Determining Your Virtual Assistant Services

What kinds of services do virtual assistants offer? Discuss the endless possibilities here.

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Old 01-08-2011
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Default Offering social media services only?
Good morning everyone!
I am still in the pre-launch phase and am trying to nail down my services.

In determining my services I've taken the advice of all the wonderful members here and given great thought to what I enjoy most. There are many things I can do (i.e. bookkeeping - yech!, research, copywriting, editing, newsletter design, and basic administrative tasks - I've got over 20 years experience doing all of these things) but only a few things I really enjoy doing.

I love to teach and I enjoy social media. I have been considering setting up a VA business that teaches social media strategies to small business owners (ones who want to DIY) and offers social media management to those who see the benefit of outsourcing that part of their business.

My question: Is it possible to make a living just by offering these services?

Of course I'd be a generalist and take on other tasks if necessary but I really want to capitalize on my teaching and writing/social media skills.

Any advice?
Thanks, Barbara
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Old 01-08-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Hi Barbara,
Yes, it is possible to make a living just by offering these services. I have done it for the past two years and I can say there are clients out there who want help with it. However, to really be able to make a living at it, it's best if you also have internet marketing skills as well as some understanding of SEO. There are plenty of people out there who can help set up accounts and do the basics of maintenance, but eventually most small business owners or others are going to want to also get some benefit or outcomes from using social media and if you are able to help them achieve that, then you will definitely do well.

We are moving past the years of businesses needing help setting up and maintaining and we are moving into really needing to know how to help with engagement, connection and generating leads.
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Old 01-09-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Originally Posted by JKVirtualOffice View Post

We are moving past the years of businesses needing help setting up and maintaining and we are moving into really needing to know how to help with engagement, connection and generating leads.
Kim, this is an interesting comment. Are you saying that teaching clients what to Like, how to post links, create posts, etc., is the direction social media for VA's is moving?

I'd be interested in your thoughts.

Janine
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Old 01-10-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Yes Kimberly, I'd be quite interested in hearing your thoughts on this view.
From my research I think there still is SOME need to help folks set things up but my approach to that need will be different.

Please, let's hear more!
Barbara
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Old 01-10-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Hi Barbara -

I believe Kim to be a true expert in her field and so her comment re: the new direction is one I'm taking notice of and now know I should be doing some extra investigation. Yet in my own experience with people I meet as I'm out networking, those I run into seem to not have a clue about the setup and seem intimidated.

I think you have a good direction. I would just suggest that you build in flexibility & room for growth in your business plan & marketing plan so that you can grow & maybe even shift gears quickly as things continue to change & grow in the SM industry - as Kim's comment would exhibit, at least to me because I can't keep up...:-).

In case you need some additional resources - which looking at these resources may help you with the question about if you can make a biz out of this - would be to check into
Kate Buck, Jr. & Ryan Deiss (both on facebook and experts in the field).

Like Kim said - you will be most successful if you understand SEO because Facebook is now ahead of Google when it comes to traffic and it will be important to teach your clients how to leverage that.

I chose to specialize in Internet Marketing because I know right now I personally don't want to try to keep up with the fast moving climate of SM. It's exciting though, fo' sho'.
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Old 01-10-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Just to enforce what has already been said I second Kim and Pam.

What you are offering is a service that could be used, and you should grow your business by doing what you are good at and enjoy.

As Kim said, many companies are starting to look for someone to help them build connections, I get more requests for this rather than setting up the actual twitter account. So this is something I would also focus on if you could.
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Old 01-10-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
I think there is still a need for both. There are still quite a few out there who are new to the social media landscape and will need help with the basics of getting set up. There are also those who just don't want to or don't have the time available to learn how to do it themselves.

Part of my statement comes from what I've read online and heard from some of my social media coaching/consultant clients about the evolution of social media and how they see businesses seeking assistance with their social media. Part of it comes from seeing how my own client based has evolved and is evolving.

Having done this for a few years now, I know that in order to maintain long term clients in helping them with their social media, I am going to have to be able to do more than just the basics or more than just the technical aspects of social media. That is, my clients are expecting me to also participate the strategy for how we use social media to help them get noticed, to bring in leads and to increase sales. And I do enjoy doing that as it's a much more fulfilling role than just a tweet here or a Facebook post here. I consider what I'm posting on their Facebook pages and how it engages their community or how it can help increase their leads. And my clients expect that- as well they should.

