The world of the Virtual Assistant looks bright for 2018 – by Jennifer Botha

The world of the Virtual Assistant looks bright for 2018 – by Jennifer Botha

The world of the Virtual Assistant looks bright for 2018

The future of Virtual Assistants is looking especially bright for 2018 which will have abounding opportunities for those that have the skills that clients will be looking for.  We live in a fast paced world which is ever increasing due to the speed of technology development constantly moving forward at a rapid rate.

Skills That Will Make a Virtual Assistant Valuable and Sought After

A commitment to learning and developing new skills will setup a Virtual Assistant for long-term success.  The fields and options are abundant, so choice is plentiful.  Below is a list of five of these fields and some of the skills required in each of them:

Social Media Marketing

  • advertising
  • content planning and scheduling
  • graphic design
  • tracking analytics
  • profile setup and design
  • online community management

Internet Marketing

  • advertising and content marketing
  • landing page and marketing funnel design
  • keyword research
  • subscriber list management
  • affiliate management
  • customer support
  • online events co-ordinator and moderator
  • website analytics and tracking
  • new product launch management

Content Development

  • creation and editing
  • management and scheduling
  • publishing and search engine optimisation
  • tracking results
  • develop and manage content e.g. blogs, videos, articles, e-books, presentations

Online Business Development

  • business strategy and planning
  • set-up and manage systems
  • email management and calendar scheduling
  • accounts management and reports
  • team management

Technology Support

  • landing page design tools e.g. Leadpages, Clickfunnels
  • email marketing platforms e.g. Getresponse, Aweber, Infusionsoft
  • ecommerce tools e.g. Shopify, 1Shoppingcart, Bigcommerce
  • social media management tools e.g. Hootsuite, Edgar, Buffer

WordPress Design and Management

  • plugins
  • blog post set-up and scheduling
  • wordpress theme design and updates
  • security
  • project management tools e.g. Asana, Trello, Basecamp

There is so much to learn within each of these fields and many are interlinked which gives a Virtual Assistant a lot to offer clients.

If we just look at social media sites, there are many.  Facebook has become hugely successful and is one of the top sites used for advertising.  Targeting customers in a particular niche has become so fine tuned.  You can select by country, location, age and gender of your potential clients or customers.

The other big advantage of having so many different sites for various tasks available is that many of them provide free training webinars and even 30 day free trials.  There’s so much information to be found on Youtube which is also free.  All you need to do is ask “how to”.

Timeless Principles

Honesty, integrity and trust will always be essential principles, no matter how far into the future we look.  Customer relations and care have and always will be extremely important.  When a Virtual Assistant deals with a client’s customers, they need to remember the value of that customer to their client’s business. The customer is not always right, but they always need to be satisfied.

Adding a Virtual Assistant to your 2018-bucket list – by Henriette Howell

Adding a Virtual Assistant to your 2018-bucket list – by Henriette Howell

Adding a Virtual Assistant to your 2018-bucket list

Around this time every year, we start to think about our goals for the next year. Thinking about where we can improve, what we would like to achieve. For business owners it works the same, what we would like our company to achieve.

A new year, new goals… a VA can definitely help you scratch some items on your 2018-bucket list. By adding a Virtual Assistant team, you can focus more on the bigger things and let the VA do the smaller but still important tasks.

A few, literally a few benefits for hiring a Virtual Assistant;

  • More time on your hands – you can have more time to work on what you need to do; the bigger things you need to worry about and of course some extra free time.
  • Focus on inventing – Takes administrative work off your list, so that you can focus on creating value.
  • Not paying a fortune – a VA fits in with your budget, and time you need
  • Helping you getting more organized in a sufficient manner.

You don’t even have to wait until next year to start utilizing your Virtual Assistant.

You know after each December vacation we always struggle to get up and start the New Year, with all the new planning, getting up to date with everything you missed… who would be in the mood?

Well having a Virtual Assistant will help;

  1. VA’s can work during these vacation periods so that NONE of your work will be behind, so that when you start the year there is no backlog fall to fall upon.
  2. During this period when things have quietened down, your VA can help you re-organize your inbox, documents, review procedures and of course start the planning for your New Year goals, doing some archiving, and all those things we never have time for during the rest of the year.
  3. If you have a business that keeps running in December, your VA can help keeping you posted and keep your clients happy while you relax.
  4. Your VA can start organizing next year’s obligations such as TAX returns.

Hiring a Virtual Assistant this holiday season will not break your wallet because you will only have to pay for the hours rendered (depending on your contract). By shelling out a few dollars, you are giving yourself the luxury of extra time for yourself to spend with family and friends.

