How Do I Get Started With a Social Media Manager?

You have read our Social Media Manager Task List and about the differences a Social Media manager and strategist have. You are ready to hire a Social Media VA with Office Mercenary!

Curious to know what that looks like? 

Wait no longer! 

Follow along as we describe our process when we onboard you with one of our heroic social media VA’s! 

  1. You pick 4 words to describe your brand voice.
    Do you want a professional tone with your audience? Or does your brand offer a touch of humor? We are not in-depth content creators, but this is great info if we need to do touchups, comment or add pictures on your behalf.
  2. You tell us about your target audience. Are you a woman-centered brand? Is your product geared towards Millennials?
    This is really top-level, but it’s still helpful for light content touchups or if there are other accounts, keywords or groups we should be targeting for comments towards awareness of your brand. We do what we can to help before you have to hire an expensive strategist!
  3. Office Mercenary will help you set up standard practices and expectations.
    Google Drive is preferred, but we can also work with other platforms if needed. We can help set up timelines of when content will be shared, etc. In addition, we use our project management software to collect content and feedback from you!
  4. We collect Login info for accounts.
    Office Mercenary will collect your usernames and passwords, so have that handy for us to expedite onboarding your new VA.
  5. We ask you for the ideas you already have. Themed content ideas such as Motivational Monday, Tip Tuesday, etc. or even monthly themes!
    We will want a list of ideas you already have brewed up or themed content days you have planned out for your social content.
  6. We share a Clickup Dashboard with you to keep track of tasks, as well as content ideas.

After we get everything in our hands you and your new dedicated VA will have a project management dashboard through Click-Up ( A very user-friendly and accessible platform that comes at no additional cost ) so you and your VA can keep track of tasks, content ideas, feedback, and hours spent!

Three Types of Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant can take a lot of weight off a business owner’s shoulders. All those little to-dos pile up and can hold you back from business growth. Most of the time, there are very thin lines between what a VA can do and what a VA may not be the right fit for. There are also Specialty VA’s or OBM’s which may seem identical, but they are roles that bring different responsibilities to a business.

General Virtual Assistant / Virtual Admin 

This is someone who can take the small to-dos and admin work off your hands. They can answer basic questions from your clients, keep you organized, and do many of the “behind the scenes” tasks. If it’s a repeatable process with some variation, personalization, or problem solving, you’re probably fine. If you can’t easily write down or explain the task/project or if the process varies wildly, it’s probably going to fall into a specialty.

Specialty Virtual Assistant

This is an individual who has the advanced skill and/or knowledge of one aspect of Virtual Assistance. On top of all the tasks a VA can do, they may also be able to handle more complex tasks and/or projects in their specialty. For example, a General VA can post on social media for you, lightly clean up content, and respond to basic questions. A Social Media Specialist VA would be able to strategically create a Social Media plan for you, create content around that strategy, and change major practices based on data they get in.

OBM – Online Business Manager

This is someone who is only one step down from being a business partner. They help you juggle all the moving pieces in your business and probably have some power to make the hard decisions and changes you need to grow your business. OBM’s can also help manage other teammates as well. If you are looking for a leader and right-hand person you may be seeking an online business manager and not a virtual assistant. A VA can grow into being an OBM for you, but it’s important to understand what to expect when you’re bringing someone on.

What a Virtual Assistant Is Not

If you’ve hired a General VA, here’s a few examples of where the line is between General VA duties, and specialty or OBM responsibilities:

Sales Person

A general VA is not a salesperson. It takes relationship-building skills and advanced communication skills to meet a brand new person, build trust, and convince them your product or service is the cat’s pajamas. It also takes quite a bit of research and hands-on experience to know your brand inside and out to speak to it the way you intended it to be perceived. 

Marketing Strategist

This goes hand in hand with the salesperson. Your general VA probably does not have years of experience in marketing and understand the complex strategies to take you from 150 followers to 2.5K in 30 days. They do not have the ability to analyze the data and adjust your marketing plan to output better results in big ways. A general VA’s number one goal is to create consistency in marketing by making sure your content is posted regularly and looks generally cohesive. Their experience can lead them to ask if you wanted to try something they’ve seen work for your market, but the background isn’t there to make the decisions and guarantees you’d get with a specialist. If you are looking for more in-depth marketing responsibilities, you will need a Marketing Speciality VA. The good news is Marketing/Social Media is the #1 specialty most VA’s dive into.

Content Creator / Copywriter

Any general admin is expected to have some proficiency in written communication. Taking care of emails, meeting minutes, or any other general admin task requires some writing. Writing blogs, email marketing campaigns, higher-end social media posts, etc. are more complex and need a combination of technical and artistic skill. Just like sales, your VA has to embody your brand voice and ensure the message is interpreted by your target audience the way you expect it to. A VA who has taken the deep dive into content/copywriting has the advanced skill to accomplish this and has a specialized skill.

