Category ArchiveHiring A Virtual Assistant

What Is a Specialized Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant who is also referred to as a virtual office assistant is typically a self- employed individual who provides technical, creative and professional administrative support to clients from a remote place e.g. a home office.

A Specialized Virtual Assistance is a VA who focuses on one particular skill set/area of business and has a deeper understanding of that subject. A specialized VA “niches down” a particular subject and continues to learn about it and stay up to date with “what is what” in that particular topic.

This gives them an edge over general VA who knows little about very many different topics. A specialized VA can specialize in Social Media Management or even Data Entry.

There are reasons why you should consider hiring a Specialized VA. This article will explore some the reasons why you should hire a specialized VA.

1. They can perform a wide variety of tasks a particular area

Unlike a general VA who knows little about a lot of different topics/subject, a specialized VA knows a lot about a particular topic. He is well trained in that specific area and is capable of performing a wide variety of tasks in that area.

For Example, a Data Entry specialist VA will not only enter data but also is capable of formatting it. A specialized VA is not a jack of all trade but he is a master of one particular area.

2. Efficiency and Effectiveness

A specialized VA is more experienced and well versed in the area of expertise. This makes them effective and thus can finish tasks efficiently and effectively. Efficiency contributes to saving time and more work is completed in record time.

3. They can solve more complex problems

Someone who is specifically trained in a given subject possesses expert knowledge in that area. They understand the ins and outs of that particular area. In their experience, they have encountered difficult tasks and thus can overcome complex tasks when they arise.

4. Trustworthy in more advanced technical workload

You don’t want to keep training people when technical workload come up. A specialized VA gives you the peace of mind since they can be trusted with such tasks. His/her expertise and experience is all you need to tackle the advance-technical workload. They make life easier.

5. Better and Easy Business Management

As the business grows, it becomes almost impossible to manage it. Additional clients and products mean more time with the business which can be a little stressful. You can better manage your business by pooling together a group of specialized VAs. This will help you grow your business easily and stress-free.

6. Cost-effective

Cost is the most important element in a business. If you are able to control your cost, you are guaranteed of bigger profit margins. Virtual Assistants are contracted to do some work for you for a particular season. The cost burden that comes with permanent employees is reduced significantly.

You don’t need to worry about an extra office space or equipment. Your tasks are done from a remote place and the cost of the Virtual Assistant.

10 Tasks to Outsource To Your VA in 2018

Being an entrepreneur, you would have to focus on the activities which add value to your core business. If you try to do everything on your own wearing multiple hats, you would be worn out soon and would not be able to focus on growing the business. That’s where virtual assistants come in handy. They are trusted for their ability to conduct all the essential routine work for small business entrepreneurs with high quality and reliability.

They save huge costs overheads as they charge only for the hours they work. VAs are talented professionals and they offer the best business and administrative services to offshore clients without geographical limitations.

Below are the 10 tasks which you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant in 2018.

  1. Email Management

As an entrepreneur, your email inbox would be cluttered with so many mails not to mention the spams. An efficient VA would clean up your inbox, prioritizing the important mails, organizing mail reminders. They save you a lot of hassle and time.

  1. Booking Appointments

Going through the thick of things every day in business, you would easily lose track of important meetings and appointments with that influential investor, attending that fundraising event. Having a VA would mean that you are always on track on your appointments

  1. Prospecting For New Clients

Growing a business means expanding the client base and meeting and pitching to a lot of new people. Your VA can help you list down the prospective clients, schedule your meetings with them, and can keep track of the prospects you have turned into clients.

  1. Organizing/Managing Files

Most people would have their desktop jam packed with lot of files and when needed they cannot find that important presentation, that report needed to be shown to the investor etc. Are you that guy? Then you are much better off with a VA who would organize your files in folders with proper names and continuously manage it for easy retrieval.

  1. Internet Research (i.e. information to use in blog posts)

You require good research material for your blog post and you know it is going to take 3 days of time continuously searching in the internet. That is a time that could be well spent on talking to potential clients. Look nowhere, your VA brings well researched material on any topic right on your mailbox right when you need it.

  1. Managing social media accounts

Having your company presence in social media such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. has become mandatory. You have to engage with your customers, promote your brand and improve visibility in the social media. VAs can manage multiple accounts with ease and optimize their use for brand promotion.

