Your Guide to Managing a Virtual Bookkeeper in 2023: Role, Challenges & Benefits

Your business success relies heavily on effective financial management. But not every business is in a position or has the desire to hire an in-house bookkeeper — and they don’t need to. Many organizations are turning to virtual bookkeepers due to their ability to adeptly track, record, and seamlessly manage financial tasks. Curious how? Let’s find out.

Full-time bookkeepers usually demand an average annual salary ranging from $48,000 to $70,000, along with benefits and overhead expenses, depending on where they work. On the other hand, virtual bookkeepers are much more pocket-friendly. With cloud-based accounting tools, accurate records, and increased efficiency for informed decision-making, virtual bookkeepers can revolutionize the way you manage your finances.

Securing Confidential Information With a Virtual Bookkeeper

Getting your books right virtually is more cost-effective. In fact, 90% of businesses have embraced hybrid work models, allowing their employees to work virtually from off-site locations (including home) for some or much of the time. Only about 10% continue to work in a traditional office setting. In this case, businesses prefer a virtual bookkeeper that can simplify financial operations with ease and flexibility.

According to Investopedia, small companies choose to outsource bookkeeping as it is more cost-effective than having an in-house accountant. The global finance and accounting business process outsourcing market size is expected to reach $93.2 billion by 2028, rising at a market growth of 9.2% CAGR during the forecast period (2018-2028).

Accounting and Bookkeeping Outsourcing Market Insight (2018-2028)

Image Source: Research And Markets

By offloading the time-consuming and complex task of bookkeeping to external experts, companies can redirect their internal resources towards growth-oriented activities, such as product development, marketing, and customer engagement. This enhanced focus on core business activities not only improves overall efficiency but also contributes to a competitive edge in the market.

Companies are recognizing the immense benefits of partnering with credible virtual staffing providers. The cloud-based approach allows businesses and their outsourced bookkeeping partners to collaborate seamlessly, regardless of geographical barriers, enabling efficient data sharing and reporting. Let’s learn further about the responsibilities of a virtual bookkeeper.

Understanding the Role of a Virtual Bookkeeper

Unlike traditional bookkeepers who work on-site, virtual bookkeepers provide accounting and bookkeeping services remotely. Let's delve into the essential aspects of a virtual bookkeeper's role:

Responsibilities of Virtual Bookkeeping

  • Financial Data Entry and Maintenance: Virtual bookkeepers handle the accurate and timely entry of financial data into digital systems, ensuring the records are up-to-date.
  • Bank Reconciliation: They perform regular bank reconciliations to match transactions and maintain the accuracy of financial records.
  • Invoicing and Payments: Virtual bookkeepers handle invoicing clients and managing accounts payable and receivable to facilitate smooth cash flow.
  • Expense Tracking: They track business expenses, categorizing and recording them for budgeting and tax purposes.
  • Financial Reporting: Virtual bookkeepers generate financial reports like profit and loss statements, balance sheets, and cash flow reports to help businesses make informed decisions.
  • Tax Preparation Support: They assist in gathering necessary financial data and preparing documentation for tax filings.

Differences Between Traditional and Virtual Bookkeepers

Difference between Traditional and Virtual Bookkeeper

Virtual bookkeepers use technology to streamline their processes, providing a seamless and secure way to handle your accounting needs remotely. Their reliance on cloud-based accounting software and automation tools ensures faster and more accurate data entry, reducing the risk of errors and enabling real-time collaboration.

Qualifications and Skills Required in a Virtual Bookkeeper

  • Bookkeeping Knowledge: A virtual bookkeeper must possess a strong understanding of accounting principles, financial procedures, and bookkeeping software.
  • Tech Proficiency: Being adept in various accounting software and cloud-based tools is essential for virtual bookkeepers to work efficiently.
  • Time Management: Virtual bookkeepers should manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and handle multiple clients if they work for an agency.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent communication skills are vital for clear client interactions and understanding specific business needs.
  • Data Security Awareness: Virtual bookkeepers must prioritize data security and confidentiality when handling sensitive financial information.
  • Problem-Solving Abilities: Troubleshooting discrepancies and finding solutions to financial issues are crucial aspects of a virtual bookkeeper's role.

By understanding the responsibilities, differences, and qualifications of a virtual bookkeeper, businesses can make informed decisions when opting for this modern approach to managing their financial records.

Common Concerns for Hiring a Remote Bookkeeper and How Flowz Helps

Embracing the efficiency of a virtual bookkeeper might raise concerns. Discover common challenges and how Flowz delivers reliable solutions, ensuring peace of mind in your financial management.

Communication and Time Zone Differences

Hiring a virtual bookkeeper from a different time zone can pose challenges in terms of effective communication and collaboration. Key concerns include delayed responses, difficulty in scheduling meetings, and potential miscommunications due to varying working hours.

Flowz, a leading remote staffing services provider with locations worldwide, offers the following solutions to overcome these challenges:

  • Flexible Communication Channels: Our virtual bookkeepers use diverse communication tools like emails, instant messaging, video conferencing, and project management platforms, ensuring seamless interaction regardless of time zones.
  • Establishing Communication Norms: We set clear expectations and response timeframes, maintaining open lines of communication and addressing urgent queries promptly.
  • Scheduling Regular Meetings: Our virtual bookkeepers are available across different time-zones and schedule regular meetings to discuss financial updates, address concerns, and maintain strong client-bookkeeper relationships.
  • Dedicated Regional Teams: Our global presence allows us to establish dedicated regional teams of virtual bookkeepers, ensuring that clients receive personalized support that aligns with their local business practices, regulations, and cultural nuances. These teams are well-versed in the specific requirements of different regions, providing you with a tailored and efficient bookkeeping experience.

Ensuring Data Security and Privacy

Entrusting sensitive financial data to a remote bookkeeper raises concerns about data security and privacy breaches. Clients worry about unauthorized access to financial records, potential data leaks, and the implications of mishandled information.

Flowz ensures top-notch security with the following measures:

  • Implementing Secure Systems: Our virtual bookkeepers utilize secure cloud-based accounting software and encryption protocols to safeguard client data from unauthorized access.
  • Signing Non-Disclosure Agreements: We build trust by having our virtual bookkeepers sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), legally binding them to maintain strict confidentiality.
  • Regular Data Backups: With regular data backups, we guarantee that crucial financial information remains safe and accessible in case of unforeseen events.
  • Regular Security Audits: We conduct periodic security audits to assess and strengthen our compliance with HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA regulations. These audits ensure that our security measures are up-to-date and in line with the latest industry standards, providing an added layer of protection for our clients' sensitive information.
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Managing Multiple Accounts and Workload

Virtual bookkeepers often deal with multiple clients and accounts simultaneously, which can lead to difficulties in task prioritization, meeting deadlines, and maintaining quality standards across all clients.

Flowz provides the following solutions to overcome this challenge:

  • Effective Task Prioritization: Our virtual bookkeepers prioritize tasks based on deadlines and urgency, ensuring all clients receive timely attention.
  • Automation and Technology: Leveraging automation tools for repetitive tasks streamlines bookkeeping workflow and enhances productivity for our remote bookkeeping assistants.
  • Collaborative Platforms: Our virtual bookkeepers use project management tools to collaborate efficiently with clients, keeping track of tasks, deadlines, and progress.
  • Dedicated Account Manager: Each client is assigned a dedicated account manager or team leader for personalized support and efficient communication.

Building Trust and Establishing Long-Term Relationship Remotely

Establishing trust with a remote bookkeeper you have not met in person can be challenging. You may be hesitant to share sensitive financial information with someone you have not physically interacted with, and building a long-term professional relationship can be more challenging without face-to-face interactions.

Flowz focuses on building long-term relationships through:

  • Transparent and Ethical Practices: Our remote bookkeepers maintain transparency in bookkeeping processes and adhere to ethical standards, instilling confidence in clients.
  • Excellent Client Service: We prioritize delivering high-quality services and being responsive to client needs, fostering trust and satisfaction.
  • References: We provide references and case studies from existing clients, showcasing credibility and reliability.
  • Strong Credentials: We ensure that our clients benefit from the most accurate and efficient bookkeeping services, backed by over 23 years of expertise and experience serving more than 4,200 satisfied clients.

With Flowz's remote bookkeepers, you can overcome these common challenges and experience smooth and efficient bookkeeping services.

Hear what one of our clients had to say about her outsourcing experience with us. -

Flowz Customer Testimonial

Check out Flowz’s Virtual Bookkeepers.

10 Proven Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper for Your Business

Infographic - 10 Benefits of a Virtual Bookkeeper

1. Cost-Effective Solution

Hiring a full-time, in-house bookkeeper can be expensive, especially for small businesses and startups. On the other hand, a virtual bookkeeping assistant offers a cost-effective solution as you only pay for the services you require, avoiding additional overhead expenses.

2. Bookkeeping Expertise and Accuracy

Virtual bookkeeping assistants are professionals with extensive knowledge and expertise in financial management. Their skills ensure accurate bookkeeping, reducing the risk of errors that could have significant consequences for your business.

3. Enhanced Time Management

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can efficiently manage your financial records, allowing you and your team to concentrate on essential business operations. By handling time-consuming bookkeeping tasks, they free up your schedule, providing you with more time to grow your business.

4. Data Protection and Confidentiality

Keeping financial data secure is crucial for any business. Virtual bookkeeping assistants use encrypted platforms and follow strict protocols to maintain the confidentiality and security of your financial information.

5. Access to Advanced Tools

Virtual bookkeeping services providers leverage modern software and tools to streamline bookkeeping processes, providing real-time insights into your financial health. This access to advanced technology enhances decision-making within your business.

Get Tax Prepared from a Virtual Bookkeeper

6. Scalability and Flexibility

As your business expands, your bookkeeping requirements will also increase. Virtual bookkeeping assistants offer scalability, adapting to your evolving requirements, and ensuring your financial management stays efficient at all stages.

7. Better Cash Flow Management

A virtual bookkeeping assistant can help optimize your cash flow by managing invoicing, payment processing, and monitoring expenses, ensuring your business stays financially healthy.

