Virtual assistants (VAs) are individuals who work for clients remotely. Virtual assistants usually work in home office settings. However, they can work from any location with internet connections and any necessary equipment. Virtual assistants are often hired as contractors for small businesses.
One reason business owners may hire virtual assistants is if their businesses have no offices or do not have enough office space for additional employees. Business owners may also hire virtual assistants because they do not wish to offer the benefits of full-time employment to their assistants.
As a general virtual assistant, you may be required to perform duties that mirror those performed by administrative staff members in business offices. Although, some differences will exist in how those tasks are performed. You may also be asked to perform online tasks like creating social media posts for your clients. When seeking VA work, you can choose a specialization or perform full-service VA tasks. Some of the top types of virtual assistant work available are listed below.
Data Entry, Compilation and Filing
Among the most common tasks you may perform as a VA are tasks relating to data entry. General data entry and related tasks are often vital to business owners because they need to keep client information and other business documentation organized and easily accessible. They may also need to present information to clients in a clear, concise way. Types of tasks that fall in this category include:
- General Data Entry – General data entry may include many types of cataloged information. For example, you may be tasked with keeping lists of contact information for current or potential clients. Note typing and schedule maintenance may also be required.
- Data Research and Compilation – Some of your clients may require you to perform research for various business purposes. For example, you may be required to investigate market trends or news related to relevant industries. Your clients may also require you to compile data efficiently to present it in organized, understandable formats, such as reports or charts.
- Electronic Filing – Another common task you will encounter during VA work is the need to keep track of online data. Electronic filing of emails and data files may be part of the duties associated with such work.
Another type of virtual assistant job for which you can apply is a bookkeeping position. As a virtual bookkeeper, you will be responsible for handling tasks related to the business finances of your clients. Such tasks may include:
- Reviewing financial statements
- Monitoring invoices and contacting clients when they go unpaid
- Tracking company expenses
As a bookkeeper, you must have a clear understanding of numbers and basic math concepts. You may also be required to purchase software programs necessary for accurate bookkeeping. You must use the same software as your clients. Therefore, if you work for multiple clients, several software programs may be required. To exchange data, your clients will email you information to process and, in most cases, provide you with company passwords. You can use those passwords to access company servers and retrieve necessary financial data.
Virtual bookkeeping may offer you schedule flexibility. Typically, bookkeeping tasks do not need to be performed during set hours. However, you will be asked to complete a list of specific tasks within an allotted amount of time, such as a week. You will have the ability to decide when to work during that time.
Marketing and Social Media Maintenance
Marketing and social media maintenance can also be aspects of some virtual assistant jobs you may encounter. Companies may hire you to improve their public relations “PR” through the use of regularly scheduled social media and blog posts. You may also be tasked with creating logos or advertising slogans. The goals of performing such tasks are typically to increase the visibility and reputations of the companies in question. Blog and social media maintenance is often time consuming. Therefore, you will find many companies seeking to outsource such services to save time and in-house resources.
If you intend to offer your remote services as a marketing or social media assistant, you must prove to potential clients you have extensive knowledge of those fields. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in marketing, business or related fields will help you prove you have the required skills for such positions. However, not all employers will require such degrees.
Correspondence is necessary for businesses to function successfully. However, some businesses receive so much correspondence that extra help is needed to manage it. When you apply for virtual assistant jobs that include correspondence management, one of your primary duties is likely to be monitoring and responding to email. One aspect of such a job will be sorting email into folders based on priority levels. Another possible responsibility you may be given is to reply to certain emails on behalf of your employers.
If you choose to manage virtual correspondence maintenance for companies, you may be given full access to the emails received. However, your employers will also have the option of limiting your access to confidential or personal emails. You will be given specific passwords to access the emails you are expected to monitor. Those passwords may be different from the passwords used by your employers for security purposes.
Event, Travel and Accommodation Management
Management of event and travel scheduling, as well as accommodation booking, is another potential aspect of VA work. Many business owners occasionally need to travel or host events for business purposes. If you are given such responsibilities, you will have to perform a variety of related duties. Your goal will be to make sure events and travel plans go smoothly for your clients during business trips and corporate conferences. Occasionally, you may also be asked to schedule personal travel plans for your employers. Your event and travel management responsibilities may include:
- Researching travel prices for airlines and other modes of transportation to find discounts.
- Booking event venues and accommodations for your employers and their associates.
- Contacting individuals invited to attend events to provide event information, such as dates, times and venue locations.