Virtual assistant services offer a sturdy foundation to startups and early-stage companies in getting them off the ground. Although some entrepreneurs pride themselves as great multitaskers, once they expand their business, they will need to let go of micromanaging their company.
Identify Everything You Can Outsource
As the sole proprietor of a small business, there are hundreds of tasks that need to be ticked off the to-do list before the day is done. If you have to deal with tasks such as bookkeeping, social media management, and customer support all in one day, there won’t be enough time for you to tackle things that need problem-solving.
To avoid overwhelm, Chris Ducker, a virtual CEO and publisher, recommends entrepreneurs to create a “3 Lists to Freedom” to be clear about what you would need a virtual assistant for and optimize productivity. Here are the three things you should list down:
- Things you hate doing. These are things you dislike doing in your business on a day-to-day basis, such as accounting or administrative tasks.
- Things you can’t do yourself. These are tasks and components in your company that you have no knowledge or experience doing. This could be social media management, graphic design, or even coding.
- Things you shouldn’t be doing. To be the best entrepreneur that you can be, knowing what’s unnecessary to you and your business, but are things you keep doing gives you better awareness of what you need to prioritize.
This list once done is a mental map into taking a virtual assistant.
Photo by J Kelly Brito for Unsplash
What are Virtual Assistant Services?
What can they help me with and how?
Virtual Assistants started off with secretarial and administrative tasks online and has since then extended their services in just about every field. They can both expand your business and help you save time so you can focus on bigger, higher-risk tasks.
There are about seven primary roles that you can outsource your tasks to virtual assistant services for rates as low as $3 per hour:
- General Virtual Assistance
- Content Writing
- SEO & Digital Marketing
- Social Media
- Web Development
- Audio & Video Editor
Remember that a VA won’t be able to fulfill everything in the above list, or maintain expertise, but instead would have one or two things that they would be good at.
For example, you can hire a General VA to do bookkeeping tasks, and at the same time perform banking transactions.
While you focus on business growth, virtual assistants will work on tasks that would usually take an entrepreneur’s time. Hiring a VA allows you to save time, which is a nonrenewable resource.
General Virtual Assistance
Administrative tasks are usually underestimated for being routinely and repetitive, but they take a lot of time and resources.
For an entrepreneur striving for growth, they can’t simply allot a big chunk of their time having to worry about bookkeeping, data entry, or corresponding to emails if they want their business to get further.
You can hire a virtual assistant specifically to perform general virtual office responsibilities so that you can be more productive where it matters.
- Bookkeeping and payroll tasks
- Receptionist duties, email correspondence, and organization.
- Database building, entry, and updates.
- Banking transactions and accounting.
- Writing and sending invoices to clients.
- Creating, filing, and presenting weekly reports on sales, deliverables, and tasks.
- Establishing, updating, and managing a calendar of important events.
- Scheduling appointments with clients, businesses, and salespeople.
- Converting, merging, and splitting files.
- Preparing training manuals for new staff members and remote workers.
- Composing documents from handwritten drafts, faxes, and dictations.
- Proofreading documents and other office materials.
Stringing words together and making them readable and sensible doesn’t make one a content writer. Content writing is an art form that takes more than just writing, but actual planning and execution of a campaign. You can’t delegate a developer or a general VA to just write blog posts and press releases for your product or business.
An excellent content writer will be able to write according to your brand tone and how you want to engage with your readers specifically.
- Article and blog post creation.
- Guest posting and guest blogging.
- Composing press releases and newsletters.
- Producing content marketing material such as infographics, white papers, and ebooks.
- Designing brochures and creating content put inside.
- Writing and submitting editorial pieces to newspapers and websites.
- Generating listicles on industry-related matters.
- Responding to comments made on the business’s blog.
- Composing case studies and in-depth reports.
SEO & Digital Marketing
Having a website to sell your products or your services isn’t enough. A virtual assistant with experience in digital marketing can boost web traffic, sales numbers with the right SEO and digital marketing strategies.
- Developing, updating, and optimizing an SEO and web marketing strategy.
- Conducting a keyword research for the website and performing a blog analysis.
- Starting an in-depth competitor and keyword analysis.
- Beginning a link-building campaign and generating a sufficient number of backlinks.
- Monitoring weekly and monthly Google Analytics reports: Observing site traffic.
- Designing advertisements (banners, side panel graphics, etc) and finding appropriate, high-traffic websites to place them on.
Social Media Management
Social Media Marketing has seen significant growth in the past decade, especially with the rise of mobile phones, where mobile marketing trumps the marketing budget.
A virtual assistant with a knack for social media marketing will know how to catch the audience’s eye, make engaging posts and tweets that can be shared on all social media platforms.
Posting on social media may look simple enough, but it takes a social marketing va to know how to get an audience.
- Opening social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
- Creating eye-catching and significant social media profiles.
- Writing, editing, and sharing posts on social networks.
- Content Creation Strategy.
- Creating a mobile social media strategy for full optimization.
- Hashtag and keyword research to fit marketing objectives.
- Audience engagement.
- Updating all social media accounts.
- Crossposting photos and content on various platforms such as Flickr, Pinterest, and Instagram to extend reach.
Photo by Christopher Gower for Unsplash
There are a lot of content management systems out there, but it pays to have a seasoned professional that can help create and maintain your website for you.
- Planning, designing, and developing WordPress Websites.
- Providing technical support through coding on WordPress pages.
- Installing, customizing, and updating plugins and themes.
- Website maintenance and doing backups to prevent data loss.
- Incorporating web applications and programming languages into the website.
There are video editing software and platforms that offer basic editing features for the average person. However, if you want your video or audio to look and sound professional, or to look or sound a particular way, trusting a virtual assistant with a background in audio and video editing is the way to go.
Often, rendering and editing take a lot of time. There are also designated software and equipment that your own computer might not be capable of handling, but a professional video and audio editor would already cover this.
- Basic video editing.
- Uploading files on Youtube, Vimeo, etc.
- Editing audio files by improving volume levels and minimizing background noise.
- Knowledge in using audio and video equipment such as cameras and mics.
- Recording, editing, trimming footage, and producing video and audio cuts.
Besides the tasks and responsibilities mentioned above, sometimes, even tasks from your personal life could take over your schedule. These seemingly simple tasks could keep you from focusing on higher-profit responsibilities in your business.
- Transcribing voicemail, audio or video podcasts, recording of meetings.
- Researching important data, statistical facts for meetings and presentations.
- Running generic errands and buying items online.
- Collecting and organizing documents and information for business and tax needs.
- Creating a project management system.
- Managing projects, keeping eye on appointments, meetings, emailing reports, and keeping track of the calendar.
- Researching and contacting industry experts or guests to participate in podcasts and webinars.
These are the many tasks you can hire a virtual assistant for, of course, depending on your needs and their expertise. Some virtual assistants will have more than one field they’re skilled in, but above their skill level, their dependability and alignment to you will also be a big deal. Choose wisely.
If you’re a small business looking to expand and outsource tasks, Sidekicks is an on-demand virtual company that provides virtual assistant services, and we’re eager to talk you through anything you need to know about hiring a virtual assistant. Click here for your free 30-minute consultation.