The General Virtual Assistant (aka Virtual Secretary)
Almost everyone needs a secretary but not very many people can afford to hire one. That’s where a general virtual assistant comes in handy and most are quite affordable. They usually start at around $3.00 per hour making them perfect to do the day to day busywork that a secretary or personal assistant would usually do. If you’ve never worked with a virtual assistant before, hiring a general virtual assistant is the most non-intimidating way to get started with the practice of outsourcing.
Pay Scale for a General Virtual Assistant
(US dollars, Filipino pay scale): $400 to $800 per month
Example General Virtual Assistant Duties
• Research keywords and topics for blog posts.
• Upload blog posts and help with publishing schedules.
• Maintain social media accounts (Tumblr / Twitter / Facebook / Youtube) and post status updates.
• Manage your calendar, including travel and daily meetings.
• Give them a prepaid credit card to purchase items on your behalf.
• Create and manage reports for your business.
• Update your website
• Respond to customer service emails and customer support.
• Oversee product sales and product shipping.
• Act as a project manager and work with other team members.
Implementation Strategy – How to Work with a General Virtual Assistant
• Create a shared Google Drive document to track hours and their activities. Asana and Trello are also good task management options.
• Consistency of check-ins is critical. Schedule general virtual assistant checkins two or three times per week.
• Use the following subject line: “NEW TASK: ~Task Title~” when emailing your assistant new tasks you want done. Then have your virtual assistant enter the task into the shared Google Doc for tracking.
• Pay them twice a month, or even weekly. Being a virtual assistant can be tough and they have been scammed before by employers, so make it a point of emphasis to keep up your end of the bargain. Paying them more frequently than once a month will be appreciated and keep them eager to stay working with you.
Some Resources for your Virtual Assistant
• Provide a guide to your worker to help set up a productive workspace home. A great resource is Entrepreneur.com’s guide to setting up a home office. If your worker needs some extra money for ergonomic office equipment or perhaps a better keyboard, consider purchasing it for them.
• Training for administrative assistants is available from the Association of Administrative Assistants which is a good repository of information.
• Video training for everything from Web design to word press blog posting is available on YouTube.com. If you have more specialized training requirements, a good resource is Lynda.com.