Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title…

Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title…

Why You Need To Stop Calling Yourself a Virtual Assistant.

It’s an Industry.

Like many of us, when we’re first starting out, we become part of the VA industry and we take on the title of Virtual Assistant.

Which, is really not a good thing.

First off, titles don’t mean as much in the entrepreneurial world or the solo-preneurial world as they do in corporate America.

For instance, when I was in corporate America, my title was Senior IT Project Manager.

Well, a lot of stuff hung from that title, like what I did, who I worked for, which department, how much money I made, and so much more was actually rolled up into my title.

Now when you become your own boss, titles really don’t matter. They don’t carry the same amount of weight as they did when you were an employee.

But now…  nobody really cares what you call yourself (no disrespect).

What clients want is somebody who can solve their problems. You could call yourself Queen of Sheba as long as you solved your client’s problems.

The point is titles don’t really matter to your clients.

Now back to why you need to stop calling yourself a Virtual Assistant.

When you’re talking to people, whether it be family, friends or even prospective clients at a networking event and they ask you – “What do you do?”.

And, you answer – “I’m a Virtual Assistant”.

You’ll most likely get one of two responses.

One – you get the deer in the headlights look. In other words they really have no idea what that means.

Two – they assume you’re and Admin in one way, shape or form.

I didn’t want to be known as an Admin – because I wasn’t one.

I was not offering admin type services  – I was offering backend systems + techie services.

The types of services that gave my the freedom I wanted and didn’t keep me tied to my desk certain hours a day like admin work does.

So… when I talk to somebody and they’re like, “Oh, Virtual Assistant. You can answer my phone or you manage my email.”

I’m like, “Uh, no. That’s not what I do.”

I quickly realized that using VA as a title or as a business owner wasn’t working for me.

I had to spend too much time trying to explain what the heck it was that I did. So, I changed my strategy to thinking about Virtual Assistant as an industry NOT a title.

And… really that is what it is, it’s not a title, but I know for most of us who’ve come out of corporate American or any JOB with a title, that’s what we kind of glob onto.

We want to call ourself a Virtual Assistant.

But… it’s time to move on and away from being a “VA”.

Remember people, don’t know what it is, they assume you’re an admin.

Start looking at VA as an industry and focus on what you do for your clients. How you help them – that is where you need to shift your focus.

If you need a title for your business card or an event, use something related to the services you offer. For example Email Marketing Manager, Transcriptionist, Social Media Specialist, etc.

Oh and before I forget… stop spending money on business cards.

They don’t work!

Instead use a Benefits Flyer™. It’s something I came up with myself many years ago because when I handed someone my business card (especially if it said VA on it), we had the same old conversation. “Well, what is it that you do? Can you explain that to me?”

So… I dropped both the business card + the title of VA and went with a flyer that says, “Here’s how I can help you.

I’ve included a link to “How to create a Benefits Flyer™” at the end of this post just in case you want to know more.

Going forward you want to focus on how you help people and the results they get and not on a title.

For instance, let’s say that I am a social media manager and my focus is the travel industry.

So when someone asks, “Hey Susan, what do you do?”

I answer, “Well, I help family owned travel agencies manage their social media.”  Then people immediately understand what I do.

Use this simple formula: I help, WHO (who do you help – your target audience) RESULTS (what results do they get) + HOW (how do you help them – what do you do).

A few more examples to help you are….

I help Business Coaches (WHO) get in front of their audience (RESULTS) by managing their social media (HOW).

I help Yoga Studios (WHO) get more clients (RESULTS) by writing great copy (HOW).

I help Virtual Assistants (WHO) launch a successful business (RESULTS) by teaching them how to create and implement systems (HOW).

I know it takes time for many people to come up with these – to summarize them in one sentence.

It took me a long time – it’s part of getting clear on who you help and how.

Be patient and practice – it will come.

Play around with it.

It may not roll off your tongue immediately but it’s really something that you want to start focusing on.

Oh and on a side note… I know many people think that the VA industry is made up of nothing but administrative assistants and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

As I mentioned, I’m not an admin, never wanted to be, never was one. I’m not knocking admins they have great skills but it just wasn’t something that I wanted to do.

The VA industry is very, very diverse just like a business. There’s people here from HR, IT, like myself, people who do sales and marketing, systems and technology and many more.

So…  don’t think that you have to be an admin if you don’t want to be.

