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What does a Virtual Assistant Do?
I can’t tell you how many times in the last two years I have been asked “What is a Virtual Assistant? What do you actually do?” Most of my work is Social Media Management and Website Maintenance, but there are so many options for Virtual Assistants now.
Already on the blog, I have interviewed a VA who specializes in helping leaders in the direct sales industry, a VA who focuses solely on her client’s email inboxes, and a VA who does general office work and makes house calls! The type of work a Virtual Assitant does depends on the skills they already have or are willing to learn.
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What is a Virtual Assistant?
“A Virtual Assistant, or VA, is an administrative professional who provides immediate professional support, services, and skills to busy entrepreneurs and business managers via the Internet.” – VAnetworking.com
A Virtual Assistant is a self-employed virtual administrative professional who works from a remote location.
Any work that can be done over the internet can be done by a VA. And actually, some of them even do work that can’t be done over the internet, like mailings, organizing paperwork, creating files, etc.
A Virtual Assistant can work for many different types of businesses. Some specialize in Real Estate or Law, some focus on artists and creatives, and some perform tasks for a variety of companies.
Virtual Assistants can work on retainer for a long period of time or be hired to complete one job, it all depends on what the client is looking for. I have some clients on a set monthly package, some I bill by the hour and a few come to me with one-off projects that I quote ahead of time.
There are other forms of online assistants who specialize and have different titles. Project Managers help with, well, projects. Online Business Managers (OBM) help with the overall management of a business and sometimes manage other VAs via an agency. Social Media Managers help small business with all their social media marketing needs.
Who hires a Virtual Assistant?
There are many, many kinds of businesses that hire VAs. Some solopreneurs hire them to keep the smaller tasks off their plates so they can focus on what actually makes them money. Some small businesses have work that needs to be done but not enough to justify an employee.
As a self-employed professional, virtual assistants are able to provide administrative services for less than hiring, training and retaining an employee. This makes it very cost effective for many small to medium businesses.
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How much does a Virtual Assistant make?
This is a tricky question to answer. It depends on the type of work, where the VA lives and the types of clients they take on. I have seen as low as $15 and as high as $100 per hour. The average is between $25 and $40 per hour.
If the VA has special training or skills that allow them to perform specialized tasks they can charge more, just like a trained employee. Also, many VAs increase their hourly rate as they gain experience and regular clients.
What Tasks can a Virtual Assistant Do?
- Social Media Management
- Website Maintenance
- Calendar Management
- Email Inbox Management
- Answering Phonecalls
- Tech Support
- Database Design/Management
- Market Research
- Event Planning
- Travel Planning
- Meeting Minutes
- Creating Powerpoint Presentations
- Reply and Manage Blog Comments
- Booking Clients
- Client Follow-up
- Real Estate Document Management
- Creating and Mailing Client Documents
- Preparing Webinars
- Creating Landing Pages
- Managing Facebook Groups
- Writing and Sending Newsletter or eNewsletters
- Graphic Design
- Project Management
- Secretarial Services
- Word Processing
- Product Launch Mangement
- Creating Ads for Social Media
- Video Editing and Uploading
- Podcast Editing
- Client Invoicing
- Public Relations
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