8. Reduced Tax Filing Stress

Tax preparation can be stressful and time-consuming, but with a virtual assistant bookkeeping, you can be confident that your records are well-organized and accurate, making the tax filing process smoother.

9. Access to Real-Time Financial Reports

Virtual bookkeeping assistants can generate real-time financial reports, providing you with a clear picture of your business's financial performance. This information is invaluable for making informed decisions and identifying areas for improvement.

10. Peace of Mind to Focus on Priorities

Knowing that your financial records are in capable hands brings peace of mind. You can confidently focus on running your business, while the bookkeeping aspect is being handled efficiently.

Integrate a Virtual Bookkeeper in Your Financial Workflow Today

Embracing virtual bookkeeping is not just a smart move, but a strategic investment towards the financial health of your business. Virtual bookkeepers pave the way for you to focus on core competencies and make well-informed decisions, fostering sustainable growth.

Book a Call to hire a virtual bookkeeper

Why Every Small Business Needs A Virtual Assistant

Small businesses start with big dreams. An entrepreneur must keep track of many daily tasks. These include managing customer service, marketing, advertising, and website maintenance. Additionally, these routine tasks take time, making it difficult to focus on business progress. To this end, budding businesses need an extra pair of hands to do tiresome work so they may concentrate on more important goals.

Hiring a full-time employee accounts for expenses. These include a desk, computer, the cost of employee benefits, and payrolls. In comparison, hiring a virtual assistant would help businesses avoid these expenses and save the firm 78% annually.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

Find your Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant (VA) is a qualified and knowledgeable individual. They support businesses with administrative, accounting, marketing, technical, creative, and personal support.
In this competitive world, it becomes difficult for entrepreneurs to handle administrative tasks. To this end, virtual assistants allow businesses to stay on top of their daily tasks.
Hiring is one of the most challenging processes for firms to master. While hiring freelancers is risky, recruiting long-term workers is expensive. Businesses can use virtual assistants who knows what would be most good for your firm.

Employees vs Virtual Assistants vs Temporary Employees vs Freelancers

Employees vs Freelancers vs Virtual Assistants

Employees

Businesses hire workers as permanent employees to grow their company, uphold their workplace culture, and concentrate on their corporate goals. Hiring a full-time employee comes with:

  • The cost to recruit – advertising, interviewing
  • Monthly salary 
  • Employee benefits - insurance
  • Office equipment – desk, IT, phone, stationery 
  • Holidays, and other statutory payments 
  • Training & skill management costs

Temporary Employees

These workers' employment conditions are predetermined. Companies hire temporary workers for a range of projects and any period.

Pros: It is a great technique to locate staff when companies require them immediately. Additionally, it is an excellent option to augment personnel when permanent employees are on leave during periods of high business activity.

Cons: The lack of passion and demand for shorter working hours among temporary workers causes productivity challenges for businesses.

Freelancers

Freelancers are independent contractors that work for businesses on specialized projects locally or remotely.

Pros: Most freelancers are skilled professionals who exhibit high levels of skills and deliver projects on time.

Cons: Since freelancers come with different skill sets and salaries, finding the ideal one to meet the company's objectives can be challenging.

Virtual Assistants

A virtual assistant is an independent contractor who provides support to businesses remotely. They handle a wide range of business tasks, including:

  • Calendar management
  • Virtual admin services
  • Sales support
  • Travel and event management
  • Accounts and Bookkeeping
  • Marketing 

Pros: Hiring a virtual assistant is beneficial for companies as they only pay for the number of hours a virtual assistant works. Also, hiring a virtual assistant doesn't incur any overhead or travel expenses.

Cons: The best part of virtual assistants is that they come with the best skills and work remotely. So, hiring virtual assistants is not a good idea if businesses want someone to work internally.

3 Reasons Why Hiring Virtual Assistant Can Add Value to your Small Business

Hiring a virtual assistant is very beneficial for businesses. Virtual assistants are proven to add value to any business by reducing the workload, driving business growth, increasing efficiency, and enhancing productivity.

Here are the top 3 reasons why hiring a virtual assistant can add value to a small business:

1. Virtual Assistants Fuel Business Growth

Some virtual assistants have a wide range of specialties. While some VAs are specialists in marketing, scheduling appointments, bookkeeping, sales, social media management, and other fields. As a result, virtual assistants with a wide range of skills and the capacity to adapt to highly competitive business environments can foster the growth of budding firms.

2. Virtual Assistants Work 24/7

Virtual assistants can work around the client's schedule and are flexible with their time. Additionally, a competent virtual assistant completes and delivers assignments on schedule. They free up enterprises from administrative duties and provide them more time to unwind, network, and establish business strategies. As a result, virtual assistants help small businesses become more productive and efficient by handling different administrative and other business tasks.

3. Virtual Assistants Save Small Business Money & Time

Each year, process inefficiencies cost businesses. These are frequently the routine activities that virtual assistants (VAs) may carry out, from scheduling the workday to handling accounts and more tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant saves businesses time and money. With a VA, businesses don’t have to deal with a time-consuming recruitment process and can hire a VA as an as-needed contract worker instead of a full-time salaried employee.

Top 10 Businesses Leveraging Virtual Assistants for Growth

Virtual assistants help businesses be more productive by taking care of recurring and crucial business tasks. Here are the top 10 industries that are utilizing virtual assistants for growth.

1. Real Estate

Real estate companies must deal with a tonne of paperwork, create listings, and more. A real estate virtual assistant handles the repetitive tasks that a real estate agent performs. They make significant, valuable contributions to a real estate business at a fraction of the cost of regular staff. Virtual assistants in real estate organize meetings with prospects and edit digital marketing materials for properties. Additionally, they handle buyers under contract agreements, update MLS listings, close deals, and more.

Related: Real Estate Virtual Assistants: Why Do You Need Them?

2. Accounting & Bookkeeping

Businesses need an expert to maintain and interpret financial records. Since full-time accountants are so expensive, they are not an option for small businesses looking to reduce expenses.

Virtual assistants manage different tasks, including calendar management, bank reconciliation, data entry, record organization, and accounts payable and receivable. They oversee ledger entries, reconciliation of transactions, and bills. Consequently, virtual assistants look after the financial stability of small firms and assist with regular administrative responsibilities.

Flowz offers skilled accountants and bookkeepers adept at handling all accounting and bookkeeping business needs.

3. E-Commerce

Entrepreneurs, especially those who are just starting, find it challenging to run an online store. Managing orders, stocks, and live situations present challenges for businesses. E-commerce businesses can benefit from a virtual assistant's fast handling of duties, including order processing, product description, returns and exchanges, and product listing.

Small businesses who wish to promote and sell their products on online marketplaces can do so swiftly and affordably with the aid of virtual assistants.

An e-commerce virtual assistant can help small businesses with the following tasks:

  • Creative Designing
  • Photo and Video Editing
  • Website & App Development
  • Data Entry
  • Accountant & Bookkeeping

4. Information Technology

Find your Virtual Assistant

The IT industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Small enterprises must effectively manage their business operations to establish their brand presence in the competitive marketplace. To this end, a virtual assistant can aid IT companies in website development, administrative support, technical assistance, customer support, and more. They ensure the business has zero downtime and runs on a secure and reliable network.

5. Database Management

Database management is a tiring and never-ending task for any business. Also, it is the most critical aspect to run any business smoothly. Companies need to keep information on prospective clients, business contacts, order details, inventory lists and more. For this, businesses need experts to update their database with new data and manage the data. A virtual assistant can help businesses in preparing data, checking the accuracy of data, updating records, data management, data presentation, data backup and all the data needs with ease.

6. Human Resources

Every industry needs an HR specialist to handle human resources. Virtual assistants are an extension of an in-house HR and help businesses to manage their everyday HR activities. They keep HR records up to date, ensure the employee needs are fulfilled and act as a point of contact between the company and its employees.

A Human Resource Assistant can help small businesses with the following tasks:

  • Screening Job Applicants
  • Preparing Job Offers
  • Recruiting New Hires
  • Candidate Onboarding
  • Recording Employee Data
  • Performing Payroll Duties

Flowz's skilled Human Resources virtual assistant can help businesses to focus on their growth by handling all the HR tasks effectively.

7. Law Firms

Law firms use virtual assistants to enhance productivity, achieve profitability, and save costs. An executive virtual assistant can help law firms with all the activities that optimize business efficiency. They perform the following tasks:

  • Compiling Critical Data 
  • Preparing Evidence Charts 
  • Collecting Documents for Subpoenas
  • Monitoring Cases & Documentation
  • Performing Research & Analysis
  • Drafting Documents of Legal Disciplines
  • Managing Schedules
  • Reviewing Legal Documents
  • Understanding Legislation Trends
  • Writing Legal Briefs
  • Maintaining Research Database 

8. Entertainment

The entertainment industry comprises many tasks that involve finding venues, working with vendors, scheduling events, and managing registrations. A virtual assistant can aid businesses in the entertainment industry with administrative support, social media management, tracking supply inventories, and more.

9. Marketing

Hire a Virtual Assistant

The marketing sector is significant. However, managing marketing activities may be challenging for small businesses. It takes a lot of effort to plan brand marketing strategies, from conceptualizing the products to publicizing them. A virtual assistant can aid marketing firms with different jobs, including managing social media, running and managing ads, graphic design, customer service, and other duties.

A virtual assistant can aid a marketing company with the following duties:

  • Content Management
  • Social Media Management
  • Website Maintenance
  • Lead Generation
  • Email Marketing
  • Public Relations

10. SEO

Businesses seek SEO services from the very beginning to establish their brand presence, engage with their target audience, and uphold their reputation. Hiring a full-time employee with expertise in keyword research, running Google ads, managing social media ads, graphic design, and other similar duties is expensive. A virtual assistant could be a lifeline for small businesses trying to achieve their SEO objectives.

