Entrepreneur Ahmed Khalifa was realizing that he was spending too much time on daily tasks, and not enough time focused on his clients. He found a solution in hiring a virtual assistant. Now Ahmed has more time to work "on" his business instead of "in" his business. Read his story below!
What were you struggling with in your business that led you to begin working with a virtual assistant?
I try to keep on top of my the content I produce for my websites and on 3rd party sites. I mainly focus on blog posts and podcasts, but being consistent has proven to be tricky (and it still is).
It’s not about creating the content. It’s not about having someone to write the blog post or to record a podcast. These are currently done by myself. The problem is what comes after that, which is to make sure it is all set up correctly prior to uploading it on the site.
But there is more to just content creation than to simply “uploading it on the site”. There are a number of tasks which are involved before publishing the content.
Tell us a little bit about what you have delegated and how you work together?
I have worked out that there are a number of tasks which I can outsource to my VA when it comes to my content.
Create images: for each piece of content, I require images to be created to place at the top of my content, which tend to consist of a background image with an overlay of the title of the post. I tend to use Canva for that, but now I ask my VA to create them for me.
Find images: not just for the main image mentioned above, but for the rest of the post, I would need relevant images to place within the post. I ask my VA to find several creative-common images that I am allowed to use within the post, download them, make sure they are of correct side and create captions for each of them.
Proofread and edit: after reading it so many times, it’s still easy to miss the spelling or grammar errors. This is where my VA checks over it for me whilst also provide suggestions to improve the content. For my podcasts, I even have my VA to check the transcripts I have ordered for any mistakes and also fill in any gaps that are missing.
Create draft posts: prior to publishing, it is important to make sure that the post is laid out correctly, with the right headings, formats, spacings, images, etc. There are even other tasks such as making sure the basic SEO tasks are implemented before I enhance them further.
How has working with a virtual assistant supported your business, and you personally?
It took time in the beginning because you have to work together to understand what needs to be done and how. For example, I demonstrate how I use Canva to create the images I require and my VA needs to practice it a few times before getting it right. But you learn to be patient, you learn to improve your communication skills and you grow as a business owner.
In the end, working with a VA has allowed me to use my extra time to focus on what I do best, which is to help my clients with their WordPress websites, increasing their online visibility and engagement with their audience.
Even though the other aspects of my business, such as writing blog posts, are crucial to me, I ultimately do not want to neglect my clients because of other tasks.
What differences have you noticed in your business since you began working with a virtual assistant?
I have started my business so that I can help small businesses to grow their online visibility. That’s what I do best. Now, I have more time on my hand and it allowed me to focus on my clients even more and make sure I give them the best possible service.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs seeking virtual assistants?
If you look at your business, are you working “in it” or “on it”? Basically, you should look at what tasks are keeping you from working on growing your business instead of just keeping things going.
For all the admin tasks, those small jobs here and there, and the regular errands that you have to do, they may sound small at first, but they can add up to many hours.
And potentially many wasted hours.
Make a list of all the regular tasks you have and see for yourself how many hours you spend on them. Then think about which of them can be outsourced.
And then you can enjoy thinking about what you can do with those extra hours once you have worked out what to pass on to your virtual assistants.
I have focus on working with my clients and growing my business. But with those extra hours saved up, you can even use them for outside of your business. You can spend extra time with your family, focus on your hobby or to finish those DIY jobs that you have been meaning to do for a long time.
It’s really up to you, and you can thank your virtual assistant for that.
Want to learn more about Ahmed and his businesses? Visit his website here.
Looking to hire your own virtual assistant? Start here!
Ahmed Khalifa is the founder & director of IgniteRock, where he helps entrepreneurs & small businesses with their WordPress sites to increase their online visibility, enhance their audience engagement level and to encourage online conversions. Follow IgniteRock on Twitter, and Facebook!