Who, What, and Where are Virtual Assistants

Virtual Assistants: Who, What, When, Where and How

Recently, I was co-hosting a Blab live event and the topic of discussion was deciphering the mysteries of who, what, when, where and how to work with a Virtual Assistant (VA).

Although, the term VA is becoming more common today, I continually need to explain what a VA is and how they can help business owners, individuals and entrepreneurs. We discussed these topics on Blab recently.

Who, what, when, where, how written on board with question mark in the middle

Who: Who are Virtual Assistants (VAs)?

A Virtual Assistant is a highly skilled, independent professional that provides administrative, technical or creative services remotely.

They are independent contractors that don’t require health insurance benefits, vacations or 401K; a great alternative benefit for any business owner that needs an occasional VA but not an employee.

What: What can virtual assistants do?

A VA can offer services from general administrative and office support services such as mail correspondence, spreadsheets, calendar management, event planning, bookkeeping and concierge services, to technical support such as website maintenance, CRMs, project management applications, graphic design and marketing such as Email marketing, delivering campaigns and product launches, and social media and internet marketing, customer services, and many more. Each VA can specialize in a specific field and may only offer those services. Here are some examples of what a VA can do:

  • Database Entries
  • Word processing
  • Answer customer inquiries on time
  • Help setup your website / blog
  • Create content for your blog
  • Perform simple routine SEO on your website
  • Manage calendar and email
  • Book all travel plans, events or conferences
  • Manage social media posts
  • Strategizing social media for marketing
  • Correspondence to potential clients by email or phone
  • Invoice all your clients, and keep track of your billings and payments
  • Email Marketing,
  • Internet Research
  • Create templates for sending out sales letters
  • Maintain your CRM system
  • Validate sales leads lists making sure you have the latest information
  • Scan business cards into e-Card contacts

For more ideas on hiring a VA, here’s an article about 10 Things to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant, from Entrepreneur online magazine: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/225318

When: When do you need to hire a VA?

Some small business owners cannot afford to hire an in-house employee, so a VA is a great choice. Since VAs (in the U.S.) are independent contractors, they don’t need insurance benefits, vacations, holiday pay, etc.

Most people hire VAs because they are becoming too busy to complete their own daily functions to keep the business going. They need to spend time meeting with potential clients, generating revenue, or travelling to speaking engagements.

Where: Where can you find a VA?

There are VAs all over the globe. Some VAs are sole proprietors; while others join a VA team. They can be found through reputable organizations such as the International Virtual Assistants Associations and Virtual Assistants Network. http://www.vanetworking.com

How: How to start with a VA?

I wrote a brief article about how to work with a VA. Before you hire a VA, be sure you have a list of the tasks you need completed by your VA. Do you want a VA to have a project-based term? Or do you need a VA for only 5 hours a month to write correspondence, data-entry, etc.?

“Work smarter when  you hire a Virtual Assistant.”

Another “How” question that comes up is how much does a VA charge? Some VAs charge by the hour and invoice weekly or monthly. Some VA’s prices are per blocks of hours or by projects. You and your VA will have an agreed term for pricing prior to starting.

Remember, you are saving money by outsourcing your tasks to a VA, because you’re not paying any insurance benefits, buying their office equipment, cell phones or even providing an office space for them! Your relationship with your VA can be short-term, long-term, or an “as-needed” basis.

For your free 30-minute consultation by phone call (630) 882-3514. Email at info@noblevirtualassistant.com

 

 

 

How To Work With A Virtual Assistant

HOW TO WORK WITH A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT

A friend of mine told me that she read a blog about a man who hired a Virtual Assistant (VA) and he wrote about his experience that left him upset and disappointed.

Maybe this man didn’t have a clear expectation and goal to work with the VA or maybe the VA he hired didn’t have the skillset he was looking for.

This gave me the idea to write a quick blog to explain how to work with a VA. First, let me give an example of how to put this into a better perspective.

When a business owner hires an assistant, in a brick and mortar office, does he expect the new assistant to know where all your files are located? Does he think the new assistant magically knows where to find certain documents, what software he uses, his passwords or log-ins, and the other systems he uses online? Probably not.

In the beginning, the business owner might train the new assistant and may need to take the time to show where the files are located, the software and the systems used and any other information to help the assistant perform the tasks completely.

It’s no different when hiring a Virtual Assistant, with the exception that the VA works remotely from his/her office location. Learn about Virtual Assistants: Who, What, Where and How.

two hands across each other using macbook and tabletSo here’s a (example) list to have in mind, before you hire a Virtual Assistant.
  • Have a goal in mind when working with a VA. Write down your To Do List and break it down into smaller tasks (if needed).
  • Do you need data-entry, research, social media tasks, client care, office help, customer service, event planner, website maintenance?
  • I suggest hiring a VA for a short -term project. Pick one task and provide your VA with instructions. If it’s a program she doesn’t know how to use, provide some training. Or hire the VA for 5-10 hours for a “test drive” and see how the tasks were completed and how well you both communicate with each other.
  • Set a deadline for the task to be completed.

