If you’re reading this blog you’re one amongst 54 million Americans wanting to give up traditional careers and take up freelancing business that offers greater freedom and flexibility to work when you want to and in areas of your choice.
After all, the idea of working in your PJs from the comfort of your home sounds fascinating for sure! Heck, you could even work from a beach while holidaying!
Alluring? You bet!
Individuals love it because it allows them the flexibility to create a lifestyle they want and saves companies the hassle of going through a time-consuming process of filtering the right candidate for full-time candidate with hefty salaries which in turn puts a drain on company’s finances.
Thus there is an unprecedented shift in which companies do business. Small/medium businesses and start-up owners these days prefer to work with freelancers as it saves them both time and money.
Too many emails to answer, too many meetings to attend, too many clients to meet, too much to do and too little time – as a small/medium business owner you’ve probably faced this situation or will face it at some point or the other.
Therefore there is tremendous opportunity for individuals to start working as a freelance Virtual Assistant offering valuable services to companies and making money in the process.
But there’s a catch!
Deciding what services you are going to offer and the hourly rate for it is one of the tallest hurdles you encounter while starting off your VA business.
You are not a superhero who can do everything and take on a the role of a CEO!
To put it simply, you as a Virtual Assistant will simply lend a helping to business owners by assisting them with certain tasks that business owners do not have time for.
You need to do your homework well and be aware of your strengths and weaknesses. Based on your educational qualification, skills and past experience you then need to zero down a specific niche or role you would like to take on as a Virtual Assistant.
Still lost or unable to figure out what services you can offer? Fret not, you’re at the right place!
This article will give you a run through of 101 tasks that Virtual Assistants offer. For ease of understanding I have segregated the list of tasks into different functions or roles.
Administrative Virtual Assistant
Business world over using VA services outsource administrative tasks simply because they find it repetitive, mundane and time-consuming. They’d rather utilize this time concentrating on sales and other more productive tasks that require attention. Here are some common administrative tasks performed by a Virtual Assistant:-
- Managing/responding to emails and calls.
- Scheduling appointments
- File management in Google Drive, Drop Box etc.
- Drafting letters/emails
- Sending greetings etc on behalf of the client
- Preparing presentations and other documents for meetings etc.
- Travel booking, reservations etc.
- Assistance with personal tasks like doctor’s appointments, online shopping etc.
- Preparing minutes of the meetings.
Data Entry Virtual Assistant Services
Any business no matter how big or small has to work with large amounts of data. As a data entry Virtual Assistant your job will be to enter data into the computer database or CRM accurately and efficiently.
- Prepare, filter and compile the data to be entered.
- Checking and correcting data so as to minimize errors.
- Deleting outdated, old, irrelevant information
- Maintaining records of activities and tasks.
- Interpreting data and presenting the same in required formats.
Market Research Virtual Assistant
Future growth plans, strategies for any business rest on thorough and effective market research. Some of the market research tasks undertaken by Virtual Assistants include:-
- Conducting SWOT analysis for the business to identify future opportunities and existing areas of concern.
- Dig out data for pricing.
- Monitor competitors activities.
- Carry out or undertake competitor analysis.
- Market research to find out sales data and market, industry trends etc.
- Undertake surveys, group interviews to gather feedback about a particular product and identify consumer preferences.
- Checking out opportunities online for business networking.
- Any other online research tasks that you’d like to be done.
Social Media Management
Social media is an effective medium for businesses to generate awareness about your product/brand, a platform to communicate and interact with the audience. However effective social media marketing requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore the need for a social media virtual assistant. Here is the list of tasks that a social media virtual assistant can do for you.
- Create and manage business pages/profiles on various social media channels.
- Creating a social media content calendar to plan out what to post and when.
- Creating social media posts.
- Scheduling posts using tools like Hootsuite / Buffer etc.
- Managing and responding to comments.
- Managing ad campaigns on Facebook etc.
- Prepare monthly/fortnightly reports on social media performance.
- Monitoring competitor’s social media presence and activities.
- Researching various relevant groups and communities and being a part of them to spread knowledge and awareness about client’s product/brand.
Still not sure about how social media virtual assistants can help?
Real Estate Virtual Assistant
Real estate means rounds of discussion, negotiation between parties, documentation, paperwork, inspection, coordination with external agencies etc. Sounds like a lot of work? It is! Thankfully Virtual assistants experienced in real estate. Certain tasks performed by real estate virtual assistants include:-
- Marinating the database of past and prospective clients.
