Are you just starting out as a Virtual Assistant? Or, are you looking to increase the amount of money you’re making as a VA?
While almost every job under the sun can be outsourced, certain jobs pay more because of the complexity involved in completing them. And nowadays, being a VA is an equal opportunity job. There is no end to the number of opportunities. Some people get paid very poorly, and some people get paid very well, so it’s worth your while to stay in touch with what’s hot, and what’s not.
Originally, VA’s did the work that used to be done by a receptionist, secretary, or administrative assistant. These were mostly clerical functions such as data entry, scheduling appointments, and drafting letters. Over time, many things have changed. Technology allows document sharing, so schedules can be updated by the boss, the secretary, or both. Besides clerical jobs, VA’s are now doing computer programming, website design, article and blog writing, book editing, bookkeeping, advertising, copywriting, selling, digital filing, songwriting, voiceovers, acting, and film editing, just to name a few.
Increasingly, the marketing functions are receiving the best hourly rates. Agencies that used to charge $10 per hour as recently as 2011 can now charge $40 per hour at the present time. The VA’s who do the work can offer services to several agencies, vying for the best pay in their respective fields.
Here is a sampling of various jobs that fall in the category of marketing, and why they are seen that way.
Social Media Marketing
You might think that social media is just for fun, and doesn’t really fit in the category of marketing. When you think of it, marketers will always go where the people go, and people in the billions are hanging out on social media sites.
Marketing through social media takes a special touch, because people are not going there to look for products to buy the way they would go to a mall. They’re going to connect with friends. So the advertising on social media has to be friendly, entertaining, or worthwhile to be successful. The key word here is engagement.
Because of that, business owners of all sizes, and even huge corporations, pay assistants very well for keeping on top of their shares, status updates, likes, and video uploads. While marketers have to be very appropriate in the social environment, when they have just the right presence, social media can be a goldmine.
One of the ways businesses keep in touch with their prospects and clients is through blogging. Here, owners can generate good feelings by offering valuable content in their field of expertise. When the content is excellent, it can go viral, generating leads and prospects without even advertising in the formal sense of the word.
When the public does Web searches via Google, Firefox, Yahoo Search, Bing, or any other search engine, your education-based marketing might turn up as a search result, drawing in more clients. Most people will simply be looking to satisfy a question, and not to buy anything, but ranking high on the search engines has become an art and a science for businesses. That’s because some people will stay on the site, become fans, and buy.
VA’s who can write articles for bloggers, find pictures to complement the content, or upload and format the articles can make good money. Also, VA’s who can change WordPress themes for clients or update the look of websites can make excellent money.
Landing Pages (Opt-In Pages and Thank You Pages)
Since so much more marketing is being done on the Web now, being able to develop a process, or “sales funnel,” for prospects to get closer and closer to buying is an invaluable skill for any business. Prospects interested in a blog post or ad placed on the Web can click on that content, and find themselves on a landing page, where they can enter their email address in exchange for a free gift, introductory appointment, or registration for a webinar or event.
After entering their information, the prospect is then automatically rerouted to a Thank You Page, where he or she can either pick up the gift or receive information as to how they can get it. This is just another stage in the sales funnel. The prospect is now a lead, someone who has expressed interest in the products or services that were offered.
Those VA’s who can set up sales funnels for clients are invaluable. Without a clean process for people to experience more and more information about the company or service, it is highly unlikely that the visitors will turn into customers.
Some examples of sites where you can learn to build landing pages are LeadPages, AWeber, and Optimize Press.
Emails are essential to the online marketing process, so if you can either write the emails or set up an autoresponder program to send out the emails for a customer, you’ll be in demand.
After a prospect converts to a lead by submitting his or her email address, the company can continue to send emails or newsletters to keep the lead updated about products, services, sales, and special promotions. Email is still one of the most reliable ways to do this, and over time, the leads will become more aware of the company and feel they have a relationship with the person who is sending the emails. It is often because of email marketing that a lead converts to a customer by buying the first product from that company.
Emails need to be sent automatically on a very regular basis, and once in a while, there will be a “blast” to advertise a special. The regular emails can be sent via autoresponder, meaning that the autoresponder program will send out the emails automatically, even when you’re asleep. If set up properly, an autoresponder can schedule the emails to hit the inboxes of your leads at any time of the day you specify, no matter what time zone they’re in.
It is not hard to learn to use one. Some popular autoresponders are Constant Contact, AWeber, Get Response, and Mail Chimp.
You might not think of customer service as part of marketing. After all, they’re already customers, and your job is just to maintain them. However, that would be a very narrow view, because technically, every time a person sees your material or interacts with you, they are forming an impression of your company. Therefore, you’ll find that business owners around the world are very anxious to have top-notch customer support.
If you know a business well and are able to offer top tier customer help, you’ll be very valuable to any company that is interested in long-term results.
When you master one of these skills, you’re well on your way to developing a profitable online business as a VA. Don’t forget to ask for referrals and testimonials, and never stop learning. You’ll enjoy the laptop lifestyle and always have stimulating work to do.