My Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants:
Using Affordable Virtual Assistants to Save Hours Every Day, Make More Money, & Make a Bigger Impact in Your Business
Entrepreneurs usually start out muscling through EVERYTHING.
But in order to gain real leverage and make a bigger impact, it’ll take more than just a one-man or one-woman army.
I started my business as a productivity coach. I had my day job as an energy engineer that I was balancing with my own venture. I would work on client modules first thing in the morning, followed by my full day of work, then I’d come home and get on calls with potentials and clients.
This works just fine in small bursts, but as I started gaining clients, I wasn’t able to keep up with all the administrative work needed to keep the business going. I was handling billing, coordinating meetings, filing my own taxes… not to mention that I had work to do around the house and errands to run. While it’s important to keep these things moving to keep the business alive, it kept me from building even BETTER modules and packages for my customers.
Once I got into The Four Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferriss, I started experimenting with virtual assistants. “If nothing else, it’ll be really cool experiment to have my own assistant!”
Oh man, I wasn’t ready for all the pains involved…:
- I’ve dealt with agonizing calls as I worked with the language barrier between myself and an assistant from Chennai.
- I’ve had assistants go dark on me and disappear in the middle of a project.
- One assistant hired a yardwork contractor for me and paid WAY more than the job was worth! My God, I’m so generous when I’m not looking….
- After weeks of back-and-forth emails, he handed me an unintelligible go-to-market plan that was due the next morning. I spent the entire night hopped up on Red Bulls and jumping jacks to get that done.
It was a painful experience. But rather than go to a dark side of town and have a local shaman cast a hex on each of these assistants… I’ll share with you everything I’ve learned about properly managing a remote team.
Hey, cheaper than therapy, right?
Let’s dive in.
Table of Contents
- How can a Virtual Assistant improve my business?
- How much will a Virtual Assistant cost me?
- How do I know WHEN it’s time to get a Virtual Assistant?
- How do I hire a GREAT Virtual Assistant?
- How can I work most effectively with a Virtual Staff?
- What are the BEST tools & apps to manage Virtual Assistants as easily as possible?
- Commonly Asked Questions
- How do I make sure my personal information stays secure?
- My Virtual Assistant’s a f@#$%ing moron! He didn’t complete the task the way I wanted him to!!!
- It takes 5 minutes to do this task, but 15 minutes to write out this CLEAR email! Is this task even worth outsourcing?
- “I know I *should* outsource this task, but I LIKE doing this work!”
- How can I delegate when I’m worried they can’t do as good of a job as I can?
- Now that I have all this extra time, what should I do?
- What do I do if my Virtual Assistant quits or leaves in the middle of a project?
- Your Mission, aka Save 2 Hours a Day
How can a Virtual Assistant improve my business?
Many people starting out think that hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) is something that should be saved for after you’ve “made it”.
But there are a few great reasons why hiring a Virtual Assistant is key to helping you “make it” faster.
1. You can hand off the admin work, so you can create more offerings for your clients (and earn more money)
Sending timely invoices to customers… setting up social media… handling emails… booking appointments with clients… following up with clients… ordering stationery & business cards… keeping your website backed up and maintained… managing your calendar… hotel & flight booking… transcribing video & audio… taking down meeting minutes with vendors… publishing posts on your blog… researching conferences & events in your area…
And we haven’t even covered the awesome work you do that keeps customers coming back to you!
While many of these things do need to get done on a day-to-day basis, they ultimately keep you from the tasks that ultimately make you money — prospecting for clients, writing guest posts to drive traffic to your website, or creating new informational products.
By hiring a Virtual Assistant to take on the administrative work, you can drive your profits to newer heights that you wouldn’t have had time to access before.
2. Big goals require large amounts of focus & time invested. Whose focus & time gets invested is up to YOU.
Ramit Sethi, author & founder of I Will Teach You To Be Rich, said during his Forefront 2016 keynote:
To accomplish anything truly great, you will eventually need a team.
