12 Skills That are Vital For Successful Virtual Assistants

By Taurai Minodawafa on October, 17 2021
12 Skills That are Vital For Successful Virtual Assistants
Taurai Minodawafa
Taurai Minodawafa

AfriBlocks makes it easier to find and work with a wide array of freelance professionals, assisting entrepreneurs in their quest to take their business to the next level. Our freelancers are at the top of their games and are ready to help propel clients to new heights. 

One of the fastest-growing segments of our freelance community is the virtual assistants, professionals who help AfriBlocks customers complete administrative tasks, thus making their jobs (and lives) more manageable. 

Have you considered becoming a virtual assistant? AfriBlocks is always in search of qualified freelancers to help us help our global customer base. If you have considered it, here are some skills we look for in all of our virtual assistants. 

  1.  Communication skills

 A great virtual assistant must be a great communicator. They must understand what their client needs to do and exchange information to do it. You will be a team, and good communication is paramount for quality teamwork. As a virtual assistant, you will relay information to your client, interact with vendors, answer phone calls and write letters requesting payment, among other things. That’s right.

Along with verbal communication, you will need written communication skills as well. Depending on your client, you could be tasked with copywriting marketing emails, drafting thank you letters, and much more. Remember: to be a good communicator, you must be an excellent listener to turn requests into the right action/deliverable. 

2. Strong emotional intelligence

Being an effective virtual assistant requires a high level of emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand others. You may be working with a few people as a virtual assistant, so managing everyone’s personalities and executing tasks accordingly will help everyone stay on the same page.  

3. Organizational skills

It may go without saying, but as a virtual assistant, you must be highly organized. Your organizational skills will help your team to stay organized, which will help the overall venture move more smoothly in the long run. You may have to manage work calendars, schedule interviews, write job descriptions, keep track of meeting notes, and tons more. Without an adequate filing system, things may get out of control. If your files are in disarray, simple tasks can become unnecessarily complicated. 

4. Time management skills

Your job as a virtual assistant will be made a whole lot easier if you can manage time well. You will be required to be a multitasker, so you must delegate your given time well to become an efficient virtual assistant. One of your biggest organizational tasks will be to organize your schedule. You may have a few clients you will be working with, so expert-level time management is needed to promptly meet everyone’s needs.

Microsoft Office is a great tool to use to keep track of all your deadlines and appointments. You can even color-code your obligations according to urgency, which will help if something new is added to your plate, and you have to move some things around. 

Keep in mind that just because something is due earlier does not mean that it is more important. If you have assignments that aren’t as crucial as others, ask for an extension. 

5. Problem-solving skills

A quality virtual assistant can think on their feet. The ability to solve unexpected problems is invaluable in this area. You will have to be levelheaded, flexible, and resourceful to adapt to the curveballs that business can bring. You may have to deal with schedule conflicts, technological problems, and issues with customers. All of these will require solutions, and it is your job to find them quickly. Should you run into a situation that you can’t fix on your own, you will have to find the information you need or another person with the answers. Google and Youtube are chock full of tutorials you can use should this happen. If something out of your realm of skill occurs like a system failure, you will have to find the right person, such as an IT professional, to help you out.  

6. Good learner

It is not farfetched to think that you will not have all of the knowledge you need to be a great virtual assistant when you’re starting out. Administrative technology is constantly evolving, so that means you must learn new skills to keep up. This doesn’t mean not taking on a client out of fear that you can’t deliver. You must be a quick learner and keep up with trends to add to your value as a virtual assistant. Like with problem-solving, the Internet is your friend when it comes to upskilling. There are many tutorials at your disposal for free to stay abreast of what you need to know to perform well. 

7. Eye for detail

When your clients send communications, post copy, write emails or send letters, it is your job to make sure they are free of errors. A keen eye for detail is vital to your job as a virtual assistant. Don’t fret if you aren’t a grammarian by nature. Tools such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and After The Deadline can assist you in your editing capacity.

8. Microsoft Office skills

As a virtual assistant, a large chunk of your job will be administrative. Microsoft Office is the standard for administrative tasks, from drafting documents to spreadsheets to email. Familiarizing yourself with everything Microsoft Office offers will be essential to you performing well in most cases. 

9. Technological skills

You will need to be somewhat tech-savvy to be a valuable virtual assistant. You should be able to use various platforms, browsers, software, and applications to benefit your client. You may be tasked with your clients’ customer relationship management (CRM). CRM software helps businesses keep track of their customers’ information and find leads. This would mean becoming familiar with programs such as Salesforce, Freshworks CRM, or Pipedrive.

It would also help to learn the ins and outs of platforms that help with remote teams. Many are working outside of traditional offices, so platforms like Zoom, Google Workspace, Dropbox, and Slack are used more than ever. 

10. Bookkeeping skills

Your client may require you to do some bookkeeping as part of your responsibilities. Knowledge of accounting software like Quickbooks or Freshbooks would help you to do this well. With this knowledge, you can generate invoices, document transactions, and verify statements, which all businesses need. You don’t have to wear yourself out with that because a virtual assistant will likely not have to do heavy bookkeeping. Any complicated tasks will more than probably be given to a certified public accountant (CPA) to handle.  

11. Ability to work independently

The ability to work autonomously will add to your value as a virtual assistant. There’s always something to do, so you need to make sure that you’re doing them. Since some tasks are daily, successful virtual assistants must learn how to be proactive in their approach from the start. It helps to designate what will be finished on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. From there, you can decide what needs to be done and execute accordingly. 

12. Big picture thinking

Lastly, you must see the bigger picture to be a true asset to your client. Small tasks may consume your day-to-day, but these let your know exactly how your client is built and how they operate. In turn, you will be able to provide your client with invaluable suggestions to help them along. 

Does this sound like you? If you can develop and hone these skills, you are just the type of virtual assistant for Afriblocks. Adding these to your skillset will help you to become the best in the field and have clients returning to you for your assistance. 

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