Tag Archive VA

5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant

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

5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant-image-1

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

5-mistakes-hiring-virtual-assistant-image-2

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.

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Featured

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant

One of the key factors that businesses consider to market their brands and increase on profits is the use of social media.

Research indicates that more than 90% of top brands are in social media and 80% of SMEs use social media to market their products and services.

The top platforms used are Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Snapchat and Instagram.

Importance of social media marketing

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Important of Social

Marketing on social media is easy and beneficial. You are able to get more knowledge on the target group and categories of people who like your brand. Furthermore, you understand your customers better and adjust to products that most suits them.

A business owner is also able to know current trends, monitor competition, market products and know the things they are not doing right as a business since your customers will always correct you. Additionally, a company is able to have a large customer base from all over the world.

Why should you outsource your social media marketing to a Virtual Assistant?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Why outsource

As a business owner, you can’t get enough time in a day to post updates on those platforms at the same time manage your business.

This is the reason why you should delegate these duties to a reliable social media Virtual Assistant. Outsourcing your social media will not only relieve you on some duties but will also expand help expand your business by marketing it more effectively.

On top of that if you personally manage your social media accounts, you may end up spending more time online since you will be tempted to view some ads and get updated on the current affairs (The social media addiction thing).

A social media VA can operate those accounts at any time of the day since they don’t have official working hours. Delegating also saves costs you will incur when using marketing companies to promote your brands.

How do you hand over your accounts to a Social Media VA?

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Social Media Passwords

To make a Virtual Assistant promote the online growth of your company through social media, you need to hand over accounts login details i.e. username and passwords. Remember your social media VA should be a very trustworthy individual.

You can easily do this by use of Lastpass. Lastpass is a password manager that saves passwords and can allow you to get access from other computers and devices.

Another alternative is to use Buffer, a social media management platform that allows you to easily schedule posts for social media accounts and automatically publish them.

Tasks that a social media VA can handle include:               

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Snapchat

Researching content

One of the most important tasks that a social media VA can handle is research and come up with suitable content that will benefit your business including getting useful information from the web that will help improve the performance of your business.

Carrying out competitive analysis

You will be updated on what your competitors are doing. A social media Virtual Assistant will help you monitor performance of your competitors and find out the strategies they use to make them successful.

They should have a look of what your competitors are doing and try to come up with more advanced ways to outdo or be at par with them.

Monitoring audience progress

A VA can help monitor the progress of your customers and confirm if they are really satisfied with the services you offer and if not, what their complaints are. Social media VA’s will help you find out the areas that you should really be working on to improve the business and increase profitability.

They can also ask for the customers views on your products and what they think should be done to improve on quality.

Answering customer questions

A social media VA can answer customer questions on social media and update them on products that the company is offering. A VA can operate your social media platforms at any time of the day, so your customers’ questions will be answered promptly.

Creating images and graphics

A social media VA can help you create a quality image or a logo of your new brand or update a current one to be something unique and attractive to customers.

Publish and schedule posts

How to Outsource your Social Media Marketing to a Virtual Assistant - Facebook

Social media VA can publish posts on the current activities taking place in the business and keep customers updated on any brands coming up, what the company is doing to deliver quality products and the progress of your company at large.

Analyze and improve

A social media VA can analyze the performance of your business according to feedback they receive from customers on social media platforms. They are able to know the complaints that customers have and try to improve on area they think the business is not concentrating on.

They can create daily action plan and networking schedules that are designed to keep networking activities in line with professional goals. A social media VA will be able to know the strengths, weaknesses opportunities and threats surrounding your business.

Update your social media profile

They can keep all your accounts updated on every current detail on the company, create Facebook pages and invite people to like your page. Moreover, a social media VA can create monthly reports to update customers and stakeholders how the company or business is performing.

Conclusion

When outsourcing your social media to a VA you need to provide clear guidelines on what you expect them to do/not do. To market your brand, a customer wants to see you organized. First, you need to have a checklist of the goals you want to achieve and how you will achieve the goal through social media marketing. Know the strategies to use and the type of social media platforms that are relevant to your target market.

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 benefits.do 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.