October 29, 2019
Starting a virtual assistant business can be overwhelming. Especially when it comes to the tools and programs you need! There are dozens of options out there, some free and some paid. When I got started as a virtual assistant, I tried so many tools and programs, and have narrowed down my favorites for you to use! These are the top 10 tools for virtual assistants, that will not only allow you to be more productive, but allow you to make more money! These are all tools I have used to grow my virtual assistant business, leave my full-time job, and hit consistent monthly goals.
The best tool for invoicing, receiving payment, and so much more!
Dubsado is hands down my favorite program. It allows you to not only send invoices, receive money, and create proposals, but it also allows you to create contracts and contact forms. You can easily send contracts and invoices to have clients sign digitally. It also has a scheduler so you can schedule appointments with clients with ease. It also has built in emails, so you can send everything via Dubsado, and not have to copy and paste information into your email. Dubsado even has time-tracking that allows you to track tasks minute by minute, and assign them to a client’s invoice.
Dubsado is geared towards creative entrepreneurs, including wedding planners, photographers, and artists. You can customize everything that is sent out to reflect your brand, including fonts, logo, and colors. The lead capturing service allows you to easily keep track of incoming leads, and makes sure you never overlook them. PLUS their customer service is incredible.
And, Dubsado keeps track of invoices and your finances. You can set monthly goals, and see how much money comes in each month. It can connect to your Quickbooks for smooth bookkeeping.
The best way to collect money from clients.
Stripe is what you will use to collect money from clients, and is separate from your CRM system (Dubsado) Stripe integrates with many systems, including Dubsado, 17 Hats, Honeybook, Shopify, Squarespace, SalesForce, WordPress, WooComerce, and so many more!
2.9% + $0.30 on all card transactions, including American Express. It also accepts Apple Pay.
A quick word of caution: While PayPal might seem like a good idea at first, please be aware that PayPal does NOT protect you. PayPal protects those who pay you (your customer) and your clients can easily dispute an invoice, and get their money back. I have owned businesses for the last 10 years and have had many issues with PayPal.
Keep track of your client’s work with ease.
Free option available Paid starts at $10/month
Asana is what I personally use to keep on track of clients. While I used to use Trello, after my client list grew, I realized I needed a more robust system. I find it very easy to use, it offers a free version! Each of my clients have their own project board, with a To-Do list, what projects are upcoming, and what are down the road. I can also add team members and assign them projects, which makes running a team even easier!
Never forget a password again!
Free for up to 50 passwords Paid starts at $4.99/month
Dashlane is a safe, simple way to store and fill passwords and personal information. I have tried every password service, including LastPass, and I find Dashlane to be the easiest to use. This is the only one I use with clients!
An easy way to create beautiful graphics.
Free option available
Paid starts at $12.95/month
Canva is an online graphic design program, that includes hundreds of pre-made templates. The free version allows you to create images in various sizes, while the paid version allows you to also upload custom fonts. You can create so many things in Canva, like Pinterest graphics, PDF’s, social media graphics, and so much more!
If you are just getting started and need a free design software, start with Canva However, for higher-end products, higher resolution products, it is not ideal. Stick to photoshop or Indesign for these. I often use Canva for Pinterest graphics, but for larger projects, I use Photoshop or Illustrator.
If you use gmail (like I do) GoogleDocs is incredible. This is a free cloud-based storage and document creation software. One of the best features is you can create, share and collaborate on the same document. Meaning, you can create a GoogleDoc, send to a client, and they can edit the document live, without having to send you updates. It’s great for collaborative projects. And it integrates with Gmail for easy sending and receiving.
Starts at $12/month (domain hosting separate)
While my website is made with ShowIt, I recommend Squarespace to all virtual assistants just getting started! If you do not want to deal with the hassle of coding and want a quick and easy website, I highly recommend Squarespace! I have built many sites on Squarespace in just a weekend, it is that easy! In fact, I even made a video for my course, The Creative VA Academy, that walks you through how to build your first website in Squarespace, in just a few hours. You can also purchase a domain right through Squarespace (although I also recommend GoDaddy!)
Up to 1,000 subscribers: $30/month
ConvertKit is an easy to use email marketing platform. ConvertKit has tags that allow you to easily segment lists, and easily customize your emails. It also allows you to re-send campaigns to those who have not opened it yet. One key difference is CovertKit does not rely on images and focuses on text-based emails. However, this is not a bad thing! Many studies have shown that text-based emails not only convert higher in the number of readers but also reduce the risk of them going into Spam. While I love MailChimp, and used it for the first 8 months of my business, the free version does not allow you to create well-planned nurture sequences for more than one freebie. I recommend making the switch from MailChimp once you have more than one freebie, or more than 300 subscribers.
Starts at $9.99/month
If you are going to offer Pinterest services, you need to know Tailwind. Tailwind allows you to schedule pins using their Smart Calendar, track analytics, and create Pin Loops so high- performing content is shown again and again. With Tailwind, you can schedule days or weeks worth of pins, all at once. I have a complete blog post on all things Tailwind, which you can read here!
Canned Responses for Gmail
This plugin allows you to create pre-made responses and add them to your email. This is perfect for FAQ, or to tell a client your guidelines. I have over 10 canned responses, so I no longer have to type the same email over and over again.
Bonus: Google Analytics
I couldn’t write a blog post about tools without adding Google Analytics! Google Analytics lets you measure your website’s analytics, including where your traffic comes from, the top pages, how long people stay on your website, and their demographics. This is hands-down one of the most important programs to learn to grow your business. Google Analytics gives you the free tools you need to analyze data for your business in one place, and lets you better understand your client and their habits.
The Top 10 Tools for Virtual Assistants
By starting with these top tools, you are going to not just grow your business quicker, but spend less time worrying about finding the right program! And don’t forget to get your Free Guide – The Virtual Assistant Toolkit! This goes over all of these tools, plus many more! The best part? It’s free!
*Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links may contain affiliate links. This means that I may receive compensation from any purchases made.