Experts in the business world will tell you that hiring a virtual assistant can help you get more clients. But how to find a VA and actually get those leads remains a mystery for many.
This blog post will tell you how to hire a virtual assistant and work with them to grow your business faster.
How to Find the Right VA
Virtual assistants are one of the most in-demand online jobs available. You can find many on freelance websites like Upwork and Fiverr with various skills and pay rates.
If you don't want to use a freelancing website, there are VA hiring services that you can find with a simple Google search. Most require a minimum weekly obligation (e.g. 20 hours/week).
Factors to Consider
Here are points you should keep in mind when searching for a VA:
The role of VA can encompass a wide variety of tasks, so make sure you're straightforward about your needs (lead generation) when searching for the right VA. Some tasks require more or less skill, and will affect how much your VA charges.
VA pay rates vary widely. Since a VA could be located anywhere, it's possible to find very affordable people who live in places where the cost of living is low. India and the Philippines are considered hubs for VAs, because many people have very good English and understand western cultural norms. Native English speakers are likely to be among the most expensive options. Consider your specific needs before deciding how much you can spend for the right VA.
Before you search, you should have a good idea of how many hours per week you'll need your VA. Some VAs work with more than one client at the same time. You should also consider the impact of time zones on your working relationship. If you like to Skype a lot with your VA, then you may find scheduling problems with one who lives in India.
There are a lot of different ways VAs can help you with lead generation, depending on your business model and marketing strategy.
If you're not quite ready for your VA to contact leads directly, then give them the time consuming task of researching them.
Provide them with a profile of your perfect prospect, and let them use tools like search engines and social media to find new prospects that you can reach out to.
If you're confident in your VA's communication skills, then you can put them on the task of contacting leads. They should already have some experience with lead generation, but you can offer clear instructions on how to contact prospects.
Developing Marketing Material
If inbound marketing is a part of your strategy, then a VA can be a huge help in developing marketing material for your campaigns.
Set them up creating relevant blog posts, case studies, ebooks, and content that you can then market to generate new leads and move them down the sales funnel.
Any work a VA can do that allows you to allocate more time to lead generation is valuable.
VAs can easily cover everyday, time consuming tasks related to your business, such as social media management or bookkeeping.
Just like with any business investment, you want to make sure that hiring a VA brings a positive return on investment for your business. That's why it's important to:
1. Set Goals
When you and your VA first start working together, you need to clearly indicate your expectations from them. What do you want them to accomplish during their working hours?
Develop goals that are unique to your business needs, and when possible, quantify your expectations.
2. Track Efficiency
Almost all VAs work at an hourly rate, so you need to make sure they're using your paid time efficiently. That might sound impossible with a remote assistant, but there are a lot of great tools you can use to track productivity virtually. A tool I'd recommend is Time Doctor, which provides screenshots of their computer screen when working. If you've hired a VA via Upwork, they have their own time tracking widget that helps ensure VAs stay on task.
3. Measure Results
Even if your VA is an efficient worker, you have to make sure their efforts are actually helping your business get more leads.
Keep track of your VA's time allocated to various tasks, and see how they impact your lead generation efforts overall, monthly or quarterly.
Are the number of new leads generated worth the cost of the VA?
If you carefully vetted your VA and delegated tasks appropriately, there's a good chance you've found a valuable solution to your lead generation problems.