Do You Need a Virtual Assistant?
What is a virtual assistant?
- Online research. Working on a PowerPoint presentation? Need some information on the competition? These are easy tasks for a virtual assistant; they can even create reports and presentations for you.
- Data entry. There is nothing more mundane than entering loads of data into a database. If you have to manually do this, consider a virtual assistant to do it for you.
- Responding to emails and phone calls. With a phone service like Ninja Number, you can share your phone number with up to 5 phones so someone else can answer the phone if you’re busy. A virtual assistant can answer frequently asked questions and take messages for you, and even respond to messages if they know enough about the company.
- Email maintenance. Virtual assistants can respond to basic emails for you and flag the ones for you to respond to.
- Transcription. Need an interview transcribed? Minutes to a meeting? Outsource it.
- Personal tasks. From buying gifts to sending thank-you notes and RSVPs, they can take care of these for you.
- Booking travel. Outsource all travel plans, from choosing the best fare to finding hotels and booking a rental car.
- Appointments. Give control of your calendar to a virtual assistant and let them create appointments and let you know of any conflicts.
- Manage social media accounts/blogs. Managing your social media accounts can be time-consuming. If you have an editorial calendar, you can let your assistant take over posting to these accounts and writing/publishing blog posts. You can also let them maintain your website if you’re not technically savvy.
- Bookkeeping/accounting. These tasks require a certain level of trust with the assistant, since you’ll probably be handing over financial information, passwords, etc. Use this with caution, and only outsource this with a person you have worked with for a while.
How to find a virtual assistant
- Upwork calls itself “the world’s largest online workspace,” with thousands of freelancers with services ranging from design and marketing to writing, administration and other short-term tasks.
- Fiverr is cheap, and you have to be very selective in your hires, but you can find lots of people willing to do a wide variety of tasks. Read the reviews carefully, make sure you make it clear what you want done, and be willing to pay more than $5 for difficult, time-consuming tasks.
- Belay specializes in virtual assistants, bookkeepers, website specialists and “everything you need to grow your business.”
- Zirtual has different plans based on how many people and how many hours a month you need them
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