5 Top Skills & Tools that Every Virtual Assistant Should Learn in 2020

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Is the 9-to-5 life making you miserable and you just want to get out? Or did you already venture out on your own in an online career, but is it just not working for you yet? We can help! 

It can be hard to figure out what to focus on when building your online skillset. We get a lot of requests for Virtual Assistants with specific skills from our network, and we thought we would share the top 5!

Knowing these skills will set you apart from the competition, and will get you hired. As a bonus, we have also included some tools to make your life easier, too! 

Read on to find the 5 top skills and tools you should learn right now to become a successful Virtual Assistant! 

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5 Skills Every Virtual Assistant Should Learn in 2020

1. Content Repurposing

One of the most in-demand services right now is content repurposing. You would be expected to take already created content from your client and turn it into something else. Does this sound a bit confusing?

Let us give you a few examples:

  • Your client wants you to create a blog post based on a video they did
  • They just recorded their newest podcast episode and need you to write the accompanying show notes 
  • Your client asks you to create social media posts based on earlier content they created so they can re-use or repromote 

It means that your client will only have to create their content once. You then run with it and give them so many variations. They will never run out of things to share online. Just think of how much time you will be saving them! 

2. Social Media Support

Maintaining a successful social media presence can be a lot of work. Many business owners hire a VA to handle this for them. There are two parts to social media; the actual posts and interaction with followers. 

Your client can ask you to post on social media for them. Some clients want you to create the content for them, others might supply the content. The easiest way to post is by having a social media scheduler that will post for you at a time you choose. We will recommend one later in this blog, so keep reading! 

If you are responsible for creating the content, make sure you understand what the client wants. The best way to do this is by having a place for them to share their ideas, like Google Drive. They can share thoughts, pictures or audio snippets for you to turn into graphics and other social media posts. 

The most important thing is that their social media remains in their style and voice, even though you have taken over the controls. 

The other important part of social media support is strategic engagement. Your client can ask you to engage and interact with their followers for them. Especially on Instagram engagement is huge

3. Public Relations (PR)

Another job highly in demand is in the niche of Public Relations. A client can hire you to help them find opportunities for them. This can be things like a speaking gig at a conference, a seat on a panel, a guest spot on a podcast, or a spot for their article in a magazine. It is your job to research what would be a great fit for your client. You reach out with a pitch on why they are perfect for it and you follow up! 

Following up is a huge part of PR. Everybody you are trying to reach is busy. They might not get around to answering the first (or second or third) time you contact them. A killer follow-up strategy will stand out and land your client that gig! Once you have secured the opportunity, your client can advertise it on their website and social media. 

4. Program Management

Businesses oftentimes need somebody to update their CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool for them. This can be for clients that run programs, but other types of businesses might also need this type of support. 

Basically, anybody that has a client or customer list and an email list can use a VA. This gig includes keeping all the customer information organized in the CRM tool and managing the email lists to make sure every customer is on the correct list. You don’t want someone to get the wrong emails! 

Your client can also ask you to send out emails. They will probably do the writing, but might not want to bother with the technical side of things. This includes popping it into the email system, fixing the layout, putting in links, pictures and emojis, and actually sending it out. This is something you can do for them! 

5. Podcast Support

Everybody is launching a podcast right now! These episode by episode radio shows are very popular, but they are a lot of work to create. Hiring a VA is a perfect way to offload some of that work. 

To give you an idea, a business owner needs to record and edit every podcast episode. Once finished, they upload the finished product to the podcast platform they use. 

Then someone needs to listen to the podcast, write show notes and add links. Lastly, the podcast needs to be added to the client’s website. Now that the episode is up, it needs to be promoted. Your client will need social media graphics and captivating copy. These posts have to be scheduled for social media. 

As you can see, apart from recording the episode, you as the VA could do the rest! You can even expand your tasks with a bit of PR, as your client probably wants to have some guests on their podcast. And remember, a podcast is always just a small part of someone’s business, but clearly it involves a lot of work.

Taking this off your client’s plate will be of great help! 

5 Tech Tools Every Virtual Assistant Should Know

As you can see, there are some highly requested skills you can learn to become an invaluable VA to any business owner. Don’t worry though, you won’t have to do all of this by hand. There are some very cool tools that can help you out with these tasks and your own VA business. 

1. Freshbooks

This tool is meant for you as a VA to manage your finances. You can put all your clients into the system and divide up their projects. There is a time tracker you can use to track your hours spent on each project. This is super helpful if you charge by the hour, but also if you want to make sure you are accurate in your time estimations and how much you charge. You don’t want to undersell yourself! 

At the end of the month, you can pop all of this information straight onto an invoice and send it to your client. You can even choose what payment options you want to use and have these on your invoice. It looks really professional, clean and high end. And as a bonus, you will get your money faster than with other programs. 

If you want to check out Freshbooks, we’ve got a special 30 day free trial link you can use here!

2. Asana/Trello

Asana and Trello are both project management tools and work in similar ways. You use a program like this to keep your client’s (and your!) projects and workflows organized. 

You can even start using one now to organize your daily life. This way you can practice so you already have experience if your client uses it! If they don’t, but they need help organizing, you can recommend a project management system and teach them how to use it.

The best thing about having a system like this is that everything is organized. You can assign tasks to certain team members. They can check off tasks whenever they finish them. These are great tools to keep track of the whole project in one place.

3. Convertkit

Convertkit is used for email marketing. This is unfortunately not a free service (there is a free trial if you want to have a look), but your client would be paying for it for their business.

You use Convertkit to keep track of your client’s email list, schedule emails, tag people to get them in the right email sequence and more. Convertkit is a program manager’s best friend!

4. Canva

Canva is a free and easy graphic design tool. They have some tutorials to help you on your way, but the process is really easy! They offer a lot of free resources to create your graphics, like free stock photos. You can also upload your own (stock) photos.

We LOVE using Canva for anything from website featured images and Instagram Story templates to pins and Youtube thumbnails!

Canva is perfect for some light graphic design work and is amazing for a VA. It will help you create beautiful graphics without requiring knowledge of complicated design programs. 

5. Buffer

Buffer is a social media scheduler, so you don’t have to manually post those amazing graphics and posts you made. You can, for example, schedule a whole month’s worth of content at a time. This will save you a lot of time! It is free for the first three social media accounts, so you can start playing with it right away. 

If you have a few social media clients and exceed the free limit, it’s most likely you as the VA would get a paid subscription to Buffer. Just remember to build this into your rate to make up for it.

Ready to get started with working as a Virtual Assistant?

As you might have noticed, the skills we mentioned don’t have to be separate jobs. It’s quite normal to offer multiple of these to one client, especially at the beginning of your VA career. Once you have more experience, you can niche down to focus on one or more skills you really love. However, many business owners love someone that can do it all, so it is beneficial to know multiple! 

So now you might be thinking: how can I learn all of this? 

You could try to go out on your own and play around with it. However, it is a lot faster to learn from an expert who has gone before you.

If you’re new to the online world and are more interested in what types of jobs are available to virtual assistants, be sure and check out this free class to get started.

Join the free intro class now and find out how you can get started working online in 2020!

Katinka van den Berg is a virtual assistant here to assist travel and environmentally conscious businesses with anything to make their business run smoother. She’s a member of 90 Day VA and assists with everything from content creation, social media management and email management to general business management. She loves to travel and explore new cultures. To see all the services she offers and how she can help you, check out her Facebook page here.

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