Are you looking for a Virtual Assistant? As the demand for virtual personal assistants continues to rise, it’s essential to understand how to effectively collaborate with them. A virtual personal assistant can significantly increase your productivity and reduce stress, but there are a few key tips to keep in mind to optimize your working relationship. Whether you’re a busy professional, an entrepreneur, or a small business owner, here are 10 valuable tips for working with a virtual personal assistant.
What does a Virtual Assistant do?
First off, let’s review the roles and responsibilities of a virtual personal assistant. A virtual personal assistant, also known as a Virtual Assistant or VA, is typically a self-employed individual who provides administrative, technical, and sometimes sales or marketing support to businesses. The “virtual” aspect means that all activities are completed remotely, allowing VAs to work from anywhere with a good internet connection.
Some common tasks performed by Virtual Assistants include:
- Managing calendars and daily schedules
- Responding to emails
- Collecting information on sales targets
- Ordering supplies for physical offices
- Running multiple programs or funnels to find leads and business opportunities
- Scheduling social media posts and email newsletter campaigns
- Tracking marketing metrics such as lead generation statistics
- Performing bookkeeping tasks such as budgeting or tracking income and expenses
Virtual Assistants can work as executive assistants, administrative assistants, personal assistants, or in other related positions, depending on the client’s needs. Some personal assistants may work a hybrid role, with some in-person support in addition to remote work.
Tips for Working With a Virtual Assistant
Now that you understand what a Virtual Assistant can do for you, let’s explore tips for optimizing your working relationship together.
1. Clear Communication
Clear and consistent communication is essential for working with a Virtual Assistant. While strong communication skills are a must for all personal assistants, virtual or not, it’s also the client’s responsibility to establish effective communication habits with the Virtual Assistant from the get-go. Clear communication entails:
- Honesty: An open and trusting relationship is essential when working with a Virtual Assistant, who will have access to important aspects of your personal and working life such as managing your calendar, email correspondence, and/or finances
- Responsiveness: A Virtual Assistant must be timely in their responses with clients and contacts of the client. But VA clients must also be responsive in order for VA’s to effectively do their work.
- Clear Communication Channels: From the beginning of your working relationship, establish which communication channels work best for the two of you. For example, do you generally prefer to text or email with your VA?
- Schedule Regular Updates: In addition to your day-to-day communication, scheduling regular updates is helpful. For example, you might text with your VA throughout the day but have a weekly email check-in to discuss longer term goals and plans.
Establishing open and transparent communication channels ensures that tasks and expectations are clearly understood between both parties.
2. Provide Detailed Instructions
Providing detailed instructions for your virtual personal assistant is of utmost importance, particularly at the beginning of your working relationship. Provide comprehensive and detailed instructions for each task, including desired outcomes, deadlines, and any relevant resources. For example, if your VA will be adding to your online calendar, scheduling meetings, or organizing documents, you’ll need to provide a clear and secure method for providing them with access to accounts.
3. Understand Their Skills
What are your VA’s skills? While there are important skills and expertise across the board for all virtual personal assistants, each individual has their own strengths and weaknesses. Before you hire your VA, it’s essential to understand their skills, experience, and what they can do for you. Gain a thorough understanding of your virtual personal assistant’s skill set to delegate tasks effectively and maximize their potential. Also, understand the boundaries around your VA’s role so you don’t end up in a situation where they aren’t able to meet your needs. For example, some VA’s may not dive deeply into budgeting or finances, which if properly communicated beforehand may work just fine for the client. Clients may already have adequate accounting support.
4. Set Realistic Expectations
To avoid overwhelming your assistant with an excessive workload, set realistic expectations regarding task completion and deadlines. This is important to establish before you begin working together. But it’s also important to check in regularly about the workload throughout your working relationship. A monthly or quarterly check-in can be helpful for these types of conversations.
5. Build Rapport
The better you and your virtual personal assistant get to know one another, the smoother your working relationship will be. Take the time to get to know your VA on a personal level to foster a friendly and productive working dynamic. Simple gestures like sending a thank you card or checking in on how they’re personally doing can really strengthen your working relationship.
6. Utilize Technology
It’s commonly understood the Virtual Assistants will have strong technology skills. However it’s important for clients to learn the ropes, too, so that you can effectively work together. Leverage various communication and project management tools to streamline collaboration and task management.
Some examples of websites and apps that may be helpful to use are:
Project Management Software
Time Tracking Apps
Cloud Storage Services
Calendar and Scheduling Apps
7. Feedback and Recognition
Everyone benefits from regular constructive feedback. In addition, recognizing your Virtual Assistant and acknowledging their efforts helps to maintain motivation and improve performance overall.
8. Respect Their Time
When you’re working with a virtual personal assistant, it can sometimes be easy to forget that they have a real life. Respect your assistant’s working hours and avoid last-minute task assignments whenever possible. This begins with establishing clear boundaries around working hours vs. off time.
9. Encourage Questions
You want your personal assistant to feel comfortable coming to you with questions. VA’s must be comfortable taking initiative, but they must also know when it’s appropriate to ask for clarification. Creating an environment where your assistant feels comfortable asking questions helps to ensure clear understanding of tasks.
10. Legal Compliance
Lastly, it’s important to ensure compliance with employment laws and regulations, including contracts, payment, and confidentiality agreements. Clear expectations and legal compliance protect your working relationship from setbacks and legal repercussions.
By implementing these tips, you can establish a productive and harmonious working relationship with your virtual personal assistant, ultimately enhancing your efficiency and success.
Are you ready to hire a Virtual Assistant?
Now that you know how to optimize a working relationship with a virtual personal assistant, it’s time to start the hiring process! We can help you connect with the perfect fit. Contact us to start the hiring process.