Welcome to this edition of the Real Fast Results! The special guest today is Luanna Rodham. She is going to share her secrets for how you can earn more and get more done, plus have more free time, by hiring a virtual assistant. Let’s see what Luanna has to say…
By the end of this episode, today, you will know whether you are ready to hire a virtual assistant, if you can afford a virtual assistant, how having a virtual assistant can help you to make more money in your business, and where to find a good one.
Commonly Asked Questions About Hiring a Virtual Assistant
I’m going to do my steps as questions because I get a lot of questions about VAs. So these are the questions that we will answer. There are four of them:
- What is a virtual assistant (VA)?
- Do I have enough money to hire a VA? Can a virtual assistant actually help me make more money?
- What can I actually outsource?
- How do I go about finding a good, reliable VA?
Question 1: What is a Virtual Assistant (VA)?
A virtual assistant is obviously someone who works virtually. You don’t have to live in the same place as they do, and they come with all of their own equipment. They have their own businesses. They have their own computers, their own microphones, their own printers, their own software, etc. They are not your employee. You’re not paying them employee taxes or anything like that. I think that’s very important to know. As a virtual assistant, it is their own business. Their business is helping you succeed in your business.
There are different types of Virtual Assistants. You have VAs that might do just transcribing, or editing, or data entry. You have VAs that just help with social media. You have administrative virtual assistants to help you make plane reservations, making phone calls, making hotel reservations, etc. There are so many different types of virtual assistants. A lot of VAs have varying backgrounds. Mine is in education. I was a special education teacher, so I do very well helping organize people. They’ll say, “I want to do this, and this, and this,” and then I can break it down in steps and say, “Well, the first thing you have to do is you have to open a Pinterest account, and you have to start making pins, and open boards…” So,I really help with organizing and social media.
You have VAs that have tech backgrounds. You have VAs that were in the corporate world. There are all different kinds virtual assistants to help with your specific needs in your business. Essentially, these are indpendent contractors that you are bringing in to do defined tasks, based on what experience they have.
Question 2: Do I Have Enough Money to Hire a Virtual Assistant?
I get this question all the time, and this is what I recommend when I get asked that. How frazzled are you in your business? Are you spending all of your time checking emails, trying to do social media, trying to make sure the websites working right, trying to find people’s login information for your membership site, and so on? If you’re spending all of your time doing that, and you are not able to create, or coach, or whatever it is that you truly got into business for, then yeah, you probably can afford a VA. You can afford a VA, and you need a VA.
I recommend that you sit down and you look at what is making you so frazzled. And, what would it be worth if you had a $200 marketing budget? And, you could just take $200 a month and put that towards giving some of these tasks to someone else so that you could actually create. just say $200. If you’re at that point where you can spend $200 and consider it a business expense, or a marketing budget, you will be amazed by how putting forth that $200 will help you have enough time to create and make products.
Can a Virtual Assistant Help Me Make More Money?
If you’re not spending all of your time attending to those menial tasks, that have to be done in order to run a business, then you have more time to build product funnels, make membership sites, create new products, and coach clients. And so, yes, definitely, having a VA will help make you more money. I do recommend that you not start out putting tons of money into it in the beginning, unless you absolutely know what the tasks are that you want completed.
This all comes down to defining for yourself what are the highest and best uses of your time, your energy, your mental bandwidth. In other words, look at those things that truly make you money in your business and focus on those things, and essentially, try to give as much of those “other” tasks to a virtual assistant. Even if you are really good at those sorts of things, there’s going to come a point where you are out of gas. You don’t have any more to give emotionally, physically, or you’re just out of time. That is one of the biggest benefits to bringing on a VA.
You need to be looking at outsourcing as much of those things that are not the highest and best use of your time. The more you do that, the more money you could potentially make, in most instances. This frees you up to direct your attention and energy into those things that you know that you’re talented at. You can, essentially, pass off those things that need to be done, where you’re not as gifted, to the VA or VAs that you have. In this way, you will likely be able to see more time for yourself and your family, and more money because you’re really practicing your gifts, whatever those gifts happen to be. The key is to find someone who has their own set of gifts that are complimentary to your business and your business goals.
