Companies and individuals who need extra help with creative, technical and/or administrative tasks may hire one or more virtual assistants to assist with it all. The options run the gamut from highly specialized experts who focus on one aspect of the job to "InSourcers or 1nSourcers" who tend to adopt a comprehensive approach to helping a business grow and operate from all corners, simultaneously. The decision of which to hire depends upon many factors, but the first step is a detailed understanding of what each type of VA can accomplish.
What Are InSourcers or 1nSourcers?
Instead of a virtual assistant who handles one or more tasks within a company, an InSourcer approaches the work with a dedication akin to having stakes in a similar capacity to the business owner. This person will gain understanding of the company's goals and develop and organize a working plan to reach them. They frequently command an organization that already contains a number of highly specialized VAs or simply have connections appropriate for the complete job. These InSourcers operate as leaders of highly responsive teams with access to the latest applications and tools necessary to tackle the tasks that provide the greatest benefit for the goals and aims of the client, in almost any situation.
Individual virtual assistants can handle tasks independently in order to provide precisely the services needed by a business at a particular time, so if a highly responsive, dedicated team isn't required, one of the four types of VAs can usually suit your purpose.
The 4 Types of Virtual Assistants
While having access to a range of professional abilities wrapped up in one affordable virtual assistant or agency seems an attractive prospect, hiring individual freelancers may be more cost-effective. As with anything though, proper research is needed to determine who can meet what needs, and for how much.
Consider the following four types of virtual assistants when making the decision:
Research, email newsletter management, answering emails or other contact, social media maintenance and updates, scheduling and meeting organization tasks are tackled by general or administrative VAs. These freelancers may also take on additional duties such as marketing, customer contact and some writing tasks and search engine optimization.
A virtual assistant specialising in creative tasks can design or update a website, letterhead, newsletters, social media page graphics and e-book covers. Freelance writers also fall under this heading in many cases, especially if the need for new content is ongoing. They have top-level skills with graphics programs and professional design skills.
Tasks accomplished by skilled technical VAs include Web development, programming of site elements or off-site applications, video and audio production, e-commerce or membership page integration and any other online task that requires particular knowledge of a program or application.
Sales and Customer Care
Often combined with administrative duties, some virtual assistants specialize in product launches, conversion of site visitors to customers or clients, customer service and retention. Lead generation and product or demographic research are also usually covered here too.
Whether an individual or company hires a general virtual assistant who performs basic tasks to free up time and money for more pressing projects or signs a contract with an agency or 1nSourcer who handles a vast array of combined responsibilities, they expect competent and professional service.
When experienced freelance administrative, creative, technical or salespeople are hired, that's precisely what they get.