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Application Versus Person: What Kind of Virtual Assistance is Best for You?

apps.featuredIn this world that’s more governed by the virtual than the real, competition in job opportunities is no longer amongst job applicants alone. What used to be Virtual Assistants versus In-House Staff scenario now has a third party competitor — software applications which are better known as APPS.

Virtual assistant apps were created to be of assistance. They have gotten the attention of the public, especially the smart-phone users. This gradual popularity was most probably instigated by Apple’s “Siri” that was purportedly a big help on your daily task. These apps may have also been inspired from earlier software made for people with disabilities so they can also make use of technology in their daily activities. Or maybe, they were made for the general purpose of bringing a shiny new innovation into the virtual arena.

Take these five general tasks to compare the two.

Task 1: Social Media Management

This is one of the things that are best performed by a virtual assistant app. It can source stories from the web which can then be posted on your social networking accounts. It schedules your posts with specific timeslots for publishing. These make your posts timely and relevant to your niche. These apps are more efficient in this task compared to their human counterpart since they are integrated with the internet. This makes social media management effortless on your part.  Professionals working as virtual assistants even make use of these apps or programs for this purpose, too.

What these apps or programs cannot do, however, is to make the actual content for you unlike what you can ask of your human assistant. You wouldn’t want to post plain links without some insights or a teasers, would you?

Task 2: Schedule Management

This is a task that both an app and an assistant can perform. But, only a human assistant can do the work completely. A virtual assistant can plot your meetings, reschedule them, and most importantly, coordinate with the people involved.  An app can efficiently remind you of schedules too but not unless you have done your share of coordinating and encoding your schedules.

So, if you are a very busy person and do not have the time to coordinate with everyone as well as keep track of all your appointments, consider a virtual assistant to act like your secretary. You will be surprised to know that some accept part-time work.

Task 3: Reminders & To-Do’s

This task usually goes hand-in-hand with schedule management. Simply put, it is to remind you of things you need to get done or look into, as well as remind you of schedules or appointments. Both a human assistant and an app can handle this. Though this could be made more efficient with an app or program since it will alert you in a more timely manner especially if you have it on your mobile phone. A human assistant may have to check your schedule first for confirmation while the app or program knows this by memory.

If you don’t have much in your hands, an app like “Any.Do” or even “Google Tasks” can do the trick. But if you already have a virtual assistant for schedule management, this can be added to the VA’s tasks. A VA to remind you of your reminders, cool isn’t it?

Task 4: Web Searches

This is a simple task that you can do yourself with the help of an app. Sample sub-tasks under this category is to find a restaurant, shop for a gift, find news on a certain topic, or any piece of information you need. This is something that a virtual assistant app is good at. It can scavenge through the internet and give you the information you need within seconds.

Though there are more sophisticated searches that you might need done like compiling all the resources for the book that you are writing, or gathering the top 10 best stores that sell the camera that you want, or searching for a flight. These are better entrusted to a virtual assistant especially if you have more important things to attend to and is running out of time.

Task 5: Lead Generation

This is probably the most important task that you would want some help with. This is best handled by an app and a virtual assistant. A CRM type of app are best used not only for finding new clients but in managing all the rest of the stages that come after winning their business. While a good virtual assistant for this task is one who has effective business communication and experience in using a CRM. That one is tough to find. The good thing is virtual assistants are pretty much internet and computer savvy so learning a CRM is an ordinary thing for them.

Looking through all these tasks, there is no doubt how virtual assistant apps or programs can be very helpful in certain tasks. The apps strength is their convenience and speed. But, as convenient as these apps and programs are, their capabilities are limited to what they have been programmed to do.

On the other hand, your virtual assistants are hired for the specific skills that they could do and could learn to do in time. Their importance to your business rely on their capabilities and reliability. And the uncanny ability of some to predict what you need before you even ask, while the apps have to be given a specific command or topic to be able to do this. You could, however, encourage your virtual assistants to make use of these apps and softwares to improve their efficiency and outputs.

Is there really a competition then? Maybe none. It is about making the decision that will help improve your life or business by being more efficient and effective.

 


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Angela is a virtual assistant specializing in content writing, social media marketing, and administrative assistance. Follow her on Google+.
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