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Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

So many people are choosing to be Virtual Assistants these days, as it is a flexible freelance role that is packed with variety.  There are many different types of VA, for example, Social Media VAs, Marketing VAs, Technical VAs, and eCommerce and Finance VAs.  Businesses appreciate that a Virtual Assistant can fill a gap in their organisation when they need a specific skill but only on a part-time basis, someone who can work with them flexibly when needed.

Successful VAs need certain skills to stay on top of things as it can be tricky when you’re juggling many different clients and tasks.  You need to be organised and are often time-poor, with an overflowing to-do list.  Business automation is a game-changer though, and can save so much time.  In fact, learning how to use Zapier as a Virtual Assistant can be life-changing. 

In this article, we asked some busy VAs how they use Zapier and hopefully, these will inspire you to use Zapier and work smarter, not harder!

 

Using Zapier as a technical VA

Victoria Glass runs Coded Vector, a technical VA business that supports clients with websites, systems integrations, and email marketing.  She uses Zapier in many different ways, for example when she stars an email in her Gmail inbox then a task is created in her task manager, ClickUp.

Automating her emails has made a huge difference to Victoria’s productivity.  She says “I’m a big fan of automating manual processes, especially those seemingly little ones that take up brain space. As a VA, I receive many emails from clients and I have many email inboxes for said clients. Using my inbox as a task management app became unmanageable so I now use Zapier to send important emails to my project management tool, Clickup. With just a simple tap of the Star icon, a task is created for me to review later!”

 

Using Zapier to run a VA agency

Cydelle Comfort Stewart runs a VA agency, Onit! Communications in addition to her one-to-one consultancy clients and admits her business would be in disarray without Zapier! She has many different types of zaps set up, some simple and some more complex ones which include conditional logic.

She links her CRM, Dubsado, to various other apps.  When a client signs a contract in Dubsado she creates a shared Google Drive folder for them.   When certain events are triggered in Dubsado then she adds tasks to Asana.

Cydelle sends a report to ad-hoc clients every Friday automatically detailing how many hours she has spent on their work.

One particularly cool zap changes the colour of an appointment in Google Calendar depending on what type of meeting it is.

More complex zaps add new Discovery Call leads to Dubsado, and if they opted in, to her email marketing tool.  Intake form questions from Discovery Call bookings are automatically added to Evernote and alerts are created in Slack.

 

Wooden blocks spelling 'LEARN' on a wooden surface with plain blocks in the foreground and background.

 

Using Zapier as an all-round VA

Ali Richards runs Summerley Digital, building websites, writing blogs, and creating social media and other marketing content for clients.  She upgraded from the free version of Zapier to the Starter plan and couldn’t do without it now.

One of her favourite zaps is so simple, which sends her an SMS text message ten minutes before a Google Calendar event.  This has helped her avoid the embarrassment of missing important meetings if she’s away from her desk!  As part of her expense process, she has a zap for emails that have PDF invoices attached, to save the invoice in a Dropbox folder and create a row in her expenses spreadsheet (a Google Sheet). 

Ali receives an SMS alert when scheduled content is posted on a client’s Facebook page so that she can log in and engage with any comments and feedback.  Her husband’s invoicing process has been transformed, taking the previous manual process into a streamlined one which has removed the human error aspect.  He now inputs the jobs he’s completed in a Ninja Form on her website, and this data is automatically sent to a Google Sheet, with an Asana task and an alert sent to Ali via SMS.  This has been an absolute game-changer for Ali!

Em O’Reilly is a Content Marketing VA and runs Em Content Creative.  She is a new Zapier user and has used it to connect MemberVault with Flodesk when someone purchases her course.

Amy Stevenson runs Vamos Admin and supports clients with social media content and uses Zapier to create a new Trello board from a template when a contract is signed in Dubsado.  This completely streamlines the client onboarding process for her and makes life so much easier.

 

Learn more about using Zapier as a VA

If you’re a VA and have been inspired by our real-life examples then we suggest signing up for Zapier’s free version to get started.

We have a few resources which you can use to find out more:

If you’d like to be guided through every stage of getting started with Zapier then our founder, Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon and through the publisher Packt.  It explains a range of automations and you can download templates to get started really quickly. Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.

The book is perfect for seasoned pros as well as brand new Zapier users.

Check out our automation training programme

And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.

It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too! 

Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.

Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘. 

Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.

Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

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