Chapter One

Virtual Assistants And Specialized Responsibilities

In addition to the preceding administrative responsibilities that you may have as a virtual assistant, those virtual assistants who work with entrepreneurs with online businesses may also have more specialized responsibilities which may include:

1. Article marketing. Article marketing is an effective way of exposing potential customers to a business. Your client may request that you take articles she has given you and submit them to article directories, ezines, blogs, and other pertinent Web sites. If you offer writing as part of your virtual assistant services, you may also write the articles.

2. Press release submission. Press releases are a popular way of bringing attention to a business. In addition to submitting press releases to local or national media, you may be asked to submit press releases to online press release Web sites.

3. Forum posting. Many online business owners believe that posting comments on forums that relate to their business is a great way to drive traffic to their Web site. As a result, more and more are hiring individuals for forum posting. As a virtual assistant, you may be asked to post comments and questions in relevant forums on behalf of your client.

4. Online research. Business owners want to win as many customers as they can, and online research will help them determine new market trends, potential new customer bases, and other pertinent information. You may be called upon to conduct such research for your clients.

5. Finding relevant joint venture partners. Business owners know that to build their businesses, they sometimes need to form partnerships that will allow them to do just that. For example, perhaps you are a virtual assistant for a graphic design company and your client provides Web design, among other services, to his customers. But, he wants to expand his offering to provide full Web sites, including the design and the writing, and he wants you to find potential writers with whom he can partner.

6. Keep abreast of new technology. For business owners, and that includes you if you decide to start your own virtual assistant business, it is absolutely essential to stay on top of all the latest technology. Your clients may request that you research all new technology as it relates to their businesses, how it will benefit them and, if they opt to implement it into their businesses, train their employees.

7. Identify other sources of income. Many online business owners realize that the best way to make consistent income is to have multiple sources of income which may become the responsibility of the virtual assistant to identify those multiple sources of income and ultimately help the client implement and manage them.

8. Participate in online groups. There are a plethora of online groups such as Yahoo groups where entrepreneurs and business owners can network with others and can meet potential customers. Your client may request that you join online groups, start talking to people, and discreetly market the business by putting the business Web site address in the signature line of your emails.

9. Attend online seminars and classes. The internet is awash with online seminars and classes, many of which can be beneficial to you and your client. For example, your client may ask you to attend an online seminar that discusses how to write a book that will help you gain expert status in your particular business niche. You would attend that seminar, take notes, and help your client implement that which you have learned.

10. Oversee an affiliate program. Affiliate programs are a popular way for business owners to earn even more money on the products they sell. Essentially, affiliates sell products on behalf of the business owner. For every sale an affiliate makes, the affiliate earns a commission, generally 50 percent of the sale price or higher. As a result, the business owner has his own army promoting his products, increasing his sales, and increasing his profit.

Some virtual assistants, with specialized skills, offer an even wider set of services. For example, a virtual assistant with strong writing and editing skills may offer both writing and editing in addition to their normal services. In addition, some virtual assistants specialize in a particular field, such as real estate, and work only for clients who work in real estate.

Some clients may also request that you provide them with assistance with their personal needs. For example, your client may be in charge of planning an upcoming family reunion, but he simply does not have the time to make the preparations. He may request that you, the virtual assistant, take over the project and plan the family reunion for him.

Other personal tasks a client may ask you to undertake could include scheduling appointments with the doctor or the dentist, preparing all of the administrative necessities to move to another home or office, arranging for a sitter for the client's children, and so on.

Remember, this is just a partial list of professional and personal responsibilities you may have as a virtual assistant depending on your client's needs, the services you offer, and your particular skill set. If a client asks you to work on a task that you simply do not feel comfortable with or you do not have the skills to adequately complete, simply be honest with him or her.

Now that you have an idea of what you can expect from being a virtual assistant, let's take a look at the reality of a virtual assistant career, including the pros and cons of entering this burgeoning profession.

Next: Chapter One: The Reality Of A Virtual Assistant Career: Pros and Cons

Previous: Chapter One: The Virtual Assistant: What To Expect

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