5 most in-demand VA skills for 2022: Our predictions

by
Mona Csada
Published:
January 4, 2022

Whether you’re a virtual assistant considering expanding your skillset or an organization wondering how others are leveraging virtual assistants as a talent solution, take note! We predict the top five most in-demand VA skills for 2022 and share resources for VAs who want to build skills in each area.

1. Virtual executive assistants

Behind every great leader is a great team, and an unsung superhero executive assistant. And with more organizations transitioning to remote or hybrid work models, the demand for virtual executive assistants is rising quickly.

What is an virtual executive assistant? Usually matched with one or two senior leaders within an organization, virtual executive assistants specialize in helping their bosses perform at optimal levels. A virtual EA’s job is to keep their leader moving, ensuring they have everything they need to be fully efficient and effective. Virtual EAs are usually five steps ahead of their bosses!

The virtual executive assistant role isn’t for the faint of heart; after all, EAs have the most demanding bosses of anyone. The best virtual EAs are resourceful and decisive with a high level of emotional intelligence, good judgement and outstanding prioritization skills. They’re calm under pressure and execute flawlessly at a detailed level, while also considering the big picture. They become a trusted partner in success for their leader.

If you’re a VA hoping to add executive assistance to your skillset, check our Virtual Gurus Academy course, How to be an outstanding executive assistant to a CEO. You might also find this Emotional intelligence course valuable for building strong working relationships with your future clients.

2. Content creation

Content creation for social media and websites is one of the fastest growing service areas requested by Virtual Gurus clients, according to our Director of Talent, Alanna Murray. “We’re seeing increased demand for both graphics and written content, and there’s no sign of that slowing down,” said Murray.

Design

Basic graphic design has become a highly democratized skill, thanks to free and affordable tools like Crello and Canva. These platforms let you upload company logos, fonts, colours and other graphic assets, and then use them in customizable templates for everything from social media images and digital ads to postcards and t-shirt designs. 

Of course, a tool is only one piece of the puzzle; there is an art and discipline to creating high quality, effective graphics. Aspiring creators need to study and apply design principles in order to succeed in this field. 

Both of the aforementioned content creation platforms have learning sections on their websites that include design tips. You’ll also find a number of on-demand design courses at the Virtual Gurus Academy. These courses were created especially for VAs and are taught by veteran Virtual Gurus VAs. 

Consider taking one or more of the following, with each being about an hour in length:

Copywriting

In addition to visual content creators, our clients are increasingly requesting strong marketing writers. This includes short form copywriting for ads and social media as well as longer-form writing for email campaigns, ebooks and blog posts. 

For developing persuasive writing skills with a focus on driving marketing results, we’re big fans of the articles and training offered by Copyhackers. You’ll find both free and paid options.

3. Social media management

Of course, social media content is always part of a larger social media plan. Someone needs to create the calendar, post the content, monitor results and engage with followers. Juggling all of that is no small feat, especially for organizations participating in multiple social media channels, and given how much content they need to post in order to drive engagement. So it’s no surprise that demand for social media management VAs is growing in tandem with that for content creators. 

Recommended social media training resources:

4. Email marketing

Continuing with the marketing support theme, we predict continued high demand for email marketing expertise this year. Contrary to predictions that email would die as an effective marketing channel, it has remained very much alive. What’s more, intelligent email automation platforms are making it easier than ever to drive impressive ROI through smartly targeted campaigns.

Get an excellent overview of email marketing, how it fits into an organization’s overall marketing strategy, and the key tools available for managing campaigns in this Digital Marketing Ecosystem course from the Virtual Gurus Academy. 

If you’re a VA preparing to work with a new client using an email platform that’s new to you, seek out a relevant course, such as this one on ConvertKit, or MailChimp’s 101 course.

5. Bookkeeping

Last but not least, virtual bookkeeping assistants will be a hot commodity this year, and particularly those with skills in Quickbooks Online, aka QBO. Many business owners cringe at the very thought of managing their own accounting and financial records, despite recognizing its importance. Bookkeeping VAs to the rescue! 

If you’re already a VA and want to add bookkeeping to your arsenal, it might be easier than you think. Start with How to become a virtual bookkeeping assistant. Then, build deeper competency in Quickbooks through their free webinars, videos and tutorials.  

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The future is virtual

With the gig economy forecasted to grow to $455 billion by 2023, demand for skilled virtual freelancers will continue to rise. The pandemic accelerated the trend, and we predict it’s here to stay. Now that the world at large has experienced the benefits of flexible, remote talent solutions, they're hooked.

But the flipside for freelancers is that competition is fierce; only the most skilled will get the best gigs. Our best advice to current and aspiring virtual assistants is to continue investing in your ‘product’ -- your skillset. We wish you good learning!

Interested in becoming a virtual assistant?

Visit our Become a VA page to learn more.

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Mona Csada

Mona is the Director of Marketing and Communications for Virtual Gurus. She has over 20 years of experience bring brand stories to life and driving sales and marketing results for organizations large and small.

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