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Let’s see, being a VA is tough. Not because the work is hard, but because there are so many of us out there that the competition is a little bit stiff, nowadays. Working at home, with all the comforts and tolerable discomforts it can provide, is quite a lure. So, what can you do to get ahead of the pack?

I have a few tips below that may help you out:

1. Fix your grammar – being knowledgeable with the English language is good. Knowing how to use proper English grammar is better. Mind you this writer isn’t perfect, you might even find a lot of forgivable errors in this article, but I can honestly say that I know when to use my “you’re” and “your”, most of the time that is.

Yeah, engaging in informal online conversations is natural these days, so “shortcuts” and “abbreviated texts” are tolerable. But mixing your “there/they’re/their”, or your “then/than”, and one of the worst, “could of/would of/should of” instead of “could’ve/would’ve/should’ve”, let’s just say, it makes you look silly. If you are not confident enough with your English competence, relearn it then (or hire Eirin, Rowena or Angela, my fellow VA’s, I heard they may teach cheap). Clients will choose you over the other guy if your grammar is good, it doesn’t have to be perfect, just good.

2. Learn some basic photo editing – Don’t mix different odd colors. Don’t mix odd fonts. Learn about contrast, vibration and visibility. These are photo editing basics. They are simple enough to understand that acquiring this skill is not too hard – even for a beginner. You’ll have to burn a few hours on this one, though, if you didn’t learn this in school.

But! It will all be worth your time eventually. Clients love it if you can create engaging infographics and logos/banners for them. Also, if you can be adept enough at editing your Facebook profile pictures and cover photos (Isn’t that great, no more pimples! Yey!). Sample amateur images below:


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3. Learn the basics of video editing/creation – like photo editing, this is another skill that you should try to acquire if you want to be a versatile VA. From adding texts to already recorded videos, to actually animating and creating videos, it will be an amazing addition to your skill set. I do admit, though, that it is a little bit harder than photo editing. Plus, not all clients will look for this particular skill in a VA.

Seriously though, knowing the basics of video editing and creation is very helpful in ad creation which is always needed in any online business. You don’t have to go overboard and create complex videos to create marketable ads, clean and simple videos will entice a lot of customers more than the flashy ones (Though flashy ones are cooler!). Yes, video editing/creation may not be important sometimes, but needless to say, it is a useful one nonetheless. Sample amateur video below:



4. Learn to Code HTML & CSS – not the complicated ones those coffee-fueled programmers know, just the basics. Sometimes being a content creator isn’t enough, you have to beautify (yeah, that’s a real word) your content. Of course everything is WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) these days, but how about if what you wanted can’t be WYSIWYG’d? Simple codes like editing font sizes and font colors, or boxing a phrase, and or maybe editing an image so that it goes full size regardless of what web browser you use, is definitely a great skill to acquire, really.

5. Have the right attitude to learn – being a know-it-all, and not-knowing-it-all, is not good at all. Being a VA means you have to constantly learn and relearn stuff. The internet is by no means static, you have to keep pace with all the developments to foster your own progress as well. Like what they say, “You only stop learning when you’re dead!”, or something like that.

Of course being pleasant to talk to is a must, and being pleasant to look at is a plus, too. But the most important thing of all is that you have to have coffee on standby at all times. Being more alert than the competition will get you ahead of the pack! First things first though, you really have to know how to use a computer. After that, everything else is easy, maybe.

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