Being a virtual assistant is a dream. No early morning commutes, no dress code, no coworkers up in your grill.
The freedom and flexibility afforded virtual workers has caught on in the world of brick and mortar businesses – office based workers are telecommuting more than ever.
When you are starting out as a virtual assistant, the right tools are important. You can lose clients easily by underestimating what skills and resources you need to manage your daily tasks. If you think you can just open a laptop and start working, you’re wrong.
There are certain expectations with virtual workers – that you’ll be able to share a document, get on a video call, and be accessible. You’d be amazed at how many people fail at all of these!
The time you invest in the right equipment and overcoming a minor learning curve may save you from lost clients down the road.
Here are the five tools you must have to succeed as a virtual assistant. Then you can brag about opening a laptop anywhere to go to work.
Do not skimp on the connection. Ever.
Spend the money and get the fastest connection available to you.
Your connection needs to be solid to do this work. Tell your Internet provider you are working from home and you need a connection that will provide you with a speed that works for video conferencing.
If you live in an area where there are outages, find a back up workspace where you can go to log on.
Believe me, nobody cares if your Internet is bad or slow or intermittent. And no client is going to wait for you to get it together. There are plenty of other virtual workers they can call instead.
As a virtual worker you are expected to have the most cutting edge technology.
If you’re not on the current Windows and you’re running old, outdated programs, clients may worry you can’t handle certain projects. You’ll also face compatibility issues with some software programs. You never want to be stuck on a task because you’re behind on the technology.
Video Conference Software
Most of your meetings will be through video conference software. Get headphones, get your system running and make sure your connection handles video meetings with no freezing or audio problems.
Learn how to use a video conference software such as Zoom and practice sharing screens and adjusting the picture and audio.
Do not tempt fate by testing your videoconferencing prowess on a first call with a client. If I have ever experienced Murphy’s Law on a regular basis, it’s when I just assume technology will work.
Also, for the sake of your own vanity, video freeze face is unattractive. Don’t let this happen.
Designated Work Space
You may love bustling, noisy coffee shops, but it’s not a location to connect with your coworkers in the virtual world.
Designate a room or space in your house for a home office or check out a co-working space. A chaotic environment with lots of background noise may cause a client to think you won’t be able to focus.
We market ourselves as being no different than an assistant sitting outside an office. It’s important to present yourself that way when meeting with clients.
If you’ve never used Google Drive, it’s time to do a crash course.
It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll be sharing and exchanging documents through Google Drive on a regular basis, so it’s important you know how to use it and change settings for access.
Google Drive dominates the virtual work force as a way to share documents. If you don’t know how to use this you’ll be at a major disadvantage.
Starting out as a virtual assistant is still fairly inexpensive and for workers who have niche skills or years of office experience, the transition is a welcome change.
Take these tips into consideration as you begin your journey as a virtual assistant and you’ll avoid problems, be more productive and be a busy bee with all your new clients.
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Join The Conversation
What are some of the common pitfalls of being a virtual assistant and how did you handle them? Share your thoughts with us below!