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When I reflect on my most enjoyable work moments in the past 15 years, there’s a period of time which stands out. It was when I was working alongside, what would be called, an integrator. My first foray into working with an integrator was when I hired a virtual assistant (a VA) and that role developed into a full-time employee role. When that employee outgrew their role several years later, I made a huge mistake: I didn’t hire an integrator to replace them.
An integrator, as described in the brilliant book Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark C. Winters, is a person who works closely with a visionary-type to execute their ideas and turn them into reality. Integrators are adept at managing operations, ensuring that projects run smoothly, and handling day-to-day tasks. They complement the visionary’s strengths by focusing on details, organisation, and process management.
I’d never thought of myself as a visionary before – it feels like quite a pretentious term to me – but when I read Rocket Fuel, everything in my work history, especially the work struggles, started to make sense.28 Ways A Virtual Assistant Could Help Your Writing Career Click To Tweet
According to Rocket Fuel, a visionary has the ability to imagine and conceptualise new ideas, often seeing possibilities and opportunities that others may overlook. They are forward-thinking, creative, and possess a strong sense of direction. Visionaries are often the driving force behind innovative projects, inspiring and motivating others with their enthusiasm and passion for their ideas.
They’re also often impatient when they’re pulled into detail-oriented aspects of work. Staying motivated and on track of organisational and recurring tasks can drain them and lead to burnout and decreased productivity. Not always the best leaders either as they often get ‘ideas whiplash’ which can see them changing tack and confusing a team.
You know when you read something and feel so seen and so understood. That’s this book for me. In its entirety.
Which got me thinking about how in my writing career, I seriously need to hire an integrator – a virtual assistant – to help me with all of the needle-moving tasks that I’m procrastinating on. How, probably, there are many writers getting bogged down by the daily recurring tasks, leaving not a lot of energy for the creative juice that’s needed for a sustainable career.
Here are 28 ways a virtual assistant could step-in to help:
⚬ Research assistance: gather information for your writing projects, saving you valuable time.
⚬ Proofreading: proofread your work, catching any pesky typos and grammar mistakes.
⚬ Editing: a VA with editing experience can offer suggestions for improving your content.
⚬ Fact-checking: verify the accuracy of your content, keeping your work credible.
⚬ Transcription: if you prefer dictating your work, a VA could transcribe your recordings.
⚬ Social media management: manage your online presence, posting updates and engaging with followers.
⚬ Blog management: upload, schedule, manage and promote your blog content.
⚬ Email management: organise and respond to emails, so you can focus on writing.
⚬ Calendar management: handle your scheduling.
⚬ Newsletter creation: design and write your newsletters.
⚬ Press releases: draft and distribute press releases, promoting your work.
⚬ Managing interviews and podcasts: organise and schedule interviews, podcasts, or other promotional events.
⚬ Creating and updating your website: maintain your online presence, ensuring your website is up-to-date.
⚬ SEO optimisation: optimise your content for search engines, boosting your visibility.
⚬ Pitching guest posts: identify suitable outlets and pitch guest posts, expanding your reach.
⚬ Tracking submissions: manage submissions to publishers and agents, keeping everything organised.
⚬ Managing contracts: review and organise contracts, ensuring you stay on top of the details.
⚬ Organising book tours and events: plan and coordinate book tours or promotional events.
⚬ Booking travel: make travel arrangements for your events, ensuring they’re as stress-free as possible.
⚬ Expense management: track and manage your expenses, keeping your finances in order.
⚬ Invoicing and payments: manage invoicing and payments, ensuring you’re always paid on time.
⚬ Patreon support: set up and manage a Patreon account, allowing your readers to support your work.
⚬ Online community management: manage and moderate your online forums or writer’s groups.
⚬ Analytics and insights: monitor your website and social media analytics, providing valuable insights.
⚬ Literary award submissions: research and submit your work for literary awards and competitions.
⚬ Author bio and book blurbs: write or update your author bio and book blurbs, keeping them fresh.
⚬ Managing speaking engagements: handle the logistics of your speaking engagements, from booking to follow-up.
⚬Testimonial gathering: request and compile testimonials.
If the very idea of hiring a VA has you lit up like a lighthouse at the potential of all that freed-up time, then I really recommend Leonie Dawson’s useful course on how to hire and manage a VA.
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