Attn: VAs and Biz Owners – Should VA’s Specialize or Optimize?

Wow, THIS is a great article in THE GUARDIAN about how and why to use virtual assistants!

The article is geared specifically toward SME’s = small and medium enterprises.

The writer TINA NIELSEN has used virtual assistants in her business and found them to be a wonderful resource. {She also wrote THIS cool article about WAH’ers achieving work/life balance}.

Tina uses virtual assistants for jobs she doesn’t have time to do, doesn’t like to do, or doesn’t want to learn :)

Photo by:  Eutah Mizushima

I mean, why not? Why should you spend the time and have the aggravation of learning how to market your business on PINTEREST, when there are VA’s like me who already know how to do that?

It’s a no brainer, really.

The same goes for other small tasks that just suck up the time in your day. Your time is worth more than you’ll pay me, I assure you. With a VA doing these tasks, you can concentrate on what YOU do best, love to do, and will generate the most money for your company.

Ms. Nielsen did give me some food for thought. She talked about – having learned from experience – how she now hires very niched virtual assistants, as opposed to hiring one VA who can do a lot of different tasks.

I see what she’s saying: When that VA leaves, you’re adversely affected in a big way. Instead, if you hire one VA to do your social media, one to do your travel arrangements and schedule, and another to do your newsletters, you’re more diversified. If one VA leaves, it’s much easier to replace that cog in the wheel, and the entire wheel doesn’t stop spinning in the meantime.

So that got me thinking about the VA services I offer and whether I should pare them down a bit. My current list of services looks like this:

– Social Media Management

– Simple Website Creation

– Blog Posting and Maintenance

– Graphics Creation (Blog Header, Facebook Cover Page, Pinterest Graphic, etc.)

– Administrative Tasks including Transcribing

– Travel Arrangements, Online Shopping, and Other Personal Tasks

On the one hand, I need clients, LOL! So I hate to perhaps not to be hired by clients who need work done that I’m fully capable of doing.

On the other hand, I’ve now heard the advice several times from established VAs and from those who hire VAs that being very specialized is the way to go. Their advice is to choose the few tasks that you really excel in and market only those talents to prospective clients.

To the VAs benefit, you’ll be doing work you love and are great at. To the client’s benefit, they’ll be getting the best person for the job they need done.

WIN-WIN

So I’m thinking about all of that. If I were to eliminate anything, it would be the last task group: Travel arrangements, online shopping, and other personal tasks. While I’m fully capable of and experienced at those tasks, they’re not as challenging as the others. And I love to be challenged!

I get a charge from a work day well-spent, solving problems, finding the best way to do something, and making clients happy with the end product. I love working on blogs, writing, making things happen with WordPress, or posting relevant content to social media and watching interractions increase and numbers rise (eeeee!!).

I’m really good at transcribing, as that’s been my main work for the last 7 years. I’m a fast typist (about 90 wpm) and have a BA English = word nerd!! So those are the tasks I would keep.

As a VA or aspiring VA, what do you think about specializing versus offering ALL of the services you’re capable of?

As a potential VA client (business owner, blogger, etc.), would you rather hire a VA who specializes or one who has a broader range?

I’m really interested to hear your thoughts!

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