Freelance business owners have multiple responsibilities, and their to-do list seems to outgrow their available hours in a day. One effective way to prevent burnout is by hiring a virtual assistant to manage your venture's administrative tasks and non-core functions.
But it can be hard to figure out when exactly the added expense of a virtual assistant will be worthwhile for your enterprise. So, here are some signs that your freelance business needs a virtual assistant. We have also compiled a list of the best places where you can find a VA (virtual assistant).
Signs Your Freelance Business Needs a Virtual Assistant
There are a few big signs that your freelance enterprise is in dire need of a virtual assistant:
You Can Never Take a Break
There are various reasons to consider unplugging for a better work-life balance. It ensures productivity and amplifies your focus. But if you dread taking a break due to the backlog of tasks that will further pile up in your absence, it is high time you consider hiring an assistant.
A skilled virtual assistant can handle repetitive tasks, like responding to emails, handling inquiries, and assigning tasks. This ensures everything runs smoothly even when you're on a break.
You Spend Less Time Growing Your Business
Administrative work can take up a large portion of your day. But with a virtual assistant handling all these operational tasks, you will be able to shift your focus towards growing your business.
You can spend more time understanding your target audience. Social media content can then be tailored to expand your client base. You'll also have more time to connect with new people and gain more freelance clients through networking.
Furthermore, with a virtual assistant assisting you, you'll be able to invest more time in researching new opportunities for growth. This will help you diversify your venture's income streams. You can also improve your services by learning new skills that will give you the chance to set better rates, and potentially earn more.
Your Documents and Calendar Are Never Organized
Inefficient documentation and a cluttered calendar can have a negative impact on your business's productivity. You may end up misplacing important documents, like client briefs, meeting minutes, and feedback records.
A haphazard calendar can also mean missing important deadlines or worse, a meeting. Such incidents can mean the loss of a client. So, they can add to the stress of freelance business owners.
Luckily, a virtual assistant can handle all organizational tasks. This can include maintaining a digital filing system, managing your calendar, and making notes around client documents. Such a level of organization will ensure everything runs smoothly and help you deliver better customer service as a freelancer.
The Best Places to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your Freelance Business
Here are some of the most reputable platforms where you can connect with skilled virtual assistants:
Upwork is a well-known platform for hiring freelancers. To get started, sign up as a Client. Once your account is verified, you'll have to create a job post that includes the specific requirements you are looking for in a virtual assistant.
Make sure you explain your requirements in detail so that freelancers can easily judge if they’re a good fit for the role. You can also ask applicants to add a specific word or sentence at the start of their proposal to ensure they read the entire post before applying.
If managing a job post is not your cup of tea, you can also type “virtual assistant” in the search bar. This will let you directly reach out to the top virtual assistants on Upwork, based on their performance and experience.
Whichever route you go with, Upwork allows you to chat with freelancers directly. You can discuss payment and other requirements with them before sending over the hiring contract.
Even though Upwork doesn’t charge clients for posting jobs, they charge a service fee which can vary depending on the total payment you've made to the freelancer over time. The Escrow feature adds to the security of your payment and ensures you don't get scammed.
LinkedIn is another trusted platform among recruiters. You can post a job and wait for aspiring virtual assistants to apply. LinkedIn will also recommend promising users that match your requirements.
You can even search for virtual assistants on LinkedIn's search bar. The platform has over 40 advanced filters that can help narrow your search down. You can view the profiles of virtual assistants that you deem fit for the role, and communicate with them directly through the platform.
Fiverr is a freelancing platform that utilizes a “gig” system where freelancers provide services at different prices. Unlike Upwork, there is no separate account for recruiters.
You can either post a brief that freelancers can reply to, or directly search for virtual assistant gigs. When you click on a gig profile, you'll be able to view the services offered in the gig, the pricing structure, and user reviews.
The platform charges a service fee, which may vary. Make sure you check the current fees on the platform before making a transaction. In return, you'll get an Escrow service that will ensure a fair and secure deal.
Belay serves as a consultancy that helps businesses hire virtual assistants. Once your account is verified, the platform will connect you with a dedicated representative who'll help you find a virtual assistant according to your budget and work requirements.
This means you don’t have to go through the tiresome process of reviewing different resumes and shortlisting candidates. The entire process is remote, and once the shortlisting is done, a kickoff call is arranged. The candidate is hired after your approval, and Belay maintains regular check-ins to support both you and your virtual assistant.
A Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Freelance Business Achieve New Heights
It is important to recognize the signs that you need a virtual assistant if you want to grow your freelance venture to its true potential. These include not having enough time to take breaks, market your services, or expand your offerings.
If you're looking to hire a virtual assistant, Upwork and Belay are both trusted platforms that are great for long-term contracts. Fiverr is super easy to use, and LinkedIn boasts one of the largest talent pools of jobseekers. But before you create a job post on LinkedIn, make sure your business has a decent presence on the platform.