You can learn the skills and the systems that you need to make a difference and that help you quit your soul sucking job or do whatever it is that you want to do.

Remember… clients are more interested in results NOT what you’re called. Focus on that!

What’s your title?

I’d love to know!

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Assistant Certifications: Why You Don’t Need One
  2. 5 Ways to Find Clients For Your VA Biz
  3. Creating Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
  4. Creating Your Benefits Flyer.

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

How I Started My VA Business Working a Full Time Job

How I Started My VA Business Working a Full Time Job

I’m sharing my story on how I started my VA business on the side while working full time with an infant at home!

If I can do it – so can you!

I wanted to share a little bit of my backstory for those of you who may not be familiar with me or don’t know my story.

Like many of you, I started my business while I was working full-time in Corporate America.

The catalyst of change for me was when I had a late in life baby who was very unexpected but a blessing all rolled up into one.

I worked as an IT Project Manager for a large fortune 500 company and was lucky enough to have 90 days off when Sam was born.

Now before I left on leave, I handed over the project that I had been working on for the past year – one that I had resurrected from near death. The project was flourshing when I handed it off to a very capable colleague to manage while I was gone.

Fast forward 90 days when I was back at work.

It took about a week to get settled back into my old routine before I was ready to take back my project.

So, I reached out to my manager and asked “When can we have a turnover meeting so I can get my project back?”

At first, I didn’t get a straight answer or was delayed in getting any answer at all.

After another week of delays + excuses I finally said, “Well, what’s the deal? Am I going to get the project back or not?”

I was finally told I would not be getting it back and didn’t get a reason as to why.

I asked why they came to this decision but it was ignored.

I did hear through the rumor mill that it was because I had a newborn at home and the powers that be figured I wouldn’t be as available or invested as I was before.

I thought, well, that’s crap.

I’d always been available.

I had worked long and hard to fix this project that was given to me broken and I brought it back to life.

What do they mean I wouldn’t be available or invested???

This wasn’t my first child.

I had always done great work for them before and the more I thought about this situation, the madder I got.

In fact, I got really angry.

I had busted my butt for this company and this was the thanks I got.

Seriously?

I didn’t get my project back and they decided that I would not be as available as I was before because I had a newborn at home.

That was really the straw that broke the camels back so to speak.

At that point I thought, you know what? I’m going to take my talents elsewhere.

As a project manager, I had worked for other companies from home in the past. Companies like Discover Card and American Express. But I realized, I didn’t want to do that anymore. I didn’t want to work for anybody else ever again.

I didn’t want to deal with this crap.  The gossip, the backstabbing, the politics, the commute all of the “stuff” that goes with being an employee. I just wanted to be rid of all of it!

I got tired of always having to ask permission for everything.

It had come to the point where my job became “soul sucking“.

Can you relate?

With a job, you’re kind of boxed in.

Most of the time you don’t know what your true talents are because you’re doing the same stuff day to day.

You’re told what to do, when to do it, how to do it… blah blah blah.

It’s like you’re being robbed of your creativity!

On top of that you may feel unappreciated, unheard and at times taken advantage of – like I was.

That’s no way to live a life – especially since we spend up to 40 hours per week at WORK!

No thank you – no more.

I wanted my freedom.

I wanted freedom in every sense of the word.

In fact my word is Freedom. It was back then and it still is today.

I was so tired of making somebody else money. I wanted to make money for ME without all the crap that comes with the job.

Plus, I wanted the flexibility to be home for my children.

I hated it to call in sick because my son was sick.

I remember the time he had the chickenpox and we couldn’t go to school for a week. He only had 4 little chickenpox but he wasn’t allowed back in school until they were all gone. I had to call in sick for a week. And in the back of my mind I was worried about being fired because I wasn’t at work. I managed to convince them to let me work from home during that time but it as a tough sell!

In what world is it okay to put your job in front of your family?

The time had come for me to quit my soul sucking job… but first I had to figure out what I was going to do to make a living.

So I set out to Google, our friend Google, what can I do from home.

From my Google search I stumbled on the VA Industry and I thought “hey I can do this!

But then I thought… wait a minute I don’t have any experience as a VA or a college education.

I went to work for my dad at 17 and never looked back.

When it came time for college I passed since I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I was lucky and given a lot of opportunity to move up the corporate ladder and make great money as I went along without a college education so I saw no need to get one.

Bottom line is I didn’t have any special education or training.

