When it comes to building a business online many of us find ourselves bootstrapping as we establish our foundations. However, there comes a time when it’s vital to start outsourcing some tasks if you want to continue to grow, while also being able to get some much-needed downtime.
This is where a virtual assistant or VA can be super helpful. You get some help, but you don’t need to hire an employee, as the majority of VAs work on a freelance basis. You can hire just for the task needed, you can buy a package of hours, or you can get help for so many hours per month on a rolling contract. The choice is yours and is often open to negotiation between the VA and you.
But what, you might be wondering, are the tasks you can actually outsource? This will depend on your needs and what is offered by an individual VA. Sometimes you might need to book the time of more than one person depending on what you need to be done. If you are not even sure where to start though, the following list will give you some ideas about what you can outsource, saving you time and stress, and ultimately allowing you to work on your business and not just in it.
Writing: Need a blog post written or a lead magnet created? Look for a VA that specializes in content creation. This can sometimes be even better than writing the content yourself if you choose someone who is adept at creating SEO optimized material. They can even do the keyword research so you know that what you are posting on your site has a better chance of getting found.
Proofreading and Editing: Sometimes you want to write the content but you need a second pair of eyes to catch the typos. Whether you are producing blog posts, articles or course material a VA can help you hone it to perfection.
Guest Posting: If you want to do more outreach to be featured on other sites a VA can write the content and/or help with the admin.
Lead Magnets: This could be the writing of the lead magnet itself, the design of it (so your audience gets a great looking pdf), or both. You can even get help to set up opt-ins on your website so you are encouraging as many people as possible to hop on your list.
Website Changes/Tweaks: Look for a VA who specializes in your platform, whether that’s WordPress, Squarespace or Wix.
Blog Admin: Sometimes you want to write the content but you want a VA who can deal with all the admin side of it. So adding the content to your blog, finding images, adding tags/categories, adding the alt text to images, including the Yoast details to help you get found. Then once the post is live, sharing it across social media and ensuring it gets included in your newsletter.
Checking Your Inbox: If the thought of your inbox fills you with dread then someone who can deal with questions, filter out any fluff and only flag up to you what’s important can be a huge weight off your mind.
Newsletter Creation: Look for a VA who is used to the platform that you send your newsletters from, whether that’s Mailchimp Convertkit, Aweber, etc. Depending on your needs they can either create the content or just set up the email and schedule it to go out.
Mailing List Funnels: If you have people signing up to your list but then you don’t do much with them, a mailing list funnel can help you make sales. A VA can help with the set-up and/or with content.
Social Media: We all know that social media can be a big time-suck. A VA can create and schedule posts for you to keep your online presence regularly updated. They can also interact with your audience and assist with queries.
Pinterest: Pinterest needs a more sustained focus if you want to see results. VAs can create pins, carry out keyword research, write descriptions for boards/pins and keep content going out regularly.
SEO: Some VAs specialize in SEO tasks to help your business get better visibility online. This can range from ensuring your website is optimized, to checking analytics and undertaking keyword research.
Video Editing: If you create regular videos you can hire VAs to clean up the audio, edit files, add graphics and more.
Transcription: If you regularly post videos/audios on your blog, you are missing out on an SEO boost because the written content is missing. A transcription below the video can help you to get found and be useful for readers who don’t have time to watch the video but who do need your info.
Bookeeping/Payroll: Some VA’s will offer basic bookeeping tasks, such as invoicing, staff expenses and inputting data into accounting software.
Virtual Reception: Need someone to answer the phone or deal with enquiries via chat or email? There are VAs that can help with that.
Technical/Customer Support: There are probably enquiries you are dealing with day after day – and I am sure they eat up a lot of your time. VAs can help with this on a daily basis, plus help you create processes, FAQs and even put customer support software in place so that it all becomes more streamlined going forward.
Diary Management: If you work one to one with clients or have a busy calendar a VA can take a lot of the admin of this off your shoulders. They can reach out to people to book appointments and even do outreach work to get more leads, interviews and ultimately clients.
Events Management/Travel Booking: If you travel regularly for business or set up events, a VA can deal with the organization of this and probably get better deals as they have more time to put in the research.
Creating Surveys or Feedback Forms: Want to find out what your audience needs or what your clients thought of your last course? A VA can create surveys and actually manage the data you receive back, so it’s useful. For example, taking great feedback and turning it into testimonials.
Graphic Design: Need a presentation, social media images or graphics for your website – don’t spend ages creating it yourself – outsource!
Responding to Comments: Do you regularly have comments on your blog or social media that need moderating or responding to? This isn’t something you need to do yourself and it’s amazing how time-consuming it can be.
Facebook Group Support: If you run free or paid Facebook groups (maybe as part of a course) a VA can help you give your members the best experience possible. Encouraging conversations, answering questions, and dealing with any drama!
Webinar Support: If you run live webinars it can be invaluable to have some support either when you are getting set up or live on the call itself, to make sure there are no glitches and to answer questions.
General Admin: With all the general admin that eats up your time and your patience a VA can help. Who knows, they may even be more efficient than you ☺
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There is a VA out there that will be able to help with the particular task you have in mind. However, I hope it has started you thinking about taking the first steps towards getting some help. Once you see tasks disappearing from your to-do list, I promise it will be worth it.
Do you have any questions about hiring a VA? Leave them in the comments below and I will come back to you. Need some help in your business? You can find out about my VA services here.