Career Advice Industry Insights

How To Be a Great Virtual Assistant

By: Mariah Rogers
Jul 25, 2020 • 10 min read

Being a Great Virtual Assistant

Being a virtual assistant means that you not only have to be responsive and understanding, but you must also keep both yourself and your client organized. Sometimes, it may feel as though you need an assistant yourself! If you have a love for learning, a desire to work from home, and love meeting new people, exploring virtual assistant opportunities is encouraged. You will be able to perfect your communication skills and find new ways to ensure total customer satisfaction. It is a bonus to have some computer skills and organization techniques, but you can also be a fantastic virtual assistant with little to no experience. Here is how to get started!

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Landing The Job

The first step is to land a job as a virtual assistant. Despite a seemingly normal application process, your interview might look untraditional. Instead of asking formal screening questions with a hiring manager, you will likely be interviewing directly with the client. This allows both you and the client to see if you will be a good team and if you have similar goals in mind. This is not only a chance for the client to see if they want to work with you, but also vice-versa. Find out if the client needs help in areas that interest you, and that you believe you will be able to meet their expectations. Test the waters and find out if they need 9-5 assistance or 24/7. Your interview should be a time for you to ask questions and see if working for this client will bring you personal success and happiness.

Starting Out

Once you have landed a client, it is crucial to have a meeting to touch base before you start assisting them with tasks. You should be in charge of this meeting, and use it to find out the client’s specific expectations. This will eliminate the possibility of any confusion or dissatisfaction. Ask the client which method of communication they prefer best, whether it be email, phone call, or text. Find out what they hope to gain out of having a personal assistant, and why they decided to hire one in the first place. Being a virtual assistant, it is unlikely that you will be involved in all business all the time. Since you will be working closely with this person, find out a bit of personal information about them so that you can better gauge their day to day needs.

Make a Schedule

Instead of waiting for your phone to ping or your client to call, you should be reaching out to them to ensure they are on top of their tasks. Make a weekly schedule so that both of you can get into a routine. This will eliminate the possibility of forgetting to complete assignments or letting the client get behind. While you will be managing tasks daily, schedule aside specific days to review different areas you assist in. Here is an example:

Monday: Plan for the week. Schedule any appointments. Update calendars. Return phone calls from over the weekend. Make goals for this week. 

Tuesday: Manage email accounts and phone inboxes. Delete old messages and reply to urgent ones. 

Wednesday: Mid-week check-in. Organize files and plan any intended travel. 

Thursday: Errand day. Make a list of errands for the assistant to complete, even virtually. This can include restocking office supplies or order backup materials from websites.

Friday: End of the week recap. Did both parties achieve their goals for this week? Ask for feedback from the client. 

Depending on the industry your client is in or tasks they need done, this rough outline will change depending on the customer’s personal needs. Be sure to stick to your weekly schedule and encourage a routine.

virtual assistant

Be Prompt

When being a virtual assistant, it is absolutely necessary to be prompt. This is true for many different areas of your work. You must have a quick response time, complete tasks with urgency, and make follow-up calls when there is information needed from outside parties. Being a virtual assistant is not a slow-paced job. You must be alert and ready to tackle new projects at a moments notice.

Ask For Feedback

Being a virtual assistant requires you to form a personal relationship with your client. You will be working very closely with them! It is important to regularly ask for feedback on your performance. As you can see above, this task is scheduled for Friday’s on the weekly planning outline. With any close working relationship, tension can build-up if expectations are not addressed. Define what went well and what did not each and every week. Molding time for feedback into your routine will make it feel like a regular part of the week, and not a time for anger or stress.

Be Confidential

As a virtual assistant, you will likely be exposed to your client’s confidential information. This could be financial, family, or medical information. It is vital to keep this information completely confidential. Do not gossip with friends or any outside sources about the personal life of your client. This is seen as unprofessional and inconsiderate of your client. Keep everything between you and your customer at all times.

Be Personal

When working this closely with someone, it is okay to be personal and professional at the same time. You will be in charge of many aspects of their own lives, so form a trusting and fun relationship. Try not to nag your client and always gauge their stress level. Do things to make their life easier and more fun. Be understanding and easy to communicate with. In return, you will have a satisfied client!

What are your tips for being a virtual assistant? Tweet us and share! For more helpful content, check out our blog. 


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