When it comes to my virtual assistants, I’m a little protective. Okay…I’m a LOT protective. I’ve gotten to know them pretty well, and I feel like they’re part of my family. In turn, I get frustrated when a client mistreats them. We’ve been lucky here and most of our entrepreneurs treat our virtual assistants wonderfully, but I’ve heard some dreadful stories lately and thought it would be a good idea to go over a few tips for those who are new to working with a VA.
Communication is absolutely critical. My virtual assistant matching skills are pretty on point, but that does not mean I’m going to pair you with a mind reader. If you want a psychic, you’re going to have to pay a lot more. And I bet they won’t even send out your newsletter.
You should also know there will be a getting-to-know-you period. When you first start working with your VA, they’ll ask a lot of question (the more info they have, the better). Some of the basics include, what is the best way to reach you, do you want every message responded to or are you a brain dumper. You’ll have to clue them in on certain things too. If you want all of your emails written in an extra-large Star Wars-themed font, you’ll need to say so. Our virtual assistants are very accommodating, but only if you are clear. They cannot guess; assumptions and presumptions are typically wrong.
Feedback is also critical. If you’re unhappy with anything, pipe up and address it. Saying “this looks great” when it’s not quite what you were looking for serves no one. Our virtual assistants will not take offense (they’re big girls!) or take things personally if you are sincere, honest and kind about it. They are here to help and want to achieve the same awesome results as you.
Because it’s a virtual relationship, it’s also easy to misinterpret someone’s tone. There is no body language to pick up on and occasionally someone will miss a comma and make things sound a little off (you’ve seen those memes, right?). Even in our personal lives, we sometimes misinterpret a well-meaning text message. Before you get wrapped around the axle about something you think your assistant has said or done (or not done), ask for clarification. They’ll do the same. A mutual respect to clear up any miscommunication for each other will go a long way.
Working with a VA does come with a bit of a learning curve. It’s a new relationship for many entrepreneurs, and if you’re used to sitting next to someone in an office, it can take some getting used to. The longer you work with your virtual assistant though, the better your relationship will get. You’ll find that in time, they’ll anticipate your needs before you even know you have them. As a matter of fact, your virtual assistant will be such an integral part of your business that you’ll wonder what you ever did without them.
As they say, once you go VA, you’ll never go back. Okay, so they don’t say that. But they should.
As always, thanks for reading.
Until next time,