Disclaimer: Please note that this post may include affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you make a purchase with those links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This helps support the blog. Thanks for your support!
You’ve finally taken the leap to ask for help with your overwhelming to-do list! You’ve signed a contract with a virtual assistant and you are eager to get started feeling the sweet relief of delegation. But where do you begin?!
1. Getting to know each other
One thing you should know when starting out with a virtual assistant is that they are here not only to support you with meeting your goals, but they also want to get to know you.
Once you’ve built a great working relationship, you will know what to expect and the virtual assistant will know your preferences.
Just like any other relationship, this process can take some time and will require a lot of back and forth in the beginning. But once you’re good – that’s when the magic happens!
Every virtual assistant will have their own client on-boarding processes. However, it’s equally important for the client to be proactive and on-board their assistant as well.
For example: part of my process includes a profile for each client and storing all of their personal information in an encrypted LastPass folder. I also use Google Drive for each client to keep all of our work in one place. This includes receipts, previous tasks, spreadsheets, etc.
Here are some things you’ll need to share with your Virtual Assistant during on-boarding:
- What programs do you use to stay organized and in sync?
- Do you use an online calendar? If so, share access with your Virtual Assistant.
- Personal Information should be shared via phone or text.
- Workflows/Processes you use that they will need to know
2. Submitting your first task
When you’re ready to fire off that first task to your virtual assistant, be sure that your instructions are clear and concise.
Be specific in what you are requesting- explain what you need and why you need it. It’s important to try not to leave room for assumption- if your task requires specific details, be sure to include that information.
Here are is a quick checklist of questions to keep in mind before sending in a task:
- Does the virtual assistant have all of the information necessary to perform this task? This may include personal information, login credentials, or other specific details from you.
- Is the task within the Virtual Assistant’s scope of service? (if you aren’t sure, ask!)
- Have you given a realistic deadline?
3. Respecting Boundaries
Typically, an independent virtual assistant will utilize the collaborative consumption model, which means your virtual assistant has several clients that they work with every day.
It’s important to keep this in mind when working with a virtual assistant as their days are usually blocked according to their availability and the influx of tasks they are assigned.
It’s also important to keep their operating hours in mind. (For example, I’m available to my clients Mon-Fri 9am-5pm) These should be discussed in advance and outlined in either a Welcome Packet or contract.
For anything that requires a verbal discussion, I encourage scheduling calls with my clients. This is both to respect boundaries and when I am heads down on a project, I try to avoid any distractions.
However, I do not discourage my clients from calling me out of the blue- I know things come up and if I’m available, I will answer.
4. Trust & Communication
To have a great working relationship with your virtual assistant, it is vital that you both work to earn and build each other’s trust.
It will take some time but it is important and completely necessary.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your virtual assistant’s business.
You’ll also want to invest time into training your virtual assistant on processes that you have in place. The more time you spend on this training, the better your relationship will be and the virtual assistant can fulfill your needs. If you have certain expectations, be sure to let the virtual assistant know.
Trust and communication are the backbone of this remote partnership.
5. Appreciate hard work and give feedback
If you’re pleased with the work your assistant has provided, let them know!
If it’s lacking in any way, it’s important to communicate this as well so they can work to get you the right results.
This will also allow the virtual assistant to assess the mistakes or shortcomings to improve in future tasks.
6. Don’t Over-Delegate
When you start experiencing the power of delegation and how relieving it can be, it’s important to remember not to over-delegate. Send tasks in waves so that you’re not overwhelming your virtual assistant. They will appreciate it!
If you have a laundry list of tasks that you’d like the Virtual Assistant to work on, I would suggest utilizing a project management program such as ClickUp. This will keep things organized for you both and you can include all details and deadlines in one place.
One thing that I always ask of my clients is to send each task as a separate email. This keeps things neat and tidy in my inbox so nothing is overlooked. I also prefer an indication on the priority of the task such as low, medium and high. It is helpful to know when something isn’t urgent!
Partnering with an independent virtual assistant is a wonderful way to save on the costs of hiring an employee. You don’t have to worry about all of the extra expenses but are still able to invest in someone you can rely on and trust. Your time is valuable so it is relieving to know you can put your focus elsewhere while your VA tackles the “little things” that are important.