A Virtual Assistant sitting at a desk with a laptop.

When to hire a Virtual Assistant and how they can help

I was recently asked to be on a panel for LaunchPad (‘the kindest community on the internet’ – they really are!), to talk about everything business owners need to know about hiring their first VA.

And despite the fact that it started at 5am my time (thank you ring light!), I figured I’d start my new blog with what was discussed, as it was so helpful to everyone.

Let’s start with why you might start thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant… Do any of these sound familiar, I wonder?

🕰️ There’s not enough hours in the day

You get to your desk and look at your to-do list. It’s full, as always, but you know your client work will take priority. The social media planning, those weekly emails you promised your subscribers and that Facebook group you started will have to wait…

⚡ It’s time to level-up

Business is booming and you’re working with your dream clients. It’s time to scale and move forward. But you can’t do it alone. You need help to manage it all; to help put those plans into action you need expertise. Perhaps you want to start a podcast or build an online course. You know that delegation is the only way you’ll succeed.

😖 I’m overwhelmed with the chaos

Your desktop is covered in files. Your inbox is overflowing with emails. You have loads of content but it’s all over the place. You just can’t think straight with everything in disarray. You need some help to get things organised. You need a spring clean (and not just in spring).

😐 Feeling meh

You’re feeling a bit flat about it all. You’ve lost your mojo for your online presence. You’ve been so busy with your clients that you haven’t reviewed your website copy for a while, or your social media captions = tumbleweeds. You’re at a standstill and not sure how to move forward.

Before we jump in to how you can decide what to give to a VA let me give you a few pointers on what they can offer.

What do Virtual Assistants do?

VAs provide a wide variety of services. Some have a specialism or are trained/experienced in a particular area, for example, there are social media VAs or podcast VAs. Others might offer a more rounded service, becoming your admin assistant supporting you with a variety of tasks in the background.

Here are some examples of the kinds of services on offer:

PA support: email management, calendar management, booking appointments, client contact, travel bookings

General admin: creating forms, formatting documents or presentations, data entry, reporting, minute-taking

Accounting support: uploading receipts, sending invoices, spreadsheets, updating accounting software

Digital marketing: social media management (captions, images, scheduling, etc), setting up a landing page, email marketing, monitoring stats, engaging with your online community, header graphics and updating profiles

Content management: podcast admin, writing/uploading blogs, maintaining website copy, repurposing content

Getting organised: new processes, automation, cleaning up inboxes, filing online folders

Plus so much more… this is just the tip of the iceberg! Just Google for lists and lists of potential tasks you can delegate.

Before I move on, I want to ask you something – how much relief and extra time would you get from passing over some of these tasks? Just sit with that feeling for a moment… feels good, right?

What can you delegate?

Once you’ve decided you want to work with a VA, you need to think about what you’d love to outsource. A good way to do this is to look at:

  • Tasks you hate doing
  • Tasks you can’t do, i.e., you need an expert
  • Tasks you don’t have time to do

Write a list of all the things you have to do on a day-to-day or weekly basis. Then cross off everything that only you can do as the business owner, for example, 1:1 client work or recording a podcast.
Next, highlight all the tasks that fit into the 3 categories above – those you hate doing, can’t do, and don’t have time to do.
That’s your list of tasks to outsource.
Lastly, decide if you need ongoing support or if it is a one-off project.

If you’re struggling to think about everything you do, try using a time-recording platform like Toggl. During one week, record every single thing you do and how long it takes. This will give you a good idea as to what is eating up your precious time. It’s an eye-opening experience!

Once you have your list, you can start looking for the right VA for you and your business. Bear in mind that you might need more than one VA if you’re looking to pass on more specialist tasks like social media management or email marketing, for example.

Want to know how to make it a success? Check out my next blog!

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