25 Tasks Freelancers Can Outsource To Virtual Assistant Services
For freelancers, managing time and money is critical. We often want more of both, but it takes a lot of work. In some cases, we’re forced to turn down work because we have too much on our plate. A great way to take weight off your shoulders is outsourcing work to a virtual assistant (VA). Virtual assistant services can help with virtually any job so you focus on what’s most important to your business. Here are some tasks you can assign a VA to handle for you.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant is a worker who offers various services to businesses and entrepreneurs remotely. They help cover tasks that business owners don’t have the time for, so they can focus on other work.
Why should I pay for a virtual assistant if I can do the task myself?
Even if you have time, you might want to pay a virtual assistant to do things for you. Here’s why:
Tasks like admin work, social media, marketing, and sales can be tough to juggle while running a business. VAs can free up time in your work day by handling these tasks for you. Some even specialize in specific work, so they usually require very little training.
Prioritize your tasks
With more time on your hands, you have the luxury of prioritizing work you wouldn’t normally get to. Some jobs like financial and admin work can take us longer than it should. Hiring a VA can improve your productivity and helps you focus on your goals.
Mental health value
As freelancers, sometimes we overload ourselves with too much work. This can take a toll on our mental health. This has a negative effect on productivity. It’s important to come into work in the right mind set so that everything goes smoothly. Virtual assistant services can alleviate the stress of being overworked.
Improved quality of work
Many online assistants specialize in different work. They could be experienced graphic designers, content creators, or customer service professionals. If you struggle with any of these lines of work, hiring a VA to do the work for you will more than likely result in better quality work.
25 things you can outsource to virtual assistant services
You can outsource a lot of work to VAs. For this article, we’re looking at a few categories:
- Admin work
- Marketing and content
- Social media
- Client management
1 – Setting up invoices
A task worth assigning to an online assistant is having them set up your invoices. It’ll save you some extra time, and you don’t have to worry about going through the process yourself. If you’re unfamiliar with how to set up invoices online, a VA can also get you set up on a platform like Wave or FreshBooks.
2 – Receipt management
The job of filing receipts and tracking spending can be tedious, and most of the time we’d rather focus on something else. Luckily, there are VAs who specialize in accounting and finance. They’ll track your expenses, and you can have them give you updates on how things are going.
3 – Booking appointments
Virtual secretaries can be a great asset to have for any extra admin work you don’t have time for. Consider bringing one in to handle your appointment booking. It can be easy to get confused with dates when you’re constantly booking appointments yourself, and this can free you from that burden.
4 – Web design
Not all business owners have the skills of knowing how to build a website. A VA well versed in web design could make your life a whole lot easier. All you have to do is tell them where you want the website hosted on, what you want it to look like, and your budget.
5 – Landing page design
For a lot of businesses, a landing page is the first link potential customers will see before they browse your website. It’s an opportunity to grab someone’s attention, and many businesses use them to market their services. If you bring in a remote assistant to help you with web design, you can likely also pay them to design a landing page. Not all businesses need one, but they can be an effective entry point for potential customers.
6 – Graphic design
It takes a lot of time to come up with compelling designs, so why not assign it to someone who does it for a living? Graphic design virtual assistant services can help you with anything from website graphics, business cards, image editing – all of which are important to building the brand of your business. They’re especially helpful if you have no graphic design experience.
7 – Logo design
A logo is important if you want to build recognition of your brand. If you bring in a graphic designer, consider asking them to design logos for your business. You can tell them what it is you’re looking for and they can handle the rest.
Marketing and content
8 – SEO research
SEO research is vital for online exposure. But if you’re running a business, there could be a hundred other things on your mind. Outsourcing work to a remote assistant who specializes in SEO research can help grow your business. They’ll make sure your website can be easily searched for, which can bring in more potential customers.
9 – Research
Doing your own research often takes a lot of time, but is necessary for building direction for your business. Outsourcing research work to a VA specializing in marketing not only saves you time, but will help you find new opportunities for growth. It’s also a great way to get your VA more invested in their work, as they’ll be directly contributing to your business’ development.
10 – Ebook creation and design
Ebooks have been the go-to platform for many aspiring authors. It’s easier for them to reach more readers, and they’re more cost efficient. But tasks like publishing, formatting, and design can take a lot of time. If you just want to focus on writing, consider bringing in a VA to handle the rest.
