Two days a week.
That’s the average amount of time a small business owner looking to grow their business is recommended to spend on growth activities each week! (source: http://www.stateoftheowner.com/)
Growth activities are anything related to sales and marketing, and include all components of your content strategy.
Those precious 2 days a week can pay back huge in terms of website traffic, leads and new customers.
But it doesn’t leave you a whole lot of time to waste on the parts of content preparation that don’t require your expertise. Your time is better spent on content tasks that no one but you could do (strategy, ideas, content development and creation).
By having a Virtual Assistant (VA) dedicated to helping you execute your content strategy, you can easily double (or even more) the value of those 2 days.
By saving your time and creative brainpower for content creation, brainstorming and strategy, you’ll be able to deliver higher quality content on a regular basis because you won’t be wasting your time on something that someone besides you could be doing.
How to choose a VA for your Content Strategy
Since this is a position to help with your content strategy, priority should be given to someone with excellent English (or whatever language you’re writing in!) skills – both written and spoken.
So even if you’re getting someone else to edit your content, your Content VA will still be a final set of eyes on a piece of content before it goes out. Think of the role rather like a restaurant expeditor: they are responsible for quality-checking your plates of content before they’re served to readers.
15 types of tasks your Content VA can help with
- Creating Images – For your blog, social media, infographics, etc.
- Formatting – Blog posts, printables, newsletters, etc.
- Proofreading – Any written content (who couldn’t use another set of eyes?)
- Search Engine Optimizing – Keyword research, post and page optimization
- Blogger and Entrepreneur Outreach – Sending emails and social media tagging of people you’ve mentioned or featured
- Research – Finding facts, quotes, stories and examples for new content
- Content Upgrades – Designing, formatting, setting up delivery
- Engagement – Responding to comments and messages
- Reusing and Repurposing your content – Breaking a piece of content down into smaller pieces to use on other channels or combining multiple pieces into something bigger
- Website Maintenance – Performing updates, making or double-checking backups
- Social Media – Scheduling and creating content, engaging
- Updating webpage templates – Landing pages, thank you pages, etc.
- Newsletter – Formatting and scheduling, segmenting and cleaning up your lists
- Managing your guest posts – Submitting and tracking submissions
- Content Strategy Measurement – Pulling analytics and other measures so you can focus on evaluation
How to prepare your content systems for VA
Take the time to document your processes.
If you don’t know how you want something done, how will anybody else?
The real secret to stress-free outsourcing is to have your processes so thoroughly documented that it’d be impossible for someone to mess up. It’ll be just like you did the task yourself – except you didn’t. You were spending your time on something better and more valuable!
So, for whichever part of your content processes you’d like to outsource – systemize it to the hilt. Some things to possibly include: step-by-step instructions, video walk-throughs, checklists, and examples for reference.
As an added bonus – once you have your process documented, training somebody new will be a cinch. So even if a VA moves on, you’ll be able to fill the position with minimal stress.
Show them the bigger picture.
An easy way to create a team dynamic is to include them in your overall plan and vision.
So for a Content VA, sharing your editorial calendar so they can know what’s happening and how it fits into the overall picture, instead of just handing them piecemeal content bits to schedule on your blog.
You never know, they might be able to provide some insight you haven’t even thought of yet.
Having regularly-defined communication tools (for example: email vs. Asana vs. recurring Skype meetings) can zap any of that working-with-someone-new awkwardness and will go a long way towards building your team dynamic quickly.
Having more check-ins, especially at the start, will help smooth out the bumps that come along with any new working relationship.
What are some parts of your content strategy that you could outsource in order to leverage more of your sales and marketing time?