Collaborative Genius - Why a VA is a Great Asset to Your Business
As a creative you are likely the type of person who likes things done your way and needs to feel you have control of ALL situations! Honey, I know. The thing is, as your business grows, you will NOT be able to do everything.
Especially if you are doing business online and are not trained in all the latest technology.
But, there are people who ARE trained in all the latest technology, are good at organizing and actually get pleasure out of organizing. This last statement bewilders the hell out of me but I digress...
There are people that you can work with online who can help you do all of your organizing, social media posting, appointment booking and systems set up so that you can work on creating!
They are called virtual assistants or VAs. I think that VA also stands for Very Appreciated and Vastly Advantageous!
It does take some time to find the right fit where your VA is concerned and, the right fit may change as your business does. Be open about changing your VA when you are no longer a fit.
There are a lot of people in this industry that do not do high quality work and if you notice this, let go of them right off and move on to finding someone who will give you great work at a price that works for you.
The steps you can take to find a wonderful assistant are:
Decide what you want done and write a list
Get really clear about this list so that you can ask people for exactly what you need and they can tell you whether or not they are a fit for you. In the beginning, when I was looking I expected the VA to tell me what they could do for me and then realized that I was hiring and so had to be crystal clear with what I needed!
Decide How Much you can Afford
As I mentioned, there is a huge range for what people charge. Go on Upwork and see the hourly rates that people post for the type of tasks you need completed and then decide what you can afford. Stick to this amount so that you do not find yourself in a difficult situation and need to look for a new VA. Remember, you are the owner of your company and need to be the one who chooses what is right for it.
Begin Your Search
Look on sites like Fiverr, Upwork and Freelancer to find profiles of people who do what you are looking for. You can also post an ad on these sites for free and they will send you possible candidates.
Tap into your friends on social media and tell them you are looking for a great VA. Word of mouth is often a great way to trust that someone will do a good job for you. Post in groups on social media and state what you are looking for.
You can also put ads in LinkedIn and on sites like Craig's List or Kijiji, but these may cost money.
Interview Your Candidates
Ask them about their past experience
Ask for references.
Ask for samples of their work
Ask there rate
Ask if they have packages of hours at a cheaper rate
Ask if these hours roll over to the next month or if they have to all be used in the month they are purchased
Ask if they use a system to track tasks and hours so that you can keep track of what they have completed and how long it has taken them
Your interview can be done by phone but could also be done on a video conference. I like this method because you can really get a feel for the person.
I find that it is a good idea to interview five or more people so that you really get a feel for what is out there and can begin to discern who will really be a great fit with you.
I also find it useful to give your VA a couple of sample tasks so that you have a feel for how they complete their work, how well they understand your communication style and how well you think you can work together. I sometimes ask the VA to create social media images or draft up a newsletter or something that has a clear end result that can be completed quickly before I give them all of my passwords.
You will need to feel like you trust your VA because this is a person you will be giving your social media passwords to and may ultimately require to give your PayPal login to.
Once you have hired your VA, ease into your tasks slowly so that you get a feel for each other.
Be sure to list your needs clearly and directly.
Remember, you are the creator and need to be very clear with what you need.
Some of the things a VA can do
Schedule social media posts - this can be done for weeks in advance with tools like Hootsuite that allow you to schedule social media on many platforms!
Create email newsletters
Set up your workflow -
Automate email sequences
Organize your list
Create images with text
Tidy up your website
Proof read your documents
Deal with client questions
Some VAs might know how to do SEO or create quizzes and surveys. It is wonderful to have someone to tap into who knows how to use many business tools! They help your business run in a more streamlined fashion.
Working with an assistant has helped me:
Have more time to create
Made me a clearer communicator
Made my mind more
Made me more organized
Relieved me of the pain of learning things that I really do not have the time or interest to learn.
Freed me of tedious mind frying tasks so that I can enjoy my life and my business more!
I would love to share my VA with you. She is a great help and cheerleader for me in my business!
Follow this link to get in touch with her, and tell her I sent you!