  1. Managing/Updating your blog with content

Search Engine Optimization is the most important activity to get your company website to the top of google results and having a well written, great quality content is the organic way of improving your SEO ranking. Your VA can help write articles and update them periodically so that your website maintains its ranking.

  1. Answering customer support tickets

Dealing with customers having complaints is an important activity to your business and small entrepreneurs cannot have dedicated customer support staff for that. VA can also effortlessly handle customer support tickets and answer their queries.

  1. Managing/Cleaning up databases of contacts

As an entrepreneur, you would have a large database of contacts and sometimes you would forget who’s who. VAs can help you manage your contacts properly, cataloging them according to frequency and also occasionally clean up contacts who have been out of touch for a long time.

  1. Following up with clients or outstanding emails

Entrepreneurship requires following up with various clients without getting discouraged and VAs are perfect choice to assist in your quest for clients. They can schedule your day calendar with the important follow ups you need to do and the important mails you need to answer. A good VA has a very good understanding of your business and works according to your requirements.


5 Mistakes That Are Easy To Make The First Time You Hire A VA

Hiring A Virtual Assistant is meant to take the pressure off you. Too often however people make simple mistakes that lead to the VA causing them more trouble than they ever expected.

Not only does this actually decrease your productivity, but it costs you time and money as well. We have put together our list of the top 7 mistakes that are easy to make the first time you hire a VA so that you can avoid them.

Not finding a VA with the right skills

You think this would be easy to check for, but a lot of the times VA’s will list a broad and generic set of skills. For example you might want someone who is good at writing to craft an email outreach campaign. The VA you look to hire may however only ever prepared social media posts.

It’s a subtle difference, but it can make a big impact on your business. Especially if you need the email to be written in the write tone of language.

Not considering time zones


While it is great to be able to find a VA at a cheap rate if they work on the other side of the world and are never available during your standard business hours it makes communication difficult.

You should always try and find a VA who is closely aligned to your own time zone so that you can maximize the time you have to communicate with them.

Not setting expectations

Many VA’s juggle multiple clients or other jobs. When hiring a VA its important that you are very clear in what you require. If you need someone from 9am to 5pm, then specify that in your job ad.

If you are not clear with both the skill set and availability you expect its easy to fall into the trap of hiring someone who can’t live up to your expectations.

Not setting any trial tasks

While it would be great to take everyone’s profile on face value unfortunately people tend to stretch the truth, especially when they are pitching for business.

Once you have found a Virtual Assistant that you think is appropriate for your business set them a few trial tasks to see how they perform. These tasks should not involve them interacting with your customer, but should try and test a few of the skills that you require them to have.

Not tracking their progress, especially in the first weeks


Once you have hired a Virtual Assistant your job doesn’t stop there. You really need to track and monitor their progress. This is especially important during the first few weeks where you need to make sure they are performing their job at the required standard and are doing so in an appropriate time.

You should also take notice of any increase in customer complaints or misunderstandings that occur if any of your email correspondence is now handled by your VA. While its great to save money and take some pressure off your workload it should not come at the detriment of your business.

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Hiring a Virtual Assistant does not really require a lot of hassle. There a variety of online websites where you can hire a VA from anywhere and whenever you want to.

The platforms are convenient in such a way that clients post for jobs and qualified virtual assistants make their bids.

These sites will not only help you hire a Virtual Assistant, but the best VA depending on your cost, the amount of workload you have and the length of your project.

Among the best platforms where you can get a virtual assistant are the following:


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Upwork

Upwork is one of the best platforms to hire a virtual assistant. It is a global site where businesses and independent professionals (freelancers) connect to offer services to online clients.

In Upwork, you can get a variety of virtual assistants with excellent communication skills, knowledge of Microsoft Office and excel among other skills, and also offer VA’s at a wide variety of price points depending on your budget.

Advantages of Upwork

  • Upwork gives clients an advantage of posting jobs for free.
  • As a client, you are likely to get the best VA by considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Basically, clients with the highest ratings in their previous jobs are the best.
  • It is easy to communicate with your VA. Freelancers can easily send and receive messages on the Upwork platform.
  • Upwork has secured payments. You can request for a refund in case your VA does not perform as per your expectations.


