Virtual Associate: Your Most Efficient Staffing Solution

With low costs and flexible contracts, a working-from-anywhere virtual associate is your most efficient staffing solution when you’re short on resources.

So, your business is growing?

In that case, you deserve a pat on the back for a job well done. Those sleepless nights, canceled family vacations and work on the weekends have all paid off.

Wait, what’s up with the scrunching forehead?

Oh, it’s increasingly becoming more challenging to stay on top of things due to growing demands.

Though you’re willing to wear too many hats, it still gets tricky to move around while keeping the operations running smoothly, correct?

Hiring full-time on-site support isn’t your only option, though—there's a virtual associate just around the corner in the digital space.

Virtual associates are spread out among online workers, who are gaining immense popularity these days, thanks to the internet.

Interested? Read this blog post to your heart’s content and get to know everything about virtual associates.

Let’s get it on!

What is a Virtual Associate?

A virtual associate is a remote employee who offers administrative assistance to entrepreneurs and business owners, either part-time, full-time or freelance.

VAs are independent (flexible) contractors who accomplish their tasks from a virtual office from anywhere. They get hired by different companies of various sizes across different industries.

What Exactly Does a Virtual Assistant Do?

From startups to small and medium businesses, every company is hung up on keeping their costs low and productivity high. And that right there is the weight of a virtual assistant job description.

VAs are contractors, which means they don’t have the same benefits as onsite full-timers do.

On the contrary, they are expected to provide the equipment (computer) and all the necessary tools (internet) to deliver their service.

Actually, the tasks that you can delegate to a virtual associate are not set in stone. It all depends on your current needs.

Anyhow, here are some common jobs handed to a virtual associate.

  • General Administrative Work

    The repetitive tasks that usually consume your time, such as booking arrangements, answering calls and organizing emails — you can all let go of those.

    VAs are generally hired for admin work, so all the office chores we just mentioned are easy-breezy for them.

  • Customer Support

    If you’re offering a product to a wide customer base, virtual associates can be your point of contact. They can address queries, find solutions to customer problems and even give tutorials.

    And if ever they can’t be of help to your customers, they will contact the appropriate person in the company to seek assistance.

  • Personal Assistant

    Virtual associates are not just your right-hand person in the office; they can go beyond the standard duties.

    From setting appointments at your favorite restaurant to ordering groceries or gifts for the family online, this virtual sidekick can take care of the personal duties in your life.

  • Data Entry

    Data entry seems to be that soul-sucking (but necessary) job that every office worker loves to hate. It’s tedious and oh well, boring.

    Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about passing this task anymore. A virtual associate would be happy to type, sort and even analyze your business information.

  • Research

    Conducting research is a rigorous job, even with good resources. However, every competitive company relies on it to analyze the market and keep a competitive edge.

    Since this task is rather time-consuming and more manual, it is best suited to your newly hired VA who has the knack for gathering information and analyzing it.

More specialized work…

  • Content Creation and Management

    As Mr. Bill Gates once said in a groundbreaking essay, “Content is king.” It drives traffic to your website and engages consumers and prospects alike.

    However, due to the amount of work necessary for content creation and management, it can be difficult to multitask. The best way to do it is to hire a virtual associate.

    VAs can gather meaningful materials, write the content, schedule the post and monitor the engagement.

    They will work behind the scenes to make it easier for you to nurture the content program.

  • Social Media Management

    Look it up: there are over 4 billion people who prance on social media — from clients and customers to prospects.

    Virtual associates can help you take advantage of that number. They can communicate with your audience, respond to their comments and establish a positive relationship with them.

  • Website Management

    Your website is not just your social proof; it can help you boost your online visibility too.

    With such importance, it is only right that you give time and hire a virtual associate who can update your website and post regular content.

Online Virtual Assistant Qualifications

Honestly, there is no stringent rule on the educational attainments of a virtual assistant.

While many companies look for remote workers with high-level education, some only need virtual assistant skills certification.

In terms of actual hard and soft skills, VAs need to have the following top skills to shine as virtual associates.

  • Tech-savvy

    VAs complete their duties via computer, so it only makes sense that you’re gonna be looking for someone who is tech-savvy.

    Being digitally literate allows a virtual associate to perform tasks faster and more efficiently.

  • Multitasking Skills

    This one should certainly be on your list. After all, you are a busy business owner, carrying multiple tasks on your shoulders.

    In order to not break a sweat moving forward, you need VA support who can juggle along and work efficiently. They must understand priorities and know how to keep a good schedule.

  • Communication Skills (verbal and written)

    Communication is vitally important when you’re collaborating with a virtual associate. Therefore, a great VA is someone who embodies exceptional communication skills, regardless of whether they’re just starting out or experienced.

    Communication skills (verbal and written) come in handy when working on reports or presentations and answering client emails or phone calls.

  • Organizational Skills

    Supporting an entrepreneur who’s always moving means meeting chaos and clutter at every wake… it's inevitable.

    A virtual associate with organizational skills as your sidekick can help you focus on what matters most.

    Having a structured working space can help you track your time, effort and resources, which ultimately lead to meeting your goals.

  • Time Management Skills

    For your virtual associate, time management skills are key to reducing your stress and making sure priorities are met.

    It’s an important quality to have, especially since time is your most important resource. A VA who knows how to manage their time can work efficiently and help you achieve bigger and better results.

  • Critical and Quick Thinker

    Critical-thinking virtual associates can connect ideas, tend to be creative and can solve complex problems with much less difficulty.

    This means you can rely on them with less supervision.

  • Creative

    Brainstorming ideas is not easy.

    A virtual associate who is creative can work out new initiatives that you haven’t thought of before. They can support your business and put more value into creating engaging content and handing out fresh takes on marketing campaigns.

  • Self-Motivated

    Since you can’t always keep a watchful eye on your remote support at every turn, being self-motivated must be part of your virtual associate requirement.

    They must be disciplined enough to keep a specific schedule and meet deadlines.

  • Interpersonal Skills

    It’s hard to work with someone who’s hard to get along with. Establishing a meaningful working relationship with your virtual associate is critical for the collaboration to work out.

    Interpersonal skills help a VA interact and effectively work with other team members. With great camaraderie, you’re bound to see splendid results.

Most In-Demand Virtual Associate Jobs

Here are some popular virtual assistant jobs that you might want to add to your business arsenal.

  • Cold Calling

    The task is to ring people up and try to convince them to buy a service or product.

    A cool-tempered person with excellent persuasive skills fits the bill for this job.

  • Customer Service (Answering Customer Calls)

    As the job suggests, a VA will answer calls, take messages and route calls to the right person.

    They have to be quick on their feet to succeed in this line of work.

  • Document Management

    File, sort and manage the documents to ensure easier access; that’s what document management is all about.

  • Social Media Marketing

    Here, a virtual associate can use their knowledge of social media to create and schedule engaging social media posts…custom-fitted to the company.

The Bottom Line

Long gone are the days when you had to multitask to the point of burning out. Instead, outsourcing to a virtual associate is the new norm.

They can accomplish more tasks in less time without crossing your budget. And time, by the way, is your most precious resource — you can’t afford to waste it.

We hope this blog post has helped YOU get closer to HIRING that VIRTUAL ASSOCIATE and your future success!