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WHAT is a Virtual Assistant and what do they do? 12 most commonly asked questions about VA

WHAT is a Virtual Assistant and what do they do? 12 most commonly asked questions about VA

NordenBladet – Nowadays, especially when looking at job offers, you can often meet the expression Virtual Assistant (VA). Since this is not a very common expression in Scandinavia, you may inevitably have questions: What is it? What is a virtual assistant and what do they do? What is the job description of a virtual assistant? What does a virtual office assistant do? etc.

Virtual assistant may mean:

1) Virtual assistant (occupation), a human. A virtual assistant is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely from a home office.
2) Virtual assistant (artificial intelligence), a “bot” such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Microsoft’s Cortana, etc. All these intelligent services offer customers a more intuitive way to interact with the technology they use every day.

1. What is a virtual assistant and what do they do?
Most virtual assistants are contract or freelance workers who do their jobs from home and focus on administrative tasks that are similar to those of an executive assistant or secretary. Websites that specialize in contract workers have thousands of listings for virtual assistants.

2. What is the job description of a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) can handle many of the everyday clerical, scheduling, and technical aspects that keep your business operating smoothly. Virtual assistants work remotely from their own location, hence the name “virtual,” and can be based in your city or on the other side of the world.

3. What does a virtual office assistant do?
A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. … Virtual Assistants usually work for other small businesses.

4. What skills do you need to become a virtual assistant?
Being a successful VA isn’t simply helping someone with their admin or supporting their business, it’s knowing how to manage and communicate with them. Here you will find a great article which will help you to understand Virtual Assistant business and Qualities every Virtual Assistant needs to have.

5. What are the tasks of a virtual assistant?
Here are 25 Tasks to Outsource to a General Virtual Assistant

1. Email Management/Filtering
2. Setting up Autoresponders (Aweber, Mailchimp). Compare product features and ratings to find the right Email Marketing Software for your organization. You can read more about Autoresponder Software here and here
3. Booking appointments with clients
4. Following up with clients/customers (sending thank you and other reminder emails)
5. Receptionist duties (answering occasional calls)
6. Calendar Management
7. File Management (organizing files using Dropbox etc)
8. Database building (eg. updating email or contact lists on your CRM)
9. Research on certain topics for blog posts, newsletters or others
10. Personal errands (purchasing gifts for loved ones / family members online)
11. Hotel and Flight Search and Booking
12. Transcription (transcribing voicemail, video or audio, podcasts etc.)
13. Taking down minutes of meetings
14. Creating basic reports (reports on weekly tasks, deliverables, sales)
15. Preparing Slideshows (Powerpoint Presentations)
16. Liaison between you and other team members
17. Recruitment (source for other team members like writers or graphic artists)
18. Set-up Social Media Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram)
19. Manage and update Social Media Accounts
20. Manage your Blog (Basic WordPress Skills)
21. Publish posts on your Blog (content you provided)
22. Filter and reply to comments on your blog
23. Answering support tickets (with the use of Zendesk)
24. Blog commenting (to increase links to your site)
25. Participating in discussion forums or message boards (more promotion!)

6. How much should I charge as a virtual assistant?
The more experienced a VA is, the more they’ll be up to the challenge—and the higher the rate they’ll be likely to charge. On Upwork, freelance virtual assistants charge an average of $18-35/hour depending on skills and experience.

If your organization is larger with a more “corporate” structure and protocols, it may benefit you to hire a VA with corporate office experience who is more comfortable navigating the ins and outs. Some freelance virtual assistants will list prior office experience, corporate positions, or executive administrative assistant roles in their profiles. This should translate to valuable knowledge that can give them the instincts and skills to handle more demanding work.

7. What is the average salary for a virtual assistant?
Virtual Assistant Salary. Women account for the majority of Virtual Assistants in the United States. The entire group has an average salary of $15.57 per hour. Geographic location and tenure each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence.

8. How much do virtual executive assistants make?
The national average salary for a Virtual Executive Assistant is $56,668 in United States. Filter by location to see Virtual Executive Assistant salaries in your area.

9. How much does it cost to hire a virtual assistant?
Whether you are going to hire a part time virtual assistant or a full-time virtual assistant from an agency, you will have to pay from $ 5 to $ 8 per hour. But if you choose a task-based subscription plan, you will have to pay $15 for an hour of work.

10. What is a virtual receptionist?
Virtual receptionists are contract workers and they perform many of the same tasks as traditional receptionists handle. They can take messages, handle phone calls, make follow up phone calls, manage your schedule and more.

11. What is the voice assistant?
A voice assistant is a digital assistant that uses voice recognition, natural language processing and speech synthesis to provide aid to users through phones and voice recognition applications.

Voice assistants are used in help and service phone lines, smartphones and other places to assist users with tasks, including:

a) Listening to an audiobook.
b) Requesting information, similarly to inputting a search query.
c) Making reservations.
d) Adding items to a shopping list.
e) Performing mathematical calculations.
f) Playing music.

12. How can virtual assistants make your life at work easier?
Virtual assistant services can be incredibly useful to help you get more work accomplished, become organized, or just free up time so you can sit down and relax. Here are 5 Ways Virtual Assistant Services Make Your Life Easier.

People also ask:
What is contract workers/ contract employee?
An employee who works under contract for an employer. A contract employee is hired for a specific job at a specific rate of pay. A contract employee does not become a regular addition to the staff and is not considered a permanent employee.

What does it mean to be a contract employee?
Type of Relationship. A worker can have a contract stating he is an employee, but that alone does not define the worker’s status. A company pays benefits such as insurance, pensions, vacations and sick days to employees, while independent contractors generally do not receive such benefits.

Are contract workers considered employees?
Generally, you must withhold income taxes, withhold and pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, and pay unemployment tax on wages paid to an employee. You do not generally have to withhold or pay any taxes on payments to independent contractors.

What is classified as contract labor?
Contract labor is the use of independent contractors. From a tax perspective, the difference between contract labor, or an independent contractor, and an employee is day and night.

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