If you want to perform at a high level, you need to know how to delegate tasks. You need to know what you should do yourself and what you can pass on to those around you.
One of the best tactics for increasing productivity is hiring a virtual assistant to help do some of the heavy lifting. If you have ever wondered what types of tasks you can pass over to a virtual assistant, then you definitely want to check out this robust guide.
The 22 tasks I’m going to share with you are tasks that hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world have used to be more productive.
…And they’re tasks that YOU might be still doing on your own today.
Want to get more off your plate?
You’ve come to the right place. Let’s get to it…
1. Curating A Quality Newsletter
An email newsletter can bring tremendous value to both your business and your target audience. It’s an opportunity for you to capture emails for people interested in a topic or subject related to your business and an opportunity for them to gain insight.
When I ask people why they don’t have a newsletter, the most common response is time. It takes time to go find great content and then upload it to an email management system. Luckily, it doesn’t have to take as much time as most people think.
Rather than digging through forums, communities, blogs and social media for great resources, let your virtual assistant help. Here’s a sample of the instructions you can use:
2. Transcribe Your Thoughts Into Blog Posts
Do you ever have a stroke of genius while driving or working out?
The next time you do, press record on your phone and start saving your thoughts into an audio file. Rather than feeling rushed to get in front of a computer to write down your thoughts and ideas, use audio recordings to capture the premise and key points that you would want to make in a blog post or article.
Virtual assistants will take this audio description and turn it into a well formatted, research backed and compelling piece written content. To do this effectively, you need to be comfortable giving your virtual assistant a bit of control. Some of your thoughts will be out of place and it will be their job to organize and ensure that the thinking surrounding your audio clip is sound.
3. Booking Your Flights & Travel
Business travel isn’t that fun. Booking travel is even less exciting.
It might seem like it in the movies and on TV but the reality is far from as exhilarating as Hollywood makes it seem. The constant back and forth between peers looking to lock in the perfect time and coordinating the travel time between one meeting and the next can be draining.
A virtual assistant can make life on the road 10x easier. Task your virtual assistant to help find the perfect flights, book meetings along with travel time to fit your schedule, confirm restaurant reservations and make sure your time zones aren’t out of whack all without you lifting a finger. One of my favourite tactics for a virtual assistant is having them call or email prior to a meeting with an important person to confirm the meeting is still on. It’s a great way to convey professionalism and helps improve your contact’s perception of you immediately.
4. Create A Whiteboard Video
Do you want to tell the story of your product or service in an effective and unique way without spending thousands?
A whiteboard video might be the answer.
A whiteboard video is a short video created to tell your story using illustration and voice. It can be used to showcase complex thoughts like this popular whiteboard video talking about XYZ here.
Or it can be a simple whiteboard video telling people about your brand and product offering like this.
The going rate for this type of work can range from $10 to $300 depending on the complexity and skill of the hire. Fiverr has an extensive of people who can help bring your product or services story to life using illustration.
5. Email Newsletter Templates
Rather than spending hours trying to fix a weird alignment issue in the HTML of your email template, a virtual assistant can help. In fact, a virtual assistant can build a handful of different templates that are optimized for your system, responsive and ultimately give you flexibility in terms of layout & personalization.
If you’re not familiar with HTML or CSS, hire a virtual assistant to add a bit of extra life into to your email marketing campaigns.
6. Convert Word Docs Into Kindle Books
Do you have a great idea for an eBook and want have the desire to publish it across multiple channels?
Once again, a virtual assistant can help.
Hire a virtual assistant to convert your word document into a format that will be approved by Amazon, guaranteed. The virtual assistant will take your word docs and turn them from blocks of content into a readable and user-friendly layout.
In addition, tell your virtual assistant to optimize the text to have correct titles, paragraphs and text styling throughout along with a clickable table of contents and active web links. You can even hire a virtual assistant to make you a Kindle book cover that will capture the attention of your audience and increase the likelihood that they’ll buy what you’re selling.
7. Portraits Of Prospects or Client’s Animals
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that people who have animals, really love those animals. Whether it’s a cat, dog or hamster – people will talk for hours about their pets and the funny things that they’ve done.
Now, recognizing that business is all about relationships, virtual assistants can help you take those relationships to the next level. If you have a prospect or a client with a pet, you can hire a virtual assistant to create a portrait of that animal. All you have to do is find an image of their pet and an assistant will draw it.
Here’s an example from an illustrator on Fiverr:
Once complete, send this illustration to your contact and reap the benefits of being so thoughtful. The best times to send something like this is for a birthday, anniversary or after closing a deal. It’s a simple gesture but one that can make a real impact.
