How to Grow Your Business with Virtual Assistants | Maddy Osman | Skillshare

How to Grow Your Business with Virtual Assistants

Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith

How to Grow Your Business with Virtual Assistants

Maddy Osman, SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith

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7 Lessons (46m)
    • 1. Introduction: How to Grow Your Business with Virtual Assistants

    • 2. Why Work With a VA

    • 3. Different Types of Help

    • 4. Where to Find a VA

    • 5. Tasks to Delegate

    • 6. How to Delegate: The Basics

    • 7. Useful Tools & Resources

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About This Class

My business grew to six figures as a direct result of hiring virtual assistants to help me chip away at projects, do research, and help with various administrative tasks. While watching this class, you'll learn:

  • Reasons why the costs associated with hiring a virtual assistant provide a good ROI
  • How virtual assistants should be classified in terms of employment for tax purposes
  • Where virtual assistants hang out online
  • Tasks to delegate to your virtual assistant
  • The basics of delegation
  • Useful tools & resources to work together

When you're done going through the class, download all the class resources as a handy PDF.

Meet Your Teacher

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Maddy Osman

SEO Content Strategist at The Blogsmith


Hey all! I'm Maddy Osman, or as my clients know me, The Blogsmith. I write for high-authority publications like Search Engine Journal, GoDaddy, WPMU Dev, and Sprout Social.

It's hard for me to sit still, and I'm the co-organizer of WordCamp Denver and the Denver chapter of Freelancers Union. I'm also on the board for BMA Colorado in charge of social media.

After a few years in sales, I was feeling unfulfilled and decided to go out on my own. Thanks to many years of blogging and web development (and networking!), I started my freelance career off with a bang, and haven't looked back since! 

My first Skillshare class focuses on everything I've learned over the past 7 years in terms of blogging best practices. I'm sharing the same process I use for resea... See full profile

