Get Started with Virtual Assistants
By Mary Mateus // Virtual Hero
Imagine yourself being the right kind of busy and no longer wearing multiple hats in your business. How does it feel? And is this even real? That would be a resounding YES. We’ve worked with several clients now to see the results. With the support of a virtual assistant, you too are one step closer to reaching this career and business milestone.
A virtual assistant will work with you as a team to achieve your personalized objectives and challenges. By using a variety of strategies and channels of communication, OrangeUP makes sure that both you and the virtual assistants are on the same page.
Focus on being the right kind of busy…
There are many questions to ask before jumping into the world of the virtual assistantship.
If you can learn how to delegate, you begin to be the right kind of busy.
To get started, here’s a quick and simple checklist we’ve been refining over time to get started quickly.
CREATE A PROCESS. Tutorials and screen sharing are two of the most effective tools used by professionals to show virtual assistants the tasks they need to accomplish. The process is simple: you share the step-by-step process for a particular activity you want to delegate, and the virtual assistant will learn by doing these activities to free you for other things; recording the instructions is useful in case they have questions about something they may have missed. You can also jump on a quick and brief call with a virtual assistant to show how tasks are developed, to solve any questions in real-time, and to discuss any potential bottlenecks to do the work.
COMMUNICATION. Daily communication is an essential component of the virtual assistantship model. Clients and virtual assistants use a variety of platforms (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc.) to interact, share insights, and solve day-to-day questions in real-time. Additionally, we recommend you experiment with a 15-minute daily meeting, what we call a Daily Standup to syncup, share important deadlines, prioritize key tasks for the day, keep track of deliverables, and learn about any bottlenecks or sticking points for the virtual assistant. Online call platforms (e.g., Whereby, Zoom, etc.) allow easy and quick interactions to keep things moving.
MEETING ASSIST. You may also want them to join in a virtual meeting to assist in the process some way. When you have multiple online meetings with stakeholders, a virtual assistant can help you to keep track of important information, dates, facts, and details that sometimes slip through the cracks. Being able to reference these notes and details quickly can help you maximize your time.
TIME MANAGEMENT. You can also record the time that they spend completing activities through some time tracking tools (e.g., Toptracker, Harvest, etc.). This allows you to monitor performance and to have a thorough understanding of which tasks are more demanding and which ones require extra time. You may get daily, weekly, and monthly reports that serve as a reference to make decisions and improve the impact.
INBOX ZERO. You can work together with a virtual assistant to manage your inbox email, create a series of templates for quickly replies, and more. For example, you can automate setting up appointments, or following up with clients. With some basic instructions, a virtual assistant is ready to assist you in getting through your emails and improve your responsiveness. They can also use other platforms (e.g., Gmelius) to create campaigns and send bulk emails to multiple people through a more individualized approach.
MANAGE CALENDAR. Setting up appointments can be annoying and takes up more time than you think. Orange UP trains the virtual assistants to coordinate scheduling. And there are many tools (e.g., Calendly, Doodle.com, Google Calendar, etc.) that can streamline the process. The important part is to share your availability in real-time and set up appointments with stakeholders, keeping in mind the various time zones for you globetrotters. No matter what system you use, the virtual assistant will assist you to manage your calendar properly.
PROJECT MANAGEMENT. Keeping track of projects and organizing deliverables in a meaningful and systematic way is critical for career success. The virtual assistant can utilize these to know exactly which activities they need to complete, and with clear notes they will know how to do it and the deadlines behind them. There are many project management tools (e.g., Trello, Asana, Taco, etc.) that will allow you to share projects, documents, and work collaboratively with your virtual assistant.
Transitioning from the common traditional do-it-yourself to a more outsourcing model can make an impact on your career and/or business. By making effective use of different communication channels and platforms you can delegate tasks to a virtual assistant and make sure that everything that you need is being accomplished in a timely manner.
And remember, the most important part is to define your outcomes so you can be the right kind of busy when you outsource virtual assistants.
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