3 Types of Tools I Use as a Virtual Assistant

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When you’re first starting out as a virtual assistant, you may not realize that there’s a tool or online service for everything, from sharing passwords to scheduling newsletters to coordinating calendars.

But as you dig deeper into what’s available out there, you might start to become overwhelmed.

You’ll find out that not only there’s a tool that you can use, but there are probably ten other tools that do more or less the same thing. It’s tempting to try them all out, but that will often waste more of your time than it’s worth it.

That’s why we’ve invited Elizabeth Neumann, virtual assistant extraordinaire, to share with us what type of virtual assistant tools she uses in her VA business.

Here’s Elizabeth’s advice.

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by all of the online tools that are available?

I sure have. Especially when I was learning everything I could about online business and made it a goal to offer social media management and virtual assistant services.

We can all agree there are a lot of programs and membership sites to choose from!

There are social media schedulers, task organizers, email subscriber programs, graphic creation tools, etc., etc., and one of the most challenging of them all, WordPress! (By the way, if you are struggling with creating a website using WordPress, Gina’s tutorial helped me a lot!)

Between all of the learning and implementation of our knowledge, it can make our heads spin!

It can be tempting to want to learn them all and start spending more money on purchasing more tools. Taking a step back helps us to see what is really necessary as we start our VA business or focus on growing it.

Since my last post about how leaving my full time job and becoming a full time online entrepreneur would help me work around my health issues, I’ve made that a reality and left about a year ago!

One of the first tasks I did was create a plan of the steps I needed to accomplish to replace my job income ASAP while keeping my business expenses low.

I focused on getting familiar with the most common virtual assistant tools and set time aside weekly for my own training. I used a variety of resources such as YouTube videos, googling, asking in Facebook groups or going through the written or video tutorials that these companies offer on their sites.

With my growing understanding of these tools, I felt confident when talking about upcoming tasks with potential clients and it made it easier to discuss similar ones.

If you’re still not sure what virtual assistant services you can offer, we’ve put together a list of over 150 services that webpreneurs need help with.

My clients have also helped me learn through screen sharing calls or by making videos of how they want me to use a specific tool for their business.

Even though clients use a variety of tools, I found that some of the most common online tools I use with my clients are:

1. Task Organizing Virtual Assistant Tools (Asana and Trello)

What do these tools do?

Both Asana and Trello are task organizer systems.

3 Types of Virtual Assistant Tools to Make you more productiveThe main difference between them is the way that the information is viewed. They’re great for laying out tasks, checking them off and being able to communicate with clients through them. You can add attachments, such as Google docs, to tasks using either system.

How did I learn to use these tools?

When I was exploring the idea of starting an online business, I felt overwhelmed with all of my ideas and the steps that I needed to take and the lessons I needed learn before I even got started started. I figured I could try using Asana and Trello to organize all of that. It definitely helped me a lot, and having everything laid out worked wonders for my productivity as a virtual assistant.

I was then comfortable when I started working with clients who used one or the other.

How have these tools helped me in my client work?

These tools have helped tremendously when communicating with clients since they can lay out the details of each task or project for me to see. The amount of emails between my clients and I are minimal since we use Asana or Trello instead to clarify or give updates.

Bonus tip!

Most clients prefer one or the other so I recommend learning both. When having calls with potential clients, they are relieved to find out that I’m flexible to use either since it’s easier to get started on tasks right away!

2. Email Marketing Tools (MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit)

What do these tools do?

MailChimp, ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit are some of the options for an email subscriber program to send emails to your audience for email marketing purposes.

How did I learn to use these tools?

I started by using the free version of Mailchimp for my Teaching Beginner Spanish business since I was sending weekly emails to share my blog posts and communicate with my audience.

I learned how to use it by looking at their site tutorials as well as YouTube videos.

I began using ActiveCampaign and ConvertKit at my clients’ request. Although these two tools are more advanced than the free version of MailChimp, I was able to figure it out easier since I already had that knowledge.

I also looked at how my clients had their previous email campaigns set up so I could follow those as an example.

How have these tools helped me in my client work?

Most online businesses use email marketing, so once I explained that I used MailChimp for my own business, my clients knew I could help them with tasks such as copying/pasting their content, switching out images or creating their email content.

Bonus tip!

Even if you’re not at the point of starting your own email marketing yet, it’s a good idea to sign up for a free MailChimp account and learn how to navigate and set up email campaigns. You’ll be ready to pitch clients and as a bonus you’ll have the knowledge when you’re ready to start sending out your own emails.

3. Password Sharing Tools (1Password)

What does this tool do?

1Password allows clients to share access to their passwords without revealing them. It even includes credit cards numbers if you make purchases on your client’s behalf.

How did I learn to use this tool?

One of my clients used 1Password to give me access to his passwords and it was easy to use. All you have to do is copy and paste both the site URL and hidden password.

How has this tool helped me in my client work?

Apart from using it to access passwords for my tasks, it’s been convenient to make purchases without having my client share their confidential credit card information. It’s easy for clients to add other passwords when needed, and I don’t have to worry about keeping track of them anywhere else since they’re stored on the 1Password site.

Bonus Tip!

Although there is a small monthly cost per user, clients may appreciate knowing about this or similar services if they feel uncomfortable giving access to all of their passwords.

These are some of the many tools that can be used when working with clients plus there are always new tools being developed. By putting time aside each week for our own training as virtual assistants helps us to assist clients with tools that they use to effectively run their business.

Knowing how to work with these tools increases our confidence and gets us ready to assist more clients!

That’s my firm belief and a guiding principle in my VA business.

What tool are you currently learning to up your virtual assistant game?

Elizabeth Neumann assists busy entrepreneurs with their expanding business by tackling their ever-growing to-do list through her Social Media Strategy/Management and Virtual Assistance services. She also has a business teaching Spanish for Travel for Beginners to help people be ready for their next trip to a Spanish-speaking country!

2 thoughts on “3 Types of Tools I Use as a Virtual Assistant”

  1. Such an insightful article, Elizabeth… Thank you for sharing this… This is gold! My friend and I are just starting a blog and I am starting VA training, and I am already so overwhelmed, having signed up for multiple courses and apps, etc., and no clue where to begin. Your article has just saved me so much time! I cannot thank you enough…

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