If you are a business owner who networks online, you've probably heard the term VA, which stands for 'virtual assistant.' You've also probably heard the term 'gig economy,' which refers to the rise of freelance-based solo entrepreneurs who do work for a variety of clients. Virtual assistant is a broad term, but refers to someone who does freelance work remotely, often for multiple businesses. Different types of VAs do different types of tasks, but some common services they offer are: social media management, graphic design, web design, email management, research, administrative tasks, content writing, video editing, and a host of other things that can be performed electronically. (Personally I think that 'Virtual Assistant' is too broad a term to encompass all the things that different types of VAs can do.)
Many businesses are hiring VAs because they can outsource certain tasks and save themselves time. Hiring a VA is also more cost-effective than hiring a full-time or part-time employee, because a VA's hours and rates are more flexible than a regular employee. You can hire a VA for set, specific projects, or by the hour.
A rockstar VA can quickly become your right-hand man or woman. They can help you scale your business while saving you time, which is well worth the investment.
Some business owners choose to hire multiple VAs to work on different aspects of their business, and others choose to find one VA with a varied skill-set who can handle different things.
Some VAs freelance independently, and others work through a VA agency. There are also Facebook groups that exist to connect entrepreneurs with VAs and other service providers.
There are a few things to consider when you are looking for a VA:
Communication: how quickly and clearly do they communicate? Are they prompt at responding to messages during your first few interactions?
Work Experience: do they have testimonials from past clients? Can they show work that they've done in the past? Does it meet your expectations for quality and professionalism?
Presentation: they are business owners, just like you, so do they present a professional look for their own business? A quality website and/or social media page can help you distinguish the pros from the amateurs.
Workflow: Do they have a process for receiving and sending files, and communicating with their clients? Working remotely requires a few tools, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or something similar, as well as communication tools like Skype or Google Hangouts.
Remember how I said the term 'virtual assistant' is just too broad? That's why I don't call myself a VA. Instead, I call myself a digital media manager, who focuses on video, graphic design, and social media. If you'd like to see how I could help your business 'virtually' with these sorts of tasks, email me today. I offer competitive rates, and have service plans that fit your budget.