Once you “try out” your new VA and you’re happy with their performance, it’s time to perhaps continue with a monthly package or continue with longer terms. Develop a good rapport and business partnership with your VA.

There are many Virtual Assistants who offer office support services. Additionally, many VAs have specialized skills in social media, online marketing strategies, webinars, ghostwriters, 1Shopping Cart Specialist, E-commerce, WordPress websites, graphic designers and other technical skills for example.

Most VA’s (in the U.S.) are independent contractors and also business owners. So, your success is their success too! Hope this helps and good luck finding the right Virtual Assistant!

IVAA Online Summit

Are you a virtual assistant looking to hone your skills and connect with other virtual assistants (VAs)?

Sign up and register for this information packed filled two day special event.  It’s designed to provide newbies and experience VAs with loads of ideas, educational info and connect & network with others.

You’ll get to join the workshops and training sessions streaming live! Also, you get access to watch the videos over and over again and watch when you need a refresher.

Here’s some of the Topics lined up for 2015. IVAA Online Summit 2015 Topics.

Stay Away from Negative People

Negative People Are Energy Drainers

Have you ever met someone who recharges your energy just by being near them and in your presence? Perhaps it is the things they say or the way they respect and value your goals and ideas, or the examples they set. These are people that you need to be around regularly to recharge your spirit.

On the opposite of that spectrum of positive people, are negative people who are “energy drainers”. I’ve encountered many of these negative type people in the neighborhood, at metopes and as clients. You know them as people who always complain about something, it’s never their fault, say negative words out loud when something goes wrong and they continue to set themselves up that way because of their attitude. Yes, you may feel sorry for them and feel compelled to help them. But these are people who drain your energy and you start to feel overwhelmed and less enthusiastic. These types of people suck the life out of you, leaving you with less energy, foggy thoughts, sleeping less, lack of focus and less clarity. They reduce your energy level. When you start to realize how you feel after you’re around these “toxic people” you need to move on. They will continue to wear you down after a while.

So how do you deal with these toxic people? When you notice the immediate effects from these negative energy drainers, you must decide to move on and end the connection. Yes, end the friendship and if you’re in business, end that client relationship right away.

Start to meditate and have the intention to remove their energy out of your life force.

It’s important that you regularly recharge your inner spirit so that you feel renewed and ready to move on to becoming the best you can be in this incredible life. It doesn’t have to be a long session; your meditation can last only 5 minutes. When meditating, the most important thing to concentrate on is “intent”. The intent of your meditation. Your intent is to remove this person’s energy and let that person go.

Then take a breather and focus on your goals, gratitude and reconnect your energy to your higher self and repeat positive affirmations.

Another way is to regularly spend some time with people who help you recharge. People who are well developed personally have this ability and they are happy to share it with those others who are genuinely on the path to developing their own potential.

There are of course, other approaches at which you can tap into this energy. Read books and articles by motivational authors, listen to audios of successful, inspiring people. You can find many positive-goal focused quotes from Pinterest, do a screen shot on your smartphone and see that message every time, or save the quotes as your wallpaper on your laptop.

Another way to recharge is to attend live talks given by inspiring people. There are seminars available in most major cities around the world.  These seminars cover a huge range of inspiring and informative topics. It can really help to attend these from time to time.

In conclusion, don’t let toxic people drain your energy. When you begin to notice how you feel after being around energy-draining people versus how you feel when you’re around positive people that spark your inner power, take control of this situation and move on. Hang around with positive people who motivate you, inspire you and leave you with refreshing thoughts, empowers you and best of all, energized.

FREE Business Expo

Are you thinking about starting your own business but need more information? There’s a FREE event just for Illinois residents on  September 16, 2015 from 8am – 10am.

There will be speakers and other representatives you can talk to about starting a business and where to get help for financing, mentorship, business coaches and more.  Bring your questions and attend this super informative event and speak directly with people who can help start your business.  Or if you’re already a start-up business you can find resources to help you grow your business.

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Read the description of this event and see a list of the speakers from the three links below:

Expo Info From Bradley University Website

Expo Info From Greater Peoria Website

Expo Info From Peoria Chamber of Commerce

When & Where?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015; 8:00-10:00 a.m.
Peoria NEXT Innovation Center
801 W Main Street
Peoria, IL

This is a FREE event, but pre-registration is required to accommodate materials. To register, e-mail Anthony Rolando at anthony.rolando@illinois.gov

Questions? Contact Anthony Rolando at the e-mail above or call 309-647-5896.

P.S. I don’t get any compensation for sharing this FREE event, but you’re more than welcome to tell them you heard about it from me.  See you all there!