Virtual Assistants, or VAs for short, can be a valuable addition to any team. The right VA is a huge asset that allows you to focus your time, energy, and expertise as a business owner on the things that truly matter to you and your business. That’s not to say that daily tasks like keeping up with email, social media, payroll, scheduling, and calendar management aren’t important to the daily running of your business. Of course, they are! But, let’s face it. Most entrepreneurs would rather spend their time elsewhere. Like getting in the trenches and focusing on the activities that actually grow their business. Especially, creative businesses like Freelance Photographers, Bloggers, and Podcasters; Writers or Designers who run an e-commerce site selling their products. If I had any idea years ago when I ran my Etsy shop that there was someone out there in the world who’d be more than happy to take over the daily tasks like creating and updating listings, sending invoices, doing markdowns, or even helping with setting up a tent at a fair or festival, I would have absolutely taken advantage. How great it would’ve been to spend the majority of my time designing the jewelry that I so much loved to create!
I would wager, the number one reason to hire an assistant is that we save you time. Everyone knows that time is money and we’ll get to money a little later here. One major time suck to the workday? Email. It can often feel like a never-ending game of whack-a-mole. According to an article in Harvard Business Review, research shows the average professional spends 28% of their day dealing with email correspondence. Twenty-Eight Percent! That’s almost a third of the workday. Why not outsource that? Hiring a VA to manage the daily inbox and filter out the messages that don’t need immediate attention, and tackle the ones that do ahead of time will save you so much energy and stress. This is especially true if you are of the Inbox Zero mindset!
Another task that can be delegated to a VA is customer service. In this day and age, outsourcing customer service to a VA is absolutely doable with the advent of cloud-based phone systems such as Ring Central, Nextiva, or Vonage. For instance, this is something that I do regularly for my largest client, whose company is based in a different state from where I reside in GA. Using a cloud-based phone system allows you to hire several agents, working in different time zones, to handle the traffic that comes through your phone lines. This is a great option for smaller e-commerce businesses that don’t have access to a traditional call center. There’s no overhead regarding bills to pay for rent, power and utilities, and all the other costs involved in running a call center, traditional office space, or a bricks and mortar shop.
Lastly, let’s talk about Social Media Management. This is my personal favorite, as I tend to specialize more in managing Instagram accounts. Social Media has been a game-changer in the last decade when it comes to giving businesses a platform to connect directly with their customers. It is also quite time-consuming and even intimidating for some because the nature of the social media game changes so rapidly. There’s one thing that’s for certain though; your followers want to see you, hear from you, and expect you to show up for them. And that requires daily engagement. How much time are you willing to spend engaging with your community of followers? It doesn’t take much more than a few minutes intermittently throughout the day, but we all know what happens here don’t we? Fifteen minutes can turn into a lot longer than that and down the rabbit hole, you go! An hour later and you’ve seen what Becky had for dinner, you’ve learned all about Aunt Susan’s favorite cat and have watched all of the latest viral videos that just popped up on YouTube in the last 24 hours. That hour would have been better spent crafting a strategy for your next month’s content or creating engaging images for your followers to consume. Am I right? It can happen to us all at times. Don’t have an Instagram account set up yet? No worries! You can most certainly hire a VA to get one set up for you and even create content and help you strategize how best to build your community of followers.
Of course, these aren’t the only tasks to outsource but they are the three things that I do the most and are the three that I get asked about the most. Stay tuned for more as I begin to share a little more about my services and how I can tailor them to your specific needs. Feel free to leave a comment below and tell me what 3 things would you like to delegate?