Running a business can be very demanding, especially when you’re a startup or small business owner. With so many administrative tasks, such as bookkeeping and social media management, it’s wise to seek a virtual assistant service.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a professional who helps individuals and business owners remotely. They are just like personal assistants, so they do not have to physically collaborate with the business owner.
Why Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual assistants are in high demand now more than ever, given that remote work has become the norm. In addition, the overhead cost of hiring a virtual assistant is much lower than a personal assistant, and there’s so much they can help you do.
Virtual assistant services cover many business needs, from bookkeeping and data entry to email management.
So rather than shoulder all the administrative work and marketing alone or with a limited workforce, you can save costs by hiring a virtual assistant.
What’s more, some virtual assistants are diverse. That is, the same person can offer a variety of services. Some are more specialized, especially for technical tasks like web development and SEO.
Now, what extent of services can a virtual assistant cover? The truth is, it is almost infinite!
As long as a task can be executed remotely, you’ll likely find a virtual personal assistant to handle it.
32 Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant Today
Here are the top virtual assistant services. Of course, the list is not exhaustive.
1- Social media management
Social media marketing is pivotal to your online marketing efforts. To optimize them, a social media virtual assistant will be skilled in the ins and outs of the popular platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Of course, most companies nowadays take their business to social media platforms.
If you’re like that, it makes sense to get a virtual assistant as you may not always have the time to handle your social media marketing.
Your social media virtual assistant can help create a working social media strategy, schedule and publish social media posts, reply to your audience, and maintain your social media accounts to ensure they stay active.
They may also do a social media audit from time to time.
But hiring a social media virtual assistant isn’t limited to business owners alone. As a very busy individual or social media influencer, you may need someone to post to your social media pages and engage your audience when you’re unavailable.
An active and growing social media account rakes typically in millions in revenue.
2- Content writing and blog management
Anyone can write, but not everyone can write great content. In addition, writing may not be your strong suit as a small business owner or individual.
So while you face the service or product side of your affairs, you can have a content writing virtual assistant compel your audience with words.
Your content writer can help with:
- Writing blog posts related to your niche
- Formatting blog posts
- Guest posting
- Press releases
- Sales letters
- Creating content for your brochure
- Case studies for your brand
- Creating PowerPoint presentations
- Respond to comments under your business blog post
- Do proper industry research and write a related, in-depth market report.
Your content writing virtual assistant is a ghostwriter, so your name will be attached to whatever they create for you, not theirs.
3- Administrative tasks
From doing business audits to scheduling timelines and setting up work systems, administrative work is vital to every business process. However, it can be pretty repetitive and time-consuming for small business owners.
You don’t need any special skills for administrative tasks, yet they can take up valuable time. Virtual assistants cover many administrative services to focus on the core revenue-oriented operations.
4- Data entry and management
If there’s anything downright tiring for small businesses, it is data entry. Stuffing figures and letters into various software programs can take time, so it’s a job best left for your virtual assistant.
Data entry and database management are valuable for clients who generate many leads simultaneously, such as insurance and real estate agents.
Your VA can help to:
- Define and set up categories
- Input data into set categories
- Keep the database updated
- Create reports
Consider yourself lucky if the virtual assistant also offers data verification as part of this job duty.
5- Timely customer service support
Customer satisfaction is the backbone of any business. Your customer service can make or mar your reputation among customers and prospects, so it’s not something you want to neglect. But neglect happens when you have so many things competing for your time.
An assistant skilled in customer service can help in phone answering and replying to emails that come from the contact page of your website.
You don’t want unhappy customers. Therefore, it’s wise to hire someone quite amiable and patient so that your customers are not constantly infuriated.
Most small business owners try to handle their bookkeeping but find it incredibly loathsome. Indeed, it can be a highly repetitive and tedious task.
However, bookkeeping is essential to every business. It’s how you keep track of your expenses to ensure you don’t go overboard. A VA can handle your bookkeeping to ensure you don’t lose track of things.
