In today’s climate, having a virtual assistant for a digital marketing agency is vital to its success. If you’re able to find people that are the right fit for the role, the trajectory of your agency can only go upward, allowing it to run like clockwork and giving you the freedom to focus on things you’re needed most as an agency owner.
A virtual assistant can help you in almost every aspect of your agency. VAs can perform various tasks that will save you time, increase productivity, and give you the flexibility to grow your business.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a broad term that can refer to a variety of roles. But in general, a VA is a remote worker, typically an independent contractor who can help a business by doing the following tasks:
- data entry
- calendar management
- bookkeeping and accounting
- customer support
There are other responsibilities that you can assign to a VA. It will all depend on the industry and niche you are in, as well as the skill set of the VA.
Digital Marketing Tasks You Can Assign to a Virtual Assistant
In the agency landscape, a VA can help you with various digital marketing tasks such as:
Social Media Management
Social media management is labor-intensive and is one of the more obvious recurring tasks that an agency owner should offload. A virtual assistant can manage multiple social media accounts. They can handle replies, do outreach, and create and share content.
An experienced social media VA can identify and interact with your audience with minimal guidance.
Email marketing is probably the most heavily used mode of marketing by agencies. It’s a very effective method of creating customer engagement that’s a critical tool to growing your brand and staying in front of your target audience to build trust and authority. To properly manage your email marketing campaign, it is essential to use a CRM to keep your customer base organized.
A VA can write copy for your email campaigns and schedule them as needed. They can help build your list, keep you in direct contact with your audience and help you maximize your email marketing ROI.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) related work is time-consuming and another obvious task that you can and should offload to a VA as an agency owner.
SEO virtual assistants are highly in demand. These specialists have extensive knowledge of the metrics and tools related to SEO. Their skill set and expertise apply to website optimization, improving your online presence, and getting web pages to rank higher in SERPs.
Blogging is a time-consuming task that needs extensive research and an ample dose of creativity. As the agency owner, you can write blogs for your company, but it’s more cost-effective to hire a virtual assistant so that you can be free to do work on things that you do best.
A virtual assistant can take care of all the main responsibilities of managing a blog such as coming up with blog post ideas, researching topics, writing drafts, editing posts, and graphic design.
Hiring a virtual assistant with excellent communication skills to handle customer support will allow you to focus on other things that will help your agency grow.
VAs can assist with timely email responses as well as live phone and chat support. This improves the consumer experience overall and encourages customer loyalty and retention.
Hiring a VA for website management will help you deliver a consistent and professional-looking website experience. Website management comprises maintenance, design upgrades, content updates, and connecting and managing multiple online marketing tools.
These tasks are vital for driving website traffic and getting more business for your agency. Website management will prevent visitors from abandoning your website without taking action and developing a negative first impression of your company.
Agencies use graphic design to communicate their messaging about a brand or a business through the power of visual content. It is an effective tool for engaging customers quickly and is one of the most crucial aspects of digital marketing.
Graphic designs require a unique talent, especially for high-quality designs. A virtual assistant with this skill set will be a huge asset for any agency.
Hiring a virtual assistant for your agency can help you generate relevant content for your marketing. You can assign your VA with the task of finding creative authors, managing your content calendar, and researching the best keywords for your content marketing efforts.
Prime examples of content marketing material are blog articles, how-to videos, e-books, and social media postings. A diverse package of marketing content will allow your agency to engage a wider audience.
Why Should You Hire a VA for Your Agency
These are the top reasons to hire a digital marketing virtual assistant :
Hiring a virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency affords you the luxury of offloading several tasks. A competent VA can handle a good number of repeatable tasks and administrative responsibilities, which allows you to focus on your strengths and frees up time for you to spend on the core operations of your agency.
Many agency owners are overburdened by taking on too many responsibilities and are at risk of burning out. Offloading non-core responsibilities to a virtual assistant significantly reduces your workload.
Reduced Stress Levels
A lesser workload resulting from hiring a virtual assistant will provide you with the benefit of spending time away from work and the ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Having too much on your plate almost always leads to burnout. Working too much and being preoccupied with an overflow of tasks can lead to physical and mental exhaustion.
