Time is priceless and business owners understand the meaning of this phrase better than anybody else does.
Recent entrepreneurial boom resulted in fast development of virtual assistant business to help business founders with multitasking and allowing them to focus more on strategical growth.
Starting a virtual assistant business is fast, easy, requires no investment and brings lots of benefits.
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Why to start a virtual assistant business?
Several months ago, I started to join closed groups on Facebook dedicated to business growth strategies and entrepreneurship. Actually, I did that on purpose.
My goal of being a part of Facebook communities was not to promote my business or ask for advice. Though it can also help, I had a different goal.
I wanted to analyze what starting entrepreneurs are interested in, what business niches are most popular among the starters, and what are the difficulties that most business owners should cope with daily.
And you know what?
Virtual assistant business appeared to be one of the most popular among the starters.
It is not surprising because it is easy to start and requires no investment.
But what is more interesting here…
Frequent requests from Facebook groups’ members have shown that virtual assistants are in a high demand now among business owners.
It is simple. When you are growing a business, some tasks take too much time. Therefore, it is easier and CHEAPER to hire a virtual assistant and focus on business development, rather than spend hours doing routine work. And that is the reason why virtual assistant business has started to grow considerably over the last several years.
What are the virtual assistant tasks?
To understand this business more deeply let’s go through the tasks of a virtual assistant:
- Email management – corresponding to client’s emails, following up clients
- Trips, flights, hotels and appointments booking
- Answering calls
- Online research
- Reports and presentations (PowerPoint reports, graphs, basic presentations)
- Data entry
- Invoice management
- Online customer support (responding to tickets)
- Documents and manuals preparation
- Blog management (WordPress installation, plugins installation, creating tags and online forms, backuping)
- Submitting press releases to directories
- Interviewing clients
- SEO tasks (content optimization, keywords research, competitor analysis, link building, sitemap and newsfeed submission, Google analytics monitoring)
- Social media management (creating a managing social media accounts, creating images for posts, social media campaigns audit, hashtags and competitors’ activities research, communication with the audience and growing engagement, running contests and giveaways)
- Marketing tasks (commenting on other websites, forums commenting)
- Content writing (press releases, blog articles, advertising texts)
- Video management (video editing, video presentations making, updating YouTube channel content)
- Personal requests (buying gifts, making doctor appointments, time scheduling, etc.)
Before starting a virtual assistant business decide on the services you are going to provide – think what you like the most and identify your strongest skills.
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Virtual Assistant vs Online Business Manager: what is the difference?
If you are interested in helping your clients with more strategical tasks, you should think about providing business management services.
Online Business Managers (OBM) tasks can be the following:
- Team management
- Strategy planning
- Task management
- Project management
- Reaching business goals
OBM are focusing on business planning and business growth while virtual assistants perform more specific administrative, marketing and technical tasks.
Both types of services are in a high demand now and it is up to you what services to offer.
Be as specific as you can with listing the services your business provides. Focus on 3-5 tasks you would like to help with.
It this case you will be able to identify your Target Audience to promote virtual assistant business.
How to promote a virtual assistant business?
Here is the list of key steps you should follow to promote your virtual assistant business:
1. Create a website
Create an attractive website with the list of services providing by your virtual assistant business. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to create a website without special coding skills, such as WordPress or WIX.
2. Print Business Cards.
Create business cards with your contact information and a website link. Keep your business cards with you every time you go out and share them with people that could be interested in your services. Even if they don’t need your help now they will need it in future.
Networking is all about WIN – WIN relationships.
The more people you can help the more clients you will get. Communicate more and do not focus just on direct business promotion. Focus on providing help to others.
You’ll be surprised how the word-of-mouth can impact your business growth.
4. Facebook groups
Join Facebook groups for entrepreneurs and small business owners and try to offer your services there.
Here is the list of some great Facebook groups you can consider:
5. Twitter and Facebook ads
Social media ads can help a lot with targeting your market. For example, if you target doctors or business coaches just select these areas of interest before posting your ad and your future clients will see your promo.
Create a blog and write articles about different problems solved by virtual assistants to attract more clients. A website with regularly updated content is easier to promote. Besides, you can attract more people via organic search.
7. Participate in conferences / meetings
If you promote online it is awesome, but do not forget about real meeting. Local market can give you unlimited opportunities for growth since
8. Comment on forums and Q&A websites
Find some niche forums and websites where entrepreneurs are searching for help. Be active commenting and answering the questions. In this case, you’ll get noticeable quickly and have more chances to get new clients.
9. Introduce on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a powerful tool for networking and marketing business. Make sure your profile looks professional and represents your skills.
Surely, you can personally contact business owners offering your help, but the most effective way is to ask for introduction from your professional network.
I am sure that virtual assistance business will continue to grow. If you would love to contribute to clients’ business growth and learn how entrepreneurs work this type of business if just perfect for you.
Just focus on particular services without trying to cover everything. Do not forget about competitors and provide only a high quality service.
Tania Artemova is a personal branding strategist, entrepreneur, blogger and motivator. She is a founder of IStartHub and a Co-founder of Great Create Web Agency.