What is a Virtual Assistant?
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
I am a virtual assistant. SheKnows.com defines a VA as “A virtual assistant is a self-employed administrative or personal assistant who works remotely (usually at home) for various clients. When most people hear “virtual assistant,” they assume it’s a secretary who works from home.” Thebalance.com has a more simplistic definition: “A virtual assistant (VA) is a person who provides support services to other businesses from a remote location.”
Wikipedia has this to say: “A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. Because virtual assistants are independent contractors rather than employees, clients are not responsible for any employee-related taxes, insurance or benefits, except in the context that those indirect expenses are included in the VA’s fees. Clients also avoid the logistical problem of providing extra office space, equipment or supplies. Clients pay for 100% productive work and can work with Virtual Assistants, individually, or in multi-VA firms to meet their exact needs. Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses. but can also support busy executives.”
So which definition is the right one? Well, the easy answer is that they all are. There are many more definitions out there as well. The general thing that all VAs have in common is that they assist people from the virtual realm. With as many as 25,000 virtual assistants possibly active worldwide, it is easy to imagine that there is a wide range of talents out there.
Generally, virtual assistants are freelance workers running their own online business. Their business is to help others with their businesses. A lot of them work from home, as I do. They can be students, stay-at-home moms, or anyone looking to make a little extra money with their skills.
Personally, I work from home because I am a single mother to three young children. This work allows me to still maintain an income while staying home with my kids. I had followed this awesome blogger for quite some time and took the plunge for her online VA training course. It was a wonderful decision! That’s what brought me here!
The “why” will vary from person to person. What it comes down to usually, is that we have a set of skills that we can help others with. We find an area that we are good with, and help out those who might not be so strong in that area.
What do we do?:
With all the various talents different VAs have, there is a wide range of available services that you can commission from a VA. This can range from personal assistant type tasks such as scheduling your appointments, making calls on your behalf, or taking you grocery list to place your order online for delivery!
Most VAs help out other business and bloggers. We take on tasks related to helping manage their social media following. We can help moderate their groups, keep their pages updated, and schedule regular posts to all channels. I love doing content creation! I ghostwrite articles for blogs, develop recipes, and create printables. Printables are those handy little things you download from a blog or website! They can be charts, calendars, kids games, and more.
I am also a professional web and graphic designer, so this is a service I naturally offer my clients. It also allows me to create content that matches the website it is for. I can create logos, color schemes, and design and build websites for clients. I’ve also done simple back-end work for clients. Setting up SQL databases, transferring domains, and DNL name servers.
Some virtual assistants specialize in email management. Can you imagine how many emails a popular website or blog gets every day? How can one person run a blog and go through all that? Often times, they don’t! They hire a VA to go through their emails and sort them. Often they can respond to general inquiries, then they forward the important messages for the owner to respond to.
We’re the people who don’t mind doing the boring tasks. We take those tasks off your hands so that you can focus on what is important in your business. Because that is our business. The best thing about being a VA is the idea that we work to help everyone succeed. When we help you, and your business grows, that means we can work more. It’s a win-win for everyone!
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