Hiring a virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency will prevent this from happening. Your VA can manage a significant portion of your non-core tasks, keeping you cognitively alert and focused on whatever requires your complete attention.
Save Money on Operational Costs
Hiring a virtual assistant will help you in saving money on operational costs. VAs work remotely, with a big percentage of them working from home using their own equipment. Hiring a virtual assistant eliminates the need to pay for office space, equipment, and supplies which significantly lowers your overhead expenses.
Savings on Salaries
Bringing on a VA gives you access to a global talent pool. An offshore virtual assistant can provide you with top-tier talent at a lower cost.
Having access to the VA global talent pool enables your company to work across time zones. Hiring a virtual assistant allows you to run your business and communicate with customers around the clock, provided you have the right systems and processes in place.
Low Maintenance Work Relationship
Maintaining a positive professional relationship with a virtual assistant is simple.
Virtual assistants are generally low-maintenance. The remote working environment encourages work-related communication. It gets rid of office politics and gossip. It also eliminates the need for the occasional team lunch or dinner as well as an office party.
The Relative Ease of Finding a VA
Hiring a virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency is not the same as hiring a full-time staff. There are many freelance platforms and job sites that can connect you with a large number of potential candidates.
In a nutshell, all you need to do is sign up and choose from a list of verified profiles. It’s never been easier to find qualified candidates. You are literally just a couple of clicks from finding a virtual assistant.
When Should You Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Agency?
These are the top reasons why you should hire a VA for your digital marketing agency:
You’re Not Getting Enough Time Off
As previously mentioned, many agency owners are overburdened with too many responsibilities and are on the brink of burning out (if not already.) The signs are obvious – you’re hesitant to take time off, and you haven’t had a vacation in a long time.
Entrepreneurs become entrepreneurs because they enjoy making all of their own decisions and working their own hours. When you are no longer able to do this, it is a clear indication that you need to seek additional help and hire a virtual assistant.
You’re Doing Too Much Administrative Work
Administrative tasks such as bookkeeping, calendar management, invoicing, etc., are important and necessary to running a successful agency.
But as the owner, if you’re spending too much time working on these tasks, it pulls you away from performing the essential core functions of your business.
By hiring a virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency, all of these tasks can and should be delegated. This will free up time that allows you to focus on your strengths and activities that will grow your agency.
The Opportunity to Scale
When your agency is ready to scale, you will require personnel to handle a wide range of tasks that add value to your core operations. A competent virtual assistant will be a welcome addition to your agency once you’ve determined the essential roles you need to fill.
Whether it’s sales and fulfillment or customer support, bringing in a virtual assistant on board will be a big help in scaling your agency.
Your Agency Needs Skill Sets That You Don’t Have
Agency owners frequently wear multiple hats. There will be numerous occasions when you will be forced to work on tasks that are outside your area of expertise. Copywriting and accounting, for example, may not be strong suits. As a result, your work may be mediocre or mistakes are made. Hiring a virtual assistant with the skill sets that you lack provides an instant solution to this problem.
Your Agency is Missing the Mark
It’s simple to spot when your agency is falling short and missing the mark. You can see it and definitely feel it.
You frequently miss deadlines or meetings because you can’t keep track of your calendar. You’re not meeting your targets. You’re constantly putting out fires left and right. When you’re overwhelmed all the time, there’s no room for strategy. These are obvious indicators that you require assistance.
How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Agency
Here are the steps you need to take to find the right virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency:
Identify the Tasks You Want to Offload
Identify and list all of the tasks and processes you want to offload (tasks you’re not good at or tasks you don’t want to do) to your virtual assistant. Be sure to have the necessary SOPs and proper training documents for a fast and smooth transition once you have selected the right person for the position.
Decide on a Salary
You’ll need to set a budget and figure out how much a virtual assistant for the position you’re looking to fill costs. A virtual assistant’s rate is determined by several factors, including the type of work they’ll be doing, the number of recurring tasks, and the VA’s expertise and experience.