He goes on to share that the three best skills all entrepreneurs need to know are:
- How to sell,
- How to write influential & compelling articles & emails,
- How to build and manage a team
If your goal is to reach millions of people, you need more time & energy than one person can garder. You need a team who can also dedicate THEIR efforts to reaching out to your community.
Put bluntly, you have one of two choices:
- Learn how to build, manage, & nurture a team that’s unified towards helping your community become superstars…
- Or be satisfied with a small influence for the rest of your career.
By taking the time to learn to hire and manage a Virtual Assistant now, you give yourself a low-risk environment to build your management skills — not only to get work off your plate NOW, but also to set your business up for success in the future.
3. Be the hero of your own story, instead of a supporting actor.
Employees are supporting actors. The business already has a direction and you’ve agreed to aid them in achieving that goal.
But while we love the opportunity to learn the business skills we need for our career, we’re ready to be the lead in our movie.. . to be the boss you wish you had, or that boss you’ve always wanted to be like.
Just because we’re hiring and growing our businesses doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with it. I’ve had VAs do things for me that just made life more fun! Fun stuff like:
- Have your assistant coordinate schedules between you and 5 of your friends via email, then make reservations at your favorite restaurant to hang out.
- Have them prank call your former boss who treated you like dirt (not that I’ve ever done this *cough cough*).
- Have them make a meme for your friend that one time they popped a quarter in this bad boy…
Driving an influential business doesn’t being serious all the time. In fact, you owe it to yourself to have fun while you knock out your goals.
How much will a Virtual Assistant cost me?
Typical rates for US-based Virtual Assistants are:
US-Based Team of Assistants: $30-80 / month
Dedicated Assistant (without contract): $350-900 / month
Most people I’ve worked with are often shocked. We all assume that getting an assistant is for millionaires who have already made it in life.
- Millionaires didn’t become rich, and THEN start investing… they invest, which helps them achieve their rich life!
- Executives didn’t get promoted, and THEN decide to be more strategic with their time… they were strategic, which helped them gain the advantages and promotions they enjoy today!
- Coaches don’t get tons of clients, and THEN decide to hone their sales strategy and customer journey… they take their time, really work to understand their clients, and then create offerings so good they can’t help but obtain clients!
You get the picture. Assistants aren’t for those who made it. Business owners make it because they’ve started working with teams.
FRANK’S SUGGESTION: Start inexpensively with Fancy Hands, gain some management skills, then later as you scale you can start thinking about getting a personal assistant.
How do I know WHEN it’s time to get a Virtual Assistant?
“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.”
In a nutshell, it’s rarely too early. Especially since it’s so inexpensive.
Either way, there’s a very simple test to verify when you’re ready for an Virtual Assistant:
- Print out your todo list or make another digital copy. You’re going to mark it up.
- Next, highlight the number of tasks that:
- Gain awareness toward your brand,
- Qualify people who would be interested in hiring you or buying from you (i.e. add people to a mailing list, get people to attend one of your seminars, etc.), or
- Close sales.
- Now look at the unhighlighted tasks. Do they add up to more than a week’s worth of work? If so, it’s definitely time to get a Virtual Assistant.
How do I hire a GREAT Virtual Assistant?
“Often the best solution to a management problem is the right person.”
The key is to think of assistants as you would different departments of your business.
A corporation would never hire just ONE person to cover marketing, R&D, operations, and accounting. Not only is a person with all of those expertises extremely rare, that person would be very expensive and/or they would be spread so thin they would be ineffective.
Before jumping into hiring, there are four major categories of Virtual Assistants.
1. General Virtual AssistantsGeneral Virtual Assistants are “all-purpose” assistants, who can do most administrative work that doesn’t require specialized knowledge to perform.
The amount of work that falls under this category is really large:
- Typical data entry.
- Manage your calendar.
- Updating your Hootsuite account.
- Publishing articles on your WordPress for you.
- Proofread articles & emails for simple grammar and spelling.
- Researching & listing competitor websites and products with pricing.
- Researching & compiling a list of local events your business can visit or sponsor.
- Ordering groceries for you so you can spend that time relaxing from that tough week.