I just knew that this “VA” thing was my ticket out of the cube farm.

But.. I didn’t even know what a VA did or how to get started.

Then I thought, well how AM I going to do this?

I’ve always been an employee – I have no idea how to be a business owner.

Plus… what do I need to know to become a VA?

I started by researching everything I could find about the VA Industry and being a Virtual Assistant.

Now realize, 10 years ago when I started my business, there was very limited information on all things VA. Not to mention that all the books + training I bought were all focused on being an Admin.

I didn’t want to be an Admin. I hadn’t been an Admin in 20 years.

I knew I had skills that I could use, but not as an admin.

So, that was my first stumbling block. I thought, well, I don’t want to go back and be an admin, no offense to admins, but that’s not what I wanted to do.

As I started to do more research, I realized that it’s just a perception.

The VA industry is NOT admin specific, it’s incredibly diverse.

There are so many different skill sets in this industry!

I quickly realized that I had skills that are transferrable! Woo Hoo!

I have Project Management skills, plus I’m a techie!

And… I can learn!!

One of the benefits of having a job when you’re starting your business is that you have money that you can spend to learn how to setup a business + the skills clients want.

I bought training and I bought books. Some were good – most were crap.

But… once again they were focused on offering administrative services as a VA and that is NOT what I wanted to do.

So, I started to do more research into skills and I realized I don’t have the skills that a lot of clients want, but I had the money to be able to invest in training – if I can find it!

Now I know not everybody has $$ to invest, but you could still dive into YouTube. I did especially for techie stuff.  YouTube became my best friend! I saw requests for help with WordPress, and I’m like, what’s a WordPress? And I’m a techie! I used to build websites with HTML, but I’d never heard of WordPress before. So, I used YouTube as a way to find what I needed.

The more research I did, the more excited I got.

I knew this was my ticket out of my soul sucking job!!

But then the problem was how am I going to do this when I have a 40 plus hour job, plus a two hour commute every day and an infant at home. Not to mention my nine year old son, fur babies and husband.

How am I going to make this work?

How am I going to find the time to build a business when I’m working all the time and spending time with my family?

The answer was obvious –  I knew I’d have to create a schedule. One that I could use to help me learn the skills I needed and setup my business.

I also wanted to focus on offering the types of skills that weren’t going to keep me in front of my computer at specific times of the day. Many of the administrative skills like, email management or customer service, you need to be in front of a computer or your phone certain hours of the day. I knew I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to be able to do the work around my own schedule and focus on delivering it on time.

So… I made the choice to focus on techie skills. The kind of services that didn’t keep me in front of my computer all the time.

That way I didn’t have to talk about “business hours” I could just talk deadlines.

Now the time had come to set up the business!

First off, I noticed a lack of legitimate training around setting up the business side of things. Most of it was just focused on figuring out what services you’re offering then going out and finding clients.

And to be honest… that just didn’t feel right to me.

I’m a systems junkie!

What about all the systems + processes you need?

After all a business is just a bunch of systems that work together.

How could I have a business if I didn’t have any systems?

Skills are not enough to be successful – you need to have a solid business too!

So… I set out to figure out what systems you needed and how to set them up on my own by trial & error.

It’s not a path I recommend because it takes a long time + all the hiccups along the way.

But at the time I really didn’t have a choice.

Ok… back to my schedule. Now I had to figure out when I had the time to do all of this!

I created a simple plan and stuck to it by working when my kids were asleep.

I gave up TV and put my energy into setting up my business.

I would get up 2 hours early every day, and I’m not a morning person… I would get up two hours early in the morning and then work late into the night after my kiddos were in bed. I worked on Saturdays and I took Sundays off because I realized very quickly, if you work all the time you’re going to burn out.

Having a schedule is so, so key to building your business and getting out of your soul sucking job.

It took me 18 months of work before I could escape my soul sucking job.

Why you may be thinking… because I had to replace a 6-figure income FIRST.

It’s possible to do it faster… it all depends on how much you need to make to replace the money you’re making at your JOB.

Everyone is different – it’s not a one size fits all answer here.

And… realize that the VA Industry is not cookie cutter!

Sorry… I digress

Remember, I had to figure it out as I went along and made lots of mistakes along the way. That is definitely not the fast track for building a business.

Don’t jump ship too early – know how much you need to earn before you quit your job.  Otherwise, you’ll struggle for money and who wants to do that!

