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How to Hire a Virtual Assistant - A Startup Owner’s Guide to VA Outsourcing

  • 10 August, 2021
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant - A Startup Owner’s Guide to VA Outsourcing

As an entrepreneur, you must be the sole provider for your business without having enough money in your budget to afford in-house employees. 

However, at some point, regular tasks may become so onerous that you cannot spend enough time on your main business operations. 

You look at your to-do list and realize you simply can't get it all done by yourself. Too many emails to respond to, too many customers to acquire, too many marketing campaigns to organize – you need assistance, whatsoever.

This is the time when you need to hire a virtual assistant for your business. 

Virtual assistants (VAs) are remote workers who offer a great number of benefits to you and your business. They may concentrate on one particular set of administrative duties or act as a jack-of-all-trades. 

In any case, delegating your routine business tasks to a virtual assistant can help you reduce your stress and focus more effectively on business-critical operations.

You can easily hire a virtual assistant online through a plethora of services, but there are some things to know and consider before you take the step.

Types of Virtual Assistant Services

Types of Virtual Assistant Services

Before you hire a virtual assistant, you must determine the type of VA services you require.

  1. General Virtual Assistant

These types of VA’s are like your office secretaries. You may realize that hiring a general admin assistant is lucrative since they appeal to a wider range of business tasks.

Here are some things your general virtual assistant might do:

  • Managing emails

  • Calendar management

  • Projects scheduling and management

  • Handling business contacts

  • Making travel arrangements

  • Data entry 

  • Document management

  • Client management


  1. Website Management Assistant

Maintaining a website can be quite a hustle for many business owners. You can take these services from your website management assistant:

  • Web content writing

  • Updating themes

  • Fixing website errors 

  • Installing plugins

  • Planning & executing social media marketing campaigns

  • Tracking Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube visits


  1. Social Media Marketing Virtual Assistant

It is critical to market your business in order to acquire customers. Hiring a social media specialist is an excellent way to promote your business online.

It is important for businesses to stay up to date with current trends in order for their goods and services to be visible and well-known.

You can do this easily if you hire a virtual assistant for internet marketing. You can make them do the following tasks:

  • Managing your company’s Facebook pages, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and other social media websites

  • Creating compelling social content for your audience

  • Planning of social media postings

  • Engaging the customer online

  • Responding to social posts regularly

  • Management of sponsored campaigns


  1. Amazon Virtual Assistant

You can hire a virtual assistant for Amazon to carry out any tasks related to your Amazon business. There are people who have been working with Amazon and understand the platform’s ins and outs. 

You can get help from your Amazon virtual assistant in the following tasks:

  • Amazon competitor analysis & market research

  • Customer assistance

  • Amazon Inventory management

  • Amazon listing creation and optimization

  • Order management   

  • Website Designing/Development/Management

  • Basic photo editing/ photo sourcing

  • Keyword research


  1. Outsourcing Virtual Assistant

Many startups depend on outsourcing for their marketing needs. This is where you can hire an outsourcing virtual assistant whose tasks will revolve around:

  • Recruiting and managing freelancers

  • Following up on daily/weekly deliverables

  • Monitoring the progress of projects

  • Quality assurance

  • Developing and advising project budgets

  • Monitoring and updating the status of outsourced projects 

  • Contract negotiations with freelancers

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant? 

Step 1 – Determine Your Needs 

why hire a virtual assistant

Virtual assistants are available for just about any task. Data entry, calendar management, accounting, social media management, communication, and research are some of the many things that virtual assistants can do. 

The point is that you should know exactly what you want them to do. Otherwise, finding the right candidate will be near to impossible.

Virtual assistants are classified as either generalist or specialist virtual assistants. A general virtual assistant will be able to best fulfil your requirements if you simply need assistance with generic business operations. If you need assistance in a certain area, you should hire a specialist VA.

If you are unsure about what you require, make a list of everything you do. Decide what doesn't need your knowledge and make a list of all the tasks you might delegate to someone else.

Here are several examples:

  • Email management

  • Website maintenance 

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) 

  • Social media marketing 

  • Web-based research

  • Appointment scheduling 

  • Administrative duties

  • Lead generation

  • Making travel arrangements

  • Bookkeeping

Second, what credentials do you need depending on the tasks?

Are there any prerequisites, such as SEO knowledge or QuickBooks experience?

After you've made a list of your ideal virtual assistant qualifications, consider what you absolutely need and what you'd want to have. 

You may discover that all you need is someone with common sense, a strong work ethic, and excellent communication skills.

Step 2 – Write A Job Description to Attract the Best of the Bunch

how to hire a virtual assistant

In order to find the right virtual assistant, it’s good to write a job description that can attract someone with the skills and qualifications you require. This will be your first criterion for determining whether or not someone is suitable for you.

Include the following:

  • The scale of your business 

  • The tools they'll be using

  • Language requirements (e.g. Excellent spoken/written English)

  • A precise list of the tasks they'll be doing

Let’s look at an example of a freelance virtual assistant job post:

I’m looking for a Freelance Virtual Assistant who will work remotely and provide administrative assistance to our team. You will be required to manage administrative tasks and provide high-quality work under little supervision.

Good internet connection is necessary as well as sound familiarity with communication tools such as Skype.

Basic Tasks:

  • Emails and phone calls management

  • Customer service 

  • Calendar management

  • Keeping online records

  • Conducting market research and creating a report

  • Preparing presentations

  • Helping employees with their administrative inquiries

Requirements:

  • 1+ years’ experience of working as a Virtual Assistant 

  • Must be fluent in spoken and written English

  • Strong email etiquette and grammar

  • Must be available to discuss tasks on the phone or over Skype once a day 

Step 3 – Use A Freelance Marketplace

hire a virtual assistant online

Freelance marketplaces will allow you to find an expert resource in no time. You can easily post the job you need to be done and wait for the freelancers to respond with their proposals. 

If you do not want to be flooded with countless job applications, you can choose freelancers by checking their portfolios and ratings and sending them your offer instead. This is a much better and time-saving process.

Tip: When you reach out to freelancers, attach the project/job brief you’ve already prepared (in the previous step). If you need a more detailed guide on how to write a good project brief, we’ve got you covered on that too. 

Step 4 – Narrow Down Your Candidates