The best ways to utilize your Virtual Assistant for 2018 – by Deepti Jeram

The best ways to utilize your Virtual Assistant for 2018 – by Deepti Jeram

The best ways to utilize your Virtual Assistant for 2018

Every year, we set new goals with our business to reach new heights, new strategies to land those awesome clients that you so want to work with, the awards that you had your eye set on this year, the money you will be making by giving value to the world, the empowering belief in yourself that you can make it… Yes we all suffer from all forms of an anxiety, you are an entrepreneur after all, a business owner with a vision…

A few ways you can increase your value into the world is by having a virtual assistant, your sidekick, by your side, helping you to conquer those fears, fighting the negativity or just to bounce ideas of one another.

Working in a team can get you further than ever working alone, as you get more done, when you think outside the box and bounce ideas off one another. For example, stuck on which way your website should be designed, chat with your VA and see what ideas you can create together. Having a virtual assistant, means having a business partner with you in the business, as they also are in the same battles as you, in the game of war in business.

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. And what you do simply proves what you believe”

― Simon Sinek, Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

The more you are able to give back in your true state of being, the more you are changing the world for better, baby steps to the bigger picture.

Here are a few ways you as a value giver can change the world in baby steps, by hiring a Virtual assistant (your sidekick)

1. Clarity

The less mundane things you work on in your business, the more clearer you get about the critical work on hand, you get so clear on what it is that you offer, you automatically attract that ideal client in to your business. This gives you peace of mind that you know you are supported in everything you do.

2. Support

Support is crucial when you as a business owner is under pressure, it can make or break your business. With a virtual assistant, you have an individual that understands you and your business and can easily take away tasks that overwhelm you, so you can get clear on your goals and targets for the month / year.

“There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it. ― Simon Sinek

3. Marketing

Marketing is crucial to every company’s survival. Don’t believe me? Coca Cola have been in business for years, they have become a household name, they don’t need to market for the rest of their lives in business and people will still buy their products. Why do they still do it? As a reminder to people that are new, there is always someone in this world that doesn’t know they exist.

Social Media is a critical key component in your marketing strategy. Marketing to your “ideal client” on the correct platform can bring in tons of money into your business. This also comes in with brand recognition and brand awareness. People will “trust” you and your brand / company for the work they want done.

4. Financials

A mundane job in any business is bookkeeping, yet it’s one of the key critical areas in your business. If you don’t know where your business is financially, you will not know what or who is bringing in that moola, Hiring a VA that is financially qualified can be crucial, they can assist with day to day running of the invoices, collecting outstanding debt, working with the auditors / bookkeepers with information pertaining to your business.

5. Emails

Emails are critical part to any business, it’s your communication with the outside world, your link to your “ideal client”, to your suppliers. BUT this can be absolutely mundane and can be handed over to your virtual assistant to answer any emails, while you are on holiday or in a business meeting, so it doesn’t overwhelm you when you get back.

So the most amazing thing about hiring a VA is that you only pay for the time you use, NOT the entire month, saving you thousands each year.


Take a Stress-free Break this December

Take a Stress-free Break this December

Take a Stress-free Break this December

It’s the end of the year and many are wrapping up their work to go on holiday. But are you one of those business owners who just can’t seem to find comfort in leaving your office?

Some businesses need to operate during the festive season and perhaps yours is one of them. However, taking a break from work is essential if you want to be recharged for the new year. Your staff can handle the work while you’re taking a well deserved break.

If going on holiday gives you anxiety, don’t worry, it’s normal. The majority of business owners feel that everything will fall apart in their absence too! But what’s interesting is that research shows that this anxiety is unfounded. Most businesses operate just fine when the boss is gone.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that one can leave no processes in place and just go on vacation. It means that if there are processes in place and employees know them well, you shouldn’t have a problem when you’re away.

If you’re still experiencing anxiety over your business, why not hire a Virtual Assistant to oversee the work? This person will be your eyes and ears while you’re gone, giving you piece of mind that everything is okay.

She can manage your team, manage expectations and make sure deliverables are delivered on time.

If you need her to handle your email or social media accounts,  she can do it with ease too.

Why a Virtual Assistant?

VA’s are flexible employees who work remotely. This means that you can utilise them at any time of year especially when all your staff members are going on leave. VA’s are paid by the hour or per project,  saving you costs on hiring full-time staff.

If your business can do with some extra virtual help this holiday season, give us a call.

Hurry, December has already begun. Hire your VA today so that you can have a little break before the new year begins!

The Best Ways To Utilise Your Virtual Assistant For 2018 – By Chantel Griffin

The Best Ways To Utilise Your Virtual Assistant For 2018 – By Chantel Griffin

The Best Ways To Utilise Your Virtual Assistant For 2018

What is the BEST way to utilise your Virtual Assistant?

Let’s make 2018 a more EFFICIENT and PRODUCTIVE year for you!!

At VA Connect we have a solution to all your small / medium business requirements.

A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT could help with any, but not limited to of the following tasks:

Scheduling appointments / Managing your calendar

A simple job like managing your calendar can be time consuming. If you don’t maintain your calendar correctly, you may miss important appointments with clients. A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT can keep your calendar updated. They can make sure that you never miss an important meeting again.

