+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
Virtual assistant at a work desk facing the camera and smiling with a computer monitor in the foreground.

When our chief problem solver, Kelly Goss spoke recently at the Practically Perfect PA Virtual Summit, she talked about the wealth of opportunities that automation can bring to Assistants and Online Business Managers.  After transitioning to a remote working career a few years ago, she found her first few clients by doing freelance OBM work improving her client’s systems and processes.  That’s when she stumbled across Zapier, and quickly learned how to use it (without having a tech background).  It’s not an exaggeration to say that Zapier changed her life.  Being able to connect the apps she used on a daily basis with her clients and automate repetitive tasks meant that she immediately became more efficient, and was able to help them be more productive too, saving them time and reducing their operating costs.  Now a Zapier Certified Expert, Kelly is one of the very few women on the Zapier Experts Directory.

We wanted to dig deeper into the opportunities for Assistants and Online Business Managers because we think automating systems using Zapier can benefit you in so many ways.

Here are five reasons why Virtual Assistants, EAs, PAs and OBMs should learn automation.


1. Automation will save you time

The one thing we all share in common these days is a lack of time, with bursting to-do lists and new emails arriving every five minutes.  Many of your processes may be manual, time-consuming, and prone to error and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re so busy.  By introducing automations into your workflow you will save time by cutting out the need to rekey information from one app into another.

For example, when someone fills in your website contact form you can get that data automatically added to a spreadsheet, making it easier to respond to potential customers in bulk as a single task rather than spread out during the day.  Customer onboarding is a great process to automate too, as it typically comprises forms, emails, and contracts which is time-consuming to manage.

Do you use a CRM like Pipedrive, Dubsado, or Hubspot?  Rather than adding leads manually, you could automate your email platform to add new customers automatically when they subscribe.

Or when your deals or projects reach a certain stage in the CRM then you can automatically add them to an email sequence in apps like Mailchimp, Mailerlite, or ActiveCampaign.

Knowing that the systems are taking care of the nitty-gritty means you’ll have more time for other, more exciting things!


2. Automation makes you more productive

Being organised is key as a VA, and when you’re juggling tasks for different clients you need to have a system.  Batching tasks is one way of being more productive, rather than flitting from one type of activity to another, because each time you start something different you waste time getting up to speed.  If you use a project management tool like Trello, Asana, or Todoist then you can use automation to streamline your process further.

For example, if you receive requests from clients to do some work then rather than transferring them manually into your project management app you can use a zap to create a new task directly from the email.  Then it’s dealt with in less than 10 seconds, and you know you won’t forget anything.

Time recording systems like Toggl have Zapier integrations which makes it easy to send the time you’ve tracked into a spreadsheet or other system to create your timesheet or invoices.

For more ideas about how Zapier can increase your productivity, visit their website for plenty of inspiration.


3. Avoid forgetting appointments

Even if you’re super organised with your Zoom meetings or Google Calendar and have email prompts set up, there’s still a chance that you’ll be on the school run or in a shop when that reminder lands.  You could bump into someone, have a ten-minute chat, not realising you’re missing an important video call.

Or you could dial into a call to find that you’re the only one there as everyone else forgot!

What you can do with Zapier is send an alert by SMS which you’ll see on your phone, and also on your smartwatch too.  You can send Slack or email reminders to your attendees too, which ensures sure they remember the meeting.  There’s no excuse for forgetting anything when your workflows are automated!  SMS by Zapier is one of their inbuilt functions which is free, so you can use it for any type of notification.


4. Schedule social media posts

There are many options for scheduling social media prompts, most of which are paid-for apps.  With Zapier you can schedule posts without needing to buy any additional software.

You can write the post once and then post it to different platforms, or tweak it for each one using different columns in a spreadsheet.

Another idea if you manage social media for a client and have scheduled posts going out is to set reminders for one hour after the post goes live to check in and respond to any comments.  It saves you constantly checking the app on your phone to see if you need to do anything.


Virtual assistant at her desk, checking her smartphone with a computer screen in the background displaying a colourful bar chart.

5. Earn more!

The best thing about learning automation as a Virtual Assistant is that it can be a new income stream for you.