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1. Introduction: How to Grow Your Business with Virtual Assistants: Hey, skill share. Thanks for watching my latest class in this case, its how to grow your business with virtual assistance. And it's based on my own experience, starting from about two years ago, which was when I hired my first virtual assistant. Since then, my team has expanded. So has my bank account, and I'm hoping to shed some light for you. If you're interested in looking into this tactic for growing your business on Dsquared in a little bit more time out of your schedule for yourself, that's the main thing. So in this class, we're gonna go over things like why I work with a virtual assistant, which you probably already have a pretty good sense up. But we'll go into a couple more details. We'll look at how to categorise employees that work with you under the law and why these distinctions are important. We'll also go through how toe or where to find a virtual assistant. Different marketplaces, how to use those effectively task to delegate and even delegation basic. So this class is going to be very much an intro into the topic. I'm hoping to eventually expand it to be more about on boarding and hiring and things like that. But hopefully with this introductory lesson are these classes. It will help you, Teoh. Answer the question of if you're ready to work with the virtual assistant and how to get the ball rolling. So let's get started, shall we? 2. Why Work With a VA: hiring help for business is certainly a huge sub, and it's one that leaves a lot of people with more questions and answers for me. I decided that I wanted to start working with virtual assistance after seeing somebody who I respected greatly somebody who I consider to be a mentor, um, trying it out and seeing that it could be successful. So I was probably in your one of my freelance career. And the first couple months, you know, were typical Rahman eating, um, you know, cutting expenses and just focusing on building and working hard, not always taking great jobs, but being able to sustain myself without falling back and asking my parents for help. That was really important for me, and eventually I got out of that feast or famine sort of situation and found myself with more work than time adds. That's when I decided that it really was necessary for me to at least explore the idea of getting a virtual assistant and seeing how they could help me. So let's take a look at this quote from the book for our work week. It's by Tim Ferriss, and it's definitely one of those books that is associated with the idea of working with virtual assistants. It's pretty popular. You might have read a probably at least heard of it, but anyways, the quote itself is focused on being productive instead of being busy. So this brings me back to that period of time when I was considering working with virtual its ascent and, you know, trying to figure out how to go about doing it. I was working 19 week guns. It was getting to the point where I wasn't spending as much time with friends and family as I really should have. I mean, it's just It was at a point where I was just a little bit overwhelmed and I was looking for a way out. I wanted to keep freely and saying I wanted Teoh, you know, give it my full effort, but I wanted to create more sustainable practices. So in terms of why work with virtual assistant, the first thing is you have Teoh through the fact that what you're really selling is time. It's your time to strategize on a project. It's your time to carry out tasks and you have a very limited amount of that. I mean, consider the fact that there's only 24 hours in today. I hopefully at least eight of those air spent sleeping. I think the statistic is something like, you know, you spend at least two of those hours eating yet Teoh attend to your basic needs showering . You're taking time for the bathroom? Um, hopefully spending some of that time not working, so that doesn't leave a whole lot of time left over for work. Plus, you've got a factor in vacation. Uh, sick days, weekend days, You know it. It really starts to limit the amount of time you have available to do these tasks. And in order to justify or pricing, you have to deliver something that's great. But in order to deliver something that's great, you've got to do a lot of work. But if you have a little bit of help, makes it a lot easier. And hiring a virtual assistant frees up your time so that you focus on on Lee the most important task the things that only you can dio the trick really is to find someone toe work with Riek, still make a profit after not only accounting for their time, spent on the project but also accounting for your time to manage them and to review or maybe even edit their work. So we'll talk a little bit more about that in a later section. But let's move on for now. The other thing is that they and this is kind of an offshoot of the fact that you're selling time is that they can increase their capacity, your capacity to do any type of work. Really? Um, you know. So say, for example, what I do with my virtual assistance. One of one of my virtual assistants helps me to schedule social media posts so I can focus on the most important things in terms of dealing with the client, you know, handling creative. But I have somebody who takes care of kind of that my new work that I don't necessarily need to be spending my time on because it's not a specialized tasks that only I know how to dio, um, think about it this way. To they increase your ability to spend your hours on billable work as opposed to admin work . The thing I really love about the contractors and virtual assistants I work with is that they help me keep my business running behind the scenes regardless of what I'm doing. You know, Aiken, I can batch out a number of tasks over a large span of time if I just spent a little bit of time getting all that stuff together, and then they could be working in the background even when I'm on vacation. Even if I'm having a super low output day where you know either meetings or, um, you know, other sorts of work is getting in the way or if I'm just having a bad day and I'm just not feeling up to doing anything as long as I've done a little bit of work ahead of time to make sure that everybody has something to work on, their still turning that work in regardless of what I'm doing. And that's a beautiful thing. The last thing I want to talk about is how they can help you balance rush orders and other client emergencies. You know, those things that come up when clients call you or email you in a panic? Oh, my God. I need this fix or, you know, somebody says I have this work for you, but I needed in the next, you know, one, two, maybe three days. And without a virtual assistant to help you, this could really interrupt your work. Full flow. Excuse me, but with the virtual assistant to help you, it becomes a little bit more manageable. Like I've already kind of alluded. Teoh, you don't necessarily have to give them the whole project. But perhaps they could help you tackle parts of the project so that you can put in your final touches, turned it into the client, and everything will be good to go. So those were just a couple different ways to work with. The virtual assistant will go more in depth in terms of what specific tasks to delegate leader on in this lesson. 