8. Negotiate With Your Cable/Internet Provider
As an entrepreneur, the primary goal of hiring a virtual assistant is to save time. What most people don’t realize is that virtual assistance can also save you money by negotiating on your behalf with service providers like cable and phone companies.
Last year, I hired a virtual assistant using Fancy Hands and tasked them with reaching out to my cable company to reduce my rate. I didn’t go into the experience expecting much but at the end of the task, I was saving $30 a month because of them.
9. Voice Overs For Product Demos
Whether you hear yourself on a podcast or in a video you’re about to send a friend on Snapchat, we all know our own voice – and studies show that most of us hate it. While others don’t hate our voices as much as we do, some people have severe anxiety surrounding the idea of having their voice used in a product demo or walkthrough of their service.
Virtual assistants can offer you a bit of relief by recording a voice over for you for little cost. On sites like Upwork and Fiverr you can find some of the most engaging and compelling voices to help convey your message and tell your story.
Pro Tip: You can even hire them to record your voicemail to make it more clear and professional.
10. Lead Qualification & Generation
Virtual assistants are great for tasks that include repetitive actions such as data entry and information gathering. One of the best investments I’ve made has been hiring a virtual assistant to help me with gathering information for client prospecting.
I’ve hired a virtual assistant to scan job boards for companies hiring “Content Marketers” and asked them to create a spreadsheet capturing important information. The key is to tell your virtual assistant what information matters such as the company name, the name of the hiring manager, the company’s VP of Marketing, the various emails, the job title and a brief description of what the company does.
You can then use this information to create customized emails that are sent to the various companies to set up demos, initial conversations about what you can offer or coffee chats.
11. Develop Facebook Ad Variations
One of the best ways to run a successful ad campaign on Facebook is to use a variety of different ads. You can test the different messages to see which ads resonate best with your audience and which are more likely to convert.
Virtual Assistants can help you create a handful of different variations of your ads so you can run an effective test.
Upload a sample of an ad that you like, like this:
And ask them to use this ad as inspiration for the 10+ ads that you want them to make. Ideally, the sample you show them will be from your own assets and they can use it as inspiration for coming up with new call to actions, imagery and descriptions.
12. Identify Social Media Influencers For Campaigns
Similar to the process for finding quality leads using job boards, a virtual assistant can help you find influencers worth reaching out to for interviews, round ups, and email outreach.
To start your influencer project, tell the virtual assistant some of the specifics surrounding what you’re looking for. Do you want influencers who have 50,000+ followers on Instagram? Do you want influencers who have 10,000+ sign ups on their mailing list?
Make sure you give clear directions around the definition of what it means to be an influencer and what industry or topic you’re looking for them to have influence in.
13. Proofread Your Blog Posts, Memos, Emails, etc…
Not everyone is blessed with an English major or Journalism background and nobody is good at editing themselves. In fact, I’m not blessed with either of them and often struggle with grammar or silly typos. A virtual assistant can help you overcome these issues by proofing your work and fixing the mistakes that you overlook.
14. Time Consuming Research
I’m a psychology and research junkie and can get lost for hours reading through journals and reports. Unfortunately, I don’t get paid to read and learn about the latest trends surrounding artificial intelligence, human behaviour and futurology. That said, having a solid grasp on these topics is helpful for my day to day and offer me the ability to build better products & tell better stories.
A virtual assistant can help by offering insights and information surrounding research heavy topics. For example, if you’re interested in understand the impact that automated vehicles will have on the trucking industry, you can hire a virtual assistant to do this research and create a one page document that gives you everything you need to know to speak on the subject.
Let’s say you’re working on a blog post about how HR software is changing how we hire. A virtual assistant can research and interview people who work in this industry for quotes, stats and information that you can then include in your article. A process that would have taken you hours is quickly taken off of your plate using the power of a virtual assistant and delegation.
15. Usability Review Of Your Website
Do you want candid feedback on what you can do to improve your website before launch? Hire a virtual assistant to go through your site, page-by-page and offer critique and feedback on how it can be improved. If you hire the right virtual assistant, you will be surprised at how many of the little things you may have missed that they can uncover within seconds.
It’s the power of a second set of eyes looking at something that they’re unfamiliar with in comparison to you, someone who has been obsessing and staring at the same copy and visual diagram for the past three months. You’d be surprised the sometimes glaring things you overlook. Here’s an example of a usability review that demonstrates the quality you can get back.
16. Create A Personal Meditation App
Meditation doesn’t have to be seen as unorthodox. It’s a common habit of some of the highest performing people in the world. Whether it’s Arianna Huffington, Kobe Bryant or Oprah – meditation is a habit that some of the most successful people in the world have adopted.
