Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your blog or wished you could have a little help?
A virtual assistant may be right for you.
I have been working as a virtual assistant (VA) for a little over a year now. I am also a blogger and run More Than a Homeschool Mom. In many of the blogging groups I am in, I see bloggers ask a lot of questions about hiring a VA. These questions can range from pricing to best practices. I thought it would be a great time to share 10 things your VA wishes you knew in order to help you if you are thinking about hiring a VA this year.
1. Know what you want.
When deciding to hire a VA, it can be easy to rush in and expect your VA to have all the answers to launch your brand and grow your numbers. While that sounds great it is not what a VA is for. When hiring a VA, it is good to have a plan in mind.
Do you want your VA to schedule your Facebook posts for you? What about putting together your weekly newsletter? Are you looking for a VA who will write content for you? If so, what type and how often? Knowing these things before starting with a VA will help both of you to have a better working relationship.
If you are unsure of what exactly you need it is ok to ask for their opinion but not all VA’s will have the same experience.
2. Pay equal to the job.
When hiring a VA keep in mind that your VA will be paying taxes on that income as well as Paypal fees if they use Paypal to be paid. Make sure that you are pricing your jobs with that in mind. Different jobs will require different amounts of time and leg work. With a huge variety of tasks you can hire out it is important to decide how much you need done and budget accordingly.
3. Decide how much liberty you want your VA to take.
Having a VA can be a huge help but it can be hard to hand over access to your business. There are many ways to hand over some of the responsibilities without as much of the risk. You can pre-write tweets or updates that your VA can schedule. You can also limit access based on what you are needing or require approval of posts before publishing.
4. Expect training time.
Even with a VA who has been working for some time it’s important to plan on training time. Your VA needs to learn your preferences and there may be a short time of learning how you can best work together. Unless you know each other your VA is not going to understand your brand and personality completely. Make sure to allow some time to get through the initial learning stages.
5. Respect their time.
While a VA can be a huge asset to your business it is important to remember that on the other end of the computer is a person. They may be able to handle your last minute project but they may not. Unless you have a specific agreement about covering last minute tasks make sure to give your VA a break if they can’t cover it for you. You will have a much stronger relationship if you respect each other’s time and deadlines.
6. Give notice of time off.
If you have a VA that you have hired on an ongoing basis, make sure to give advanced notice if you are planning on not using them for a certain amount of time. Many VA’s work to help support their families. If proper notice is not given about time off it can leave your VA feeling overwhelmed and disappointed. However, if they know that time without work is coming they are able to fill that slot with other work. Open communication is always a big help.
7. Google Calendar is your friend.
If you are working together on a project it is great to have a Google Calendar that has components your VA can access. This tutorial can walk you through the process. It can be very helpful for scheduling newsletters or keeping track of schedules. This can also be helpful if you are needing ads placed in a newsletter on a certain date or want to set blog post topics for your VA who does content for you.
8. Google Drive is also a great friend to have.
When working with VA it can be very helpful to have a document that you can share. You can read this tutorial to learn how to share documents. One of my clients puts jobs into a spreadsheet for me to work on as I need to. You may be able to use Google Drive to share specific Tweets you want scheduled or blog post suggestions for content writing.
9. Don’t expect your VA to be a miracle worker.
While your VA may be a huge asset to your brand they are not there to be miracle workers. It will still take your hard work and creativity to grow your brand. You will get what you pay for with your VA. A lot will depend on what you have your VA doing for you and what you do with the rest of your business.
10. Know where to find a VA.
Start by asking in your blogging groups. You will probably find that you know a VA or two. If not, your friends will have some great recommendations for you. If neither of these work, check Facebook. There are many groups that have VA’s for hire. These are great groups to join in case you need someone last minute in the future.
Are you considering a VA? What questions do you still have?
Have your social media information prominently displayed.
As a VA, I post on social media for a few larger sites. When I look for content I need a site that has social media in a place that is easy to find. If a VA can not tag you on Facebook or Twitter, a VA is more likely to skip your post and move on to the next blogger. This isn’t personal. A VA is working on a specific time frame and has specific posting criteria. If you want your post shared make sure this information is readily available so that a VA can easily promote you as they work.
Meagan is a homeschooling mom of two. She writes at More Than a Homeschool Mom to encourage and equip homeschool moms to not just survive but to thrive. She shares educational printables, ideas, encouragement, and fun educational ideas in Central Florida.