What Are the Best Tasks to Effectively Delegate to a Virtual Assistant?
Have you reached the point as a small business owner or creative entrepreneur where you've realized that you would benefit from hiring a Virtual Assistant? Getting to this point, and finding your perfect VA is a journey in itself. But you might now be questioning what are the best tasks to effectively delegate to your Virtual Assistant.
As you jump into your working relationship with your VA, you might fail to see the full impact outsourcing can have on your workflow. This is likely because you struggle to delegate. This is totally normal! As an independent business owner or freelancer, you get so used to doing it all yourself and juggling everything at once. So it's important to remember that you are not the only one who can complete the tasks on your to-do list.
Learning how to delegate your workload effectively can seem overwhelming, but you will reap the reward of enhanced time and productivity. Delegating tasks to your Virtual Assistant allows you to focus on the core objective of your business, rather than those time-consuming repetitive tasks. But the biggest challenge can be understanding what tasks to delegate, how and when.
Firstly, you need to decide what sort of tasks you will be delegating before your hire your Virtual Assistant. This way, you can get a clear picture of the sort of person you'll need for the job and how they can make a difference.
Take some time to really grasp an understanding of how you are spending your time. You probably don't usually keep track of how long you spend doing things, such as checking emails or posting on social media, that are so easy to delegate. Also, consider what tasks you like doing and which ones you really dread. Think about what tasks aren't making you money directly, or which ones are getting in the way of you moving forward towards your business goals. Looking at your workload in this way will give you an idea of which tasks you will feel able to let go of and delegate to a Virtual Assistant.
To give you some ideas of the sort of tasks you can delegate to a Virtual Assistant, here's a list that should help you delegate your way to success!
Administrative tasks tend to be one of the main reasons people look to hire a VA in the first place. They can be super repetitive and time-consuming tasks, yet they are pretty much always essential to the smooth running of your business!
These tasks can include making phone calls, personal errands, keeping on top of your diary, scheduling meetings, reminding you of tasks, event planning, travel arrangements, creating presentations or spreadsheets, managing your day-to-day workload, updating databases and just general secreterial duties.
Using a Virtual Assistant to manage your calendar can save you so much time. Set up a shared calendar and let the VA manage, schedule and arrange your diary and events. This can include the back-and-forth of setting up appointments, checking upcoming availability for events and planning out meetings.
Using a live booking tool calendar such as Calendly, which can sync directly with Google Calendar (on your laptop, tablet, phone etc.) is another great way to save time when scheduling your upcoming diary and stay on top of your diary.
Writing and responding to emails takes up way more time than we realize, research shows that a business owner spends about four hours each day sorting through their work email. That's precious time that can definitely be spent in better more productive ways!
By providing your VA with access to your inbox, they are able to proactively manage your emails. They can filter emails into different folders or organize them by priority and send junk email straight to the bin. Everything will be organized, simplified and in an easy place for you to find if you need it.
Let your VA be your inbox fairy and organise it all for you! Respond to enquiries, customer service emails, liaise with suppliers, whatever you need - they can do it. You can work together to set up a system that works best for you both, whether that be drafting templates for them to use or creating an approval system. However you choose to manage it, once the system is set up and you are used to the workflow you will find that there is so much more time in your day.
Social Media Management
Another drainer of your time is managing social media accounts. A Virtual Assistant can take over this task either partly or fully, depending on how much control you are ready to let go of. Social virtual tasks can include content creation, writing captions, scheduling your posts, engaging with other accounts on the platform, hashtag research, answering direct messages or sharing articles.
To gain greater brand awareness and stay connected with your client base, you need to be active on social media. Social media is such an easy time-consuming task to hand over to your Virtual Assistant and can really help boost your business marketing strategy at the same time!
A Virtual Assistant who is skilled and specializes in Marketing can really help across all areas of your business marketing strategy. This should include things such as content marketing (social media, email campaigns and blog posts), SEO management, lead generation, keyword research and general website management. They are also able to perform market research and keep you updated on your marketing analytics.
These are just a few of the potential tasks a VA can complete for you. There are so many Virtual Assistants out there who specialize in certain fields as well. So, for example, if you need someone to help you with accounts or bookkeeping, you can find a specialized financial Virtual Assistant.
When it comes to finding yourself a Virtual Assistant, platforms like Upwork or Fiverr can be a good place to start. But really I would recommend doing quite a bit of research and getting to know the VA and the services they can offer first because you need to know that you can rely on this person and have a great working relationship with them too. They are going to be working very closely with you so it's important your values are aligned. Look through Instagram accounts and Facebook Groups (such as Virtual Assistant Jobs Pay It Forward,or Virtual Assistant Tribe Job Board) Post ads on your social media accounts and ask for recommendations from people you know. Most VAs offer a complimentary discovery call before you start working together, so this is a great opportunity to chat face-to-face and discover if you would be a good fit.
Once you have found your perfect VA, it's time to make a plan for delegating those tasks. They will help you through this during your onboarding process, but try to put yourself in their shoes when it comes to task delegation. What instructions would you give yourself to complete the task? Do they need a video or SOP detailing each step, or is it a simple one-sentence explanation? I find that a video or image showing a process tends to be more helpful than written instructions, but again your VA can help you through this as you start working together.
It is important to be super clear when assigning the task to the VA so that they fully understand what you want them to do and what the overall goal is. You should also explain when you require the task to be completed by, what process they should use, and what results you are expecting in the short or long term from this. By communicating the task and your expectations clearly, you both understand precisely what needs to be done and what each others expectations are, which leads to the best outcome on both ends.
Your VA is super experienced and skilled in their trade. They will likely have some amazing ideas on how to improve your working processes or enhance the productivity of your business. Always ask them for their feedback and be open to new suggestions!
The more thought process that you put into planning before you hire a VA, the more successful the outcome will be for both of you. You don't need to have it all perfectly planned out, they are there to help you along the way. But having a clear idea of what you'd like to achieve from outsourcing will be super beneficial to maximise productivity and uplevel your business!
For more information or to learn about the services I can offer as a VA, get in touch!
Creative Virtual Assistant at Kelp Collective