  • Applicant overload. When posting for a job, a client can receive too many applications, some from unqualified freelancers or are not related to your job.
  • High charges. Upwork attracts a 10% charges fee plus extra fee for those with premium membership. This fee is indirectly passed to the client with higher hourly and fixed price rates.
  • No privacy. All communication is done through the Upwork platform so you have to share private information concerning your business with third parties.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Freelancer

Freelancer is also among the best and popular freelancing sites to hire a Virtual Assistants. You can receive competitive bids from talented Virtual Assistants within minutes.  A client can hire a VA for specific projects or on ongoing basis.

Advantages of Freelancer

  • Freelancer only releases payments only when a client is satisfied with the work
  • The site has advanced chat system that allows you to freely communicate with a VA.
  • Freelancers take different skill tests relating to their area of specialization. A VA who has passed virtual assistance tests gives him advantage over the others.

One disadvantage of this platform is that there are a lot of spam projects that are posted on the site


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Guru

Guru is a freelance online marketplace for businesses and freelancers to connect collaborate and get work done.

It is a perfect site to find, hire and manage talented VAs around the globe. The platform does not attract a registration fee and it is also free to post your first project.

Other advantages of Guru include:

  • Payments are only released when the client is satisfied with the final work.
  • Guru does not disclose personal information to third parties.
  • The site offers dispute services to registered users according to the agreed term of services.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Fiverr

Fiverr is a marketplace where freelancers, referred to as sellers offer services to online clients beginning at a minimal cost of $5.


  • You can get a VA for as cheap as $5
  • As a client, you also get an advantage of working with experts who can do tasks better because they offer services in things they like doing.


  • Freelancers are not screened. A client can get a VA who pretends to have experience yet they don’t and they end up hiring an inexperienced and incompetent VA.
  • Fiverr has limited payment methods. It mostly relies on PayPal.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - PeoplePerHour

When you need someone to delegate your duties to, consider getting a VA from this site. Peopleperhour specializes in providing variety of virtual assistants who offer different types of skills on a flexible and efficient basis.

Businesses that use this platform are mostly startups and SMEs. Getting started is free. A client just signs up and start posting for jobs immediately. One disadvantages of this site is that it charges a high commission rate.


The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Zirtual

Zirtual is among the virtual assistant websites known for hiring VAs to work from home. It matches clients with highly qualified and dedicated virtual assistants.

All VAs go through a vetting process to test different aspect of virtual assistance including communication, web research and time management. Successful virtual assistants perform tasks for Zirtual clients.

365 Outsourcing

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - 365 Outsourcing

You can eliminate the need for an office space by getting a VA from 365 outsourcing.

Candidates are carefully vetted to make sure a client gets a skilled and talented VA. A staff is assigned to follow your business workflow and monitor the efficiency of your assigned VA.

The virtual assistants are able to provide a range of daily tasks including data entry, office administration, document management and transcription. An advantage of 365 outsourcing is that it offers free consultation services. A client describes their projects and requirements and is assigned a VA who perfectly suits their job description.

Virtual CoWorker

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual CoWorker

On this platform, clients are given an opportunity to work with Virtual Assistants from all over the world. It offers long term opportunities for both full time and part time virtual assistance jobs. Virtual CoWorker has a team that helps clients in managing daily operations. The site solves issues that may arise between clients and VAs. Virtual assistants have good communication skills and solid background experience in virtual assistance, are disciplined and can independently work from home.

Virtual Valley

The 9 Best Sites to Hire a Virtual Assistant - Virtual Valley

Virtual Valley is a team building platform whereby entrepreneurs can hire virtual assistants. It has tracking software and a VA’s time is traced and invoiced to clients at the end of every month.


As much as the above sites will help you hire a virtual assistant, it is important to interview your VA once you get someone who has the potential, to confirm if they are the best suit for your job. As a client, you should create some time to train them in your area of specialization and increase their competency. Remember these sites only act as middlemen and are there to make money but the progress and development of your business entirely lie on your hands. If that all seems like too much hassle, we at First Class Office Assistance can handle the process from start to finish for you!

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Featured

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Can you make more money when you have a virtual assistant?  

Yes, you can!

Successful individuals are fully aware that their success depends on the people they work with. Among those people is a Virtual Assistant. When a VA gets into your business, they control almost every aspect of it and help you release that work related pressure. If you are looking to hire your first VA, check out the how to guide here.

A VA can be important to both you and your business and can benefit you in the following ways:

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Costs

  1. Reduces labor costs

A VA works at the comfort of their homes.

When you have a VA around, you do not need to worry about furniture and office spaces .You also do not incur costs on taxes, payrolls, sick leave and other employee remunerations. Furthermore, a business owner will not spend more on employee training.

