Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Assistant?
The biggest secret of startups or solo entrepreneurs, who are highly productive and successful, is they don’t handle all the tasks by themselves. They hire virtual assistants for a specific role who will handle the job effectively.
There’s never a shortage of tasks when you’ve created a solid business plan. These tasks must be completed in a timely manner to ensure the success of your business. Some of the tasks that you can outsource to a general virtual assistant include online research, data entry, organise meetings, diary management, appointment setting, PowerPoint presentations, email management, and data mining.
VAs are indeed fast learners and can do almost anything you ask them, but it is best that you let them handle specific tasks where they are good at.
To know more about the types of VAs that you can hire online, continue reading to understand what kind of help they can offer you.
Admin / General Virtual Assistant
The General Virtual Assistant or Admin Virtual assistant is a person who can handle repetitive, administrative, and secretarial duties such as replying to emails, organising appointments and meetings, booking travel flights, record keeping and preparing reports.
They are also in charge of PowerPoint presentations, diary management, newsletter, database development, online research and almost any kind of clerical work.
General VA is expert in using applications such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, Google Calendar and other data processing related apps.
Virtual Bookkeeping/Accounting Assistant
Virtual Bookkeepers have years of experience working with SME’s, helping with their accounting and bookkeeping needs. They handle tax records, prepare financial statements, process accounts payable/receivable, year-end reports and ensure bank records are complete and accurate.
They can also help you with other accounting related tasks such as budgeting, payroll, preparing general ledgers and invoices, reconciling bank and credit cards statements.
This type of virtual assistant is expert in the following software: QuickBooks, MYOB, XERO, FreshBooks, Zoho Books, Wave, OneUp, AccountEdge Pro, and similar accounting software.
Digital Marketer Virtual Assistant
This type of VA focuses on implementing internet marketing strategies to further increase your business reach online. These includes Social Media Marketing (SMM), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Email Marketing, and Content Marketing.
The field of Digital Marketing is broad and it is suggested to hire specific VAs with clearly defined roles as these tasks are time consuming. A single VA will not be able to handle multiple roles effectively. Here’s a breakdown of each online marketing strategies:
Social Media Marketing
Running a social media marketing campaign using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and/or Google Plus is one of the most effective ways to increase your business reach, although it sounds easy, it’s not that simple.
Basically, you start by creating a dedicated page or profile for your business, then you start posting valuable content for your target market. Your goal is to grow the number of followers/fans that you have and increase the level of engagements for your social media accounts.
You need to dedicate a serious amount of time to see some results with this kind of online marketing strategy. Hiring a Social Media Marketing virtual assistant is one of the cost-effective ways to make it work.
Tasks you can outsource to a Social Media Marketing VA include,
- Create individual social media accounts for your business.
- Post useful content to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and/or LinkedIn to grow your accounts.
- Reply to comments/private messages to increase social engagements and activities.
- Grow Fans/Followers based from your target market or niche.
- Analyse and interpret Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.
- Analyse the best time to publish content based from your targeted audience time zones
- Run Facebook ads campaign
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is an internet marketing strategy used by business owners to drive tons of free traffic to their site by gaining higher ranks on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) of Google, Bing, and Yahoo for keywords related to their products or services.
The concept behind SEO is that you need to boost your website’s authority in your particular niche/industry, by creating valuable content, that is beneficial for your audience. These could be a product, a service, or a piece of information that is worth sharing. The more websites linking to your business, the higher the authority you site becomes. Search engines will recognise this and will prioritise your business in search engine results page.
Easier said than done, the whole SEO process would require talented and passionate VAs to make it successful. This internet marketing strategy requires a solid plan, and lot of patience as it would be time-consuming.
This marketing strategy requires a minimum of 6 months before you can see results.
Here are some of the tasks that you can outsource to an SEO VA
- SEO Copywriting
- Keyword Research
- Competition Research
- On-page SEO
- Title and meta tags optimisation
- Improve site loading speed
- Responsive design
- Sitemap creation
- Fix 301 and 404 page errors
- Image alt tags
- SEO-friendly URL structure
- SEO-friendly file naming
- Internal linking
- Off-page SEO
- Local directory/Business citations
- Content marketing
- Press Release
- Interactions in forums and blogs
- Partnering with other business-related sites
Search Engine Marketing
SEM or Search Engine Marketing is another form of Internet marketing strategy that shares the same objective with SEO, which is to drive traffic to a website, but this time, using paid advertisements. Implementing paid ads to a website can be done using either Google Adwords or Bing Ads.
The concept behind SEM is that you will bid for your target keyword and set a daily budget. Once the ad campaign is successfully set-up and active, Google/Bing will display it on the front page of search engine results. Position of your ad may vary depending on several factors such as the amount you bid for the keyword, quality of the ad, and quality of mobile landing page experience.
Every time your ad is clicked by a user, you will be charged for a certain amount depending on the daily budget that you have set.
Unlike SEO, SEM can deliver results immediately. As long as your campaign is active, you will see clickthroughs to your site.
SEM tasks you can outsource include
- Determine business goals
- Create/Improve landing page
- Analyse and research keywords to target
- Create attractive ad copies for your campaign.
- Create irresistible attention-grabbing headline
- Bid on target keywords
- Set daily budget for PPC campaign
- A/B testing methods.
Content Writer Virtual Assistant
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to improve your brand awareness online. The problem is not all business owners have the time to write content for their site on a regular basis. That’s where the help of a content writer comes in handy.
Hiring a professional SEO copywriter or content writer is the best option to have well-written content on your website. Experienced writers can come up with engaging and informative content that will spark the interests of your customers.
Most content that were outsourced online are blog articles, product descriptions, press release and services page. Finding a virtual assistant that can meet your specific requirement will prove to be a challenge.
Web Developer / WordPress Virtual Assistant
VAs in this category are experts in setting up websites using either hard-coded/readily-available templates or the WordPress platform. They can help you build websites from scratch, buy domain names, set-up web hosting accounts, to the customisation of your site. These professionals are the ones you should be looking for if you want to start doing business online.
WordPress VAs are good at choosing the right plugins for your site. They also perform site backups, speed up website load time, schedule site maintenance, optimize databases, and even customise existing templates according to your specifications.
Graphics Designer Virtual Assistant
These types of virtual assistants create amazing graphics such as company logo, infographics, and templates that can be used for web content, social media marketing campaigns, and other promotional materials. Experienced graphics artists can easily understand brand concepts and can redesign existing ones of a client.
VAs under this category are experts in using photo editing tools such as Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Illustrator, CorelDraw, and almost any other software related to editing graphics or image files.
Order fulfillment tasks can become overwhelming when your online store starts to get busy, as you need to process sales order and monitor inventory to avoid delay. You also need to answer questions or enquiries as customer service is very important to have a successful business. Doing this by yourself is extremely difficult, that’s why an eCommerce VA comes in to help.
When you hire a VA for this specific role, you avoid sales order problems as inventory is regularly checked. He/she can process new orders, answer customer questions, create order invoices, handle returns and products exchanges, and transact with your suppliers.
More experienced eCommerce VAs run special offers/promotions, update/add products, write SEO-friendly product descriptions, and with the right training, do bookkeeping for your store.
Finding the right virtual assistant for your business can be challenging, but once you have found the right one, you will see huge improvements in your business workflow.
Let us know your requirements and we can help you find the VA specialist that will be perfect for your company.