Rachel is a marketing strategist.
Last week, I told my coaching group that I can be a bit of a control freak when it comes to my own content. I was expecting a laugh. They did not do anything else. After some thought, I realized I had become very focused on protecting our marketing voice.
It wasn't always like that. When I had a large in-house team, I would give marketing to others in the team as they entered the business. I thought it was a good way to keep them busy. That was accomplished by it. Our marketing was a lot of different messages, and it didn't hit the same way as my content did.
I took back the job of being the face of our business when we changed our business model. I learned the hard way that the brand message needed to be consistent in order for it to be heard.
Good luck finding a five-hour a week'marketing angel' offering entry-level pay, because it's hard to find one in this day and age.
The voice does not have to be in charge. Someone who shares all your values, can replicate how you talk, create and do, and mirror your vision for where the business is now, and where you want it to be, is what it needs to be.
For most of my clients, I encourage them to take time to identify what their core messages, slogans and content should look like and sound like, before getting some regular marketing help in the form of a marketing assistant or a virtual assistant.
If some of that work is done by a content writer, they need to be able to take what you say and make it work. They can't do that if you don't have a clear idea of what you're doing.
You need to understand marketing and have a strategy in place. There isn't a clear strategy behind the question of "do some posts" in Facebook groups. This can feel like you are doing something to help your business, but all you are doing is creating work for someone, and paying money for activity that is not likely to give you a return.
It is an excellent idea to have someone else help make it all happen once you have your strategy in place.
Many of our clients add virtual assistants into their growth marketing strategy. As you grow, this can be a permanent solution or a stepping stone to a full-time role.
In New Zealand, the VA industry has matured with agencies popping up and freelancer's specializing in all things admin. A VA can help you with an operational function in your business.
In New Zealand, the cost of a VA can vary depending on whether they are aware of their value, market rates and experience, but an average hourly rate is around $70 an hour.
They include their expertise, along with their sick pay, holiday pay and other contractor costs.
Domestic virtual assistants and offshore ones can be used to spread the budget and get more work done. If you want to avoid having to check their work, and the English language is so difficult, then it's a good idea to use an offshore VA.
It's important to see them as an important part of your team no matter where they live. Pay them on time, treat them with respect, and give them time to ask questions.
I didn't make the most of my first VA because I made some rookies mistakes. They would turn up and take over. I didn't take into account that I would need to have clear instructions, document the required steps, have a clear outcome, and be available for questions and support.
I didn't know what they were going to do. I wanted them to know how to resolve quickly.
You should put money aside for a VA until you have three months of pay set aside. They will work with you to find your stride and give you as much as they can. You will wonder how you ever survived without them. It feels like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders.
We support our clients' VA's. If they are going to run a part of the marketing, we will often invite them to be part of our training.
I have a structured approach to working with our VAs. This is what I do.
I am very aware of what can be done outside of the country. It is something that can be systemised and given to someone else if I do a task more than one time. I will make a list of my sources.
Next time I need to do that, I record myself doing it. I use loom.com to record myself doing the task if it is on my computer.
Along with any logins, information or resources needed to complete the task, I created a document and added the recording to it.
The VA from my team will do the task.
If the task is a weekly one, we set it up to repeat once a week on the task board.
All the tasks are checked at a weekly meeting.
Two to three VAs may work on different parts of a task if they have particular skills. I might have two people doing the same thing for the same task. I am not doing that part of the task because it might have one of them handling it.
I talked about getting ready for a VA in the show.
I don't want anyone else to know that I'm the voice, and I don't want to give anyone else my writing. All of my posts are still written by me. I can create all of this every week and work with clients because I have an incredible group of virtual assistants.
In an average week, they will onboard clients, book guests on my show, follow up paperwork, publish social media posts, design social media images, schedule pins, and much more.
It feels great to create a piece of content and pass it on to one of my VAs where they make it public. It allows us to remain consistent with our marketing even when we are busy with a small team.
Maybe it's time to consider a virtual assistant if you're not ready for in-house support and feel overwhelmed with all the admin of marketing. You will be thanked for it.