Class is back in session this week! Put down that fruity cocktail (or top it off…whatever your pleasure…) and get ready for week two of VA summer school! This week we quickly outline what makes a good, great, EXPERT Virtual Assistant. If you are a VA, these are the things you should be working towards and embodying. If you are looking for a VA, let this list be a test for your next hire.
As a VA you will be trusted with your clients’ to-do list, schedule, and, sometimes, even sensitive personal information. You have to be reliable. Reliability means you are honest, trustworthy, and dependable. And you must be all these things consistently. Always honest…always trustworthy…always dependable. You are available when you say you will be available. You deliver completed tasks when you say you will. You know how to own up to mistakes and you make it right.
Professionalism is of vast importance in the VA industry. One VA can ruin the bunch…at least the perception of the bunch. Once a client has been burned by an unreliable or untrustworthy VA, it will take extra patience and confidence from the bunch of reliable and trustworthy VA’s to make up for the one slacker. Don’t be that person.
An expert VA is also independent. Now, I’m not talking about a Lone Ranger kind of independence. I’m talking about the kind of person who works well alone. The VA who works well alone is resourceful – knowing when to ask questions and when to do their own research and brainstorming. They also know when what they’re good at and what they’re not.
A client trusts a VA to tackle a task with little to no intervention. The client doesn’t want to or can’t handle the task they have passed off to their VA so they certainly shouldn’t be managing a “needy” VA. The VA can instill confidence with their client by asking the right questions at the beginning of the task, updating their client along the way, asking good questions when necessary, and then delivering on time and above expectations.
Which requires a VA to also knock #3 on our list out of the park.
#3. Seamless Communication
An expert VA makes communication an art form. They use a variety of tools with seamless precision to allow their clients to access them any way that works for them. They truly have an “open door policy” without an actual open door. They give their clients all the tools and permission to reach them whether that is by phone, email, text, message, video call, FaceTime, carrier pigeon… whatever it takes!
Once an open flow of communication is well-established, confidence in the VA relationship grows. At the beginning of a task or assignment, the right questions are asked and clear expectations are laid out from both parties. Then throughout the process updates are passed to the client. The seamless flow of work, confidence, and communication is capped off with an on-time and on-point job well done.
#4. Time Management
So let’s just keep beating this one on the head… it can’t be stated enough. Time management is a no-brainer, no-argument requirement for all VA’s. Even the not-so-good-ones are probably pretty good at this. Although, as a client or as a VA, we should never settle for “pretty good.”
The best VA’s will be extremely busy. This means we are juggling multiple clients with even more tasks. We have to be able to focus and multi-task; to plan ahead and be flexible. We will have lots of balls in the air and we have to be able to handle it. One of the best ways to do this is by knowing yourself – know when you are most productive, what things you handle the fastest, how long you are able to work on a specific task before burnout, etc. And plan accordingly and realistically.
Here at Team CMVA, we use Google Calendar and Asana to stay on schedule and on task.
#5 Added Value
We talked about adding value as one of our Team CMVA core values last month, but it rings so true to this list as well. If a VA isn’t adding value then why have one? An expert VA will be able to (seemingly) effortlessly weave their way into the heartbeat of the flow of the company or client they are working with. They will become an indispensable part of the team by going above and beyond consistently. They will answer the pleading call of their clients clearly and confidently and then deliver.
Reliability, independence, seamless communication, time management, and indispensable value are what can take a good or a great VA into expert status. Are you a VA? What would you say makes you an “expert?” I’d love to hear from you!