What Services Do Virtual Assistants Provide?

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Virtual assistants are meeting a growing demand in today’s world. With rapid technological advancements, there is a constant need to address challenges promptly and stay informed about any updates in order to stay ahead of your competition. Stress and long working hours are common in business, and they negatively affect people’s health and well-being.

A virtual assistant helps to manage workload by saving time, effort, and money. Hiring virtual assistants can enable you to better adapt to remote working while taking advantage of cloud-based technology. In case you wanted to know more about what a virtual assistant does, here we shall explain the same. 

What is a virtual assistant?

A virtual assistant is a self-employed freelancer or independent contractor who operates from a remote location. Offshoring solutions enables business owners to get assistance with a wide range of operational activities. Offshoring differs from outsourcing in that offshoring involves hiring candidates from abroad for local jobs while outsourcing involves contracting with a third party organization to obtain services.

Virtual assistants are recruited by both large and small organizations. Typically, they are employed by smaller organizations to avoid incurring hefty personnel expenses. Virtual assistants are not required to work from a physical office and can work from the comfort of their homes. 

Offshoring enables businesses to make use of assistants on simple as well as complex tasks. Assistants can respond to customer inquiries, schedule appointments, manage social media accounts, and even handle finances. Based on your requirements, you can recruit virtual assistants for a project through referrals or virtual assistant websites. 

Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant 

There are many benefits of hiring a virtual assistant. Primarily, hiring a virtual assistant can save costs. This is because when you are offshoring a virtual assistant, you pay them for the specific project and the time that they spend working on it. You do not incur any other expense. 

By contrast, you will be paying a salary when you employ a part-time or a full-time employee. You would also have to pay taxes, worker’s compensation, health insurance, and vacation and sick leave. In addition to personnel costs, real estate costs of renting a space or purchasing equipment are also involved. You can save your expenses by limiting the number of employees and hiring virtual workers for your projects. You can instead utilize your savings for other business ideas. 

A virtual workforce also allows you to expand your talent pool by recruiting workers from across the world. This enables you to overcome the limitation of finding high-quality workers within your location. You do not have to relocate employees while taking advantage of their skills. 

Virtual workers tend to be more productive. Research indicates that there is up to 43% rise in productivity levels of virtual teams. This is partly due to the flexibility available while working remotely. 

Virtual assistants enable you to cover more business hours. By offshoring candidates in different time zones, you can ensure that your business maintains an active online presence at different times. Another advantage of hiring virtual assistants is the positive impact on the environment. The combination of a reduced commute time to and from work and low utility usage helps to reduce your carbon footprint.  

Services provided by a virtual assistant 

Note that when hiring for a virtual assistant to grow your business, recruit someone for a specific role instead of a single task. Since no one assistant can handle all tasks, it is vital to categorize tasks according to roles that you expect to fill in your business. 

You can opt to hire a virtual assistant based on the kind of service you require. In this section, we will explore vital services that you can get from them. Services have been classified according to major roles that organizations typically hire for. 

General administrative tasks 

A virtual assistant can perform the same tasks as an administrative coordinator. Since business owners need to prioritize growing their business, a virtual assistant can handle many of the coordinating responsibilities which would make the owner’s work easier.

General administrative tasks include usual duties of a receptionist such as responding to calls and inquiries from customers. Updating your calendar and replying to emails can also be performed by virtual assistants. They can plan and arrange your travels, book appointments, send reminders, and update your contact lists. 

In addition, virtual assistants can help with organizing and storing files to help enhance your efficiency. Since they are working remotely, they can arrange your files online on Dropbox or Google Drive. They can create spreadsheets, prepare presentations, and perform all data entry tasks. 

Other tasks which virtual assistants can perform include preparing meeting minutes, creating reports, data mining, and bookkeeping. They can also perform personal errands and assist with all project management and training tasks. 

Web designing

Most business owners choose to contract with a graphic designer to enhance their online presence via design. Virtual assistants with graphic design skills can be recruited to perform a variety of web design activities. These include designing banners, websites, logos, product pages, infographics, and more. Other web design activities involve basic image and video editing, organizing website hosting, creating animations, and performing coding using available software. 

External marketing 

Marketing roles are among the most crucial jobs for any business. Depending on the scale of your organization, you may choose to hire one or more virtual assistants to carry out various marketing duties. 

Performing email marketing is necessary to engage with your email list and grow the number of subscribers. Working with a virtual assistant can enable you to strategically grow your email marketing list. Offshoring can help you to create a new email list, write and schedule promotional emails, and edit/proofread promotional emails.

A virtual assistant can also provide social media management services. They can ensure that you have an active presence on social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Blog publishing, moderating comments on social media, creating and promoting social media pages, increasing the number of followers, etc., are some responsibilities that an assistant can handle for you.  

Internal marketing

Experienced virtual assistants can also manage more significant marketing responsibilities. They can help execute your marketing campaigns and reach constituents across different parts of the globe. They can also help develop content that improves the search engine optimization (SEO) ranking for your website. By keeping your web content current at all times, customers can easily locate a product or service when they search for it on your website. 

Managing your internal communication is necessary to implement a uniform branding voice across all channels. Your marketing virtual assistant can interact with other employees and develop a communications strategy that reflects your organization’s mission, vision, and values. 

You will also need to conduct marketing research to understand the preferences of your customers. A virtual assistant can enable you to define your markets and available opportunities. They can assist with identifying how your products and services are perceived by the community.

Video/audio editing

Although the task of editing audios and videos are being assigned to virtual assistants only recently, this arrangement can benefit business owners immensely. Not having to worry about editing your work allows you to focus more on creating and developing your content. Offshoring someone having expertise in this field can improve the quality of content that you share with customers.

Services that a virtual assistant can provide to you involve basic editing of audios and videos including removal of any background noise. They can add introductions and conclusions while performing photo editing to enhance the quality of your graphics in videos. They can set up podcasts and promote them on your blog and social media channels. 

Content writing

Offshoring writers for creating marketing content is a great way to use their writing skills for promoting your business. It is especially useful if you rely mainly on online marketing to communicate with audiences and promote your products and services. Having a team of content writers working for you consistently can help to build an active voice for your brand.

A virtual content writer can perform SEO writing, create blog posts, write press releases, create newsletters. They can also perform copywriting, compiling and submitting a directory, and market any other articles or blogs. They can customize social media posts and email messaging to target a specific audience.

Web development 

Unless you have a background in technology, it is recommended to hire someone with web development knowledge and expertise to build your websites. Web development requires using coding to customize websites according to your preferences. Hiring a skilled virtual assistant having coding experience allows you to create a well-developed website which improves the visibility of your brand.

A web developer virtual assistant can assist with customizing WordPress themes, installing WordPress PlugIns, developing WordPress websites, and integrating social media channels on your website. They can also enable you to incorporate payment options in your website, install an email ticketing software, and troubleshoot your website and/or perform website maintenance.