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  • Writer's pictureIsabelle Anderson

What Software Should a Virtual Assistant Know How to Use?

Updated: Sep 21, 2023

There's a whole world of software, apps and platforms out there that clients may ask you to learn to use and navigate.

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The London Virtual Assistant - Isabelle Anderson

In this blog I'll talk a bit about the platforms and software I use nearly everyday when working for customers and how I get the absolute most out of them. Making sure you're fully versed in these will help your business go from strength to strength and equip you to deliver the best possible service for your clients. My personal belief is that we need to do more than just 'get the job done'. If you can also evaluate a business' systems and the work that you do for them, you'll prove yourself to be invaluable towards the optimisation of a business' different processes. It's important to be curious as a Virtual Assistant. You should enjoy learning new things and making them work to their absolute potential. It's one of the reasons I love the job so much!


Read below to find out what I mean.


 

Canva


It's hard to know what we did before graphic design website Canva. If you're going to invest in one piece of software, this is the one I would recommend getting onto your desktop. You can design anything and everything from social media posts to website banners to posters to video ads.

Not only that but Canva Pro has scheduling capabilities, with a marketing calendar plug-in that allows you to keep on top of all your social media posting. I have folders for each individual client of which I can give them access to to check out or sign off any design work I'm doing before it goes live. There's also an infinite number of great templates to utilise if you don't feel that confident starting from scratch. You can have stunning content ready to go in no time.



Salesforce


If you're wanting to go in a more business focused direction I would recommend getting clued up on CRM platform Salesforce. Many businesses use this to log all their customer details, to create proposals and invoices, log sales and stay on top of email marketing. Companies often don't use it to its full advantage however, so if you approach a client with tips and tricks to the get the most out of a product they're paying for, you'll prove yourself invaluable.

Salesforce itself have loads of training videos to get you clued up or just head to Youtube and start digging. Once a business gets this software working effectively for them it can be a huge time saver, incorporating automations in email marketing and client engagement that optimise customer service.


Wordpress


I'm not their biggest fan but they're used more times than not for business websites. Get familiar with the back end of Wordpress and you're laughing.

There's wordpress.com and wordpress.org so get clued up on the difference here. Make sure you know how to operate the homepage, blog and SEO functions. Wordpress uses a plugin called Yoast SEO (see tutorial here) for any posts you make that lets you know how effective your keywords, meta data and slugs are. If you know how to get this little plugin to turn green, you're doing a good job.



Analytics


I like to be well versed in a customer's Google Analytics so that I can update them with a marketing report each month.

Go in and have a fiddle with all it's different reports. My favourites are the content drilldown, geo information and acquisition reports. If I can tell a client what their customers are looking at on their site, where they're based and where they're coming from (whether it be search, direct or social media) then I'm proving to be a vital asset in optimising their marketing activities.


Excel


If you don't know how to use Excel yet.....sort it out. You don't have to love it but you have to be friends with it.

Excel is your mate both in assisting clients but for your own business functions too.


Accounting, events planning, charts, formulas, this little guy is a VA's dream.




Social Media


I won't teach you how to suck eggs....you can work this one out for yourself. And don't forget Tik Tok. So many people forget Tik Tok. You are cool enough to get to grips with Tik Tok.


They all have their own analytics built within them. Remember, it's about evaluation. What's working and what's not? Keep an eye on it so your clients don't have to.



Meta Business Suite


Meta Business Suite is for all your social media scheduling and reporting needs across the dreaded giant's platforms.

Want to know how your content is doing in terms of engagement? Want to see how many followers you've gained this month or how many you've lost (hopefully you're not losing your client followers....this is not the goal)? Then familiarise yourself with Business Suite. It has fairly decent reporting capabilities that are good for marketing reports and the interface is easy to get to grips with in terms of scheduling. You can drop content on both FB and Instagram whilst making small changes to suit each platform.


LinkedIn


What would we do without LinkedIn? Some clients may want you to do some lead generation for them in which case you'll want to get to grips with Sales Navigator. Keyword and search jargon capabilities will be handy here (do you know what a boolean search is...I didn't....I do now).

If you can create effective searches for your client that deliver on prospects and active leads, then you're doing your job correctly. Learn how to create lead lists and how to log engagements with each potential on Sales Nav.


You should be using LinkedIn as a VA anyway. I would say that 90% of my enquiries come through this platform. It's not one to be sniffed at. Get networking.


Mailchimp


Most people just utilise the mailing capacity of Mailchimp but did you know that you can create 'subscribe now' pop-ups for websites that can be installed with a simple piece of code? I've seen clients' lead generation double using this tactic.

You can create reports that feed back on how well your mail-outs are doing - who opened them and at what time, what they did afterwards, where they're based? You can then optimise mail outs for the future in order to get the most effective engagement. It's not just about delivering the product. As I said at the start of this blog, I like to think that we also have a job in evaluation. If you can go above and beyond to show the client that you care about the effectiveness of their marketing and not just 'getting the job done and moving on' then you're a good virtual assistant. Help them optimise their processes.


WhatsApp Desktop


Total side note, but did you know that you can download WhatsApp to your desktop?! I find this is a key tool in my day to day work.

I can stay in contact with clients, update them as I go and receive any urgent tasks as the day goes on without having to jump around various different inboxes. Game changer.




Let us know other software that you think is invaluable! And good luck!


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