Your bookkeeping virtual assistant can help in:
- Paying bills
- Generating and sending invoices and following up on payments
- Issuing refunds
- Tax preparation
- Payroll preparation
- Reconciling bank and credit card statements
- Maintaining financial data in a software program.
7- Search engine optimization (SEO)
While you may have some great content, product, or service to offer online, no one would buy it if they can’t find it. Luckily, virtual assistants specialized in SEO can help optimize your website to boost your online presence.
An SEO specialist is invaluable to your company as they can help rake in outstanding revenue by putting you on the first page of the search engines. They accomplish that through:
- Developing an SEO marketing strategy
- In-depth keyword research
- Link building
- Website audit
- Managing sitemap and webmaster submissions
- On-page and off-page SEO to boost website traffic
- Use of Google analytics.
8- Digital marketing and social media ads
You can leverage this exceptional VA service to boost your online presence and raise thousands of dollars monthly.
Digital marketing has become the mainstay of today’s businesses. However, it requires consistency and patience to see results.
When patience (time) and consistency seem a challenge, you may look towards hiring a virtual assistant specializing in digital marketing. They’ll not only help to manage your social media accounts but develop marketing strategies to leverage across all your online platforms.
Your VA can help with:
- Developing effective and sustainable digital marketing strategies
- Managing social media marketing
- Creating and posting branded content
- Creating social media graphics
- Organizing social media ads
- Interacting with leads and answering customer questions timely
- Setting up social media profiles
- Staying active to boost social media presence
- Public relations
9- Live chat customer service
Many companies now offer live chat services to enable prompt resolution of customer issues in real-time.
Live chat customer service can enable you to offer more personalized care to your customers.
If you can’t afford third-party companies, you can find a skilled customer service VA to handle live chat support for you. These professionals are experts in blending into their client’s business styles.
10- Audio and video editing
As an individual into content creation on social media, such as skits or YouTube videos, you may need professional help with your audio and video editing.
You want your content to be beautiful and sharp, as most audiences prefer watching quality video clips online. Podcast owners would also desire to amplify their audio quality.
Some virtual assistants offer audio and video editing to individuals and companies requiring that service. It’s technical, so you want to ensure you’re picky during your hiring process.
The assistant may help edit files, remove background noise, trim videos, record, insert podcasts and videos into a webpage, etc.
11- Web development and maintenance
Web development is one technical service some virtual assistants offer. It goes beyond simply using templates from a content management system like WordPress. In short, when building a functional and custom business website rather than just a blog, it’s best to leave it to a seasoned web developer.
A virtual assistant experienced in web development will be able to code a website with:
- Ease of use
- Fast loading speed
- Business and contact information
- Ease of navigation
- High tendency to rank on the search engine
This VA service may also include setting up landing pages whenever there’s something new to sell and creating opt-in forms.
But it doesn’t stop there. A dedicated assistant may offer ongoing technical support for your website, install plug-ins and software updates, and perform regular backups to prevent data loss.
12- Email management
According to an Adobe study report, office workers aged 25-34 spend over 6 hours daily checking emails. That’s just for an average office worker. The numbers would be ridiculously high for people who own online companies and e-commerce sites.
Replying to so many emails can detract from valuable time and leave you less productive. However, virtual assistants can be the perfect solution to that.
A virtual assistant can help with the following services:
- Setting up an automatic system for filling, labeling, and replying to emails
- Forwarding messages to your partners or employees
- Creating auto-replies for frequently asked questions
- Email marketing services for eCommerce sites
- Scheduling newsletters using email marketing automation software.
Ensure you check in with your virtual assistant frequently to ensure they’re dealing with your emails correctly.
13- Influencer marketing management
Influencer marketing swept into digital marketing like comprehensive fire, and the industry is projected to reach $16.4 billion in 2022. Active social media users with huge followings make millions for brands by advertising their products to their followers.