Once I was home full time there were still some learning curves since I’d never been my own boss before. I’d always been an employee, which means I was used to being given direction or asking for permission.  It’s a whole different world when you have your own business!

I ran my VA business – Clever Collaborations for four years before I started to get restless.

You see, it was about this time that people were coming to me and asking “How did you do it?”

They wanted to know how I built my business, how I got clients, how I marketed my services and everything else I did to be successful.

This got me thinking that maybe this was my calling – to help others build a successful VA business around the lifestyle they crave.

And that my friends is how The Techie Mentor was born in 2014!

I was a computer trainer in a previous life so teaching is second nature to me and something I love to do. This will date me, but I used to teach DOS, Windows, Lotus and WordPerfect!

So… there you have it my backstory!

If you’re somebody who is interested in escaping the cube farm and starting a VA Business you can do it too!

I’m living proof that someone with ZERO business skills, NO college education and NO experience as an entrepreneur built a successful VA business from scratch!!

What’s stopping you?

Oh… and one more thing. Building a business takes time – it’s not something you can do in 30 days regardless of what other people are selling you.

This is not something you do in a weekend – it takes time + commitment.

Building a business, a successful business, takes time. But if you want to build it once then build it the right way, then you don’t have to worry about it anymore. You can move onto having the freedom and flexibility that you want.

Hopefully sharing my story has given some of you who are wondering if this is for you and if it’s doable, some hope.

Thank you for reading my story!

All comments + questions are welcome.

I’d love to hear from you.

If you prefer, to watch instead of read – click here to check out my YouTube video discussing my story.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant
  2. Setting Up A Virtual Assistant Business
  3. Your Virtual Assistant Business Plan
  4. Virtual Assistant is NOT a Title

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Skills To Be A Professional Virtual Assistant

Skills To Be A Professional Virtual Assistant

Skills To Be A Professional Virtual Assistant

It’s More Than You Think!

If you want to be a Professional Virtual Assistant… read on!

Welcome to part three of this three part series of blog posts focusing on the skills you need to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read the second post all about Hard Skills you can read it here.

In this blog post I’m going to focus on the skills you need to be a Professional Virtual Assistant.

To become a Service Professional and stand out in your niche.

Why is this important?

Well… to me for a few reasons.

  1. Professionals earn more than hobbyists (someone who is a VA part time or on the side).
  2. Professionals want to work with Professionals.
  3. Professionals deliver quality services.

To me, each of these reasons are important because I prefer to work with professionals and want to be viewed as a professional myself.

What about you?

There is nothing wrong with having a VA business as a side hustle – I think it’s awesome if that’s your dream/vision.

You have to ask yourself what is your vision – what does your dream business look like.

Only you can answer that – and there is NO wrong answer.

Remember my motto – your business – your choice.

Do what feels right to you!

So… If you want to be a Professional Virtual Assistant there are certain things you’ll need.

First, have the desire.

Second, have what I would call “professional skills”.

And third, rinse + repeat systems.

Let’s start with my definition of “professional skills”.

These “skills” are really a combination of traits + best practices.

Things like:

  • Don’t take on clients before you’re ready.
  • All your business systems are setup + ready to go.
  • You’re proactive.
  • You’re honest + ethical.
  • You want to help your clients succeed.
  • You only take on the “right” clients for you.
  • You keep it professional.
  • You collaborate + partner with your clients.

Having these traits or best practices doesn’t mean you’ll be successful… but it does show your clients that you’re invested and willing to take action to help them be successful.

Then there’s the rinse + repeat systems.

A business is made up of a series of systems.

No systems = no business (at least not for long).

You want to be sure you’ve got your key business systems implemented as soon as possible.

These systems are the foundation of a successful business.

You can read more about the key business systems by clicking here.

It will take you to a series of posts all about the systems you need.

I’ve also added the links below for easy reference.

Do you have your key systems implemented?

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Assistant Key Business Systems
  2. Ways to Scale Your VA Business
  3. Tips For Interviewing Potential Clients

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

 

Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

Top Skills For Virtual Assistants To Know

The Top Skills For Virtual Assistants

What You Need To Know!

These in-demand skills make it easier to get clients + earn a great living!

Welcome to part two of this three part series of blog posts focusing on the skills you need to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

If you haven’t read the first post all about Soft Skills you can read it here.