A Search Engine Marketing assistant can help businesses with:

  • Collecting & Analyzing Data
  • Identifying Trends & Insights
  • Maximizing ROI in Paid Campaigns
  • Managing Campaign Expenses
  • Launching & Optimizing Various PPC Campaigns
  • Overseeing Accounts On Search Platforms
  • Monitoring Budget And Adjusting Bids 
  • Tracking Kpis To Assess Performance

Conclusion

Every industry, especially those that are just getting started, requires a virtual assistant. Businesses can concentrate on the critical tasks that fuel growth by outsourcing business operations to a capable virtual assistant.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

Delegate These 8 Virtual Assistant Tasks to Reclaim Your Time

Liam Martin hit home when he shared what business owners don’t get about virtual assistants. In his words, “when clients ask me about virtual assistants or remote staff, the first thing I get them to understand is what they as clients are good or not good at doing. This is often quite difficult for entrepreneurs, as they’ve usually been doing everything in their business themselves.” 

Sounds familiar? Read on as we share a list of (eight) virtual assistant tasks you can outsource today to leverage domain expertise while focusing on the business core. You will leave this post with a better understanding of how to delegate effectively and find virtual assistants. Let’s go! 

CTA to download Flowz's virtual assistant service guide

1. Accounting and Bookkeeping

No non-core task is a bigger time sink than accounting and bookkeeping. When they should be focused on finding product-market fit or growing sales, startup founders get routinely stuck reconciling expenses and statements.

You can learn bookkeeping basics to save money. But not only a few transactions can complicate accounting but any errors can prove very costly. Expert general assistants help you avoid that and ensure compliance with the latest laws.

2. Search Engine Optimization

You may have a great website, with stunning visuals and copy. But if it’s not optimized, it won’t rank and bring leads. Google is the world’s favorite search engine and gets over 270mm US unique visitors.

With a monopoly spanning geographies, Google offers businesses a tremendous opportunity to reach more people worldwide and expand their customer base. A search engine optimization expert performs a host of services like white-hat, black-hat, gray-hat, on-page, off-page, technical, international, and local SEO to ensure your website performs.  

Check out what Liam Carnahan has to say about SEO and what it takes to drive results!

Liam Carnahan's LinkedIn post on what SEO means

Image Source: LinkedIn

3. Image and Video Editing

Thomas Watson Jr, the second president of IBM, put it best when he said, “good design is good business.” But many skilled designers fail to tie design with business objectives. A strong web design helps you build a solid brand identity and win customer trust.

Be it online or at a brick and mortar, quality product images and videos are necessary to drive people to action. Best designers use the latest software and editing techniques to create visual assets for your needs.

CTA to book a call with Flowz team

4. Content Marketing

Marketing exists to make sales easier. And content - whether written or visual - plays a key role in generating leads and nurturing them through the sales cycle. If you share long-form content or post on social media without understanding the modern marketing landscape, you risk losing your target audience to others and denting revenue.

But expert marketers perform thorough research, create a strategy, and set success metrics to track the impact on the bottom line.

5. Social Media Management

Think a combo of creatives and copy is enough to grab eyeballs on social? It’s not. Unless you perform painstaking research to brainstorm ideas that may appeal to customers and support business goals, social media management is best left to virtual assistants.

They find the right channels and formats and follow algorithm best practices to ensure your content works. Tired of misconceptions around Duolingo’s s social media presence, Zaria Parvez, the brand’s Global Social Media Manager, offered some great insights into what social management is really like!

Image Source: LinkedIn

Let’s take another example. You may own a restaurant in California and need people to visit. Striking photos on Instagram and funny TikToks may incite visitors to check you out. But the same strategy won’t work for a B2B SaaS selling a tool to manage employee databases.

And which may need to post thought leadership content via carousels on LinkedIn to reach HR leaders. Similarly, employer branding and establishing credibility are two different business goals that need vastly different efforts. 

6. Customer Service

In saturated markets, exceptional customer service can prove to be a differentiating factor. Buyers have higher expectations from customer service than they did a few years ago, and more than half of them recommend a brand with great customer service to friends.

A tepid response to their concerns can invite resentment and cause churn. Skilled virtual sales staffing helps you offer quality support and avoid the following aspects of a bad customer experience!

survey result on the frustrating aspects of bad customer service

Source: Zendesk

7. Website and App Development

Irrespective of industry, digital platforms like websites and apps are necessary to take your business online and can have a massive impact on its success. In a digital-first world, people prefer visiting a business website before converting into customers.

But having these platforms doesn’t generate results if they are not sleek and designed keeping user experience in mind. Seasoned software staff uses top technology to build high-performing platforms for your firm.  

CTA to download a handout on the tasks you shouldn't delegate to virtual assistants

8. Email Management

Many advocate for email over in-person meetings or phone calls for business communication. While helpful, it has led to “email overload,” with executives reporting feeling bogged down by the number of emails they receive every day.

I can’t find anything in my inbox and I could spend my whole day responding to incoming emails are common refrain. But you can reclaim control over your email and stop it from hampering your productivity by working with a personal assistant. They organize emails, clear spam, send follow-ups, and flag important ones. 

Tips to Delegate Effectively

Delegation leads to a win-win situation since you can focus on the ‘core’ while tapping into expertise for secondary business functions. Yet, many leaders don’t delegate properly or at all.

Founders either lack the delegation skills or the time to explain tasks, follow up, take questions, or offer feedback. But that’s a clear sign you must delegate something out of your schedule. Consider these four tips:

  • Identify projects to outsource and define their scope in advance to avoid scope creep.
  • Fix OKRs and KPIs for virtual assistants to help them understand what success means.
  • Delegate to the right talent. Checks skills and experience before assigning tasks to a VA.
  • Build trust. Set clear deadlines and avoid micro-managing your virtual assistant. 

Note that successful delegation isn’t just about what comes before going hands-off. What comes after you cede control is as important. To ensure projects and tasks remain on track, remember to set a schedule for checking in and conducting a mutual review to identify hits and misses. 

How to Find Virtual Assistants

Entrepreneurs get so immersed in daily operations they mistake needing help with busy work. If you are working in your business more than on your business, spending time on routine tasks, struggling to maintain a work-life balance, or missing opportunities to scale your offerings - consider hiring a virtual assistant. They help you reclaim time and focus on growth levers.   

Juha Liikala, a business owner, shares when he decided to hire a virtual assistant

Image Source: Huffpost

But remember hiring a bad fit can do more harm than good for your business. Unless you have assessed needs, spotted skill gaps, and developed elaborate SOPs before hiring independent talent, communicating and collaborating with them may be challenging.

Likewise, if your job description is not built keeping virtual assistant cost and virtual assistant skills in mind, you may have to sift through countless irrelevant applications before finding the right person for the job. 

A clear idea of why to hire a virtual assistant helps you create a solid virtual assistant job description and choose the right platform for sourcing talent. Depending on the business model and maturity, you can choose freelance marketplaces to hire workers. Or, you can partner with a virtual assistant provider to save on hiring, training, office upkeep, and managing contractors. 

Final Word

Independent talent brings incredible value to the table. They can perform many common virtual assistant tasks and help business owners unlock their full potential. Book a call today to learn how Flowz’s virtual staffing solutions empower busy founders and executives to accomplish more in less time, hit deadlines, focus on what matters, and crush business goals. 

5 Tips To Write Your Virtual Assistant Job Description In No Time

Businesses found that using a virtual assistant instead of a full-time employee is more beneficial. Startups, in particular, have discovered the importance of VAs for sporadic projects and time-consuming, tedious administrative tasks.

Virtual Assistant Statistics

Image Source: Statista

In the US, there were approximately 67 million independent contractors in 2021. By 2028, this figure will surpass 90 million. Thus the market for independent virtual assistants will increase by $4 billion between 2021 and 2025, growing at a CAGR of 12%.

How a Perfect Job Description Can Aid in Attracting Qualified VAs

Companies struggle to bring the best virtual assistants onboard mainly due to poorly-written job descriptions. About 76% say that recruiting qualified virtual assistants is their biggest issue.

Virtual Assistant Job Description

A well-written job description:

1. Attracts the Right VA

By creating a compelling job description, businesses may locate the best virtual assistant to fit their needs. Thus, businesses can save substantial time during the hiring process and improve the quality of virtual assistant applications.

2. Aids Adequate Training

A qualified virtual assistant is usually well-trained. However, businesses need their virtual assistants well-versed in their work culture. With the perfect job description, companies can pinpoint where virtual assistants’ skill sets are lacking and create specialized training to fill those gaps.

3. Helps Gauge Performance

A thorough job description serves as a tool to gauge the performance of the virtual assistant by taking job competencies and responsibilities outlined in the description as guidelines.

What Skills & Experience Do Virtual Assistants Require?

Hire a Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can perform different tasks, including managing several clients and ensuring that business owners get the best assistance possible. Therefore, before hiring a virtual assistant, it’s critical to understand their roles and their wide range of skills.

Here are the top virtual assistant skills:

1. Communication Skills

Excellent communication skills are essential in any industry where there is interaction with customers, employees, and other parties. In this sense, whether or not virtual assistants have years of expertise, they should possess excellent communication skills.

2. Project Management

A VA may need to have abilities in project management to develop and implement specific strategies, support firm projects, write emails and other marketing material for projects, or provide online support like website maintenance.

3. Time Management

A virtual assistant needs to handle several tasks at once as a virtual assistant, and good time management skills are a prerequisite. The ability to prioritize their workload to meet business needs is a quality trait in a virtual assistant (VA).

4. Attention to Detail

A virtual assistant’s main task is not only to complete tasks but to meet the high-quality standards of businesses. For this, a virtual assistant needs to be attentive to detail.

5. Tech Savviness

Virtual tools enable virtual assistants to function quickly and effectively. For this, virtual assistants must keep up with technological advancements and get practical expertise with tools such as Asana, Hubstaff, Trello, and others.

6. Customer Service

Virtual assistants must be able to deal with clients directly. Thus they must possess strong customer service abilities. VAs must maintain composure in all circumstances and perform well under pressure. Additionally, providing excellent customer service will strengthen client relationships and enhance brand reputation.

7. Data Entry

Data entry is the essential skill of a virtual assistant. A VA does document formatting, file organization, research, transcription work, and data presentation. A fantastic talent is also being able to type swiftly, especially if you require a virtual assistant for data entry tasks.

8. Subject Matter Expertise

A virtual assistant needs not to be a jack of all trades. They need to be good at two or three areas of expertise that give them an edge and a focused job search plus experience level.