- Make calls for you and transfer you in when they make it to a person (no more waiting on hold!)
- My favorite: Have your assistants find specialized assistants! I like having Fancy Hands find design artists and other contractors on Fiverr.
2. Specialized Virtual Assistants
Also called “freelancers” or “contractors”, these assistants have a specific skillset for specific projects.
Some projects you can hire a specialized Virtual Assistant for are:
- Interview transcriptions with Rev
- Virtual receptionist desk with MyReceptionist
- Ongoing WordPress maintenance with RipplePop
- Housework & furniture assembly with Zaarly and TaskRabbit
- Basic graphic design (I had a designer create the Virtual Assistant infographic)
- Custom software programming (I use Fiverr for small projects and UpWork for larger ones)
3. Dedicated Virtual Assistants
This is the type of assistant most people think of when they hear “assistant”. You hire one person to be your personal assistant, who you can train and they can pick up on how you like tasks to be done.
4. Virtual Assistant Teams
The assistants I suggest everyone starts with to build their delegation skills.
Each task you send the team gets picked up by a different VA each time. While this does mean you can’t train your VA, you can overcome this weakness by drafting some short instructions to make processes repeatable. More on this later…
VA Teams are typically much less expensive than Dedicated VAs, which is why I suggest you start there to build up your experience.
How can I get the most from my Virtual Assistant and staff?
First, I suggest you start by learning in baby steps: assigning small tasks with already highly-recommended VA services.
Create an account with these two services:
My General VA Team of Choice: Fancy Hands
My Specific Dedicated VA of Choice: Fiverr
Again, I suggest starting with a basic FancyHands package, which is just $30/month as of this writing.
I worked with these software companies to get you AYR exclusive deals on tools I use to collaborate with VAs, including -50% on your first month with Fancy Hands.
You can get access to them here:
I’ve been using Fancy Hands for four years, so I vouch for their excellent support.
Here’s how Fancy Hands works:
- You subscribe to a plan where you’ll get a certain number of 20-minute tasks every month.
- To put your VA to work, send an email to Fancy Hands, and an assistant will get on it that day!
Next, I suggest setting up an account with Fiverr. Specialized Dedicated VAs are the TOUGHEST of all the categories to master — if projects with them go awry, that’s where expensive mistakes can occur. But with Fiverr, you can get started for just $5.
Here are a few ideas to get started:
- Creating a business logo design
- Create a Google Script for your Google Docs
- Design a business card template for you
- Create the best Valentine’s Day gift for your girlfriend ever and have her drawn like a Disney princess
How can I work most effectively with a Virtual Staff?
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”
/ˈēmāl piNG pôNG/
- A sadistic game of emailing questions back-and-forth between coworkers before you all finally resign to a phone call and possibly resigning.
“No thanks. I’d rather gouge my eyes out than play another game of Email Ping-Pong with Charles.”
Synonyms: rage, vexation, exasperation, flipping off Outlook
Many times, the only way you can communicate with a virtual assistant is by email. If you’ve hired a Team VA service like Fancy Hands, a direct number may not be available to call your assistant directly to clarify instructions.
Thus, we’ll focus on how you can write clearer emails that get you what you want the FIRST time.
The two points to remember are:
- Write CLEAR instructions.
- Set a tiny deliverable to start off.
CLEAR is an acronym coined by Bill Jensen, author of Work 2.0 and Simplicity. In short, everyone subconsciously looks for five things when they’re given a task to complete:
- Connection to their expertise — How is this related to what I do?
- List action steps — What, specifically, should I do to start?
- Expectations for success — What does success look like? What does failure look like?
- Ability to execute — What tools & support are available so I can get this work done?
- Return to person — What’s in it for me/the team?
Take a minute and think about when you’re handed a task from a manager or a client. This will help you ingrain this proven 5 step process into your mind.
Connection to their expertise
If I told you I needed you to build a suspension bridge, you’d likely push back… unless you’re a civil engineer.
But if I keep in mind your level of expertise, and ask you to do some work within your known field, you’d likely be able to jump right on the task.
