Where To Find A Virtual Assistant

It can be challenging trying to find a virtual assistant, especially if you don’t know where to look, what you are looking for and what to expect them to do.

Then, once you have chosen them, you need to spend time with them to tell them about your business and what you want to achieve. As in any area of your business the time you spend at the beginning of the relationship can provide you with dividends in the long term. However, what happens if the virtual assistant just doesn’t work out? They may not need your work anymore or may not be as good as you expected. It is a trial and error process and can take you time which in the end costs you money and more than you anticipated.

So, What Can You Do To Prepare Yourself When You Do Find A Virtual Assistant?

First of all, be clear on what you want the virtual assistant to take over.

Then, think about the task. Can they be grouped together so that the same skill set will do that group of tasks? If you need someone with more than one skill set, it might be better to hire more than one VA. After all, it won’t cost you more but it will be easier to assess whether they can do the job or not at the outset.

Now, time it! Yes, try doing it yourself or get someone else to do it and ask them to tell you how long it took. We are often quoted a cheap hourly rate thinking that is a bargain but in reality if we had hired a more professional person it would have been much quicker and done more efficiently. An hourly rate tells you nothing – but it can sound cheap when it isn’t. Give them a small task to test out whether you will be able to work with them or not. Once you have organised yourself, you can then search for a virtual assistant.

What Makes a Good Virtual Assistant?

I am often asked this but the answer varies according to the person who is looking for someone. It is the main reason why we offer a personal service because the things you will take into account are your personality and the type of people you work well with, and the type of work you are expecting them to perform.

For financial tasks you will look for someone accurate with an eye for details for example. Alternatively, for creative tasks such as creating a logo you will want someone who is creative and quick.

We also talk with you about the time that you want them to be available. This is where location can be important. If you want someone available during working hours in your country make sure that the virtual assistant you are selecting finds this to be convenient. Also ask them what happens when they go on leave or if there are school holidays. Ask them directly if there are any imminent events where they won’t be available (like childbirth). These are blunt questions but you may never know what to expect if you don’t ask as you will not interview them face to face.

What Are Some Of The Qualities Of A Good Virtual Assistant?

Good communication is the key to a healthy relationship when you find a virtual assistant to work with. This works for both of you.

Tell your virtual assistant how you like to work, when you are available for them, and what they should do in an emergency. Make sure you give them all the information and support they need to do the work well.

The true value of a virtual assistant is when they are with you for the long haul. You are looking for a VA who demonstrates a commitment to running a healthy business – if the they aren’t in it for the long haul then chances are they won’t stick around and all the initial work you did with them will be wasted.

A good VA demonstrates competence in the area that they offer services in. Make sure they are committed to keeping their skills updated. Being part of an agency or network like 121Temps will help them keep current. This network offers them continuing education sessions and webinars so it makes it easier for them.

Confidentiality is paramount – after all you wouldn’t want them to work for your competitors and share your intellectual property – so make sure they sign a confidentiality agreement and stick to it.

Have you thought about what will happen to the history of the work that they have done for you? Considering your termination process is important even before you find a virtual assistant to work with. Will they send everything back to you or destroy all files? Will they hand over all relevant passwords? Again, if you go through an agency such as this site, this protects you.

5 Things to Delegate to your VA Immediately

  • Your emails – ask the VA to set up rules and folders so that you only deal with important messages. Let them filter your inbox for you. I promise, it will take them very little time and save you hours and you will have peace of mind knowing that everything is being handled efficiently. When I implemented this, I found that I only had to check my emails once every 3 days – freedom!
  • Your phone calls – divert your phone to your VA when you are in a meeting. Even if they are located in a different country you can do this by purchasing a Skype In number for 50 euros. You will never miss an important lead and your clients will feel loved.
  • Your website chat – if you don’t have webchat installed, install it and get your virtual assistant to monitor it for you. People looking to buy online will do so if they can ask questions immediately.
  • Your social media – despite what anyone says, your virtual assistant can do your social media. Outsource one article, approve it and then sit back. Your virtual assistant can tweet, update, re-purpose it and you don’t have to do anything at all. I came up with a list of 21 ways that 1 article can be used online. Your VA can do all of that and your article is leveraged to the max.
  • Your directory listings – do you know how many directories are available? Enough to make sure your website gets the traffic you need through backlinking. Oh and your VA can also set up Google Alerts and make sure you get all opportunities to comment online as well.
I think I have just touched the surface with these suggestions but can you imagine the difference the above could make to your business and your life?

Here Is A Little Challenge For You, If You Decide To Accept It

Put aside a budgeted amount – it could be as little as $100 or as much as $1000 (the more you put aside the more results you will get). Now time how long you spend on the things above for a week. Ask yourself this question “What could I do with that time if I had it available for only a month?” That’s the amount you can afford to spend on your first virtual assistant for a few weeks. You won’t regret it.

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