Guest Post by Dr. Sally Witt (learn more about Sally at the end of this post).
A lot of people ask me if they can hire a Virtual Assistant to do all this "work" for them on social networking, blogging, micro blogging, etc.
The answer is yes, and no. You certainly have the ability to hire anyone to represent you, and there is a lot of help now available at a very low rate. Tim Ferris has taught us to be a group of delegators in his book, The 4 Hour Work Week. Almost anything that you do can be farmed out for very few dollars an hour overseas.
However, Social Networking is about relationships. I would not recommend that someone represents you so personally unless they really know you, your personality, your business, and your way of communicating! You can hurt your reputation and relationships quite easily, and it is not worth it. I have had virtual assistants tell me that they do not want that responsibility. It is too personal, too delicate. They are right! If they don’t feel comfortable, that is a red flag that this is not right for you and this assistant.
Some people may have a personal assistant who is their right hand, and that would be fine. Everyone needs to know that there are guidelines for when the actual person needs to take over a discussion. Perfect, there is trust and there are boundaries.
I have trained assistants to do this work for their manager, boss, client. Here are a few guidelines to start with:
- Remember that you are representing someone else. Get to know the way they communicate, and the way they sign off to a post, and the way they use their name in a formal and informal note.
- Who does your client know? You don’t want to write a post that sounds like they don’t know someone when they are a client or close associate.
- What are the guidelines for when you should ask the client to take over in a conversation?
- What kind of maintenance activities can you do for them on the sites?
There are a lot of repetitive activities in social networking that can be done by an assistant. But this should be someone who is on the level of reading your email. They have to be in your inner circle of trust to be able to help you, and not hurt you in social networking.
My advice to most of my clients is to find a few hours to get set up with your profiles on a few key sites for your profession. Have a plan of 1-2 hours a week to maintain those sites and relationships.
You can do it! It will help you with your business and your reputation. You will meet wonderful new people as well.
About the Author
Dr. Sally Witt offers one-on-one Social Networking coaching. See her site at http://www.drsallywitt.com/coaching-for-social-networking/
Listen to her radio programs about Social Networking on http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Dr-Sally-Soc-Netw
Read Dr. Sally Witt’s other guest posts on Women On Business:
- Are You Afraid of Social Networking?