Remote Work

What Is A Virtual Assistant

By David Krug David Krug is the CEO & President of Bankovia. He's a lifelong expat who has lived in the Philippines, Mexico, Thailand, and Colombia. When he's not reading about cryptocurrencies, he's researching the latest personal finance software. 6 minute read

What Is A Virtual Assistant? Paying a virtual assistant may seem contradictory, but it has actually helped me generate more money. When you’re self-employed, especially if you’re a freelancer or other creative, it might feel like you have to do everything. You may feel similarly if you’ve decided to start a small business.

After being bogged down in the numerous tedious activities that come with owning an internet business for a few years, I discovered I could better utilize my time — and increase my profitability — by hiring a virtual assistant to perform part of the work. It may appear odd that increasing your expenses might boost your profit, yet it is true. Hiring a virtual assistant has enabled me to earn more money, and here’s how I accomplished it.

What exactly is a virtual assistant?

To begin, what exactly is a virtual assistant? A virtual assistant (VA) is essentially a remote administrative helper. Your virtual assistant can do a variety of responsibilities that are traditionally associated with being in the office. This is due to the fact that many of these duties may be performed by someone working from a remote location. A virtual assistant will frequently operate from home or from a remote office space.

Although you may engage a virtual assistant as an employee, many online VAs are freelancers, therefore you often hire them on a contract basis and on a part-time basis. So, whether you need someone to manage your email, assist with administrative work, post to social media, conduct data entry, or assist you in scheduling interviews, a virtual assistant (VA) might be of use.

One of the best aspects about virtual assistants is that they are possibly less expensive than you believe. You may feel that a virtual assistant is a luxury or that assistant services are only available to rich business owners, but nothing could be farther from the reality. Although I know how to generate money with my freelance writing company, I’m not a millionaire — and I can afford to employ a virtual assistant.

Take a step back before dismissing a virtual assistant as out of your price range. When you start utilizing a virtual assistant, you may be startled to learn that having one is really better for your bottom line.

What can a virtual assistant do?

A virtual assistant can help you with administrative activities and day-to-day tasks that are taking up your time and energy. These are duties that may be performed by a wide range of people yet are frequently monotonous or tiresome. They may not be difficult, but they may be taxing, and they generally have a low ROI – even if they are necessary for your firm to run and thrive.

When you delegate these responsibilities to a virtual assistant, you free up your time to focus on bigger-picture issues that will have a greater influence on your organization. In my instance, clearing these issues off my plate frees up time for me to produce another article, which is the activity that yields the highest return on my time. It can, however, free me up to handle client phone calls, advertise my business in other ways, and even concentrate on side ventures with promise down the line.

Here are some of the tasks that a virtual assistant may be able to assist you with:

  • Posting on social media and community management
  • Customer service
  • Keeping track of your email inbox
  • Appointments, interviews, and media appearances must be scheduled.
  • Organizing transportation
  • Keyword investigation
  • Checking the facts
  • Database creation and administration
  • Accounting (including invoicing and tracking payments)
  • Report writing
  • Designing graphics
  • Project administration
  • Webinar creation
  • Managing the backend of your website
  • Editing and proofreading
  • Work in transcription
  • Purchasing necessary office supplies
  • Creating PowerPoint presentations

Recognize that certain VAs specialize in particular areas. In general, you may not be able to engage the same individual to oversee your website development and post to social media at the same time. However, you might be able to locate a functional VA who can assist you with email management, calendar management, and social media posting. When employing a virtual assistant, find out what they are willing to perform and what specialities they have.

Depending on what you need done, you may need to hire more than one person in some circumstances. The good news is that even hiring many virtual assistants may often be cost-effective and assist you in scaling your business in a way that results in a net benefit for your bottom line.

How much does a virtual assistant cost?

Virtual assistants frequently charge an hourly rate. According to PayScale, the average hourly wage for a VA is $15.79, with VAs often earning between $10.20 and $27.47 per hour. I paid my prior VA, who had some experience and accomplished a few chores other than posting to social media, $25 per hour. My current VA, on the other hand, is extremely unskilled and just does social media posting for me, therefore I pay him less at $16.50 per hour.

Some VAs may be more expensive. Hiring someone to perform more specialist chores might cost you $50 per hour or more. Before I sold my podcast, I was paying a podcast editor $75 per hour to edit episodes, upload them to the server, and provide show notes. Consider your requirements carefully and keep in mind that more specialized work and a more experienced VA will cost you more. Check that the math works in favor of your company’s bottom line.

Managing your virtual assistant

When you hire a virtual assistant (VA), you don’t have the same level of control over their schedule as you would with a full-time employee. Some people work as a virtual assistant (VA) on the weekends, while others work full-time. If you have an excellent virtual assistant, they will still make their deadlines and keep an eye on things.

You shouldn’t have too much problem as long as you and your partner are upfront about your expectations and agree on the work description and hours. Apps that track your VA’s working hours are also available so you can monitor their productivity and appropriately compensate them.

Employing someone gives you greater flexibility in terms of when and how they work, but you must also satisfy certain requirements. Payroll must be set up, and the required state and federal taxes must be paid. Personally, I find it’s easier to just pay an hourly rate to a contractor.

Finding the Right Virtual Assistant

You may discover a virtual assistant by asking for referrals. It’s possible to ask others in your network for help finding a freelance virtual assistant (VA). VAs can also be found on other websites. It’s possible to find a virtual assistant or a job posting service. Virtual assistants may find some useful websites for distant work.
Here are a few sites to look for a virtual assistant:

  • Upwork
  • Fiverr
  • Remote Bliss

A virtual assistant may also be found on LinkedIn. Using terms relating to the services you’re searching for, you may search LinkedIn and locate VA applicants. Alternatively, you may check out social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. In Facebook groups that are relevant to your business, put a notice that you’re looking for virtual assistants, or ask for help on Twitter. When you utilize social media, there are several opportunities.

Having a list of names and résumé, pick three or four to interview. Find out how they work and if their personality fits yours by observing them closely. Obtain a few references and check them out. Think about it: Your virtual assistant is going to represent you in some way, whether it’s posting to your social media accounts or setting up podcast interviews. You want to be certain that they can appropriately represent you and are professional.

Bottom line

Although it took an initial investment of time and money, employing a VA was one of the finest decisions I made for my firm. To put it another way, my experience with a virtual assistant encouraged my search for additional methods to reduce my workload, leading to the hire of a housekeeper and personal shopper to handle the more mundane aspects of my life. If you’re self-employed, hiring an accountant to handle your taxes is one of the most important tax suggestions I can provide you.

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