual assistants work independently, must have their own equipment as well as their own dedicated space. Having a particular room where you can facilitate operations and other work-related actions is going to help a lot. In contrast, a number of virtual assistants, even experienced ones, perform poorly if they share their working space with their partners, kids, roommates, etc.
Be resourceful and do your research. Virtual assistants mostly base their actions on instructions they receive from their clients. That being said, many professional online assistants excel in their work because they are willing to spend time doing research and learning more about their clients’ business, including technicalities and literature among other. By learning about their clients and their industry, VAs can enhance their services and find novel ways to serve their clients better.
Professionalism is paramount. Being professional is important in any line of work. Meet deadlines, answer calls in a timely and courteous manner, and responding to emails immediately are just some signs of professionalism.
Acquire advanced and specialized skill sets. If you look at the whole industry, you will see that most virtual assistants who achieved success and reaped the most fruits are the ones who have solid business plans and delve into specialized services. Many started as provider of general services such as managing email accounts, database entry work, and travel plan coordination. A number of them moved up the ladder by becoming more specific about their services such as real estate, accounting and bookkeeping, and law to name a few.
If you want to become a virtual assistant and feel you are not yet prepared for this kind of work, many experienced VAs suggest taking classes and workshops before you plunge into this kind of profession. It may sound easy but it is not. However, it will help that you soak yourself with the skills and knowledge so you will know how to navigate yourself once you enter the virtual assistant industry.