CEO Mindset – Outsource Your Way to Higher Productivity & Peace of Mind
We all LOVE what we do and know we can make a real difference in the lives of our clients, and many of us want to make a real difference in the world… except, at times we get so sucked into building and running our business, sharing our message gets on the (way way) back burner.
Let’s face it, as we learned from simple math, 1+1 should equal 2 – ideally much much more…! When you add your time (1) and your money (+1) it should equal multiple times your time and $$$s investment; however, for many 1+1= -1 or less. Many business owners are happy if 1+1=0 (break even). Let’s see if we can fix that…
If your business is sucking your time, resources, and happiness dry, it’s time to make some changes to alleviate your stress. One of the most effective way to free up some of your time is to hire a virtual assistant (VA) to take over some of the daily or weekly administrative, marketing, social media, and other tasks needed to run your business.
Hiring a VA in itself can also be stressful, especially if you’re a first timer who has never been through the hiring process before. To remove the stress from the hiring process, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Decide Ahead of Time What Tasks to Outsource
Before you even start searching for your VA – or Vas – first decide which tasks you want a virtual assistant to handle. This list will determine the skillset you need to find, as well as it will help you decide if you can hire someone who is new (and pay less) or if you need someone more experienced (aka more expensive).
Do you need an administrative VA to handle your email responses and manage your client calendar? Or do you need someone who has tremendous writing skills to handle your blog and email marketing? As you can see, these tasks require different skills and will reflect different pricing.
To get your list started, determine which tasks you despise, suck at, or always put off. There’s a reason why you’re procrastinating so maybe those are tasks to outsource first.
A note of caution: This may be obvious, but it bears repeating. If you want to outsource your monthly billing and bookkeeping, find a certified bookkeeper instead of a general virtual assistant. You should always be picky when hiring someone but especially when they will deal with your money.
Other tasks that should be on your list are those that are not direct money makers. For instance, answering emails isn’t making you money but starting a group coaching program will generate income. Answering your own phone to make appointments isn’t the best use of your time if you can write multiple emails to your list with relevant offers for subscribers to purchase.
Here are some examples of tasks that you might consider outsourcing:
Low-Cost Virtual Assistant Tasks
Here are some examples of tasks that can be handled by a less experienced, less specialized, and more affordable VA:
Simple LEAD GENERATION & PROSPECTING Tasks
- Reaching out to prospective clients
- Answering eMails or social posts (if they can easily send information that you provide them)
- Adding contacts or content to autoresponders or other CRM (Customer Relationship Management software)
- Appointments scheduling
CONTENT MANAGEMENT Tasks
- Online search/research
- Copy-paste jobs, such as typing up content from a scanned document
- Creating simple PDFs
- Crating simple handouts for your workshops
- Uploading blog posts (can be learned in 10 minutes)
- Moderating blog post comments
- Moderating social media posts and comments
- Adding content to website (if you have a simple WordPress website, any VA can learn to add content — *** make sure to use a website back-up service, such as managewp.com, so if anything goes wrong, you can restore your website to previous days version, with one click)
- Video or audio transcription (though, these days we have many tools to transcribe our videos and audios – contact me if you need some suggestions)
- Uploading videos to your website or social media (some minimal training might be needed; though, most Vas are familiar with these types of tasks)
- Social media posting (if you already have the content to be posted; otherwise, you need someone with social media content creation experience)
HIGHER COST Tasks
- Writing Blog Posts or Articles
- Creating Website Copy or Improving Existing Copy
- Audio and Video Editing
- Graphic Design
- Web Design
- Social Media Management
- Paid Advertising
- Manage Your Autoresponder
Where to Find Great Virtual Assistants
Finding Virtual Assistants is not hard. Finding GOOD or GREAT, KNOWLEDGEABLE, & DEPANDABLE Virtual Assistants is a bit harder.
At times, though, it is not the lack of skills of the Virtual Assistant that will get you in trouble, but rather not knowing how to communicate tasks to your new helper. It was one of the costliest learning-curve that I went through while building my team of VAs. 10 Years later it became a 2nd nature to communicate with them in a way that there is no misunderstanding, but it took time…
The key: be as specific as possible, with screenshots, shoot a quick instructional video with Loom or other screen capture chrome app… anything that can help them know exactly what you mean. The lower paid a VA is, the more directions they need. With higher paid VAs, at times they’ll instruct you and guide you – they’ll need less guidance from you.
Do a Google search and you will see many thousands of results. Virtual Assistants are numerous but take your time to find the right one to fit your business. Refine that Google search by using keywords of the services you need (ie: administrative VA, local bookkeepers, or freelance writers). If you prefer to hire someone local to work in your office, include your location in the search.
Ask your business friends, social network, etc., if they can recommend any Virtual Assistants they’ve used in the past. Ask on your social media networks – chances are you may have VAs already following you, who are looking for work. If any of the VAs on your list aren’t accepting new clients, ask if they can recommend someone else. Just like any industry, VAs often network with each other.
INTERVIEWING VIRTUAL ASSISTANT TIPS
You can come up with 100 interview questions and your candidate may give 100 perfect answers but if anything in your conversation gives you pause, follow that instinct and move on to the next candidate. Absolutely do not hire the first person you interview; trust the interview process and compare each candidate’s answers. Who do you feel would best represent your business? How dedicated do they sound? Is there anything about their experience that makes you question their abilities? Don’t ignore that gut instinct.
- Ask for samples of past work (if appropriate)
- Check out their LinkedIn profile? How many connections/followers do they have? Personally, I’m always afraid to hire someone who has 2 to 200 connections. I’d like to see at least 500 connections to consider someone to hire.
- Another powerful way to decide on who to hire, ask them for past client testimonials and LinkedIn recommendations.
Want More Peace of Mind?
Hire an existing team with a team-manager in place. You can do a search for a VA team, or contact me to explore how my team can help your business run more smoothly.
Send me a message on LinkedIn or through my website if you’d like more info on how we can support you OR just have some questions about Outsourcing. I’ll also send you my “cheat-sheet” of 100+ tasks that you can outsource to a Virtual Assistant or other tech support professionals, a) categorized by business “departments” (content creation, tech stuff, social media, etc.); and b) with links to some of the most popular sources of low cost VA Support.
To your success & improved peace of mind,
E.G. Sebastian, is a Business-Development Coach, Corporate Trainer. He is the owner of www.TheMarketingNinja.pro digital marketing agency and founder of Corporate Speaker Academy where he helps coaches, consultants, and authors break into the world of delivering Workshops, Group Coaching programs, or Keynotes to corporate teams. Learn more about Sebastian at www.egSebstian.com and connect with him on LinkedIn.