1. Email Management
Over time, email inboxes can start to resemble a room in the house that you no longer use. You forget anything important there, it’s full of junk you don’t need, and as a result you don’t want to spend any length of time there.
Have your VA go in there and carry out a spring cleaning of sorts. Once you hand over the keys to your email inbox, you’ll spend much less time fretting about just how many emails are currently sitting there unorganized and unread.
Here’s what a virtual assistant can do with your email account:
- Filter emails according to projects, teams, or other categories
- Create folders that provide an easy way to access important information
- Help you achieve and maintain Inbox Zero, a productive approach to email management that keeps your inbox empty
Besides these administrative tasks, you can also have your VA write some emails on your behalf to save you some valuable time. Plus, they can read incoming emails and relay the most important information if you want to avoid contact with your email inbox altogether.
After most meetings or work-related conversations, there’ll be a few actions you need to take. When you’re in a rush, you might jot these down in a hurry on a post-it note or hastily add them to your project management solution.
This is fine, but it can interrupt you from your high-priority tasks which can take a while to recover from.
As such, if you have your VA sit in on certain meetings, email exchanges, or Zoom calls they can write up any action items and log them in your project management solution.
Your VA can also go a step further and add any upcoming tasks or events to your calendar, which can then be shared with others if they’re relevant to your team.
3. Data Entry
Data entry is one of those mind-numbing tasks that can take up a lot of your time. What’s more, there’s a real risk of human error, especially if your mind is elsewhere on more pressing tasks when you’re plugging in the information.
Tasks that require data entry should be outsourced where possible, so you can spend more time focusing on cognitively-demanding activities.
Here are some data entry tasks you can delegate to your VA:
- Updating spreadsheets with customer information
- Transferring data from one source to another
- Converting file types
- Entering bookkeeping records
- Scanning documents for errors
Whether you’re about to jump into a long-form blog post or need to carry out competitor analysis to identify your gap in the market, research work can take you down rabbit holes and eat into your most productive hours.
Imagine if the first time you pulled up the Google Doc for a new blog post there were already several sources ready for you to pull from?
Or as you sit down to work out how to enter the market, you receive an email with a detailed breakdown of what your competitors are doing?
With a virtual assistant, these are both scenarios you can live out.
Your VA can scour the internet for you, pulling together relevant statistics for your blog post, compelling information about your competition, or the latest data sets you can use to create a persuasive pitch deck.
We all forget things from time to time, but in business, ‘I forgot’ isn’t an acceptable reason to miss a deadline or meeting.
Moreover, holding multiple reminders in your mind at any one time can cause you to feel anxiety throughout the day until the moment that meeting or event takes place.
Outsourcing reminders to your virtual assistant is an excellent way to never forget another event, but also to lift the burden from your mind. Sure, project management solutions and calendars can prompt you with reminders, but they can just as easily get lost in the deluge of notifications and messages you receive every day.
A virtual assistant can act as a safety net; reminding you even when technology fails you or something slips your mind.
6. Social Media Management
These days, a social media presence can go a long way for creating authority. You can use a social media platform to put out your ideas, build an audience, and potentially generate leads for your business.
However, committing the amount of time to social media needed to captivate a following and maintain a presence is enough to occupy a full-time job. So unless you plan on hiring a social media manager, you can take the more affordable route and outsource social media management to your VA.
Here are some ideas for how your VA can manage your social media presence:
Write posts on your behalf
Say you’re working on an exciting new company project, and you want to drip feed tidbits to your audience. To do so yourself would be to take time away from making meaningful progress with the project.
With a VA, you can send voice notes or emails once in a while, and from that information, they can write short posts perhaps accompanied by a photo you’ve taken.
From there, your VA can create a schedule for each post to go out on a different date. That way, you can get on top of your social media content for the next few weeks.
Finally, using tools such as Hootsuite, your VA can inform you about audience interaction and other metrics to help you generate the most interest and pinpoint what works best.
You can use a pc monitor program like Insightful to schedule shifts for your VA to catch up with social media interaction. With computer activity software, you don’t have to worry so much about monitoring employees closely, since the time tracking will take care of that for you.
7. Customer Support
If you deal directly with customers, you can have your VA step in from time to time to take over and respond to basic requests or concerns.
Providing you have a guide as to how the VA should talk to customers, there’s no reason why they can’t either forward requests to the right department or provide an answer to their queries.
Customer support is all about being attentive, so even if your VA is just on standby to let customers know that they’re talking with a human, it can make a big difference.
8. File Organization
Your digital filing cabinet can end up like your inbox if you’re not careful: cluttered and lacking any sense of organization.
This can make it hard for you and your peers to track down important information quickly.
If you use digital file management solutions such as Dropbox or Google Docs, you can outsource the organization process to your VA. They can go in and categorize files and documents and create folders so that everyone in your team can easily access relevant information.
9. Transcript Creation
In this multimedia age, it’s almost as common for a client or superior to send a quick video explaining what they’re looking for as it is an email. Plus, depending on your role, it might be your responsibility to watch sales calls or other types of videos to pull valuable information.
In these cases, unless you want to 2x the video speed, your best bet for quickly absorbing the information is with a transcript. When you have a transcript, you can instantly search the text with ‘ctrl+F’ (on Windows) and find that one statistic, quote, or piece of data you need.
Your VA can be the person who draws up a transcript from any video or audio clips you send.
10. Meeting Minutes
Just as virtual assistants can create action items and schedule them in your calendar, they can also write up the minutes for your meetings. If you’re wondering how to improve employee performance, having your VA take over scheduling could be a potential solution.
Employee productivity is generally best when everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing at every moment.
When you go to every meeting with a VA by your side, you don’t have to worry about missing key information or wondering who proposed what idea. That’s because your VA can be taking notes the whole time, and then produce meeting minutes which you can distribute to everyone who attended the meeting.