According to a recent McKinsey report, “over the next ten to 15 years, the adoption of automation and AI technologies will transform the workplace…” allowing businesses to become more productive.  The chances are that your clients’ workflows are not as streamlined as they could be.  There could be huge opportunities in making them more efficient and you can use no-code automation tools like Zapier to do it.

Having a new service to offer gives you a chance to promote it to existing clients and also as a way of attracting new ones.  Automation consultancy also has the potential for a higher hourly rate than you may get currently too as it is a premium service offering.

You can also use Zapier to get more testimonials which will help win more clients.  Using automation to request a testimonial at the end of a project, and following up until one is received, is a great workflow to introduce.  It’s simple, yet highly effective.


Want to find out more?

We have a few free resources which will get you started with Zapier.   The first is our ebook “Automate: The Essential Guide To Business Productivity” which explains the basics of business process automation as well as examples of automations you can try out.

If you’re already using Zapier and would like to dig deeper into the built-in helper apps Zapier includes then download our free cheatsheet here.

If you’d love to learn more about business processes and Zapier, then we are launching a course soon!  You can join the course waitlist here to be kept in the loop.



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.

Related Posts

Female dentist examining a patient with a mirror whilst a male dental assistant looks on and smiles.

Client Success Story : How Ascent Dental Group saved many hours of manpower by automating their dental practice

Ascent Dental Group is based in the Midlands, with 36 reception and patient-care staff plus 35 dentists across four practice locations.  They wanted to implement automations to increase productivity, reduce manual administrative tasks and improve communication with...

How to automate your Pipedrive CRM sales processes

One of the biggest challenges for business owners is maintaining a streamlined sales process that is both reliable and easy to use. The modern sales process tends to rely on multiple tools and apps which, while making individual tasks easy to complete, leads to...

How to automate thanking your customers for paying their Xero invoices

Learning how to automate sending an email using Zapier when a Xero invoice is paid is a really simple but useful workflow that saves time and provides great customer service. Xero is a cloud-based accounting system which includes a host of features to reduce...
Wooden blocks with black letters spelling MYTHS on a blue background with heading Business Automation above.

Busting Business Automation Myths : We Reveal The Truth

You’ve heard the hype surrounding business automation, but are these claims true? As a small business owner, you're always looking for ways to save time and streamline your operations. It's no secret that automation can be a powerful tool in achieving this goal. In...
Blackboard with rainbow coloured arrows pointing right, with word PRODUCTIVITY drawn with chalk

How to be more productive in 2021

Have you thought about what it could mean for your business if you were more productive?  It’s sometimes hard to measure productivity gains, but think about how you could use the time you save by being more efficient in your business. Recently, our chief problem...
Blue background with electrical components arranged to look like robots with text overlay ‘Zapier Automation Project Showcase’.

Zapier Project Showcase

  We work with such a diverse range of clients, many of whom had never heard of Zapier before they connected with us.  We understand that you may be unsure what kinds of apps can be connected using Zapier so thought we’d share a showcase of some of our key...
Mockup of a computer screen in an office with the Zapier homepage displayed on the monitor.

How to get started with Zapier

  If you’ve never used Zapier before then getting started can seem daunting.  Although the Zapier website has many examples of automations you can build, the most important thing to do before you even consider automation is to review your processes. If you’re...
Side view of a girl with a superhero cape, with Solvaa logo and text 'Become an automation superhero'.

Become an automation superhero with our free cheatsheet

Although Zapier is brilliant at connecting the apps you use every day, it also comes with over 20 inbuilt functions which will help you become an automation superhero in no time! These functions are a range of helper apps that we’ve listed on our free cheatsheet which...
Illustration of online course concepts including book, pencil, cloud and microphone, with photo of hands holding a smart phone with finger poised on the screen. Light blue background with Solvaa logo in bottom corner.

Why online course providers should learn Zapier

As an online course provider, you wear many hats, juggling the tech, finance, customer service and marketing functions, to name but a few.  Unless you are well established and have a team, then it can be overwhelming being responsible for so many tasks yourself. ...
Small wooden people are lined up to look like members of a membership, next to a sign which says MEMBERSHIP.

