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Virtual assistant to the rescue!

I was reading PW online and came across this piece about writers hiring virtual assistants to help them with various admin tasks related to their writing. I was intrigued, and it seems there’s a crop of these online helpers out there in business to lighten the load on writers so that they can spend more time on what they do best – writing!

It’s a simple concept, and yet novel and very 21st Century. I’m sure there are a variety of ways in which these relationships can be developed and managed in terms of pay, hours, and the “virtual” piece suggests the person works remotely. It’s key to find someone who knows the skills required (or can learn them), can do the job from wherever they are, and can be flexible to meet your needs as a writer which can change depending on where you are in your career.

This might not be the right solution for everyone, but I do think there are some ideas in here worth exploring. For example, the list that Kati comes up with describes various activities that a virtual assistant can help with. It includes everything from answering e-mails, updating your website, handling mailings for promotions, and exploring/managing all forms of social media.

In this market, writing is only one part (thankfully it still is the most important part) of the job. Marketing and promoting yourself and your work is critical to an author’s long-term success and that’s why a virtual assistant (or any other kind of assistant for that matter) is an interesting concept to contemplate.

If you were fortunate enough to be able to hire a virtual assistant, what would you have him or her do for you?

9 Responses to Virtual assistant to the rescue!

  1. Pingback: Virtual assistant to the rescue! | Shelly A. McFarland

  2. shailesh lovlekar says:

    Hi,

    I am a individual vertual assistant…

    I catters to all who are looking for a trusted assistant….

    You may check the quality and can then make your own decision..

    Looking forward to hear from you soon.

  3. D. C. DaCosta says:

    If I hired an assistant, it wouldn’t be “virtual” — it’d be a REAL someone who could handle a broom and a mop and get dinner on the table by 5:30.

  4. David says:

    Facebook, and Goodreads promotions. Running a Facebook fan page is crazy. Also, possible blog entries. Anything and everything I could to gain time back for writing.

  5. Paul Higgins says:

    I really like your article Stacey and believe this is an emerging trend. Leverage is critical to business success and having someone you can trust to do the mechanics is a key. I started using VA services within Australia and India and could not find the right balance between cost and quality. I then set-up my own Smartsourcing business to get the balance right. I know change is difficult for all of us, however the cost of staying the same may outway trying a new way of working. Enjoy..Paul

  6. Heather says:

    Virtual assistants have actually been around for a while now, but have only recently started to emerge. I’m an author’s assistant and most of my online time is spent keeping a calendar for her and reminding her of upcoming events, beta reading any posts, blogs, or pages that she has, finding marketing opportunities, and updating Facebook and Goodreads to name a few.

    As for pay, most of us do it for free but it all depends on your situation and what you want to get out of it. The author and I both went over what we wanted to get out of the partnership and so far it’s working really well.

  7. otbas says:

    I am virtual assistant and promoting my business through social media sites(Facebook,twitter,LinkedIn etc… ) you article is very informative..Thanks for sharing with us..

  8. Blue Matalam says:

    Well, I come from a company that provides virtual assistant services. There’s a lot you can assign a VA; from the basics to the highly technical things. Some usually have their VA’s answer e-mails, handle social media, sell products via e-bay and amazon or write. Whereas established companies normally outsource their services–whether it be Auto CAD, programming or SEO.

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