There are plenty of advantages of using a virtual assistant in the digital marketing industry, from saving you time and money to keeping your organized. At the same time, there are also some challenges you should consider before choosing a virtual assistant.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual digital marketer uses the internet, social media, search engines, and other technology to reach potential and existing consumers. Virtual digital marketing is done from your own home or remotely, unlike a traditional marketing business that is based in an office.
Many virtual digital marketing firms are small operations. Hiring a virtual assistant for digital marketing offers many benefits, including helping business owners maintain a more professional image. It also provides support and resources that are essential for day to day operations, from answering public inquiries to keeping you on top of your schedule.
A virtual assistant (VA) offers professional services, including technical and administrative support. They might also provide creative assistance depending on your needs. A VA is typically based in a home office and is an independent contractor or freelancer.
Benefits of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
By bringing proven processes to your company or helping with tedious administrative tasks, a virtual assistant can save you time and money. You should hire an assistant like any employee and consider their experience and expertise, as well as any references or reviews.
As you grow your business, you might find that you need specific expertise. For example, you might need help with creating videos for your social media marketing. Mastering this complicated aspect of digital marketing could take years. You also might not have the time to get additional training. Hiring a virtual marketing assistant is a great way to bring in specific expertise and knowledge.
If you are a small operation, you might find yourself spending a lot of time working on tedious administrative tasks. Hiring a virtual assistant frees up your time by allowing someone else to take over more administrative and technical tasks. This will give you more time to focus on the creative aspects of your business, as well as growing your company.
Hiring a virtual assistant helps reduce operating costs. You can avoid providing office space and related resources, including office equipment and supplies since the individual works from their own home office. You also typically do not have to provide employee benefits since they are independent contractors or freelancers.
Running your own business, especially if you are a one-person operation, can be overwhelming. Virtual assistant services can take some of the burdens away by giving some tasks to an experienced individual. If you are overwhelmed by completing tasks, you will not have time to grow your business or focus on the creative aspects of your work. You will also benefit from a better work-life balance by not taking on everything yourself.
Challenges of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
A virtual assistant should be a good fit for your company. You should never settle or opt for the lowest cost option. Common challenges often relate to balancing costs and quality. You will need to do research to find an assistant that has the experience and skills you need.
You get what you pay for
Some virtual assistants charge low hourly rates although do not deliver value. While low rates might be attractive if you are looking to keep costs down, ultimately you may run into difficulties such as lack of productivity or expertise. Instead of helping you with your business, they may give you unnecessary stress. They may even negatively impact operations by making mistakes or causing delays. An experienced assistant will likely charge higher, but in return, you will have a more reliable and effective partner.
Finding the right skillset
Virtual marketing assistants vary depending on their skills and experience. While some virtual assistants are experts in digital marketing, others may be focused on one aspect such as social media or e-commerce. A VA may also just be available to perform the basic tasks you assign. Others are specialists that can have their own processes, which could save you time and effort. There are also experts that can help you with more complex tasks like developing strategies and processes for your business.
It is important to establish clear objectives and define responsibilities with your virtual marketing assistant. Regardless of their experience, even the best assistant will still need clear direction from you. Setting up regular meetings and communicating expectations from the start are essential for building an effective partnership.
Communicating virtually with an assistant can be challenging. You are generally confined to a web-based video communication platform as well as telephone calls and emails. It could be harder to build a strong working relationship with your assistant. Regular check-ins are essential, as is establishing an open style of communication so the assistant feels comfortable to raise questions or concerns.
About the Author
Olivia Coughtrie is Co-founder & Director at Oriel Partners a PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London. Olivia is passionate about providing high-quality talents to businesses and the best career opportunities for candidates.