–Guest blog post by Janet Barclay
As a virtual assistant, I enable my clients to focus on what they do best and enjoy the most by taking on tasks they don’t know how to do, don’t have time to do, or don’t want to do.
Let’s take Alison, for example (not her real name).
Alison came to me because she was struggling to get her newsletter out on a regular basis. She knew it was a valuable marketing tool, and she enjoyed writing, but something was holding her back. This was costing her money, not just in terms of missed business opportunities, but because she was paying an ongoing fee for an email service, even though months had gone by since her last newsletter went out.
My first recommendation was that she switch to a different email service provider. Based on the size of her mailing list, she would only have to pay if she wanted any of the premium add-ons (which were not needed for her purposes). This cost savings helped defray the cost of my services.
Next, with her approval, I created a more streamlined email template that would be less confusing for her readers, and easier to work with.
Alison started by sending me the content for her newsletter as a Word document. After proofreading it, I emailed her a few clarifying questions, and then I entered the information into the appropriate sections of the new template. Upon reviewing a test message, Alison requested any changes that were needed, and I sent the newsletter out to her mailing list.
After the first couple of issues, questions and changes were minimal, as we developed a good system of working together. When Alison decided she’d like to plan for a new issue to go out every six weeks, I applied that information to create a schedule for the rest of the year. Three weeks before the tentative release date, I send her an invoice for the upcoming issue, which also serves as her cue to begin working on her content so she can get it to me a week or so before the next newsletter goes out.
Alison is so happy with the way things are going that she’s now thinking of having me post to social media on her behalf, so she can spend more time engaging with her followers rather than typing or pasting in messages.
Solopreneurs often make the costly mistake of assuming that it’s up to them to do everything. This creates a difficult situation when working on time management. Alison’s story demonstrates that partnering with a virtual assistant can provide:
- Time. By letting me take care of the technical aspects of her newsletter, Alison has freed up her time to work with clients, market her business, or take a well-deserved break.
- Money. Alison is no longer paying for an expensive service she didn’t need and wasn’t even using. In addition, when she spends the time she’s saved on profit-generating activities, she actually comes out ahead.
- Accuracy. Alison is a great writer, but even good writers can make typos. Having someone else read what she’s written before it goes out to the public reduces the risk of errors which could hurt her credibility or change the meaning of what she’s written.
- Objectivity. That second set of eyes is not only valuable when it comes to spotting errors, but in identifying when Alison is trying to include too much content in one issue – and letting her know that her original template was too busy, something her friends and clients wouldn’t be likely to tell her.
- Accountability. When working on her own, it was too easy to let weeks and months go by without sending out an email. Having someone to keep her on track has made a world of difference.
- Expertise. Alison is great at many things, but creating email newsletters is not one of them. She’s much better off leaving it in the hands of a specialist!
To learn more about delegation, listen to The Why, When, What, Whom and How of Delegation on International Life Coach Radio.
Janet Barclay is the owner of Organized Assistant, a virtual assistant service specializing in content creation and website design. She is also the Founder and Director of the Golden Horseshoe Virtual Assistants Group.
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