How to use Zapier like a boss to run your online membership on autopilot

If you're running an online membership, then you know there are a lot of moving parts.  From managing content to processing payments, it can be a lot to keep track of. But what if there was a way to put some of those repeat tasks on autopilot? That's where Zapier...
Flatlay of a macbook, glasses, coffee and plant on a dark desk with overlaid text saying 'Trello checklist for social media engagement'.

How to automate creation of a Trello checklist for handling Twitter engagements

Keeping on top of your social media accounts can be extremely time-consuming.  It takes so much longer than you think to create content and post it, and you can then waste hours on engagement. If you regularly nip in to check for comments then you can easily fall into...
Wooden desk with a laptop, phone and stationery with blue square featuring the text “How to send a daily digest of all paid Xero invoices using Slack”

How to send a Slack message with a daily digest of paid Xero invoices

Using Zapier to send a Slack message with a daily digest of paid Xero invoices can provide useful data which is sent to your team automatically.  Knowing when invoices have been paid is business-critical information, but it can be time-consuming to check your...
Businessman holding a mobile device with automation concept and text which says ‘Marketing Automation’.

How to use Zapier to automate your marketing processes and win more business

Are you tired of doing the same tasks over and over again every day? Do you wish there was a way to automate some of your marketing processes? Well, there is! With Zapier, you can connect different applications to create automated workflows. This can save you time and...
How-IQ-Glass-saves-45-hours-per-week-with-Zapier-automations : Blue graphic with text “Client Success Story: How IQ Glass saves 45 hours per week with Zapier Automations” over a background of a glass wall with blue/grey frames.

Client Success Story : How IQ Glass saves 45 hours per week with Zapier automations

We love to share our success in helping clients improve their business because it demonstrates how spending a little time on process improvement and automation can deliver massive results. IQ Glass is a great example of this, a business that had put all the right...
Flatlay showing a computer keyboard, notepad and pen with text overlay “Calculate lead to customer conversion times”.

How To Calculate Lead To Customer Conversion Time

When you’re running a business it’s important to stay on top of your figures, and you should measure key performance indicators to review performance and plan for the future.  One of these metrics is the lead time from when a prospect is created to when they become a...
Group of young employees in a meeting room giving each other a high five.

Business owners : 5 Reasons why you must empower your workforce with automation

As a business owner, you're always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition.  You may have heard about the power of automation and how it can help your business grow.  But you may be wondering: is automation really worth it?  Here are five reasons why you...

How to automate adding invoices to Xero from Pipedrive

If you use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) app in your business, it is often a common workflow requirement to create an invoice in your accounting system once a deal or opportunity reaches a certain stage in the CRM. If an integration exists between your two...
Turquoise letters of the alphabet flying around randomly.

How to unlock the power of Zapier’s text formatter

If you haven’t used Zapier’s inbuilt text formatting function then you may be surprised by just how powerful it is.  Many zaps process character data in one form or another, and if the data isn’t ‘clean’ then it won’t look neat when it’s output onto invoices, used in...

The Advantage Of Automation

Our Chief Problem Solver, Kelly Goss recently joined Shelley and Jo on the Virtually Amazing podcast to talk about the advantage of automation and how it can help businesses.  They also discussed how automation skills can be used by VAs to broaden their service...
Mocked up book cover with a background of shades of teal in a geometric pattern, a retro robot image and a title "Automate!" with a subtitle of "The essential guide to business productivity", written by Kelly Goss with a Solvaa logo.

Download our free automation ebook

Do you feel overwhelmed and busy ALL THE TIME?   Do you wish you could afford another pair of hands to do the boring, mundane tasks that suck up your time? I have the answer! I’m Kelly Goss, founder of Solvaa, business process automation specialists. It’s no...
Get our free ebook

Get our free ebook

Learn about how business process automation with Zapier can help you to run your business on autopilot. The ebook is packed with real-life examples, use cases, and success stories. Whatever kind of business you have, you can use automation to help you work smarter, not harder.

Thanks! Your ebook is on the way.

Pin It on Pinterest