A VA is very affordable such that you only pay for the hours they spent on your project, unlike full time employees who are paid for even the unproductive hours. It is estimated that a VA costs 3 times cheaper than an employee working in a normal office environment.

  1. Access to the best talents

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they come from different geographical locations and also have different skills from handling clients from all over the world.

Working with a VA exposes your business to the world’s best talents. With the expertise they have, a VA knows exactly what to do take your business to the top.

  1. Reduces work load

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Reduce Workload

Another benefit of hiring a VA is that they reduce your work load.

You do not need to spend a lot of time in doing stuff that are not very beneficial in your business like typing letters and answering phone calls. A VA can help you with that kind of work. As a business owner, you only need to be a boss and do what bosses do, increase your business productivity.

Additionally, a VA can save you a lot of hassle by helping organize your work and ensure smooth running of your business. You do not spend time on learning how to use social media or train yourself on how to post videos on YouTube. You only focus on things that really important on your business.

  1. Helps you focus on core activities

When you hire a VA, you will start focusing more on how to make your business more efficient and increase profitability.

Your productivity increases since you only concentrate on things that require your attention more and what really matters in your business. You will be involved in more important things like finding how to get the best clients and ways to maximize your profits.

  1. Confidentiality of information

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Confidential Info

Basically, a VA handles almost every important details of your business, they read all your papers and know the decisions you make concerning the business. Good thing is that they work from home and their presence is not required in the business. And information cannot spread all over the company.

  1. Advanced skills

Having a VA means more work done in less time and with a minimum costs.

VA’s are specialized individuals who have experience in working with different clients around the globe and in various industries too. They are able to apply their experiences in your business and increase your productivity.

While researching through the internet, they can spot an area of opportunity get important information to improve your business. They know what your competitors do to succeed and can develop marketing strategies for you. VAs can also find ways to improve your business and make it more efficient.

  1. Provide quality service

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Quality Service

You do not need to spend more time on training.

A virtual assistant can start working immediately without making common mistakes that are made by new employees in the office.

Their success depends on satisfaction of their clients.

Satisfied clients means more job for a VA hence they will strive to deliver quality for the benefit of your business.

Virtual Assistants can even go to the extremes and over deliver. This means you will be working with a dedicated and concentrated VA. Due to their previous experience, they do what they are really good at and can apply the ideas they got from previous clients to your business.

  1. Have free time

When was the last time you ever stepped at the gym or took your family out for swimming?

Think of this, a VA will help you get enough time to be with your family and friends knowing that everything in the office is well taken care of.

You will have enough time to think about moving your business forward and different area to invest in. You also have the time to meet with other successful business people and share ideas.

  1. Help you develop management practices

What Are The Benefits of Hiring A Virtual Assistant - Management

This is especially if you are a sole proprietorship entrepreneur and do not have any physical employees at your disposal, you are able to develop management practices since you will learn to train, delegate, direct, organize and coordinate all the activities performed by your virtual assistant.

  1. Saves the hassle of hiring a full time employee

Hiring a VA reduces the stress that comes with hiring a full time employee that includes advertising, recruiting and conducting interviews to get a successful candidate, and after all that you still need to train them on the job. And all that costs money too!

A VA can save you all that struggle since you only need to go online, select a candidate with good reviews from previous clients and you are good to go.

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Featured copy

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time


Have you ever been overloaded with work and wished you had more hours in a day?

At times, the amount of workload at your disposal might be overwhelming especially when some daily tasks take a lot of your time. The best solution is to hire a virtual assistant.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - What Is A Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant, commonly referred to as a VA, is a self-employed online worker who provides clients with administrative, professional and technical assistance from home. A VA is basically a secretary working from home.

VA’s performs the same work as a personal assistant but the difference is that they do all their tasks online and their physical presence is not necessary.

Some VAs specialize in specific areas  while others can do multiple tasks from the same industry, for example, a marketing VA can do different tasks but with clients from the marketing industry.

Tasks that can be delegated to a virtual assistant include basic duties like answering and directing phone calls, managing social media accounts, taking down minutes in meetings, placing orders for new supplies, follow up with clients and customers among other duties. The following information will give you tips on how to hire the best VA.

