To outsource or not to outsource…that’s the question!

Have you heard of Virtual Administrators, also known as Virtual Assistants or VAs? If not, they’re freelancers or agencies that offer a range of services. Most of these involve tasks that a small business owner would do themselves, or which would be done by an in-house administrator or Personal Assistant in a larger company. Think managing phone calls, diaries and travel arrangements, handling post and emails, basic bookkeeping and so on.

That’s is all well and good. However, as you may remember from a blog I posted back in October 2021 (that seems like a VERY long time ago!), there’s an increasing trend for VAs to dabble in social media management. And when I say ‘dabble,’ I mean ‘dabble’ – as in the opposite of ‘specialise’! Which is, of course, why they’re a cheaper option than dedicated Social Media Managers…which in turn explains why they’re getting more popular.

So, what’s my problem with this? Let me elaborate.

VAs are very rarely trained or experienced Social Media Managers. OK, they might have done the odd (free) course on Hubspot or similar, but that’s usually about it. They probably won’t be trained copywriters, content producers or content strategists, but they may well be a dab hand at creating great graphics on Canva or similar.

My main issue, however, is that their idea of managing a client’s social media accounts often revolves around scheduling posts and sending out regular, but random, posts. As opposed to taking a strategic approach focused on creating quality content that truly resonates, and where success can be measured against pre-defined goals for your online presence. Which is, of course, what real social media management is all about!

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve nothing against VAs and I know some of them do a splendid job of “managing” social media for their clients. But for every one person who can do this, there are probably 50 who can’t. My advice to you is: if you’re on a tight budget and looking to outsource your social media management to a VA, choose very carefully.

Here are my top 4 questions to ask your prospective candidates:

  1. What experience do they have in your sector?
  2. How would they measure the success of your campaigns?
  3. What’s their plan of action to make sure you get a great return on investment?
  4. What results have they achieved for their previous clients?

With regard to question 4, I’d be looking for evidence of tangible results that clearly met their client’s expectations and objectives. For example, an increase in website enquiries, leads, conversions and, ultimately, sales. Or, for non-profits such as charities, a noticeable upswing in donations, attendance at fundraising events, campaign awareness and so on.

If you decide to go ahead with a VA, please remember to give them a very clear brief and put your expectations right there on the table. Without this info, even the savviest of Social Media Managers has little chance of success (you can read more about this in the October blog mentioned above).

My final piece of advice to you is, don’t focus solely on cost. It’s value that really matters – and your business deserves a decent investment in suppliers who are trained and qualified to do a proper job. You might only have a small budget right now, but don’t forget the old adage: if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur!

Like to know more?

Get in touch via the contact me page today for my free download: Tips for Successful Outsourcing. They’ll help you make the right decisions when outsourcing services such as social media, so they add genuine value to your business and don’t just add to your costs.

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