Now, a virtual assistant cannot meditate for you but they can certainly help create an optimal experience for you. Some virtual assistants will actually record their voice in a calm and well-paced tone over an audio track to give you a customized meditation experience. They will work with you on a script that can be tailored to any of the typical stresses that come into your life.
For example, you could hire them to create an audio track that tells you that life as an entrepreneur is hard but taking the time to rejuvenate is important. Or maybe you want your meditation track to remind you of your why or the importance of empathy when dealing with troublesome clients. Anything is possible!
17. Conduct Extensive Background Research
I don’t know why you would have to do this but if you really wanted to find out the details surrounding someone you’re about to go into business with, there are virtual assistants who will do the digging. All you have to do is tell them a name and share a few of social media links and the assistant will do the rest.
Within a few weeks, you will have a 50+ page document highlighting everything they can find out about a person.
Creepy? Yeah, you better believe it. But helpful.
18. Find Domains & Apps Worth Buying
Snapping up expired domains and using those sites for link building purposes has always been considered a great way to drive SEO success. The process isn’t as sure-fire as it was a few years ago but finding expired domains can be a great task for a virtual assistant.
The goal here shouldn’t be to focus solely on finding expired domains with existing links and ranking – it should be to find domains that could also be sold for big bucks. Like this guy who somehow bought Google’s expired domain. Hire a virtual assistant to keep track of expiring domains or domains listed for sale on sites like Flippa. As you acquire these assets, you can start selling them on the side and earn some cash on the side.
19. Manage Your Website Comments
As the traffic on your blog begins to increase, the number of comments from fans, trolls, and bots will also increase. A virtual assistant can offer you the luxury of not worrying about commenters feeling ignored by taking on the job and responding on your behalf or even as a member of your team.
Take a look at these comments on Neil Patels blog:
You don’t have to be a brilliant marketer to leave comments like these. Give your virtual assistant a few examples of how you like to respond to different types of comments and they will be able to mimic your tone and style. In addition to offering examples of your voice, let them know that if a comment goes above and beyond their expertise, they can reach out to you for direction.
20. Find Someone To Help With Physical Tasks
As an entrepreneur, it’s likely that you’re constantly running from task to task and meeting to meeting. It’s very possible that some days you just wish you had someone to take care of laundry, pick up your groceries and clean up the basement.
While a virtual assistant can’t do these tasks in person, they can certainly coordinate and hire someone to do it for you. The process for finding a cleaner or shopper you trust can take up far too much time. Use your virtual assistant to vet local service providers and even negotiate the best rate. Upon finding the perfect fit, you can take care of what matters while these little things get taken care of without you lifting a finger.
21. Repurpose Blog Posts Into Slides, Ebooks or Infographics
The power of blogging in business cannot be denied. Studies show that if you invest in blogging and can create quality content, it’s likely that you will generate more than 50% more traffic than those who don’t. One downside of blogging is that the shelf life can be limited and the early days of a post’s launch tend to be its most impactful and traffic filled.
One way to leverage the great ideas shared in a blog post is to repurpose them into other creative assets. Take for example this blog post I wrote a couple years ago on Instagram Marketing. The blog post generated a couple thousand views a handful of shares. Fast forward a few more months after publishing it and I repurposed that post as a Slideshare presentation here.
The deck generated more than 285k views and added new life to the content. I was able to do this quickly by hiring a virtual assistant to break up the blog post into slides. And then hire a designer to make them pretty.
22. Transcribe Podcasts Into Blog Posts
Podcasts are often consumed on the go. We listen to them while we’re in the car, going for a jog and sometimes while we’re working. When you’re interviewed or featured on a podcast, it’s always important to share that content on social media with your peers and existing audience. But one opportunity that podcasters and guests tend to overlook is the opportunity to include a transcript.
A transcript is a great way to increase the chances of the podcast showing up in search when users are looking for content surrounding the topics you discuss. It allows people to consume the content without being forced to listen to it online. This is a benefit for those who are hearing impaired, do not speak English as their first language or do not have audio capabilities.
Creating a transcript also opens up opportunities for you to include links back to things you reference throughout the podcast. Whether it’s a favorite book or a research paper – a transcript will give you the ability to make the podcast more digestible and valuable all at the same time.
So, here’s what I want you to do…
If you’re ready to stop doing unnecessary tasks and start focusing on what matters, then you need to hire a virtual assistant today.
Identify one of the tasks above that seem aligned with your needs and get to work. It will take you only a few minutes to hire and lock in a virtual assistant that will eventually save you hours.