This bullet simply ensures that you’re asking the right person for the right task. This avoids infuriating emails like, “Oh, that’s not my department. You need to email Jeffrey in marketing.”
List action steps
You don’t need to have your hand held through a project. You were hired to figure out how to solve problems. But you could get started so much faster if I told you the first few steps.
This bullet reminds you to help point the person in the right direction, so they don’t spend the first few minutes spinning their wheels. It also lowers their barrier to getting started so psychologically you’ve also avoided the Cognitive Miser Effect.
Expectations for success
If you’re being asked to complete a task, you’re going to need to know what the final result should look like.
This bullet ensures that you give them enough information to make well informed decisions on their own when it comes to accomplishing the end goal. Provide this, and you’ll rarely get emails coming back asking “Okay, what should I do now?”
Ability to execute
Ever received an email that said “Please see attached for this critical document you need to get the work done”… and they forgot the attachment?
You need tools & resources to get your work done. This bullet ensures you’ll always set your VA up with the right tools & resources for success the first time.
Return to person
The best way to kill your team’s spirit is to assign tasks to them like they’re a robot. Or worse, a cog in the machine.
You owe it to your team to share how their work ultimately helps them win, as individuals and as a team. This doesn’t mean they have to LIKE every task — but they should know why that work, even simple data entry work, is important.
In the case of your VAs, this bullet ensures you keep your hire in mind. You don’t need to create a 100-page PowerPoint explaining how it fits into your entire business model… but you should include a brief statement on how this task contributes to a larger whole.
For team VAs, this may not matter much — they’ll just handle the task and they’re off to help the next person.
But as you move on to Dedicated VAs, you need to start managing team morale and culture. And this is one of the best bullets to ensure you never forget it.
Here’s an example of a CLEAR email:
Do I REALLY need to write such long emails every time???
The more complex the project, the more time and energy this short checklist will save you.
But nailing these points doesn’t take verbose emails.
For instance, I once sent an email to Fancy Hands saying:
“Please insert the attached contact information I got from a conference into the Google Sheet in this link: [link].
I plan on following up with new business contacts & friends in a few weeks and see how I can best help them.”
I made a quick Google Sheet table with headers for the information I wanted (i.e. Name, title, company, phone, email).
Even though the email was two sentences, it nailed every point:
- C: This is a data entry task, so it doesn’t require specialized knowledge for the VA.
- L: Enter the contact information in the email into the spreadsheet.
- E: A completed spreadsheet with contact info. By creating an empty template, it becomes clear what information needed to be transcribed.
- A: A Google Sheet template was provided, along with contact information.
- R: This task will help me strengthen my new relationships.
You don’t need to draft the next War & Peace novel every time you write to your VA. Just make sure you give them what they need to do a great job.
What are the BEST tools & apps to manage Virtual Assistants as easily as possible?
Here are some of the greatest tools & apps I use to manage my teams with minimal effort.
I collaborated with a few of my favorite software companies to set up deals for you you won’t find anywhere else. Get access to them by signing up below:
The Fancy Hands platform can connect your Google Calendar to your account so VAs can make appointments for you.
For the times you need your VA to make an appointment or book a coaching call, Calendly makes this a breeze. It’s a service with a simple interface that syncs to your calendar and offers times you’re available.
SaneBox is a GODSEND to anyone who uses email to drive their business (Read: All of us).
SaneBox sends unimportant emails to a SaneLater folder so you can focus on the mail you must read now, then check the SaneLater messages once those are handled.
Alternatively, you can set up your unimportant emails to be sent to a VA to handle for you.
I originally learned about this tool from Marc Aarons of 80/20 Solutions:
FollowUp.cc is my #1 software for coaching & email management. Ever since I’ve used it, I’ve NEVER dropped the ball with a client or on a project.
FollowUp.cc allows you to set reminders on emails you send out by adding it on BCC. This means you can use FollowUp.cc without ANY new add-ons, apps, plug-ins, and on any device!
