By Lisa Tanner, freelance writer and contributor to this blog
Just because you can do something for your business doesn’t mean you should. You do not have to do all the things forever. There comes a time when the best way to grow is to enlist some help. And when that time comes, here are 40 tasks you can outsource to a virtual assistant, or VA.
But first, let’s have a quick look at two essential questions you may have before you begin outsourcing:
- When is it time to outsource to a virtual assistant?
- How do you find a VA you can trust?
1. When Is It Time to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant?
The short answer? You will just know.
The longer answer? There will be signs that you are overwhelmed and need some help. You may be feeling:
- Burned out doing simple tasks
- Like you could do so much more for your business if you didn’t have to waste all this time doing x, y, or z
- Realize that your time is better spent on higher ROI tasks, but you still have a ton of important things that need done regularly
- That you will have to spend HOURS learning this new skill so you can try it in your business
- Completely overwhelmed by how much work it is to grow a business
Often, you start to feel this way before you have the money to pay for consistent help. That’s why enlisting a virtual assistant can be so beneficial.
They are not an employee. They are just someone to come alongside you and help with specific tasks. And, when you’re first getting started, you can look for a VA who is willing to grow along with you. This might mean you start out at just an hour or two each week. Or even for a one-time project.
Then, if you both feel like it’s a good fit, you can scale when the time is right.
2. How Do You Find a VA You Can Trust?
Finding a virtual assistant is relatively easy. It’s a growing field, and there are tons of virtual assistants out there. But just because someone is a VA doesn’t mean they have the skills you need, or the personality you’re searching for.
To help you find a great fit, here are three steps:
1. Know What You’re Looking For
You cannot wing finding a VA. You really need to have a plan, and a solid idea what this person will be doing. This way, you can document some skills and qualifications you are looking for.
To do this, write down a couple of tasks that are your top priorities for getting help with. Then, write down some skills you need to do those tasks well.
Also keep personality in mind. Are you looking for someone who can work independently and make solid decisions when they need to? Or do you want someone who comes to you for everything? There’s not a right or a wrong answer here, it’s just one set of preferences versus another.
Spend some time thinking about this. What would a good VA bring to the table for you?
Once you have your answer, move onto step two.
2. Put the Word Out
The perfect person isn’t going to magically apparate in front of you Harry Potter style. You will need to let people know you are looking.
- Share in Facebook Groups
- Post on social media
- Tell your network
- Email your list
- Announce it in a video
As you share, be sure to provide some details. This includes:
- What skills you’re looking for
- A rough idea of your budget
- How many hours of work you’re looking for
- Typical tasks you need done
- How they should proceed if they are interested (for instance, do they need to fill out a Google form or email you?)
Also, be sure to ask people to share it with anyone they know who might be a good fit. You never know where a quality referral will come from.
As people begin to get in touch with you, you can move onto step three.
3. Look Through Your Responses
Each time someone connects, take time to look through their responses. If anyone didn’t follow the directions about contact that you spelled out in your post, I’d recommend removing them. You want to work with someone who can read your directions and follow through.
You will often be able to narrow down your results based on responses. When you get your choices narrowed down, it may be worth jumping on a call with each candidate individually. This interview process will give both of you the chance to ask questions and learn more about each other.
If you still can’t decide, perhaps try a small paid test project. Then you can get a better sense of how each person works before you start working together frequently.
What Tasks to Outsource to a Virtual Assistant
Once you find someone to help you, it’s time to start outsourcing. While you will need to pick the tasks that make the most sense for your business, here are forty common tasks to outsource to a virtual assistant. These represent a variety of tasks, so you can begin seeing what’s possible.
- Formatting blog posts
- Creating pins for your blog posts
- Managing your Facebook Group
- Curating content for you to share socially
- Responding to comments on your website
- Scheduling appointments
- Organizing your Cloud files
- Preparing PowerPoint presentations
- Entering data
- Creating course content
- Invoicing clients
- Onboarding new clients or projects
- Doing research
- Updating old blog posts
- Researching keywords
- Scheduling emails
- Editing your work
- Creating show notes for your podcast
- Editing videos
- Designing landing pages
- Managing your inbox
- Planning travel
- Creating surveys for your audience and collect results
- Helping you run a special event
- Creating infographics
- Writing articles for your website
- Looking for collaboration opportunities on your behalf
- Setting up your social media profiles
- Running a social media challenge
- Updating plugins on your site
- Uploading files where they need to be
- Sending thank you cards to your clients
- Looking for bottlenecks in your business
- Providing customer service
- Repurpose blog content
- Documenting processes and procedures
- Running an ad campaign
- Sourcing images you can legally use
Whew! Those forty tasks are all things you can outsource to a VA.
Virtual Assistants Can Help You Grow Your Business
Hiring your first virtual assistant might feel a bit scary. The good news? It doesn’t have to be a long-term relationship. If things don’t work out, kindly end your contract and move on. But if things do work out, you will have the help of a person who is dedicated to help you succeed.
And when you take work off your plate and assign it to someone who wants you to be successful, you can do more. You can use the time you saved to focus on higher-level projects in your business. This can drastically help you scale your business.