What is a Virtual Assistant

When I first started helping businesses' manage their social media channels and people would ask me what I did, I said I was a social media consultant. That confused people, because they thought I would just do an assessment of their channels when in fact I was assessing and or running their social media channels.  I chose instead to start saying that I was a virtual assistant specializing in social media and PR because I was working more virtually with my clients than I was working in person with them.  People still looked at me like a deer in headlights when they asked what I did.  So I thought I would break it down on what exactly a virtual assistant is. 

A virtual assistant or a VA for short, is someone who helps a business or busy people remotely.  Virtual assistants are highly skilled professionals who leverage their talents and their time to help others run a successful business with any tasks that can be done online.

When I first started I did not call myself a virtual assistant because to me I thought it was a person that performed administrative tasks, organize emails, set travel arrangements, return phone calls, you know that busy work that is important but could be passed over to someone other than the business owner to take care of.  While it is true that a virtual assistant did evolve from the traditional office role of administrative assistant, VA's can now be narrowed down by their specific skill set.  There are VA's out there that specialize in logistics, legal research, data entry, bookkeeping, social media, internet marketing, web development, web programming, SEO, copy writing and so much more.  

 Image by  Ashley Courter

Basically you can think of Virtual Assistant services as hiring an independent contractor or "freelancer" to complete tasks to grow and maintain your business that:

* You are not good at

*You are too busy to do yourself

*Diverts your attention from your core activity

*Doing the tasks you really just do not want to do

The next logical question should be, why should you consider hiring a VA?

With the ease of knowing that a qualified VA can get the work done the real question is why wouldn't you hire one?  VA's can help eliminate the work related stresses that keep you wishing there were 26 hours in the day. VA's can be hired to complete a single project or be used more frequently to free up more of your time to focus on your bottom line. Unlike an employee if you are dissatisfied with the quality of work the VA is producing you can choose to end the contract and at that point decide if you will move forward with a different VA or continue to do the work on your own again.