As with most service-based companies, time is really money for marketing companies. Whether you bill by the hour or on a project basis, your time, and your team’s time, drives your earning potential. In addition, think about the time that you could be spending doing the important things such as business development, mentoring your team or enjoying more personal time. You can’t get more than 24 hours a day. Or can you?
I have had a virtual assistant for the past 4 years and it has made a major impact on my business and personal life. Here are 4 ways that a virtual assistant can help you grow your agency and get your life back.
1. Business Development
Many owners of marketing firms look for a magic pill that will suddenly bring in tons of new business. It is often thought that a salesperson will do the trick. Unless your price point is quite low (and marketing drives revenue) or your agency has grown to over 50 people, the owner is usually the most effective person to close new business. But many aspects of business development can be done by others including:
- Building a list of potential clients based on your target market
- Scheduling meetings and calls (and the rescheduling that always happens)
- Meeting follow-ups
Jessica, my virtual assistant, does these things for me which gives me more time to spend speaking with existing and potential clients.
I am hearing a lot lately along the lines of “the competition for talent is greater than the competition for clients.” This is especially true these days for marketing firms since much of the same talent pool that we need is being recruited by tech companies. An assistant can help you cover a lot of ground here, especially when you consider that the talent you want is likely not actively looking for a job and responding to recruiting ads. Much like building a list and nurturing your next client, identifying and nurturing your future star employees is critical to building your all-star team. An assistant can help you with this by:
- Scouring LinkedIn for talent that meets the criteria that you are looking for in future employees
- Either initially engaging on your behalf, or if you prefer to do it personally, gathering candidates’ LinkedIn URL and additional information such as interests and commonalities
- Consistently reaching out to potential employees (or prompt you to do so)
Hopefully you have your clients on auto-bill by credit card. If you don’t, then you know that old receivables don’t only strain your cash flow, but they ripen like a glass of milk left on the counter. As critical as they are, no one likes making collection calls. And when people don’t like to make them, they aren’t likely to get done in a timely fashion. This can put your company at risk. Collections are a great task for virtual assistants. The key is to set up a simple process that includes a combination of email and calls that your assistant will deploy.
4. Protect your time
I have been very pleased to see a lot of attention lately to the art of saying no. Your assistant can be the guardian of your calendar and it is as easy as saying “Great. Send an email to my assistant and he will find time for us.” Combined with some simple rules that you give to your assistant (such as who to schedule and when), this is a way to ensure that you are spending your time based on your agenda, and not someone else’s.
Just between protecting my calendar and dealing with all of my scheduling, my assistant gives me back at least 10 hours a week. Plus, I am making less scheduling mistakes and avoiding doing tasks that I dislike. When you add on the other things that she does like building our prospect list and taking care of administrative tasks, I have more time to focus on important, value-building activities as well as personal time. Priceless.
Much thanks to Mike Lieberman for additional insights for this post.
Work Better Now provides full-time, dedicated virtual assistants for $1,750 per month. Schedule a 15-minute consultation to find out what a Work Better Now virtual assistant can do for you