Leaders and/or Decision Makers

A General VA is the best support character you could ever have on your team. If you are leading the way, they’ve got your back the entire journey. A General VA should never own the responsibility of leading other team members or making big decisions without your knowledge. Addressing team conflicts, making financial decisions, or any other management level task is not a good fit for a general VA. If you need this leadership type of support, an OBM has the skill and practice with this and will be a better fit.

Hopefully this provides some guidance as to what you can expect from a virtual assistant, but if you’re still not sure, we’re happy to talk through your needs and point you in the right direction!

Will My VA Charge a Setup Fee?

“Let’s get started!”

Fantastic! We love your enthusiasm, but we want to make sure the cart doesn’t go before the horse. You have built your business and the processes within it a particular way; you hold the keys to the kingdom. We need at least the castle blueprints before we can breach the gate efficiently. Sometimes those blueprints are very detailed. Other times, they are scribbled on a napkin or trapped in your head.

If you are wondering about a set-up fee and if it pertains to you and your business, here’s a few flags that are a sign you might need the extra time and help.

You are a fairly new business (~6 mos or less)

Congratulations! Welcome to the wonderful world of following your dreams and being your own boss! Most businesses don’t start with a host of patrons and investors, so a new business is probably a naked business. You don’t have the “armour” of tried and true processes or digital tools to protect you against uncertainties. Not to worry though, we can help! We have templates, workflows, and other tools to help you build a starter armour set.

All the processes are in your head

This may or may not need a setup fee, but we’ve found that if it’s not documented somewhere, we’ll probably need to spend extra time to get things ready to go. If your processes are all stuck in your noggin, we need to get them out! If you can do so on your own, well… no setup needed. If you need some help dumping everything out and sorting through it, that’s where a setup would come into play. We know how to guide and ask the right questions to get all the knowledge we need to get the job done.

Technology is NOT your friend

If all those project management, CRM, and digital tools just make your head swirl, it’s a pretty good sign you will need a setup fee. Being virtual, it is vital to have everything we need to complete our tasks in a digital platform. This is not to say you need to use it too! You are the business owner; the only thing you need to know is it’s taken care of. However, we still need to gather your processes and mold them to fit the right digital tools for your business and, you guessed it, set up those tools!

At the end of the day, you can rest assured no matter how organized (or disorganized) your business is, Office Mercenary can take care of the problem. We will do everything in our power to provide the resources you need to avoid a virtual assistant setup fee, but, if it is needed, you can trust us to create a solid foundation for you and your business to succeed.

Learn to Let Go

No, we’re not talking about that song that millions of people (mostly young girls, but we won’t judge) were obsessed with. We’re talking about your business, learning to delegate, and knowing how hard that can be sometimes.

I want you to take a second and ask you to think about why you went out and started a business in the first place. Starting a business is a brave and dangerous thing. You could have kept working for someone else, had a steady paycheck, and left business growth in the hands of others. You chose a different path, one that is more personal and arguably harder. But why?

Flexibility? More time for the things you loved and wanted to be doing? Wanting something your own? Knowing you could get things done as well or better your way? Some strange combination of those and more?

Honestly, that’s why we went into business too. We get it. 

With all the time, effort, blood, Let your business go some so that it can growsweat, and possibly tears, your business feels like your baby. And like your baby, it’s hard to let go. You spent all this time making it this far, handing any aspect of it over to some stranger can feel wrong, scary, and generally bad.

The thing is, while your business may feel like your baby, ultimately for you and your business to grow and thrive, you can’t treat it like your baby. If we’re going to really dedicate ourselves to this analogy, you need to treat your business like your school age child- let them spend some time out in the world, interacting and learning from others so they become more functional. 

You’ve done what you’ve needed to get where you are, but did you really get into business to spend most of your time answering emails? Handling admin tasks? Doing bookkeeping? Fretting over social media and marketing? Unless you specifically started a business for one of these items, probably not, and then, it’s one or two of those items, not everything. This is both the physical and emotional reality of your own business: there is only so much time and you need to focus on revenue generating items and what “sparks joy.”

Of course, we’re going to focus on things that our virtual assistants Do more of what makes you happy.can help with, but it’s something to consider with any number of experts. What are you good at? What do you enjoy? Now, honestly, what are you not great at and hate doing? Everything still needs to get done, but it might not be happening either as often as it should or, sometimes, at all. Handing these things off gives you more time for the things you enjoy doing, things that make you and your business more effective and profitable, and bonus mental health points for not stressing about what you aren’t able to do. 

It would be nice if there were a magic wand to wave that would make us ready mentally and emotionally ready to hand parts of our business off, but there’s not. There are a few steps to help make the transition easier though (See our blog on Where to Start). Some of these may take time it feels like you don’t have, but remember – we’re aiming for long term success! The time and money you spend handing things off ends up returning to you multiplied.

What does all of this come down to? Be honest with yourself and what you want out of your business and your life. There’s plenty of fears, both reasonable and unreasonable, when it comes to letting someone into this huge part of your existence. If you do it right however, it can lead to much more joy and prosperity than you could believe. The second you really believe that, letting it go becomes much easier.