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Hiring Your Best Fit Virtual Assistant

by Jamie Durner, Holistic Business Mentor Coach | Build Your Profitable Holistic Practice Podcast

I want to talk today about something that came up with a client recently that I thought was a great question and something that I myself have gone through as a solopreneur.

Which is the question of how to hire your best fit virtual assistant.

In this virtual age where so much of our business exists online, we have lots of new possibilities including having team support people that aren’t in our office but are virtual. And this is awesome – and can bring up some questions and stresses and challenges that I hope to diffuse today.

So the first thing in looking at your virtual assistant need is to get clear on what do you need.

What do you need, and more importantly, what do you want?

Because really you get to choose how you want to invest in yourself and your business for support.  Any of it is fair game.  And even in terms of the monetary investment, from my perspective, if it’s getting you the results you want so that you are able to make that high level of income that you want because of that assistant, whatever you’re having them do can be considered a great service.

In terms of looking at what it is you want, I invite you to think about two things.

  • What in working in your business and working on your business really lights you up? What do you love to do? What makes you want to be in your business and really engages you and actually gives you more energy, right? That’s where you want to be spending your time and those activities are usually the ones that also bring in your greatest abundance of your business.  For most of us, those activities are ones that are connecting us with our clients – whether it be one-on-one or in group programs or even in some of the self study development programs where we put our hearts in, where we’re connecting with our clients.
  • On the opposite side of that, what tasks are you doing that need to be done, but that they feel like they bog you down, are draining or depleting you and preventing you from doing what you want to be doing?  These tasks are taking away your energy in a negative way.  And that can ultimately affect your bottom line because you’re not able to do the things you love.

But it also affects what I call our heart line.  If you spend too much of your time bogged down in those tasks, it may make you want to give up.  To stay in your business for the long-term, it’s good to know that balance between those two tasks.

Once you’ve got your list of what you want to outsource and what you’re going to keep, you then can look at who are going to be your best partners.

Some of them might be very project specific oriented jobs, like say you’re going to have a bookkeeper and accountant do certain parts of your business. That might only be quarterly or once a year. Great. You’ve got those in one box.

Then you might be looking at also time limited projects that often have to do with technical aspects, maybe a website overhaul or maybe you’re setting up a revised email marketing system using more segments in them to create better engagement in your community.

You want to hire someone to help you do those, but you don’t necessarily need them going forward on an ongoing basis.

Here’s my number one tip around using people for specific projects.

Even if hiring someone to set up the structures and do part of it, I like to know what’s going on.  So that when I do step in, if I want to take over parts of it, I can and also just so I understand it.  I will always look for someone who’s going to do the work, but will also help orient me and always is going to work within a system that I have access to.  Because ultimately, I’m the business owner. I want control of that so that I’m not stuck or held hostage by someone else having control over my material.  Just one thing to keep in mind there.

Then the other piece is do you want to or need to hire someone on a more ongoing basis, rather than just the project oriented or limited time period?

Let’s say you’ve recognized that it would really help both your energy and your bottom line to have someone five hours a week or 30 hours a month or whatever that amount is. You then want to know that so you can find the right person to hire.

Know that with some of the virtual assistants out there, some will have a minimum weekly or monthly rate. Others will allow you to buy in chunks of time. You can buy 10 hours and then you get to use those 10 hours whenever you want. That’s a question that you can ask when you go through the interview process.

Now that you’ve gotten clear on what it is you’re wanting someone to do and kind of defined who that person is, the next obvious piece is where do you find that person.

There are a couple of great sites online where you can hire freelancers. Fiverr is one that I’ve used, although more for small project oriented pieces. There is also a great site called Upworks, where I am currently in process of hiring a more ongoing virtual assistant for myself.

Both have people who work both States-side or based States-side as well as international people. The international people can offer a really good value-add price for some of those jobs that we’re doing, but can also bring up some other potential issues to consider.

Like if English isn’t their first language, how is the communication flow? Does it take more time because you’re having to spend more time explaining to them or creating more edits?

For me, the best way to shortcut that process is to get a recommendation, get a referral.

Tap into your peer colleagues who are using virtual assistants.  I know that within my community lots of us are using them, so likely in your community several of your peers will be using virtual assistants as well.  Get those recommendations.

The reality is we all feel better when we have that direct referral versus just pulling someone out of, in this case, the digital freelance phone book.  Having that referral will help your comfort level and shortcut that process.

The last piece is to assess for the energy fit and for me that falls into two categories.

One is the energy fit between you and your teammate. Obviously, the main question is how well do you work together?

For me, I’m a very value oriented person, so I want someone who’s going to have some overlap in my values and I’ll actually bring that into my conversation with them. They’re going to have a different skillset than I do. That’s why I’m hiring them.  But I want them to have some overlap in working style and then solid communication.

Seeing how you fit energetically is going to come down a lot to your gut instincts. Pay attention to how you’re feeling when you’re having the conversations with them.

If you’re hiring someone to do more ongoing work, especially if it has to do with your client community engagement, keep this next tip in mind.

Your clients are coming to you because of who you are, your nature, your essence, your energy.  And although you’ll never find someone exactly like you, because we are not cloning ourselves yet, you do want someone that’s going to carry that energy brand of who you are and what you’re representing.  Meaning that person you hire, you want them to have an energy and a feeling that is similar to you.

Ideally, they might have some of those same values, but who they are is going to overlap with who you are energetically. So it’s going to create this very seamless synchronistic flow to your clients. Creating a great team structure.

So these are the tips I have to share with you today.

Follow your instincts.  Get clear within yourself.  Maybe consider a trial period. 

So much of life and in our businesses is trial and error.  But these tips should hopefully help make the process easier.

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Copyright © 2017 to present Jamie Durner, Holistic Business Mentor Coach @ holisticbusinessprosperity.com. All rights reserved.

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