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Computer programs are the key elements used by virtual assistant. This is the very reason why a virtual assistant exists. Without these computer programs, a virtual assistant may not be able to complete tasks for his clients. There are many varieties of computer programs necessary for the virtual assistant, but I will only discuss those that I am using for the services I’m offering to clients.
But first, I will discuss what is a computer program. According to Wikipedia, “A computer program is a collection of instructions written by a computer programmer in a programming language that performs a specific task when executed by a computer. A computer cannot function without programs. The program instructions are executed in the central processing unit a.k.a. CPU. While software are collection of computer programs, libraries and data. Computer programs are categorized into application software and system software.”
I am a flexible virtual assistant. I do a lot of virtual assistant tasks. I use a lot of computer programs. I am very eager to listen and learn new skills if clients are willing to teach me. As of now, I’m focusing more on my clients need on their business growth and success. These are related to business and marketing support, which are virtual administration, business development, database management, blogging, email marketing and design. Listed below are the essential computer programs I use for these virtual assistant services:
A virtual administrator is an online personal secretary of a business owner who executes several tasks. These tasks are mostly office related tasks using the following computer programs:
a. Application Suite - An application suite is a type of application software that consists of multiple applications bundled together. Examples include LibreOffice, Microsoft Office, and iWork. This resembles Word Processor, Excel Spreadsheet, PowerPoint Presentation, and other applications. Microsoft Office are the usual application suite used by most people on a computer. Using this tool, a virtual assistant can perform various tasks such as writing documents, bookkeeping or accounting, preparing presentable slides for a discussion or meeting.
b. Specific-Related Tools - Calculator, Internet browsers, NotePad, Paint, etc. These are computer programs that perform specific task. A calculator is used for computing numbers. Internet browsers such as Google or Firefox are used for researching several things on the world wide web. NotePad is a simple version of Word Document use for typing and can be used for coding. Paint are used to edit photos.
c. Downloadable Apps - These are applications that you can download online into your computer that are essential to a virtual assistant job such as EverNote, Skype, Yahoo Messenger, ExpressScribe, HelloFax, storage, schedule & reminder, etc. EverNote is a tool used for taking notes, archiving data, and organizing data. Skype and Yahoo Messenger are used for exchanging instant messages, calls, and videos. ExpressScribe is a downloadable transcription software used for transcribing audio transcripts like symposiums, meeting, discussion, etc. HelloFax is used for delivering data online. Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox are some of the many free online cloud storage of data. Schedule & reminder apps such as Amazon Echo, Tile, Remember The Milk or Trello are among the to-do list reminder tool.
Managing or supervising a team for business growth and success are among the roles in business development. It requires a thorough management skills and discipline in order to effectively meet goals and time frame of the client. It also requires a broad knowledge about the product(s) or service(s) as well as computer programs and tools used by that brand or business. I have already stated on top and below some of these programs and tools.
What is a CRM? - Customers Relationship Management aka CRM is a term that has the goal of compiling and analyzing customer’s data in order to improve business relationships with customers. This data include clients personal information, purchase history, buying preferences and concerns.
CRM Software - This compiles customers documents and information into a database in order for businesses to access and manage it easily. It also records various customer and business interactions. It also automates workflow like calendar alerts and tasks. Common features of CRM software are Geolocation, sales force automation, contact center automation, and marketing automation. For large scale business, they use Oracle, Salesforce.com, SAP and Microsoft. For small scale- to mid-scale businesses they use CRM software Insightly, Zoho, InfusionSoft, HubSpot CRM, etc.
As a database manager VA managing CRM, I am currently catering CRM services for small to mid-scale businesses so I am using either Insightly, Zoho, InfusionSoft and HubSpot.
A personal journal, business brand notes, a pet’s diary and a lot more are among the many niche form of a blog. A blog is a regularly updated web page run by small group or individual, which is written in a conversational or informal style. WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr, Wix are among the best blogging platform to date. Some of these are readily available which are easy to use even without technical coding knowledge. But to make your blog stand out from hundred thousands of blog on the internet tweaking a blog HTML through coding is necessary. HTML is the basic backbone of these blogging platforms in which editing (through use of NotePad ++) codes in order to create a beautiful blog or website design. Other essential elements of blogging are writing using MS Office Word Document. Also a blog post requires some photo editing which has a great impact of a blog post in a blog. PhotoShop is the best software to date for photo editing.
Newsletter management using following online tools such as MailChimp, GetResponse, TinyLetter, MadMimi, Aweber, InfusionSoft, or to a simpler extent use your local email provider such as GMail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, etc. Email marketing according to Wikipedia is an email which contains business request, ads, solicit sales or donation send directly to potential customers containing commercial messages. It is meant to build trust, loyalty and brand awareness.
Design & Media
Adobe Suite (PhotoShop, Illustrator, etc), Notepad ++ (html5 website coding), Canva (online marketing and social media), PowToon (interactive creative video marketing) and a lot more. I love designing using various online tools. It brings out the creative person in me. I love art per se. Adobe is a prime tool use mostly by designers in order to create an effective online marketing content and web pages for businesses or brands. It requires training in order to acquire basic foundations using this tool. But, it will be worthwhile. I suggest master the basic foundations using the Adobe Suite from there starting training, exploring and unleashing the creative person within you.
These are among the readily available computer programs which are very, very useful to a virtual assistant. It takes a lot of patience, time and dedication and of course passion in order to master all of these to be able to effectively profit from it. So start learning now.
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