What is a Virtual Assistant? A Virtual Assistant is a one-stop shop for all of your back office needs. In my experience as a VA, I’ve been asked to do tasks from proofreading to writing, information management to content management, email management to social media management.
But how do you find the RIGHT VA for your business?
Do I Need A Virtual Assistant?
If your business is growing – that’s great! If you are finding yourself in the following situations consider looking for help:
- Less time for sales or the part of the business you enjoy.
- Lost in digital paperwork.
- Losing time working on tasks you don’t understand.
- Know you could reach more clients/customers but you just don’t have the time to implement your marketing plan.
Think about this before you search!
Every VA is different and fits into a different niche. But, before you start posting your opportunity, you should decide and know:
- What is your budget?
- The average lowest hourly rate for a VA in the U.S. is $25/hour.
- How many hours a week/month would you want a VA to assist you?
- Decide on the tasks that your VA will need to perform. Do this by making a physical list of those pesky tasks you just don’t have time for anymore.
- Figure the number of hours these tasks would take you and add 2 hours to that number. By grabbing this estimate you will be better able to budget for the VA.
- Decide on the maximum hourly/monthly wage you are willing to pay. If only low-quality applicants are appearing than the rate of pay needs to increase.
- What type of communication is expected? Are you going to require daily/weekly/ monthly check-ins, and updates?
- Have a list of the software and apps already used in your business. When advertising for a VA it is crucial to find one that understands the programs you use so there is not a huge learning curve.
How Do I Find A Virtual Assistant?
There are many popular websites that a business can advertise their open position on. Some will charge (UpWork, Freelancer.com) and some are absolutely free (Facebook). No matter which you decide – there are pitfalls and advantages.
- Paid sites –
- Vetted candidates.
- Freelancers on these sites pay a fee to be able to apply to job listings. In some cases, they will pay a fee out of their earnings so the applicants’ requested pay will likely be higher.
- Testimonials from other clients they have worked with along with the pay and hours they have worked (specifically on UpWork) on each project.
- Free sites –
- Facebook is a wonderful place to source virtual assistants. Join a group or two specifically for posting positions for virtual assisting and you will have a plethora of responses.
- These applicants, however, will need to be vetted personally. The pay will be less uniform since you will have applicants from all over the world (depending on the group you join).
How Do I Pick A Virtual Assistant?
Picking the right VA will have a lot to do with the tasks and projects. Here are my suggestions on selecting the right VA for your business:
- Have a list of every task you will want your VA to complete.
- Only ask for interviews if the VA can check off the majority of the tasks with experience. There is some wiggle room here as there may not be one person who can meet all of the criteria and some tasks will be specific to your business.
- Meet face to face using a messaging app that allows real-time video conferencing such as Zoom or Google Hangouts. This is important to me because I feel like you can determine so much more by looking at a person’s face and seeing their reaction to specific questions or just getting a feel for their personality.
- Make sure you “click”. This person is going to be responsible for the majority of your back office tasks. Make sure you feel good about him or her. If you get a bad feeling – it’s probably for a reason. When you find the right VA you will feel good about turning over tasks to them. Your business is your baby – so think of it as finding a babysitter for a child. You want to trust them with your most important creation.
- Ask questions. Here is a list of valuable questions to ask during your interview:
- Are you willing to learn new things? Apps? Software?
- Are you a quick learner?
- What are your available hours? Are you ever available outside of business hours?
- How would you want to be paid? PayPal? EFT?
- What is your general turn-around time for projects and tasks?
- Ask for samples of work or referrals from other clients. While a VA who is just starting out won’t have referrals from past clients you can still ask for references – just like in a traditional application process in a traditional office environment.
- Ask for pricing up-front. Ask for a quote once you have informed a potential VA of the tasks you will be giving them.
I Am Ready For A Virtual Assistant!
Decided a VA is a correct choice for your business? Fantastic! Here are the links to several popular sites and ones that I have used myself both as a virtual assistant and as a client.
Facebook is also a valuable resource to post jobs – especially if you are looking for new virtual assistants. Join groups labeled “Virtual Assisting Jobs” and you will find a valuable resource of many potential VA’s.
Interested in hiring RockingMama Virtual Assisting? Connect with us here.
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