Working as a virtual assistant is one of the best jobs for moms who want to work from home, but breaking down exactly what a virtual assistant does can be a little confusing.
While other freelancing jobs can be cut-and-dried (if you work as a freelance writer, you’re going to write), things are a little murkier when it comes to working as a VA. Just exactly what can you do as a virtual assistant, and what are clients expecting when they outsource their tasks?
Here’s the good news – the answer is that virtual assistants do just about anything. The phrase is really a catch-all term for any type of online work you’ll perform for someone from the comfort of your home.
When you think about what services you could offer, first consider your ideal client. While all sorts of business owners hire virtual assistants, online entrepreneurs tend to use VA services the most. Because of this, many VAs design their service packages with tasks that appeal to online businesses.
Ultimately it’s up to you to determine what services you’ll offer. Still, it helps to have an idea. Sometimes your clients won’t realize you can help them with a particular task until you suggest it to them.
These lists can help you determine what virtual assistant services you can offer to start and give you a goal for services to learn as you grow your business over time.
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General VA Duties for Those with No Experience
If you don’t have a lot of experience providing some of the more advanced VA tasks, consider offering some of these general duties:
- Email management
- Data entry
- Database management
- Appointment scheduling
- Travel arrangements
- File management (utilizing tools like Dropbox)
- Preparing slide presentations
- Writing and distributing press releases
- Shopping cart management
- Order fulfillment
Some of these tasks might require some basic knowledge, (for instance, you might need to know how Dropbox works), but if you don’t know how to do something, figuring it out is pretty straightforward.
As long as you are organized and responsible, you could offer any of these services as a virtual assistant pretty easily and find yourself with a calendar booked with clients.
Virtual Assistant Services for Bloggers and Digital Marketers
While virtual assistants can provide services for any type of business, more often than not you’ll find that bloggers and digital entrepreneurs will be your main client base.
Why? Because these individuals have established their entire business model on the web, and they’re usually trying to do it all alone. Once they realize that there are far too many tasks to keep up with, they’re on the hunt for an assistant who can accomplish many of these things remotely. That’s you!
If you want to optimize your VA business to attract these types of clients, you should offer the following services:
- Blog management
- Article submissions
- Affiliate management
- Keyword research
- Proofreading or editing
- Content Writing
- Lead and sales generation
- Webinar set up and promotion
- Product launch management
- Search Engine Optimization
- Email marketing
- Ad management
- Video management
- Website analytics
- Social media management
- Blogging support
- Podcast support
Virtual Assistant Services for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses
One of the awesome things about being a virtual assistant is that you don’t have to limit yourself to working totally in online spaces. While the work you do will be online, you can serve businesses that have an actual location.
In addition to general VA services, consider targeting offline businesses with these offerings:
- Graphic design
- Desktop publishing
- Event support
- Direct mailing
- Real estate services
- Personal shopping
A Breakdown of Popular VA Jobs
Some of the services you could offer are pretty straightforward – like answering emails or customer service – but there may be other things that have you scratching your head.
How can you be a Social Media Manager if you have no idea what that means? Here’s a breakdown of some of these terms to help you understand a little better.
Social Media Management
It’s vitally important for every business owner to have an active social media presence, but managing the various platforms can be a huge time suck. That’s where you can come in. You can tailor your package offerings depending on the type of social media work that a particular business owner needs.
If you’re working with someone who has no presence whatsoever, consider starting accounts on all the various platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
You could create content to share on these spaces, and set up scheduling tools to make sure the accounts are regularly pumping out fresh, relevant content.
Finally, you can interact with customers as they reach out to the business via these platforms. So many customers and clients feel like they’ve received quality customer service when you respond with a warm and engaging manner to their questions or problems.
Podcasting is exploding in popularity, but managing the ins and outs of running a podcast is more than some entrepreneurs can handle. That’s where VA support comes in.
Adding podcast support as a virtual assistant means you’ll be the point person for equipment recommendations, recording and editing the podcast, and listing it on major platforms.
You could also create show notes to accompany each episode, and work on promoting the podcast to its target market.
Email marketing does not mean that you take charge of filtering business emails to separate the important from the spam.
Think about all those emails you receive from businesses or individuals after you sign up on their email lists. That’s email marketing.
Email marketing is a targeted and effective way to maintain a relationship with clients and customers, but it can be time-consuming to keep up with. As an email marketer, you could take charge of this process.
- Create and set-up an opt-in freebie that gets people to sign up for the email list
- Create sign-up forms for website integration
- Create an autoresponder series
- Regularly send email newsletters
- Organize and segment subscribers
The core of your responsibilities will vary depending on the type of business you’re working for. If your business has an eCommerce store or develops online products, your marketing efforts will revolve around selling.
If the business is offline or you’re working with someone who provides a service (like coaching or consulting), you may find yourself creating emails meant to foster relationships with the client.
Having an understanding of how to work and cultivate email marketing campaigns is hugely valuable for a virtual assistant.
Running a successful blog can be a time-consuming process, which makes bloggers one of the best target clients for a VA.
To successfully offer virtual assistant support to bloggers, you should have a working knowledge of WordPress. From there, you can help with editing, scheduling, and formatting blog posts, adding affiliate links, or moderating comments.
You could also create an SEO strategy for ranking posts, make sure that the WordPress theme and plugins are kept up-to-date, and work on website optimization.
These skills aren’t difficult to learn, so if you want to expand your VA services and you don’t currently know WordPress, this would be a good place to start. Expanding your skill set to offer VA services to bloggers opens up your business to many more potential clients.
How to Choose What Virtual Assistant Services to Offer
If you’re overwhelmed by these lists of tasks, that’s OK – you can’t be expected to know what to do right off the bat!
Take a moment to ask yourself the following questions:
- What am I good at?
- What do I like to do that others don’t like to do?
- What comes easy to me that is difficult for others?
- What kind of people do I want to help?
Honestly answering these can help you narrow down what you want to do.
Creating Your Virtual Assistant Packages
Once you know the areas in which you want to specialize, you’re ready to put together your virtual assistant packages.
It’s always a good idea to create packages that clearly spell out what you will offer – you don’t want a client to expect you to do something that isn’t included, and you don’t want to find yourself performing tasks you didn’t intend to offer.
Many virtual assistants like to put together different levels of packages, so customers can choose those which best fit what they need. You could also offer the option for a fully customizable package, which means the client can pick and choose exactly what they need done.
If you do choose to do this, be sure to have things clearly spelled out before starting to avoid any confusion or conflict.
Tip: Choosing What to Call Yourself
As a virtual assistant you’ll be helping businesses in a variety of ways, but if you plan to specialize in just one or a few areas, don’t feel like you have to call yourself a VA.
In order to highlight your specific area of expertise, you may wish to call yourself one of the following instead:
- Social Media Manager
- Business Consultant
- Web Designer
- Project Manager
Conclusion: Growing Your Business
A virtual assistant business is one of the best work from home jobs because the sky’s the limit with what you can offer.
Offering these virtual assistant services means you’ll be one step closer on the road to financial freedom for your family.
Want to learn more about becoming a virtual assistant? Abbey Ashley at The Virtual Savvy has you covered. Click here to check out her free course, Become a Booked Out VA.