Another factor to consider when setting a budget is the country from where you will be recruiting. Living costs vary greatly over the world, and this is a crucial aspect to look into when determining a compensation offer.
Write a Job Description
When you’ve identified the tasks you want to offload or delegate, write a job description for the position that will be responsible for all of these tasks. You should be very specific with the tasks and skills needed for the position, as well as the level of experience and education you are looking for in a candidate.
Finally, providing a thorough background on your agency as well as salary expectations will help you narrow down your search.
Post Your Job Opening Online
When you’ve finalized writing a job description, it’s time to post it online and start looking for qualified candidates. There are various freelance platforms and job sites that you can choose from, such as Fiverr and onlinejobs.ph.
Another viable option would be to acquire virtual assistant services through an agency. But with a VA agency, there’s a disadvantage of having less control over the virtual assistant that you’ll be assigned. However, it does alleviate some of the burdens of finding the right candidate on your own.
The Interview and Screening Process
Review the applications and set up interviews with the top candidates. Make sure that apart from their skills and experience, you inquire about their goals, preferred working hours, and preferred management style.
Test Their Skills
Create a test that will allow you to gauge if they possess the relevant skills for the role. It doesn’t have to be extensive, just as long as you’re able to get a clear assessment of their capabilities.
Having the candidates take a personality test can also be advantageous. You’ll get to understand their values and strengths, which will help you determine if they’re right for the role and a culture fit.
Go Through a Trial Period
Once you’ve selected the most qualified candidate for the role, make them go through a trial period. A trial period gives the candidate extra motivation and incentive to put their best foot forward, with the understanding that this can lead to a long-term role in your agency. It also gives you another tool to assess and validate your selection.
Sign a Contract
To ensure a strong start to your client and VA relationship and prevent future misunderstandings, it is important to have both parties sign a contract or service agreement. Additionally, you may consider conducting a contract compliance audit. Many businesses use digital signature tools like PandaDoc or HelloSign, but you may want to consider some alternatives for this crucial step.
Trust is the foundation of a remote working environment. Because you are not in direct contact, the terms and conditions of your service agreement are crucial in ensuring trust and protection for both you and your virtual assistant.
How to Manage a Digital Marketing Virtual Assistant
Here are some useful tips to help you manage your virtual assistant:
Setting clear and reasonable expectations is critical after you’ve hired a virtual assistant for your digital marketing agency. In any client-VA relationship, there will always be an adjustment period and a learning curve.
However, improvements should be expected over time, and your VA hire’s work should eventually meet your highest standards.
After setting clear and reasonable expectations, make sure that you establish and explain the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your virtual assistant. Assessment of your VA hire should be based solely on their job performance.
To conduct regular check-ins with your VA, communicate using a tool like Slack or Google Workspace. Make use of this time to ensure they are clear on the entire process of all their tasks and their projects and that there aren’t any roadblocks impeding their completion. At the end of each week, require your VA to send you a report on what they accomplished.
Require your VA to send you a weekly report on what they accomplished. This will tell you how many projects they completed and how much time they spent on each one.
This weekly report should inform you of the problems they encountered, as well as any relevant information and feedback that will assist you in understanding and providing the assistance they require moving forward.
Establish a Culture of Feedback
Encourage your VA to communicate openly. Regularly share ideas and provide feedback that goes both ways. Creating a feedback culture will make your VA feel valued and take ownership of their role in your agency.
After you explain how you want things done, your virtual assistant will complete their tasks on their own. You won’t have to spoon-feed them or keep a close eye on them. These things are unnecessary if you have trust and clear expectations with your virtual assistant.
Micromanagement fosters anxiety and creates a high-stress work environment, stifling the growth of your virtual assistant. It should be avoided at all costs.
Hiring a virtual assistant can catapult your agency to new heights. Your entire team will reap the benefits. But to find the right person for the role, you have to pay attention to every step of the process, be specific in your requirements, and screen your candidates with a fine-tooth comb.
You can help your virtual assistant become a key member of your team by building a strong culture and an environment that puts them in a position to succeed. If you check all these boxes, you’ll be on the way to propelling your agency forward.