VA Tip of the Week: What is a Virtual Assistant?

Have you met someone who is a “Virtual Assistant” but never knew what exactly they did? I was the same way until I made it my job title.

A Virtual Assistant is a self-employed professional working in their own home. They provide administrative, technical, or Social Media assistance to clients such as entrepreneurs, large businesses, small business professionals, coaches, authors, ect. They help any business or person that is too busy to take care of their own work load themselves, and each Virtual Assistant has their own areas of experience and expertise that make each one unique.

Everything we do is Virtual. (Hence the job title!) Where we are able to work from our own home, on our own schedule, but we’re usually extremely flexible to yours! This means we can work weekends, in the evenings, and have a very fast turn around time for any of your needs.

Personally, I focus on the Social Media side of Virtual Assistance, and that is what I offer my clients. (This includes Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, email, event planning, scheduling, file organization, editing, proof reading, blog posting, shopping cart maintenance, website building and maintenance, ect.) Although, you can find some that will keep your personal or business financial bookkeeping in order, as well. Our job is to help your business grow. We have the ability to learn programs and websites quickly to meet your exact needs.

Virtual Assistants are usually hired by companies/entrepreneurs who want to save money. (VA’s provide their own insurance, equipment, and office space.) Usually, we charge on an hourly based rate. These can be a flat rate package or hour-by-hour for the time period given for each payment. (I charge by month, but some will charge bi-weekly or take a retainer up front, or sometimes even charge by project.)

So – Do you need a Virtual Assistant? If you aren’t sure, ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Where do you want your business to go?
  • What would you need their help with, exactly? (Bookkeeping, administrative assistance, or more?)
  • What types of tasks would you give your Virtual Assistant? Those are the skills you are looking for.
  • What is your budget? (Research the services they provide vs. the ones you need. You don’t want to pay for a Virtual Assistant at a much higher rate if you only need them for the most simple tasks. Find one where it would be fair financially for the both of you!)

Other tips if you are hiring:

  • Make sure you check out their personal websites and networks.
  • Get to know them before hiring – and they should want to get to know you!
  • Make sure they know what you want from them! We can’t yet read your mind.
  • Do your research! Ask those you know who have hired Virtual Assistants for themselves.

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