In previous articles, we have explained what a virtual assistant (VA) is. However, to recap, a freelance virtual assistant is someone who works remotely as an assistant to a company, providing that company with much-needed services. These services can be admin-related; or skilled services such as graphic design or software development. Essentially, a VA or remote worker can save a company a great deal of money. More so, this type of assistant can help the business to become more productive, not to mention freeing up time for the owner or manager.
What is driving the need for remote assistants?
Virtual assistants offer a company an alternative staffing solution. In recent years, the growth of virtual assistant services has been exponential. However, as this sector has matured, there is also a growing need for native-English-speaking online assistants to service English speakers, still, rather than relying on remote workers from India or the Philippines to help.
Business owners are opting for this type of staffing solution because VAs are cost-effective− they assist in freeing up time by tackling mundane and time-consuming tasks. Moreover, they are able to take on this type of work for much less than it would cost the manager or owner of the business to conduct the work themselves.
Additionally, when skills are lacking in a business, onboarding a remote assistant can help overcome this problem. Hiring an online assistant gives a business the advantage of scaling up faster. As such, a company can therefore beat its competitors. This means this virtual assistance is a game-changer for many companies. This strategy of hiring remote workers is not exclusive to large businesses.
Small entrepreneurs can also benefit despite such large internationals as Unilever and others adopting this type of staffing solution. For instance, someone who runs a recipe website can hire a VA to help with the uploading and maintenance of the site while also assisting with the admin work. In other words, this means that the owner of the site has more time to focus on what is really important – creating new, exciting recipes.
However, what are the different types of online assistant services?
The type of remote assistant depends on the type of work you want to be covered. Therefore, the list can be endless. However, below are the most common VA services in demand. Moreover, they all have one thing in common – they make life easy for the owner or manager. The owner/manager of the business therefore has more time to spend with loved ones.
The Various Types of Virtual Assistants
There are essentially eight types of online assistants.
1. Social Media Remote Assistant
Social media is unavoidable and central to any digital marketing strategy. Small business owners devote an average of between six to ten hours a week just to social media marketing. However, they could save time by hiring a virtual social media assistant.
In short, a social media online assistant is a remote worker who manages a business’s social media marketing tasks. Below is a list of the critical tasks that are commonly assigned to a remote social media assistant:
Building Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages for a business; generating social media profiles on various social media platforms; undertaking research to discover new content for social media posts; scheduling posts with the assistance of social media tools and in addition, growing and engaging the social media audience on the various social media platforms. More so, generating measuring analytics and performance metrics and keeping a vigilant eye on the competitors.
2. Real Estate Virtual Assistant
If you run a real estate business, your time is usually very limited, with meetings, planning, and listings of properties to attend to. It can happen that your work-life balance can be negatively affected. We would suggest hiring a virtual real estate agent. We have found that many realtors resist such a notion at first. This is because the idea is so novel. However, once they take the plunge, they are amazed at the difference such an assistant makes to their business. The realtor will, unusually, be able to go on a vacation, living their best life while they are still fit and healthy − all of this while their business grows.
What is a virtual real estate assistant?
Virtual real estate assistants work remotely. More so, they complete numerous tasks, such as preparing and filing paperwork, replying to email queries, setting up meetings, and much more.
What else does a virtual real estate assistant do?
Below is a list of key tasks that can be assigned to a virtual real estate assistant: real estate data scraping. With the assistance of classifieds software from various websites; for example, Craigslist, eBay, Backpage, or Oodle; placement of ads on Craigslist, Postlets, Zumper, Zillow, RentLinx, and others; sending initial messages to possible renters, along with relevant listings based on what they need; compiling reports with info obtained from MLS; calendar management; replying to email queries; scheduling meetings; chasing possible buyers and renters; managing social media campaigns; applying content marketing; database management; email campaigns; conducting property research; and chasing up third parties for home inspections and appraisals.
3. Virtual Research Assistant
When you hire a virtual research assistant to help with office work, you will have more time to yourself. Such a person will conduct their work via the internet. Furthermore, below is a list of the tasks that can be assigned to a virtual research assistant.
