Administrative tasks are like weeds. Just when you think you’ve eliminated one, another one…or two…or three pop up. That’s where a virtual assistant can make all the difference. Whether they’re located around the block or across the ocean, virtual assistants can handle any number of administrative tasks. In this article, you’ll discover how these wonder workers can ease the workload for your health coaching business.
What is a Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an offsite contractor who handles administrative tasks online such as answering emails, managing calendars, and organizing files. VAs also have specialties in areas like translation, website content creation, digital marketing, and social media management. Some serve in a niche such as the wedding industry or real estate field. You can even find a virtual assistant for health coaches. 🙂
Virtual assistants are cost-effective because you can hire them on a project-by-project basis, part-time or full-time and pay for hours worked, rather than a flat salary. This keeps your overhead low, and you won’t have to deal with things like payroll, sick leave, taxes or pension plans.
Virtual assistants also use their own computer equipment, software, internet connection, phone, and scanner. Most VAs never meet their clients face-to-face, so they communicate with each other by phone, text, Skype, fax, and email.
Some tasks for your health coaching business might not be your forte, and that’s also where a VA can step in. You’ll be able to delegate tasks you find challenging and focus on what you’re best at: running your business.
Moreover, a virtual assistant doesn’t just help with tasks that bog you down but also tasks that take a toll on your peace of mind.
How Can a Virtual Assistant Help Your Health Coaching Business?
A virtual assistant can help you work in your health coaching business instead of on it. By helping you dig out from under your to-do list, a VA could completely change your professional life (as dramatic as that sounds!)
Here are some of the many services a VA can offer to lighten your workload:
- Email management – Answering repetitive emails can disrupt your workflow. A VA will filter priority emails from less important ones and answer them accordingly on your behalf.
- Handling phone calls – Telephone calls are just as disruptive as emails. Your virtual assistant will save you precious time by answering and returning calls for you.
- File management – Chaos can quickly result from inconsistent management of your Dropbox or Google Drive files. A virtual assistant will label, organize, and categorize your files.
- Calendar management – A VA will make sure you’re where you’re supposed to be and when you’re supposed to be there by managing your calendar and booking appointments.
- Scheduling – A virtual assistant can coordinate multi-participant online meetings and conference calls.
- Transcription – Transcription is an exacting and time-consuming task, especially if you don’t know your way around a keyboard. A virtual assistant usually transcribes at least 75 words per minute and can invest the time necessary to expedite the job.
- Travel arrangement – Booking flights and searching airline websites for deals can be a time-consuming hassle. A virtual assistant can take these tasks off your plate, as well as research hotels at your destination.
- Bookkeeping – A VA with bookkeeping skills will take care of bank and credit card reconciliation, balance sheet management, data entry, and cash flow maintenance.
- SEO – An SEO-savvy VA can help position and market the content on your website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter so it drives traffic.
- Web development – A skilled virtual assistant web developer will take care of website customizing and coding.
- Web design – Not to be confused with a web developer, a virtual assistant specializing in web design creates a website’s style and layout. What should the design of your health coaching website look like? Our website design guide can help.
- Content writer – A VA content writer manages online marketing and regularly posts content on your website, blog, and social media platforms. A content writer can also create newsletters and press releases. To learn more about creating or outsourcing content for your health coaching website, check out our content guide.
There comes a tipping point when you’ll need a virtual assistant for your health coaching business. Here are some clues when the time is now…
When Should a Health Coach Hire a Virtual Assistant?
Renowned productivity consultant, David Allen, once said, “You can do anything but not everything.” If you’re trying to do everything in your business, but still aren’t getting ahead, it’s time to consider getting a virtual assistant. Here are some signs you should hire a VA:
- You don’t have enough hours in the day – When you don’t have enough time for everything, the quality of your work suffers as you rush to complete each task. Routine chores such as answering emails, returning calls, and managing your calendar become overwhelming. A VA can ease the load.
- You struggle to meet deadlines – Racing from deadline to deadline can turn the job you love into a stress-filled nightmare, which only gets worse when clients become disgruntled. A virtual assistant can help with time management.
