Hiring a Virtual Assistant can feel like a big step, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who’s been going it alone the entire time. That’s because it is a big step. You’ve gotten used to doing things a certain way at a certain time in a certain order. There’s a controlled chaos to your life that, while exhausting, also provides a certain security. However, there might be times that you feel overwhelmed. You might start to occasionally miss a deadline. Something falls through the cracks. That’s when it’s time to consider hiring a Virtual Assistant. But how do you know if using a virtual assistant is right for you? Let’s talk about it.
Are You Ready to Hire a Virtual Assistant
When you hire a Virtual Assistant, it requires giving up at least some level of control. At the very least, you’ll be trusting another person to handle menial tasks for which you don’t have time. Depending on what you need, you might also be relinquishing things like passwords and more. For some people, the thought of this is enough to make them decide immediately that maybe they can do it all themselves. After all, most of us live our lives on social media.
It takes a significant amount of trust in another person’s capabilities to give up any control, let alone what you might need to hand over for your Virtual Assistant to effectively do his or her job. It’s a lot to mull over, so let’s take a look at what Virtual Assistants do.
The Ins and Outs of Hiring a Virtual Assistant
Virtual Assistant is an umbrella term for anyone that helps you do anything for which you don’t have time. As such, it can mean hiring a person to do anything from participating in pods to running your social media platforms.
The Services You See
When hiring a Virtual Assistant, it all comes down to your comfort level and how much control you want to give another person over your business. Some of the common activities done by Virtual Assistants include:
- Participating in groups and pods to increase engagement
- SEO work for both websites and YouTube
- Recipe and giveaway submission to external websites
- Email management
- Calendar scheduling
- Social media engagement/growth
- Social media management
The Services You Don’t See
These are just highlights of what Virtual Assistants do. As you can see, the activities listed here range from low-level work to things that require significant access to accounts and control over them. However, these are just the things that you can see a VA doing. There’s another aspect to being a Virtual Assistant the client’s don’t see.
So much more goes into being a Virtual Assistant than just dropping a link or scheduling a post. A good Virtual Assistant keeps an eye on what’s happening all day long. They put out fires before they start. They have conversations with pod and group moderators behind the scenes. Many times, they’ll solve a problem you don’t even know you have or solve one that you can’t on your own.
I remember a client who was struggling with getting enough engagement because she had lost access to several excellent pods and groups. Her former VA had been putting links in and then not doing the work on her end. In the end, my client was banned from a handful of groups with no recourse. I had to go in and speak with the admins, convince them that she had no part in the issue, and that it would not happen again. These are the things good VAs do when their clients aren’t looking.
In the end, you’ll probably decide whether or not to hire a Virtual Assistant based on your workload and the VA’s reputation. Speaking of reputations.
Do Your Homework
If you decide that hiring a Virtual Assistant is right for you, you’ll need to do some serious homework. Giving even the most menial of tasks to another person is still giving up some control. You have to be sure that the person with which you’re working can handle the jobs you give to him or her. That’s where due diligence comes in. It’s a must to choose the right person for the job.
Always ask for references. I quality, professional Virtual Assistant will be happy to give them to you. The more names your prospective VA can give you, the better. In general, you should ask for a minimum of five references. This gives you a healthy pool of current and former clients to contact regarding your potential VA partner. Always follow up on those references immediately. The sooner you get feedback, the sooner you can move forward or move on.
Whether you’re a big business or a smaller blogger, always ask your circle and ask them to ask their circles about the VA you’re thinking of hiring. Social media tends to be a smaller world than it appears on the surface, and your potential VA will have a reputation out there. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you get feedback. Although you can’t please everyone all the time, a good VA will have an extremely high percentage of satisfied clients. After all, the Virtual Assistant business is really a service industry.
Knowledge of the industry is as important as work ethic. A good VA has both of these. While asking around about your potential VA’s reputation, be sure to ask about how well they seem to understand the social media world in which they’re working. Do they understand SEO? Have they delivered results? Knowledge leads to execution.
When hiring a Virtual Assistant, there’s one last important part of doing your homework: conversation. Have conversations with your potential VA, whether through email, messenger, or via phone, to see if your personalities will be a good fit. A hard-working, knowledgeable Virtual Assistant still may not be right for you if your personalities don’t mesh.
Virtual Assistant Pricing
If you’ve decided that hiring a Virtual Assistant is right for you, and you’ve done your homework, it’s time to think about pricing. This is where things can get tricky. Of course, any good business owner wants to maximize returns and minimize losses. That can lead to a mindset of looking for the cheapest Virtual Assistant you can find. The old saying “You get what you pay for” comes into full effect here. A good Virtual Assistant isn’t cheap. To illustrate that, let’s look at what happens with pricing models.
The Cheap Virtual Assistant
The cheap Virtual Assistant is initially an incredibly appealing choice. After all, they offer so much for so little! Unfortunately, anything that is too good to be true usually is. Some Virtual Assistants have low pricing because they work on volume. The charge very little to acquire a massive client list and then make their money off the sheer number of clients they have.
Working in bulk is a terrible way to run a VA business. Think about a Virtual Assistant as a mirror image of yourself. You started thinking about hiring a Virtual Assistant because you were overwhelmed, and you could feel your effectiveness slipping away. The same holds true for VA’s who work on volume. In the beginning, you may have no problems, however, over time, deadlines tend to be missed. You’ll receive messages from Pod admins asking why you haven’t finished your activity. Work quality may begin to decline. That’s because the VA is either burning out, trying to do too much too fast, or both.
The Appropriately Priced Virtual Assistant
Over the years, I have unfortunately seen appropriately priced VA’s referred to as “the expensive ones”. However, a quality Virtual Assistant is worth every penny. Good Virtual Assistants are “expensive” because they do a multi-faceted job, and they do it well. You’ll find that these VAs don’t work on bulk. Rather, they ensure that their day has enough time to schedule out everything that needs to be done and do it to the best quality possible.
In addition, they keep a constant eye on their clients’ interests, following up on issues, stopping disasters before they strike. There are a million things that go into being a Virtual Assistant, and those things are what make a good VA worth the money. One thing to note is that the time you save from using a Virtual Assistant is time that they gain. They are taking the time off of your plate and putting it onto theirs, which is definitely worth the rates they charge.
Is Hiring a Virtual Assistant Right for You
Hopefully, this information helped you decide. If you need more information to find out if hiring a Virtual Assistant is right for you, head over to BizzyBim and look at the FAQ sheet. There, you’ll find even more information on Virtual Assistants, pricing, what they do, and more.