Updated: Nov 11, 2020
Although the answers to these questions seem obvious to me, you may be surprised to know how many times I had heard that people were not aware that they could use a VA for some tasks, or that they could hire one for just 1 hour a week if they wanted to.
Sometimes people don’t know how to go about finding a VA and then, if they do, how can they tell if that person is a good fit for their business? After all, this is not like hiring someone into a large company, who may or may not work out. The repercussions in a smaller business, could be quite far reaching if this match is not right.
So, how can you use a VA?
Just a few ideas are:
Emails - Have them log into your emails and answer customer queries, sort the inbox out and generally keep on top of it for you.
Calendar Management – Your VA can arrange appointments for you, on your behalf or field enquiries for your time. We are also very good at remembering important dates for you!
CRM – Whether you have a customer database or not, we can help. Either creating a database for you from paper files or the upkeep of an existing system on your behalf, this is bread and butter for a VA.
Social Media Posting – Keeping your Socials up to date is key to keeping your customers informed and engaged. A VA can either be given access to your FB Page or log in as you on platforms like Linkedin, Instagram and Twitter to post on your behalf. We can write a marketing calendar/content plan for you too.
Document Production/Editing – if you have a proposal or document you are working on, your VA can proof-read it, format it, tidy it up and generally make you look good with it. Alternatively, they can audio or copy type something for you from scratch.
Answer Customer Reviews – A VA can log into your systems and reply to customer reviews on your behalf, initially you will start doing this together, but after a while, she will know you and your business well enough to reply on your behalf. Job done!
Minute Taking – Whether it is a meeting online or in person, a VA will be able to prepare papers for your meetings, take minutes of the actions agreed and distribute them to all parties. This is particularly useful if you have a small team get together or a meeting with clients/partners where it is key to keep a track of actions and agreements.
Small Scale Project Management – you can share your ideas with a VA for a project, initiative or service that you want to start offering your customers. They will help you break down into steps how to achieve that outcome and then keep track of each part of that process.
Event Planning – Maybe you would like to hold a get together for your team, your stakeholders, or your customers. A VA will find a venue, send the invites, monitor the replies, arrange the catering and be there on the night. This will free you up to be there stress free, ready to tell your funny stories and charm the attendees!
How do I find a VA?
It may be easiest to tell you how I have found my clients in the past. Sometimes, I cross paths with them on Linkedin or at networking meetings. Sometimes, I apply for a job they have advertised and offered my service as an alternative solution. The appeal for them is that if you are a smaller company, you may not be ready for the hassle of payroll yet. You will only pay for the hours a VA works and a VA often comes along with a lot of very useful contacts that they are willing to share with you, because if your business is successful, then her business is successful.
In order to find a good VA, I would initially start by asking your network of contacts. Do they know someone, do they have a VA?
Once you have a few names - I would then research those people a little bit on Linkedin and Social Media in general. Instagram can be a great place to look, you can go to their profile and view all of their posts in the checkboard and see how they come across.
Then, with a shortlist of possible candidates you would approach each one directly and ask if they have the capacity to do the tasks you are looking for help with. You should have a rough idea how many hours a week you need them for.
Once you find a suitable match with these requirements, arrange a meeting or a Zoom call.
Think about how this person will fit into your business and if you can, ask for a reference. I usually offer one to my potential new clients.
Once that is all sewn up, it is up to that VA to send you a contract and to instruct you how to move forward, particularly if this is your first VA.
One thing I would advise you not to do, is to put out an advert on a Facebook Group or Linkedin post saying that you are looking for a VA. Unless you do this within a small networking page you are part of you will find that you are inundated with responses! If you are looking for a VA the one thing you don’t have is time to go through all of those!
If you have any questions on this topic, please pop me a message to email@example.com and I will be happy to offer some advice.