Virtual Staff

9. A Learning Mindset

The desire to learn new things is the top attribute of a virtual assistant. Also, virtual assistants should be open to criticism and look for innovative ways to structure or streamline their work to fulfill business needs or KPIs.

10. Reliability

Finding trustworthy virtual assistants who can quickly put their expertise to use is difficult for businesses. A reliable virtual assistant assists businesses with crucial activities that raise production and efficiency.

Why You Need a Job Description for Your Virtual Assistant

Contrary to popular belief, companies should still create a job description for virtual assistants just like they would for full-time employees. Organizations typically designate an HR team to hire a candidate when employing a full-time internal employee.

Businesses usually don’t prefer and sometimes cannot afford to hire a dedicated workforce for the hiring process when it comes to a virtual assistant. A well-written job description may be sufficient for firms instead of a devoted team. To successfully hire a virtual assistant, a company must have a convincing job description.

Also read: Top 10 ways to Boost Business Growth by 10x

1. A Job Description Outlines Business Expectations

The objective of the job description is to attract the right virtual assistant by emphasizing the business needs, goals, and expectations.

For this reason, businesses need to write about candidates’ qualifications, experiences, and desired traits in an easy-to-understand manner.

Further, businesses can better control their expectations when they write job descriptions. It can become challenging if a company is hiring unaware of what they want the virtual assistant to handle. A thorough job description ensures that organizations are aware of their hiring goals.

2. A Job Description Aids In Narrowing The Job Search

A compelling job description can aid companies in sorting through competent candidates so they can schedule interviews that result in recruiting the right candidate who adds value to the team.

Job Description

For instance, a PR firm would want someone knowledgeable about the subtleties of the PR sector and who can match their skill set to fulfill organizational objectives.

3. A Job Description Aids In Finding Individuals With The Same Interest

A well-written job description acts as a tool for applicants to analyze whether or not their skills match up with business needs. However, it won’t dissuade every unqualified person from applying.

A qualified virtual assistant will be committed to achieving the company’s objectives, sharing your interests, and caring about building long-term relationships with clients.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

How to Write the Perfect Virtual Assistant Job Description

Any company wants to avoid wasting time writing ineffective job descriptions that don’t add value. There are a lot of virtual assistants available; you want to choose one that complements your business and has the talents you require.

The following are the steps in writing the perfect job description:

Step 1: Understand the Target Audience

Quotes

Zig Ziglar, a legendary sales trainer, once said, “People buy on emotion and justify on logic.”

It is accurate since people make emotionally charged decisions while looking for jobs. Therefore, when creating job descriptions, organizations must appeal to the target audience’s emotions (i.e., the qualified virtual assistant you want to hire). Recognize the candidates’ expectations and professional aspirations.

Example:

Create a persona for your virtual assistant that describes the traits, outlook, aspirations, and requirements. These profiles can help businesses better customize and target their hiring process to find the right virtual assistant.

Remote Employee Persona

Image Source: UXPressia

The image shows a sample employee persona demonstrating the employee’s skills, accomplishments, and objectives.

For instance , if a business wants to hire a social media virtual assistant, look for:

  • What are the virtual assistants career goals?
  • What are the strengths of the virtual assistants?
  • What are the challenges of virtual assistants?

These are sample questions. Businesses can create a corresponding job description to guarantee that possible applicants would fit in with their firm both professionally and culturally.

2. Optimize the Job Title with Keywords

Millions of job seekers use the Internet every day to conduct keyword searches. Now, companies must optimize the job title with keywords to reach out to potential candidates.

Include the keyword ‘virtual assistant’ including the specialization you are looking for. Here are some examples:

  • Virtual Assistant Needed for Busy Entrepreneur
  • Tech-Savvy Virtual Assistant with Excellent Communication Skills
  • Real Estate Virtual Assistant
  • Sales & Marketing Virtual Assistant

Instead of merely entering the headline, specify what assistance you require. It will make it easier for those who are qualified to find you. Furthermore, it will save you time by preventing ineligible individuals from clicking the job description.

3. Include Company Summary

The next step is to have a short blip about the company, including the company name, what the company specializes in, how fast the company is growing, what the candidate can expect from the company, and more.

Here is a perfect example from a KodeKloud job posting.

Job Description

Through this job description, a virtual assistant can discover more about the company, what it does, the company’s growth, goals, and more. It is an excellent way to find a skilled virtual assistant with similar ideals.

3. Get into the Details

An outline of the job description is crucial to attracting top personnel. Businesses must accomplish this by briefly stating what the position entails.

In the job description, the employer can briefly outline the duties, team members, and other specifics of the role.

4. List Responsibilities

A fantastic job description should include a list of the virtual assistant’s responsibilities.

After reading this part, the candidate will understand their responsibilities. As a result, the virtual assistant would find it simple to start working after hiring because they are already aware of their duties.

The following are just a few examples of duties that a general virtual assistant might have:

  • Schedule meetings
  • Answer calls
  • Organize calendar
  • Book tickets
  • Manage contacts
  • Provide customer service

5. Explain the Application Process

The CTA, which includes instructions on the application for the position, must be in the job description following the job description overview, responsibilities, duties, and competencies.

If a business uses a job board, instruct the applicants to apply by clicking the link in the job description. Employers should clearly state how potential applicants can access their website.

Conclusion

Hiring a virtual assistant is one of the best ways for businesses to get back their productive hours. For this, businesses shouldn’t spend too much time hunting for the best virtual assistant. With a perfect job description, companies can hire top talent.

Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant Cost: 4 Crucial Factors to Keep in Mind

Virtual assistants handle routine and taxing back-office tasks. Busy executives and founders hire them to perform both general and niche services so they can focus on core business functions and accomplish more in less time. If you want to hire a VA but are unsure about typical rates, read on. We share four major factors to help you gauge the virtual assistant cost accurately.  

But first … 

Is a Virtual Assistant Worth It?

Virtual assistants are incredibly beneficial for growing businesses. They boost productivity, improve work-life balance, and offer an affordable way to work with best-in-class talent. Virtual assistants also help you save on additional expenses incurred on full-time hires. But unless you have set up proper systems, they may not be the best solution for your needs.

Before hiring a virtual assistant, ask yourself these four questions: 

  • Have you prepared clear guidelines and step-by-step instructions for the hire?
  • Do you need help with admin tasks or a specialized virtual assistant service?
  • How much time can you invest in training and giving feedback?
  • What level of technical expertise do you need?

Virtual assistants don’t have access to insider knowledge and company resources. If you haven’t devised protocols to help them seamlessly collaborate with your in-house employees, consider a virtual assistant provider that not only finds the perfect fit but also has seasoned project managers to train and supervise talent to ensure your virtual assistants work efficiently. 

With that covered, let’s get down to the factors that impact virtual assistant costs.

Factors Determining Virtual Assistant Cost

Unlike in-house employees, virtual assistants don’t expect clients to pay hefty compensation. You don’t need to provide health and life insurance, travel allowances, competitive 401K matches, paid time off, and learning reimbursement to hire and retain top-notch talent.

But the following key factors can help you accurately estimate the cost of hiring a virtual assistant for business:

1. Scope

A virtual assistant can perform various tasks for your business. They can book meetings, manage social media, create websites, and design creatives.

You can club services into categories like marketing, customer support, sales, financial planning, or administrative work when planning what to outsource. The day-to-day virtual assistant tasks and the hours required constitute scope - a major factor determining the cost of hiring virtual assistants. 

2. Location

Virtual assistants work remotely which lets you hire talent from anywhere in the world. You may be in California and hire an independent worker from New York. Or you could delegate tasks to an assistant located in the Philippines or India.

The cost of living is different for all three areas. A virtual assistant in New York will cost more than their Indian counterpart and may also bill for the time spent on discovery calls and meetings.

CTA to book a call with Flowz team

3. Expertise & Experience

The core skills possessed by independent talent help them stand out. While some are beginners, others command substantial knowledge from previous in-house roles which lets them perform demanding work without supervision or detailed instructions. Expert virtual assistants know their worth and charge as per the complexity of the work.

4. Frequency

Virtual assistants can work full-time or part-time. They may come aboard for a specific project or dedicate a fixed number of hours each week. Depending on the arrangement and how hands-on you want the virtual assistant to be, the independent contractor may charge different rates.

For example, an assistant working on a one-off email campaign will charge less than a more involved consultant helping out with a business strategy.

infographic detailing the four factors determining virtual assistant cost

Other Key Considerations

Besides the above factors, virtual assistant skills and pricing options can also impact costs. Seasoned contractors can be picky about work and may charge monthly retainers. Whereas, beginners looking to build their portfolio may be happy to take up one-off projects and invoice hourly.

Growing startups that don’t have the budget to build an in-house team outsource their back-office tasks precisely because of the flexibility to hire talent as per business needs. As you calculate the virtual assistant cost and budget to hire independent talent, factor in: 

1. Virtual Assistant Skills

A virtual assistant may be a generalist or offer niche services. In-depth knowledge, experience, and familiarity with industry best practices also influence virtual assistant costs.

A good rule of thumb to go by is this - the greater the skillset, complexity, and expertise required for the job, the higher the pricing. For example, specialized virtual assistants would cost more than a back-office specialist handling data entry and billing111.

CTA to download Flowz's virtual assistants' service guide

2. Pricing Options

Virtual assistants do hourly, project, or retainer pricing depending on scope. If you need part-time help, you can pay by the hour or on a project basis. But a sabbatical leave may require you to hire talent full-time and pay a fixed retainer.

Freelance marketplaces and gig-based job boards are pocket-friendly options to find independent contractors but they require significant HR work. A dedicated virtual assistant provider like Flowz can match you fit the right fit and mitigate HR concerns and overheads on office upkeep.

How to Pay a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants often work with multiple clients and use invoicing software for billing. Before hiring an independent contractor, ask them about their payment method.

While many still prefer the good old direct deposits, the rise of platforms like Stripe, PayPal, and Wise has changed the way virtual assistants accept payments and manage their finances. And that’s a wrap! Do you plan to hire a virtual assistant in 2023? Let us know in the comments below. 

