When you’re a freelance trainer, you have to wear a lot of hats. Trainer, marketer, administrator, salesperson, accountant – you may find yourself stepping into every role.
But the question is, how many of these roles are actually a good fit for your skills?
Often, one of the best investments you can make in a training business is to outsource key tasks to virtual staff, such as a virtual administrator (VA). Where something may take you hours to complete, a VA may be able to slash the time thanks to their expertise, making their services a cost-effective investment.
This frees you up to work with clients – i.e. earn more money – or to focus on some of the bigger picture stuff that will grow your training business.
If you haven’t worked with a VA before, you may be wondering what sort of tasks you can actually outsource. Here are 17 of my favourites:
- Inbox detox
Is your inbox overflowing? Do you receive countless newsletters you subscribed to but never read? Maybe you’re forced to wade through more spam than a child in the 1940s?!
A VA can give your inbox a thorough spring clean, unsubscribing you from unwanted newsletters, deleting unwanted messages and flagging up emails that need your attention.
An e-newsletter can be a great way to connect with your mailing list but it takes time and a regular commitment to produce one. Don’t worry – a VA can create and send a newsletter on your behalf and also keep an eye on the open rates, unsubscribes and other useful stats.
- Uploading blog
Writing a new blog article is just the beginning of making sure it reaches your audience. From uploading it to your website to promoting it on social media, you could hand this over to a VA.
- Creating forms or reports
Most VAs are whizzes at creating or formatting documents or reports. Just tell them what you need. Whether you want a feedback form for trainees or handouts for a training session, a VA should be able to create it for you based on your brief.
- Meeting notes
After a meeting, it’s handy to write up the notes and feed them back to the client to make sure that you’re all on the same page about what was agreed. Why not hand over your handwritten notes to a VA and ask them to write them up in a legible transcript?
Once you’re happy that nothing has been missed while deciphering your handwriting, your VA will be able to distribute the notes for you if you ask them to.
- Travel planning
Need to book train tickets or find a suitable hotel for your next batch of training? A VA can take on your travel planning and bookings.
- Diary management
A Virtual Assistant will be more than willing to book meetings or training sessions on your behalf, liaise with attendees, find a venue, schedule training days, and much more.
- Formatting an ebook
Creating an ebook can be a fantastic way to showcase your training expertise. Once you have the first draft written, a VA can help to format the ebook appropriately for the platforms on which it will be published.
If you’ve recently run a webinar or recorded a training session, a VA could create a transcript for people to download or access in your online community.
- Moderating blog comments
It’s always great to get genuine conversations going in response to a blog but sometimes the Comments section beneath an article gets bombarded with spam links. A good move is to make sure comments have to be approved before they’re published. A VA can whizz through any comments awaiting approval to make sure they go live ASAP.
One of the keys to good cash flow is making sure that invoices go out on time and that you stay on top of late payments. Again, this is something that you can outsource to a VA.
- Updating website
Google loves fresh content so it’s important to show your training business website some love from time to time with regular updates, new articles and unique images that reflect your brand.
If you use a content management system like the WordPress dashboard, a VA should be able to make straightforward changes to your website on your behalf.
- Creating autoresponders
Autoresponders are a powerful email marketing tool. They’re a series of automated messages that go out to people at different points in your sales funnel, such as when someone signs up to your e-newsletter or when a client has booked your training services.
Many VAs can help to create, set up and manage autoresponders to your mailing list.
- Uploading podcast or videos
Do you regularly record a training podcast or videos? A VA can upload them to your website, YouTube, iTunes or any other suitable platform that you use.
- Creating memes
Memes featuring inspirational quotes or advice aren’t everyone’s cup of tea but they can get a huge amount of traction on social media. A VA may be able to create simple, branded memes or source royalty-free images for you to share on your social media pages.
- Basic SEO
OK, so a VA may not be an SEO expert but they can help with tasks like updating the meta data on your web pages or keeping an eye on Google Analytics to understand more about your website traffic. Small changes can help your training business to be more visible in search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Basic Bookkeeping
In addition to creating and sending invoices, many VAs offer basic bookkeeping services to help you keep on top on your incomings and outgoings, any receipts, overdue payments and so on. As the tax year comes to an end, you can simply hand your books over to an accountant to work their magic.
What else can you outsource to a VA?
These 17 suggestions above just scratch the surface of what most virtual assistants can do for freelance trainers.
In terms of what else you can outsource to a VA, my suggestion would be to ask a few recommended people/companies and see what they have to say. You may be surprised by the choice!
A good VA will find out as much as they can about you and your business to help you identify where their focus (and your money) would be best spent.
Have you ever worked with a VA? If so, what do outsource? Have you found outsourcing to be valuable to your training business? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this in the Comments below.