The term Virtual Assistant made its appearance in the business vernacular in the 1990s. And thanks to high-speed Internet, document sharing, and other techie advancements, working virtually is now a reality for thousands of businesses. Today Virtual Assistants assist entrepreneurs with mundane, day-to-day tasks that they cannot or do not want to do on a regular basis.
What a Virtual Assistant Is
A virtual assistant or VA is a self-employed, independent contractor. Most come from a variety of business backgrounds and education. They work remotely from their homes providing their clients with professional administrative, technical, or creative support services. And as independent contractors, they provide their own office space, equipment, and supplies. Virtual assistants also pay their own taxes, insurance, and benefits.
There are two types of VAs: the General VA and the Advanced VA. A General VA is also known as an online administrative assistant, online personal assistant, or online sales assistant. They support businesses with general office tasks. An Advanced VA offers specific skills or tasks like content marketing or project management skills such as event planning.
What a Virtual Assistant Is Not
Virtual Assistants are not employees. As a client, you do not provide them with office space, equipment, supplies, vacation time, and sick pay. You don’t provide them with insurance or benefits, either.
A Virtual Assistant is not available 24/7. Nor do they provide their services to only one client. They are real people who with lives that must be organized and scheduled to help their clients be organized and productive, too.
What a Virtual Assistant Does Virtually
Businesses use virtual support for just about everything. And Virtual Assistants can do almost anything virtually except pour you a cup of coffee and things like that. So what can be done virtually?
- Send thank you and other reminder emails
- Research certain topics for blog posts or newsletters
- Order flowers and gifts for clients and family members online
- Send thank you and special occasion cards
- Plan and organize live events
- Study and report on Google Analytics
- Create email campaigns
- Distribute monthly e-newsletters
- Help with taxes
- Develop and program websites
- Design graphics
- Edit video and audio
- Write content for websites, blogs, social media, postcards, …
But Wait! There’s More!
- Complete SEO tasks
- Manage and filter email
- Set up Autoresponders
- Book appointments with clients
- Follow up with clients and customers
- Answer phone calls
- Manage calendars
- Organize digital files
- Build databases
- Update email or contact lists on your CRM
- Book hotels and flights
- Transcribe voicemail, video or audio, podcasts, etc.
- Record or take down minutes of meetings
- Create basic reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales
- Prepare slideshows and Powerpoint presentations
- Be a liaison between you and other team members
- Recruit other team members for projects, events, or specific and repetitive tasks
- Set up and manage social media accounts
- Manage your blog
- Edit and publish content you provide on your blog
- Filter and reply to comments on your blog
- Answer support tickets
- Comment on other blogs to increase links to your site
- Participate in discussion forums or message boards to promote your business
- And, believe it or not, so much more!
How a Virtual Assistant can Benefit You Virtually
A Virtual Assistant buys you time which alleviates stress and allows you to work on your business and the tasks you actually enjoy doing. And because Virtual Assistants free up your time, you can focus on the work that makes you money. Plus, Virtual Assistants are better than you are at some tasks. What may take you five hours to do, may take a VA only two hours. It’s always smart to outsource the tasks you’re not skilled at, no matter how simple they may seem to be. (You know, “I know I can do this. How hard can it be?”)
It’s cost-effective. There’s little if any overhead when you work with a Virtual Assistant. This is because you don’t need to provide them with employer wage deductions, paid vacations, health insurance, office space, furnishings and equipment. And you get to bypass HR paperwork, training, and/or management.
One of the biggest benefits of working with a Virtual Assistant is you pay only for the time they spend on their work for your business. You don’t pay for them to talk on the phone, go to lunch, take a break, visit with other employees, … 100 percent productive work only.
If you’re wearing all the hats in your business, it’s time to stop and make a change, virtually. It’s time to outsource and begin moving forward. #RockinRobinVA Click To Tweet
How to Hire Virtual Help
I’m sure you see now how getting virtual help is crucial for you as a business owner. I mean, if you want to maximize your income and facilitate growth, you must outsource. It’s just impossible to do everything efficiently and effectively as a one-man show!
The stress of BEING the business and struggling to stay afloat doesn’t have to be a given for the entrepreneur. If you’re pushing tasks aside because you can’t get to them or don’t want to do them, you’re showing telltale signs that your business is suffering, and you need to hire a Virtual Assistant.
“Okay. Okay. I give. But HOW do I hire virtual help? I have no idea where to begin.”
- Make a list of the tasks you want to outsource. Then, prioritize the tasks you want to delegate. For example, if managing email is a tedious time-suck, list it first. Or maybe website management is your nemesis. List website management at the top, and outsource that task.
- Next, contact a VA service that trains Virtual Assistants. Kathy Goughenour of Expert VA Training helps you find a Virtual Expert who will meet your needs.
Some Virtual Assistants specialize in a specific skill set. For example, Rockin’ Robin Virtual Assistance specializes in content marketing and website development. We offer virtual support for blogging, blog management, social media management, email marketing, newsletters, and building websites for small business professionals like you. And we love it!
If you’re wearing all the hats in your business, it’s time to stop and make a change, virtually. It’s time to outsource and begin moving forward. Contact Rockin’ Robin Virtual Assistance today. Call (307) 631-1867 or schedule a FREE 15-minute consultation to find out how we solve business woes virtually. And if you contact Kathy Goughenour of Expert VA Training, tell her Rockin’ Robin sent you!
Rockin’ Robin Virtual Assistance LLC
firstname.lastname@example.org | (307) 631-1867
“For increased sales, measurable results, and the lifestyle you crave”