#VAin30 - Day 3: What Kind of VA Are You?
As the average small business grows, they generally find that they need more hands on deck to help run the business effectively. Depending on what they are needing, there are different virtual assistants available that can fill in the gaps and help that business become even more successful. As a result, several categories of virtual assistants have popped up, some specializing in one major category of service.
The Most Popular Virtual Assistant Categories
While there are unlimited types of opportunities for a VA to assist with, some of the most popular include:
Social Media Assistant
Having a prominent social media presence is essential to getting a business seen and in front of potential customers. Outsourcing the social media scheduling or posting to a virtual assistant who understands the latest social media trends can certainly help a business gain increased exposure and engagement. In fact, as many more businesses grow their marketing departments to encompass dedicated social media staff, VA’s are still being utilized for the more automated work. Often times, they are used in conjunction with a social media manager.
While you don’t need a social media or traditional marketing degree to do this kind of work, it is essential that you are willing and able to stay on top of current digital trends and jump on the chance to master them. This kind of work may require nothing more than copying and pasting the client’s preferred messaging into their scheduling tool of choice, but a keen eye for the ins and outs of social media standards can help you become a more proactive and involved VA, one that will never be at a loss for work to do!
Many website or business owners find the technical side of the business the hardest part to manage and understand. They might find themselves spending hours learning some of the most basic technical tasks, so hiring a technical virtual assistant to handle this side of their business actually helps them to save time and money. Technical assistants can help do monthly site maintenance or be available to help out only when an issue arises. There are many different kinds of technical assistants, all of which are knowledgeable in different areas. Some examples of technical assistants are WordPress specialists, Web Developers, and SEO Specialists, to name a few.
How can a VA differ from a full-time tech worker? They usually have more than one client, for one. They aren’t expected to know everything about a particular technology, like an analyst or programmer would, either. Their expertise is usually limited to a set of skills within a limited range of technologies, which they repeat for each client over and over. Examples of this work could include performing data backups, checking for process errors, migrating between platforms, or optimizing articles. SEO Specialists stick to SEO work, of course, and WordPress Specialists would focus just on WordPress!
Administrative Assistants are one of the most popular virtual assistants there are. They handle office-like tasks such as dealing with an influx of email, setting up meetings, arranging travel plans, and performing data entry jobs. This type of virtual assistant must have good communication and organizational skills in order to be successful and effective. Many administrative assistant VA’s have transitioned successfully from an in-office position to their own freelance work doing almost identical tasks.
Since Administrative Assistants are the first thing people think of when you say “VA”, it may be assumed that the competition for this type of job is fierce. If you look back upon your job as a traditional assistant, however, you probably remember that training and staying on top of best practices was essential for you to do your job, and the virtual assistant is no different. What will help you stand out from the thousands of other VA’s out there is to keep your skills sharp!
Graphic Design Assistant
In our visually minded culture, businesses are constantly trying to be visually appealing to their potential clients or customers and establish their brand. Graphics Design assistants are a special kind of virtual assistant that is able to create the eye-catching graphics needed for social media posts, websites, or even creating a logo that sticks. Many graphics design artists use expensive software that not everyone has access to and that requires a specific skillset to use, which is why many businesses opt to outsource their graphic design projects.
Engaging content is essential for a successful website. Content creators or assistants are available for a wide variety of writing tasks, ranging from writing sales copy, creating blog posts, producing Ebooks or eCourses, and even editing or proofreading tasks. Businesses will profit more directly from hiring a content assistant than one of the other assistants.
Content Assistants differ from Content Managers very little. They usually follow the unwritten rule of the VA, however, in that they are almost never employees, but independent contractors, and they have more than one client at a time. Many Content Mgrs, on the other hand, can work full-time for just one company, and many work at the office with the rest of the employees.
Bookkeeping assistants have the same qualifications as a traditional bookkeeper. They handle the income and expenses of your business and make sure that your books stay balanced and can sometimes take care of tax payments or payments to vendors or freelancers. While they can handle basic tax duties (and do), they should not be confused with a CPA or a dedicated tax professional. Most have limits on what they will perform and the liability they will assume for their clients.
Not all businesses will need all of the types of virtual assistants available, and it is important to know exactly what kind of tasks you are proficient in before offering your services to the public. As you start to create your services menu, think hard about which tasks you are good at, as well as which you enjoy the most. They may not always be the same tasks, and therefore may not be something you want to start out with during your first year of business.
Need extra help? Later in this series, I'll tell you exactly what I have had VA’s do for me in the last 6 years and compare their tasks to those that you could offer! You can also check out this BIG list of 40 services to offer as a VA!
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