As a long-time internet marketer and fan of delegating, one of the questions I get asked most often is how to find a virtual assistant.
You'd think I'd have a straight answer by now.
Over the past few years, I've watched the body of knowledge and thought leadership around virtual assistants grow, and even as the term itself has become more mainstream, the idea of what a virtual assistant is and does has ony become more convoluted.
When some people picture a virtual assistant, they think of someone who handles traditional administrative work out of their home. However, if you've worked primarily online for any amount of time, it's likely you've run into assistants who also manage everything from marketing tasks to assisting with CRM upkeep for sales.
And then, when you think about the kind of help you need, things continue to grow more confusing because you're not sure how to (or who to) ask for what you need.
The reality of the matter is everyone's needs are different. A small business owner who needs a content creator meets email marketer meets administrative genius needs someone very different then a sales executive who needs someone to manage their insane schedule, travel, and expenses.
Because of this, it's important to have a clear set of requirements
Today, I'm going to walk you through the 4 steps to finding a virtual assistant that will ensure you find exactly the right fit for your needs.
1. Ask for recommendations.
Talk to the people your prospective assistant has worked with. See what they have to say in their own words. Make sure to ask specific questions like what software they've had them using, whether or not they are proactive, and if they would hire them again to make sure you’re fully vetting them.
2. Detail exactly what you need done
I hate to break it to you, but most assistants are not, in fact, mind readers. At the least, they definitely don't start that way.
You need to document your processes before you can expect anyone to take them off your plate and do them exactly the way you like them.
To help you with this, we've created a guide to walk you through how to document your standard operating procedures (SOPS). Click the button below to get your copy.
3. Start on a project basis.
Some people are phenomenal at interviewing, but when it comes time to deliver, they aren’t quite as phenomenal. Avoid this all too common problem by starting with a paid project to test out the most important skills you need them to have.
4. Consider a managed service.
Finding someone great is fantastic - but what happens when they are ready to move on? You’re stuck trying to replace someone who has become indispensable to you. With a managed virtual assistant service, backup assistants are on-hand to make sure the ball never gets dropped. This is also helpful when employees are sick or need to go on vacation.
Taking the next step
If you've been searching for the right assistant for a while now, it can feel discouraging. You know delegating is the best way for you to focus on what it is you do best, but until you begin to work with someone who you trust, letting go of those vital administrative tasks can feel like an impossible feat.
This is why it's so important to commit to spending time training your new assistant to understand your needs. (It's also part of why Prialto has a two-month trial period for all new Members.)
Want more on the nitty gritty of finding a great VA? You can read the ultimate guide to hiring the perfect virtual assistant here.