This question pops up fairly often when my smaller clients – successful business owners with growing businesses – are interested in hiring me to create templates or sales materials for their VAs to use in creating additional assets for their businesses.
The question has always given me pause. And it feels a little like asking if a dentist can help deliver a baby. Answer: Yes, anyone can help deliver a baby in a simple delivery. If you need a c-section, you’re going to need an expert and the right tools for the job.
In short: A virtual assistant (VA) and a graphic designer are two different roles with different skills and responsibilities.
A virtual assistant is a professional who provides administrative and personal assistance to clients remotely. This can include tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing email and social media accounts, conducting research, and organizing files. The focus of a VA is on administrative and organizational tasks, while they may have some design skills they are not their main focus.
I have found VAs who have a good aesthetic eye and understanding of non professional design tools like CANVA that can definitely use a template as a starting point and whip up a month’s worth of instagram posts in an afternoon without major drama. If that’s you, that’s great.
A virtual assistant retainer plan usually includes a certain number of tasks that need to be completed periodically to support a business owner in operating said business.
On the other hand, a graphic designer is a professional who creates visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, or captivate consumers. A graphic designer is responsible for designing various types of graphics such as logos, websites, advertisements, brochures, packaging, and more. The focus of a graphic designer is on visual communication and design, while they may have administrative skills, they are not their main focus.
A graphic designer has received training in software and visual concepts and has experience distilling complicated concepts into visuals. Designers command an hourly rate reflective of this professional expertise, and will use professional software like Figma, Adobe Creative Cloud or Sketch to produce the deliverables they have been contracted to create.
A graphic designer retainer plan will usually be time or project-based instead of task-based; and it won’t include a lot of administrative tasks outside of project management. For example, you can rely on a graphic designer to perfect a pitch deck to investors, or create a branded set of templates that your VA can then use to create all your social media posts for the month.
As a business owner, it is your job to identify if your project is a better fit for your Virtual Assistant or your Graphic Designer and budget according to the level of expertise and service your project requires.
If you’re looking to hire a graphic designer to support your growing business, let’s talk! I’m currently booking retainer clients starting at 10 hours/month.