11 – Podcast editing
Another skill that takes a lot of time is editing audio for a podcast. If you already know your way around audio workstations, you still have to go through potentially hours of interviews, and find a way to produce a compelling product. Bringing in help in the form of a VA can take a load off your shoulders. But make sure to be an active communicator with your audio assistants. Explain to them what you want out the clips you provide, and give them an outline for the kind of format you want.
12 – Podcast transcription
It’s helpful to have transcriptions of the interviews you do, but it’s some of the most time intensive work out there. You can consider running clips through an AI, but they still require you to go through them to check for mistakes. Luckily, there are virtual assistant services that can transcribe hours of audio within 24 hours. You can even provide them instructions for exactly what it is you’re looking for.
13 – Copywriting
Effective copywriting can be a valuable tool in attracting clients. A VA who focuses on copywriting can help you find the right words to reflect what your business is about. Not all freelancers are great writers, and an assistant writer can save you lots of time and stress.
14 – Interview guest reach outs
The process of doing interview call outs can take a lot of time. You have to write out an email, wait for a response, respond, and the process could still go on and on. Outsourcing this work to VA will save you from these scenarios, and you could have them reach out to future guests ahead of time. Better yet, your VA may know someone within their network who could be worth an interview
15 – Page setup
In today’s age, having a social media presence is a must as a business owner – but there are so many platforms out there. Online assistants who specialize in social media can be a big lifesaver for those who aren’t tech savvy. You can have them set up social media accounts on the platforms you want, and even have them run them until you get the hang of things.
16 – Ads management
Setting up ads for your business is a necessary step for attracting new customers. But it can take a lot of research to do it effectively. Social media ad managers can optimize your ads on a platform of choice ensuring you’re set up for success.
17 – Regular posting
Assigning a VA to run your businesses social media accounts saves you a lot of time and stress. It also provides a consistent outlet for your business to interact with customers. All you really have to do is work with your VA to draft up the sort of posts you want.
18 – Scheduling posts
Although it’s beneficial to regularly post, a great way to manage your time further is getting a VA to set up scheduled posts. This allows you to hit the hours of the day that see the most traffic, and you and your VA can focus on other tasks.
19 – Managing your calendar
For some freelancers, it can be intimidating to look at a calendar. So why not have a virtual secretary handle it for you? You can have them do the organizing, and have them notify you when an appointment is coming up. This can be helpful if you just want to focus on delivering your work.
20 – Booking meetings
21 – Cold reach outs and prospecting
An experienced VA who specializes in sales will know where to look for potential leads. One thing you can have them do is send cold reach outs to places who are unaware of your business. They’ll save you time by drafting the emails, and could land you some exciting leads.
22 – Sending gifts and cards
Sending gifts to your clients is one of the best ways to say thank you. But why not spread the gift of giving? Consider having an assistant send out the gifts. You’ll save some time, and your VAs will feel good about the work they’re doing.
23 – Asking for testimonials after a completed project
Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to build business, and testimonials from your clients are the most convincing stamps of approval. But you could’ve served hundreds of clients, and reaching out to each of them is a lot of work. An online assistant who specializes in customer service can be a helpful asset when you want to reach out to a large number of clients.
24 – Sending project updates to clients
One thing that clients appreciate is having consistent updates on their projects. An online assistant can help provide that courtesy, so you can focus on finishing the work.
25 – Responding to basic help questions from clients
A great way to familiarize VAs with your business is having them answer basic help questions from clients. It’ll help them understand what kind of business you’re building and they’ll save you the hassle of going through potentially hundreds of questions.
5 tips for working with a virtual assistant
Although virtual assistant services save you from a lot of work, it also takes some work to bring them along. Setting them up with the right resources is important if you want them to succeed in helping you succeed. Here are some tips for how to work with a VA.
Tip 1: Be specific on what you want them to do
Communication is key in any form of collaboration. If you want to take on a VA, be clear exactly what it is you want from them. This helps them with making sure they do the best job possible.
Tip 2: Time box tasks
Time boxing is an effective way to manage time for outsourced assistants. It can give both of you a reference point for time, indicate how long something should take, and keep you both on the same page.
Tip 3: Give them leeway
It takes some time to get used to new surroundings, so don’t get stressed if a VA doesn’t give you exactly what you want right away. If you’re communicating clearly, results will come soon enough. If they don’t, you may have to break off the working relationship. However, that’s often fairly easy to do if you hire a VA through a platform (more on that below).
