I hear this a lot: it takes too much time to train a virtual assistant. My answer: yes, you do have to invest time up front, however, the benefit is long-term time-freedom. Many entrepreneurs come to a point where they need to outsource and want to hire a virtual assistant, but are worried about the time it will take to teach the virtual assistant about their business or for that person to learn “their voice.” The time involved in finding and working with the right virtual assistant is often what holds someone back from outsourcing.
The truth is, the time it takes to find and teach a virtual assistant the ins and outs of your business will be time-consuming at first, but if you look past the initial stages you will see that working with the right virtual assistant will actually free up your time. You will suddenly have time to work on growing your business and on your actual genius work – instead of always having to work on the mundane tasks that you know need to be done, but that you hate doing.
Contemporary entrepreneurship can be a lot of work. Online marketing has added a layer of complexity that didn’t exist 15 years ago – not only do you have to think about advertising, but you also have to think about engaging with and being present for your audience. It is no longer good enough to create and publish a newspaper ad and hope your clients come to you. You have to work to put yourself out there – online and in person. This alone makes many entrepreneurs and small business owners outsource. Social media and digital marketing is not everyone’s genius work and is often the one thing a business owner needs to let go.
Other tasks to give a virtual assistant include: data entry, administrative tasks, graphic design, sales funnel creation, webinar setup, email marketing… the list goes on and on depending on that VA’s area(s) of expertise.
What do you need help with? What do you hate doing, but absolutely needs to get done? There are some things in your business that you will not be comfortable having someone else do – especially at the start of a virtual assistant relationship. Be realistic about what tasks you can outsource and keep them in mind when researching and reaching out to potential virtual assistants.
For example, “I want to outsource posting older, but still relevant blog posts to my Facebook Page every couple of days because I constantly forget to do that.”
Then think about how you will do this. Will you give them access to your Facebook Page or use a third party social media scheduling tool such as Buffer or Coschedule? The more information you have planned prior to hiring your virtual assistant, the more time you will save hunting around and answering their questions.
One task is all it takes to find the right VA match for you and your business. It will tell you how fast they work, how well they work with the direction you give them and demonstrate the quality of their work. From one task you will be able to tell if it will be a successful and beneficial relationship or not.
That one task could be editing a blog post, crafting social messages for Facebook or another social network, drafting an email newsletter or simply an example of how they would respond to a specific email. Just make sure you offer compensation – no one likes to work for free.
And the good news is, you don’t have to just work with one person – teams of virtual assistants are common, especially because, like every entrepreneur, they each have their own set of skills and fortes.
Taking the time to invest in outsourcing to the right person is much healthier than being trapped doing tasks and activities that leave you feeling mentally (and physically) drained.
So, what are you waiting for? Find the right VA for you!