- You start to dislike or resent your business – Being bogged down in administrative tasks will drain time from the business you cherish. Virtual assistants are methodical, meticulous people who love the process of organizing things and keeping you on track.
- You hate certain tasks or can’t do them well – You don’t need to waste time puzzling your way through something you’re not skilled at or simply detest. Virtual assistants take interest in the things you’re not. That’s why they made a career of it!
- You have an inconsistent online presence – Google ranking loves consistent, fresh postings on websites and blogs. Your SEO will take a hit if you’ve been posting inconsistently and potential clients won’t be able to find you.
- You have to turn away work – This is one of the most ruinous things a health coach can do. By saying no, you risk losing clients to another health coach. You won’t have to turn away paying customers with a VA onboard.
- You start overlooking things – Unreturned phone calls, incomplete documents, misplaced files, and lapsing customer service are all things a VA can rectify.
- You’re losing work/life balance – If you’re regularly working 16-hour days and neglecting your friends and family as a result, it’s time for a virtual assistant. Declining health may be another factor.
Does this sound like you? Then you’re ready to begin your search for the perfect virtual assistant…
What to Look for When Hiring a Virtual Assistant
The process of seeking out a VA is no different than an in-person assistant. From reliability and integrity to professional skills and experience, here are some traits to consider when hiring a virtual assistant:
- Professionalism – If your prospective VA is polite and polished during your initial calls, it’s likely they’ll treat your clients professionally too. On the job, an expert virtual assistant is respectful, promptly follows up on emails and voicemails and answers the phone with poise.
- Verifiable references – References and testimonials from previous employers will give you important insights into your candidate’s character, skills, and job performance.
- Good technological skills – Being an assistant is no longer about typing and filing, it’s about understanding technology related to business operations. A VA should be versed in programs such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and QuickBooks. They should also be able to troubleshoot computer malfunctions.
- Understands social media – Social media has become a vital business tool, so it’s important a virtual assistant has the knowledge to capably handle and troubleshoot your accounts such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. (Check out our dedicated health coach social media guide.)
- Time management – The ideal virtual assistant knows how to prioritize various jobs and multitask to meet deadlines.
- Resourceful – A VA must be resourceful when performing tasks. Instead of asking you questions, they do Google searches to find the answer themselves.
- Good communication skills – Verbal and written communication skills are essential for connecting with diverse personalities and dispositions. Clear communication, especially when there’s no face-to-face interaction, averts costly misunderstandings.
- Multiple skill sets – The more skills a VA has, the more useful they’ll be. For example, a VA whose skill set includes basic bookkeeping, internet research, and video revision has a lot to offer you and your business.
- Attention to detail – A virtual assistant with an eye for detail creates structure and organization and prevents pricey mistakes. They’ll also notice fine points you may overlook.
- Self-motivating – Since you won’t oversee the VA in person, they must have the drive to do what needs to be done.
- Chemistry – For the two of you to work smoothly together, you and your virtual assistant need to have compatible personalities. You’ll be working very closely with each other, so complementary personalities are super important.
Virtual assistants with these qualities are actually plentiful and easy to locate…
Where Can Health Coaches Find a Virtual Assistant?
There are many online resources to help you find a virtual assistant for your health coaching business. Even though some VAs are located as far away as India, El Salvador, and the Philippines, they are just as effective as those located in the United States. Here are some reputable websites that are particularly useful if you need help with ongoing work:
MyTasker caters to businesses in their startup years that have a small budget. Its virtual assistants work from a brick-and-mortar location in Kolkata, India, where they operate in an office under supervision. Due to this arrangement, you’ll always have emergency support if your VA gets sick or quits. The main services MyTasker provides are:
- Administrative – Transcription, file management, travel arrangements
- Accounting – Bookkeeping, account management, business plans
- Digital marketing – SEO, handling social media, email marketing
- Website – Maintenance, development, design
- IT support – Software setup and support, remote desktop support
You can hire a full-time virtual assistant for $1,200 per month, five days a week, during any business hours. If you have less time-consuming ongoing work, MyTasker offers plans from 10 hours per month for $140 to 100 hours per month for $900.
Uassist.me is an administrative support service based in Miami, Florida, with virtual assistants stationed in El Salvador. If you’d prefer a U.S.-based worker, you can hire one from their Uassist.us branch. The company offers shared and full-time assistants.
