It’s past the middle of October, and because I always do my goal setting in November each year, I thought it’s a good time to share with you what I have learned to be the top 10 virtual assistant skills that will be most in demand in 2018.
When I started out as a virtual assistant back in 2006, not many people know what it takes to become one, much less understand what a virtual assistant does and how the system works.
It worked to my advantage because I basically had no competition. Clients were mostly from the US and Canada, and the virtual assistants back then were the locals, meaning the empowered American and Canadian women who started this revolution of working from home. Offshore VAs like myself were very few. And independents like myself were just a handful. Most of the virtual workers I came across with during those days were actually working for companies. Companies find the clients, and they just assign projects to the virtual workers.
In my case, I ventured on my own. I went to Craigslist and scoured through the ads. I built my own website (a hideous one, I have to admit, because I did that at the time that I really had no technical experience), and sold myself to clients based on my corporate experience, my command of the English language, my passion for learning, my get-it-done attitude, and my sense of humor.
Today, the Philippines is one of the top sources of virtual workers, and the community of virtual assistants is growing exponentially. Workshops are happening almost every week, offered by just about anyone who has a working knowledge on the topic. There are even enterprising ones who offer workshops based on theory, without any hands-on experience at all.
The surge of the virtual assistant population is understandable. More and more people are opting to work from home. Mostly mothers who want to spend more time raising their children, and those who are just tired of battling traffic every day.
What this population growth means is that competition is getting stiffer, and the only way to stay in the game is to keep up with what the market demands.
The virtual assistance niche has been going through some shifts in the past years. When I started out, I was a general VA. Then came the time that I felt that the market was focusing more on specialized skills. Specialized niches pay more, and less stressful. While I continued to offer my services as a general VA, I spent time, money and effort on mastering a niche, and carved out some time from my daily schedule to allow myself to offer shopping cart set up as a project-based service.
Late last year, there was another shift. Clients now look for virtual assistants who can do multiple specialized niches. Say hello to the versatile virtual assistant.
So now, if one has to take on a client who has an online shopping cart, the virtual assistant has to know how to manage the website, manage the shopping cart, write and edit the copy of product description and site content, provide customer service support, edit graphics, manage social media… the list goes on.
Clients, especially the small business owners, are looking for people who can do it all, or at the very least, not afraid to learn every aspect of the business and be part of the operations. As a virtual assistant, these small business owners are my ideal clients, because there is an opportunity to grow.
In the workshop I recently attended, I learned that these virtual assistant skills are what will be most in demand in 2018.
- Project Management Skills
- Systems Thinking Skills
- Online Community Management
- Online Marketing Funnels
- Writing & Editing Skills
- Content Production & Marketing
- Multimedia Editing Skills
- Online Events Management
- Marketing Technology
- Website Management
Presently, I’ve been doing a lot of systems thinking, website management, project management, and writing and editing. What I would really love to learn are multimedia editing and marketing technology. I know how to do online community management because I’ve done a little bit of that before, but it’s not something that I would like to offer as a service. I also know content production, but I would like to focus my effort on that towards my own business, not the clients’. 🙂
So how about you? Are you ready for 2018?
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