Myth busting the Fake News – What it’s REALLY Like to Hire a Virtual Assistant

When you look to hire a virtual assistant, there’s a whole heap of information available online to help guide you. Some of it is helpful, some are well-intentioned but some can be inaccurate and just absolute nonsense. This article helps you sort the important nuggets of gold and bust a few of the myths around hiring a VA.

No doubt your searches have turned up the following fake news opinions! Here’s the truth about what it’s really like to outsource to a virtual assistant.


FAKE NEWS #1 – Virtual Assistants are Just Remote Secretaries, Right?

Don’t hang yourself up on the word ‘assistant’. Yes a VA can perform the tasks of secretaries and PA’s but there is also so much more in their arsenal too.

If there is a job that is time-consuming and distracting you from running your business, or there is something you lack knowledge in, you can outsource it to a virtual assistant. Entrepreneurs are excellent at driving their companies forward and wearing all the hats but they also need to be good at recognising when they are struggling, missing deadlines or not getting round to completing tasks. This is a sure sign that you need support. There is no shame in admitting you need help!


FAKE NEWS #2 – Hire a Virtual Assistant and Pay More

Myth Busting - What it's really like to hire a virtual assistantYou might have read that it costs more to hire a virtual assistant and this is a prime example of how not to analyse costs and statistics.

How much you pay for a virtual assistant depends very much on the services and or time you require. If you want them to complete ad hoc jobs on demand then, of course, the hourly rate will be more than what a permanent in-house employee would charge. However, with a VA, you only pay for what you use and you can have them do as much or as little as you like when you like, all thanks to the flexibility they offer.

If you book in a virtual assistant for longer projects or for retainer hours, you get a much better hourly deal. In addition, you don’t have to pay holiday or sick pay, provide a workspace or even fund their tea and coffee consumption, because they work remotely.


FAKE NEWS #3 – Virtual Assistants Know ‘A Little Bit of Everything’

This is an argument used to suggest that VAs are ‘jacks of all trades, masters of none’. Frankly, that’s insulting to a host of talented virtual assistants who provide expert services to their clients.

In reality, a good virtual assistant concentrates on the areas in which they excel in so they can deliver the highest standard of work possible to their customers, but also tend to offer other services around this skill like administration and research for example.

Many virtual assistants collaborate with freelancers to help them provide a wider range of options for businesses. They might have a trusted graphic designer for website-building tasks or an accountancy whizz for clients that require bookkeeping. The best virtual assistants understand the need to forge great working relationships with experts in fields beyond their own. You don’t just hire an assistant, you take on a team and their collective expertise for a bargain price.


FAKE NEWS #4 – You Need to Supply a VA With the Software They Need

Myth Busting - What it's really like to hire a virtual assistantWhen you hire a virtual assistant, they should be able to start work straight away. If they offer a service, they are responsible for having the tools at hand to complete the task including having the necessary software.

All a virtual assistant needs to start working is an overview from you that includes what you want to achieve and any specific requirements you might have, that are unique to your organisation. There are no hidden costs with a virtual assistant, you merely pay for the work they do. This helps you budget without having to factor-in layouts such as buying new licences for software. It’s up to them to have the workspace, software, equipment and necessary caffeinated drinks, all at their own expense.


FAKE NEWS #5 – You Can’t Trust a Virtual Assistant With Confidential Information

If you hire a virtual assistant, you should expect the same professionalism you would receive from an employee. Even though VAs do not necessarily interact with your business every day, customer satisfaction and integrity come as standard. In fact, a VA has to prove themselves to multiple companies in order for the work to keep rolling in, so they need to be beyond reproach. If they gain a reputation for passing on secrets, they will soon put themselves out of business.

You can also have them sign a non-disclosure agreement, just as you would with a staff member. This acts as peace of mind for you, knowing that you have a legal route to venture down if your VA goes rogue.

Reputable virtual assistants will have registered with ICO to show their compliance with the latest data protection regulations. As the VA will potentially process your data, this is evidence to give you peace of mind and also shows that they are fully aware and compliant.


