How a Virtual Assistant Can Help You with Meetings
Are you preparing for a big meeting and sigh at the list of things you must do? Here’s a secret; with a Virtual Assistant, you can have stress-free meetings. In this blog post, we will discuss how a VA can help you with a meeting.
“A leader’s job is not to do the work for others, it’s to help others figure out how to do it themselves, to get things done, and to succeed beyond what they thought possible. “
Here’s how a VA can help you
It all depends on how much you want to delegate. Some entrepreneurs delegate the entire meeting preparation to a VA and others prefer to hand over only the less critical tasks.
Here’s how a VA can help you with your meetings:
Before the meeting
- Schedule the meeting
- Make travel arrangements
- Hire caterers, food etc
- Coordinate speakers
- Manage the rest of the team
- Conduct research
- Proofread documents
- Prepare presentations
- Prepare and send out meeting materials
- Communicate with attendees
- Record the meeting and take minutes
- Be your right-hand woman so you don’t miss anything
- Monitor and troubleshoot if things go wrong
- Fill out expense reports and track reimbursements
- Follow up with correspondence
- Manage tasks assigned
- Communicate with attendees and other staff members
Not only can a VA do all of this for you, but they can give ideas and support you throughout the process as well. Doesn’t this sound so much better than having to do it all yourself? And the best part? It’s all affordable!
Many assume that such assistance must come at a high price, however, VA’s are a cheaper alternative to a full-time employee.
At VA Connect, we grow your business without growing your staff. We understand that the small business owner or entrepreneur may want to grow his business but may not have the resources to do so. Therefore, we have created a suite of solutions to suit almost any business person that just needs a break!
Why should you consider us?
We’re kind of a big deal (wink). We’ve been mentioned in large publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine and Business Day TV. More importantly, we have a large array of highly skilled women who are more than happy to assist you. The feedback we receive from our clients is exceptional. Give us a call.
Use Your Virtual Assistant to Grow Your Social Network
Those who use it know of its amazing benefits. Yep! Social media is Godsend for business. With features such as live videos and stories, businesses can increase their sales via social media networks.
Perhaps you haven’t tried using social media as a business tool because you’re not sure how to use it to generate business or you just don’t have the time. In this blog, we will teach you how to grow your social media network via a Virtual Assistant.
Virtual Assistants who specialise in social media are equipped with the strategies and tools to grow your following and to drive engagement on all your platforms. They know how to get people talking about your brand. They can also recommend which platforms would be suitable for your business.
Social Media Assistants also understand what type of content to publish and promote. Content that your followers will love and which will ultimately lead them to your store. They are often social media influencers themselves and have a large following on social media.
How to Use a Social Media Assistant:
- Set up social media accounts. Your assistant can create your accounts for you and manage it. She can also design your logos, cover images and profile pictures.
- Create descriptive profiles. Not sure what to add in your profile bio? Your assistant can come up with a compelling story.
- Build a social media strategy. She can develop a strategy that can help bring in the followers.
- Write posts for social networks. Your assistant can write compelling posts and publish them.
- Edit content. If you are not comfortable with her writing your posts, you can allow her to edit posts only.
- Perform a social media audit. To understand what is working and what isn’t, you must look at your analytics. Your assistant can analyse your data and put it in an easy-to-understand, readable format for you.
- Research key hashtag conversations. By researching certain conversations, your assistant can find relevant topics to write about.
- Engage with your audience. Your assistant can help direct your audience to the right place i.e. Website or store.
- Participate in groups/forums. By participating in relevant conversations, your assistant can lead people to your website.
- Run a giveaway or challenge. Giveaways are great ways to grow your accounts. Your assistant can manage the entire giveaway including shipping the prize to the winner.
- Create and manage groups. If you want to create a community surrounding your brand, let your VA do this for you.
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There are many different services or specialties that a Virtual Assistant can offer. While most Virtual Assistant work is clerical or administrative, there are other options that a Virtual Assistant’s role may also encompass:
Social Media – being familiar with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn offers a Virtual Assistant the opportunity to manage their clients’ social media campaigns. This can be done by posting issues relevant to my client’s business needs, or blogging on their behalf, publishing articles so that followers can learn more about what my clients’ business can do for them.
Internet Research – enjoy surfing the web and researching information? Offering services as an internet researcher can be beneficial to growing any client’s business
Database management/Creation and Reporting – want to alleviate some of the necessary but time-consuming workload that every business encounters, then this is a perfect example of how you can help any small business. By creating and managing a database and handling over weekly reports to the business owner, I enable my clients to focus on improving their business performance.
Typing (copying and/or audio) – many business owners use a small recording device to keep notes of ideas or projects. Specialising in transcribing these audio copies into notes that the owner can review and action is another way I can enable my clients’ business performance
So, when a business owner, busy executive, entrepreneur, coach, or consultant finds themselves doing the same things over and over again – then these are the first tasks they should delegate to a Virtual Assistant:
- Organising your emails. Answering, filing, flagging for those that the client needs to follow-up.
- Doing the bookwork. Data entry, invoicing, setting up automated payments, budget planning, cash flow management etc.
- Social Media. Preparing posts, images, scheduling for my client, building their fan base/followers, commenting, sharing
- Customer Communications. Creating email campaigns, newsletters, sending out customer feedback surveys and thank-you cards
- Travel arrangements. Bookings, reviewing, flights and accommodations (local and international)
- Digital Marketing. Writing and scheduling blogposts. Website updates. Researching syndication and backlink opportunities. Google local marketing.
- Researching trends, statistics, products, suppliers, target markets, PR opportunities.
