21 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant

21 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant

21 Ways to Use a Virtual Assistant

Here’s a list of 21 tasks you can outsource to your Virtual Assistant:

  1. Scheduling appointments. Let your schedule and manage all your appointments for you. You just view your diary every morning and show up to every appointment prepared and let your do all the admin work.
  2. Managing events. Managing a corporate event can be stressful, especially if you’re inviting international delegates. What’s even more stressful is handling the queries from each delegate. Outsource this task to your VA to ensure a successful event.
  3. You can outsource your general reporting to a VA. Make sure you take your VA through adequate training before expecting him/her to produce accurate reports.
  4. You can get your VA to do basic bookkeeping tasks such as updating your journals or cash book.
  5. Running errands. Do you have personal errands you need to run but no time to do it? Let a VA do that for you!
  6. Cold calling. You’ll have to be careful with this one as not everyone is good on the phone. If you hire a VA to make cold calls, make sure he/she has sales experience.
  7. Blog writing. You can send a list of blog titles to your VA and have him/her write your blog posts. Regular blog posts will not only keep you connected to your audience but also get more traffic to your website through search engine traffic.
  8. Social media management. No time to manage your social media accounts? Let a VA handle that for you Just give him/her the posting schedule in advance so that he/she will know what to post.
  9. Editing and proof-reading of written content. Editing written content can be time-consuming especially for people who are not professional writers. Let a VA edit all your documents so that you may have more time for other tasks.
  10. Managing emails. Most entrepreneurs have a mailbox full of emails that they can’t get to. This leads to missed opportunities. Outsource this function to a VA.
  11. Chat support. These days customers want to hear from you within 24-hours of sending a query. If not, they go to a competitor. A VA would be a perfect match for this type of role as you can pay him/her by the hour.
  12. Transcription of audio/video content. If you’ve got audio and video content that you need to transform into written content, outsource it to a VA.
  13. SEO/web developing. Let your VA search for popular keywords in your industry so that you can add them to your blog posts/content. Also, your VA can develop your website or landing pages.
  14. Building databases. If you need a database to start calling for appointments, a VA can build it for you by searching the internet.
  15. Travel arrangements. Flying for a business meeting? Let your VA handle that for you!
  16. Sorting online files/documents. A virtual business may not have physical files, but the online files can get just as crowded as physical files. Have your VA sort all your documents in well-labelled folders so that you and other staff members can easily find information.
  17. Online research. If you need to research a specific topic, let your VA do it for you.
  18. Creating forms and templates. If you require templates to send emails, guide employees and onboard new employees, let your VA handle it for you.
  19. Creating and sending email marketing campaigns. Email marketing campaigns are successful in increasing your sales, let your VA create and send them to your clients.
  20. Designing visual content such as images, logos, banners and headers. Need a graphic designer but can’t afford one? Let a VA design your visual content and pay only for each completed project.
  21. Managing teams. You can hire a VA to manage other team members. This is great for a small business because you can have him/her work for a few hours per day and pay by the hour.

If you are currently hiring a Virtual Assistant we would love to hear more about the kinds of tasks you outsource in the comments below!

5 Great Ways to Get Started with Your Virtual Assistant

5 Great Ways to Get Started with Your Virtual Assistant

5 Great Ways to Get Started with Your Virtual Assistant

So, you’ve just hired your first , congratulations!

Now, because you will be working together virtually, there are a few steps you must take to get your assistant up and running. Although you won’t have to worry about office space, you must spend some time setting him/her up with the right tools to do the job.

Here are five great ways to get started with your Virtual Assistant:

1. Training and Development

Due to the nature of the work (online and not in person), giving clear instructions and expectations is essential.

Training material– Develop training material, how to’s and step-by-step instructions on how your Virtual Assistant should do his/her job.  Remember the reason you employed a Virtual Assistant is to save you time, therefore, make sure he/she is properly trained to work independently.

Expectations document– Outline what work you expect daily. Do you require him/her to send 10 emails by 5 pm daily? Make sure it is clearly outlined in this document.

Performance measurement– Describe how and when you will measure your Virtual Assistant’s performance. Remember to tie KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) to the expectations document. Also, make sure KPI’s are realistic. You can determine this by getting feedback from your new Virtual Assistant. Ask him/her if they agree to the KPI’s and work together to set a good way to measure performance.

2. Remuneration

Of course, your Virtual Assistant must be paid. You can set up a payment method that works best for the both of you. Consider extra charges with the method you choose. Popular payment methods are PayPal, Skrill and Payza.

3. Apps and Tools

To work effectively, your Virtual Assistant will need the following common tools:

  1. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
  2. Emailing Platform
  3. Messaging Platform
  4. Accounting Software
  5. Meeting Platform
  6. Document Management System

There are certain apps that can make working virtually seemingly easy. Read our blog on five apps and tools that every virtual business should have.

