According to a 2007 Bloomberg Businessweek article, 14 percent of the U.S. workforce works virtually at least two days per week, and this amount is expected to increase. While not all virtual assistants are employees, many busy executives and business owners are turning to the Internet to seek virtual assistants to do research they don’t have the time or patience to do themselves. The Internet contains a vast amount of data and resources to supplement or assist any industry or profession. If you have outstanding research skills and are able to present the data accordingly, there are many virtual assistant positions in Internet research you will find.
Retailers with a web presence employ virtual assistants to conduct research of their competitors’ Internet presence and product offerings. Virtual assistants track prices, sales and promotions in a spreadsheet or through an instant message service with an employee of the company. Other duties include finding images and product descriptions online of similar items that the retailer sells.
Owners of both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses employ virtual assistants to research potential clients, emerging markets or markets that lack a presence in their particular industry. There may be a specific need for language skills depending on the geographical location and the industry. These virtual positions can be international or domestic. They may be for U.S. businesses looking to expand to new countries, for instance. The positions may include researching out to potential customers and receiving quotes.
Owners of blogs and websites seek writers to continually update their websites, social networking sites and blogs with relevant articles, tips and tricks, to seek out similar companies with a presence and form relationships through trackbacks (linking another website through yours) and handling comments. This may include staying on top of research related to the company and updating customers and competitors as needed and keeping track of competitors sales, leads and promotions.
Private investors, investment firms or brokers employ virtual assistants to follow financial data and news, to track stock prices and blogs or articles on stock tips. They use this research to supplement or assist their own data and knowledge. While some may looks for someone with a specific financial or investment background, others may be open to writers or others with a research background including students. They will ask for you to condense the information in an easy to read, quick reference guide for them to digest or present to customers and colleagues.
- Power Recruiter: Virtual Assistant
- oDesk: Virtual Assistants from Philippines,India and Mongolia
- Elance: Virtual Assistant (VA) wanted!
- Businessweek: Working from Home: It’s in the Details