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What IS a Virtual Assistant (And How To Market Effectively with the Help of One)
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When you market to your potential prospects and they respond, it feels like magic.

They click on links from your email campaign or respond to your status on Twitter and/or Facebook. Not only do they respond, they share the information with their friends and business associates because of the value of your product or service and the magic continues.

That feels GREAT right?

The momentum begins. Your plan is working. You are delivering what you promised. Now what?

  • How will you maintain and receive repeat business or referrals?
  • What about those that did not participate the first time, how will you continue to market to them?
  • Are you prepared to handle the responses to your campaign?
  • Are there opportunities to follow-up with those that are not ready at the moment, interested, but they want to wait?
  • Maybe your message was lost in the mix of everything else and you need to put the message out there again.

Optimize your marketing efforts and goals, build a team. After all, now that you are growing you cannot continue to do everything yourself.

It is time to take your business to the next level fulfilling the ultimate goal – GROWTH.

Enter the Virtual Assistant

One of the members of your marketing team is a virtual assistant. A virtual assistant plays a key role in support of your marketing efforts/plan.

A virtual marketing assistant can take the leadership role in:

  • Assisting your marketing coach or mentor in planning and coordinating your marketing goals and objectives.
  • Creating marketing materials such as sales pages, newsletters, brochures, flyers, press releases, email campaigns.
  • Develop questionnaires or conduct interviews to obtain the required information.
  • Managing promotion via social media updates.
  • Following up with clients/customers.
  • Set up auto-responders and more.

As a marketing virtual assistant I intricately learn your product or service as well as your business. This knowledge aids in support of your business with basic Internet marketing programs.

Delegate what you feel is important yet time consuming, you save money. Think about what you charge and where YOUR time should truly be spent.

One example:

I have a client that I have worked with for more than 5 years. She has a local business TV show where she interviews and promotes other small businesses. She is also starting a new business that does not exist in the United States so many things need to be created to fit the US markets.

For the show, I provide a letter to each guest with details about the taping, follow up to make sure they receive them and answer any questions they have. I am available via telephone on the day of the taping in case they get lost, or for any last minute changes for she is spending her time with other staff members preparing for the show.

Her new business requires more start-up needs. I created a new form for people to join, a new logo similar to the other one she has to have consistent branding, a “Save the Date” card to promote the grand opening of the new office.

She leverages her time spent on the most important aspects that only she could do and delegates those important marking support items that are also critical to her success.

Once the marketing materials are done, website updated, it’s a matter of helping to promote the event on the various social networking platforms, email campaigns, auto-responder, etc.

I have become such an integral part of her business that her clients come to her events looking to meet me!

The length of time we have worked together is beneficial as I now know her style, her services and products, colors and various other components important to her brand. She merely sends an email with the request and I fulfill the need.

One important thing to keep in mind…

I am always on the internet reading, searching information about new technology and processes, and reading blogs. I am always paying attention to how others are marketing and the success they are having or have not, so my clients are always seeking advice and suggestions for their products or service.

Quite often we brainstorm ideas and thoughts and make recommendations to each other. With all the information available, this is another way we help each other by sharing the success we learn from others.

Once your team is built and they are connected to you and your brand, the less you will have to initiate to ensure that your processes and needs are followed. Utilize your team to create and sustain your marketing system so as each promotion begins and ends, everyone knows their role and the steps to take.

Have you considered the idea of working with a virtual assistant? What about it has grabbed your interest, and what has held you back? What is the biggest challenge that you face in letting go of some of your marketing tasks?

Michelle Church has extensive experience in providing dynamic business support services to entrepreneurs and small business owners. All new clients that want to reduce administrative stress will receive a special discount the 1st 60 days – contact her now for details.

16 Comments

  1. Adarsh Thampy says:

    I considered hiring a virtual assistant a while back. It backfired. Firstly, I wasn’t able to get hold of a genuine person. Secondly, I did not have a clear plan with the virtual assistant training. I assumed the person would just do it. The hard fact is that we need to train our VA and also must have a very clear goal as to how we will sue a VA in our business.

    • Danny Iny says:

      Hey Adarsh, thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah, finding someone good is challenging, and even the best people (my assistant is great) require training and support. We sometimes expect that we’ll hire someone who can just read our minds and turn our wills into action, but that’s a bit unrealistic. ;)

      • Adarsh Thampy says:

        That’s true.

        How did you find your VA?

        • Danny Iny says:

          Well, Megan isn’t completely virtual – I hired her locally (through Craigslist) by going through a very rigorous hiring process, and now she does most of her work remotely. If you’re interested in the details of the process, send me an email to danny (at) firepolemarketing (dot) com.

    • Anonymous says:

      I always suggest to people to at least start with a list of what you want to outsource first.  An experienced VA can ask the right questions and help you with that process.  My longest client started local too, I went to his office at first, it is probably a comfort for some.  Since I have lived in 3 different states and we have not missed a beat.  Regardless if they are local or virtual…when you are both on the same page and that magic happens..you both win.  Be patient and willing to put the time in…you’ll learn pretty quickly if it’s a good match or not..if it’s a true partnership..everyone wins.

  2. Jk Allen says:

    I haven’t used a V.A., but I know that the days are just ahead of me when I’ll want to tap into this type of resource to assist with whatever ventures pop up for me. To be honest I haven’t read/learned much on this topic so this was a good post offering me some insight.

    Thanks for this post, and sharing your example.

    • Danny Iny says:

      Hey Jk, great to see you here (as always!). It’s definitely something to consider, depending on your needs in terms of volume and complexity of work that you could out-source.

      If it’s a very high volume and low complexity, then you might want to look at getting someone remote, possibly in a developing country – as long as the task isn’t too complex, it won’t be too hard to communicate it over language and geographic barriers.

      If it’s more complex work, then a local (possibly part-time) assistant might be a good way to go. :)

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks, I suggest you create lists of what only you can do vs. what is time consuming that you can delegate.  Set aside some time and make a few calls and brainstorm…an experienced VA will be able to help you determine the most efficient way to get things started.  If you just want some suggestions, feel free to contact me.  

  3. Diana Simon says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I am in touch with several VAs through their blogs and aware of how important a VA can be to a solopreneur.  I haven’t had the chance to use one yet but when things get big, I will definitely hire one!  I know the value they bring :)

     

  4. Ana says:

    I used to have one, but had to let her go for now – feel the pressure of doing it all by myself!

    I know you know what I am talking about, Danny. lol

  5. Gray says:

    The best way to hire a Virtual Assistant is to look first on his/her experience on the job the job your intend to give. Try to ask for any portfolio or samples of their work. Also try to see their reviews from previous employers. Because it is important for you to know all this things just to make sure that he/she can do the jobs fast and accurate. If have chosen the right VA, you should not be too strict in what you want to happen. Just tell them and ask them if they already know what you want them to do. Give them tips to make their easier and would give the best result.

  6. Francis says:

    I really like your honest examples of how working together long term with a virtual assistant increases your productivity.

    I work with a VA from Asia myself. You can get a person like that for a really affordable amount of money.

    The trick then really lies in training that one person until you’re blue in the face. If you do that, then you create a real future asset for your business.

    I like to outsource my social media promotions over StumbleUpon as well as getting help with creating auto-responders.

    These two tasks alone save me so much time.

    It’s great to see that you do it really similar to me :)

    Good luck with your business.

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