The Ultimate List of Virtual Assistant Software To Make Virtual Assistant Life Easy

Businesses go above and beyond to maintain productivity since low productivity leads to a cascade of issues.

Business Tasks

Image Source: Clockify

The above graphical image showcases perceived time spent on repetitive tasks across countries.

Thus businesses confined to repetitive and monotonous chores make it difficult for organizations to concentrate on their top priorities.

Studies reveal that lost productivity costs employers $1.8 trillion each year.

To enhance productivity and leverage their resources, companies turn to virtual assistants.

A virtual assistant (VA) is a skilled individual who can manage your schedule, organize your files, answer customer queries, and more.

In essence, using a VA is all about time and money savings.

A Virtual Assistant with the right software tools can effectively manage your daily tasks. They can free up your time so you can focus on your top priorities.

 

Virtual Assistant TrendsWhat Makes Virtual Assistants Productive?

Virtual assistants are a pathway to a higher rate of productivity for organizations. They increase the efficiency of tasks thus improving productivity.

A study shows that 72% of small business owners feel overburdened by their responsibilities and the volume of work at hand. 64% of business owners believe they need to delegate more duties to experience less stress.

Thus delegating tasks to a virtual assistant can increase the efficiency and productivity of any business. And a great way to understand productivity is to define KPIs and goals. Clocking in and out is the wrong way to measure productivity because it doesn’t tell you if work happened.

While working with a virtual assistant, the biggest roadblocks to productivity are poor communication and a lack of the right productivity tools.

Also read: 7 wonders a virtual assistant can bring to your world

 

What is Virtual Assistant Software?

There are modern technology and software tools developed for virtual assistants to complete tasks faster. The following are the best virtual assistant software tools accessible online. These tools can help virtual assistants finish their work in managing appointments, social media management, time tracking, communicating with clients, and more.

1. Time Tracking Virtual Assistant Software

Virtual assistants live in different parts of the world and work at different time zones. And, it becomes difficult to time track and run payroll smoothly. 

To this extent, businesses need a reliable time tracking tool to calculate the number of hours a virtual assistant works.

A good time tracking tool not only calculates the number of hours a virtual assistant works but also gives the time utilized protecting businesses from time theft.

Outsourcing PartnerFor every dollar a company makes, time theft can cost them up to 20%.

a. Time Doctor

Time Doctor is a time-tracking and employee productivity management tool. From big to small organizations, use Time Doctor to enhance employee productivity.

The tool allows businesses to:

  • Find out how much time your VAs spent working 
  • Record the time spent on each project and with clients.
  • Check out the programs and websites the VA used while at work.
  • Utilize precise reports to analyze VAs productivity

b. Hubstaff

Hubstaff aids businesses in monitoring the efficiency and output of virtual assistants. It enables organizations to automate timesheets for virtual assistants without the hassle of manually tracking hours.

The tool provides in-depth information that makes it evident how VA operates. Businesses can monitor data like activity levels and the amount of time spent on particular websites and apps.

Organizations may acquire thorough reports on the virtual assistant work and track their performance using a dashboard.

2. File Sharing/Storage Virtual Assistant Software

Working with a virtual assistant involves plenty of file sharing and document management. Emailing files is outdated and time-consuming.

Businesses can use file-sharing tools to streamline document storage, sharing, and work collaboration. Some software even lets organizations edit and organize files in real-time.

Here are some of the best tools for file sharing and storing with virtual assistants:

Dropbox

Over 500,000 companies utilize Dropbox, a reputable file-sharing service. It allows businesses to streamline the work of virtual assistants.

Businesses may draft documents, make modifications, and maintain files from one site. The tool is designed for enterprises and has many admin features suitable for businesses of any size.

Pricing

  • Professional: $19.99 per month (for individuals)
  • Standard: $15 per user/month (for small teams)
  • Advanced: $25 per user/month (for larger teams)

Box

The Box allows limitless storage and document management when employing virtual assistants. Along with excellent security safeguards, the tool has 256-bit encryption.

Using Box, businesses can lock data and limit access only to an individual virtual assistant. Therefore, organizations can utilize Box to limit their virtual assistant’s access to only particular files and data.

3. Social Media Management Tools

Social Media StrategyBusinesses utilize virtual assistants for social media management. Virtual assistants need social media management solutions to handle social networks effectively.

An effective social media management tool allows businesses to:

  • Schedule social media posts
  • Connect with the target audience
  • Conduct social media campaigns
  • Analyze the performance of social media campaigns

The following tools can make managing social media for virtual assistants simpler:

a. Buffer

Social Media ToolBuffer consolidates all social media accounts under one roof. As a result, virtual assistants don’t need to log on to their social media accounts like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Virtual assistants can handle all the company’s social media accounts by connecting their social media profiles to Buffer.

Additionally, Buffer offers a feature that permits multiple users to access the account. Thus, it makes it easy for companies to monitor virtual assistants’ performance while they work on it.

b. Hootsuite

Social Media Tool

Image Source: Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a popular social media tool that allows businesses to schedule and manage content on all their social media pages.

Using Hootsuite’s inbox feature enables virtual assistants to track, view, and respond to followers’ messages across all social media platforms from a single place.

Businesses can assign work to virtual assistants and keep an eye on them with the help of advanced team collaboration tools from Hootsuite.

Additionally, utilize the courses available on Hootsuite to train their virtual assistants to improve their social media skills and gain certifications to demonstrate to potential clients.

Related: What You Need to Know About Social Media Virtual Assistants

4. Operations & Process Documentation Tools

Virtual assistants can do their work with the help of precise documentation.

These document-based tools help virtual assistants become proficient in their work. As business practices change, the virtual assistant also assists businesses in keeping their paperwork current.

Here are the tools listed to help businesses to organize their business operations.

a. Process Street

Businesses can design checklists and procedures to direct virtual assistants through their work using Process Street, a workflow management platform.

Businesses can maintain accuracy and consistency in their work using this effective tool. Additionally, Process Street makes task execution simpler by streamlining onboarding and removing uncertainty.

b. Trainual

Trainual allows businesses for procedural documentation. It eases the onboarding of virtual assistants. For virtual assistants to understand corporate procedures, it saves company regulations and produces playbooks to direct each stage of a work process.

The tool empowers businesses to turn their business procedures into training programs. Companies can even use built-in templates to create their personalized company policies. 

5. Online Meeting Tool

Meeting with virtual assistants or allowing them to plan concurrent sessions with clients can be difficult. Video conferencing is a great way to collaborate with virtual assistants to have business conversations. 

Use these tools to make working with virtual assistants easy:

a. ezTalks Cloud Meeting

Virtual StaffingezTalks Cloud Meeting is a versatile business video and web conferencing tool that lets businesses host virtual meetings with virtual assistants.

An interactive whiteboard, screen sharing, cross-platform discussion, and online meeting scheduling all contribute to the efficiency of business meetings.

b. Zoom

Zoom is a video conferencing tool widely used to collaborate, hold meetings, and host virtual events.

The tool features group chat, video webinars, virtual conference rooms, and a business phone system, making them ideal virtual assistant software.

Zoom has advanced privacy and security features ensuring business data protection while working with virtual assistants.

Other Virtual Assistant Software

Virtual assistants relieve enterprises of the administrative strain that clogs entrepreneurs’ workdays. Companies may utilize virtual assistants’ full potential, save time, and maximize their investment with the help of the appropriate software solutions.

An effective virtual assistant tool can:

  • Aid organizations in completing tasks more effectively
  • Automate boring and repetitive jobs
  • Track the virtual assistants’ work time, activity, and progress
  • Maintain open lines of communication with a virtual assistant.

Here are some more tools to help businesses make the most of virtual assistants.

Project Management

A good project management tool can help businesses to:

  • Allocate work to virtual assistants
  • Analyze data to oversee projects 
  • Identify how virtual assistants can become more productive

Consider your current and future needs while choosing the best tool for your team. To avoid wasting time transferring data during growth, pick a technology that can scale with you.

a. Asana

Project Management

Image Source: Asana

Asana helps companies manage their projects effectively. It offers a team management feature that enables enterprises to set up teams in the tool with their virtual assistants.

Businesses using Asana can safeguard their sensitive data by only providing virtual assistants access to the data they need.

Organizations can easily delegate tasks to their virtual assistants, follow them, share projects with them, or make notes of them in task comments.

Additionally, its extensive workspace features let businesses organize teams, projects, and tasks and get informed of progress, eliminating the need for time-consuming back-and-forth email threads.

b. Basecamp

Basecamp is a simple project management tool designed to help organizations work remotely. It enables businesses to organize projects in a single place eliminating the need to go back and forth over small details or look for important files.

With Basecamp, it’s simple to stay connected with virtual assistants. Businesses can access this virtual assistant software on the web and even on their iOS or Android smartphones and tablets.

Essential CRM Virtual Assistant Software

CRM plays a critical role in any business as it consists of crucial information about customer data. It provides a complete understanding of any business. 

These CRM tools are vital for a virtual assistant to maintain client data and increase sales.

Salesforce has this feature to set up to do and record anything a sales team wants, which is its greatest attribute.

It helps virtual assistants in sales with:

  • Contact record management
  • Deal tracking for sales planning
  • Sales pipeline management
  • Integrate email marketing
  • Tasks allocation
  • Campaigns and outreach analytics

b. Hubspot

With the help of Hubspot, businesses can combine meetings, automated templates, and sales processes.

Even better, companies may combine Hubspot’s CRM with their marketing automation software.

Using Hubspot, businesses can build email campaigns and qualify and score leads.

Hubspot CRM features:

  • Contact Management
  • Call and email logs
  • Pipeline management
  • Integration with Gmail and Slack
  • Customer chat

Conclusion

Organizations need to hire virtual assistants to handle their administrative needs. Although hiring a virtual assistant is easy, managing them can be difficult. The specialized virtual assistant software discussed here can help you get the most out of your virtual resource.

Remote Staffing Provider

Top 10 Virtual Assistant Skills to Look Out for in 2023

Virtual assistants add incredible value to the lives of busy business owners. Besides boosting productivity and improving work-life balance, virtual assistants help you cut overhead costs and optimize resources. But here’s the thing.

