You've done it.
You've started a business.
You've chased down clients, you've shaken hands.
And now you're ready to be successful!
One thing: how's your social media presence?
Well, that was an awkward silence.
The thing is, when you start being successful, you tend to have more things to do.
Makes sense, right?
There's more clients to talk to, more leads to chase down, and more questions to respond to on Twitter.
It's time you got a virtual assistant!
Hold the phone - what's a virtual assistant?
And do I actually need one?
Everyone could use a virtual assistant, or a VA. They are personal assistants that work remotely, and can do any job you send their way.
From admin to very specific, specialised tasks; if you have a task, they can do it.
All you have to do is find one.
However, this will obviously take time - do you have any to spare?
Didn't think so
And if there wasn't enough to do, now you have to keep up with the changing times - welcome to the age of the internet!
Let me guess:
Are you producing content for your Twitter in the spare minutes you can squeeze into your lunch hour?
Are you fixing your Facebook in the last hours of the week?
Are you ignoring the value of social media for your business?
So did my client.
Last year, I was tasked with finding a virtual assistant for my client's small marketing business.
With 6 of them crammed into a small office, they didn't have any more room - let alone any more money - to accomodate a new, permanent hire.
And their social media presence was, well
There was no presence.
They had a couple of profiles stringed together, and my client would put out a pic or a quote every few days
It simply isn't enough.
In total, I used up 17 hours - that's more than 2 business days - researching and finding a virtual assistant to solve our social media.
But when they found Sam - their virtual assistant - it was all worth it.
Sam was their social media whizz, taking the reins of the retweets and innovating their Instagram.
Finally, we could get on with what we were good at, and run our business.
So, I've decided to pass on the knowledge I've picked up along the way, and keep you productive.
This article will take you through:
- Whether you need a VA for your social media
- The methods of finding a VA
- How to use social media to find a VA
- How to make sure you've found a great virtual assistant to save your social media
Virtual assistants are clearly a handy tool for any business.
That being said, they will suit some businesses better than others -
Not every business solution will be your business solution!
But whether you need a VA or not, one thing is for sure: you need a strong social media presence.
That means engaging with Twitter.
That means liking and linking on LinkedIn.
And it means you're going to have to get involved with YouTube.
Let's face it: you barely have enough time to get your own work done.
How are you going to add a social media schedule on top of your workweek?
And do you seriously think you are going to get influencer-level-expertise overnight?
That's why you should be outsourcing these tasks.
So, to help you work out if you need a virtual assistant, I've brought together the 4 questions you need to ask yourself.
All you have to do is know your business inside-out, and answer the questions:
1. Are you overwhelmed by your workload?
Like I said: when your business starts to grow, so does your workload.
And considering social media is spiking in importance, it's yet another thing to tack to the to-do list!
This means longer hours, and the ever-growing risk of your team burning out.
[ And when you burn out, you will stop producing your best work. ]
This is what tipped my client into handing me the task of finding Sam.
As they were a small business, it was all hands on deck.
They may have specialised in their departments, but my client still struggled to make those deadlines!
Twitter questions went unanswered.
Emails went unchecked.
Problems were not realised until they heard about them in complaints!
And when they couldn't meet their deadlines, they daren't even think of those regarding their online presence!
So, they decided to outsource some of these tasks, and shorten their to-do lists.
They were back from burning out, and ready to bring on a new challenge.
2. Are you wasting your time on social media tasks you don't really know how to do?
I'll be honest: I don't know how to make a YouTube video.
I don't know how to write a script.
And I can barely use my iPhone camera, let alone film and edit content!
But someone does.
That someone can do it for you, and they can do it fast.
So, it's time to cut out the tasks that are eating away at your work week, and focus on what you do best.
Luckily, there are social media virtual assistants, just like our Sam.
And thanks to the cheaper rates than a brand new hire, you can have a whole new department at a discount!
3. Are you doing work you don't like?
It's safe to assume that you're passionate about business.
You're also likely to be passionate about what you do.
Maybe you love marketing, just like we do. Or maybe, you love running the numbers, and working behind the scenes?
Whatever it is, when you love what you do, you do it well.
So, it follows that when you aren't enjoying the work you do... you won't.
Let's say you're just like me: you don't use Instagram.
You can just about understand Twitter.
(But you know a good cat video when you see one!)
If you don't understand nor have the passion for social media, you won't do it well, right?
It'll take time to do basic tasks like sending out scheduled tweets into the world.
The quality will be poor, and it won't have the care and consideration you should be putting in your business every single day.
But when you hire a social media VA, you'll know you're getting an expert for the task at hand.
You can finally trade in those tasks you don't like and aren't good at, and get on with what you are.
It's pretty obvious isn't it?
They're a virtual assistant who take control of your social media!
