Why Your Business Needs a Virtual Assistant?
The biggest secret of startups or entrepreneurs who are highly productive and successful – they don’t handle all the tasks by themselves. They hire virtual assistants for a specific role who will handle the job more efficiently and 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. The most common tasks that you can outsource to a virtual assistant include online research, data entry, diary management, database creation, appointment setting, business presentations, newsletter creation, email management and data mining. Other complex tasks must be outsource to a personal assistant who is equipped with the appropriate skills sets or specialisation. 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.
Types of Virtual Assistants
To know more about the types of personal assistants that you can hire online, continue reading to understand what kind of virtual assistants you should be looking for who can help your business grow.
Admin / General Virtual Assistant
A general virtual assistant or virtual personal assistant is more than just a secretary. They are in charge of doing repetitive, administrative and secretarial duties such as replying to emails, organising meetings, booking travel flights, drafting email newsletter, answering phone calls, creating database, and many more.
Virtual admin assistants are experts in using desktop and cloud-based applications such as Microsoft Office, Excel ,Power-point, Outlook, Google docs and other data processing related apps. Click here to know more about the benefits of having a dedicated admin assistant for your business.
Virtual Accountant/Bookkeeper Assistant
If you are looking to hire a virtual assistant who can help you with record keeping and managing accounts for your business, then you should definitely hire a certified public accountant not just a general VA. You definitely don’t want to take the risk of 0having errors with your business financial records that’s why it is always the best choice to hire a CPA with years of hands-on experience working with SME’s who have done a lot of accounting and bookkeeping transactions.
Your virtual bookkeeping assistant will be the one doing all the tax records, prepare financial statements, process accounts payable/receivable, business activity statements, year-end reports and ensure bank records are complete and accurate.
Having a virtual bookkeeper can also help you with other accounting related tasks such as budgeting, payroll, preparing general ledgers and invoices, reconciling bank and credit cards statements.
Most virtual bookkeepers who provides bookkeeping assistance are expert in the following system: QuickBooks, MYOB, XERO, FreshBooks, Saasu, Zoho Books, Reckon, Wave, OneUp, Sage One, AccountEdge Pro, and similar accounting software. You can also read our article about having good accounting system for your business.
Digital Marketer/Online Strategist
These types of virtual assistants specialises in improving businesses’ online presence to get more visitors, sales leads and potential clients. Digital marketers have broad set of skills and strategies they used to grow an online business. Strategies such as content marketing, search engine optimisation, social media , email marketing, pay per click advertising, viral campaign, etc.
The field of Digital Marketing is broad and you have the slightest chance of finding one who does it all. That’s why it would be best to only look for a personal assistant who can accomplish a specific role, as these tasks are technical in nature and would require analytic thinking as well.
Here’s a breakdown of online marketing strategies and the recommended type of personal assistant that you might want to hire for your business.
Social Media Specialist
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 sharing your websites’ blog articles, announcements, promo and sharing other people’s content to grown connections and improve engagement with your target audience. 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 specialist is one of the cost-effective ways to make it work.
Tasks you can outsource to a social media specialist:
- Create individual social media accounts for your business.
- Curate and post valuable content that targets specific audience.
- Reply to comments/private messages to increase social activity/engagement.
- Grow Fans/Followers base from niche/target audience.
- Analyse and interpret Facebook Insights and Twitter Analytics.
- Analyse the best time to publish content based from your targeted audience time zones.
- Manage Facebook/LinkedIn/Twitter ads campaign.
- Design visually-appealing graphics for social media posting.
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 your site will become. 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 SEO virtual assistants to make it happened. This internet marketing strategy requires a solid plan, and a dedicated team who can execute SEO marketing campaigns effectively and efficiently as the tasks required for this is really time-consuming. Patience is needed in this kind of marketing strategy as it would take several months before you can see the results of all the work done by your SEO team.
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
- Mobile 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.
Ecommerce Virtual Assistant
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, because customer service is very important to have a successful business. Doing this by yourself is extremely difficult, that’s where an eCommerce virtual assistant comes in to help you manage your online business.
When you hired a virtual sales assistant for this specific role, you will be able to avoid sales order problems as inventory is regularly checked. Ecommerce assistant 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.
Customer Service Virtual Assistant
These types of online assistants are very important for your business success. They can handle sales enquiries, provide technical support, provide quotations, and answer billing-related questions. Not just they are good at answering customer enquiries, but they can also help retain your existing clients by providing quality service to them.
Majority of customer services support used email and live chat for ease of communication. Other online businesses are taking phone calls, and using social media platforms to answer queries. Others have set-up a help desk where customers can go to this help page, search for their concerns from their database, and scan various information where they can get answers to their questions.
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.