Having helped dozens of people hire virtual assistants, I see the same skills/software/tools coming up over and over again via client request. More often, I see people posting ads or jobs for virtual assistants requesting that the VA be familiar with certain programs already.
Although there is a huge benefit to being able to train someone on some of the less complicated software programs, it does not hurt as a brand-new VA to come to the table with some background knowledge, even if you have not been paid to use these yet with a client.
Here’s the good news about these tools: they are not that hard to learn. Some software programs, like InfusionSoft or ClickFunnels, will help you make a ton of money as a VA. But they’re difficult. They even have certification programs to become an expert in them. Let’s work our way up there though, okay? Here are the “big players” I think you should spend a couple of hours becoming familiar with.
I’m going to list the most popular tools in each section. This is not an exhaustive list but it’s a great starting place. You don’t need to become an expert with every tool. Pick one or two from each category and then challenge yourself each month to become familiar with another one.
For each of these tools, you can set up a free or inexpensive trial period. If you don’t already have a website, social media plan, or email marketing manager for your VA business, use this as your excuse to set these up. Kill two birds with one stone and get the hang of these while also preparing your VA business to make a big splash.
1. Website Management: WordPress and Squarespace
Website management is in big demand because nearly every business has an online presence.
Being able to update website content in the form of blog posts is a hot service you can offer as a VA. There are lots of good WordPress tutorials out there.
Being a writer and VA, knowing WordPress and how to use tools like Yoast SEO (a great plugin to try if you do build your site on WordPress) has helped me book a LOT of clients.
Well worth getting familiar with.
Action step: Set up a WordPress site with your own hosting or give Squarespace a trial option for two weeks to play around inside.
2. Social Media Management Tools: Hootsuite, Buffer, MeetEdgar, and CoSchedule
My personal favorite here is Coschedule and they offer a good trial period. It’s a great thing to connect to your WordPress site, too, so you can automatically share things on your social media after a blog post is published.
All these tools have their pros and cons. One of my favorite ways to determine which thing I should learn next is by checking out reviews on YouTube. This way, you get to see other people using them and make a decision about which one you should try first. CoSchedule can be costly per month, but using the trial for two weeks will give you an idea of how it works so you can confidently tell your clients you know how to use it.
Action step: Sign up for the Coschedule trial and connect your own social media accounts.
3. Newsletter Management: Mailchimp, ConvertKit, Active Campaign
No matter who you work with as a VA, there’s a good chance they have an email newsletter. This will be managed by a company like those listed above. ConvertKit is relatively new but becoming increasingly more popular. Mailchimp is a great standby and your account is free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Setting up your own email newsletter is a good way to see how it works on the back end. As always, checking out YouTube to learn how to add information and work around inside the tool is great.
Remember, you don’t have to have been paid to manage these tools by someone else in order to tell the truth when someone asks if you have virtual assistant experience with them.
As a new virtual assistant, being comfortable with these programs enough to learn as you go after trying them out for yourself can be a great way to approach growing your business with in-demand skills.