Working with a virtual assistant painlessly
Working with a virtual assistant can be very useful, especially if you’re a busy individual. Some of the busiest people are speakers and coaches. It’s an occupation which demands a lot of action, organization, and movement. Therefore, if you’re one of them, you stand to benefit a lot from hiring a virtual assistant and working with them.
However, for you to truly be satisfied, it’s not enough to just hire one and hope everything will work out. There are certain things you need to do to ensure that the partnership flourishes. With the knowledge you’ll gain from this article, you’ll be able to not only have a surface level benefit from your virtual assistants but will know how to create a relationship that is as productive as it is pleasant.
Without further ado, let’s get started! These are the main things you should keep in mind when working with a virtual assistant.
Communication is key
This is so important that it was even mentioned in a Forbes article. Communication is a cornerstone of every successful relationship, personal or professional. By knowing how to communicate well, you prevent misunderstandings and save time down the line. If you’re clear about your wants, needs, and expectations, then your assistant will more easily understand you. Tell them what you want clearly and let them know you expect the same honesty from them.
This is especially important in the beginning before you’ve gotten used to each other’s ways of functioning. Later on, a lot of communication becomes implied, but even then you should take care to be as clear as you can with your instructions.
Finally, don’t be afraid to voice complaints, but do it in a non-confrontational way, if possible. Your assistant probably misunderstood something or didn’t have enough information. It’s unlikely they’re out to get you in any way (it goes against their best interests).
Shared records help a lot
This is another one that the aforementioned article mentioned, and it makes a lot of sense. If you want your assistant to organize your schedule, find you venues, or even handle communication with certain clients, they need to have access to your up-to-date passwords, plans, schedules, credit cards, and even individual preferences!
Likewise, it would be wise to share documents you’re working on so that they can see what to focus on and you can track their work. Another important aspect of having an assistant is tracking their hours. What we use is a simple system of having a shared Google Sheet in which the assistant inputs detailed descriptions of the tasks they spent their time on. This way it’s easy for them to input and for you to keep track of everything they’re doing.
Think of this as creating a synergized effort between you and your assistant. You want to be functioning as one harmonious whole, not a disparate collection of unrelated parts.
Choosing the right assistant in general
Working with a virtual assistant is easier if you take the time initially to hire the right one. If you hire an uncooperative, lazy, or scatterbrained individual then applying everything else we mention here will just be fighting an uphill battle. Why create more work for yourself?
Instead, when hiring an assistant, make sure they’re trustworthy, communicative, and have a strong work ethic. A good way of doing this is hiring them through a dedicated virtual assistant company like ours. This saves you time sifting through LinkedIn or Upwork for random freelancers you’re supposed to entrust your valuable work to.
Hiring the right person will save you a lot of time in the long run and, in many cases, they will take proactive steps to ensure that your cooperation is a fruitful and pleasant one.
Choosing the right assistant for the specific job
This relates strongly to the last point, but find out your potential assistant’s skill set before hiring them. It’ll do you little good to hire a social media expert if you need someone to schedule your appointments. Although they could still probably do the job, you’re better off hiring someone whose specific skill set corresponds to the task.
For this reason, as well, it pays off to hire assistants through companies rather than just looking for random freelancers. However, in this case, you will need the aforementioned communication skills to properly explain your needs so that the company in question can match you up with the right assistant.
Save yourself a lot of headaches when working with a virtual assistant by planning ahead and hiring the person who’s specialized for the work you need doing.
Finally, remember that virtual assistants are human beings, and they won’t be perfect out of the box. You’ll need to learn their idiosyncrasies, and they’ll need to learn yours. Working with a virtual assistant isn’t always straightforward. Sometimes they’ll misunderstand your instructions several times before getting things right. Understand that they’re probably trying their best. The tasks virtual assistants perform are quite diverse and it’s not unlikely that some things you want them to do for you are a first for them.
That said, however, if a virtual assistant is consistently disappointing you, you may not be a right fit. It’s perfectly fine to admit this and end the cooperation. It’s the same as when a personal relationship isn’t working out: if you can’t fix it, it’s probably best to just move on.
Who knows? The virtual assistant of your dreams could be right around the corner!
This concludes our tips when it comes to working with virtual assistants. Although this guide is primarily intended for speakers and coaches, everyone who’d like to improve their relationship with their existing or potential virtual assistants is welcome to use it.
We hope that you found this guide useful and that both yourself and your virtual assistants will benefit from it.