What do I Consider when Hiring a Virtual Assistant?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Qualities of a VA

Hiring a virtual assistant is not so demanding and you do not need spend a lot of resources on recruitment and conducting interviews. On the other hand, you can also not pick a VA randomly.

Several factors should be considered when hiring a virtual assistant. The most preferred candidate should have a college degree particularly in the secretarial field and some years of experience. They should be computer literate and be conversant with basic computer packages including Microsoft Word and Excel.

Other qualities to look for when hiring a VA include:

  • High typing speed. A VA should have a relatively high typing speed since most businesses that hire VAs require documentations for every task they do.
  • Good time management. A good VA should be able to manage their time well, be flexible and available at any time as requested
  • Excellent communication. All communications take place through the internet; a VA should be able to communicate clearly and effectively. He or she should also be able to write clearly, with correct grammar usage. They should be able to listen and understand what the client says.
  • Can handle large volumes of work
  • Be able to research on the web
  • Should be in a position to create a good relationship with client and corporates

Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Benefits

A virtual assistant will not only help in reducing your workload but will also give you more time to concentrate on the most important areas of your job thus increasing your productivity and make more profits in the long run.

Hiring a virtual assistant is affordable and reduces labor costs. You do not need to think about taxes, payrolls, workers compensation and incur other expenses on paying for an office space.

A business owner will not spend a lot of time on employee training. A VA will help you develop management practices especially if you are an entrepreneur since you need to plan, organize and delegate duties to your virtual assistant.

Places to Hire a Virtual Assistant

  1. Freelancing websites

These platforms have a large number of talented freelancers who can perform their tasks very well to get hire ratings. You can hire the best VA considering the ratings they got from previous clients. Some of the sites best sites include Upwork, Guru, Peopleperhour and Fiverr. Or save yourself the hassle and use a service like ours.

  1. Social media platforms

You can also advertise on platforms like Facebook and twitter. You will get individuals or organizations that are willing to help you on how to hire the right VA.

  1. Your network

Ask business owners, your mentors and professionals. Make them know that you need help and they might know someone who can perfectly work as a VA.

  1. Events and workshops

You are likely to get a qualified virtual assistant from events and workshops organized by companies that train and hire VAs.

Things to Note before Hiring a VA

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Things To Consider

Hiring a VA may seem difficult and can go amiss at times. As much as a virtual assistant can help streamline your business, you can’t just hire anyone from the streets. Here are the tips that will direct you on how to hire the right fit for your business.

First, understand your reason for hiring a VA. Does your business really need a virtual assistant and if so, are you able to incur the costs without making losses? You should be able to analyze the situation of your business before making the final step. Do not hire without any solid reason.

Find the right type of VA. As much as virtual assistants can multitask, hire a person who best suits your area of business. Hiring a wrong VA can be costly and they may not be able to deliver as per your expectations. A right VA on the other hand will help you save a lot of time and resources.

Follow the following steps to make sure you hire the right VA

  1. Have a clear description of your work.

Write a clear job description and details on the kind of job you are hiring the VA for. You should be as clear and precise as possible. Vague descriptions will lead to a lot of unnecessary applications.

  1. Rule out the unqualified candidates

Select the best candidates according to how they draft their cover letters and if they paid attention to details. Did they follow the instructions you gave and if you had a keyword to be included, did they use it? Consider the language they used and if there were any grammatical errors in the applications.

  1. Pick your shortlisted candidates.

These are candidates who had a clearly written application and are willing to work with your budget. They should be able to deliver your projects on time and pay attention to details.

  1. Set up an interview

The interview should be through a video call, texts or via email. If the VA is within your area zone, you can decide to have a face to face interview too. Select the candidate who answers your questions correctly and can also be able to communicate effectively. You can test them with a job and see if they can do it correctly.

How do I Manage my VA?

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Manage Your VA

Clearly define your expectations. Outline to him or her type of work that should be done on a daily basis. Give them a clear, detailed job description. Do not delegate too much for them to handle.

You should also be in a position to communicate promptly, preferably on a daily basis and when they need clarifications from you.  Do not pay your VA too little. You may risk losing them and when they do their work perfectly, don’t forget to congratulate them.

Final Thoughts

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for the First Time - Final Thoughts

Hiring a VA may not be easy. At times, the process may be demanding but the activities reduce with time and when you get the correct fit, you will surely reap the not expect a VA to know everything when hired. Create time and train them on the tasks to handle. Hiring the best VA will be of great importance to you as an individual and your business at large.