I do believe that I probably have clients who are a bit more advanced in understanding how social media should work and how to look at getting results because with most of them, we are looking at our reporting results, our engagement data along with our fan/following growth. Together, we consider the data and adjust our approach accordingly. I consider myself lucky that most of my clients have been with me for 1-2 years and so our growth together has happened naturally and as social media has evolved.

My main point here is that for long term business planning, it will be important to look not only what services you offer, but how are you going to offer them so that your clients are getting results. I know there are plenty of VAs that offer social media help but much of what they do is not beyond the set up, scheduled posting or simple maintenance tasks. And, in my opinion, this just isn't enough if you want to really make a living at focusing on offering social media services.

Businesses are becoming savvy at knowing that they need just more than a Twitter account with their name on it. They need a Twitter account that drives connections and results.
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Old 01-10-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Kim,

Outstanding post!!!!

I may quote you someday...with full attribute, of course.

When you refer to reporting, do you look at Insights and Analytics for
info on growth? What other reporting do you use for stats?

Thank you!

Janine
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Old 01-11-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Kimberly, You're a gal after my own heart!

Thank you for elaborating on your earlier response.

That's EXACTLY what my pre-launch research shows and why, while I'll still provide limited "set up" assistance, my focus will be on results-based, engagement focused social media strategies for small businesses.

Thanks for validating what I had been considering!
Barbara
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Old 01-11-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Great insight Kimberly, that is why we leave all the advanced social media to you! I think the important thing that you hit on was
Quote:
it will be important to look not only what services you offer, but how are you going to offer them so that your clients are getting results.
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Old 01-11-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Originally Posted by Your Virtual Wizard View Post
Kim,

Outstanding post!!!!

I may quote you someday...with full attribute, of course.

When you refer to reporting, do you look at Insights and Analytics for
info on growth? What other reporting do you use for stats?
Aww, thanks, Janine! I'm so glad you all found my reply helpful. For reporting, it depends on the client and what our goals are and what we are tracking. For some it's about determining the reach of their Tweets or of their Twitter account (i.e. how many possible people could have seen their tweets.) Sometimes it can be about tracking how many views a video received and what is the demographic of viewers. I also look at the growth in followers in correlation to how often tweets are going out on an account, which also gives me a idea of how consistently tweets are going out. There's also some tracking of hashtags (which can also be used to measure reach on Twitter.)

In addition to the Facebook Insights data, there's also the Impressions data that Facebook provides for each of your posts. (Although this seems to be broken as of lately).

I also look at Google Analytics for their blogs or their site (if they have them installed.) Google Analytics will provide some measure of how much other social media platforms are driving traffic to their site. For one client, Facebook is the 3rd largest referrer for traffic, for another it's 2nd. But for my husband's site, Youtube is a bigger referrer than Facebook or Twitter. This is a good way to help you know where to focus your efforts for the best outcomes.

Also, tracking clicks on links that are posted using Bit.ly or some other link shortener can be useful as well for determining which types of content your community prefers.
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Old 04-12-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
Hi, I'm new to this site and am just getting started researching and working on my business plan. I am very interested in social media as a niche for my business but aside from a marketing degree that I got a few years ago I need a class or training to bring me up to speed on facebook and twitter. does anyone know of a good, reputable training I can take online?
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Old 04-24-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
I have seen too many businesses start a social media account and leave it hanging because they don't have a clue what to do next. Leaving a social media outpost hanging is the worst someone can do for their business. So this is a very good niche as business owners don't always have time to work on anything but what their business is about (also organizations and non-profits). It is not easy to keep up with the changes in social media settings - ie. facebook recently changed the way fanpage tabs are added. A good social media VA would keep up to date with changes to ensure sustainable success.
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Old 06-20-2011
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Default Re: Offering social media services only?
You can do well with those services, for example one of the packages I am setting up is a Blog Assistant Pkg because that's an area I'm really good at, but I also have the office administrative, executive assistance, social media management, and customer support packages to offer. I've just started to but these are areas I have decided work for me do what works for you so you bring your best to the client.
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