In this blog post I’m going to talk about the top in-demand skills clients are looking for.

The ones they want + need.

What I call “Hard Skills”.

These are the skills that make it easier to market your services, get clients and earn more money.

First… you may be wondering how I know what skills clients want.

Good question.

Well… it’s because online business owners come to me every week asking for referrals for skilled professionals.

These are the skills that I’ll be covering in this post – the top in-demand skills I’m asked for the most.

But, first I want to address a few things I see happening all the time in the VA Industry.

Things that make it more difficult to market your services, get clients + earn great money.

Many people start out by trying to be a “Jack or Jill” of all trades. (Also known as a Generalist).

This is when you offer everything but the kitchen sink to your clients.

It sounds good in theory… you know the more I offer the more successful I could be.

But… it’s actually the opposite.

First… it’s not about QUANTITY it’s all about QUALITY.

In fact, the more services you offer the more confusing it can be for your audience.

They’re not quite sure what you do – or what you do well.

If you’re struggling to get clients or market your services, you might want to start by looking at how many services you’re offering.

Is it clear what you “specialize” in by looking at your list of services?

If it’s not clear to you – then I can bet it’s not to your potential clients.

Start by cleaning up your list of services.

Go through them one at a time and ask yourself if you actually enjoy doing it.

If you don’t like it, then don’t do it.

Remove it from your list of services.

That’s the beauty of having your own business – you only have to offer what you truly enjoy doing and nothing else.

When you shift your focus to specializing in just a few services something happens.

It becomes easier to market your services, for potential clients to understand what you do and to earn more money.

You want to be a Specialist NOT a Generalist.

Plus… specializing makes it easier to scale your business!

If you’re offering ONLY administrative type tasks – it’s going to be harder to get clients + make good money.

Why?

Because the VA Industry is flooded with EA’s, PA’s + AA’s.

Now, don’t get me wrong, having admin skills is a great asset to you.

BUT…. client’s don’t want or need JUST admin skills.

What they want and need is help with the systems + tools that run their online business.

The ones that help them be successful.

You’ll need to move away from offering all admin type skills and move towards the skills that clients need.

The ones that are in demand and can earn you up to twice as much as admin skills (not a guarantee).

So… how do you know what to specialize in?

Well… you can specialize in one of the services that you already offer, or you can learn one of the top in-demand skills clients want.

Here are the skills I’m asked for the MOST:

All things Digital Marketing. It is the hottest set of skills right now in the industry.

  1. WordPress Websites + Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Copywriting
  4. Graphic Design
  5. Systems + Processes
  6. Techie Skills
  7. These are in no particular order except I would say the Digital Marketing is the one most people want + need help with.

I’ve detailed a few more as well broken down what skills are considered Digital Marketing in my FREE Top 10 Skills EBook. You can grab your copy below.

You can use this EBook to help you move from Generalist to Specialist.

If you’re wondering what skills I would recommend – I would say Mail Chimp + WordPress.

In fact, in my opinion I think ALL Virtual Assistants should know them both.

Why?

Well, Mail Chimp is a tool that many new online business owners use for email marketing and it’s an easy tool to learn and use. It is one of the most requested skills I get! If you want to learn more about Offering Mail Chimp as a service in your business, join my FREE VA Training Vault (button below).

And, WordPress is a great skill to have since 95% of your clients (and potential clients) either have a WordPress website or need one. You don’t have to know how to build a website in order to help your clients – you can learn how to manage it for them. If you want to see the many different ways you can offer WordPress as a service, sign up for my free webinar at https://www.offerwpservices.com/webinar-registration

In order to be successful as a Virtual Assistant you need to have the skills that clients want + need.

If you don’t, you’ll struggle with getting clients and earning money.

It’s all about supply + demand.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

For the next blog post in this series all about being a Professional Virtual Assistant click here.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Why You Should Offer Audit Packages In Your Business
  2. Why You Need To Have Referral Partners
  3. How To Create Your Virtual Assistant Packages
  4. How To Set Your Rates

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

 

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be A Virtual Assistant

What Skills Are Needed To Be a Virtual Assistant

Do You Know Which Ones You Need To Be Successful?

I see this question asked on social media all the time.

So… I thought it would make for a great series of blog posts.

There are going to be 3 blog posts in the series, each one with a specific topic on skills needed to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

This first blog post focuses on what I call the “soft skills“.

What are “soft skills” you ask?