There are many social media influencers with considerable followers, but it may take time to sort them out, determine which would work best for your brand, and strike the deal.
Thankfully, virtual assistants can help you scout for social media influencers who will likely work with your budget and needs.
Your assistant can get involved in:
- Identifying appropriate influencers for your brand
- Pitching your brand to influencers
- Negotiating contracts
- Tracking campaign results.
14- Research assistant
A virtual research assistant’s job is to help clients conduct intensive market analysis, audit their targeted customer base, and find out what’s best among options. For instance, if you need new sound equipment but are too busy to find out what brand to buy, a virtual assistant can help you search for the best options and analyze their pros and cons.
Your virtual research assistant will typically offer a handful of options from their findings. However, it’s up to you to make the final decision from the research data.
A virtual research assistant will require good research skills and keen eyes to handle different research projects.
15- Making travel arrangements
If you travel a lot, you could benefit from virtual assistant services. They can help you book flight and hotel reservations, plan your itinerary, and arrange client meetings.
Indeed, business owners and regular individuals strapped for a time find these activities painstaking.
16- Resume writing
Are you searching for a job? You probably could do with an experienced resume writing assistant.
Not everyone is great at writing resumes. Even if you have all the field experience in your niche, you may not be able to craft everything into a compelling piece that would strike any employer. But there are virtual assistants with this skill set that can help.
These remote resume writers can work with you remotely to model a compelling CV and may also tweak it as appropriate based on the job you’re applying for.
Many expert resume writers have built a reputable virtual assistant business offering this service.
17- Project management
Projects come and go. So why hire and pay a full-time project manager when you would not always need them?
It is often cost-effective to hire a virtual assistant project manager since you won’t have to commit on a full-time basis. You only use their virtual assistant service for as long as the project lasts.
However, not everyone would need an external project manager. But virtual assistant services can come to your rescue when you’re faced with a big, scary project that you just can’t do without specialized assistance.
A project management virtual assistant may assist with:
- Formatting digital products, such as courses and eBooks
- Digital product launches
- Recruiting team members for your company
- Managing the team
- Setting up systems and timeliness
- Auditing your business processes from time to time.
18- Scheduling and calendar management
A virtual assistant can help with scheduling and calendar management, which are more or less mundane administrative tasks for business owners.
This is most relevant to entrepreneurs whose businesses rely on face-to-face meetings. In addition, many clients are in the queue, so keeping track of schedules is essential to avoid missing appointments.
A missed appointment is lost potential revenue and reputation. In addition, people don’t want to work with service providers who neither keep to time nor their words.
So hiring an assistant to handle your scheduling and calendar management is an excellent idea if you have several appointments on your plate.
Your virtual assistant can help with:
- Scheduling appointments and meetings
- Setting up scheduling platforms (e.g., Google calendar and Calendly)
- Sending reminders about meetings
- Confirming availability
- Rescheduling missed appointments
- Scheduling recurring meetings
19- Affiliate management
Many website owners leverage Affiliate marketing to make more money, whether as the client or affiliate. However, for busy site owners, having someone to handle their affiliate program can be a huge burden taken from their shoulders.
An affiliate management virtual assistant may:
- Source for potential affiliates and membership sites
- Help potential affiliates to apply
- Vet affiliate applications
- Monitor reputation management to ensure affiliates present their client’s products in the best light.
- Monitor affiliate commissions
- Monitor and resolve technical issues with the affiliate software, such as broken links.
20- Contest and giveaway management
Contests and promos are effective ways for businesses to increase engagement and draw in new customers. But making these arrangements can be pretty strenuous, and you might not always have the time. That’s where virtual assistants come in.
A virtual assistant may recommend potential sponsors, appropriate prizes, rules, and entry barriers suitable for your brand and campaign goals.
