When it comes to building out your podcasting dream team, and starting to hire people to help you out with your show, you might have an easily identifiable pain point that you want to get out of your way, ASAP. Album art taking you forever? Hire a graphic designer! Social media scheduling sucking the very lift out of you? Hire a social media manager! Do you dread editing the audio for your show? Lucky for you, editors exist, and you can hire them! But what if there’s no specific project you need help with, just a mountain of random to-dos?
Maybe you don’t need a graphic designer or a social media manager or an editor–maybe you just need a few extra hours in the day to absorb all of your smaller tasks. Enter: a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants are there for you when your podcasting to-do list never seems to get any shorter, and a million tiny projects are stealing your focus from doing any deep work.
An assistant–virtual or not–might seem like overkill for your project, but plenty of podcasters use them. Stick with us as we go over why.
What is a virtual assistant?
Let’s clear away one super-common misconception: when we talk about a virtual assistant, we’re not talking about Alexa or Siri or any AI-powered anything. Virtual assistants are real people, sitting at real desks, but they work remotely and you mostly communicate with them over Slack or email. (Okay, they might be on a real couch instead.)
So we know what a VA isn’t–what actually are they? Virtual assistants, or VAs, are remote, freelance professionals who are contracted to work on a hourly or project-based basis. The differences between VAs and other remote workers is that VAs focus on supporting key figures through administrative work.
While VAs originally gained popularity as a solution for tech CEOs and entrepreneurs,, there’s nothing stopping you from hiring one to help out with your shows! And as the VA field has grown, certain assistants have built out specialties in specific fields. There are VAs that specialize in being author assistants, who can help organize a book tour or format an epub file, or assistants who mainly work with coaches and speakers, who can help you polish up your next presentation. If “podcaster” isn’t your full-time gig, or podcasting is a tool that furthers your other business objectives, it’s worth looking into a VA who specializes in your area. But if you’re looking for an assistant especially to help out with podcasting? Don’t worry! There are plenty of podcast-specific VAs out there, too.
Where can you find a virtual assistant?
Does a VA sound like a good next step for your podcast? Great! Now all you’ve got to do is find the right one for your business. As always, we love a personal referral–so go forth and ask the other podcast creators you’re friendly with if any of them are using VAs. Even if their assistant doesn’t have any hours to spare, they may know someone who does, or the VAs may come through a specific agency that can help you hire someone similar.
We’ve also found that there are lots of podcast-specific VAs hanging out in podcasting-related Facebook groups, so if you’re groups like the She Podcasts group or Podcast Movement, it’s worth asking in there, as well! Not finding anything there? Try sites like Upwork and Remote.co.
How much does a virtual assistant cost?
Unsurprisingly, when you start looking around for a virtual assistant–a remote, freelance position–there are a lot of “Dollar a day!” and “Dollar an hour!” offers. They’re tempting, but good work isn’t cheap, and, generally speaking, cheap work isn't good. Plus, if you're getting good work out of someone for $1 per day, eventually your conscience is going to state itching. If you’re looking for an hourly rate, you’ll generally find them between $15 and $60 per hour–though that’s for a generalist, and if you’re looking for someone with specialized skills like audio editing, the rate will probably increase.
What does an average day with a VA look like?
Ultimately, you decide what your workflow with your virtual assistant looks like–the “virtual” part encompasses how flexible they can be. If you’re working on a project basis, you might engage a VA to help you with finally updating all of your 100+ show notes, and uploading all your transcripts. Or, they could be helping you research, book, and coordinate guests for your next season. (Wouldn’t it be great to have someone handle scheduling all of your pre-interview calls, wrangling headshots and bios, and making sure your guests know how to use SquadCast?)
If your VA has an ongoing, hourly contract, they might have a more varied day-to-day–they can spend their morning scheduling out your social promotion and booking studio time, their afternoon researching potential advertisers, and their evening helping you edit your media kit.
Is your show growing along with your team? Check out our features and pricing page to see if Simplecast is the right solution for your and your show. With industry-leading analytics and tiered access for teams, we’re powering some of the most well-known names in podcasting.