Virtual assistants are becoming the hire of choice for many businesses around the world. VAs are very flexible workers, and if you hire remote, they are highly scalable as well. In general, the perception is that VAs take care of the little things. While that is true, there are many who are skilled in higher level tasks. Freelancing is the new employed, after all. These highly skilled VAs can help with various marketing and business development roles. Here’s how to get a VA to take on a few of these roles:
The promotion of your business products and services requires vast knowledge of the market and great skill in implementing different techniques to make them sell. Changes are, you already have a product and have worked out its price. Moving forward, you will spend a great deal of time, effort and resources getting that product to sell. Focus here on hiring VAs who have direct experience working on distribution channels, advertising, and promotional campaigns.
(a) Distribution Channels
The market is constantly changing, especially since the birth of the internet. Channels are popping up here and there, and the rules within the best of these channels are continuously changing. Take Facebook, for example. A social media platform by name, Facebook also serves as one of the hottest sales channels. Facebook is a worldwide phenomenon that has attracted billions of people to share news and ideas. Otherwise known as consumers, these users are ripe for the picking. To take advantage of Facebook users, however, it’s not enough to know a lot about targeting and consumer behavior. You need a VA who is familiar with the platform and its specific type of user. The Facebook persona is different from that of Twitter, for example, or of Amazon, or your traditional shopper.
A Facebook marketer furthermore knows the regulations governing Facebook’s PPC component. PPC is a vital aspect of any advertising campaign. But there are specific rules that must be followed if you are first going to be allowed to use the platform, and second, make a substantial impact. This specialized area is best left in the hands of a professional Facebook VA. This holds true for Google PPC, Amazon PPC, and any other similar campaign.
(c) Promotional Campaigns
When creating content for Facebook, it’s not enough to know your general guidelines for presenting the 5 Ws. Facebook has its own culture, and your business must fit in if it’s going to be accepted and trusted. Hard selling won’t fly on a social platform. You need to know what groups to join and how to build a presence there. Again, this also applies to other content creation efforts. Your posters, print ads, website content, blog posts, email newsletters and the like must all be composed to suit a specific audience. You need VAs who know these markets and have the rare skills of a good writer and a proficient designer. Finally, you will need a VA who knows how to track the performance of your campaigns. Much of this is also platform-specific. With some guidance from you on what the goals are, this VA will know how to adjust campaigns to reach those goals. In addition, they will be able to translate these results into simple reports that give you the goods in a glance.
(2) Business Development
You may want to keep your main business development strategies strictly among your core business team. There are many related tasks, however, that you can very safely pass on to workers. You need other people who can efficiently execute these various tasks. VAs can be key in your efforts to gain long-term value for your business. Focus here on hiring VAs who have direct experience with such areas as lead generation, email marketing, email autoresponders, and market research.
(a) Cultivating Partnerships
Vast opportunity exists for businesses in the form of relationships with other businesses. Building relationships is a lengthy process, however. After you identify who you want to reach out to, you must create a proposition, locate them, learn how to approach them, go through the process of introducing your business and your value, and maintain communication and value exchange to make the relationship stronger. Hire a VA who has experience conducting lead generation and email marketing campaigns. These VAs will know how to find your ideal partners using the right keywords and applying good sense to identify matches. They can do all the time-consuming work of scouring the internet for you, and present you with a simple list of the best candidates. These VAs can then proceed to take the first steps in the outreach campaign to find which of these potential partners is interested in your offer. The wise decision to hire a VA who can take over the bulk of the hum-drum tasks that go along with cultivating partnerships will free you up to focus on your core goals and allow you to push them forward.
(b) Identifying New Markets
As you build relationships with other businesses, you will also need to build relationships with your targets or desired affiliates. Outside of the engagement campaigns that you will have running for your current targets, you will want to find new target pools. Here, a VA can be very useful in conducting research and outreach programs to locate and engage with potential consumers who are not on Facebook, for example, and with consumers in new markets. You focus on planning, and hire VAs when you need them to take over the tasks that would otherwise keep you too busy to apply yourself where you are most needed. Connor Gillivan is the author of Free Up Your Business: 50 Secrets to Bootstrap Million Dollar Companies, a serial entrepreneur, and the CMO and co-founder of FreeeUp.com. When he’s not bringing together hundreds of freelancers and business owners, he’s mentoring entrepreneurs through his site, ConnorGillivan.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado. All images provided directly by sponsor.]]>