How to advance your skills and experience as a new Virtual Assistant

It was an opportunity I could only dream of.  The possibility to work beside one of the major players in the marketing field, the branding was so on point I can’t even begin to figure out where she got those pictures from, and not to mention all her content! Oh my, paragraphs for Instagram captions and Facebook posts! Constant valuable content that was everything it is supposed to be; it gives the reader and potential client the knowledge of what his or her business needs, giving the understanding of the process just up to the point where they know they have to hire you. That’s the sweet spot. I was in awe. But it turned out for poor old me that I was not at the skill level I needed to be at to run with the big dogs, and I was put back on the porch only to feel defeated and discouraged, completely unsure if I was even cut out to be a virtual assistant anymore.


Advance your skills as a VA


But I picked myself up off the floor, figuratively speaking, and dusted off the negativity and began to think about how I could bring myself to the level I needed to be at for that dream job, the level that I want to be at.


I can already hear the critics chastising me for writing a blog post about my inexperience as a virtual assistant, but I have to keep at it 100%. I have things to learn, and wouldn’t it be worse to claim that I know things just to get a job and then screw it up royally once I start? It’s a waste of my time since it’s unlikely is it to get paid on something you messed up or couldn’t complete but spent hours working on, and a waste of the clients time who will be expecting me to work independently and quickly. I also have a rule that I won’t take any jobs I don’t enjoy. I am not going to sign up for anything I can get, especially at my pay rate as a beginner. Why in the world would I want to work on a boring or tedious project for next to no money? Not only am I honest, I am picky, too.


So what is the first step to getting the training I needed on a shoestring budget, with mentorship and internship hard to come by?


I reached out to my peers in Facebook groups. Facebook groups are the closest things a new VA can have to a personal mentor and always the place I turn to and get info or opinions on what I am doing or want to do. I was directed to Hootsuite Academy, a mostly free video lesson platform with very little benefit, but the lessons on using Hootsuite were very helpful, especially since that was one of the sore spots that I didn’t fully understand.


So the first solutions for me were to take the lesson on how to use Hootsuite properly and how it could help me with social media management.


The next suggestion was Udemy, an online knowledge center with tons of courses on a vast array of subjects many of which cater to online freelancers and business owners.


Why haven’t I accessed this source before? Tons of courses are priced at only $15! I went all through this site just adding courses to my wishlist and now plan to purchase and complete one course per week, the courses are generally 8 hours long with lots of other learning tools with lifelong access. It’s really a great learning tool that I don’t hear enough about.


I also googled free social media management courses and came to a blog with a list of 10 courses online all about social media management and all free!


DIYGENIUS has a blog about 10 free online courses for social media skills.


Buffer social has a ton of articles centering around social media as well.


So there is hope for the fledgling virtual assistant hopeful.


Hubspot has interesting and free courses about inbound marketing, design, and sales that look promising and cover these topics:


Essentials of an Effective Inbound Strategy:

  • Optimizing Your Website
  • The Fundamentals of Blogging
  • Amplifying Your Content with Social Media
  • Creating Content with a Purpose
  • The Anatomy of a Landing Page
  • Perfecting the Conversion Process
  • Sending the Right Email to the Right Lead
  • The Power of “Smarketing”
  • Taking Your Sales Process Inbound
  • Cultivating Happy Customers


I look forward to starting one with Hubspot very soon! Marketing is one of my major interests and something I want to eventually excel at, and keep it as my main focus when choosing what work to take on.


Searching for an internship is always a good idea, but a lot of successful virtual assistants or online business managers are extremely busy and cant set aside the time to mentor or train someone how to do things even if it benefits them, they simply don’t have the time. I have learned this in my short experience so don’t bank on finding a good mentor and trainer, even if you work for free they still won’t have time to instruct you. You will be lucky if they have time enough to explain the simplest steps that anyone, experienced or not, would need to know to complete a project.


There are prompts in multiple Facebook groups that encourage you to barter services to help each other out and gain experience as well as save money on something, it’s a great way to get your feet wet and gain some confidence along the way.


After the aching loss, I just needed to sit down and be humble.


And take a note of how much more experience I needed to succeed in this industry, experience, and knowledge. I need to work on it. If I don’t I’ll be stuck here in this same pathetic place, and I need to get to the next level! The level where I can truly say, without waver, that I am a virtual assistant. So many VA’s suffer from imposter syndrome, and I have had a chronic case of it this week with the big loss I suffered because of my lack of experience.


What makes you humble when you think about something a lot of other virtual assistants already know all about and you don’t?


What is your plan to change your current skills and rise up to new experience levels?


I’m dying to know your plans! Leave me a comment below!


Cynthia xoxo

Guest post by Cynthia Maybury



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5 thoughts on “How to advance your skills and experience as a new Virtual Assistant”

  1. Emma Setterfield

    Thank you for sharing, always great to hear from other people’s experience.

    To increase my skills I have signed up for a Proofreading/Copy Editing correspondence course, an online marketing skills course and one that outlines what you need to do to set up a VA business.

    I have also come across Udemy which looks really good, so will be looking at that.

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