Well.. they’re the skills you need to master when working in a service based business.

Because remember, the VA Industy is a service based industry, where we work one on one with clients.

It’s all about building + maintaining strong relationships with our clients.

They are NOT “hard skills”.

Hard skills are expertise based skills such as:

  • WordPress
  • Transcription
  • Email Marketing
  • Social Media
  • Copywriting

Don’t get me wrong hard skills are a MUST but so are soft skills and they seem to be overlooked.

These are the skills you need to master to be a service professional.

You can have the “hard skills” but if you don’t have the soft skills too – it’s hard to keep clients!

(Hard skills will be covered in the next two blogs in this series.)

So… let’s dive into the top 5 soft skills you need to embrace + master.

The Top 5 Soft Skills are:

  1. Communication
  2. Teamwork
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Flexibility
  5. Time Management

Let’s break them down one a time, starting with Communication.

Communication 

This is the most important soft skill to master.

If you can’t communicate effectively it’s hard to meet your clients deadlines + expectations.

Especially since we’re virtual.

It’s important to ask questions so you fully understand what you’re doing for clients.

If you don’t understand ASK.

There are NO stupid questions, except the ones you don’t ask.

Don’t worry about looking silly for asking questions – it means you’re listening and trying to gain an understanding.

Since we’re virtual we communicate in different ways.

Know what the best method of communication is for YOU.

Let your clients know.

Remember.. communicating clearly involves listening and speaking, be sure you’re doing both.

And… always be honest if you made a mistake.

We all make them, the worst thing you can do is try to cover it up instead of own up to it.

Teamwork

If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to know how to work well with others.

Realize that you might need a combination of soft skills to be effective at teamwork, especially if you don’t have any experience being part of a team.

It’s important to listen to others, and inspire your clients + team to work together for best results.

It also means you need to do your own part. Recognizing your part in the team, and acknowledging others’ contributions is important.

You are part of your client’s team even if it’s just the two of you.

Problem Solving

You need to be okay when it comes to dealing with unexpected issues or problems – it’s going to happen.

You can’t freak out – well you can but don’t let your client know <grin>.

Problems + issues are just part of life and business.

The best thing is to know they’re going to happen from time to time and if possible have a plan B.

Technology is a blessing and a curse… sometimes things blow up or don’t work as expected.

It’s just part of having an online business.

You need to be ready to solve any problems that come your way.

This requires creativity and good analytical skills.

When it comes to problem solving, you should be able to analyze the situation and look at it from different angles. Plus, it’s important to find different, sometimes out-of-the-box solutions to problems. This is where you can reach out to team members or even your client to help find the best solutions.

This is one of the best soft skills you can have if you’re looking to be more than just an assistant.

Flexibility

Are you able to change direction + think fast on your feet?

Are you willing to try new things?

Flexibility is a skill that can help you survive as a entrepreneur + Virtual Assistant.

Business changes… technology changes.

Change is part of life – you need to embrace it or at least be willing to bend.

With this skill, you are more likely to be open to learning new things and moving forward.

If one thing doesn’t work (or stops working), you need to be flexible enough to try something else.

Your ability to have an agile mind and thought process can pave the way to success.

Time Management

This is a BIG one.

If you want to be successful you need to know how to manage your time.

Time management is key to being successful in this business.

Why? Because we complete tasks or projects for clients and they want them delivered on time.

Understand which tasks are vital to your business, and which you can do later, or delegate.

Revenue generating tasks are the ones you should spend 80% of your time on – because that’s what pays the bills.

The other 20% should be spent on your own business – the day to day stuff that keeps your business running.

Knowing how to use your time — and developing the discipline to stick to a timetable — can help you make better decisions and maximize the work you do.

I use a combination of tools to be sure I get done what I need to. All of my client tasks go into my Task Management system (Teamwork) and I use a planner to keep track of my daily to-do’s.

This system works for me – find one that works for you!

Soft skills are important to the success of your business.

When you develop them, you have the chance to push yourself to the next level.

They will help you stand out as a professional in the industry.

What do you think? Do you have experience with these soft skills?

I’d love to hear from you.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking to improve your soft skills.

All comments + questions are welcome.

Click here for the next blog post in this series all about “hard skills” or in-demand skills.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Virtual Business Operations – Setting Up Your Systems
  2. 5 Must Haves When Starting Your Business

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. It’s over 8 hours of how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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