What does a virtual assistant do?

What does a virtual assistant do?

A virtual assistant is a business owner that works remotely providing services from administration through to desktop publishing and website development, to other business owners. Virtual assistants work from their homes, providing support to businesses across the world. Virtual assistants are paid generally for the time spent working for businesses, at an hourly rate or project rate.

As many business owners start to grow their business, they can find themselves at a turning point where their focus truly needs to be on the business growth and development, not being weighed down with various administration tasks or business functions that could easily be outsourced and managed by external parties, giving them back their valuable time.

A virtual assistant is a great stepping-stone for the business owner who isn’t quite ready to hire a full time or part time employee, or have the needed finances to cover overheads such as computers, wages, insurance, and so forth.

In Australia, Virtual Assistant rates range on average from $30 to $70, depending on their skill and industry knowledge and experience. In my role as a virtual assistant, I work with multiple businesses providing a range of services from administration, email/diary management, social media and online business strategies, blogging, newsletter, desktop publishing and website updates.

Virtual assistants can be hired hourly for a one off project, or for a set number of hours per week or month.  When it comes to hiring, don’t allow yourself to be blocked by the price of a virtual assistant, as it is important that your business needs are being met. It is important to know, that whilst a virtual assistant might cost $50 an hour, that task that takes you 2 hours is mostly likely going to take a virtual assistant 1 hour or less.

 Virtual assistants work remotely, and use programs such as Skype, Dropbox, project management software, to enable them to work for businesses across the globe.

Business owners can source overseas virtual assistants, which can have many pros and cons. If your business need a 24 hour service, having a virtual assistant both locally and overseas can enable you to provide a 24 hour service.  There are many programs that can be used to streamline processes between your virtual team and ensure smooth running of your business.

When you feel you are ready to bring a virtual assistant into your team, but may be unsure where to start and how to hire one.

I recommend reading the following articles:

How to start working with a virtual assistant

How can a Virtual Assistant help you in your business?

Then seek referrals from colleagues and friends, on virtual assistants they recommend.  Another method is to review testimonials on virtual assistant websites to see what previous clients have to say.  Be sure to talk to several virtual assistant businesses, to ensure you feel comfortable with their ability to meet your business needs and understanding.  Also, see if they offer a trial period so you can be sure it’s going to be a perfect match!

If you have any additional questions on what a virtual assistant does, please feel to connect with me. 

Why You Need a VA to Manage Your Blog and Newsletter

Why You Need a VA to Manage Your Blog and Newsletter

Keeping your business in the ‘eye of the customer’ is essential in order for your business to grow. As a business owner, you can easily become consumed dealing with our day-to-day matters, and not giving our business the time needed to action strategies for growth.  

Two of the best avenues to gently remind your customers you are there, are through your newsletters and blogs. 

A virtual assistant (VA) can assistant you in maintaining your customer contact. Creating a regular schedule on when blogs and newsletters need to be composed and released, enables you to know your timelines and your VA to know what deadlines they are working to. 

Before you start going crazy producing blogs and newsletters, you firstly need to determine how frequently you should create your content and will meet your target customers’ interest. You need to make sure you are not over or under-producing them. This can be a bit of trial and error. Once you have determined this, you need to commit to your schedule.

The best way to ensure deadlines are met is to talk to your VA about;

  • how much time they need to create the content
  • how much time you need to review the work, and
  • allow time for final edits and touch ups.

Once this is locked in, you can then start brainstorming the content needed for blogs and newsletters. Do some research to see what your customers love and don’t love. Don’t be scare to even ask your customers, using such means as a survey.  

The best strategy when working your schedule is to try and keep 2 to 3 blogs ahead of yourself, you can preschedule these to be released on your website on a set date. 

How can your VA get this all happening for you, so you’re not stressed trying to keep on top it all 


  • Create a list of key topics you want covered in blogs. Don’t be afraid to create a series of blogs, if your content is going to be to long.
  • Create a schedule of when the blogs are to be released. Working backward to create the first draft due date.
  • Your VA can draft the article for your review and can incorporate a call to actions at the end of your blog.
  • Determine what type of call to action you want from your audience. It is always good to encourage readers to comment, offer feedback or share an experience. Or you can encourage them to buy a product or service. Ensure you communicate to your VA what key call to actions you want incorporated into specific blogs.
  • Source free images – there are many website that offer free image to use for blogs. Some require acknowledgement from you sourcing the images from that specific website. Otherwise, your VA can use programs such as PicMonkey or Canva to create original artwork for your blog.
  • Update SEO – It is vital that in order for you to be found that your blog has it’s SEO words added. Your VA can enter these, and research on what other keywords would be relevant to your blog/business.

