Spotlight On Small Business – Virtual Assistant
Interview with Ivana from Social Media by Ivana
Have you been wanting to start a business and kicking around the idea of becoming a virtual assistant? Or perhaps you need a virtual assistant, and you want to hire one but don’t know where to start. Today I would like to put the spotlight on the small business virtual assistant.
This is something for entrepreneurs of all ages because of the diversity of the job.
A virtual assistant or a VA is fantastic to have for outsourcing your tasks.
As a small business owner, you wear many hats, and you may not want to hire an employee, yet you still want to have an administrative assistant to help you finish your tasks.
A VA is so great because they are an independent contractor and not your employee.
A VA is a business of its own, and it’s probably the hottest business out there right now.
I’d like to introduce you to my awesome VA, Ivana, from Social Media By Ivana.
Hi Ivana, thanks so much for allowing me to interview you today.
What made you decide to become a small business virtual assistant?
I just love helping out and offering assistance to everyone. 3 years ago I didn’t have an idea of what Virtual Assistance was back then. I was earning a lot having to manage a Business to Business company where I handled Quality Assurance, Finance, and Over All Operations.
I then realized that having a family and a full-time corporate job is exhausting. My job was robbing my time with my son and husband. I researched and had the admin skills and savings from years of working. I decided to do freelancing. It was a very tough decision since I loved my bosses and I served them and their headquarters in Chicago for 8 long years.
What I did first was to research and do self-study and upskilling. During that time, I had a lot of realizations. I have a degree in business accounting but when you have the skills, your earning capabilities are unlimited.
What type of virtual assistant are you?
I am more on Digital Marketing. I have experience with Quickbooks and other admin tasks such as Email Support for clients that are doing eCommerce and integrations on Shopify and woocommerce sites, fulfillment issues, and chargebacks.
I also know how to do skip tracing and lead generation for realtors and all other brands that offer products and services.
Social Media Management is what I love doing, from content creation, creating visuals or graphics to compliment the caption, market research, and content strategy planning.
What type of tasks do you do as a VA?
Right now, I am blessed with 19 amazing clients including Deanna! I have 5 VA’s under my bucket where I delegate tasks such as Email Marketing, Content Creation, Graphics, admin tasks (CRM integrations and automation), Web Design, and SEO.
I now deal with checking content, auditing, and proofreading content, and communicating with our clients, billing, and payroll.
Would you say you are a specialized virtual assistant, or do you do many different types of things?
I can say I can do most of the aforementioned however I would rather do Social Media Marketing only.
How do you know that you and your client are the right fit?
For me, It’s not something I would know, It’s when I feel it. When the vibes are right. I respect that each client is different given the fact that I deal with different brands and niches and personas. As long as we get a mutual understanding in terms of prices, deliverables and goals- we’re a perfect fit.
What would you say is the best way for someone wanting to start as a virtual assistant to get started?
The best way is first to conduct research and test out waters on what you really want and do with passion. Upskill and search for a particular skill you want to excel and sell services with.
What is your favorite part of being a small business virtual assistant
Oh, it’s really the time flexibility. The freedom and earning decent while spending time with my son.
Is there a specific task that is your favorite?
Yes, Social Media Marketing these are/but not limited to content strategy plans, marketing research, content curation, and content creation.
Do you need a dedicated office space as a virtual assistant, or can you work from anywhere?
I would rather work anywhere rather than having a home office. Sometimes, it bores me to sit in one corner so I go out somewhere with my family, hanging out with friends and beachin’.
Would you consider a VA a freelancer or an employee?
No. Being a freelancer for me is considered a small business. Freelancers like me are offering services to clients in exchange for payments after the services are delivered.
I know some clients can be a bit difficult. So how do you keep everything flowing so smoothly in your business?
I always keep in mind that these clients of mine are paying me. These clients deserve exceptional customer service, professionalism, and output. At the end of the day, word-of-mouth advertising is the key to your success. Good customer service and referrals are the keys.
What is some advice that you would give to someone wanting to start a virtual assistant business?
Always put your heart into what you’re doing. Take out the “getting paid” attitude. Deliver what your clients deserve. Always be professional.
Because being a VA is so hot right now, is there still a lot of opportunity for virtual assistant jobs for new VA’s?
Absolutely, it’s a big big world for us VA’s today. It’s not that saturated yet since there are still clients looking to find newbies for cheaper costs.
Where would VA’s find their potential clients?
If you’re a freelancer offering virtual assistance services, it would be nice to start off with creating a page and posting promotional content there, constantly showing up and engaging. Research hashtags that are relevant to your brand whilst joining groups and engage.
Do you offer social media management services?
Which social media platforms do you help your clients utilize?
