You may have been running your business single-handedly for some time, but now that it has started to grow you are finding that you no longer have time for the fun things in life or the time to do what you do best. Wasn’t this the reason you set up your own business in the first place?
So now you are looking at taking on your first team member to help take some of the workload off your hands, and it’s been suggested that you take on a Virtual Assistant – but what is a Virtual Assistant and what do they do anyway?
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A Virtual Assistant is someone who works remotely on a contracted or freelance basis. They work with several clients at a time providing them with the services they need for their business. The type of services needed can vary from business to business. This to me is one of the reasons that makes being a Virtual Assistant exciting and enjoyable.
Each client will usually have a contract that details the set amount of hours they are hiring the Virtual Assistant for and they only pay for the time that is actually needed and used. Here at Virtual M we charge by the minute and we do not round up to the nearest ten or fifteen minutes as some do, so you are paying for the exact amount of time spent on your business.
As a small business owner themselves, a Virtual Assistant understands how important getting your business organised and on a path for growth is to you and they can help with both of those tasks!
What does a Virtual Assistant Do?
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by business owners looking to hire a Virtual Assistant because unless you know what they can do how can you know how much time you need to hire them for?
A Virtual Assistant can provide a range of different services and many of them will specialise in specific areas. This could include websites or using a particular software platform. There are many Virtual Assistants that work in niche areas and this will impact on the type of service they provide.
Here at Virtual M after completing an author assistant course with Instruction Smith we are well placed to work with authors as well as small business owners and coaches. Let’s take a look at some of the Virtual Assistant tasks that we can help you with here at Virtual M.
Tasks such as data entry, organising your filing system, creating documents and presentations and keeping your project management system, such as Trello, up to date.
This can include taking your raw copy, whether that is in written, audio or video form and formatting, proofreading and uploading to your website.
We can also prepare blog snippets and graphics and schedule your blog out to your social media platforms and send to your subscribers.
Basically, you send the raw content and we will do what is needed to get it onto your website, social media and out to your email list.
Tasks such as updating WordPress, themes and plugins to keep your site up to date. Uploading content, reviewing and replying to comments, removing spam or providing a monthly web maintenance service.
It’s always good practice to have a second pair of eyes go over your document, ebook, manuscript or blog before they go out into the world for all to see. However, we all know that where a manuscript is concerned the proofreading costs can be quite substantial. So to spread out this cost here at Virtual M we offer a monthly payment scheme where you book a certain amount of words per month to be proofread, spreading your payment out over a number of months.
There are a number of tasks that come under manuscript creation, book and ebook publishing and book marketing. Listed below are a few, but please get in touch if you would like to know more.
Manuscript creation – Create an inventory of source documents, coordinate reader reviews, fact check and obtain permissions from others to use their work in your book and more.
Book and eBook Publishing – Project manage the self-publishing process, obtain ISBN number and bar code, coordinate testimonial requests and more.
Book Marketing – Create/coordinate the development of the author’s website and social media, coordinate the book marketing activities, help create a virtual book/blog tour and more.
Event Organisation and Management
Events take time to organise and run so having a Virtual Assistant on board to liaise with attendees and suppliers, research suitable venues and even follow up with attendees after the event can only be a help to take work off your hands.
Here is a breakdown of some of the other tasks that a Virtual Assistant can provide:
Social Media Management
This can include anything from content creation and scheduling, engagement, analysing reports through to implementing ad campaigns.
Digital Marketing Tasks
Email and sales funnel set up and management, content creation and editing videos are all tasks that your Virtual Assistant can assist with.
Blog post ideas, competitors, keyword research and even candidate selection are commonly and easily outsourced to Virtual Assistants.
Email and Calendar Management
Updating your contacts, ensuring your meetings and appointments are scheduled, replying to and filtering emails and carrying out a detox on your inbox are commonly outsourced to a Virtual Assistant.
A Virtual Assistant can deal with eCommerce tasks, such as email and chat queries, order processing, customer support, product descriptions, stock monitoring etc.
Tasks like sales and call management, dealing with queries and competitor research are all examples of tasks that your Virtual Assistant can help with.
Tickets, hotels, itineraries as well as handling your expense and travel claims are great jobs for your Virtual Assistant to handle.
Virtual Assistants are not limited to helping with your business life – some will help with your personal tasks too! Tasks such as gift sourcing and purchasing, organising the family holiday, calendar management for the family to ensure everyone is where they need to be, with time to spare!
So what is a Virtual Assistant and what can they do for you? As you can see a Virtual Assistant can be a huge asset to your business and I hope the above has helped answer the question and also show you how we can help here at Virtual M as your Virtual Assistant. We want to help you get more organised and free up your time and to-do list so you can focus on what you do best!
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