6 Hats You Wear That a Virtual Assistant Can Wear For You
A big hurdle holding back today’s entrepreneurs is lack of time and wasted energy. Most of you are wearing a number of hats, causing you to lose valuable time just in figuring out which one to put on next. Instead of taking care of the part of the business that you feel passionate about, you end up spending the majority of your time taking care of mundane business related tasks.
A virtual assistant (VA) is like a secretary on call. You assign them the tasks that you feel they are qualified for, and then let them take over. This will free up your time and let you focus on that business idea that brought you to this point in the first place.
Simplify your business related activities and become more productive in what you are passionate about by hiring some virtual assistant services to don any number of the following virtual hats for you:
The E-Mail Hat
How To Get the E-Mail Hat Off: Hand over e-mail responses to a VA by having them forwarded to a an account that they have access to. Or you can use a system like Mail Chimp and give the VA their own login details. Sorting, reading and answering e-mails is taking up at least half an hour of your time every single day, yet can just as easily be taken care of by a VA.
How the VA Saves You Time: Besides the obvious filtering of spam mail, your virtual assistant can keep your contact lists and subscriptions up to date, respond to business related e-mails and bring to your attention only those that really do require your time.
If you rely on e-mail campaigning, a Virtual Assistant can go through the responses for you and separate the leads from the junk. This is what Benny, an online video producer, has his VA take care of. In the days following the launch of a mass e-mail campaign to prospects, his VA will monitor the responses, filter out the junk and respond to the actual leads.
By handing over his e-mail hat, Benny gets to focus on producing videos, while his VA is bringing in new business. This can be expanded further by allowing the VA to make direct sales calls to those leads on Benny’s behalf and gathering the details so that Benny has all he needs to make his final sales pitch.
The Blogging Hat
How to Get the Hat Off: Create a blog with WordPress. They allow you to assign different levels of access to multiple users. You can grant permission to only post, or you can expand those permissions to allow a VA to design your blog site, use plug-ins to build SEO and take care of any comments. A daily post alone can take up to an hour of your day.
What the VA Can Do for a Blog: This depends on the level of creativity you want to allow the VA to undertake. They can create and post for you, or they can be in charge of researching, editing and posting if you still want to be the creator of the content.
Curt runs a successful SEO building company by having his VA monitor the activity on the dozens of WordPress sites that he has built. With a creative Virtual Assistant, he has been able to delegate the writing of new posts, locating relevant images and posting them to the various sites. The VA then manages the comments and sends any e-mail addresses gathered to Curt, who only has to forward them to the site owner.
Without his blogging management hat, Curt has the time he needs to conduct online seminars and bring in more clients for his business. With the help of his Virtual PA, he has also expanded his services to include posting comments on related blog sites that link back to the owner’s.
The Accountant Hat
How to Get the Hat Off: QuickBooks now has a cloud service that will allow you to share financial information securely with your virtual assistant. They can then take care of your bookkeeping needs online. You are spending hours every month managing accounts that can be handled by a Virtual PA.
How the VA Can Manage your Accounts: With an online bookkeeping service, your virtual assistant can manage your income and expenses, track client billing and make sure that yours are being paid on time.
Sam has two businesses he is running simultaneously. All orders for his first are invoiced through QuickBooks by his virtual assistant who then tracks when they are paid. Since his is an ongoing service, his virtual assistant is also able to keep track of the clients’ buying habits and contact them when it is about time to place a new order.
With his VA virtually taking care of the sales and collections end of his one business, Sam has found the time he needs to make his second company equally as successful. He has freed up even more of his time by having his virtual assistant pay his suppliers through the bookkeeping service.
The Social Media Hat
How to Take the Hat Off: Give your personal assistant access to your business related Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. You can also have them use LinkedIn to build your professional network. Successful social media sourcing will take hours out of your day if you don’t find the right person to do it for you.
How the VA Manages Your Social Media: The VA can make posts on your behalf and respond to comments. This helps in building loyalty from your clients and a memorable online persona.
Sandra uses her virtual assistant to encourage followers to join her Facebook page. With frequent posts about her online jewellery business, photos of her products and timely responses to comments, the VA connects with Sandra’s potential customers. She also builds new contacts by encouraging followers to like and share information about the business.
With her VA building her social media presence, the extra time Sandra has is being used productively to keep up with the demands of her expanding business. Her virtual assistant was able to take it a step forward by creating and running a loyalty program that rewards customers for purchases and referrals. This has increased sales for Sandra exponentially.
The Appointment Keeping Hat
How to Get the Hat Off: Set up a free online calendar and share it with your virtual assistant. Many entrepreneurs use free services such as Google Calendar. Not only is keeping up with your calendar time consuming, it can cost you clients if you focus enough of your time onto it.
What the VA Can Do: Using a joint calendar, your virtual assistant can ensure that you are never late for an appointment or miss an important deadline by sending you text and e-mail alerts. They can also set appointments for you and watch out for any conflicts.
Lisa has been very busy setting up her real estate business and trying to build more clients online. As the sole employee, she is the only person available to show clients potential properties. Her VA has been invaluable in managing all of these appointments, not only by scheduling them, but in scheduling them back to back at the same location so that Lisa does not waste time running back and forth to different properties.
As a result of her dedication and availability, Lisa’s reputation as a top-notch property consultant has grown in her area, bringing with it a large number of new clients each week. When combined with e-mail management, Lisa’s Virtual PA has been able to virtually run the appointment side of the business for her.
The Research Hat
How to Get the Hat Off: Assign the time consuming task of online researching to a virtual assistant. Depending on your topic, research done right can take days to accomplish.
How the VA Saves You Time: Whether you are looking for statistics on consumers or trying to create an e-book, the virtual assistant can be invaluable when it comes to combing the internet or any other source to find the information you need.
For months, Hannah has had a fantastic idea about the topic for a book that would help in selling her line of nutritional supplements. The trouble was, she didn’t have the time to find the information to support her beliefs. Value is important to her, so she found a virtual assistant who could find the data that she needed, and from reliable sources that would lend her book credibility.
With the right information in front of her, Hannah was able to produce an informative e-book that supported her product and the benefits it had for consumers. A virtual assistant can also act as an editor, and proofread your work with fresh eyes before you send it off to be published.
Become a Boss
True leadership comes from learning how to delegate small tasks while you focus on your business. You don’t save money by wearing all the business hats yourself. Instead, you become over-burdened and burnt out, causing you to lose sight of your original passion, and its potential to earn you money. Become a boss to a virtual assistant, and your business will begin to run like one.