A Year in Review as a Virtual Assistant – Pt.2

This blog series is a year in review as virtual assistants who are at the forefront of client services, experiences, and assisting to share what they have observed and what they are forecasting for the future.

In last week’s blog series we discussed online learning, where clients of virtual assistants are and where VAs are going. Of course, participating in social media is something most clients are already doing. It’s also where clients plan to promote their online courses and podcasts. However, social media is forever changing. In this week’s blog series we are going to discuss one of the most popular topics: social media.

Q. What were the biggest changes you saw in the ways your clients used social media?

There was definitely an overwhelming theme in the changes clients are making when using social media. Liropeya “Peya” Robbins summed it up well, “They went back to the basics … to the start of social media where it wasn’t all memes and selling things. I have seen actual networking and to be honest it warms my heart.”

“Thinking that app-metrics are the goal rather than the content fan relationships they are building,” says Melissa Mosher

Clients are also now realizing that having a large following and having the “numbers” aren’t the goal. “Thinking that app-metrics are the goal rather than the content fan relationships they are building,” says Melissa Mosher of Support Savvy. In a time when Instagram is removing the feature of viewing how many likes someone has received, this is key. It shouldn’t matter if your content is reaching one or a thousand of your followers if it’s not having the impact you intended. Having the “numbers” with no impact is useless. 

In fact, did you know the average conversion rate of a landing page is 2.35%? If you are looking to increase your numbers, know you’ll have to increase them quite a bit to get your followers to convert, and this is just a landing page. We’re not even talking about asking someone to part ways with their money yet! 

One of the reasons clients may be so focused on the numbers is that they are not spending quality time on a single platform. Bonnie Schutz of Tandem Resource Solutions said, “Not all clients know where to reach their demographic or perfect clients on SM channels, and spend too much time & effort on platforms that will never produce revenue or new clientele.” As with any relationship – including those on social media, clients need to spend quality time with their office. The post and promote method is dead and I think we are all happy about this!

Erin Sturm of The Sturm Agency is already experiencing a positive change with her clients, “The biggest change is that my clients all understand that they not only need to be active on social media, but more importantly that they be authentic. People don’t want to be sold to any longer, they want recommendations from people they know and trust. Clients have to be open to sharing themselves and their lives on social media, especially a behind-the-scenes peek into their daily routines.”

Q What do you believe clients will be expecting in social media in 2020?

Relationships are the expectations for clients in 2020. However, Bonnie makes a point about why clients want to create better relationships. “As they do now, I think clients will continue to expect SM to create relationships and produce clients. They’ll expect their VAs to be educated in which platforms work best, the demographics associated with each, the timing of posts, etc.” Relationships are the long game and the goal is to be authentic but never forget: without engagement that doesn’t produce clients, the budget of a client to work with a VA in this area diminishes.

Melissa hit the nail on the head, “For someone to not only know how to manage the tool, but build and create the voice that flows through it – it’s no longer just tactical management, it’s strategic support.” What is the strategy you and the client have? If it’s a six-month strategy you have the opportunity to work it. With no strategy in place, each week your posts or even your daily posts could be scrutinized by the client and you’ll find yourself in a position to have to defend work that hasn’t converted…yet. 

Knowing your unique set of skills is extremely important. Peya says, “Anyone can post an ad online but the true success will be making a genuine connection with people.” Are your clients clear on why they hired you? Do you make it clear to them? Working a social media strategy is much like an in-person event. You’re an event organizer, this is the SM strategist. Then you have the MC which engages the audience the organizer brought together. Which one are you? More importantly, does the client know what kind of VA they hired to manage their social media?

Erin is already seeing the trend in the Instagram VA, “Clients will expect a virtual assistant to create Instagram stories, engage with their audience, and help them craft an authentic social media presence.” 

While it is not about the numbers those virtual assistants who can prove their value through numbers will have a backlog of clients wanting to hire them. Numbers will no longer be in the form of how many followers someone has or how many views and downloads were achieved. The numbers that will matter are what the clients care about the most – the reason clients invest in a VA – conversions

Conversions could mean paying clients or even paying sponsors. A VA who can convert five members out of an audience of ten is more in demand than a VA who converts at the average landing page rate of 2.35%. Having clear expectations of what you are converting will be a key client education piece. 

From stranger to client is not how it typically works. Educating your clients on their funnel system and at what point you are engaging the client to conversion is key. Is it gaining a new follower who was once a stranger? Once converted to a follower, is the next goal engagement for the person to download a lead magnet of some kind? If you’re driving clients to the lead magnet are you responsible for the copy as well? If not, who is monitoring how many people get to the landing page and don’t sign up and share their email? No matter what part of the sales cycle you, as the VA are at, know what the entire process is so you and the client are aware of what your success and theirs look like. 

To simply promote yourself as a social media virtual assistant will be a thing of the past. Drilling down to platforms, specialties and unique selling points as a VA will be necessary. 

All these predictions are precisely the reason the AVA exists. As stated in our mission, “The mission of the Association of Virtual Assistants is to be the most trusted source of information in the VA industry. We promote a high standard of excellence within our Association, which not only benefits current and future virtual assistants but those we serve – the client.”

With demand comes educating, teaching, training, supporting, assisting, and staying ahead of the trends. The AVA has quickly become the trusted source for VAs and clients alike to get the assistance and virtual assistants needed at every stage of their business. Through providing resources, a fully transparent pricing guide, free trainings, real-time support, a VA directory, certifications, and collaborations we stand poised for 2020 and beyond!