When I first got started as a virtual assistant, I had never heard of the term. To me, it sounded like an online personal assistant! But I soon realized that the term virtual assistant covers so many types of services. There are so many different types of virtual assistants! One of the biggest perks of working as a freelancer is that you get to choose what services you offer. In The Creative VA Academy, I am constantly getting asked: “what services do I offer?” And I tell them this: offer what you love to do. It is that simple! If you love social media, offer that, If you are a pro at Pinterest, offer that. If you are the SEO Queen, then offer that to your clients!
Being a freelance worker means that you decide what you want to do. There are no bosses giving you a title that doesn’t feel right or assigning you projects you hate. You can focus on what makes you happy, and what makes you the best profit.
When you are first getting started, I recommend trying to offer a variety of services. They don’t have to be too broad, just enough to let you dabble in a few different areas to see what you like to do. For example, when I first started, I was on hourly monthly retainers – 10 hours per month. My tasks would vary from research to website design, to blogging and marketing. Now, I offer packages focused on marketing, like blogging, Pinterest, and SEO.
By starting out with a variety of services, I was able to fine tune what I loved to do, and what was making me the most money per month. I quickly realized that Pinterest & Blogging were not only my top requested services but made me the most money per month. So I removed services over time that no longer earned a good profit margin for me.
What is a virtual assistant
Before I dive into the different titles a virtual assistant might have, let me cover what a virtual assistant is real quick, in case you are thinking, “Adrienna, what is a VA?”
A virtual assistant (or VA) is a self-employed worker, usually remote, who offers various services to clients. This can also include social media managers, Pinterest managers, bloggers, online business managers, image editors and other freelancers. A virtual assistant most likely will have a specialty, something they are really awesome at – for some that might more administrative or QuickBooks and account, for another they might be focused on social media and marketing.
While Ava And The Bee focus on working with wedding professionals, a VA can help with any industry! From real estate agents, local small businesses to law firms, a VA can help them all.
Different types of virtual assistants
While the term virtual assistant can cover a variety of services, here are some of the most common titles, and what they offer!
Creative Virtual Assistant: This is normally someone with a design background or design skillset. This can include graphic design, PDF creation, website design, album design, etc.
Administrative Virtual Assistant: These are more admin focused, including Quickbooks, bookkeeping, data entry, lead generation, appointment scheduling, database management. They can also help with billing or basic HR duties. Some might offer travel and booking services, for you and your team.
Social Media Manager: This is someone who creates and schedules content for your social media channels — Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc. This can include graphics, writing content, or engagement. The goal of a social media manager is to ensure growth, more engagement, and more sales.
Customer Service Virtual Assistant: This is a person who manages your customer service. This can include customer/client/student emails and communication, like responding to inquiries.
Research Assitant: This assistant focuses on online research for a business. This can include compiling data, presenting this data in an easy-to-read layout, and searching for relevant statistics. They can also help you identify potential areas for growth within your business, as well as helping you find guest blogging or Podcast opportunities.
Community Manager: If you have an online community for your business, this is someone who can hang out in there and answer questions, point people to the answers to their problems, etc. This can also include courses you might have created, or other education platforms you offer.
Data Marketing Assistant: Some virtual assistants focus on website updates, doing SEO, or creating a digital marketing strategy.
Keep in mind, many virtual assistants will cover multiple areas! Which means they might be an expert on creative tasks, social media, and community management.
Online Business Manager vs. Virtual Assistant
One of the biggest misconceptions is that a virtual assistant is the same as an OBM, or online business manager. While some VA’s might also offer OBM services, they are two separate types of jobs. Simply put, an OBM helps manage and delegate tasks among employees, while a virtual assistant is usually hired to complete tasks that a business owner is not able to do themselves. The OBM manages and delegates, while the virtual assistant does the task.
Typically, a company hires a virtual assistant first, to help complete tasks that are not getting done in the business. As that business grows, they might start to look for an OBM to help delegate and manage the structure of the business. As a virtual assistant, I am not in charge of a business and its employees. Instead, I am a contracted worker that helps complete tasks!