Virtual Assistants: The Who, What and How

Most people I talk to have heard of a Virtual Assistant (VA) but they don’t always understand what I do or how I do it so I thought I’d open the floor for questions. I put it to my trusty LinkedIn community to find out what their burning quick-fire questions were! 

So 3, 2, 1…..GO!

Why do you call yourself a Virtual Assistant when you’re clearly real!

I’ll give you that one, I am a real person and not just a chatbot that pops up on your website. The ‘virtual’ in virtual assistant simply means I won’t be in your office. Location isn’t an issue – I can work from anywhere and you can be based anywhere (though I only work with UK based clients right now!)

Is there anything you don’t do? 

I specialise in executive-level administration, marketing and operational support so personally, I don’t do much with things like social media, web development or copywriting. I work with other freelancers who have the skills to provide that to my clients and I’ll manage the process so it’s easy and straight-forward for you. 

Do you ever come across privacy/security issues? 

Of course! Working with businesses I come across sensitive data all the time. I’m registered with the ICO and have data handling processes in place. I also use LastPass to protect passwords and limit the risk of security breaches. I encourage all of my clients to follow best-practice and find out during initial onboarding if there are any data protection issues I need to be aware of.

How does the process work? Are you cc’d into emails or does the client forward you relevant stuff?

This depends on the client and the role that I’m doing. It’s something that we can work out during the onboarding process. My job is to make your life easier. If that means it’s easier for me to have an email address under your business name then that works for me. If you’d prefer to just send things over for me to pick up I can work like that too! 

If you haven’t got enough time to show your VA what to do, can they still help you?

I’ve got over 8 years of experience so I can pick up tasks pretty quickly. I can guarantee that 98.99% of tasks involve some sort of handover and upfront time to set up your VA. I can also guarantee that if you spend that time upfront then give it a month, you’ll feel like a weight has been lifted. 

Typically quick jobs to handover are:

  • Updating your website and uploading blogs
  • Research
  • Processing expenses 

…but there are many more! 

Trust me, the reality of how long it will take to train and set up your VA, especially if they’re experienced, is so much easier than you think it will be. Don’t let the fear put you off.

How does it work with you taking time off?

I will always let you know if I’ve got time off coming up. I’ll make sure that everything is tied up, anything that can be automated is, you’ve had a full update of anything outstanding and anything that might crop up while I’m off has been flagged or mitigated. If there’s work that needs to be completed while I’m away, it’s usually something I workaround. As a business owner, I’m never fully offline, but I always try my best.

And remember, you pay me for the hours that I work so you won’t be paying me to sip strawberry daiquiris on a beach somewhere (I know, wishful thinking right now!)

What are the top 3 ways a VA supports someone?

What a Pandora’s box of a question! The term virtual assistant is so broad that it covers a whole heap of people. You’ll find that some VA’s manage the more traditional tasks like diary and email management, then others might do more finance tasks or marketing support. 

Some specialise and niche down and some work broadly across a range of tasks and industries

I fall into the executive support camp. So for me, the top 3 ways I support a client are diary management, inbox management and project coordination. That will be completely different for other VAs. If you’re looking to hire a VA then my biggest bit of advice would be to think about what tasks you need then look for a VA that offers specialised support for those areas. 

How the hell do you do it?

Because I love it, I ALWAYS find a way. 

I love working with my amazing clients and helping them to succeed in their businesses. I have limits for how many clients I take on at any one time so I know that I can kick-ass for them and deliver them the best service. I never give up, I’m tenacious and work efficiently. That’s pretty much it.

If you want to find out more about how a virtual assistant could transform your business then drop me a message to powerhour@typingandtasks.com and let’s have a chat about the best things to outsource and HOW.

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Amy Lester

Amy Lester

With over a decade of experience in Business Administration, Operations and Marketing, I’ve seen it all. I work with my clients on regaining their time so they can focus on taking their business to the next level.

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