Virtual Assistants are much more common than they were just 10 short years ago when I started my business. It’s incredibly easy to throw up the proverbial shingle (aka website) now. The low barrier to entry means it’s easy to break into the industry, which also means there’s more competition than ever.

That’s why it’s not uncommon for open positions to garner hundreds of applicants. Company owners have so many choices…and that means they can replace a low-performing professional relatively easily!

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The suggestions below can help increase your odds of being considered for a project, help you retain existing clients and become a professional worth referring:

  1. Follow directions. Failure to follow directions can lead to immediate disqualification.
  2. Be Positive.
  3. Avoid Blame.
  4. Always be honest, especially with weaknesses and experience.
  5. Constantly be growing and learning. Stay abreast of the tools and changes in your industry. Read industry related books. Listen to relevant podcasts.
  6. Become an “expert.” Sharpen your existing skills.
  7. Be curious. Ask open-ended questions, like “What if….?” and “How can I….?”
  8. Acknowledge assignments. Tech gremlins exist. Alleviate worry and anxiety by acknowledging emails.
  9. Set expectations. Deliver.
  10. FUBAR something? *** Say you’re sorry. Make it right!
  11. Be Proactive. Know you’ll be out of town on a deliverable date? Get the work done early or ask for an extension.
  12. Communicate clearly.
  13. Try to avoid typos and grammatical mistakes.
  14. Be flexible, but have boundaries.
  15. Have (and use) the proper tools. Pay money for them, if necessary.
  16. Have systems, especially for deliverables. The online equivalent of “the dog ate my homework” is “I found this email stuck in drafts”. Don’t play that game.
  17. Know thyself. Plan accordingly. Know you’re sharpest in the morning? Work on the most important tasks during that time. Don’t worry; you can watch cat videos later!
  18. Have integrity. Follow the Golden Rule.
  19. Be reliable. Many a relationship will burn to the ground when one party is consistently unreliable.
  20. Be professional. This doesn’t mean you can’t be playful, and it certainly doesn’t mean you can never swear! (Warning: Judge your audience before letting loose!) But it does mean that you’re a business…so act like one. Don’t cry about PayPal fees or ask clients to make your payments payable to your three-month-old nephew. Some things are better kept to yourself, not out there for your clients to deal with.

Most of these things are relatively easy. Others, of course, will be harder and may require more effort.

Regardless, you’ve got this!

***FUBAR: Fucked up beyond all recognition

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