Your newsletter keeps you in your customer’s inbox. Don’t make your newsletters too wordy. A lot of people don’t love to read a lot of words (unless it’s a novel). A great way to create a newsletter is to mix up words and images and make as many things as possible linkable to your website. Remember, Traffic = Sales Conversion on your website.

Include your blogs in your newsletter too, again make sure your newsletter is linked to various aspects of your website to drive your traffic across.   For example, for your blog including your newsletter your title, image and the first couple of lines, then insert a ‘read more’ and link it to your website (also link the image).

The strategy behind this is to get your customers to your website, where you have the opportunity to convert them from visitor to a customer.


Brainstorm with your VA on the main section you want for your newsletter. Eg: The Blog, Shop, Latest News, Special, or Sales.

Your VA can create your newsletter template, and there are programs such as Mailchimp that have a free level for under a set number of subscribers. It is important that your business ‘branding’ is kept consistent through the newsletters. Why? Because branding is what people say about you when you’re not there!

Your VA can source and create content, create images and links to your various website sections. They can also create a draft of your written content, you will need to guide them on key aspect such as items on sales, specials coming up or key items you want to be highlighted in the newsletter.

Once your newsletter content is created and ready to go, make sure your VA checks all the links are working, and that they send you a copy to review.

Your VA can schedule and once your newsletter has gone, you’re VA will be able to advise you the open and click rates, as most newsletter programs advise this for you.

Don’t be afraid to test various styles and formats for your newsletter to see which format gets the most higher click rate with your readers.


If you have any questions, or would like to know more information feel free to contact me via my contact page.




How can a Virtual Assistant help you in your business?

How can a Virtual Assistant help you in your business?

Using the services of a Virtual Assistant is a great way to focus on what you love.  You know, as business owners, how quick your day can fly by and you just never seem to have enough time.  You find yourself spending so much time doing things for your clients, that you don’t seem to have time to focus on business development.

Working with a Virtual Assistant enables you to get back your time and have the confidence in knowing your various administration tasks/projects are being taken care off, whilst you do the things you love. 

Here are some common tasks a virtual assistant can help you get started with. It is important to know that not all virtual assistants offer the same services, so don’t limit yourself to thinking you have to have just 1 virtual assistant.


Assisting you with your ‘To Do’ list.
Preparing correspondence.
Co-ordinate mail outs, both hardcopy or electronic.
Create business forms, templates and ensuring branding is consistent.
Create your stationery requirements such as letterheads, business cards, with compliment slips, flyers and brochures.
Be your sounding board for new ideas, events, products or services.
Managing your emails.
Assist with streamlining your office systems to keep you on track, organised and efficient.



Upload your blogs onto your website.
Source free images for blogs, or create original artwork.
Create pages, graphics and ‘call to action’ buttons.
Manage members.
Source guest bloggers.



Write your content.
Source or create accompany images.
Upload to your website and add in SEO components.



Attend to your customer emails.
Set up ‘canned’ responses for frequently asked questions.
Prepare an online ‘Client Questionnaire’ and review the returned results.
Undertake online research.
MailChimp e-Newsletters | Set up a template, import your list of contacts and create/compile your weekly/monthly/quarterly e-Newsletters.
Manage AWeber and Wishlist memberships, and creating newsletters.



Create invitations
Promote your special event, workshops & events.
Collate RSVPs
Setting up online ticket buying – Eventbrite / TryBooking
Coordinate with venues, suppliers on your behalf.
Preparing documentation and presentations for event.



Create your editorial calendar of content for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+.
Create original branded graphics for your business.
Search for avenues to increase your followers and audience interaction.
Monitor your page and attend to any business private messages.
Create Facebook Ad campaigns.



Create a PowerPoint presentation.
Create an Excel spreadsheet for a mail-merge mail-out, reports, budgets, etc.
Create and format Manuals and Workbooks.
Format your e-book.


My role is to make your life as stress-free and efficient as possible.


Ready to explore more, contact me today.




Determining when you are ready to hire a Virtual Assistant

Determining when you are ready to hire a Virtual Assistant

You have started your business and you are finding yourself faced with people advising you to ‘get a virtual assistant’.   I personally don’t think you should, and here is my why.   If you have not worked in your business conducting all the day to day functions, how will you determine what you love, hate, need assistance in doing or simply don’t have the time to do yourself.

Whilst having a virtual assistant on your team is a great asset. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend bringing one on board at the start of your business.

In my years in business as a virtual assistant, on many occasions I have been hired by business owners/entrepreneurs in the making, wanting me to manage various tasks from administration, social media, blogs, websites and newsletter, as they have anticipated increase volume in workload. Even though they aren’t at that stage yet. Or it may be that they have a new product or services launching and anticipate a high volume level of work for them and their virtual assistant.   Whilst I do truly wish their dream came to fruition, sadly it’s rarely been the case. As a result I have seen them have to admit they don’t have the funds or the work requirements for a virtual assistant, at this point in time.

