Maybe you know what a Virtual Assistant (otherwise known as a VA) is, maybe you don't.
But every small business, entrepreneur, and non-profit should! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept (that's ok!), let's start with a few of the basics.
A virtual assistant is someone that works with your business remotely as a contractor or freelancer. They can assist with a variety of tasks from social media, blog posts, website updates, data entry, scheduling meetings, and answering emails.
But what makes a virtual assistant different from an in-office assistant?
As mentioned earlier, they work remotely. Secondly, they are not employees of your business. This means that you do not have to provide them with benefits (such as health insurance or retirement benefits). You can also hire them for as few or as many hours as you need per week (and this can be flexible!). Most virtual assistants have a set hourly rate and they invoice your business based on the number of hours they work. They may also send you a quote based on the work you are creating.
Does this sound like something that may benefit your business?
Maybe you're a small business owner who is a overwhelmed and needs just a little extra help scheduling social media posts on a weekly basis. Or maybe you're a salon that wants some help with updating your website with your stylists and pricing on a monthly basis. Or maybe you are a real estate agent that wants to free up some time by hiring someone to send out mass marketing emails and have someone weed through all your emails on a daily basis. A virtual assistant would be perfect for all of these tasks!
But where do you start?
First start by getting in contact with a VA you want to work with. Begin a dialogue. Assess what their strengths are and see if they align with what you are looking for. Some VAs specialize in social media where others might specialize in HTML coding. Inquire about their hourly rate and begin to figure out how many hours you might need on an weekly basis.
But what things might you want to outsource to a virtual assistant?
In general, it's a good idea to outsource either the tasks you simply dislike or those tasks that aren't directly bringing you income. For example, a VA can assist with cleaning up and answering emails but if you are a real estate agent, it may not be a good idea to have a VA actually sell your property. Some things that would be a good idea to outsource:
1) Emails - cleaning up an account, answering emails, organizing them into folders, tagging ones for you to answer
2) Website maintenance - updating WordPress & widgets, freshening up photos and text, updating employee bios
3) Blog posts - writing blog posts to highlight your products & services, creating posts to inform your readers of information they might find helpful, formatting posts that you've written
4) Social media - keeping platforms up to date, creating accounts that you haven't yet started, interacting with clients and followers
5) Customer satisfaction - helping clients to find the answers they need, thanking them for their involvement with your business, sending out client care packages
6) Presentations & conferences - assisting with creating presentations, ordering supplies, marketing events
There are many other services that a VA can help you with. If you have an idea, pitch it to see if a VA would be comfortable helping you! I want to hear from you. Have you hired a VA before? What services did they help you with? Or are you thinking of hiring a VA? What services do you want to get off your plate?