Tag Archive Virtual Assistant

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

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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

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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.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Featured

How To Become A Virtual Assistant

Are you tired of being broke and willing to earn extra cash at the comfort of your home, then it is time for you to have a career as a Virtual Assistant.

Here’s how!

A Virtual Assistant is an individual who offers administrative and technical support to individuals and companies who do not have enough hours in a day to have everything worked out, and is recommended as one of the five ways to automate your business. A VA can work from anywhere and does not necessarily need an office space.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – The Benefits

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Benefits

  1. Flexibility and independence

By becoming a Virtual Assistant, you have the freedom to choose the type of work, clients to deal with and create a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

Working as a VA gives you enough time to be with your friends and family and not worry about bosses who are always on your neck. A VA has the freedom to decide whether to work part or full time and who to work for (you are also free to select the pay rate you charge). In other words, you are your own boss!

  1. Ability to work from home

A Virtual Assistant has the privilege to work from home. You do not need to incur extra cost on transport expenses to and from work.  You are also able to work at the comfort of your own homes or anywhere you like, provided there is an internet connection.

As a VA, you do not have fixed schedules and you can select your own working hours by considering the appropriate time for you to work.

  1. Income potential

A Virtual Assistant typically earns a higher per hour wage than an administrative assistant performing similar tasks in a traditional office setting. Because businesses don’t have to pay any of many of the costs associated with hiring on site staff, these savings are reflected in the hourly rate that a VA can earn.

As a VA, you do not have a fixed income. You can decide select more projects and increase your income according to your availability.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Key Services

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Services

A Virtual Assistant is capable of handling almost everything in the office from basic duties like receiving phone calls to more complex tasks. Among the duties that you can be assigned as a when workings as a VA are:

  • Online research
  • transcribing
  • data entry
  • data mining
  • setting up linked in groups
  • social media and marketing
  • calendar and diary management
  • editing and proofreading

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – What Do You Need To Start

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get Started

As much as being a virtual assistant does not require one to have an office space, you should have some equipment at your possession.

First, you need to create a space which will work as your office. It should be a quiet and designated workplace, free from destructions. The place should also be presentable in such a manner that you can comfortably have a video call with a client.

You also need a comfortable chair, personal computer or a laptop, with a strong internet connection.

Who Can Make A Great Virtual Assistant

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Great VA

Note that not everyone can work as a virtual assistant. To become a successful VA, You need to be hardworking, determined and patient. You should possess several qualities to make stand out as the best VA.

Some of the most important skills include;

  1. Great personality

A good Virtual Assistant should love what he or she does, be a motivated and disciplined individual. They should be able to work like they really own the job.

A VA works with many different types of client in different industries so you should know how to handle each and every one of them.

  1. Excellent communication

As a Virtual Assistant, you will constantly be communicating with your clients on a daily basis .This means you should be able to have perfect communication skills. You should be in a position to listen carefully and understand what the client say and communicate clearly and effectively.

  1. Time management

You should be able to manage your time well and prioritize the most important tasks so as deliver your work within the time limit set by the client.

  1. Organizational skills

A Virtual Assistant should be organized. Clients do not want floppy disorganized output. VAs should organize themselves not only for the clients benefit but also for their own good.

How To Become A Virtual Assistant – Finding Your First Client

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - First Clients

The most important thing to note when starting out as a Virtual Assistant is that you should not only get into the career to earn some income but deliver quality. You should be willing to start small and the more clients you get, the more advanced you become in the career.

Patience is the key to get your first client.

You should also be very aggressive. Nobody will know you are a virtual assistant and come knocking at your door if you do not communicate. After you are well prepared and confident enough to work as a VA, then it’s time for you to consider getting clients. A virtual assistant can get clients from the following sources:

  1. Freelancing websites

You can get access to thousands of jobs that require virtual assistants in freelancing platforms.

Staring out as a VA can be quite difficult in these sites especially when you do not have any rating from previous jobs and potential clients can’t measure your performance. So when you get a client, work as per their expectations, follow all the instructions given and ask for clarifications on tasks you do not understand. Satisfy your clients and you can end up retaining them.

They will also give you good recommendations that will attract more clients. Among the platforms where you can find virtual assistance jobs include Upwork, Guru and Fiverr, freelancer and PeoplePerour.

  1. Social media platforms

Aggressiveness is the key to kick off your career as a Virtual Assistant. Market yourself on your Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin accounts or even on Instagram (mention something about virtual assistance when posting those photos) and you never know, somebody might be out there watching and you can end up being hired!

  1. Your network

You possibly have friends, relatives or neighbors who go through a rough day doing everything in the offices. Why not approach them and offer your services as a virtual assistant?

  1. Cold emailing

Cold pitching is simply sending a personalized email to someone after you check their website or blog. You can try your luck by cold pitching an individual when you realize they are hiring virtual assistants.

You might also want to consider reading our post on how businesses go about hiring Virtual Assistants!

How Can I Advance My Career and Get More Clients?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA

Virtual assistance requires confidence and dedication.

The more you look for clients the more they come.

Write very convincing cover letters that will make clients think twice before ruling you out.

One of the best ways to get more clients is to do your work perfectly and leave clients satisfied and give you good ratings. Before embarking on a job, research the details and know how exactly the clients wants the job to be done.

When a client is happy with your work, they will highly recommend you to other clients.

How do I Effectively Manage my Time and Work?

How To Become A Virtual Assistant - Get More Clients As a VA - Manage time

First you should be able to set aside a number of hours that you will be working in a day. During these working hours, avoid distractions. Make sure your mobile phone is away from you and the TV is off.

To succeed in working as a Virtual Assistant from home, you really must set boundaries. You also need to prioritize your tasks. Start with the most simple duties then move on to the complex tasks. When working as a VA, don’t jump between jobs, pick on one niche and specialize in it. This saves a lot of time when looking for a job since you only need to type a keyword.

Conclusion

Becoming a successful Virtual Assistant does not just come overnight.

You must establish yourself first before reaping the benefits.

Since you are working from home with no supervision, you have to be dedicated and disciplined. Starting at times can be a bit challenging but don’t give up, always learn to be persistent.

 

 

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.