Though remote workers are immensely valuable for growing companies, you may end up with a bad fit due to a lack of clarity on the virtual assistant skills you should look for.

In this post, we highlight ten basic (but vital!) virtual assistant skills. These may vary as per role and job requirements but nonetheless are a good referential point for your next hire.

Whether you source talent directly through company channels or rely on referrals, industry networks, or managed marketplaces, ensure your virtual assistants possess the following skills to enjoy a long-term and smooth working relationship with them.

1. Domain Expertise

Subject matter expertise is the top virtual assistant skill to test. Your virtual assistant must have a strong grasp of industry trends and best practices to ace their job.

Freelance marketplaces and communities have both emerging and seasoned talent. Depending on business priorities and budget, you can hire beginners, intermediate, or experienced professionals to manage your tasks. 

CTA to download Flowz's service guide

Firms hire independent workers for many duties, but the most in-demand virtual assistant services include:

Bookkeeping

Different from accounting, virtual assistants offer invoicing, data entry, billing, reimbursement, reporting, payroll, and reconciliation as part of virtual bookkeeping services. They help you manage day-to-day company finances and ensure your accounts are accurate and up-to-date.

Email Management

A virtual assistant handles your personal or company email to review and resolve customer queries. They check all incoming emails, send follow-ups, and flag emails that need your attention. You can also entrust them with email marketing and reporting. 

Content Writing

Content writers create short and long-form content for both digital and print publications. They write blogs, email newsletters, brochures, ebooks, guides, digital ads, and website copy to strengthen your digital marketing.

Social Media Management

It includes tasks like creating and managing social media profiles, creating strategies, and posting and curating user-generated content to build a brand online. A social media virtual assistant also runs paid campaigns and collects user feedback via polls.

bookkeeping, email management, and content writing represented as the three most in-demand virtual assistant services

Back-office Administration

Virtual assistants handle non-core tasks that don’t add to the bottom line directly. An umbrella term for inessential activities, a back-office specialist helps you maintain employee records, prepare reports, and manage office equipment infrastructure, and supplies.

Audio & Video Editing

You can hire virtual assistants to remove unwanted background voices, synchronize audio and video tracks, add special effects, adjust color balance, and create soundtracks to enhance the quality of your multimedia assets.

Web Development & SEO

Independent website and app developers deploy leading technology and best practices to build intuitive websites and apps. Whereas SEO specialists offer on-page, off-page, and technical SEO audits to improve your platforms’ visibility on search engines and app stores.

Customer Service

Businesses rely on customer service reps to answer customer questions, provide information, and solve complaints. They trust reps to deliver exceptional customer experience and ensure complete satisfaction by processing returns, exchanges, and refunds.   

CTA to book a call with Flowz team

2. Technical Acumen

Website and software developers need high technical prowess to create scalable world-class digital solutions for your business. But even for non-tech roles, basic IT knowledge is essential for day-to-day tasks.

Your virtual assistant must be able to collaborate seamlessly over modern communication and project management tools and track new updates, without needing daily reminders from your team.

Likewise, good command over marketing technology comes in handy when you need your virtual assistant to create excel reports, presentations, design collaterals, or manage CRMs like Salesforce or HubSpot.

Computer literacy and comfort with trying new tools would make it easy for them to be on your software stack.

3. Communication

Virtual assistants often have to context switch and multitask while collaborating with clients. Being remote, they collaborate on project management software and attend video meetings in real-time to brainstorm and discuss ideas.

When hiring, check your potential candidate’s experience with sync and async communication tools and if they can communicate effectively. 

4. Attention to Detail

Detail orientation is a critical skill for virtual assistants handling administrative tasks like payroll, scheduling, or managing projects. They should be sharp-eyed and active listeners, able to distill complex ideas into handy notes for reference.

Businesses rely on virtual assistants to create error-free content, emails, and presentations. Whatever the role, ensure your virtual assistant can minimize distractions and turn in the best quality work on time. 

CTA to download handout on mistakes to avoid when hiring a virtual assistant

5. Team Collaboration

You may be looking for a personal assistant to plan and manage your calendar. Or your marketing team may need a designer to create graphics and videos for social media. Either way, both roles require a virtual assistant to collaborate with your team to understand priorities and act proactively on them. 

Probe into shortlisted candidates' work experience in a global and remote team setting. Do they come from a background of collaborative culture and are skilled in the practice of collaboration?

Glean their responses for awareness of, as Harvard Business Review puts it, “appreciating others, being able to engage in purposeful conversations, productively and creatively resolving conflicts, and project management” for team performance. 

A pro tip on working style. Some thrive in groups, others prefer to be one-person teams.

6. Time Management

Nothing kills productivity like procrastination. And with the rise of the digital era, it’s almost impossible to ward off distractions, with our devices constantly lighting up with the latest news and the next big breakthrough.

Virtual assistants are not immune to this sensory assault. Add multiple clients into the mix and the ability to manage time effectively to maximize productivity and hit deadlines is apparent.

Top-rated contractors are masters of the art of effective time management and know how to manage their schedules to get more done in less time. To test for time management skills, ask candidates to run you through their approach to handling big-ticket projects and high-priority tasks all due around the same week.

7. Organization

Organization and time management go together. It’s hard to be organized without effective time management and vice-versa. Many independent contractors are solopreneurs who juggle multiple clients at once and chase competing deadlines.

If your virtual assistant doesn’t have strong organizational skills, they’d struggle to prioritize deliverables and likely miss deadlines.

Ask prospective hires open-ended questions about their daily workflow and preferred style of working. Do they schedule tasks and create to-do lists? What systems and tools do they use to streamline administrative duties and manage projects? Check answers for insights into their working style and if it fits yours.

A pro tip that freelance marketplaces are a pocket-friendly option for SMBs but finding the right fit needs a lot of effort. A better option is a virtual assistant provider like Flowz.

8. Self-Motivation

In-house employees trade full-time jobs with alternative opportunities to work on their terms. The freedom to pick flexible working hours, clients, and projects is a strong incentive. According to a 2021 Upwork survey, American freelancers contributed $1.3 trillion in annual earnings to the US economy and more than half of non-freelance respondents expressed an interest in freelancing in the future. 

But freelancers also go in-house in search of a steady and predictable income.

Image Source: Superpath

Independent work is appealing but it also has its fair share of challenges. To successfully navigate the ins and outs of a virtual work environment, your hire must have solid self-motivation and concentration skills. Screen the resumes for the potential hires' experience in a virtual environment and the client history.

Their work experience on LinkedIn can also hold clues to reliability and credibility.

9. Analytical Bent

One common element between successful businesses is the will to measure performance and pursue effective strategies. Unless you hire a virtual assistant who’s comfortable with data and can interpret it to discover what’s working and not, you’d face difficulty identifying the right channels and tactics to focus on.

Let’s take an example. 

Social media is a powerful channel for SMBs to find traction with new audiences online. If you are a B2B company, LinkedIn paid ads may work for your business. Whereas for a B2C firm, Instagram may turn in good results. But without data to support either of these decisions, your virtual assistant may undertake social media activities that don’t yield any results and waste resources in the process.    

10. Creativity

Creativity is not a hard skill for most jobs - unless you are hiring for a creative role. Think writing, design making, or audio and video editing. But beyond these functions, creativity is also necessary to discover novel solutions to complex business challenges.

If you don’t have the time to share detailed briefs or offer constant supervision, your virtual assistant must be able to test and run with unique ideas that solve on-the-job setbacks. 

Bottom Line

Virtual assistants are an indispensable part of the post-pandemic workforce. Before hiring independent talent, identify skill gaps on your team and determine whether your business needs a full-time or part-time virtual assistant.

Get in touch to learn how Flowz empowers emerging businesses to build flexible teams and hit their goals.

Virtual Administrative Assistant: A Definitive Guide for Entrepreneurs

Administrative tasks are often tiresome, consume valuable organizational resources, limit productivity, and harm businesses. In-house workforce administration typically costs businesses more than per person annually. 

Consequently, businesses fail to devote enough time to focus on their clientele since 72% say they spend most of their time in tiresome administrative activities.

Outsource Business

A virtual administrative assistant can be what you need if you want to make the most of the time to expand your company rather than keep it afloat.

What Is a Virtual Administrative Assistant?

A virtual administrative assistant offers administrative support services such as database upkeep and organization, calendar management, appointment scheduling, email management, and more.

They work remotely by offering businesses a robust menu of assistance and handling the day-to-day tasks they don’t have the time to do.

10 Tasks A Virtual Administrative Assistant Can Handle

Virtual Administrative Assistant Tasks

A virtual administrative assistant helps businesses to keep their administrative efficiency in an optimal state 24/7. They handle administrative areas of your business, saving you time and money. Their tasks include:

1. Appointment Setting

As an entrepreneur, umpteen priorities vying for your attention, often make it hard to schedule appointments. A virtual administrative assistant sets meetings with prospective customers so that your best closers can seal the deal through personalized communications.

2. Document Formatting

A virtual administrative assistant ensures that your documents are formatted correctly and according to your specifications. Along with fonts, indentation, and margins, they check to see if the formatting components are correct. A virtual assistant can manage your document format requirements for both legal and corporate documents.

3. Transcription

If you want to get away from manual transcription or planning to swap traditional transcription methods, it’s time to embrace virtual administrative assistant service. Virtual administrative assistant services have certified transcriptionists who can work as an extension of your team, transforming the content from voice format to written records within the stipulated time.

4. List Management

It might be difficult for an entrepreneur to keep relationships with every client when they have a vast consumer base. A dedicated virtual assistant manages your contact list and can furnish an up-to-date contact list without duplicates or outdated contact information.

5. Custom Reports

A virtual administrative assistant can provide tailored reports for each recipient at every level of the hierarchy if your in-house team is overburdened with report creation. To make reports to your specifications, a virtual administrative assistant also handles the presentation elements.

6. Data Entry

Businesses must frequently manage their data, which takes time. For e-commerce, bookkeeping, CRM, or simply a simple spreadsheet, a virtual administrative assistant provides virtual data entry, maintenance, cleaning, deduplication, or manipulation.