For instance, if I send an email to a coaching client and I want to give them a gentle push part-way through the week, I simply BCC firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get a reminder in my inbox on Wednesday to follow up!
When I get the reminder, did I reconsider that I should give them a few more days to do the work we agreed on? No problem! Simply click the 3d snooze button and I’ll be reminded 3 days from now!
Every online business owner needs FollowUp.cc. I’ve tested a few alternatives and haven’t found a simpler solution.
Again, I worked with SaneBox & FollowUp.cc to offer deals on these two packages you can’t find anywhere else. Get access to them here!
I’ve been testing Trello for project management for the past 2 years and it’s been excellent. Over years of developing my productivity system, this template allows me to focus on one major project at a time while keeping up with any projects I’ve delegated.
My Ultimate Guide giveaway also includes my Trello template I developed from integrating several productivity systems, project management like Scrum, along with what’s worked for many business owning friends.
When managing documents for a project or VA, I opt for the Golden Trio.
- Google Docs when I need an active document created, like a transcription or spreadsheet.
- Evernote for all my read-only processes & instructions I want my VA to follow.
- Dropbox to manage file transfers like soundbytes, videos, recordings, etc.
Commonly Asked Questions
How do I ensure my personal information stays secure?
When you’re handing your personal information over to someone to get work done, like your financial information or social security number, you need to exercise some good secure habits to ensure your data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands.
While I can give you the usual advice of “Use Lastpass to protect your passwords”, there are a million articles that cover this in detail. Instead, let’s cover the points that aren’t often covered.
Never give a VA your financial information unless you’ve done a full background check on them.
You want to protect yourself from identify theft before you hand over your financial information to anyone. And no, LifeLock isn’t a shortcut here.
This goes without saying, but because you cannot get this information from a VA Team and you can’t choose who you’re working with, you shouldn’t NEVER give your financial information to any team.
There are ways around this, which we’ll cover in the next point.
But if you need someone to move money from your PayPal account to your checking, or you want them to manage your Mint account, I strongly suggest a dedicated assistant who you’ve background-checked. Onfido is great for automating background checks — and it’s available internationally.
Ignore this at your own risk.
The best way to ensure your financial safety is to hire a virtual assistant through an escrow agreement. An escrow is when you provide payment information to a third party, then the VA places purchases and charges the third-party.
If you just need them to buy things for you, then an escrow agreement is perfect for you. You’ll be able to hire a Team VA to make purchases because they’ll never get your actual credit card information.
My VA’s a f@#$%ing moron! He didn’t complete the task the way I wanted him to!!!
If this is the first time you’re managing someone, then assume the mistake lies within your instructions.
With every email you send them, ensure that you’ve included the following in every email:
- The CLEAR task
- A stopgap to check progress
- A solid and realistic due date
That having been said, there are some very poor performing VAs out there. When you’re heavily focused on Here’s a quick way to know if it’s you or them.
In the last 5 tasks you gave your VA…
1. Did you give CLEAR instructions with stopgaps?If they responded with several clarifying questions and in the end gave you what you needed or you missed one of the bullet points, then you know to develop your instructions.
2. Did you have to follow up 2+ days after the task was issued to get a status update from your VA?
You shouldn’t be chasing them for updates – they should be consistently updating YOU via email.
To be clear, it is NOT a problem if they call asking you 1,000 questions on what color cup they should buy. In this day and age, many VAs are used to micromanagers and so overcompensate with questions. Just train them or add to your instructions what decisions they can make on their own.
3. Did they miss an important (and realistic) deadline and did NOT seek ways to rectify it?
One of the best indicators of work ethic is if that person respects deadlines.
There are times someone will miss a deadline for completely legitimate reasons, or sometimes the original expectation was unrealistic… but I’m talking about people who act as if it’s no big deal they missed that deadline.
This is harder to gauge for a VA team since each VA you’re assigned is different, but very easy to tell with dedicated support. Yes, it’ll take time to replace them. But you’ll lose much more money and time keeping them on board than finding a replacement for them.
It takes 5 minutes to do this task, but 15 minutes to write out this CLEAR email! Is this task even worth outsourcing?