4. Virtual Phone System

Since you’re running a virtual business, you will need a virtual phone system that will allow your Virtual Assistant to make calls without using his/her private phone while giving you the opportunity to monitor calls.

Setting up a virtual phone system is easy. All you have to do is:

5. Shared Calendar

Finally, the best way to know what your Virtual Assistant is busy with daily is to setup a shared calendar. You can use Google Calendar which can be easily synchronized with Outlook. This calendar can be edited in real time and accessed via your PC or mobile, making it a popular alternative for small business owners.

The top 4 Social Media Platforms Essential for Your Business

The top 4 Social Media Platforms Essential for Your Business

The top 4 Social Media Platforms Essential for Your Business

It cannot be disputed that social media can improve your brand awareness and if used wisely, can be a powerful tool to increase your sales. However, with all the available social media platforms it might be an overwhelming experience figuring out which ones to use. Here we list 4 platforms we believe are the best to grow your business:

LinkedIn

With over 414 million users, it is defined as the world’s largest professional network. LinkedIn is the “business hub” on the internet. Almost every working individual and company own a profile on LinkedIn.

What should you post?

Anything career related should go on LinkedIn. Aim to use LinkedIn Pulse to publish articles as all your connections are notified when a post is published.

How often should you post?

In my experience, 2 times a week is okay with Monday being the most successful day.

Facebook

Facebook, founded in 2004, is one of the oldest social media platforms that caters for a variety of interests. It now has over 1 billion members.
Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook provides a better response percentage because people are constantly logging in. In addition, the platform allows you to run ads directed at a specific target market to promote your business.

What should you post?

Shareable content. Make it interesting to read so that viewers can share to make it go viral.

How often should you post?

Extremely good content once daily.

Google Plus

Google Plus is a great platform for businesses, especially small to medium sized, because it is linked to one of the biggest search engines in the world. This means that your posts will be favoured by the search engine. Google Plus also integrates your profile to all your other activities within their network, meaning, customers will better find your content on the internet.
Another key advantage of Google Plus is the amount of communities available. You can join a community within your niche and share thought pieces to their pages.

What should you post?

Similar to Facebook, anything really, as long as it represents your brand and has the potential to be shared.

How often should you post?

Similar to Facebook, once daily.

Twitter

Twitter is a great platform for short messages to your followers. Although tweets can get lost in the sea of other tweets, “Twitter Ads” allows you to promote your tweets to a selected audience at your preferred price.

What should you post?

The best posts on Twitter are motivational messages, calls to action and offers.

How often should you post?

Many times a day to avoid your tweets getting lost in the enormous amounts of other tweets.

Conclusion

Those are the top 4 best platforms that you can use to grow your business. Do you agree with this list? We want to hear from you!

How to manage your time better

How to manage your time better

I was at a dinner last night and the topic of better time management come up. As entrepreneurs I know we’re always looking for ways to fit more time into our day.

At the dinner table some great suggestions were made on how we can utilise our time better. One of the guests, a fellow entrepreneur, says that he blocks off time in his calendar for tasks during the week. Almost like a checklist of what needs to happen and an estimation of the time it will take to complete the task.

Then these tasks are checked off upon completion, allowing him to be flexible on when he wants to achieve them in that particular week.

Plan to commit

Time management starts with your commitment to change. As each day passes you realise how busy life is, that you’re not getting to everything that you want to do.

Take action and commit to taking action on a daily basis. In order to achieve time management success you need to plan and protect that time that you’ve set out to do certain tasks. Great time management enables each of us to be more productive, more successful, more organised.

You wouldn’t miss an appointment with a client, so why would you miss one with yourself?

How do we go about managing our time better you may ask?

Here’s a couple of tips that will put you on the road to time management success.

Create a daily plan  therefore plan each day ahead of time. The best time I find for this is the night before. When I wake up in the morning I know exactly what is expected of me for the day.

Place time limits on each task – we only have so much energy to focus before our brains get foggy. Set out time increments of 40 minutes per task. This will allow you to remain completely focussed for that time period, and take a break before switching gears and tackling the next task.

Learn to say no – here we go again, the eternal mantra of learning to say no. How many times in the last few months have you read this golden rule? Quite a few times I’m sure. Don’t take on more than you can handle. Saying no is very empowering and gives you the opportunity to focus on tasks that you’re passionate about and that will make your business “wheels” go faster.

Prioritize – Learn to prioritize and let go of the rest. Apply the 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of your time on the 20% that brings in 80% of your income. Therefore don’t get distracted and fuss about unimportant details. Stick to the plan!

Conclusion

There is only so much time in the day. Spend that time wisely and even better spend your time on the things that bring you the greatest joy! Hint, this is where you get to test your delegation skills.

What are your tips to manage your time better? Please do share with us so that we may learn and grow together!