You hear about virtual assistants on podcasts and blogs. People are always talking about virtual assistants, but how do you actually find a virtual assistant? Even more important how do you actually use one to help you grow your business so that it’s a multiplier for your business and not an expense.
What To Outsource
So often people think ‘I want to have this perfect virtual assistant that’s just going to take things off my plate‘. That person may exist and if you find them, congratulations. In reality if that person is out there, they’re going to be such a hot commodity that someone else is going to gobble them up quickly. They’re going to offer more money, more satisfaction or just a bigger audience and opportunity.
Really what you want to do is outline what the things are that you hate doing and what the things are that you’re doing that you really shouldn’t be doing, even if you like them. So for example I hated doing the show notes for my podcast I just didn’t like it. I didn’t want to have to listen through it and I didn’t want to have to coordinate with a virtual assistant to get the transcripts. I didn’t want to touch that at all, so that’s something that I can completely outsource.
In the middle column things that I enjoyed doing but shouldn’t be doing was the artwork for every single podcast. To make that little image, it’s going to go out there in social media and be on the blog post, I loved it. This however was not a good use of my time. In the past when I did a podcast, it would take me usually three hours or so per podcast to get everything going. Now all I do is I show up, I do the recording, I upload it, I send that link to my virtual assistant and she takes care of the rest. I can move so much faster because I have a virtual assistant.
Hire For The Person, Not The Role
You want to hire the person for them as a person, not for the role. You want to find someone that’s teachable, that you can build into and help them grow their skills. You want to look for that natural intuition.
When I was first looking for a virtual assistant to help with graphic design I posted on UpWork. I asked applicants to go over to my website, take the image, figure out the fonts, figure out the colors and do the first five images. This was part of the application process. The person I hired was so good she nailed it on the first time with zero feedback and now she is one of our top people at Practice Of The Practice.
When you look for a virtual assistant you want to look for someone that has that intuition that you can build into. I’ve put her through trainings on videos and design, in this way she can grow as a professional. It gives them autonomy and independence which we all want. If you’re micromanaging, people are going to leave, but if you can build skills and give them the opportunity to grow within your company, that’s what we all want. We want to be able to grow our finances, but more importantly we want to make an impact on the world. Treat your virtual assistants in that way and they’ll stick around and they’ll contribute by giving new ideas to your projects.
We want to recognize the four things that are always drivers for us, this is also true for all of our virtual assistants. We all want to grow our income, innovation, influence and our impact. With these four drivers we want to look at how we can help our virtual assistants to do those things.
- Income – How do we grow their income, how do we help them level up? This might be that we outsource them as coaches, train them in new ways. They may get a percentage of profits that come in for certain projects.
- Innovation – How do we help them have a voice in what we’re doing through our website. If we can do that it’s going to create an environment of innovation, it helps us stand out from our competitors.
- Influence – How do we help them be more influential, bring them into your podcast, put them in some of your videos. Let them do some of the training, because they have a skill set that will help them have more influence on the world.
- Impact – What are they passionate about beyond just your business, see if there’s social causes that you can get behind. Something that you as an organization can grow.
When you look at those four I’s you’re going to have people that are happy in their jobs and also are contributing to help you build passive income beyond yourself.
- Pay on time if not early. Give bonuses if they really go above and beyond and do your best to help them financially so that they are secure. Make it easy for them to get paid.
- Make sure that from the beginning you have set meetings to give them feedback. Feedback should always be a part of what you’re talking about. You want to make sure that if someone misses the mark, you don’t have to have a specific sit-down, but that feedback is a natural part of how we interact with each other. In those meetings you want to see that there’s some innovative ideas, what is some feedback that they can give or contribute beyond your own ideas. Some of the best ideas at Practice Of The Practice have come from our virtual assistants when they’ve noticed things that I missed next.
- You need to have a clear project management system, we use Trello, other people use Basecamp or Slack – it doesn’t matter what you use as long as you’re familiar with it and you can keep things moving forward. For my virtual assistants I have a to-do list, a some day list and ideas list (ideas that I have that they’re not ready to work on) and a completed list. It helps us stay organized on the immediate projects that need to be posted, like a podcast and the long-term projects like a magazine. In this way we know where we stand with everything.
How To Make Money Off A Virtual Assistant
There’s so many ways that you can build passive income through a virtual assistant. For example if you have someone that’s answering the phones and scheduling, you could outsource them to do the same for somebody else. If you have a graphic designer you know, maybe you’re paying them $15 or $20 an hour but you may be able to outsource them for $50 or $75 an hour – that then allows you to pay for the time you’re using them as a graphic designer but you have enough income to cover that entire role.
Have them come up with e-courses, tutorials and webinars so that you can grow and scale faster. When you do this it allows you to build not just passive income but passive content and we know that that content is going to lead to people getting on your email list, listening to your podcast and coming over to those paid products. It helps you create more, which brings in a larger audience.
Get access to the free the PDF that goes along with this series on passive income by clicking here!
Joseph R. Sanok, MA, LLP, LPC, NCC
Joe Sanok is an ambitious results expert. He is a private practice business consultant and counselor that helps small businesses and counselors in private practice to increase revenue and have more fun! He helps owners with website design, vision, growth, and using their time to create income through being a private practice consultant. Joe was frustrated with his lack of business and marketing skills when he left graduate school. He loved helping people through counseling, but felt that often people couldn’t find him. Over the past few years he has grown his skills, income, and ability to lead others, while still maintaining an active private practice in Traverse City, MI. To link to Joe’s Google+ .