7. Secretary Services

Administrative tasks may quickly take up most of your working day, neglecting more key duties. A virtual administrative assistant can perform different activities, including editing and formatting reports, setting up mail merges, and creating tables, images, and charts.

8. Market Research

While it takes time, market research is essential to any organization. A virtual administrative assistant conducts interviews, creates and analyzes surveys, and researches target audiences online.

9. Email Management

Every firm deals with a barrage of emails every day. Managing these emails can take a lot of time, which causes you to get behind on projects and end up working longer hours to catch up. A virtual administrative assistant can relieve your workload by ensuring you don’t have to sift through spam and send out quotes and bills on your behalf.

10. Answering Calls

Businesses rely on a virtual administrative assistant to handle calls, qualify prospects, and address client issues. A virtual assistant ensures that your company’s operations operate smoothly, providing more time to concentrate on business growth.

Why Hire a Virtual Administrative Assistant?

Productivity for Business

Often businesses remain in a dilemma of whether to hire a virtual assistant. So why exactly do you need a virtual assistant? Take a look at some powerful benefits of hiring a virtual administrative assistant.

Save Time

Every business owner wants more hours in their day. However, clerical tasks eat up their time. To this end, a virtual administrative assistant handles a gamut of recurring duties, leaving you with more hours in a day.

Reduced Operational Costs

Entrepreneurs spend oodles of money on administrative operations that include office space, office supplies, and more. By hiring a virtual assistant, you can substantially reduce your capital needs.

Studies reveal that virtual administrative assistants can save a business up to 78% of operating costs.

Preserves Entrepreneurial Sanity

Mindset is everything for an entrepreneur. When administrative work gets piled up, entrepreneurs become overwhelmed, which affects their work. A skilled and reliable virtual assistant can take the burden off your shoulders by handling all the administrative work.

Press For Attention’s founder, Greg Simpson, is aware that his strengths “are in invention and text.” He claimed that when he concentrates on his core competencies, he is “much more productive as a business owner and far more innovative as a consultant.” Considering it a win-win, he outsources all administrative work in his company.

Access to Skilled Staff

A virtual assistant understands your business. They are adept at fulfilling administrative tasks, enhancing productivity, and helping you meet your business goals. Flowz offers vetted virtual assistants with experience in catering to the unique needs of businesses.

Also read: 7 Unbeatable Reasons Why You Need a Virtual Assistant

5 Signs You Need a Virtual Administrative Assistant

Administrative Virtual Assistant

Entrepreneurs often encounter this thought “When do I need a virtual assistant?”  How can you tell whether you’ll get enough productivity from a virtual administrative assistant? Here are some signs that you may already need one and didn’t know.

1. The Exorbitant Costs of Hiring Employees

If you’ve been stressed out and burned out doing work. And, you often realize that you need assistance, but cannot afford to have a full-time employee. In such situations hiring virtual assistants can be more cost-effective than hiring a full-time employee.

When it comes to the in-house employee, you have to manage long-term payroll with employee benefits irrespective of workload. In contrast, when you engage a virtual assistant, you only pay for the tasks or hours needed without paying for any additional advantages.

Full-Time Employee vs Virtual Administrative Assistant

2. You Lack Time to Commit to the Important Tasks

After addressing all the administrative responsibilities, business owners have no time left for work related to making money or pursuing their passions. Administrative tasks are necessary, but if you want to boost sales and revenue, you should focus on your areas of expertise.

If you don’t have enough time to handle your essential and high-impact activities, hiring a virtual assistant is the best decision.

84.4% of business owners claimed that hiring a VA has improved their operations.

3. You Lack the Skills to Handle Certain Tasks

Another reason for hiring a virtual assistant, you might not have any specific understanding of your field or business tool. You might take a while to perform research, leaving you with less time for important tasks. A good decision in these circumstances is to hire a virtual assistant.

4. You Often Miss Out on Business Opportunities

Making business decisions won’t be possible with your skills alone. Additionally, administrative work takes up much of your day. You can use the extra time a virtual assistant gives you to pursue your professional goals and do the research to create a better business plan.

5. You’re Failing at Customer Retention

It is difficult for businesses to achieve goals when they are short on time. You might have more time to devote to improving customer retention with help from a virtual assistant. Using a virtual assistant could make creating new plans and executing them easier.

12 Essential Skills to Look for in a Top Virtual Administrative Assistant 

Virtual Administrative Assistant

How can VAs become skilled administrators? What qualifications should entrepreneurs look for in a VA? The following are the twelve administrative support skills that make the best virtual assistants stand out:

Technical Skills

  • Software competency
  • Well-versed with online tools
  • Filing & records management
  • Research skills

Conceptualization

  • Time management
  • Problem solving
  • Organization
  • Resourcefulness

Interpersonal Skills

  • Communication
  • Negotiations
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Adaptability

How to Get Started with A Virtual Administrative Assistant?

These are some reasons why you might need to work with a virtual administrative assistant. It’s more productive, saves money, and guarantees that you can have a skilled staff without taking on the risks of hiring a full-time employee.

Then what are the steps to hire a virtual assistant today? Here are the key steps:

  1. Choose a trusted outsourcing partner, like Flowz.
    • Over 22 years of experience & expertise
    • Trusted by 4000+ clients
    • 5,500+ staff offering 150+ operational support services
  1. Book a call: Schedule a day and time that works best for you to learn more about the Flowz services.
  2. Relax. 
  3. Flowz’s team will analyze your business goals and identify your staffing and software needs.
  4. Flowz will source the perfect virtual assistant/s who can meet your specific requirements.
  5. The team lead sets KPI expectations, trains and monitors your staff, and oversees your project.
  6. They share weekly quality reports and bi-weekly feedback emails on your staff’s progress.

Conclusion

A skilled virtual administrative assistant can be an asset to your business. They save you a lot of time and money. Many entrepreneurs presume that they can manage alone. However, instead of wasting time on trivial tasks, you can hire a virtual administrative assistant to help you scale your business without exhausting your budget.

Find your Virtual Administrative VA

7 Unbeatable Reasons Why You Need a Virtual Assistant

The pandemic transformed the way businesses operate, causing them to adjust and adapt to the ‘new reality.’ They realized the need to outsource back-office tasks to meet business needs and goals. As they laid off full-time staff and went remote, they explored budget-friendly options, which led to a 41% hike in hiring virtual assistants through offshore agencies. 

Find that unbelievable? The below graph highlights the increase in inbound poll queries for virtual assistant services between 2019 and 2020. Check it out! Virtual assistants possess valuable skills and perform many in-demand services that add incredible value to the lives of busy business owners.

A piechart, with the breakdown of data trends on inbound queries to virtual assistants between 2019 and 2020

Image Source: NanoGlobals

In this post, we highlight the top seven reasons why you should hire a virtual assistant for your business. If you are on the fence about onboarding virtual assistant(s), read on. But remember, successful collaboration depends on well-defined tasks and goals. A mismatch in expectations could lead to a mutually unsatisfying relationship later. 

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Before discussing the benefits of hiring virtual assistants, let’s start with the question - what is a virtual assistant? Virtual assistants are remote workers who handle your non-core operations.

They may offer generalized services or hold expertise in tasks like accounting, marketing, or social media management. A virtual assistant may source clients on a freelance basis, on managed marketplaces, or work in-house for a BPO, helping you with:   

1. Lower Overhead Costs

In-house employee hiring requires you to create hefty packages and benefits. Besides a base salary, organizations are responsible for health insurance, 401K plans, accidental coverages, workspace allowances, team offsites, and paid time off. Emerging businesses don’t have the resources to meet these demands.

Virtual assistants help you cut these overhead costs and focus on scaling.

2. Domain Expertise

Virtual assistants are subject matter experts who are constantly perfecting their craft. You can find the expertise you need and leverage it to build your business. The more seasoned the virtual assistant, the higher the value they bring to the table.

You can work with top talent without adding a permanent position to the payroll. 

3. Quality Work

Unlike most in-house employees, independent contractors compete for projects and constantly upskill themselves to remain in demand and attract premium clients. High-quality work helps them build a reputation and collect testimonials.

When hiring a virtual assistant, you can check their portfolio and determine if their skills and expertise match your quality standards and needs.

4. Quick Delivery

This one is no brainer! Virtual assistants balance quality with timelines. Full-time employees often juggle multiple priorities and struggle to prioritize effectively, which leads to delays and missed deadlines. But since most virtual assistants focus on one project at a time or operate within shorter timeframes, they share deliverables comparatively faster. 

5. Diverse Talentpool

DE&I initiatives are as important as ever. Most SMB businesses can’t afford to hire global talent due to logistics concerns. But hiring virtual assistants is a great option to engage with a larger talent pool without confining yourself to local areas.

Besides cost savings, a diverse team - comprising individuals from different cultural and educational backgrounds - leads to better business ideas and outcomes.

6. Lower Company Risk

Hiring someone in-house means investing in their career growth at your company. You invest time and resources in onboarding and training them to be successful in their role. But it can go to waste if the employee decides to leave. With independent contractors, you don’t run that risk. 

You can build contracts with clear deliverables and payment terms, without affecting your internal processes. The absence of a long-term commitment lets you optimize resources.

7. High Flexibility

Often, virtual assistants work flexible hours to serve clients in different time zones. While in-house employees are available only during specified working hours, independent contractors may also be available for last-minute emergencies.

Their flexible work schedules enable them to step up and offer support as and when necessary. 

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Virtual Assistant Skills to Check

Besides core competencies, virtual assistants need soft skills to win at their jobs. Soft skills are a mix of people skills, emotional intelligence, personality traits, and social qualities that help them collaborate effectively and hit KPIs, especially when working in groups.

