An effective assistant can be one of the most valuable resources a person can ever have. More important than a Blackberry, iPhone, email account or a Rolodex with thousands of names, a good virtual office assistant empowers a client by helping to put order to chaos. In today’s age of the knowledge worker, your abilities can put you in high demand and bring you an excellent source of income that you can earn from home.
To be an effective assistant, you should keep the mindset that your mission is to make life easier for your client. Good communication is a major factor for success, but asking an endless series of questions, like a 6 year old, can create even more stress for your client and lower your value on the team. Find the balance of good communication and initiative that your client wants and needs and also recognize that different clients will seek a different balance. It’s your job to figure it out.
Organization skills are also a must. If your client needs to be reminded of the day’s agenda or asks for some important information, it’s your job to deliver. Develop a system as quickly as possible and try to evaluate it on a regular basis in case there are things you can improve. One free tool I’ve seen work great is the calendar synchronization tool from Google. You can add items to the web based calendar and have them appear automatically on your client’s phone. It would be hard to find a system that could beat that for ease of use.
A good assistant is also a good communicator. Not only do you need to communicate with your busy clients, and make sure they “get” the important messages, you may need to make calls on behalf of your clients as well. To improve your skills in this area, seek out a local Toastmasters group. They can be found around the world and have been helping people from all walks of life improve their speaking skills for decades.
If you think you have what it takes to be a good virtual office assistant, what are you waiting for? There are people out there who need your help today.