Question 3: What Can I Actually Outsource?
One of the things that I find people get the most overwhelmed with is their email or their support desk. When you have to switch from a task, like, let’s say that you are creating a product or writing your book; and, you have to switch to go check on the customer support desk, where people aren’t happy or they’re upset that something isn’t working, it takes about 20 minutes to get back on task after you have done that. If you’re not having to mess with the menial day to day tasks, outsourcing is going to really help you stay on task and create.
There are many things that you can outsource to a VA. Daniel Hall and I have a course about this, and in that course, we list a bunch of things that you can outsource. What I recommend you do is sit down and make a list of what is stressing you out the most. What is causing you to become frazzled the most? Or, make a list of what’s keeping you from creating. For example:
- Your email
- Posting on social media every day
- Making pins for Pinterest
- Uploading your books to different sites
- Finding pictures
Whatever it might be, make a list of things that you’re spending your time on that’s making you nervous and stressing you out. After you do that, look at that and say, “Okay, my email is really making me stressed. Do I really want somebody in my email, or can I set up a customer support desk and have somebody do that? And, can this VA set up a support desk?” He or she probably can. Make this list and just start looking at it. “Is that something that I really have to do? Do I have to post to Pinterest every day?” Well, you want to do that for your business, but do you personally have to do that? No, you don’t.
Do you personally have to go in and load up your Hootsuite, or whatever you’re doing? Do you personally have to find all of the tweets, and post to your blogs, and find all of the keywords for your blogs, and all of those kinds of things? No, you don’t. You don’t personally need to do that. Yes, you want to write the content, but you can have somebody else re purpose it and put it on the Internet for you. So, that’s what I recommend, is…”What can I outsource to a VA?” Just write down things that you are frustrated with. If you have a shopping cart system, loading products in the shopping cart, loading the auto-responders, and the follow-up sequence, and all of those types of things are something that you can give to a VA to do.
Question 4: How Do I Go About Finding a Good, Reliable Virtual Assistant?
There are three ways that I recommend finding a VA. And it may sound silly because I know that you think of a virtual assistant as, you know, virtual… maybe somebody that you don’t meet. However, I think that the best way to find a virtual assistant is to meet them face-to-face. I like meeting people face-to-face because then you know if your personality is going to gel or not, and that is very, very important when working with a VA. You may find one that you work with, and your personalities just don’t work alike. And, that’s okay, but if you meet them face-to-face, you have more of a chance of finding out if you’re going to be able to work with that person.
- A great way to meet a virtual assistant is face-to-face at networking events. And, when I say that, I mean meet-ups or anything like that you may have in your area. The thing about networking events is there are virtual assistants there. People think that there’s not, but there are. Everywhere you go in the online/small business world, you’re going to find VAs. You just need to talk to people and find out who they are. So first, you know, “How do I find a virtual assistant?” The first way, if you can do it, is by going and meeting them at a live networking event.
- The second way is word of mouth. I think this is a really important one. You may say, “Daniel, who’s your virtual assistant? Do you know a virtual assistant?” Talk to people that you know, that you really trust and you respect. If you like how their business is running, more than likely, they have a virtual assistant. Find out if their virtual assistant has openings, or if their virtual assistant knows someone. Word of mouth is a great way. That’s how I meet my clients. It’s been at networking events or word of mouth. I’ve never really had one pop up from my website, and I kind of like that because I want to meet them face to face to see if we can gel. When you are thinking of people that you can ask, check out your Facebook groups. Ask them too, “Who is a virtual assistant that you use,” or, “Is there a company that you recommend?” You can ask anyone that you feel like you know pretty well. That’s a good way to go.
- The third way is, there are sites that you can go on to look for virtual assistants. There’s Freelance.com. There’s Upwork.com. I know a lady who owns a VA company called VAnetworking.com. Some of you know Nichole Dean and her business partner Melissa Ingold. They have a site called CoachGlue. Well, Melissa has her own Contractors List. I would definitely recommend checking out that list. So, those are people that you can go online, and kind of meet them online, and tell them what your project is.
