I started working as a virtual assistant in August of 2022, but quickly transitioned into a digital marketing assistant. The job started as a side hustle after I learned (fairly quickly) that I was good at it. Plain and simple. I knew what to do, when and used my past experience to help me, help my clients. Today, I’m sharing with you my thoughts on the skills I think you need to have in order to venture into this space.
Friend, I know I’ve only been in the business for a little over a year, but when I say I’ve learned a ton… It’s true! When I started I sank my teeth into all the resources I could – a workgroup full of others in the industry, any and all podcast about the job and what I’d need to know and workshops that I took in order to improve the skills I already had. I basically forced myself to learn whatever I could based on my clients’ wants and needs. And now when I say I love being a digital marketing assistant, it’s true.
So if you’re here because you’re thinking of starting a business like I did, keep reading. I’m sharing with you a list of the Must-Have Skills and the Nice-to-Have Skills I think you need to have on your radar.
Digital Marketing Assistant Must-Have Skills
After doing this “job” for over a year, I’ve narrowed down my list of skills you absolutely must have. I have six (6) of them to share with you today, even though, there’s probably a thousand others that should be on this list too. When you read through, you might notice something… 🤔
You Must be Organized
Being organized isn’t just about having a running task list. It’s about planning, thinking ahead and visualizing tasks. I call myself a natural-born organizer because this just comes easy for me. I love writing in my planner and using my Google calendar to keep track of meetings. In addition to these things, I can also visualize how much time a certain task will take and when the right time is to take action on that task. This second piece can be even more helpful for your client because it means you can see the future.
Paying Attention to Detail is a MUST
While I always say “I’m not an expert at anything” it’s because I always feel there is more to learn. When it comes to grammar and spelling, though… You’ve gotta at least know the basics. Understanding how proper grammar works and how words should be spelled is essential because you want don’t want to look uneducated. If you need help, use a software like Grammarly. Additionally, you need to make sure you (and your client) stays on target so paying attention to timing and when things are due is key.
Seeing Things from a 10,000 Foot View is Helpful
When you’re not in the business, working the day-to-day, you can see things others can’t. This is tremendously helpful because you can make suggestions and recommendations to make small tweaks or big changes that will drastically change your client’s business for the better. Sometimes an overview changes perspective and if your client is working IN the business, then they aren’t going to be able to see everything. Don’t be afraid to tell your client what to adjust to grow. They’ll thank you in the end.
Communication is Key
If you can’t communicate well, life can be hard, nevermind business. You need to be able to speak well, be fluent in the language your client speaks and write your emails, texts and Slack messages clearly so there’s no mistaking what you’re saying. If you’re shy or not confident enough, take a public speaking class. If your writing is poor, take a class that will help you with this. Without good communication, you’re in for a uphill battle, my friend. And no one, absolutely no one, wants that.
Play Devil’s Advocate
This is my most fun “skill” that I think every side hustler or digital marketing assistant needs. When you can play Devil’s Advocate, you can ultimately think outside of the box. You can bring ideas to your client that they might not have thought of before. Trying these ideas helps you play the game, learn the system and ultimately do better for your client. Even though this is further down on the list, it might actually be one of the more important skills to have.
Analytical Skills, Not Stats
No, this isn’t stats class from college. Trust me, when I think of math, I don’t want to do it either. What I’m talking about is looking at data from the social media platform, email service provider or website host and reviewing those numbers to find trends. I look at social media data for my clients every 30 days to identify new trends for when to post, what to post and how often to post. This skill helps you identify shifts in the wind and change your methods before the breeze is gone.
Did you notice something? Not one of those skills are tasks that you would do as a digital marketing assistant. Instead, they’re behavior traits that can help you role with the punches that come along with this industry. The next list is full of more of the common things you would have thought of for skills someone in this industry needs. Keep reading to see what you already have under your belt.
These are the skills your immediately think of when it comes to actually doing the job of a digital marketing assistant. These are great, but I think the behavioral traits matter so much more. These skills you can Google and learn on the fly if you have to.
Graphic Design & Content Creation
When it comes to graphic design, I’m no expert. I rarely use Adobe products but Canva is my jam. The same goes for most in the industry. It’s a place where you create pretty much any marketing tool you can think of – business cards, flyers, social posts, etc. You name it, Canva has a template. Putting your spin on things to suit your clients’ needs will take time but force yourself to get in there and play around. Have fun with the platform because there is an incredible number of things you can do.
Social Media Know-How
Social media is not my friend… I’m just not a fan of what it’s become. But clients use it so you need to too. With the algorithms changing every day, at the very least learning to be consistent is the best thing you could do for your client. Daily engagement and interaction on an app that should be social is something that can be learned over time. And if you don’t know how… Google it! I bet you’ll come up with a blog or a podcast from a true expert that can help.
Copywriting or Writing Copy
Either way, it’s the same. Copywriting is everything in business. Whether it’s normal, every day meeting minutes or a Facebook ad, you need to learn how to write in your client’s voice and how to capture the audience. The first way to do that is by a Hook. It’s the way you grab their attention and keep them wanting more. Then, there’s sales copy. It’s a lot to learn, but if I can do it, you can too!
Email, despite what social media experts say, is still the way to go in business. Your email subscribers are your lifers! They gave you their email in return for something so now you’ve gotta deliver. What you need to know about email marketing is that it’s another trial and error. Kind of like social media. Should subject lines be long or short? How often should you send an email? How should you segment your subscribers? There’s a lot to learn but you learn all this when you start working with your clients.
Yes, that buzz word people are talking about – SEO. It stands for Search Engine Optimization. What does that even mean? The simple explanation is that the words you use on a website help boost Google ranking. Learning what words and tools (i.e. pingbacks) to use on a website can go a long way in boosting your client’s website and therefore bringing in more leads and ultimately potential customers.
Project Management & Planning for Launches
Many people in our industry are utilized specifically for this reason. Because we’re organized and can visualize big projects long term, we’re an asset to someone’s team. Not only can this skill help you forecast projects, create timelines and give deadlines to deliverables to help you stay on track, it can help you go one step further. It can help you target future projects based on the wants and/or needs of the potential customer.
The last nice-to-have skill on my list is that of managing a CRM – Customer Relationship Manager. This system is more than just data entry and notetaking. It’s about knowing how to tag the lead, when to follow up and how to create reporting that matters for the business. Customer Service goes hand-in-hand with managing a CRM and is just one piece of the pie.
There you have it! That’s my list of the Must-Have Skills and Nice-to-Have Skills for someone thinking of entering the workforce as a virtual assistant or digital marketing assistant. After reading, if you’re still considering it, feel free to contact me! Yes, I really don’t mind getting emails asking me about my experience. I’m more than willing to respond because I don’t think information like this should be kept secret. There are so many jobs out there, there’s more than enough work for all of us.