They can also help to:
- Set up the contest on multiple platforms
- Communicate the rules efficiently
- Create free resources
- Regulate and monitor entries
- Choose the winner and post the announcement
- Follow up with winners and their prizes
21- Self-publishing assistance
If you’re a self-publishing author, you may sometimes need assistance with the non-literary part of your work. Many publishing platforms and rules are out there, and it’s helpful to have someone in the know running things for you.
Fortunately, some VAs offer self-publishing assistance. Such VA services include:
- Helping you apply for ISBN registration
- Researching for trade fairs and literary partners and connecting you with them
- Interacting with fans, book reviewers, and book clubs on the author’s behalf
- Organizing book tours
- Building your author’s platform on social media
22- Podcasting support
One Edison study discovered that about 26% of Americans listen to at least one podcast a month. This is a rich niche you may want to integrate into your marketing efforts. And there are virtual assistants offering podcasting support services to take the pain off your shoulders.
VA services for podcasting support include:
- Finding the best intros, outros, and cover art
- Uploading podcasts to various platforms
- Arranging podcasting interviews
- Communicating with guests on your behalf
- Surfing through guests’ websites to help you understand your guest’s business
- Brainstorming appropriate interview questions
- Finding and leveraging affiliate marketing to boost your podcast income
- Researching what other podcasters in your niche are talking about
- Securing podcast sponsorship
- Transcribing podcasts and writing show notes.
23- Creating presentations
If you’re a solopreneur, small business owner, or corporate executive, it’s almost impossible to escape handling PowerPoint presentations.
You may need slideshows to pitch your mission and business strategy to investors or explain a problem and solution to board members.
Indeed, creating presentations takes time. For example, 47% of respondents in one survey say they spend at least 8 hours creating their slideshow presentation. That’s virtually a full workday!
This is an excellent opportunity for a virtual assistant to step in and create the visuals while you focus on thinking out your ideas.
This VA service involves:
- Designing templates according to your brand
- Sourcing relevant stock images, graphs, and charts
- Formatting PowerPoint presentations
Other General Virtual Assistant Services
Sometimes, you just need some random task completed, whether it recurs for some time or is a one-off. If it’s something you’re not willing to shoulder yourself because of time or skill, you could outsource it to a virtual assistant.
Below are some miscellaneous services a virtual assistant may offer:
- Writing down minutes from an online meeting
- Recruiting team members or freelancers for a project
- Buying things online, such as office equipment
- Hiring online services, such as commercial cleaning
- Source data online for a particular project
- Conduct background checks on new team members
- Answering service when life gets hectic
- Managing inventory
- Property research when looking for a home or an office space
Where to Hire a Virtual Assistant
There are many virtual assistant companies where you can find offshore and locally-based virtual assistants. However, when choosing a virtual assistant company, it’s best to consider some things such as cost, reputation, services offered, and how they offer these services.
Here are some of the best virtual assistant services:
- Time etc
- Fancy Hands
Some of these VA companies have in-house virtual assistants that can be assigned to clients based on their needs. In addition, there will typically be a project or account manager that will act as an intermediary between the client and VA.
In other cases, the virtual assistants work remotely as members or freelancers on the platform.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Charge?
Virtual assistants charge varying rates but are typically more affordable than personal assistants.
A virtual assistant will likely charge based on the complexity and duration of the task. While some offer their services at hourly rates, others may charge a fee they believe is commensurate with the job outline. For example, a web development gig costs more than data entry. It’s important to note that the best virtual assistant service isn’t always determined by pricing.
However, you can procure virtual assistant services for as low as $18/hour.
Some virtual assistant platforms charge flat rates and subscription packages. Others allow VAs to deal directly with their clients.
There you go, 32 services virtual assistants can offer! We hope this list covers whatever service you may look forward to acquiring, but remember that it’s not exhaustive.
Whatever task that can be done remotely, there’s a heavy chance that a virtual assistant would be able to help out.
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