There are a lot of virtual assistants out there, and they all come with different personalities, knowledge, and experience. Knowing what you’re looking for in a VA before you start searching for one will help ensure the smoothest experience possible. Here at First Pick, we strive to consistently exceed our clients’ expectations, so it’s important that we take the time to make sure you’re matched with the right VA from the get-go. Before you reach out to an agency or start recruiting on a freelance platform, here are three steps to follow, to ensure ease when selecting a VA:
1. Choose which tasks you want to offload: Are you looking for someone to help with scheduling, calendar management, social media, or a special project for your business? If you are still deciding which tasks you want to offload, take a look at our services page to see a list of common VA offerings. Make a note of any specialized skills you know you’ll need like podcast editing, content creation, or bookkeeping. Having a definitive list of the tasks you’d like assistance with simplifies the process and helps you narrow down your applicant list.
2. Decide on your “must-haves” list: Once you’ve chosen which tasks you want to offload, it’s time to decide which VA skills are negotiable and which ones are not. Making a clear distinction between your “must haves” and your “preferred” skills will help you narrow down your VA search further and save you time and hassle. If you know you will need someone with WordPress development skills, make that clear to any prospective VAs up front. If a VA meets your “must haves” list but has less experience with your preferred skills, be willing to be flexible and open minded - they may just surprise you! . In addition to your “must-have” skills, take some time to think about any other non-negotiables you may have in terms of personality, location, or experience. For example, if your business operates under Eastern Time, how important is it to you that your VA is located in the same time zone? Having clear expectations from the beginning makes for the best possible working relationship.
3. Know your preferred communication style: Communication style goes a lot deeper than “Text or email?” when you’re working with a VA. When you hire a VA, you’re putting a lot of trust in their ability to help things run smoothly , so having a mutually agreed-upon style of communication is vital! It’s always best to be transparent about your preferred communication style, especially when your new VA is getting started. Are you a big communicator, looking for consistent check-ins and follow-ups for each project or task, or are you more of a “go with the flow” communicator who is content as long as things are getting done? Being open about the frequency of communication you are most comfortable with makes it easier for your VA to meet your expectations and provide the best possible service.
Once you have worked through this list, your search for a virtual assistant will be infinitely more straightforward. Having a successful relationship with your VA is as simple as staying consistent with your anticipated tasks, knowing what your “must-have” skills are, and being familiar with your own communication style. You can also use this list to get to know potential VAs better. During the interview process, ask them to highlight their skills, outline what their “must-haves” are in a client, and explain what communication style they work best with. If your answers line up closely, it’s likely that that person will be a great VA for you.
For more information about getting started with a VA you can schedule a free consultation or leave us a comment below!
Author: Camryn Pickworth
As the head VA and owner of The First Pick VA Group I have found such great joy in sharing my experiences and top tips with other freelancers and aspiring VA's. I hope that our blog can service as a great reference for VA's and Clients alike!