A virtual assistant is someone who works as a freelancer or an independent contractor, and works remotely, (usually online from home) for various clients. Mostly they focus on administrative tasks, which may be on same category as office secretary, clerks and executive assistants.

Virtual Assistant jobs can be done from anywhere around the world, without demanding that you be on the same locality as the client.

Even though you don’t require specific requirements to start; you need to have some skills that will help you stand out and also place you above your competitors. Here’s some insight:

Good Communication Skills

The fact is; you can never be perfect enough at communication. Even when conveying your thoughts to a client, or discussing business terms – you’ll hit the wall at some point. But good news is that you can always improve on this particular skill.

One of the key ingredient of having effective communication skills, lies in you listening to your clients.

You want to understand them better, and know where they need you to focus your help on. There are some clients that will want to receive constant feedback on how their work is on going. You need to take care of that. Update them regularly, preferably every time you begin a new task, notify them.

Plan before Implementing

No one likes to begin something that will fail at some point.

Some clients may need you to work on specific tasks for a stiff period of time, which might force you to burn the midnight oil….(work overnight). Other days, you might have multiple clients with numerous tasks piled up ahead of you. Before taking any job, you need to be able to have a breathing space, and focus on tasks at hand.

For more efficient approach, first finish your tasks before picking on new jobs.

Planning, is essential. For instance, there are mobile apps that you can use to schedule tasks, choose best time frame to research, work, attend to clients amidst your personal other things, that come later.

Reliable Computer knowledge

Since all the work you do will be through your computer or laptop, you’ll need to know how to run various programs that you’ll require as a VA. Some skills that accompany computer knowledge include :

Typing – You should be able to type accurately and on average have a pace of around 60 words per minute. (This one is very handy for transcription jobs)

Writing – Everything from blog articles, emails, newsletters,… need creativity and professionalism in writing. Practice for success.

Seek Value Addition Jobs

When choosing tasks online, you ought to invest your time and resources on jobs that will make the owners feel special having you onboard. See more than a job. Take the chance as a room for you to showcase your reliability, trustworthiness and success.

Final Tips

Avoid Multi-tasking. It will lead into you losing productivity, and also you will keep on making frequent mistakes.

Learn to focus on a single task at a time. Commit yourself on a singular task, for increased productivity and try also to complete as many tasks on the same as possible. For instance, if you are handling business emails, don’t rush to transcription at the same sitting. Finish one related task then go to the next.

Schedule the tasks that seem harder for morning hours before brunch or Lunch. And remember to place related tasks on the same group for the morning or afternoon period. Leave the easier ones for the evening, for a more relaxed part of day.

Even when you don’t know what you are doing, make sure your clients knows that you do. Instill confidence to your client and out of experience, handle the job step by step. Nevertheless, don’t become so self-confident that you lose your origin – it will water you down.

I don’t know about you, but for better concentration, work alone. You might consider seeking help from others when the task is on a broader perspective like data entry, but during research, try being alone all by yourself. It’s worth a shot!

If you mess up, man up, fix without complains and don’t tell your client.