Using the IFTTT app, I created my own app that allows me to take a picture of an object, and an email will automatically be sent to Fancy Hands to buy it for me.
When I consider the tweaks I added from lessons learned, it took me 30-45 minutes to set up. Shopping online for an item takes about 5-10 minutes. In the short run, it would appear that this is more of a shiny new toy than it is practical.
But there’s two big reasons why I still think this is worth it to automate:
1. The time I save from this app compounds week by week.As you could probably assume, I use this app about 3 times per week when I’m starting to run out of common stuff, like toothpaste, deodorant, or dishwasher detergent. This means 15-30 minutes a week saved, or 2 hours a month. In the end, I don’t have to worry about finding the best prices for stuff anymore.
2. Even if this were a one-off task, offloading it saves my psychological energy & willpower.
In short, our minds try to actively exert as little energy as possible when solving problems. The more familiar a given task is, the less energy it takes to do it and the more comfortable we are doing it.
Writing an email is a very familiar task we do every day, while scouring the Internet to find deals on a massage in my area & book an appointment the same day is not.
You prevent having to pay the Cognitive Switching Penalty by batching 5 of your one-off tasks for the day into just sending out 5 emails.
So even if writing the email will take more time than doing it, you gain in the long run with more presence of mind, less stress, and thus more focus on your highest leverage work.
“I know I *should* outsource this task, but I LIKE doing this work!”
Keep this task you really like doing in mind. And then ask yourself the following question:
What’s the ONE Thing such that by doing it
everything else becomes easier or unnecessary?
Your answer is your highest leverage task. It could be something as strategic as writing & developing your market plan. It could be something rejuvenating like booking a massage if you’re stressed out.
Now remember: This task you like doing is taking you away from your highest leverage task. It’s slowing your progress towards your #1 goal.
After considering this, you may still want to do that work. You may find data entry relaxing & mindless, or you may love visiting the farmer’s market to handpick your veggies. Doing tasks like these relax you, giving you a second benefit to it.
If that’s true, and you’ve weighed it against your highest leverage task, then by all means, enjoy doing it!
It’s okay to focus on work outside of your #1 priority… so long as you’re making a CONSCIOUS DECISION about it.
Focusing on tasks outside of your highest leverage work won’t shut you down. Just make sure your day isn’t filled with this kind of work, so you can make true progress on your goals.
How can I delegate when I’m worried they can’t do as good of a job as I can?
Entrepreneurs are the biggest control freaks and have a real hard time letting go.
I totally get it. Our businesses are our babies — why would we trust literally ANYONE ELSE with our baby?!?!
But when you take a step back and think about that analogy: babysitters exist, and can even make you a better parent.
Exhausted parents can get the rest & social life they need to come back home refreshed (or at least some semblance of it). Or they get some critical work done that otherwise wouldn’t have gotten handled without the babysitter.
The inability to let go of control is the #1 reason entrepreneurs get lost in day-to-day admin work. Systems create stability in your business, and it takes people to drive those systems.
A car makes it easier to get somewhere, faster. And it’s full of intricate systems, much like your business.
But those systems are useless unless someone’s driving it… and you don’t have to be the driver.
Another danger is just handing over your baby and saying, “Here, take care of him”… no instructions… no baby supplies… nothing.
I’ve had students do this and then come to me saying, “AH HA! See?! I can’t hand my baby over to anyone!!! My business would be NOTHING without me!!!”
Yes – your business needs your touch. Your essence. But to help it grow, you need to learn how to hand pieces over to others with sufficient instruction.
Give your VA CLEAR instructions to handle the day-to-day tasks, and you’ll find you’ll have more time to make bigger strides for you and your business.
Speaking of which…
Now that I have all this extra time, what SHOULD I use it for?
You could save all the time in the world, and it wouldn’t matter if you start filling it with more menial work.