Work Myths

Myth Busting - What it's really like to hire a virtual assistantWe hope that’s cleared a few things up, let’s hear your work myths! What do people believe about the sector in which you work that is completely untrue? What questions do you find yourself answering EVERY TIME you tell people what you do?

We love myth busting, so throw some more at us!

Why not hire a virtual assistant today? Let’s talk about how we can make your life so much easier whilst you build your business.

Things you didn’t know a Virtual Assistant Could do

Wait, What? A Virtual Assistant Can Do That Too?

When you think about what a virtual assistant can do for you, you probably have a set idea of the tasks they will undertake. Diary management, filing and copy typing are all vital duties that you might expect to outsource to such a service with confidence, but there are a whole lot more besides. Here are some services offered by virtual assistants that you might not expect.


WordPress Site Building

More than a quarter of all the websites in the world are powered by WordPress, which is down to the fact that they look great and are simple to maintain. However, setting up a WordPress website from scratch takes time that you might just not have.

Whilst you concentrate on making your business flourish, let your VA from Supportal create a responsive, custom WordPress site to show off your products and services in style. Your website is key to bringing in custom, and we know how to make it shine.

Which leads nicely into…


Virtual assistant servicesContent Writing

Your website is only as good as the content it hosts. Getting the words right is so important when you want to stand out from a crowded market and boost yourself up Google’s rankings.

Thankfully, Supportal can provide you with expert, SEO-focused, engaging static content and blog posts that give you the authority that Google, Bing, Yahoo and the rest crave. We will carefully weave in your desired keywords, bolster your brand and optimise the site to within an inch of its life to ensure that more people than ever find your corner of the internet when searching for a business in your particular field.


Research Event Venues

Of course, virtual assistants can help you with the admin around organising events. You would expect a VA to make travel arrangements, create registration documents and ensure that your speakers know what they are doing, where they are doing it and when they are needed. However, did you know that Supportal can also save you time by researching potential venues?

If you are based in London, you probably don’t have the time to take a day away from the office to travel to Manchester and look over a conference hall. Supportal takes on board your requirements and finds you the perfect venue for your event, whether it is in Catford or Cairo!


Logo Design

You are an expert in your field, you can handle everything your business throws at you, you are simultaneously the head of sales, marketing guru, payroll clerk and chief tea-maker, but sometimes you just have to bring someone else in. The art of logo design is intricate and specialised and, if you want a mark for your business that perfectly encapsulates your offering in a simple, memorable image, you need an expert.

Supportal has the right contacts to make sure your logo jumps out from your website, letterheads and website, and sticks in the minds of your customers.


Social Media Management

Virtual assistant servicesSomething else a virtual assistant can do for you is look after your social media. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are increasingly more important parts of your customers’ live and, therefore, of your business. It’s not enough to put out a solitary post every couple of days; you need to make sure you are present as often as possible when your potential clients are absent-mindedly scrolling.

Supportal can craft creative posts to push your products, schedule your tweets and status updates to make sure you hit as many over your followers and friends as possible, and even interact with your audience on your behalf.


More Things a Virtual Assistant Can Do for You

Supportal’s VAs can write newsletters, design posters, create graphics for your social media and a whole lot more. Take a look at the Services page for more information and get in contact if there’s anything else your business needs. We’ll always try to help; so don’t be afraid to ask!


Virtual AssistantWhat is a Virtual Assistant?

Virtual assistants support your business remotely, meaning you don’t have to provide precious office space or deal with bringing someone else onto the payroll. You pay for what you use, whether it is a one-off service or you need regular work completing over a period of time.

The term ‘virtual assistant’ originated in the early 1990s, but the industry boomed as the internet became a more important part of everyday life. The ability to share documents in the cloud and to undertake high-quality video calls via Skype, Zoom and a host of other providers makes a VA the perfect option to undertake the tasks you need completing, but which require an expert’s input.