Finding Your Fortes
Now that you’re READY to become a virtual assistant, it is important to know what your job entails. While VAs in the past five years were limited to administrative services, there has been a major shift in what they do today. As discussed in the previous chapter,
This point discusses specifics such as skills and abilities assessment, and determining the most suited VA jobs and tasks for you. An extensive illustration of what VAs do is below. I enumerated specific jobs and tasks, and what knowledge, skills and abilities are required of each.
Now let’s get on to the typical wanted VA services you’d come across job sites. Each includes most likely tasks that come along with the position. Bear in mind that the tasks are either a part of the VA job, or could come at a later time. Some tasks may not be included but could be found in other VA jobs.
To find your “forte” or specialty, I’ve created an assessment process. From the activity, you would know which particular VA job and specific tasks are best to start with.
Administrative Support Services.
Others who have pleasant experiences with a VA in their back-office administration would say they have an “online secretary” or an “online executive assistant.” Yes, you guessed it, the tasks include typing, filing, records keeping, preparing online catalogs and presentations, file conversions and data entry works. Admin virtual assistants also do simple to complex accounting work, bookkeeping, and to some extent, responding to phone calls. Some clients would require their VAs to have a background in writing for their newsletter, blogs, email management and editing of documents.
While sufficient clerical experience is a must in this job while attention to details is most required. Some clients would want their administrative assistants to do extra works such as travel arrangements, setting appointments and meetings, billing and collections, internet research and editing, concierge services, and even event planning and coordination tasks.
Customer Service and Support. Also known as CSS, this VA job entails immediate interaction with clients of the company or business. Largely a part of customer relationship management, included tasks likely include contact or help desk through phone, emails or social media accounts. For some clients, CSS requires tending to the call management system and emails management. There are very busy companies or online businesses who would take three shifts of VAs in order to directly respond to customer concerns.
Marketing, Advertising and PR Support. Many online businesses require market research and online surveys. They get budget-friendly and yet excellent results from VAs with educational background on business management, marketing or communications. Creative VAs are also thrust into advertising and promotions work via their visual arts, writing and designing. As for online writers, they get VA jobs focused on producing press releases, article marketing and business website blogs.
So when you come across a post requiring VAs to have marketing background, be prepared for tasks such as contact management, search engine and social media optimization efforts, business planning and advertising works.
Social Media Marketing and Management Support. Practically all businesses, companies, firms and groups have social media accounts that need 24-hour attention. This means, they’d need help to keep their Twitter accounts active, promote their products and service via Twitter, and strengthen their networks through LinkedIn and other social media sites.
The VA assigned at SMM are likely to log in to these accounts and continuously communicate. Thus, SMM virtual assistants must be effective and fun writers to come up with relevant conversations. These VAs would be required to monitor feedback, track competition, come up with creative promotions and connect with many more potential clients. This job could mean forum moderation as a webmaster and as a link builder.
Website Design, Development and Management. This is a very specific field that demand advanced technical experience in web designing and development. Apart from the content which could be provided by a good writer, website development would require a VA who knows how to create a website with applications, images and videos. As the job entails highly technical skills, only those with sufficient background would take this VA post.
If you do have the skills in web development and possess writing prowess, then taking this job would be relatively easy. For the website management aspect, the VA must know about content marketing and repurposing. Thus, marketing and writing abilities are needed as well.
Professional Services and Assistance. If you have a degree or some education in a certain profession, then you could be a great VA to many big companies and firms. Being so, you’d be required to render assistance or consultancy services. Many graduates and undergraduates of law and the medical field would make good VAs for law firms and clinicians. Accountants, and human resource and business managers could do very well by way of their experience as well. For the most part, transcription, editing and research on their specific professions will be among the tasks of this VA type.
Other very common VA professional services these days would be human resource management, legal research and assistance and financial and business consultancy. We also have hundreds of nurses doing medical transcription work.