As your own CEO, you should be focusing on one of two primary types of projects:
- Projects that move you towards Key Business Goals
- Projects that eliminate barriers from your work
Key Business Goals entail projects that:
- Improve marketing, i.e. writing your next email campaign, scheduling calls with potential clients to learn more about their pains for your marketing strategy, publishing & sharing Ultimate Guides.
- Increase sales, i.e. developing your sales funnel, driving more traffic to your site, increasing your conversion rate with better copy, improving your service packages.
- Improve your value delivery stream, i.e. building better online products, discovering yuor upsells & side-sells, creating the newest video courses or podcasts.
Barriers are things that block you or your team from getting work done. It’s often worth the time to strategically remove these barries AS you encounter them, rather than trying to pre-empt them.
- You don’t have a CRM because your Google Sheet with all your contacts have worked perfectly so far. Eventually, as your client base increases, that sheet becomes unruly. It’s time to get a CRM.
- You’ve been publishing your own articles in WordPress for a while, despite the wrestling match you must throw down every time to get it done. Eventually, as you’re gaining more clients and building new value streams, you don’t have time to muscle this anymore — it’s time to hire a service to handle this.
- You’ve been doing your own video editing for your Youtube channel, but over time you’ve been earning new projects that you must keep up with. It’s time to find a new video editor.
By honing in on these two areas, and letting others do the rest, business growth is almost inevitable.
What do I do if my VA quits or leaves in the middle of a project?
You’ll rarely have this problem with a VA team, but sometimes you’ll find yourself replacing your designer or copywriter. Dealing with this reality is a crucial skill you must master to properly manage your team.
The three things you can do to lessen the blow are:
- Keep a strong working relationship with your virtual staff.
- Have your staff email you with regular updates.
- Document your hiring process.
Keep a strong working relationship with your virtual staff
If you had an awesome manager and they asked for your help to make the transition easier, you’d likely do it.
If you’ve been following what we’ve covered so far, you’ve been a great manager to your staff. They’re going to want to keep a strong working relationship with you, even if they’re moving on to new things.
The two most common mistakes people make with a virtual staff that hurts their “company culture” are:
- Only talking with them when you need something done. Scheduling regular 15-minute calls for updates, identifying blocks, or even connecting with your staff goes a LONG way.
- Issuing tasks that didn’t need doing. Remember a time where you were handed work that ultimately didn’t go anywhere? How did you feel about it? Your staff will feel the same way, too.
Have your Virtual Assistant write summary update emails
Schedule the update calls, then have your staff summarize them in an email after your calls.
By keeping these emails on hand, you:
- Ensure everyone understands their responsibilities that week,
- Have historical records on a project, if you must refer to it,
- Have the ability to get others on-board as quickly as possible.
Document your hiring process
When you hire someone, create a hiring checklist as you go.
I’ve automated my hiring process, with the following:
- A general template for job listings issuing a short task to apply,
- Email filters to automatically delete people who are shooting out their resume,
- An online form to test their competence & give them an idea of the work they’d be doing,
- Calendly to schedule a call with those who passed the test.
Now, if an employee or contractor ever calls it quits, I can bring on a new one immediately despite our workloads.
How do I take my business to the next level with a virtual staff?
Start off assuming you want to outsource every possible business function you have.
Then ask yourself:
- Can a Virtual Assistant do this at least 70% as well as I can?
- Will outsourcing this make it easier to focus on a Key Business Goal or removing a block?
Your Mission, aka Save 2 Hours a Day
- If you don’t have a Virtual Assistant yet, hire Fancy Hands to begin learning how to manage one.
- Write down 3 tasks you don’t like doing and 3 you KNOW you shouldn’t be doing.
- Email Fancy Hands with 1 of those tasks NOW, using CLEAR, a deadline, & a mini-deliverable.
I’ve said this earlier, and I’ll say this again — I’m excited to offer you this inexpensive start to these services to get work done faster WITHOUT tons more effort.
Make sure you sign up for your package below:
Good luck! If you have any questions or feedback on this ultimate guide, email me back! I’m friendly, I promise. Plus, I read every email — and nothing’s more important to me than knowing what you want to learn.
Godspeed with your new virtual army!