The Assisting Evolution
As you know, I’ve written about leveraging virtual assistants in previous posts. I currently have assistants through Zirtual and Fancy Hands. [This post] briefly details the difference between what each service provides.
Here is a sampling of the tasks I’ve assigned for assisting. My tasks with Zirtual generally focus on editing blog posts, booking appointments, and managing healthcare claims. Conversely, I turn to Fancy Hands for research and documentation, graphics work, and customer service follow-up.
This is the first posting of what will become a weekly column. Each week, I’ll share with you the tasks I delegate in the hopes that you can learn from my experience. Ultimately, this will become a list that grows every week and will serve as a guide for delegating tasks to your virtual assistant.
Proofing and Editing Articles - My assistant edits my blog posts through the comment feature in Microsoft Word. By using the track changes feature, I am able to see the changes she suggests. After final approval, my assistant can then upload the post as a draft. I then proof for final changes prior to publishing each post.
Booking Appointments - Setting appointments is easy through Google calendar. Sharing your calendar is easy; see this link for information on enabling sharing [http://goo.gl/4nsvu] Because I have shared my calendar with my assistant, she can easily create events on my behalf and set up reminders prior to appointments.
Managing Healthcare Claims - My Zirtual assistant makes filing family healthcare claims easy! All I do is send her a PDF scan of my co-pays and she takes care of the rest. With this information, my assistant is able to generate claim forms unique to each office visit and update claim status in a Google Drive spreadsheet.
As these examples imply, Zirtual is great for tasks that require consistency. I use Fancy Hands for one-off items that can be delegated to a non-dedicated assistant (such as booking a dentist appointment or arranging dog grooming).
Research and Documentation - As you likely know from previous posts, I am invested in my childrens’ education. One of my recent requests was to develop an Excel spreadsheet that analyzed my son’s report cards from the past two years. This allowed me to determine if there was improvement or regression across time. The Fancy Hands assistant did an amazing job. She determined variance and included a summary column that showed the final grade in each subject over five reporting periods. Having this information in a consolidated format assists in making decisions regarding my childrens’ education.
Graphics Sourcing/Template Design - While my Zirtual assistant focuses on blog content, I turn to Fancy Hands to source graphics. For instance, my Fancy Hands assistant added graphics to my post on automating Twitter. I let the Fancy Hands assistant know what I am looking for and they take it from there. Assistants then submit screenshots of the copy with graphics.
Phone Calls - We all despise staying on hold for ten minutes just to reach a customer service representative! I regularly delegate tasks like this to Fancy Hands assistants. Assistants have contacted the Nespresso Coffee company to return an incorrect item, found location options for my daughter’s birthday party, and investigated a refund due from Go Daddy.
As you can see, virtual assistants can offer value for everyone, not just executives. As I’ve remarked in previous posts, you can begin delegating tasks and saving time for the cost of a latte a day!