What are the tasks a virtual research assistant can do?
Researching for trustworthy sites for current info based on your needs; setting up research data; presenting data in a clear and concise format; researching for essential statistics based on your company; recognizing prospects for your business growth and, additionally, piloting competitive intelligence. As well as assisting with the selection of the correct vendor by matching prices and researching guest blogging prospects.
4. Virtual Administrative Assistant
Whether you are a busy entrepreneur or a small business owner, admin tasks can easily be outsourced to a virtual administrative assistant. Not only will a virtual research assistant make your life easier, but being organized and on the ball means that you can scale up your business more quickly and easily.
What is a virtual administrative assistant?
A remote administrative assistant is a person who completes an array of admin tasks. For example, managing billing and accounting; handling contact lists; managing basic HR duties, etc.
What are the tasks a virtual admin assistant can complete?
Handling emails and telephone calls, bookkeeping and customer management, and keeping you informed about your industry. But also handling spreadsheets of current contact lists; and calendar management. Additionally, arranging meetings; arranging travel arrangements, and document management and formatting.
5. Virtual eCommerce Assistant
Since the COVID-19 pandemic and the various lockdown limitations, eCommerce businesses have performed exceptionally well. Moreover, this growth is predicted to increase in the years to come. However, with that growth also comes increased competition. Companies must aggressively scale themselves to stay ahead of their competitors or even overtake them. This is why an eCommerce VA can be helpful, not only to take some of the burdens away but to add much-needed skills to a business.
What are the tasks that can be delegated to an eCommerce remote assistant?
Here is a list of essential tasks that you can give to an eCommerce remote assistant:
- eCommerce product data entry
- managing transactions smoothly
- handling inventory on a day-to-day basis
- scripting SEO-friendly product descriptions
- conducting competitor analysis; offering 24/7 email as well as chat support to clients
- handling order processing
- editing product photos; product category management
- product classification and taxonomy development
- managing returns and exchange of products.
6. Virtual Data Entry Assistant
Data entry must be one of the most cumbersome tasks. However, it can efficiently be completed with the aid of an online assistant, saving you money and time. Moreover, when you hire a VA to undertake data entry, your costs will be much lower than delegating these types of tasks to a staff member or doing it yourself.
What are the critical tasks that can be assigned to a data entry VA?
Preparing, gathering, and arranging data for entry; reviewing data for correctness; data management; managing activities and tasks; creating reports and entering data into a CRM system.
7. Virtual Bookkeeping Assistant
Bookkeeping is the pillar of every (small or large) business, yet this demands resources and time to complete. However, this type of work can be delegated to a virtual bookkeeping assistant. Meaning they will complete tasks remotely from their home office.
What are the main tasks a virtual bookkeeping assistant can complete?
Here is a list of the critical tasks: inventory management; managing record-keeping and bookkeeping processes; budgeting; handling cash flow and achieving account reconciliation; managing revenue expenditure; managing QuickBooks and Sage 50 accounts; conducting payroll processing; undertaking bank and credit card reconciliation; and data entry.
8. Virtual Marketing Assistants
Marketing is a lifeline for many businesses as it brings in new clients and increased revenues. However, you need an efficient marketing strategy. Here your virtual marketing assistant can assist with ensuring that strategies are implemented correctly.
What is a virtual marketing assistant?
A virtual marketing assistant is someone who helps with marketing tasks, for instance, social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, etc.
What are the tasks a virtual marketing assistant can do?
Tasks include the following:
- social media marketing
- keyword research
- managing AdWord campaigns
- scheduling and posting blog posts
- creating new and original content for social media channels
- identifying and researching
- identifying new leads
- handling email campaigns.
There are eight main types of virtual asst, namely, a virtual social media assistant, a virtual real estate assistant, a virtual research assistant, a virtual administrative assistant, a virtual eCommerce assistant, a virtual data entry assistant, a virtual bookkeeping assistant, and a virtual marketing assistant. Apart from these types of VA, if you have any other job in mind, you can chat to our outsourcing expert. We can advise you and can source you the right person to assist you to grow your business.