Besides admin services, Uassist.me has a creative team fluent in content development, website development, and graphic design. Packages for these specialties start at $344 for a 20-hour per month plan, up to their full-time package at $1,724 per month.
The Standard Plan is $799 per month for a part-time shared assistant. The VA can work on your tasks up to four hours a day. If you have a lot of work, you can hire a full-time VA for $1,598 per month. For $299 per month, you can get a 20-hour per month plan in which your assistant would only be available for one or two hours East Coast Time.
OnlineJobs.ph is a Filipino job board boasting over 500,000 résumes. It’s a much better option than MyTasker or Uassist.me for hiring on a long-term basis.
One of the great aspects of OnlineJobs.ph is its detailed filtering system. You can filter by skills required, skill level, desired salary, and date the post was created. There’s a surprising breadth of skill sets, from admin to multimedia.
Profiles include helpful details such as:
- Command of English
- Personalized description of skills
OnlineJobs.ph has a unique feature called an ID Proof Score, which ranges from 1 to 100 and gauges the legitimacy of a virtual assistant’s profile. The company recommends bypassing anyone with a score of less than 50.
OnlineJobs.ph has three pricing plans, and the Pro Level is recommended for most people. At $69 per month, you can post immediately, contact candidates directly, and view applications.
Check out OnlineJobs.ph (our go-to service for quality virtual assistants!)
By hiring a virtual assistant for your health coaching business, you release yourself from all the administrative tasks that drain you and stall your business. Many virtual assistants are based overseas, yet they’re very accessible. VAs can work full-time, are affordable, and can do “virtually” anything an in-person assistant can do.
So, what are your thoughts about hiring a virtual assistant for health coaches? Leave your comments below!Sources
I had an online friend four years ago, and she’s been working as a virtual assistant for quite some time. It took her around a year or less to build her own business teaching how to become a full-time VA to make money at home. Most of her clients are women, mostly moms.
Because of that profile in the industry wherein women and moms dominate, it’s a great way for website owners to hire these groups of people for their respective businesses. It’s not for the sake of charity, but for the sake of efficiency. Instead of spending a lot of time uploading or searching images appropriate for content, you could ask a VA to do it for you. There are a lot of menial things a VA could do in exchange for payment.
You’ve helped shed light to those who aren’t aware of how powerful a VA can be to an online business. Kudos.
Thanks Mecyll 🙂
I’m really glad that I came across our website. Since I’ve become self-employed, I have almost no more time for my family, let alone for my friends. Last night ended in a big argument with husband regarding the fact that I don’t spend enough quality time with him anymore. I think it’s time for me to step up and take some action. You mentioned it’s about time to hire a VA if you’re losing work/life balance. Well, it’s the case with me, so thank you. Your post came right on time.
Best to you Keryn!
There’s definitely a lot of value here in terms of virtual assistants for both health coaches and anyone out there running a sole proprietorship. A lot of us fail to realize all the “dirty work” that goes into tasks, so bringing a virtual assistant on will help the health coach focus on, well, their clientele, the lifeblood of their business. Unfortunately, all businesses have necessities that will force health coaches to commit time and energy outside of coaching clients, bringing even more value to virtual assistants.
Thank you Todd
Hiring a virtual assistant for your health coaching business is an excellent move to make I think. As you grow your business, there are so many mundane tasks that have to be done on a regular basis and a virtual assistant can do all these for you and free you up for the more important tasks that you as the owner need to be addressing.
I have used them in the past and use them right now for our business. They do take care of many of the items that you have listed and they are worth every bit of the money we are paying them. It does pay to determine which set of tasks that you want them to take care of and have a clear contract in place prior to starting.
Assessing the ones that will be the best fit for you can also be a bit of work, but well worth the time because this way you have a better chance of getting what you want and need. It also can help with the onboarding process if you have some interview process plus a clear list of attributes and skills that you need and what they will be doing.
The sources you have mentioned for recruiting a virtual assistant are good starting points, and once you have some experience, likely you can find some on your own that will work and recruit what you need and save some money and have them get paid more too.
Thanks for adding your two cents Dave!