By being able to offer these services to my clients, their business will grow as they delegate the details and focus on leading their organization to success.
Always remember if you can present the right first impression and then carry out the job/s needed as promised, you will then begin to build a strong a fruitful relationship which will benefit both you and your client. And have time for a bowl of chocolate ice-cream at the end of the day.
We’ll show you how to become an Outsourcing Master with these tips
When I first on boarded clients it took forever to sort out the schedule and to get everything working properly. We all make mistakes when we first start out. I wanted to really understand how the on boarding could be sped up, so I took the time to interview my first few clients. What you see below is lessons they learned when on boarding their first Virtual Assistant and understanding the outsourcing world.
Ask yourself why you want to outsource in the first place?
Reverse engineer the reason why you want extra help in the first place. If you understand where you are headed, then you’ll know what is required to get there. It is easier then to delegate appropriate tasks to your Virtual Assistant.
What don’t you want in an assistant?
This is quite an important question to ask of yourself. When I did my interviews, my clients brought the following to my attention.
- They wanted someone who easily volunteered status of tasks, so they didn’t want someone they had to keep hounding to find out how far things are.
- They wanted someone who was always available. But what they realized after the fact was they never carried that message across when they first interviewed their Virtual Assistant.
- The client didn’t want to make the time to train the VA, so they ended up doing everything themselves. Be prepared to train your Virtual Assistant, it’s the same concept when you on board a new member of the team. This kind of training refers to how you want correspondence dealt with, times you are available, etc. It is not your duty to train your VA on certain apps and general software.
The best way to on board your Virtual Assistant
- Have a job description ready. This negates missing steps in the support required, plus, you are able to weed out chance-takers.
- Ask your potential Virtual Assistant to do some tests. This can be anything from a trial test to see how well they communicate, can navigate certain software to personality profiling to ensure that you are a good match to work with. Some of my favorites are Roger Hamilton’s Genius Test and Tony Robbins DISC profile test.
- Sign a contract. This contract should include a NDA to cover any confidential information you may be sharing with your Virtual Assistant.
- Check their availability. If you know you’re going to require assistance certain times of the day, or you want your VA to be ready for a quick meeting every morning at 8am, then you need to address is when interviewing her. If you don’t mention it she won’t know that this is a priority for you.
- Sort out systems. Be sure to give your Virtual Assistant the access she needs to appropriate systems. If you are concerned about sharing passwords, LastPass is a great tool for this. Take the time to take your VA through these systems, especially if they are unique to your business.
- Be ready to back off. Allow your Virtual Assistant to do what she is great at. We are all control freaks at some point to some extent, however, sometimes wanting control everything can be counterproductive. Make sure your instructions are clear, that they cannot be misinterpreted.
Make sure that you use a template to outsource tasks, again leaving no room for misinterpretation and wasted time. Take the time to take your VA through what you need, how and when, then let her do what she does best, offering support to you, the busy Entrepreneur!
Building A Great Email List with the Help of Your VA
Did you know that your Virtual Assistant can build an email list for you? If you require someone to help you with your lead generation by building a database of prospects to email, a VA can easily assist. Your VA stands as an important part of the lead generation process. In so doing, a VA is an extension of your sales team.
To do this, you don’t even have to have a structured way of gathering leads, your VA can put structures in place too. He/She can decide where they will source information for your database based on the target market you give him/her. You can use the database to send email campaigns and make more sales.
Here are suggested ways your VA can build your email list:
- Run a contest or giveaway. This always works to get more email addresses. Make sure that the product you are giving away is aimed at your target market. Run the competition for at least one week to maximise on email signups. Let your VA manage this competition, pick a winner and announce it. Lastly, your VA can start sending email campaigns to the list at least once a week.
- Give a free EBook. Let readers who want to receive a free eBook sign up to your email list. Your VA can create an opt-in button that prevents the download until the reader has given their email address. There are tools like Mailchimp and Aweber that can help you do this seamlessly.
- Block certain blogs. There are tools and plugins like Opt-In Panda that helps you to block other content besides EBooks. With these tools, you can block blogs, pages and much more. One great way to build an email list is to research which questions your target market wants to be answered and let your VA write a post packed with insightful responses. Make sure that the blog can only be unlocked when someone enters their email address. To bump this up a notch, search for the most popular keywords by using a tool like SemRush and write another blog related to the keyword. Block this content as well. When someone finds your blog in search engines, they will have to insert their email address to unlock the content. This will result in a self-sustaining database of leads for your business.
- Run a referral program. Your VA can manage your company referral program. For each customer that successfully signs with you, request at least three referrals. If the three referrals are legitimate, the customer can get a discount. This will help you to collect email addresses of people who may be interested in what you offer.
- Try Google ADS. You can create an AD for Google using specific keywords or catch phrases that you know your target market will search for. Link this AD to your landing page that gives a bit of explanation of what you do and then requests an email address. Your VA will then be tasked to collect all email addresses that come through from the landing page. He/She must thereafter send email campaigns to these email addresses.
- Go the traditional route. In the past, businesses would contact random people from the yellow pages. You can still do this today, just a little bit differently. If you’re a B2B business, you can search for your target market online. For example, if your target market is insurance companies in Johannesburg, a simple Google search for ‘insurance companies Johannesburg’ will give you thousands of hits. Your VA can go to each website, collect email addresses and send emails to those people.
You can also automate the entire email sending procedure. This means that each time someone gives you their email address via any of the processes 1-5 above, a tool automatically starts sending email campaigns at certain times. Our Virtual Assistants are well skilled in this. Contact us today if you want us to help you.