- Data scraping from websites such as Craigslist, Oodles, eBay, Backpage etc.
- Listing on different real estate websites like Naked Apartments, Rent Linx, Zillow etc.
- Sending customary emails/greetings/introductory message to buyers/renters etc.
- Compiling daily reports
- Monitoring and updating correct information on the website.
- Lead generation using different strategies
- Calling prospects from the database
- Find out information like market price, buyer’s price etc to arrive at the correct pricing.
- Sending out emailers, auto-responders about latest deals, discounts etc
Content Writing Services
Not a very commonly outsourced role as there is a brand value attached to the content produced online yet with the growth of online marketing and the growing demand for digital content, more and more businesses are considering about partnering with good virtual content writers. Some of the content writing tasks undertaken by virtual assistants are:-
- Creating articles for content publishing websites like LinkedIn, Medium etc.
- Writing blogs for website.
- Writing guest posts for link building purposes.
- Writing case studies.
- Updating website/landing page content as and when required.
- Writing PR briefs.
- Creating guides/whitepapers/eBooks for businesses.
- Writing video scripts.
- Creating and planning content for brochures.
- Writing business letters/reports etc.
Digital Marketing Services
SEO and digital marketing is currently a hot topic in outsourcing and also most demanded by businesses world over. Some of the services offered under this role are:-
- Keyword research
- Link building
- Content optimization
- Ensuring relevant meta tags are in place.
- Website analysis and optimization
- Creating landing pages etc
- Lead generation
- Social bookmarking
- Forum posting.
- Webmaster set up
- Sitemap submission
- Other on page and off page activities to boost traffic and rankings.
Audio/Video Editing Services
Audio and videos have gained immense popularity ever since digital media has gained prominence. Some of the tasks are:-
- Editing videos to include your brand name and logo for better association in the minds of the people.
- Blending music and background for greater effect.
- Uploading videos to Youtube, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo etc.
- Deleting background sounds and noise from the video to enhance quality.
- Trimming audio and videos.
- Editing and uploading Podcasts/webinars etc.
Financial and Accountancy
Another one on the list of most sought-after services offered by Virtual Assistants. Financial services are in demand because they require specific knowledge and skills and of course hiring a full-time employee for the role can be quite expensive. Some of the financial services tasks performed by VA include:-
- Cash management including cash-flow, liquidity and investments.
- Reconciliation of accounts
- Creating and managing sales and purchase orders
- Managing revenue and expenditure.
- Keeping track of company’s debts
- Balance sheet management
- Inventory management
- Maintaining accounts on online platforms like QuickBooks and Peach Tree.
- Payroll Processing
- Processing bills, payrolls etc
Website Maintenance Services
Site maintenance is critical as it requires some knowledge of website maintenance platforms and technical website development skills. Services covered under website maintenance include:-
- Managing security settings
- Adding pages to the website
- Editing and modification of design and layout as and when required
- Installing and updating plugins
- Setting up integrations
- Correcting 404 errors, broken links etc.
- Website load speed
- Other technical glitches that might occur
E-Commerce Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistants offer tailor-made solutions to help small and mid-size e-commerce businesses scale up and boost sales. Some of the e-commerce solutions offered by Virtual Assistants are:-
- Amazon Product Data entry
- Amazon listing
- Magento Data Entry
- Shopify Data Entry
- e-Bay Listing
- Catalog processing
- Catalog updating
- E-commerce back office support l
- Product Description writing
- Product Image editing and retouching
- Inventory management and updating the same on the website.
Graphic / Web – Designing Services
Graphic and web designing services can easily be outsourced to a VA who is a qualified graphic designing and has experience using various designing software like Photo Shop, Coral Draw etc. Some of the common tasks performed by Graphic designers virtually include:-
- Designing Logo, Icons, Banners and cover images for websites and social media profiles.
- Creating mock-ups for website designs.
- Designing landing pages or ad copies.
This by no means is an exhaustive list of tasks that you can perform as a Virtual Assistant but it is an extensive list that would serve as ready-reckoner for services that Virtual Assistants world over offer.
You can start by offering few of the services and then expand gradually as you gain experience. Remember your earnings depend on the kind of services you offer and the experience you carry. The more specialized your services, and greater your experience, higher will be the price you can command.
So what are you waiting for? Get started today and start capitalizing on your skills!