Whether you are hiring virtual assistant services to directly engage with you or in a team, check for these five crucial virtual assistant skills:

  • Communication: Your virtual assistant must be familiar with the latest online collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, Airtable, and Notion for async updates and should know how to communicate efficiently over video meetings in real-time.
  • Time Management: Seasoned virtual assistants stay on top of the schedule and know how to prioritize efficiently. Your contractor must have solid time management skills and a realistic understanding of how much they can complete in a day without getting burned out or missing deadlines.
  • Organization: Without a well-organized virtual assistant, it’d be hard to follow project timelines. Project management is a valuable and in-demand soft skill. If you are a busy executive and hiring a personal virtual assistant, check if they can work independently with minimal supervision.
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  • Self-motivation: The freedom to work from anywhere and on their own terms leads many to leave their full-time jobs and become independent contractors. But a virtual environment can get dispiriting quickly. When hiring, check your virtual assistant’s experience with remote work. 
  • Reliability: Trust is a big consideration factor when working with virtual assistants. Regardless of whether they charge hourly, by project, or a monthly retainer, they must be available during the agreed hours for any updates and catch-ups and take new assignments as per business needs.

Tips to Find the Right Virtual Assistant

Organizations have always been privy to the drawbacks of traditional staffing solutions. But the pandemic brought them to the forefront once again as remote work and flexible workforces - distributed teams and independent talent - became the norm. Onboarding virtual assistants is a great way to cut exorbitant recruitment costs and employee churn. Virtual personal assistants can also play a role to equip large team managers with a helping hand in many scenarios. 

But to enjoy a fruitful long-term collaboration with contractors, consider these tips:

1. Spot Skill Gaps

Unless you have identified business needs, it’d be difficult to find the right fit for the job. Do you need help with marketing, programming, design, or something else? Hard skills require job-specific and measurable competencies.

Let’s take an example.

A programmer turned writer can create highly technical product documentation but a content marketer may not have the coding expertise to write authoritatively on the subject. Once you identify the role and skills, determine if it’s an addition to the existing team or to support a new business unit or department launch.

2. Assess Goals

A well thought-out hiring strategy takes long-term and short-term staffing needs into account. Before you hire a virtual assistant, consider which roles require full-time help and which are better suited for a one-off project or hourly contract. 

That way, you can fill skill gaps quickly and scale or downsize your team as needed. 

3. Created Detailed JDs

Develop a job description featuring the role’s core duties and responsibilities. It’s easy to work off templates but ensure you tailor them before sharing them in your networks. 

A detailed JD is key to attracting the right talent and saving hours on combing through a high volume of irrelevant CVs. Don’t forget to add the soft skills and an “About Us” section - highlighting your company values and mission - to help potential candidates check the mutual fit.

4. Perform Extensive Research

Freelance websites, gig-based job boards, and outsourcing companies are all great options to hire virtual assistants. But in-depth research is necessary to steer clear of potential hiccups like misalignment on job requirements or hidden fees. 

A trusted virtual staffing provider like Flowz sources top candidates and takes full charge of employee training and management, without levying any additional charges.    

tips on finding the right virtual assistant

Take the Leap

The Pandemic pushed the frontiers of what the business world thought possible. No longer restricted to traditional hiring channels or strategies, companies can now access top talent and build scalable and flexible teams quickly. Hire a virtual assistant today and stay ahead of the competition curve!

Did this article answer your questions about why hire a virtual assistant? Tell us your challenges and goals below.

What You Need to Know About Social Media Virtual Assistants

Social media is a lucrative avenue for companies to hit their revenue targets. Over 4.59 billion people worldwide used social media in 2022 and that number is predicted to reach almost six billion in 2027. Leading players allocate big budgets to social media marketing and hire top talent. But what kind of expertise does a social media virtual assistant possess? 

A virtual assistant for social media is a remote worker who takes charge of your social accounts and undertakes activities to meet business goals. These could include brand awareness, generating leads, collecting customer feedback, or organic engagement to build relationships.

In this article, we discuss the tasks a social media virtual assistant performs to hit these goals and the skills they must possess to succeed in their role. 

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Why Do You Need a Social Media Virtual Assistant? 

Check out this graph on the leading benefits of using social media for marketing purposes. Published by Statista, it identifies ‘increased exposure’ as the top reason why marketers use it, followed by ‘increased traffic’ and ‘generated leads.’

The study looks at businesses that have been using social media for more than five years and those for less than twelve months, and differentiates between ‘passive social media marketing’ and ‘active social media marketing.’ 

The former depends on user-generated content (UGC) and involves natural communication between customers, while the latter “requires deliberate employment of tactics/and or teams focused on creating and executing actual marketing campaigns.” A virtual social media manager can help with both and suggest new ways to reach your target audience online. 

Graphical representation of the data on the benefits of using social media for marketing purposes, taken from Statista.
Source: Statista

Besides that, a talented social media virtual assistant can provide incredible business value by: 

1. Improving Customer Service

Unlike emails or phone calls, using social media for customer service is fast and direct. It allows you to have forward-facing conversations and tap into UGC to uncover customer feedback. A virtual assistant responds to questions and concerns and enables you to have positive customer interaction and serve people better.

2. Developing Positioning Power

Social media virtual assistants publish and manage content on your social media profiles which develop positioning power. This active engagement on social signals that you are active and open to new customers.

A social media virtual assistant also uses your social accounts to build online leverage on SERPs, which may well be the first touchpoint for buyers when they look up your brand on Google. 

3. Building a Better Search Engine Presence

The industry is ripe with debate on the relationship between social media and SEO. Without a direct correlation between the two, it’s easy to dismiss the impact of traffic from social on SEO. But with linkless backlinks, the shares and click-throughs from social can send positive search signals to Google, helping your site rank.

A social media assistant posts content that drives engagement and significant referral traffic. See how our LinkedIn shows up on Google for the search query ‘Flowz’?

Screenshot from Google showing Flowz's LinkedIn profile as a search result for the query 'Flowz'.

4. Humanizing Your Brand

Social media experts know that the hyper-professional “suit and tie” approach doesn’t work anymore. People want genuine and authentic content and engage with brands whose values align with theirs. A social media virtual assistant brainstorms methods to help you connect with people and build meaningful relationships on leading social channels. 

What Skills Does a Social Media Assistant Need?

Social media assistants are responsible for understanding your audience and crafting a social media strategy that caters to their behavior in line with your business goals.

To be successful in their role, you must hire a virtual assistant for social media who possesses the following five core competencies:

  • Communication: Engagement lies at the heart of social media, which requires genuine and transparent communication. Ensure your assistant can communicate with your audience, and not at your audience, since – as Amy Jo Martin put it, social media is a “dialogue, not a monologue.”
  • Creativity: Social media engagement is all about providing value. Your content should feel native to the platform and feel relatable to your audience. The potential hire should possess a creative steak and be willing to experiment until they discover what sticks and why with followers. 
  • Copywriting: This skill forms the backbone of others. Without a captivating copy for your creatives, ads, or posts, it will be difficult to drive engagement. Check your assistant’s portfolio to understand their writing style or test their copywriting skills by sharing a short assignment.
  • Design: Social media algorithms have veered away from simple text-based updates to visual content like photos and videos. Your accounts should offer variety and cater to all demographics of your target audience. Ensure your assistant has design chops and can create appealing assets that spark interest and drive business goals.
Five core skills that a social media virtual assistant needs to succeed in their role.
  • Analytical Bent: Social media efforts are as good as the results. Unless you measure performance, it’d be hard to decide which channels to prioritize and where to direct resources. For eg, if your virtual assistant uses both organic and paid approaches on multiple social networks, they must know which tactic is working where and tailor their strategy for maximum results.

Next, let’s look at the tasks you can expect a virtual social media assistant to perform.

social media virtual assistant service guide

13 Tasks That a Social Media Virtual Assistant Can Perform

Social media offers a ton of opportunities to reach more customers and drive business growth. But depending on whether you are an established company or a rising SMB, the goals and results from social media marketing differ as per the scale and maturity of social media operations. 

Recently, Joe Zappa shared the following post on the value of social media marketing on LinkedIn and how it generated over $200K in revenue for his business. 

Impressive, isn’t it?

Joe Zappa's LinkedIn post on how social media marketing brought him over $200K in revenue.
Image Source: LinkedIn

A social media expert sizes up your current efforts and performs the following tasks to hit business goals:

  1. Create and manage your social media profiles
  2. Build a social media strategy and monthly calendars, with KPIs
  3. Undertake customer research to understand user behavior
  4. Perform market research to identify content trends
  5. Curate, share, and moderate UGC 
  6. Reply to DMs and user comments on posts
  7. Repurpose collaterals for social media profiles
  8. Run paid campaigns and track performance
  9. Run surveys and collect user feedback
  10. Discover opportunities for paid partnerships
10 tasks that a social media virtual assistant can perform for businesses.

The above tasks are only a brief glimpse into what a social media manager does. Depending on the role, experience, and expertise, you can hire a niche social media virtual assistant to establish your brand as an industry thought leader, promote website content, and strengthen your employer branding. 

Ultimately, a clear idea of business goals is the key to finding the right fit for your social media marketing efforts.

Flowz's social media toolkit

How to Hire a Social Media Virtual Assistant?

An incorrect understanding of social media marketing often causes businesses to hire social media marketers without any concrete objectives. Unlike other channels, social media doesn’t generate (or guarantee) measurable results instantly.

Instead, it’s more about social listening, branding, community building, and forming long-term customer relationships to keep them engaged and interested in your offerings. 

Even if you plan to use social media for paid campaigns, it requires a lot of upfront work on building and nurturing relationships to get meaningful results.

A solid understanding of how social media works and tracks performance is necessary for creating a JD that speaks to potential candidates and encourages them to apply for the opening. 

Likewise, factors like company size, goals, and marketing maturity help them assess the right fit.

If you have the budget, you can advertise the role on your website and LinkedIn profile. But if you are an SMB that is just getting started and can’t hire in-house employees, try freelance platforms like Fiverr and Upwork.

Though economical, these platforms need you to spend considerable time on screening and training virtual assistants. 

A better option is to outsource your social media marketing needs to a virtual assistant provider like Flowz, which takes care of the sourcing, onboarding, screening, and training.

Differences between an in-house employee and an Flowz virtual assistant.

Job boards, slack communities like Superpath, and Reddit are also a few other options. 

Over to You

Big brands hold a monopoly over Google SERPs which makes it difficult for emerging names to compete with them. Social media is a cost-effective alternative and offers a comparatively level playing field.

If you take a story-telling approach and create a value-rich experience through quality content, your business stands an equal chance of winning buyers. What goals do you have for your social media? Let us know in the comments below.

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