The value of Virtual Assistants, Virtual Project Managers and Online Business Managers is now undeniable. Where once they were received with looks of confusion, these three positions have become invaluable assets to the businesses they support. Hiring a virtual professional, however, requires an entirely different approach than hiring someone in person. This guide gives you the inside scoop on how to stay sane, and hire the team member you (and your clients) are waiting for.
First thing’s first…
If you like to get to the goodies without reading through an entire post, we’ll help you out!
Now, here’s the schtuff you really need to know before you dive in…
How Do You Know When It’s Time to Grow Your Virtual Team?
Although it seems fairly obvious to the rest of us looking in, give yourself a little slack on this subject. Here are some tell-tale signs you’re due for a little support in the Virtual Admin department. If it’s time for you to hire outsourced help, one or several of these things are typically happening:
- Your social media posts fall into the “whenever the heck I get to it” stage. And the “whenever the heck I get to it” stage is usually interchangeable with “never”.
- Your calendar can be classified as a “hot mess”… and not in a good way. You find you’re scrambling to get to appointments on time, let alone prepping appropriately.
- You’re “blanket spamming” your subscriber list because you have no idea what ‘segmentation’ is, OR, you do know what it is, it just turns your stomach or makes you involuntarily eye roll to hear the word.
- You’ve wanted to have a retreat, workshop, or create an online course for months… or even years. But you never quite finish the planning process in time and end up pushing it back over… and over again.
- Your onboarding process for clients isn’t a process at all; but rather a manual, time-consuming burden to you personally.
- Your “to-do” list actually grows every week, and you’ve got the same 10 tasks cemented permanently at the bottom because you’re never able to get to them.
- You find yourself so overwhelmed by the details of delivering high-end customer service that you’ve actually told yourself you *might* be okay with “good enough” customer service.
- You have lots of value to give clients and leads, but your follow-up funnel has Pacific Ocean-sized gaps that are making getting new clients way too hard.
- You’ve had lots of people tell you that you’re amazing, but you’ve found yourself looking at 9-to-5 careers again because, Hey! That would be so much damn easier.
- You’re frantically trying to get your existing & past clients to commit to ongoing services because you know – at current capacity – that you don’t have enough time to go looking for new clients.
Geesh, entrepreneurship stinks royally sometimes, doesn’t it? But, if you found yourself thinking, “Get out of my head!” reading through those 10 scenarios, I promise – a well-trained virtual team member (or two) will give you a much-needed reprieve, and a newfound hope for achieving your next chapter of success.
Who Will Fit In With Your Virtual Business Vibe?
There’s no sugar-coating this one: this takes considerable effort on your behalf. If you’re thinking, “I just need to hurry up and get someone,” I’d encourage you to re-prioritize and re-evaluate how fair that thought is to your business and to your future team member.
Here’s a checklist of how to choose your best-fit helper. We strongly recommend doing this list in order!
- Complete a wishlist for your future Project Manager, Virtual Assistant, or OBM (Online Business Manager) by using this template. Make sure to discuss this list with your business coach and other virtual team members (if you have them). This is THE BEST time to begin setting expectations for your team in regards to how everyone will work together. By having everyone involved, it greatly reduces “gray area” of responsibilities.
- Create a job description from your wishlist. Include systems you’re currently using as well as systems you’re considering adding to your business (this is critical!). If you are fun, upbeat, and are comical in your day-to-day interaction with others, make sure your job description reflects that. Adversely, do not write a job description that doesn’t represent your personality. It’s possible this will be the first impression your future teammate has of you… keep it accurate.
- Keep in mind, just as you have a set rhythm and/or personal preferences in how things are done for your clients, so too, do virtual team members. While your wishlist and job description will enable you to narrow down the perfect candidates, keep in mind YOU are also a candidate for THEM. Virtual Assistants, Project Managers & OBMs often come from highly-successful in-person careers. They have built their business on adhering to their principles and boundaries as well. Be open to new ideas & more efficient processes when you hold your interviews.
- Commit to being available to your virtual team member when they need you. Be ready to set weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly meetings to exchange updates and priorities. These meetings are also accountability meetings for you AND the virtual teammate.
- Reduce the list of possible hires based on your conversations. Make a timely decision, but also allow sufficient discovery on both of your behalfs. Great Project Managers, VAs and OBMs will not hold a space for you long… If they’re successful, they’ve got rolling conversations with new clients and won’t want to hang on too long wondering if you’re moving forward. Choose your new virtual teammate with commitment and confidence, or go back to the drawing board!
Now that you’re ready, WHAT do you delegate?
Getting assistance for the overwhelm of daily tasks sounds great, right? But, without fail, business owners typically hit a wall when actually deciding what to delegate to their new team member.
Here’s a quick list to spur further delegation ideas. To fully plan out the hiring of your next virtual team member, be sure to grab hiring guide here.
Affiliate Program Creation
CRM System Work
Customer Service Calls
Event (Virtual) Planning
Event (On-Site) Planning
File & Storage Organization
Landing/Sales Page Design Lead Generation
Online Course Design
Opt-In Content Creation
PR Networking & Booking
Speaking Event Booking
Technical Customer Service
Training New Clients/Staff
Website Design & Plugins
Website Custom Coding
This isn’t an all-inclusive list, but we thought we’d do you a solid and just give you the basics. Our guide to hiring virtual help will walk you through the exact steps in hiring your perfect-fit team member. Save yourself a migraine or two and download the guide here.
Now that you’ve ironed out your needs, the traits you need in a team member, and the items you need help completing, you’re ready to onboard! Have patience, though: onboarding a new team member is a process in itself, for both parties. Check out our upcoming post on creating a 30-Day Kickoff with your virtual team member that sets you both up for success.