Hi Al Bargen here and admittedly I have made a few mistakes with virtual assistants. But at this stage I’ve learned a few things, and today I share the top seven ways to get the maximum benefit from this relationship. Marketing, or even finishing your book can require many different skill sets. If you aren’t able to perform these tasks yourself, it’s time to consider a virtual assistant.
Here are 7 ways to get the most out of your VA’s.
1. More Is Merrier
The quality of your hire is obviously critical. But don’t expect to find a single VA that will have all the skills for every single task and project you might want to get done. In fact, your business will run more smoothly if you’re backed up by different VA’s that do different segments of any one project. Just make sure to have a project manager who puts it all together. This may be you, or another hire.
2. Frequently Asked
Every time you have to answer a question from a VA you can add it to a frequently asked questions file. That way your VA’s can get the answers on their own without calling you about things that are asked regularly. You can even instruct your VA’s to add to the FAQ when they have a question that you’ve answered that wasn’t listed.
3. Jing It
One thing that has worked best for us at Writers Rise is instructional videos. When you want to teach a VA how to do something, simply record your screen while talking through the instructions. Then put it in your training program so that if you need to hire someone else to do that same task you don’t have start the training from scratch. You can even ask a VA to record the training for you. For this we use the free software Jing.
4. Get “Live”
Team members who feel valued are more likely to enjoy their position and work harder. So it’s always a good idea to meet your team live once in a while. You can do this through software like Skype or Google Hangouts. It doesn’t have to be a long session. A simple 30 minutes or so once a month can really pay off in terms of solidifying your team.
The more ambiguous you are when you give any instructions to your VA’s, the more time it will probably take them to do it as they will have to either guess what you want or ask you questions. A phone call, or a long string of emails asking questions is a waste of time. Just give clear instructions first that give the Why, What, and How of your request. Be as specific as possible and you’ll not only get better results, but you will also have a happier team.
6. Power Up
Another other key to ensuring that you get good results from your VA is to empower them to make suggestions. If you’ve told them why you want something, what you want (the deliverable expected), and how to do it but they know a better way to do it, they should feel free to make suggestions. After all a VA may very well have more expertise in a topic than you do and can save you an enormous amount of wasted effort if you open your mind to listening.
Finally, create standard operating procedures (SOP’s) that work throughout your team and business. Each VA should know who to ask questions of, how to get additional help, when it’s okay to contact you, and how to handle various things that come up on their own.
Whether virtual or not, building a high performance team always takes time. Invest the time up front and your chances for success multiply.
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