But if you're still not so up-to-date with social media, here's a list of tasks they typically do:
Engaging with your audience
An angry tweet?
A raging review?
These need to be monitored and responded to.
If you leave a bad comment left to fester, it'll be a parasite to your profile.
Goodbye followers, goodbye traffic, goodbye success.
Managing your Facebook Ads
Not sure what a Facebook Ad is?
That's where social media VAs come in.
Tell them what you want, and they can conjure up some amazing ads for your business.
Social media scheduling
One of the first rules of social media is this:
You need a schedule.
You have deadlines for the rest of your business right?
When bills are due When projects need to be completed...
Your social media is just the same.
Cross platform strategy
Do you blog? Do you tweet?
Or should the question really be: can you?'
These VAs are versed in everything social media, and can schedule a cross-platform strategy to take on the globe, one post at a time.
And when one person is in control of every platform - and actually knows what they're doing - you can have a well-established brand tone.
No more scattered online presence.
Consistency is key!
Okay - so you can take a selfie.
Thankfully, there are virtual assistants that can do a little more than that.
YouTube is the second biggest search engine in the world.
Your presence there matters.
Hire someone that can write the scripts, hold the camera, and do the rest of it.
Keeping up-to-date with relevant trends
Time marches on pretty quickly these days.
And, in the world of social media, that clock hand moves even faster.
If you want to stay relevant, you're gonna need someone with their finger on the pulse.
If only there was someone you could hire who had experience of all things social media
If only you could hire someone that could keep up with the daily shifts online...
(Oh, wait - there is!)
So they do everything?
All you have to do is sit back and relax.
Wait - don't you have a business to run?
Let's recap - we know what virtual assistants are and we know that you need one for your social media right now.
Question is: how do you look for them?
Lucky for you, I've done the search before.
I've wasted nearly half a workweek seeking out a VA myself, so I want to make the process that much easier for you!
Thankfully, social media virtual assistants are a popular role.
Scattered across the internet there are experts with experience in taking on businesses just like yours, and sorting your social media situation.
And here's how you can locate them:
Firstly, you can post a job advert online.
Potential VAs are always on the lookout for a few more hours of guaranteed work, so they will flock to your listing, and see if they're a worthy match.
Just make sure you specify the roles they would take on -
You wouldn't want them to turn up with knowledge of tech and nothing of Twitter!
Once you've reviewed the candidates, put your interviewing shoes on, and assess which contender is your top pick.
And don't forget to hand over a trial task to test their skills:
You could request their social media handles, and take a peek at their profiles.
You could ask them to whip up a top facebook post, and see if it'll fit your business.
You could even ask them to take control of your Twitter for 24 hours, and see where they take your traffic!
Hire them, and start reaping the benefits.
The more common way to find a virtual assistant is through agencies or freelance marketplaces, however.
It's a bit like Amazon for virtual assistants:
You scroll through, see their skills, their past jobs, and their prices.
This one has experience of Facebook? Nice.
Wait - this VA has produced YouTube videos and instagram stories for influencers? Wow.
With so many choices, simply pick your VA, and click hire'.
You can even use specialist agencies, such as ones for skills in social media, and others for administrative tasks
Another way is through word of mouth!
Referrals are one of the most popular ways to find a VA.
Whether you're asking around on LinkedIn, or checking with fellow business owners for a spare VA, this can put you in close contact with a tried-and-tested virtual assistant if they've been recommended to you.
Maybe a fellow small business in the area had a VA that showed them the ropes of social media?
Or maybe an entrepreneur cannot stop recommending their brilliant blogger?
You can trust the choice you make, and start benefiting!
The last option - which just so happens to title this post - is finding a virtual assistant through social media.
As virtual assistants are remote, they use the internet for every bit of their business.
So, it stands that they're pretty good at using social media. Of course they are; it's how they market their business!
If you want to find a virtual assistant, starting with social media is not a bad route to take. In fact, one of the main pieces of advice passed to VAs is using social media to their full advantage.
This could be getting their name out their to potential clients.
Or it could be showcasing their skills, particularly in marketing and content creation
But the really great thing about using social media is this: it's a bit like interviewing the candidate without actually interviewing them.
You can see their values, determine their experience, and see their skills for yourself.
Simply put: the social media profile you are more interested in is the winner!
That's exactly why I've deemed it fit to take you through how to utilise social media to find your next VA, and find a great one.
Like I said - using social media to find a social media virtual assistant is one of the tricks of the trade.
You can showcase their skills and success before you've even sent them a message!
This professional platform is used by 332 million people around the world.
Think of how many virtual assistants use it -
And think of how many of them could transform your business!
Clearly this is a great tool for anyone - whether you own a business or not.
What about Twitter?
With no less than 336 million users, Twitter is one of the biggest hubs for VAs.
There's a lot to be said for the power of Twitter, and this is what makes it so popular among virtual assistants.