Tip 4: Create a clear escalation pathway
If your VAs run into problems, give them some guidance on how they should handle it. Give them indication on the types of problems they can handle themselves, or if they’re problems they should run by you. For example, if you have a VA handling returns for a client, set a maximum they can handle. So if a client wants a refund on something worth $50, the VA can just process the refund. But if it’s over $50, the VA has to check with you first.
Tip 5: Communicate the outcome, not just the inputs
When you give your VAs a goal to work towards, it helps them get more invested in their work. Doing the same work with no outcome becomes monotonous. Having something to work towards motivates them to be more productive resulting in a better end product.
17 virtual assistant platforms you can use
If you’re ever considering taking on the help of a virtual assistant service, there are plenty of platforms where you can find a fit. Below are some of the more well known freelance marketplaces.
1 – The Virtual Gurus
The Virtual Gurus differs from other marketplaces by offering managed services. They allow companies to share their virtual assistant rosters to business owners with specific needs. Since the VAs they offer are hired by companies, it usually means they’re more experienced.
2 – Virtual Employee
Virtual Employee is another marketplace that offers a managed service, but have many of their VAs work in the same building. This allows for more immediate access to the assistant that you want. They offer 24/7 service and have some of the quickest start up times for getting you matched.
3 – Fiverr
Fiverr has the advantage of being one of the most popular marketplaces for VAs. That means you’ll have no problem finding someone even if you’re in a specific niche. In addition to regular payment plans, they recently added a subscription model, so there are lots of ways to pay for outsourcing work.
4 – MyTasker
If you prefer the prospects of a subscription model, MyTasker offers unique payment plans for hiring their VAs. The platform also offers trial tasks for their services, so you can see if they’re the right fit for you.
5 – Priority VA
Priority VA offers a more personalized approach when it comes to finding you a VA. They schedule a call with you to determine assistants who could be a fit, and offer check-ins along the way to see how things are going.
6 – Magic
Instead of browsing through hundreds of potential candidates, you can fill in a questionnaire with Magic and they’ll do the search for you. The process just takes up to two days, and the platform even offers services for as little as $10 an hour.
7 – Upwork
Upwork is another popular freelancer marketplace with one of the largest selection of workers available. If you’re overwhelmed by the quantity of remote workers they offer, you could upgrade to Upwork Pro, and have them do the searching for you. They are also one of the few marketplaces with a great mobile app.
8 – Belay
Belay uses the matchmaker process to determine the best fits for your needs. Through sets of calls and questionnaires, they figure out who it is you need. And if things don’t work out with your VA, they’ll offer you a new match.
9 – TaskBullet
A lot of freelance marketplaces will take cuts out of what you pay. With TaskBullet there are no hidden fees, and you’ll be fully refunded for any hours you didn’t use.
10 – MyOutDesk
MyOutDesk offers one of the most affordable monthly subscription plans for VAs. You do have to commit to a monthly plan, but you’ll still save compared to what’s already out there.
11 – Time Doctor
Time Doctor builds their services around being more time efficient. They offer expansive time tracking of their services so you can be on top of productivity. You can even start a free trial with them to see if they’re a fit.
12 – Hello Rache
If you’re running a business focused on healthcare, Hello Rache is a platform that offers virtual assistant services for doctors, dentists, and veterinary professionals. Many of the assistants the platform offers are registered nurses, and are experienced in the field.
13 – Elite Virtual Assistants
Elite Virtual Assistants allows you to interview candidates before you consider hiring them. This takes a little extra work, but you get to make sure you get what you’re looking for.
14 – Virtalent
For freelancers based in the UK, Virtalent offers one of the larger local marketplaces available. All their remote assistants go through an intensive hiring process, so you’ll get some of the most experienced professionals available.
16 – Prialto
Prialto determines the right VA fit for you by focusing on how to make you more productive. They prepare a plan tailor made to your needs and match you with a VA and feedback manager in no time.
17 – GetFriday
In addition to the typical assistant tasks you expect, the VAs at GetFriday also don’t mind working mundane tasks. They don’t mind booking your appointments or dinner reservations.
Virtual assistant services can be a great investment
Although it costs extra money to bring in a VA, it ends up being worth it because you’ll get more time to focus on tasks you prioritize. They can also contribute to growth in your business. Although freelancers enjoy having full control over their business, it doesn’t hurt to look for help.