Guide to training your Virtual Assistant

As with onboarding any new employee to your company, you will have to train your new Virtual Assistant to complete tasks the way you want them done. Training your VA is one of the major keys to success. Your VA is already skilled but it takes time to incorporate them into your workflow; which is impossible to do without proper training. But before training your VA, the following issues must be considered:

Define the VA’s role

Why do you want a VA?  You first need to define their role.  This entails grouping tasks and delegating based on their functional expertise. Identify the core responsibilities the VA will fill, and the skills needed to properly fulfill the role. This exercise should also help you pinpoint your needs which should the driving point for hiring a VA.

Set expectations

Setting expectations between you and your VA is the cornerstone to a successful relationship.  It is a two-way street with both expected to hold up their end of the deal.  Things like when payment will be made, how much will be paid, how progress will be tracked, and response times are just a few issues that have to be discussed and finalized.  

 

Since you have defined the role of your VA and discussed your expectations, you can now focus on training your VA:

  1. Always teach why and how – When training your VA you have to show exactly how you would like the task done.  Your VA is not a mind reader and you cannot expect tasks to be completed to your expectations without showing or giving precise instructions.  You also have to explain very clearly why this task is important to the process or business.  In training, do the task at least three times to reinforce the information.
  2. Identify repetitive tasks Some tasks have to be done on an ongoing basis.  This could be daily, weekly, or monthly; but these are repetitive tasks that always need to be done by your VA. By taking the time to identify these tasks and creating a simple process for your VA to follow, you can simply point your VA to the process map in the future.
  3. Document the process – You can do this in written or video format.  Training videos leave little room for confusion.  You can train on your own time and not worry about synching schedules with your VA.  By creating a training video, you are building a vault of training material for future Vas to learn from and reference.  A combination of written and video is excellent especially if your VA has questions or needs verification on how a task is done later on.
  4. Build up to your major task – Assign basic tasks at first and provide feedback promptly.  You should gradually increase the tasks, providing feedback at each step.  This builds the confidence of your VA while preparing them for the project they’ll be assigned.  It also lowers the risk of errors and creates an open line of communication between you and the VA.
  5. Create an IFTTT sheet – Simply put, IFTTT means if this happens, then this needs to happen.  VAs will encounter situations they don’t know how to handle or may try to handle themselves, leading to disastrous outcomes.  The IFTTT sheet is a written set of protocols for handling specific situations.  It is similar to identifying repetitive tasks- but in this case, you are identifying repetitive situations.

Hiring a VA is more than finding someone to email tasks to. It’s establishing clarity in your business, understanding your needs, and developing a unique way of doing things that you can use to train.  Rid yourself of the work that you shouldn’t be doing by hiring your very own VA from My Virtual Assistant. Remember, your time and attention are needed elsewhere.  You can have more time to work on your business instead of in your business!

Freelancers you need on your team

It’s estimated that by the end of 2020, up to 40% of American workers will be classed as independent contractors or freelancers.  It is now easier to hire people from anywhere over the world for one time projects or ongoing work.  Freelancers can help you with almost any task. They are skilled people who offer their services to any business that needs them.  The real limitation to what you can get done is your imagination.  If you can think it, a freelancer can make it happen. 

From creative projects to IT needs, there’s a wide range of assignments and services you can outsource to help your business run more efficiently. Freelancers have the same skills and levels of experience that full-time employees would. Here is a list of freelancers you need on your team:

Virtual Assistant

If you need help with administrative tasks, a Virtual Assistant (VA) is the way to go.  Customer service, data entry, email management, and calendar organization are just a few of the daily, time-consuming responsibilities that will take you away from more important management duties.  A Virtual Assistant provides you with administrative support remotely, doing anything that an executive assistant does.  The only difference is the VA does not have a desk in your office. 

Copywriter

Hire a freelancer to write your website content, blogs, adverts, and digital media posts.  This individual would have the training and experience to create the perfect content to engage, persuade, and inform your audience. They will have the time and resources to research and produce texts based on your aims.

Business Manager or Project Manager

A virtual or freelance project manager specializes in overseeing projects from conception through to final delivery.  You tell them what your project is, they plan it, put timelines in place, set deliverables, and create the to-do list.  Your freelance business/project manager will keep knowledge and information flowing seamlessly in your business; by playing the lead role in planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing projects.  They will play an integral part in ensuring your projects are completed successfully and according to schedule.

Social Media Manager

Social media management is not just about posting content. It is constant and can be arduous.  Therefore, a social media manager is a freelancer you need on your team.  Freelance social media managers are responsible for curating your social channels.  They monitor, moderate, and respond to audience comments; manage social media partnerships; create and/or post shareable videos and images.  They also strategize and execute digital marketing campaigns and gather and analyze the data results from those campaigns.  That’s a whole slew of tasks that we doubt you’d want on your shoulders. So, get a freelance social media manager to do it for you.

Conclusion

Hiring a team of freelancers could save you much time in the long run, freeing you up to focus on bigger, more important tasks; or even more family time and leisure. But before you start hiring, you have to determine what you require of them first.  Work out what tasks you want to delegate and what you will need them to carry out.  It may be that you don’t need them all day, every day.  You just need them for specific jobs.

Working with freelancers from My Virtual Assistant can help your business achieve more than when you try to do everything yourself.  We offer cost-effective strategies that will allow you to take advantage of skilled people that want to and will help, your business succeed.

Questions to ask when hiring a Virtual Assistant

Entrepreneurs are depending more and more on virtual talents.  Increased workload and rising daily demands mean that, eventually, you’ll need to hire an assistant to help you out.  More likely than not, your hiree will be from a foreign country; someone you may never see in person.  It can be difficult to gauge expertise and personality through video chats and emails.  Therefore, asking the right questions during the interview process can ensure you select the right talent for your project.

  1. What do you consider your core skills and services?

This initial question will determine if the individual has the skills you need.  Do you need someone to organize your schedule, arrange meetings, and book travel?  The candidate’s responses should match your requirements.  There are many different types of virtual assistants, and you must have a clear idea of what you’re looking for.

 

  1. Tell me about your experience as a virtual assistant

An open-ended question like this will help you assess the communication skills of your potential VA.  Let your candidate tell you why they decided to be a VA and what they like most about it.

 

  1. What time zone are you in?

A virtual assistant can be based anywhere in the world, so it’s important to make sure they can work with you in your time zone.  If you are based in the United States and your VA is in India, that’s a time difference of between 10 to 11 hours.  It means your VA will have to stay awake at night, and not everyone is willing to do that.

 

  1. How many hours a day/week can you devote to my project?

You should already know how many hours you want from a virtual assistant each week.  Aligning their availability with your needs will determine if it’s a good match.

 

  1. Do you have a preferred method of communication?

This question is to make sure your work styles align.  The ideal VA candidate will be comfortable communicating with you through the channels you choose.

  1. What tools do you use in your work?

Instead of listing the tools you use in your business and asking “Do you know how to use this?” make it an open-ended question and see if there are matches.  If your VA already uses tools such as Asana, WordPress, Basecamp, or any others, and those are the tools you use, that’s a plus.

There may be other questions you’d like to ask your VA specific to your industry and the tasks at hand.  These questions are general and will prove useful in knowing more about a potential VA.