Virtual assistants specialize in doing vital parts of a business owner’s job that don’t need to be done by the business owner herself. Ideally, using a virtual assistant frees up the business owner’s time to spend on high-value work, that needs her personal touch, instead of tasks that another trained person could do.
Being a virtual assistant is a great way to join the ranks of the thousands of remote working, small business owners. The job is never boring! You get to choose the services you offer and the clients you work with. You can use your skills to specialize in one area or become a Jack or Jill of all trades.
If you’re a virtual assistant, or you’re thinking about becoming one, here are six highly sought after services you should add to your offerings in 2018.
1) Email management
What is it?
Email management is organizing, replying to, forwarding, and delegating emails on behalf of a client. This could include managing a client’s inbox or having your own branded email and responding as their assistant.
According to a Forbes article, the average worker spends almost 2.5 hours on email per day and receives about 200 emails. The crazy thing is that 144 of those emails aren’t relevant to the recipient!
Email management is great service to offer to entrepreneurs because email is a known time-waster.
Handling a client’s email allows them to focus on building their business while giving them the peace of mind that they won’t miss something urgent or important.
Work with your client to figure out what arrangement is best for them. They may want you to work out of their inbox and responding with templates or they may prefer that you respond from a branded account as a personal assistant. Timeliness, trust and discretion are extremely important when managing someone else’s email.
Tools to use: Streak, Gmelius, Boomerang for Gmail
2) Pinterest management
What is it?
Pinterest management is updating, curating, and pinning content to your client’s Pinterest boards. It may include setting up a Pinterest account, creating and organizing boards, joining group boards, posting in Facebook groups, and designing graphics.
One of the hottest platforms for increasing an online businesses’ presence is Pinterest. Pinterest is the second largest search engine after Google. Many online business owners sell products and write blog posts that could benefit from Pinterest traffic.
Pinterest can take up a lot of a business owner’s time especially if they aren’t familiar with best practices for the platform. Learning how to use Pinterest can be a skill to add to your virtual assistant portfolio.
You can decide to manually pin for your client (20-30 pins per day) or use a scheduling tool to pin preselected content for you. This could be a one-off service or part of your larger social media management offerings.
Tools to use: Tailwind, BoardBooster
3) Project management
What is it?
Project management is creating a structure to see a project from inception to completion. It may involve coordinating with numerous team members to ensure that everyone is completing their portions of work on time and on budget.
If you’re an organized person, which you should be as a virtual assistant, you can offer project management. At the most basic level, project management means that you make sure a project gets done on time and on budget. You would help coordinate between team members and create or use a system to keep everyone informed of the project’s status.
Project management is an important and serious service. Ultimately, you are responsible for keeping track of where everyone is in the process. Make sure you are equipped to deal with changing deadlines and budgets, and potentially difficult people before you offer this service.
Tools to use: Basecamp, Trello, Asana
4) Facebook Ads management
What is it?
Facebook Ads management is creating, analyzing, and running Facebook ads for your client. You and your client would determine the appropriate audience, budget, time frame, and goal for the ad and then execute it. Facebook Ads management is a smaller part of social media marketing, but many clients are primarily focusing on Facebook right now.
Businesses need to market themselves to find new clients and sell products. Facebook happens to be the most popular place to do so. And Facebook knows it! Over the years, it’s become more difficult for a business to get organic reach (or free attention) from Facebook posts. Facebook ads are now a necessity to ensure that eyeballs get on posts.
As a virtual assistant, you can manage, test, and perfect a Facebook ads strategy for your client. Knowing your way around Facebook ads can make you very useful to the bevy of coaches and entrepreneurs making a living online.
What is it?
Bookkeeping is the process of tracking expenses, creating invoices, making sure funds have been received or distributed, and managing bookkeeping software or a custom system. Bookkeeping typically does not involve tax preparation.
If a business owner is making and spending money, they need to be tracking their finances. This is often a task that business owners don’t enjoy doing or put off, but is extremely important for the success and legality of a business!
A virtual assistant can create invoices, track payments and expenses, and generally stay on top of the money going in and coming out of a business.
Bookkeeping can get a little complicated, but most programs and processes are easy to learn. Spend some time familiarizing yourself with the popular software then offer the service to your clients.
Tools to use: Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Wave, Xero
6) Booking Travel and Accommodations
What is it?
Booking travel and accommodations is the process of planning and booking your client’s trips. It may include finding a flight that meets their specifications, arranging transportation to and from the airport and hotel, booking hotel rooms and conference spaces, and finding tickets to entertainment events.
Many business owners spend a lot of time traveling. Instead of hiring a travel agent, they may decide to use a virtual assistant for their trip planning and booking. Tasks can include booking flights, hotel rooms, transportation including rental cars or subway passes, tickets to entertainment events, and reservations at restaurants.
Offering your assistance to plan and coordinate a large trip could be part of your ongoing retainer package or something special you offer at a one-time rate.
You must be extremely attentive to details when planning or booking travel and accommodations for your client. You do not want to strand your client in a foreign city or make their trip more stressful than it needs to be. Many things can go wrong with travel including weather issues or safety concerns, so a virtual assistant that offers this service needs to be available throughout the day and possibly nights and weekends.
Tools to use: Google Flights, Hipmunk, Kayak
There are so many services you can offer as a virtual assistant! If any of these interest you, consider adding them to your offering this year.
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