What exactly is a VA?

Published: July 23, 2018

“What exactly is a VA?” – that’s a question I get asked repeatedly at networking events, by people in the supermarket, and occasionally by friends and family members I haven’t seen in a while.  It doesn’t help that voice-command operated AI technology has also adopted the ‘Virtual Assistant’ moniker… indeed, when I introduce myself as a virtual assistant, I have heard the response, “What? Like Alexa?!” more than once. Because yes, I really do sit in a booth somewhere and respond to mundane questions like “How many double decker buses would you need to stack on top of each other to reach the moon?” (The answer is about 87,762, just for your reference) and order toilet rolls when you’ve run out.

Here at Personally Virtual, we like to say that it is possible to ‘Outsource Everything but your Brilliance’.  For us, that’s central to what a VA is and does.  We’re a multi-talented industry, with a broad range of skills – from book-keeping and credit control, to marketing, diary and inbox management and HR support (though generally not all at once!).  If there are aspects of your day-to-day business life that you find time-consuming, frustrating or difficult, why not consider outsourcing them to free up time for the activities that you DO enjoy, and that bring money into your business.

So what can a VA do? Here are five examples of some different VA specialisms, to give you a flavour of the kind of support that you could invest in.

The Email Management Specialist – Do you have 54,000 unread emails languishing in your inbox? Do you lose important emails amongst irrelevant ‘Spam’? You need an email ninja to support you, prompting you to respond to important emails and filing ‘read later’ content for you to help make your email inbox a less terrifying place.

The Blogger – We’re all told that ‘content is king’, but some people are royally rubbish at putting pen to paper – their extensive skills lie elsewhere in their business.  So if it takes your hours to commit your thoughts concisely and coherently to paper, why not consider working with a copywriter to see your ideas come to life quickly and efficiently?

The Financial Wizard – Is your idea of financial record-keeping a plastic bag full of invoices, receipts and bank statements? Perhaps you hate invoicing, or can’t bear to follow up with customers for unpaid bills? There are freelance professionals who can help with this.  However, depending on the tasks that you need completing, your VA may need to be AML registered with the HMRC in order to assist with this – speak to your VA for more information.

The Appointment Guru – If you have client meetings left, right and centre, and struggle to keep on top of them all, a diary management expert could really help! Who wouldn’t want a diary full of events, smartly scheduled, to ensure you’ve got plenty of time to travel and prepare between one event and another.

The Social Media Support Team – Despite the many hours we many spend browsing social media channels every week, creating relevant and engaging business content is a task that few relish!  However, there are a whole host of social media content writers out there who could help you to fill your timeline with interesting posts.

Want to find out how a Virtual Assistant could help your business? Feel free to get in touch. However, if you’re looking for an Alexa-style virtual assistant who can help you dim your lights, adjust your heating and turn on your kettle, it might be worth heading over to Amazon…