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For quite some time, I was at a loss as to what tasks I could assign a virtual assistant. I knew that I felt bogged down by work as my freelance business grew. But I had no idea what work to give someone else.

I felt that the main writing piece had to come mostly from me because that’s what clients were paying for. But I couldn’t scale my business while doing everything myself. After some trial and error, I’ve settled on a few tasks I contract out occasionally to help me better run my business.

The Research

Research is my favorite thing to delegate to someone else. Having someone else do research saves so much time. Starting an assignment with research in hand is an excellent way to shorten the amount of time it takes you. Besides helping research for the actual product, I have assistants help me to research companies I can pitch for writing jobs, partnerships, and media interviews.

The Pitching

After helping you research places to pitch, virtual assistants can actually help you pitch the different companies. You can craft the pitch and have the virtual assistant make tweaks to personalize each one before sending it out. They can also handle the follow-ups. Continuously marketing can be a struggle for me when I’m working on other assignments. Having a virtual assistant take on some of the marketing burden can be incredibly helpful.

The First Draft

If I’m really loaded with work, I’ll have a virtual assistant work on the first draft for me. I’m very particular about my writing and voice, so my final draft always looks completely different than what my virtual assistant presents me. But having some words on paper at the beginning is helpful whenever I have writer’s block.

The Social Media Management

Being present on social media is not my strong suit. If it’s not yours either, a virtual assistant can help you keep your followers engaged. My virtual assistant is currently helping me with Pinterest. After I get my Instagram strategy together, I plan to have her help me there as well.

The Bookkeeping and Other Administrative Tasks

Jobs such as sending invoices and following up with invoices have got to be done. A virtual assistant can handle this for you. A virtual assistant can also manage projects, manage your calendar, organize your emails, and more. The opportunity to benefit from a virtual assistant is virtually endless. Think of tasks that you’re always trying to fit into your schedule but always fall on the back burner. Can those be given to a virtual assistant?

Getting the Most Value from a Virtual Assistant

One of the other major barriers that made me procrastinate on hiring help is the training part. I knew that it would take some time for a virtual assistant to understand me and my business.

Having a contractor onboarding process is crucial to getting the results you want. It takes some time to produce business procedures, but it will be highly useful when your business expands. You can’t always be a one-person machine.


Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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