A Virtual Assistant (VA) is becoming a very common term in business these days, especially when your business is using the internet as a marketing channel. I thought I would share with you the Top 5 Ways I use a VA in my business so you can see how this might fit for you.
First, there are several different ways you can engage a VA. There are firms that manage VA’s and individuals that work on contract. The firms may assign a different VA for every task or assign a project manager to handle all your requests. Usually you are not hiring this person as an employee, sometimes you pay by the hour and sometimes for a monthly package. I use a marketing company (Pibworth Professional Solutions) that gives me a project manager that assigns the VA that is best matched to the skills required for my tasks. It works well for me.
My top activities for my VA’s are:
1) Managing my regular website updates and program reminders
- This person gets information from my experts, puts the new copy to the website and then emails members with their new dates and information. By doing this she allows me to concentrate on the things I am really good at and only contacts me if there is an issue. It is a huge relief to have this type of support so I can focus on my core competencies.
2) Creating new products in my shopping cart
- This person goes into 1ShoppingCart and creates new products with autoresponders, adds discounts and coupons, and then uploads the code to the sales page on the website. I can create new products quicker then I’ve been able to and I am less likely to procrastinate doing the work when someone else is looking after it. Plus, I have one less thing I have to be an expert at.
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3) Sending out Thank-you cards
- This person takes contact information and my ‘thank you’ message and creates cards and gifts for people that I need to reach out to. I am now more likely to get around to thanking people in this way and I am more likely to be remembered by people I’ve met because of this. Great for client retention too.
4) Creating marketing copy
- This person can create autoresponders, website copy, social media, or copy for emails and other messaging that will save me time. It needs to be brand-centric and since I am the source of my brand content it needs to be written in a way that does not require a lot of “brand identity”, and there is a lot of copy that can be written this way. Very specific brand content is really for your core business partners and employees to take on as you grow. So keep doing that part if you can and continue to build your relationships with your message.
5) Creating procedures
- When any VA does work for me that has to be done routinely I ask them to create a procedure that can be used by me or anyone else that would need to do the work in the future. This helps avoid large future challenges with people not knowing the process and it ensures consistent client experience by knowing they are doing it the same way every time.
If you are struggling to grow your business because you just don’t have time, consider hiring a VA. All this work is usually less than 5 hours a month for them and actually frees up more than twice that time for me because I don’t have to think about how I’m going to do it or procrastinate doing something I hate.