3 Top Tips for Working with a VA Effectively
So, you’ve thought about working with a VA, but you’re not really where to start, or if it’s quite right for you? Here are my top three tips for working out effectively, what and how you can delegate to a VA:
#1 Make the most of your discovery call
Get to know them, find out if you are a good fit. You don’t need to see the potential for a new bestie in your VA, but you need to get a feel for the kind of person they are. I must confess; I’m doing the same thing when I host these calls. What’s the client like? Do they seem approachable? How can I help make sure this is a simple and positive process for them?
These questions or assessments work both ways. Whilst you don’t need to want to take them out to dinner, you do need to click, to know that you have no hesitation in asking them anything.
Work out what you can get their help with. Do they have a specialised skill, or experience that can help? Remember, most VA’s won’t charge for a discovery call (I don’t) and there is no obligation to work with them afterwards.
A discovery call is exactly that, to find out a little about each other, get a feel for how things might work and how best a VA can help you. I will always tell a potential client if I don’t think I’m the right fit, but that doesn’t mean I can’t help. The VA community is (generally) one full of support and collaboration. I work with lot’s of VA’s with varying skill sets
I always ask potential clients what three things, do they either put off or just don’t quite manage to get on top of in their business. The answers have been fairly varied over the years, but there are always the same few that crop up again and again, but I’ll come back to that in a moment.
#2 Work out what needs to be tackled first
Put a large cross on a sheet of paper to create four sections. Then label them Critical, Essential, Routine, and Want. Then go through and cross off the tasks that should be done by you, and only you. This will leave you with a list of jobs that can be delegated, and in the order, you should be delegating them.
It’s not an exact science, but it’s a good exercise to begin with. If you’re still struggling with where to start, the three examples below are the ones that I find always crop up again and again in discovery calls.
How often do you do yours? As you go, or weekly, or monthly? If you answered the fourth option of ‘only when it looks slightly more appealing than cleaning the loo’, you should seriously consider making this top of your outsourcing list!
Not only will you then know the numbers in your business, but you’ll have them to hand should you need them to apply for funding or a grant for example. It will also make your tax return A LOT less painful.
Email Inbox Management –
I find there are generally two people in this world when it comes to email inboxes. The kind who have zero emails or at least single figures in their inbox, and the kind whose inbox looks like the GDP of a small country. I’ll let you guess which group I fall into! There’s no shame in either, but wouldn’t it be great to be able to lay your hands on the right email without having to spend ages sifting through those unopened subscriptions and notifications? To be honest, this is my favourite job! The whole process of organising, labelling, and sorting, giving instant result satisfaction is a win-win for me.
Top Tip – regularly go through and unsubscribe from those emails that are no longer relevant to your business. Even the process of not having to delete them each time they come in will save a considerable amount of time when you add it up over the course of the year.
Also, create labels and folders and organise what has been actioned, or what can be filed for future reference. Use your inbox as your active to-do-list. It’ll stop things slipping through the cracks and feel a lot less overwhelming.
Document creation or formatting –
This is a fairly broad spectrum of possibilities, but essentially it boils down to the same three issues.
- Needing a document creating, but not being sure of the full content requirements, how to lay it out or format it.
- Having a document, but wanting it to either look more professional or to have it digitalised (I.e. rather than offering a word document that anyone can edit, turning it into a digital PDF that can be completed in the required fields only)
- Repurposing content into a new document. Think back to that presentation you did three years ago – dig it out, rebrand it, and repurpose it into a workbook or mini-course or workshop for your clients.
This is also a job I love. I’m not a natural content writer – strange for someone currently writing a blog, but true! But, I am artistic and love design. Combine that with my mild OCD for all things level and just so, and you have an amazing document that’s not only professional but functional.
#3 Make a list of all the systems you use
It sounds obvious, right? But these are the systems and apps that you use day in day out. I went through and made a list of all the different systems and applications that I use on a regular (daily or weekly) basis – there were fifty-six!! So, make a list and make it easy. What email provider do you use? What is your preferred on-line meeting host? Which email marketing system do you use? Or if you’ve not yet got a system in place, say that too.
I’m not claiming to be an expert in any of those fifty-six systems, BUT, I know enough to be able to tell you the pros and cons of each. It might be there’s something better suited for your needs. I’ve tried and used at least ten email marketing systems, so you shouldn’t have too!
You might find that you’re using two systems when you could be using one that’s cheaper. Your VA will have that kind of knowledge, as their clients will use multiple different suppliers, and they will have their own preferences too. By compiling that information, you’re not only preparing for a shared workspace, you’re also giving them an insight into the working operations of your business.
Hopefully, if you’re this far in (congratulations 🎉), you’ll have realised that there are many advantages to using a VA. If you’d like to discuss outsourcing and delegating further, then please do book a no-obligation call with me.