3 Tips for Working with a Virtual Assistant (Part 1)

3 Tips for Working with a Virtual AssistantCommunication                                                                          Whether it is about a new project, a misunderstanding, or not enough feedback from your Virtual Assistant, communication with an understanding mindset can go a long way. Chances are your Virtual Assistant has many other client and project they are handling at once, so it can difficult to balance projects, if there’s not a system in place [i.e. Central Desktop, Asana] when projects are carried out.

Let them know that they can ask questions. If you are a busy person, ask them to try and get questions asked well before the project due date, but in some cases with the implementation of projects questions and problems arise. You can also ask for updates every X amount of days to keep on top of project progress or set milestones and subtasks up within your project management system, so you can keep a closer eye on progress.

I cannot stress how important it is to be understanding toward your Virtual Assistant. They have a lot to keep up with and while they should be organized, they cannot read your mind or always keep up with daily or weekly changes in their clients business. So reminders, thoroughly explaining your needs, and an understanding mindset can really be to your advantage to not stress it out.

One other very important factor to keep in mind is that it could be you. I know that it can be hard sometimes to accept. But being open to accepting your faults as well shows you are professional and simply human. Allow your Virtual Assistant to refresh your memory as well when complications that relate to mis communication arise.

Your Virtual Assistant will thank you for being professional and not blowing them off and moving on without talking it out. I’ve been there and I know how it feels.

Tips on how to communicate with your VA:

  • Outline your business and its efforts

It is great to have a VA who understands your business and what it stands for. Consider telling them a little about what your business is all about and what your goals are and where your priorities lie within it.  

  • Define your expectations in a VA

Explain clearly what type of person you need to perform the tasks you need help with. Maybe telling them what specific tasks/programs they should have experience with or find out ahead of time if they will need a little extra from you to get the project started. This will eliminate any confusion and show you are serious in finding the right candidate.

  • Clearly identify and update the task(s) you need fulfilled

In writing, detail the instructions for your VA about the specific task you need help with. This means composing a list of task you do daily and/or weekly that you would like to have someone else do for you, so you can focus on other areas of your business that require your attention. This also means you should update the list or requirements for the list as changes occur.

  • Outline project timelines and guidelines

Specify each task with a due date or milestones that should be completed as the project progresses.

  • Agree on terms before the project starts and/or sign a contract after a trial period 

This would be payment terms, ideal communication method, project updates, how to submit completed projects, ect… And remember VA’s have their own expectations too. 

I hope this helps you! 

What have been your experiences in communicating with your VA?

Did you find something more helpful in communicating effectively?

Share your comments below!!

 

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Have An Efficient VA/Client Relationship

As a VA, it can be a challenging experience to have a functional relationship with your client. Let’s face it we have all had or will have at least a couple in our VA experiences. While we desire to have only the perfect, most understanding, communication oriented, and focused clients from the start, it seems that there are a few, or perhaps for some many, clients that will be quite testing in our patience and abilities to effectively assist their business.

There can be two types of challenging clients- The Uninformed and The Unquestionable.

The Uninformed clients find it difficult to relay what their needs are because of the lack of understanding they have about 1) what your job entails, 2) little computer/internet literacy, or 3) they have been a one person show; therefore, lacking the knowledge of how to communicate with an assistant.

The Unquestionable clients know exactly what they want and how to get the result. They can be expectant, demanding, or brief, which is not a bad thing, however, realistic goals and clear information must be present to allow the proper time and understanding to complete the desired task(s). This means you, the VA, have to inform the client of the information you are missing or do not understand and illustrate the time requirement may be just out of reach for your schedule.

Always keep in mind the clients perspective though, especially for the unquestionable client, as it is essential to portray that you understand their situation, but you are unable to do your job effectively unless they can offer understanding toward your business limits and expectations. Ensure you address the proper questions. And, perhaps you could have them fill out a Client Evaluation form before your VA/Client relationship takes off, or even after you have encountered some misunderstanding or a certain period of time ask them to re-evaluate their goals, priorities, and expectations. This allows you to assist their needs at the highest possible level of professionalism.

Olivia

P.S. It is just as essential for you to address your needs and expectations as a Virtual Assistant, as it is for the client. 

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