How Long Do I Want to Work with A Virtual Assistant?
Now, one thing that I want to bring up is that you need to be thinking, “Do I want a VA for just a short-term project, or am I going to want one that I have a long-term relationship with?” If you want just a short-term project, a good place to go is Fiverr.com. They do a lot of short-term stuff, or any of these, Freelance.com, Upwork.com, etc. Those will do for one-time projects. If you need a logo, if you need something with your website, if you need something edited, or whatever, these sites work pretty well for finding someone. But if you want a virtual assistant that you work long-term with, I would really recommend the first two things: live networking events and asking around.
Virtual Assistant Tips from Daniel
If it’s a short-term, large job, like having an index made for your book or some special research project, one thing that you can do is put a local ad on Craigslist, explaining what the project is all about. You can find some pretty good folks this way, and if you do it in your local area, you can meet them at the library, or Denny’s, or whatever, so that you can get face-to-face, and you can figure out if they are someone you want to work with, or not. I mean, you can kind of interview them.
When you find someone you think you could work with, you will want to send them some sort of small project before you hire him/her. It should be something that takes some thought on their part because one thing that’s really crucial is that you’ve got to have an assistant that will follow your directions. Ultimately, you want someone that can handle you asking, “Hey, can you do this,” and they are able to figure out the rest. Now, when you are first starting out, this approach doesn’t work, most of the time. You will have to be very specific about what you want and tell them exactly how to go about doing it. At the same time, a big part of this is finding someone that can follow your directions well.
If you start communicating with someone and they don’t follow your directions well from the very start, you really shouldn’t bother hiring them. You can check this out beforehand by giving them something to do during the hiring process. You might set up a WordPress site and have them make one post to that site. In any case, you’ll want to give them a task and see if they do it according to your directions. If they don’t, you really shouldn’t bother hiring them. Otherwise, it’s just going to be a big waste of time for you and the other person.
Hiring a Virtual Assistant
It’s also a good idea to have a trial period. If you talk to your potential assistant on the phone, and you think they sound great, offer to give them work for a month or two. That way, either one of you has time to back out of the arrangement, if need be, without there being any hurt feelings. Virtual assistants, that’s what we do. We help you in your business, and we should be able to follow directions, and whatever else that you need.
Make sure that you are clear, that you’re doing this for a trial period. That way, you can see if the person can follow through with everything they are asked to do, and if they can keep up with what you ask of them. It’s good for the VA too, because they may get into a situation where they think, “I don’t have enough time. This is more than I thought it was going to be,” or, “We just don’t work well together…”
The last thing that I wanted to bring up was, in our course, I specifically talk about the qualities that you want to look for in a virtual assistant. You know, are you a micro manager? Do you want someone that you tell every detail to? Or, do you eventually want to be able to just tell them, “Go set this up,” and they do it. Some people can follow instructions well, but aren’t necessarily good at figuring things out on their own, and others would rather be given a task and left to their own devices. Of course, you want to pick a personality that works well with your personality, and vice versa.
Daniel and Luanna’s VA Course
It is on Udemy.com. It’s called: Easy Steps: How To Hire A Virtual Assistant (VA). And if you act now, you can get it for half price by visiting RealFastResults.com/VA. If you’re interested in it, it’s very well-reviewed by the other students in it. And, if you’re thinking about hiring a virtual assistant, it’s definitely a good idea to go check this course out.
Real Fast Results Community
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About the Author (Author Profile)Daniel Hall is a bestselling author, speaker, publisher, nurse, attorney and host the Real Fast Results podcast. He is also the creator of other highly popular “Real Fast” brand of training products. He left law practice 10 years ago to build his publishing business and has never looked back. Daniel is a true serial entrepreneur and his list of URLs is longer than a piece of paper, so you can check out Daniel’s hub at www.DanielHallPresents.com or the podcast right here on this site!
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