I am equipped with Instagram, Linked In, and Pinterest. Facebook growth is the main challenge for me. The algorithm and restrictions are hard to digest because Facebook would rather have you pay with advertisements.
What is your favorite type of client?
Clients that are hands-on with their brand and business. Clients that are always providing me with stuff I can use for content creation and visuals.
Can you tell my readers some types of virtual assistants that are out there? i.e., real estate, social media, personal brands, youTube, etc.
Yes, there are a lot! You can be a real estate VA doing cold calls for real estate companies or agents.
You can be a VA doing admin tasks for specific clients such as CRM and database.
You can focus on graphic designing, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), web designing, or be like me, offering social media marketing to any brand. (Some of my friends are only focusing on business coaches/therapists/gym owners etc) But I would rather manage all.
Some are doing email marketing and some are more focused on sales calls like b2b (Business to Business).
Actually, being a virtual assistant is a broad career.
Do you recommend virtual assistants charge an hourly rate or by the job & why?
Both. It depends on the deliverables, let’s say for example if you’re doing graphics for content and you prefer to be paid per hour and you can render less than an hour for 3 graphics, then you are not well compensated. Sometimes, you need to rate based on your skills and a package rate is ideal.
As a small business virtual assistant, do you do many repetitive tasks, or is there a lot of variety in your day-to-day tasks?
I do repetitive tasks, mostly during Mondays- Wednesdays. Thursdays-Saturdays are tasked per each client.
How long have you been in the virtual assistant business?
Almost 3 years.
How long do you think it would take a dedicated entrepreneur to build a virtual assistant company?
What is your best advice for someone to find the right virtual assistant for their business?
Instagram. Where people post their achievements, day-to-day life, and expertise. I would also recommend LinkedIn since there are referral badges they can check out for.
Do you think there is too competitive out there for someone to start a new VA business?
There is competition. But if a VA knows how to establish himself/herself well in social media, she can be able to get clients and build a portfolio. At the end of the day, a VA can only cater to no more than 30 clients (just like me with VA’s to help me), not unless you are getting big and about to build a small entity hiring too many VA’s.
Tell me a bit about your onboarding process? A while ago, you took me through it, and I don’t remember much about it. I only remember thinking how professional and easy you were to work with.
Thanks, Deanna, yes, you have been so easy to deal with that time because you were very direct in pointing out what you want.
When I do the onboarding process, I have to send an intake form for the client to answer. I want to have an idea about their brand, target audience, and tone.
Once they have sent me the filled-out form, I would then create a content strategy plan for posting, I would ask for logins and admin access of their pages for me to be able to check the best performing posts and curate them. Once I have everything I need, I then start to create content and graphics and invite them with the tools I’m using for approval.
All contents that are approved would be posted/scheduled as agreed. Then we do the engagements, page growth and etc.
What are some virtual assistant tasks that someone may want to hire you to do?
Here are lists of tasks you should consider delegating to a virtual assistant:
- Managing emails. Emails are probably one of the biggest time wasters for most entrepreneurs
- Answering phone calls
- Manage virtual assistants
- Schedule management
- Data entry
- Client relationship management
- Cold Calling Prospective Clients
- Social Media Management and Marketing
My own story that tells the power of having a good VA
Before I started working with Ivana, I had another VA who was really difficult to work with. But, unfortunately, not all VA’s are created equal!
She hated everything I did and would not do any of the tasks I asked of her in the way that I wanted them done. I’m very particular about my brand, and she hated everything about it.
It was bizarre like she wanted to coach me, but I didn’t want her for a coach. I wanted a VA.
I ended up having a type of coaching session with someone I trust, and she looked at my brand and said, “What is this?! It’s not you at all. There is no alignment here.”
I told her, well, my VA did some of my website and took apart all of my branding. She said, “Did you ask her to do that?” I said, “No, I don’t even like it!” She said, “Get rid of her.” So the next day, I fired her.
I revamped my website and got my brand in alignment with my vision and never looked back.
Then, I saw one of my friend’s Instagram feeds and saw how much growth she had. I had to know who her VA was. It was Ivana!
I’ve been so happy ever since.
Ivana has been able to capture my vibe and my brand. She knows my brand voice and how my brand looks, sounds, and feels.
She always does a great job, and if you are looking for a virtual assistant, you may be blown away by how great she is too.
So whether you want a dedicated virtual assistant or someone just to give a little bit of support with your administrative tasks, there is something for everyone.
Finding the right fit between client and VA is significant. If you are looking for a dedicated assistant, I highly recommend Social Media by Ivana.
I have nothing but positive and glowing reviews for her virtual assistant service.
I think the virtual assistant business is excellent, as there are so many different kinds of niches for VA’s that are out there to discover.
Thank you Ivana for providing my readers with so much valuable information!
If you would like to hire Ivana as your VA you can find her at Social Media By Ivana.