How long is your to-do list? If it is anything like mine, there are more things on the “To-Do” side than on the “Done” side. Running an online ministry or business is a lot of work .. writing, creating graphics, doing linkups, social media, setting up sales pages, connecting with others … and you know what?
I am not good at all of those things.
And you know what else?
I don’t have time for all those things.
I bet that is true for you, too. Yet, those things are absolutely necessary if we want this God-dream of ours to take root and grow. Just like the growth of a healthy plant will be stunted if it is contained in a too-small pot, so will the growth of our ministries be limited by our own capacity if we try to do everything ourselves.
And when growth is limited, we get frustrated and tempted to just give up.
Let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Galations 6:9 (NLT)
Don’t you love that promise? AT JUST THE RIGHT TIME … right when we are frustrated, right when we are exhausted, right when we need help, God is going to bless us!
But how do you decide what you can delegate to someone else? And more importantly, who are you going to give it to? One cost-effective option is to hire a virtual assistant.
I’ve done some VA work myself, and realized that is not my true passion. Just because I am capable of doing it doesn’t mean it is the best use of my time. So I have started working with a couple of VA’s to help with some of the routine work of maintaining an online presence. And you know what? Those tasks that make me break out in hives every time I think about them? My VA’s LOVE doing them! They are smart, skilled and way more efficient than I am.
Here are some things you can delegate to a VA.
Blog Post Maintenance and Set-Up
For those who are called to write, creating the post content is the easy part. Usually, once you type the last word, you are already thinking about the next post.
Except the last word of writing is only the beginning of posting.
Your VA could load your written post in your blogging platform, add the formatting for headings, quotes and highlights, add “click to tweets”, put the graphics in, add links for Bible verses and other references, check the SEO and schedule it to post. WHEW!! That’s a lot off of your plate!
Manage Your Editorial Calendar
This is really helpful if you are doing a lot of guest posting or hosting a guest post series on your blog. It’s one thing to remember that you need to write a post for your own blog every Thursday, but throw in monthly posts for a couple of collaborative sites, lining up guest posters for your series, and keeping up with other obligations and your time gets taken up quickly. Your VA can keep your calendar up to date, communicate with your guest bloggers on deadlines and guidelines, and help you keep the right balance in your schedule.
Unless you are a true graphic designer, most of us have a love/hate relationship with creating graphics. It’s fun to play around with PicMonkey and Canva to come up with just the right image for our post. But it’s also a huge huge time suck. If you have developed templates and specific branding elements (colors, fonts, etc.) you can package all that up and hand it off to a VA to create the graphics for you.
Without a doubt, this is the area where most of my clients want help. A VA who specializes in social media management is worth her weight in gold! I do think it is important that much of your social media interaction be original and authentic, so consider continuing to do the comments and replies yourself. But a VA could curate content from others in your niche for you to promote, schedule routine promotions for your own posts and keep your social media feeds full.
Another great task for your VA is to go back to your old posts and mine them for great quotes, create graphics for them and promote these older posts on your social media. It’s an effective way to expose your new followers to your old content.
If you have a non-profit associated with your ministry, you probably need an accountant or bookkeeper who specializes in non-profits. But just for routine stuff, your VA can help you get a handle on your finances. I recently had my VA go through my PayPal transactions and make a list of all the different services and tools I am paying for. It was eye-opening … those little $5 and $10 monthly fees add up fast! Let’s just say I am no longer paying for all of those things and my VA earned her fee that day!
One unexpected by-product of working with a VA is it has forced me to plan ahead. I need to give her time to do her best work and make us both look good. So not only has it given me more time to do what I do best, it’s taken the pressure off waiting til the last minute to finish things.
Getting a VA up to speed can take a bit of work, but it is an investment in time and money that will greatly expand your capacity to grow your online ministry.
Are you working with a VA now? What are some of the things you are handing off? Or what would you LOVE to have someone else do for you?
If you are a VA who provides some of these services, give yourself a shout-out in the comments and help people find you!