You need a VA. I guarantee that if you are a personal brand entrepreneur working on your own then you are doing work you should be delegating to somebody else. Is there a task you do regularly that you put off until the last minute? Are you trying to figure out how to do something and it’s taking up time you should be spending elsewhere? Are you working all hours? You need a VA.
I’m going to explain the two types of outsourcing (you don’t want to confuse these) and run through the different kinds of VAs out there, so you can see who will be most helpful to you right now. Do this right and you will save a lot of time – and running your own business will be even more enjoyable!
Why you need to know what type of work you are outsourcing
There are two types of work you will outsource: project-based and role-based. It’s vital that you identify which category the work you need doing falls under, so you know who you are looking for and how you are going to pay the person you are working with.
If you have a series of one-off projects like needing a logo designing or the occasional bit of video-editing work, then those are things you agree a fixed fee for. This is a great way to start outsourcing. It gets you used to working with other people, giving them a brief, letting them get on with it, giving feedback, and seeing the advantage of getting a professional to do that video edit, or whatever, for you, instead of you spinning your wheels trying to get it done yourself.
Now we’re going to talk about building your virtual team and this is where you are going to consider role-based outsourcing. It means asking someone else to take on work you do regularly so that you are not wasting time doing daily tasks that are repetitive and time-consuming.
You need to think about this as recruiting a member of your team. There are several types of VA, which I will describe below, and you need to think about who you want onboard first. What’s the role you need someone to take on? Who is going to make the most difference to you right now? Then you can build your team up.
You can’t do it all, neither can your VA
I can see you thinking about all the things you would love someone to take off your plate. A word of caution: I talk about business owners having superhero syndrome. We think we can do it all. When you start outsourcing, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can outsource everything to one person and they can do it all. There is no such thing as a Super VA. You want to be thinking about roles and who would be a suitable candidate to fill them.
If you haven’t done this already, then I recommend you undertake an exercise I call the three lists. This will enable you to group different tasks you need doing together to fit the skill set of one person.When you start outsourcing, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can outsource everything to one person. There is no such thing as a Super VA. You want to be thinking about roles and who would be a suitable candidate to fill them. #Youpreneur Click To Tweet
Every business needs a General VA
There’s no such thing as a Super VA but a superhero your business needs is a General VA. This person will free up so much of your time by taking on tasks you should not be handling at all.
Do you spend hours researching things like competitor websites or finding speaking opportunities at events? Do you sit and look at your website analytics to figure out which blog posts are most popular? Or spend hours uploading scheduled social media posts? All these tasks are useful for your business but take you away from the day to day and could easily be done by someone else. Your General VA can take this work off you as well as helping you to run your diary and help you focus on what’s important.
Other VAs you might need
A General VA is a key member of your team, but you will also have regular tasks you need someone with particular skills to do.
Does your website need updating? Perhaps you use WordPress and you get those notifications saying there’s a new version available or your plugins need updating. Then there are all the new things you want your website to do as you grow your business, like e-commerce or a membership area. Unless this genuinely interests you, you do not want to be spending hours figuring this stuff out. Find someone who knows about it to do it for you.
Social media manager
Social media has grown into a huge part of marketing for businesses these days. All those minutes – and let’s face it, hours – spent on social media add up. You’re getting into conversations, sharing interesting posts with your community, creating new assets. Keep a note of how much time you are spending on your social media this week and you will be shocked.
Bringing in a social media manager will make a big difference to you. Not only will they free up your time and take tasks off you like going through your content and turning it into shareable snippets, but they will also be experts at growing engagement on your channels.
They will know which social media platforms you should be on and they will optimize what you’re putting out. They will find relevant people you should be talking to as well. Depending on your business, you might want someone who specializes in one particular platform, or who is experienced with social media advertising.
If you’re doing a lot of writing then consider bringing in a content writer. They will do all of your content research, write content for you, and create versions of it for use on different platforms.
If you need to be creating content consistently and it takes a lot of time to research and put together, then it’s well worth investing in a content writer. They are going to help you enormously. Google eats up original, informative material and it will help drive traffic to your site.
Search engine optimization can seem like a dark art. An SEO specialist will make sure your website is doing all the things it should and undertake tasks like keyword research for you. This is a huge job, researching terms you want to rank for and seeking out those all-important long-tail keywords.
They help with link building and all those other things and make sure you’re in line with the latest SEO updates. You don’t want to find yourself tumbling down the rankings on Google because you’ve fallen foul of their algorithm. They’ll also handle your online reputation management. You want to be found on the first page of the search results when someone puts your name in and you want what they read to be positive.
If video is part of your marketing strategy, then you may well want to invest in a videographer. Shooting and editing video can be very time-consuming. A good videographer will not only save you time but make your videos look great as well.
Your graphic designer will create your visual branding. You use visuals far more than you might realize: on your website, business cards, slides for presentations, reports, all kinds of things. Having great visuals is an important part of making your personal brand stand out.
Do you need an app for your business? If so, you will want a specialist who can design an app to your specifications, build it, and make sure it works on different operating systems such as iOS and Android.
Which VA will you be bringing on board first? Some of these VAs you will want to employ on a retainer basis and pay monthly and others you will use on a project basis. Knowing the different types of VAs out there will help you decide who you need to be working with to save yourself time and money, and grow your business.
Chris founded Youpreneur® in 2015. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker and author of the bestselling books “Virtual Freedom” and “Rise of the Youpreneur”. He hosts our weekly podcast, Youpreneur.FM, as well as our annual conference, the Youpreneur Summit. Chris is based in Cambridge, UK.