There have been a lot of questions floating around the social media atmosphere about having a Virtual Assistant, so I thought it might be time to do a 5 Knows post. Please keep in mind that this post is based on my personal experiences working with Jacqui, my Virtual Assistant.
1. KNOW When Your Plate is too Full
Often times I have bloggers ask me at what point do they know they need a Virtual Assistant. Chances are if you’re feeling overwhelmed, struggling to juggle work, the blog, the shop, etc., it might be time to seek help. You really need to determine what you have on your plate before you can accurately determine if you need an assistant. Make a list of all the things you need to accomplish:
This will give you a great visual that can serve as a jumping off point on your search for help. Here’s why I say this. You may make your list and determine that what’s overwhelming you in your life may not need the help of an assistant, but maybe just need to be cut out, if possible, all together. Or you may make a list only to figure out that all the things you are juggling may not be things that you could or would want to relinquish control of. If you’re not willing to let go of the control, then you may need to rethink hiring a Virtual Assistant, or it could be a frustrating experience for you both.
2. KNOW Your Needs
So now you’ve made your list, determined your overwhelmed and are ready to find some help, now you need to make a list of your Virtual Assistant needs. For example, do you need help with:
- Social Media?
- Emailing Sponsors?
- Filtering through general blog inquiries?
- Putting together pictures and information for giveaway posts?
- Emailing giveaway winners?
Once you know your needs then as you’re talking to different people about the possibility of being your assistant you are able to be upfront with them about what you need and in turn they can come up with a cost (per hour or per month) for their services. If you don’t have a good idea of what you need before hiring someone, you may not hire the perfect person for you. It’s so important that if you’re going to hire someone to help you with the day to day that your personalities complement one another. After all, they will be representing you and your brand and you’ll be working together closely each day.
3. KNOW Your Budget
So now you’ve determined you need help and you know what your needs are, let’s talk about the budget. I know, no one likes to talk about money, but it’s so important to face this issue. Here’s why: you can’t hire an assistant if you don’t make enough money to pay them and still cover all your other daily expenses. However, I will say it takes money to make money, so when you’re working your budget, figure out other places you can cut costs so that you can hire your Virtual Assistant. Hopefully having that person to walk alongside you day to day will help grow your business because your emails won’t be falling through the cracks.
Knowing your budget ahead of time is also really great because as you’re talking to possible Virtual Assistants to hire, you can be upfront with them about what you can and can’t afford. You never know, if they love you and your brand, they might be willing to work with your budget and grow with you.
So here’s my question for you…
4. KNOW Your Virtual Assistant’s Value
Now you’ve figured out your budget and found the perfect Virtual Assistant that meets all your needs, now it’s time to utilize your new assistant to help you with that list of tasks each month. As you do this it’s important that you remember you’re Virtual Assistants time is valuable as well, meaning they can’t just drop everything at the drop of a hat to help you with something you decide you need help with. I can say this because I’m totally guilty of doing this. When I hired Jacqui one of my biggest mistakes was that I didn’t make that list I just mentioned above and then when I decided I wanted to delegate a task I would text her or email her and ask her to do it. Then, when it didn’t get done “quick” enough I would do it myself. Let me tell you it was a disaster! Frustrating for me, frustrating for Jacqui.
First of all, your Virtual Assistant has a life too, outside of working for you. So in order for her to be organized or effective, you need to be organized and effective! Second, don’t expect everything task you delegate to be done immediately. It’s ok if emails are returned in 24 hours.
Here’s what I recommend:
- Create an email account for her Virtual Assistant
- Maybe (it’s up to you) do a small post on your blog or add your VA to your sponsor page letting people know they will receive communication from that person.
- At the end of the month start looking ahead at the next month and figuring out your blogging calendar
- Email or share via Google Calendar (or a virtual calendar) a rough outline of what the month looks like (you can always add it it)
- Have template emails that you create together for welcoming new sponsors, group giveaway posts, individual giveaway posts, etc. These templates can always be personalized, but the general information is there so it’s not left out of important monthly communication with sponsors.
- Give your VA usernames and passwords to any social media accounts you want them to have access to and set boundaries for what they can and can’t do when using your social media outlets
5. KNOW How to find a Virtual Assistant That Meets Your Needs
Ok so now you’re all probably wondering, where do I find this amazing Virtual Assistant? Well there are several ways you can go about this.
- Ask fellow bloggers who have Virtual Assistants: when I was beginning to toy with the idea of hiring a Virtual Assistant I began reaching out to other bloggers who have VA’s asking questions about how the process works and even spoke to some of their VA’s about possibly working with me. Don’t be afraid to ask, most of them will answer your questions.
- Put the call out on Twitter
- Or, you can check out the link up below. I’ve opened it up for VA’s to link up their services pages so you can start the researching process.
- Also, another great resource is Jeanett from Life Rearranged’s ebook Hire Blog Help. That book helped me figure out what I needed and how to go about hiring a Virtual Assistant. Go buy it, you won’t regret it!!
Ok Virtual Assistants, are you ready to link up? All I ask is that you link up to your Services Page so people who are searching for a Virtual Assistant can see what you’re all about.