But here’s the thing: when you’re a one-person show, your potential can only go so high. You know that between writing posts, promoting them, balancing email, and building your strategy, there simply isn’t enough time to do it all.
Sometimes you might even find yourself in a panic wondering if you made the right decision – you left the corporate world to not feel like a slave, right?!
Which is why the number one tool in any blogging arsenal is a top-notch sidekick: a virtual assistant (VA).
A virtual assistant can be many things, but in general a VA takes care of those little things so you can take care of the big picture. While some are general VA’s, helping out with a myriad of tasks including email management, social media management, paper processing, and time management, some VA’s specialize in one or two areas (like a specific type of social media or proofreading blog posts).
In short, the right virtual assistant does the work you hate (or don’t know how to do well) for you so you can do the stuff you’re a rock star at. After all, no one is good at everything. The smart business person hires people who are much smarter than themselves at their weak points!
So is your business.
Because of that, everybody’s needs are going to be different. But there’s no doubt that everybody’s quality of life can drastically improve with a little help from a trusted sidekick. Below I have the top five examples of what you might consider hiring a virtual assistant for.
I’d recommend taking a look through all of these and carefully considering which one or two you’re weakest at, don’t like, find too time-consuming, or aren’t even using, and deciding if you need a hired helper for it. Isn’t your freedom, business growth, and peace of mind worth a few hundred a month?
A general virtual assistant is most likely to help you with those annoying day-to-day things that really drain your juices, like staying on top of email, making sure your website is up-to-date and lookin’ good, and doing the much-loved chore of keeping track of income and expenses.
- Checking email and corresponding with customers/clients/readers
- Answering phone calls
- Scheduling appointments
- Website backups and updates
- Sending and checking up on invoices
They say the surest way to hate something is to be forced to do it often. This is especially true of social media. Whether you’re a serial pinner or a Facebook junkie, outsourcing your social media chores to a VA will keep you from dreaded your notifications so you can create more engaging content. Or, if you simply don’t have time for the ever-growing list of social media channels, offloading one or two channels that you don’t entirely care for can be a godsend to a busy blogger.
- Growing an engaged following on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc.
- Creating graphics for a specific social media platform
- Involvement in Facebook Groups, Twitter Chats, or Pinterest group boards
- Promoting your product on social media
- Creating a social media strategy
- Write and schedule posts/pins/status updates for the next month
- Continuously and automatically promoting freebies, posts, and products on one or several social media channels
Hey, just because you started a blog doesn’t mean you have to write everything that goes with it. Sometimes you need a fresh voice in your blog posts, sometimes you need to make sure yours look and sound perfectly clean, and sometimes you need help creating posts with viral potential.
- Writing blog posts
- Proofreading and editing posts for grammar, spelling, structure, and voice
- Uploading and scheduling posts
- Creating an effective content calendar
- Writing copy for freebies or downloadables
- Creating effective email sequences
- Writing web copy for your home, about, and landing pages
While we entrepreneurs tend to be a creative bunch, not all of us excel in graphic design. Luckily, the right virtual assistant can make your work shine with an excellent eye for color, font, and imagery.
- Creating graphics for blog posts or social media
- Creating attractive downloadables, printables, or workbooks for lead magnets
- Shaping your brand’s “look”: suggesting fonts, colours, images, and layout styles that will get your brand’s message across effectively
- Create headers/covers for your Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest page
- Create promotional material for your products, courses, or affiliate programs
- Design materials for your product or course
- Creating and managing ads on Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Bing, etc.
- Scheduling and sending your blog’s newsletter
- Managing campaigns on your newsletter platform, like MailChimp or Convertkit
- Manage and improve your blog’s SEO
- Find and coordinate places to guest post
- Create marketing plan
- Find and coordinate cross-marketing with other bloggers
- Reach out to influencers on social media
That list was only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to what a virtual assistant can do to help you. But, as you can guess, not every VA can do everything, so it pays to know just where your perfect virtual assistant is. Let’s go over some of the first places you’ll want to look to find your dream VA.
Upwork is a great freelancer platform, partly because it’s so straightforward to use and partly because it’s so easy to find great talent within your budget. In one go, you can easily see a freelancer’s rates, past work, reviews, work history, and bio, which saves you from the gruelingly slow process of really getting to know a potential hire.
Also, payment and contracts are done right within the site, so there’s no chance that either of you could pull a fast one on each other. Couldn’t get easier and more stress-free than that!
This one might come as a bit of a surprise, but an amazing amount of freelancers can be found in Facebook groups. Whether you’re looking for an expert copywriter, a stellar e-book ghostwriter, or an award-winning virtual assistant, Facebook groups targeted at small businesses, solopreneurs, e-business owners, and freelancers are sure to be great places to get to know potential assistants. Always keep a few things in mind to keep yourself safe when pursuing an assistant this way:
- Carefully read any terms and conditions + contracts they want to send. Make sure it’s fair to both you and him/her. What is the refund policy? If applicable, how many edits can be requested? What’s the fee for termination? When and how are payments expected?
- Be aware that the VA will likely request payment upfront or 50% before work begins, 50% upon completion. Be sure to ask for testimonials or proof of previous success if you’re not convinced.
Virtual assistants are the gift that keeps on giving. How many times have you found yourself almost drowning with how much there is to do with your business, much less your whole life? Not only are we busy entrepreneurs, but also busy people.
When we work alone, sometimes we just have to do what we have time for, making everything else fall to the wayside by force. It’s time we gave ourselves the gift of a helping hand so we can get back to creating kick-ass businesses, living healthy lives, and even (especially!) having time to relax!
You really can do it all.
You just can’t do it alone.
Are you currently using a VA? Are you hunting for one? Let me know in the comments! I would love to hear all about it.