So, EXACTLY what basic tasks are Virtual Assistants doing for business owners?
The answer to that question varies, but I can give some great examples from my own experience. I consider myself a Basic VA. That means that I’m not an expert at Click Funnels, SEO, Chimp Monkey, Tailwind or some of the other platforms and services that are trending and in demand right now. If you are good at that stuff, lucky you, you can find even more clients. But, all businesses have basic tasks and need help tackling their to do lists in order to free up time to focus on other parts of their work. The key to being a successful working VA is more about character, work ethic and ambition than skills for sure.
So, what are these basic tasks exactly?
Here are 3 real life examples from my own work as a Virtual Assistant that only needed basic computer skills, solid organization capabilities, and the ambition to get the job done.
I had a client who was moving in with his fiancée and they were both very busy Executives. Each had a one bedroom apartment and were moving into a 2 bedroom apartment in New York City. So, they hired me to compile a list of their belongings, the dates that they wanted to move, logistics of their current buildings as well as the one they were moving into (elevators, stairs, etc) and a few other details that needed be communicated to everyone involved. The next step was to contact a few moving companies for quotes and availability. I let them know their choices and they directed me which one to use. Together we finalized details, but I was the one doing all of the calling, organizing and follow up. Then, from 1,000 miles away and all over the phone and internet, I organized it all and made sure the move played out the way the clients envisioned. They paid me per hour and it all worked out really well.
I have made several cross country and local moves personally over the last few years, so just my life experience and ability to stay organized and be one step ahead was enough to help them complete their move seamlessly. This busy couple was able to focus on work and not on the details of their move which had been a source of stress for them before they hired me. This experience led me to create my Featured Service - Moving Coordinator which I now offer to clients on a regular basis.
I’m a writer and I kept a blog about my experience being a new mom for five years before becoming a Virtual Assistant. Using that knowledge, I can now offer myself as a Blog Assistant. For me, proofreading and blog management is a way that I can help clients who are managing their own blogs. Right now I have a client who sends me her content and I spend time proofreading it so she can post a more polished version. You can proofread content even if you know nothing about blogging, the important skill here is the proofreading.
You can turn proofreading into a very marketable skill. It’s also helpful for so many other types of clients. There are many professionals who like to have a second set of eyes on their work before they make it public. (This can be anything from an email to a newsletter to a yearly report) So, if you have a good command of the English Language, basic typing and editing skills, and you can build trust with a client, you can turn proofreading into a service that you offer on a constant basis for several clients.
People that own and run small business wear so many hats and it always seems that there is never enough time to get it all done. It is common to need an extra set of hands to tackle the more menial work so they can focus on other tasks.
Recently, I had a client send me a box that contained over 200 business cards and asked me to create a spreadsheet of all the information on the cards. With all of that information entered into a spreadsheet, the business owner now has a new list of potential clients to help grow his business instead of a growing pile of cards just sitting on his desk reminding him of missed opportunities to connect with people and causing him stress.
What may seem like a tedious and boring task allowed a business owner the opportunity to reach out more easily to 200 hot leads that needed follow up.
Another client wanted to switch online platforms and was finding that the 800 emails she had saved on one of them were not going to be easily migrated to the other. She needed someone to manually retype all of these emails to make her business continue to run smoothly. But, she also has a business to run and had no time to do tasks like that without having to take time away from the actual client work that she depended on to earn her living. So, she hired me to copy and paste each email from one platform to the other. It took me about 8 hours in total, but she was happy to pay someone to do it because it meant that 800 client emails were now accessible on her new platform which meant more possibility for her growing business. The investment in hiring a VA to complete tasks like this can mean huge payoffs for business owners.