My recommendation is to allow the work to flow in, and the demand levels increase so you can 1) learn how your business operates, and 2) clearly identify what functions would be best outsourced so you can utilise your time more effectively and efficiently in your business.

In saying the above, please note that if you don’t have the skill base or the capabilities/time to learn new programs, then of course outsource these functions to an expert. If you have the time to learn, then take the time to learn! (You’ll feel empowered conquering them.)

A virtual assistant, if available for your business, is generally ready to come on board and start immediately. You are better to get to the point in your business where you are ready to off load a higher volumes of work or the work you don’t want to be doing because you have more than enough work and the finances to fund having a virtual assistant on your team.

If you are at the point in your business where you are ready to outsource, and want to know more about what types of things you can outsource, then please sign up here for my free opt-in which is a starting guide on what to outsource.

How to clearly communicate your expectations to your Virtual Assistant

How to clearly communicate your expectations to your Virtual Assistant

I commonly hear business owners who have used virtual assistants previously before knocking on my door, mentioned how their VA went on a tangent doing things they hadn’t asked for or failing to communicate to them.

Communication is an essential tool between any business relationships.
If you have had a failed VA relationship or keen to start working with one, but not really sure on your what, who and how, here are some tips to assist you to creating the perfect relationship with your VA.

#1 Outline the task

Don’t assume they ‘get what you mean’. Be detailed in your description, the more familiar and longer they work with you, the trust will build and a clearer understanding of how you both work will develop. When starting out with a new VA, you need to be as detailed as possible, otherwise you’ll be pulling your hair out. Don’t just ‘tell them’ what you need, follow it up with an email.

You have heard people say ‘yes I got it’ and discovered they were completely off track. The English language is very interruptive. It is better if you can give examples.
More experienced VAs will know what questions they need to ask you. But newbies will need more guidance from you.

#2 Explain your preferred communication style

Having previously worked in the corporate world for Managing Directors, Chief Financial Officers and various General Managers. No two were ever the same in how they liked their work done and communicated. Some were self-sufficient, some old school and some just confused relying on me to tell them what to do.

So it’s important you advise your VA how you like to work and how you like to be kept up to date, and this should be done in your initial phone call with your potential VA. The reason is some VA prefer to work certain ways and if you’re requiring an alternative to what they prefer, then you may find your working relationship deteriorate quickly (and that is not what you want).

Types of communication streams you may prefer;

Your VA to just run with it and advise when completed, only asking questions when needed.
Communicate every step of the way so you know exactly where tasks are. You can use programs like ASANA (which is free) to help manage this, and is beneficial if your VA is working on multiple projects.Alternatively if you have multiple team members. It’s an effective communicating tool. Other alternatives are TeamWorks and BaseCamp. There are plenty of others, some free and some paid.

Communicate a strict guideline. No work is to be done ‘outside’ the specified task, unless asked first. Or that a task must be done within a certain number of hours, if they have reached those hours then to discuss with you first before proceeding any further. This is advisable especially if you are budget conscious, however a VA should advise you if the work is exceeding the perceived time.

Ways to communicate;

You can use online software programs as mentioned above, ASANA, Basecamp & Teamworks.

You may wish to have a face-to-face meeting with your VA on a regular basis, especially if you don’t want your inbox clogged. This can be done via Skype, or if the VA is local by meeting up at a location suitable to both parties. (Note expect to pay for their time and travel, as they are in fact working for you during this time.)

You may simply prefer to receive an email from them regularly on how projects are progressing.

#3 Conduct a regular review

Whilst you may feel this is tedious, it is in fact beneficial for your business. You may find your VA, or you could be, doing something that the other party doesn’t like, is confused by, or they may have a better suggestion to improve the system. Having a regular review enables both parties to highlight any concerns, praise what they love and be clear on where they’re heading. You are effectively wanting your VA to be your life long team member, so set it up correctly from the start.

#4 When communication is breaking down

Sadly, I hear this one all the time, and it does disappointment that some (not all) business owner goes sourcing other VAs without actually communicating with their current VA what their concerns are. 9 times out of 10, the VA has no idea they’re not happy.

If you are having issues with your VA, TELL THEM! Explain what your concerns are, and how you would like to see things improve. A VA is a business owner, and isn’t going to want a client being dissatisfied with their services, they are quite likely thinking you’re happy with their performance as you haven’t made them aware of your frustrations.

And of course, if their performance doesn’t improve, move on and find a VA that suits and meets your needs.

Remember, that any experience with a VA whether good or bad, is helping you in your own business identify what works and doesn’t work. No experience is ever a waste, it is educational.


If you’re ready to work with a virtual assistant, or online business manager (like me), contact me today.