1. Tell us a bit about your business?
Get Ahead VA was founded in 2010 after I recognised a gap in the market for virtual assistance services that offered the flexibility, value and performance that small businesses need in the 21st century, digital economy. After a corporate career in buying for retail giants such as Sainsbury’s, I was looking for a flexible work solution around my three children. Having grow up with a successfully self-employed mother, I knew it was possible to contribute financially to the family as well as be there for school drop off and pick ups.
Get Ahead VA delivers nationwide virtual assistance services for entrepreneurs and small businesses. With clients ranging from will writers to window cleaners, financial consultants to fashion designers, all our clients recognise the value of outsourcing, passing onto other tasks that either they lack skills in, or tasks that drain their valuable time. It enables them to get back to what they do best – growing their business. At the moment I have a team of 25 virtual assistants that work with our clients offering them anything from administrations through to cold calling, PR, marketing and even design. I am the matchmaker and am passionate about providing our clients with the most appropriate VA. Some clients work with more than one of our team depending on their requirements.
2. Where has social media made the biggest impact on your business?
We are active on most social media platforms and I work closely with my VA Angela so we get a consistent message out there. We schedule some of our posts and balance this with live interaction. We are always aware of not duplicating too many messages across different platforms as this can become quote boring.
I especially love Linked In for driving awareness of what we do e.g. sharing award wins, showcasing our team, sharing useful articles etc. We probably get our highest level of enquiries from Linked in.
Twitter is great for sharing top tips and for engaging with other users. I love Hootsuite especially for Twitter where I can schedule replies etc so our news feed isn’t bombarded all in one go. Some people could do with using this too!
Our Facebook page I see as a necessity but we don’t spend too much time on it. We got one of our largest clients through Facebook – my friend liked the page and overtime realised that we could help her partner (and ultimately her!) by working with him to take away some of the unnecessary workload which helped our client stop working every weekend. So Facebook is a still a good medium in it’s own way.
3. Who updates the pages?
My Social Media VA Angela schedules posts on our company Linked In page and on our Get Ahead VA Twitter account. I am responsible for Facebook, my personal Linked In profile and for engaging on Twitter. My VA Leslie looks after our VA Training Twitter account which we opened a few months ago (@VACTSouth)
4. Any tips?
My top tips would be:
i) Use a scheduling tool such as Hootsuite which saves time and gives you control
ii) Be consistent – people will get to recognise your style so decide what types of messages you want to get across
iii) Develop a spreadsheet of hints and tips – this is time saving and will help when scheduling out messages
iv) Get a balance between giving information and retweeting and engaging on Twitter
v) Use Linked In updates – great way to get your message out there and spend time once a day looking at your newsfeed and commenting on other people’s posts etc
vi) Allocate specific time for social media otherwise it can be such a time suck!
5. What brands do you like?
I am always interested in looking at other virtual assistants pages – seeing what is working for them, sharing ideas etc. I follow a few interesting people on Linked In and enjoy sharing their articles. Facebook is more for my person updates with friends etc.
6. And last but not least, Facebook or Twitter?
I feel that there are two distinct uses for these platforms. Facebook is more low key – we use this for updates, sharing photos etc. I use it more for my person use, catching up with friends abroad, celebrating successes etc. I rarely tweet friends – this is more for business and developing relationships with people I may never meet.
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