The 2020 Pandemic has changed how the world works. Not only Professionals but many Companies have embraced the WFH a.k.a ‘work from home’ culture. But even before the world woke up to the WFH culture, there was a breed of professionals called VAs, short for Virtual Assistants, that enjoyed the WFH lifestyle, providing valuable services to business owners worldwide.

VAs are very popular in the western world, but here in India, there are not many VAs, although we have a few VA agencies. These VA agencies employ professionals to work as VAs, so technically they are employees. But there are very few brave souls who take up the VA route on their own, and I’m proud to present Deepa Rai, of Selfie VA, who is a Social Media Manager, to share some pearls of wisdom with us. 

Hello Deepa Rai, welcome to my Blog. Please enlighten us with your story. 

Hello Poonam, thank you for inviting me to your blog and connecting with your audience.

I’ve been working as a certified social media manager and virtual assistant for the past five years, currently residing in Mangalore which is the port city of Karnataka.

Connecting with people and the brands they represent sparks my enthusiasm.

I work with business owners and coaches to devise and implement social media marketing strategies that help them reach their target audience organically, build brand awareness, and grow their client base.

Working for companies such as Infosys and Goldman Sachs has equipped me with transferable skills such as time management, process development, attention to detail, project management, analytical reasoning, critical thinking, relationship building, and teamwork, to mention a few.

What services do you offer?

  • Social Media Management
  • Administrative work
  • Graphic Design
  • Basic Bookkeeping

What inspired you to launch SelfieVA? 

Work-life balance was always my priority, so when I resumed my career after a break in the corporate world, I decided to start my own setup. Juggling work and my 9-year-old daughter would have been difficult for me, but freelancing allows me to be more agile and flexible in my working arrangements.

Did you undergo training before or after you launched Selfie VA? Which course did you take up to upskill?

Yes I did undergo training and got certified in the below programs before and after the launch of Selfie VA 

  • Social Media Marketing Specialist Program
  • Social Media Advertising VA Program
  • Product Launch Virtual Assistant Program

What does a Social Media Manager’s day look like?

  • Waking up at 6:30 a.m to begin my day with a warm cup of water and practice gratefulness, helps me set a positive tone to start up.
  • Followed by preparation of meals – breakfast and lunch, for my family.
  • I hit the gym at around 9am, building up my healthy wealth.
  • 11am is when I fire up my work wheels.
  • Checking emails and messages from clients, a major chunk of work is taken care of.
  • Followed by Lunch and Break time to power up.
  • Accelerating to finish up the remaining work between 3pm to 5pm.
  • Quality time with my Family after 5pm.
  • Catching up on pending work between 7pm to 8pm, the final work hour.
  • 8pm and beyond is reserved for ‘Me time’ followed by dinner.
  • Winding down with a book at around 9:30 p.m, and hitting the sack by 10 p.m.

What do you love most about your work?

Taking on the amazing role of a gateway between a client/business and their target audience. Every conversation is an opportunity to stand out, provide excellent customer service and showcase reliability.

What are the tools of your trade?

  • Trello
  • SocialPilot
  • Toggl
  • Wave
  • Paypal

How do you balance work and social life?

Simple to-do lists help me achieve focus.

When at work, I focus on the task at hand, leaving social media and texts aside.

I only deal with one or two clients at a time, which allows me to give my 100%.

I take my me-time seriously and plan uninterrupted weekends.

What are some of your greatest accomplishments?

I have been in this business for the past 5 years and got to work with some amazing clients who like my vibe, working style and professionalism.

I get most of my clients through word-of-mouth and always have a continuous flow of work and I think that is my greatest accomplishment.

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

Time management and decreasing organic reach are the challenges I faced.

Mind mapping has helped me with time management.

Due to constantly changing algorithms in social media platforms the organic reach has decreased. So I use quality over quantity and maintain a regular posting schedule and share the most engaging content to maximize organic reach.

What books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy reading books on mindfulness,healing and health.

Name top 3 people who inspire you and why?

Mel Robbins: She discusses how to enhance one’s life.

Brendon Burchard: Offers high-performance advice.

Sadhguru: Emphasizes the need of simplifying one’s life.

What’s next for you?

I want to continue assisting clients and their business by building good relationships and generating more profit.

Support and uplift women who want to start a freelance career as a way of giving back.

What is your USP?

Providing excellent customer service.

What keeps you motivated?

Passion and participation keeps me motivated.

And having an attitude to constantly learn, helps me refine and grow my skills.

What advice can you give to someone who wants to achieve what you have achieved?

Successful selling depends on building relationships.

So develop strategy, create engagement, publish relevant content, build and connect and promote your business. And most importantly focus on your physical and mental health.

Thank you Deepa Rai, for enlightening us with valuable insights and lending us a peek at the life of a social media manager and virtual assistant. It was wonderful to have you on my blog and I’m confident that you are an inspiration to aspiring VAs, and will keep on growing exponentially.