Virtual assistant. You’ve heard the term before, but what exactly do they do, and how can they help you with your business? If you’re a handmade seller, then you understand the unique challenges that the phrase brings with it. While being in the handmade community is amazing, and so fulfilling, it is also very time-consuming. Creating new products, photo editing, listing them on various selling platforms, posting to social media, not to mention all the other little things that you have to take care of. It’s all just too much some days! 

As a handmade seller myself for many years, I know all too well how this can quickly become overwhelming. But what is the solution to the overwhelm? How do you free up your time to do more enjoyable things? (Like creating your products!)

You’ve heard of virtual assistants before, but you’re not quite sure what they even do. Your fellow makers swear by outsourcing some help but you’re just not sure if that’s the right move for you right now, or worse yet, if you can afford it! 

But you need someone in your life who can: 

  • Do all the menial tasks you find yourself dreading, that are a huge time suck
  • Anticipate all your needs and wants
  • Takes care of them before you know you need it done​

​Maybe you’ve been doing the handmade thing for a while, or maybe you just started this as a side hustle. While it seems like a great idea, you’re just not entirely sure it’s your thing. (At least for right now)

Guess what? Hiring a virtual assistant can free up your time, relieve some stress, and is cheaper in the long run than bringing on full time in house help!

If you’ve been reading this and nodding your head, then I’d venture a guess that it’s time for you to hire your very own VA! 

3 Ways to Tell if You're Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant--Off Your Plate.services

1. You Spend a Minimum of Two Hours Each Day on Social Media

This is assuming of course that you’re on social media for your business. (Pro-tip, you really should be!) You find yourself staring at the computer screen struggling with what to say, what to post, what pictures to share, and wondering why you have no one commenting on your posts.

​Maybe you smell, I don’t know. But I highly doubt that’s the issue. 

More than likely, it’s because up until now you’ve been wearing all the “hats” in your company. While you may have been making things work, or doing okay, it’s time to take your marketing and social media to the next level. A little more professionally polished level if you will. 

Did you know that each virtual assistant has a specialized area, or “niche”? It’s true! Some are great with email, some focus on graphic creations, some do only Facebook.(BTW, I do all these things!) Each person has a unique set of skills that they bring to the table. You can find a virtual assistant with an awesome background in social media and marketing, and free up 10-12 hours a week that could be better spent somewhere else.

​(Ahem, maybe those small humans or lonely spouse that’s missed you while you’ve been busy!?)

2. You Start Crying Just a Little When Your Email Alert Goes Off

Seriously, who wants to deal with all 100+ email messages you receive daily as a small business owner? OKay, it might not be that many, but it can add up. And while you want to respond personally to every single email, sometimes this is just not humanly possible. Enter your whiz-bang-awesome virtual assistant! She can respond to all your emails, with scripted responses, or free-styling it, however, your little heart desires. 

This again will free up your time, but more importantly, you won’t cringe or put your phone on silent when the emails start flooding. The little notifications can hum quietly in the background and you can get back to creating your brand new paper plate candle holder with macrame hot dog tongs. (I don’t know what you sell, but this sounds awesome, and I think I need it in my life!)

3. Your Blog Misses You!

Writing and running a blog can be a super powerful tool to have in your arsenal as a handmade seller. What better way to introduce people to your craft, than through a beautifully crafted, visual blog post? But who has time for writing a blog post twice a week? You’re too busy responding to emails and scheduling social media posts to even come up with a topic, let alone dedicate the time and energy to writing the darn thing. 

Fear not, for the virtual assistant once again has your back! You can tell her the direction you’d like to go on the blog, and even brainstorm some ideas together, and then relax! She will now take over writing the posts, creating the graphics (You know the ones you want to add to Pinterest but can never figure out how to make them? Yeah…those!) and sending out an email letting your followers know there’s new content available. 

If any of these reasons above sound like you, or you can relate in a small part to any of it, then it might be time to take the plunge and find yourself a virtual assistant. I know the process is scary, and a little overwhelming, but in the long run you will end up wondering how you ever did without her. Just check out what others are saying about having a VA working with them! 

​I hope you found some of these reasons helpful in your search to lighten your workload. And overall, I hope that you can find some time to get back to what really inspires and drives you; creating your products!

​It is, after all, the reason you got into this business in the first place isn’t it? 

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