Making travel plans

Making travel arrangements for your business trip or personal vacation can take a lot of time. Travel arrangements aren’t easy to make, but you’ll find when you have help from a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT, they’ll be made efficiently and correctly and you won’t have to worry about taking time away from your business to get them done.

Responding to and/or managing email

A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT can reduce the burden of email management in ways automated systems can’t, be they third-party plugins or rules and filters that you set up within your inbox. They can function as your email “triage” system, conduct your daily inbox reviews, or even reply to individual messages. Considering how much of your workload likely involves reviewing incoming messages, replying to calendar requests and ensuring your top-priority emails get answered promptly, asking for assistance with email triage is in fact one of the best uses of administrative support.

Updating databases

Your VIRTUAL ASSISTANT can assist you with any time-consuming tasks like database entry and spreadsheet updates require dedicated attention.

Creating and scheduling social media postings

Social media presence can boost your sales and generate new customer leads. But finding time to boost your social media presence … well, that’s often the biggest challenge. There will come a point where you simply don’t have time to pay full attention to your social media accounts. Your VIRTUAL ASSISTANT can assist in the following ways: –

  • Generation of ideas for social media posts
  • Drafting social media content
  • Scheduling content postings
  • Monitoring social media and alerting you to comments about your company and/or brand
  • Building and managing contact networks (friending, connecting, following, etc)
  • Interacting with your contacts
  • Tracking and reporting social media metrics
  • Updating your social media profiles as required
  • Managing Facebook / LinkedIn advertising

The above tasks are too name but a few tasks that your VIRTUAL ASSISTANT can assist you with. Clink on the below link to see a more detailed list on how WE can help YOU.

VA CONNECT has a team of VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS just waiting to be of service to you, to lighten your load! To FREE up some of YOUR time!

Contact VA CONNECT if you are looking to hire a VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

Being a Resilient Virtual Assistant in 2018 by Carrinna Buthelezi

Being a Resilient Virtual Assistant in 2018 by Carrinna Buthelezi

Being a Resilient Virtual Assistant in 2018

Our abilities as Virtual Assistants is going to empower all current and prospective Virtual Assistants in taking our careers to the next level and will allow us to add value to any organisation.

I looked at the many skills a Virtual Assistant has and should have going forward, and I found that one of the most vital skills any Virtual Assistant should have going into 2018 is resilience.

Life can be challenging and we all struggle but one thing makes the difference between getting worn down and giving up or working to overcome life’s little (and big) roadblocks: resilience.

The Forbes website sums up resilience as:

Resilience means anticipating risks and feeling comfortable with change. Resilience involves limiting damage during turbulent times, absorbing hard knocks, regrouping and bouncing back when the worst happens. It’s the ability to start feeling better and bolster your confidence after a setback. It’s remaining engaged in the midst of shifting challenge.

In 2017 my resilience was tested over and over again, and there were many times, too many to count, where my resilience failed me as I was constantly faced with changing and challenging situations. It is during these times that I have had to rely on my self-confidence (which was also found lacking many times) to bounce back from worst case scenarios.

I would like to think that most virtual assistants are resilient types; it seems somewhat ingrained in our nature, along with being organised and enjoying writing a list or two or three (in my case)!  I have found that when resilience seems in short supply, there is the good news: It’s a skill I can always build on. If you can succeed in your mind, you are more likely to recover from setbacks and thrive in life.

As virtual assistants, we are far more resilient when we are engaged and supported and motivated with and by others. It’s the ties we have with others that make us stronger, happier, more creative — and more resilient to challenges.

One of those challenges is that prospective clients are beginning to look for Virtual Assistants who can do multiple specialised roles. I foresee that in 2018, they will be looking for someone who can do it all, or at least not be afraid to learn all aspects of their client’s business and operations. This is where the ability to grow comes in handy.

As Virtual Assistants, we should not allow ourselves to be limited to personal assistant “secretarial” services. In 2018, as it was in 2017, the need to streamline costs has grown and with it the virtual assistance industry will continue to undergo a change.

It is in our best interest to consistently perform above and beyond expectations in order to maintain our clients. When properly utilized, a virtual assistant can help in building their clients’ business.

Virtual Assistants in 2018, will be able to help any organisation increase their productivity while also being an asset that is guaranteed to lower their clients’ business costs significantly without compromising on their productivity.

So, where do you fit in, is your resilience going to stand you in good stead come 2018?

I contemplate this, thinking about what Merlin said to Arthur when he said he was not ready to be king, “We are never ready, remember, the only way to reach our true potential is when we rise to the challenges that life throws at us”

This I ponder, over a bowl of ice-cream, looking forward to 2018, being aware of the challenges I’ve faced in 2017 and knowing that in order to succeed, I need to grow (in all aspects of my life) and being resilient can only be a good thing going into 2018!