Whether they're marketing their own content, or getting the word out about their virtual assistant business, you will find them here.
Just like businesses use Twitter to gain followers, boost conversions and hike up the traffic to their own websites, VAs do the same!
If you want to find them, why not try Twitter?
To convince you to to start your virtual assistant search here, I've brought the benefits together:
They're cheaper than using agencies
Not only can you easily find a virtual assistant, you can have the experience of a virtual assistant agency without the added fees.
You only have to pay the rate they set, and can negotiate the number of hours needed with a greater sense of control.
My client even worked out how much they saved by switching from an agency to a social media find:
It came to ||$||1.78||$|| an hour!
So when my client hired Sam for 30 hours a month, they saved over ||$||51.36||$|| a month!
Look after the pennies...
They can be easily vetted
From their portfolio of past work, to previous clients' reviews, you can assess their work history with just a couple of clicks, and pick the right one for you.
And thanks to the ease of search functions on LinkedIn, this task has never been easier.
Plus - scammers are a problem on agencies and freelance marketplaces.
But by assessing their social media profile - particularly one like LinkedIn - and who they're connected with, you can cut out the scams and skip straight to success!
My client could see that he'd had glowing reviews from past employers and a stretch of admin experience both in-office, and remotely.
And because he spent a large amount of time working for a business similar to my client's, they knew that he had a grip of the ropes.
They're an easy find
VAs tend to get involved with online groups that want to find virtual assistants.
So, by simply connecting with people who are on the same search as you, you can pick up a top VA, and top tips on running a business.
Finding a solution to your business needs has never been easier!
Fancy reaping these rewards?
Simply start using LinkedIn! Or, get Tweeting!
And when I say start using, I mean get involved:
- Join groups for small businesses.
- Read about tips and tricks for your graphic design company.
- Post about the lessons you've learnt along the way with your tech firm.
- Comment on what you've read, and share it!
When VAs scan the web for small businesses, they'll look for the people talking about small businesses.
So, if you're part of the conversation, they can see that you're in need of someone like them.
A few messages and a speedy scan of their profile later - boom.
But it doesn't stop with their feeds.
As many VAs market their services on Twitter, a quick search will return enough responses to keep you busy.
Follow the links to their sites and blogs, check out their work, and get messaging.
It's time to skip out the scams and the weaker candidates by choosing a great VA from the outset.
You'll know you'll end up with a great hire when you can pick from such a big pool!
Blogs and forums share the same benefits as the other social media platforms.
You will be sought out by ambitious social media VAs, and can easily assess their content and values.
However, here you will be simply getting involved in the group discussions, and letting the VAs come to you.
Just like with the social media platforms, you should be getting involved with the groups related to VAs, business - and the all important social media.
Fact is, VAs will want to find you.
This means that they'll be seeking you out as much as you'll be looking for them.
They'll be checking out the forums and adding to the discussions.
And they'll be looking in the discussions where the business owners are to entice future clients. As they can easily communicate with you, providing you with your business solution has never been quicker.
Let's say you own a small business:
Find your fellow small business owners, and get chatting!
Talk about your problems with social media, and hand out your solutions. Debate over pros, and argue over cons!
Not only will social media VAs flock to these forums, fellow participants in the blog can refer their past and present VAs.
This will save you the search, and give you access to a tried-and-tested assistant who saved their social media.
So, you've found a few candidates.
They've got good experience, they look ambitious, and they seem keen on working for you.
But how can you be sure that they're a good fit?
Here's my top tips for getting a top VA for your social media:
Have multiple interviews
We always recommend 2 rounds of interviews - a video or phone call, and then a face-to-face one to confirm that they're a match.
Not only is this a good tip for hiring anyone, it is useful because of one simple reason:
Scammers are rife in this industry.
The most common scammer takes pride in getting paid for failing to do jobs, and the best way to vet this is through video interviews.
If they don't want to do a video interview, cross them off the candidate list -
They're probably hiding their identity in order to get away with stealing your cash and wasting your time.
My client had 3 - yes, 3 - who conjured some classic excuses about why they couldn't jump on skype for 5 minutes!
As they've been scammed before, I advise that you carefully process these candidates.
Check out their blogs and social media
(This is our favourite tip for finding a fantastic Virtual Assistant!)
By assessing their content, style, and knowledge, you can tell a lot about a potential hire.
If they'll end up doing your SEO, content creation, or anything creative, you can see their skills first hand and conclude if they're your next VA.
It's a bit like doing an interview.
(Well, without the awkward pauses, that is.)
You can see their experience, and you can note their passion and interests.
Make the decision, and click hire'!
Read More: How To Hire A Virtual Assistant
So, what's the verdict:
And are you ready to start a conversation on the web?
And are you planning to network your way to your virtual assistant?
Here's hoping someone gets #hired.