3. Different Types of Help: when you're considering hiring help for your business, it's important to understand the distinctions between different types of hiring and how that affects things like taxes, that you have to pay benefits you have to offer etcetera. So before you get too scared by what I just said, it's worth noting that hiring a virtual assistant could save you a lot of money compared to the traditional hiring process. Ah, lot of it has to do with the fact that they're not classified as employees. But the other thing that's worth mentioning here is because by nature, their virtual their remote. It means, you know, you don't have any costs associated with, for example, of leasing office space. You know, unless unless you already do that for you, you know, for your own piece of mind or whatever, if that's what helps you work. But you don't have to do it in order to hire employees. Um, other things include the fact that when they're applying for your job, either probably using a laptop to do that. So it's fair to assume that they have more or less all the equipment that they would need to get the job done. at least in terms of a laptop and an Internet connections. That's another thing you don't have to supply. You can specify, you know, on your job ad or in your employment contract or your I guess it would be a contractor agreement. You could specify specifically just to cover yourself that, you know expenses aren't covered unless explicitly stated by you. So you know you might incur some costs With regards, Teoh say there's a specific software tool you need your virtual assistance to use that they don't have access to. You might have to pay to add them on its user or to get them a license. Um, another situation might be when you're hiring virtual assistance, you might want them to go through a specific course to learn something that you don't want to spend time teaching them. And so that's another cost to consider. But in general, hiring a virtual assistant decreases operational costs. You know the normal things that you would have to deal was if you were working in an office with your employees and supplying all their equipment and all that good stuff. But from a legal vantage point, it's important to know the distinction between an employee or a 10 99 contractor just so that you're keeping yourself safe under the law. Um, so employees, there's two different major distinctions. We have full time or part time, which is pretty self explanatory, you know, depending on the nature of the work they do for you, depending on how many employees you have, which is, you know, not something that you would even deal with until you got Teoh probably 20 plus employees. I'm not a lawyer, You know, I'm not an accountant, so this is not something that I'm going to give legal advice on. But usually when you get to a certain number of employees, then you're you're dealing with, you know, having to offer benefits on regardless of how many employees you have. If they're if they're designated, like on your tax forms as, ah, full time or part time employees, you want to pay payroll taxes as well. And so that's something that you don't have to pay when you're working with this, a contractor or virtual assistant. So subcontractor, um, these air, just my definitions. But a subcontractor might be somebody who works in the same country is used to. For me, it would be somebody in the United States and they would fill out of 10 9 They would give a 10 99 form. At the end of the year, they would fill out a W nine form that just states that they are subcontracting for me, that they're they're working for my business as a contractor. A virtual assistant is a very similar type of designation. The only difference is they might not work in the same country as you. And in that case, they wouldn't need to fill out a W nine form. If you're like me and you're in the US, you know, different countries of different processes. But they all have some sort of process for the hiring. You know of a subcontractor or an employee. Uh, so the virtual assistant, you know, you wouldn't have to pay or you wouldn't have to use that form. And so that's that's kind of the distinction in terms of like, tax forms. Um, but the other thing to keep in mind is, how much is this person working with you? You know, how critical are they to your business? How consistently are they working with you? Is it for a short term project? Is it for many years? These are some things that could be an iris red flag if you are incorrectly classifying someone who's really a part time or full time employees as a subcontractor or virtual assistant. So if you if you think you're trying that line, it might be worth talking. Teoh your local small business advisory. Or if you have a lawyer or even an accountant, I think either one could shed some light. They might not be able to tell you the full story on their own, but, you know, seek out professional guidance is this is something you're worried about. But in general, if you're just getting started working with the 10 99 contractor or virtual assistant, then you're probably fine. And you don't have to worry about a lot of the complexities in terms of taxes and payments that you would with a normal employee. 4. Where to Find a VA: Certainly there are so many different places where you can find a virtual assistant, but I'm going to be going through a couple of my major places that I look so 33 major areas here. Ah, the 1st 1 is a jobs market place called online jobs dot ph. And as that domain extension might imply, this is a place specifically for hiring workers who live in the Philippines. So some people think that there might be some moral dilemma here. First, in terms of outsourcing Teoh another country. When you know there might be people for me in the United States, that would be great to work with, um, to support local economy. So that's one thing that you'll have to get over if you want to work with this marketplace On. The other thing is that by working with people who live in the Philippines, you're paying a lower wage in general, where hourly rate wage excuse me because they have a lower cost of living, and that's why this marketplace exists. It's because, um, the person who invented it obviously realized that there is an opportunity here, and if you'll recall from an earlier lesson, I told you that in order to have a successful working relationship with your virtual assistant, you have to be able to make a profit on top of bulls their time and then your time to manage them. And any sort of like edits. You need to do it to their work. So online jobs that pH is probably one of the more affordable places to find a virtual assistant. That said, don't be tempted to post job descriptions with laughably low rates. What I've found is it's actually a lot more effective. Teoh offer higher than the going wage and also offer frequent opportunities. Teoh, you give that person the opportunity to make more to get a raise. Of course, it depends on the output of their work. You know how good they're communicating with you and all these things. But having a regular review process keeps morale high, and it shows that you really care about them and you don't want to lose them. If they are doing great work for use. That's a great way to find somebody, but also to keep them around for the long term, because the more time you spend on hiring, the less effective. You're gonna be in the work that you're trying to dio. So that's all say about online jobs at Ph. Right now. I've had a lot of success there, so it's definitely worth looking, especially if you're just getting started and you're kind of on a budget. Another place that I found some great contractors may be surprisingly to you is Craigslist . Um, Craigslist used to let you post jobs for free. I think it's $5 now. Her post, which is still very low in the grand scheme of things when it comes to posting jobs and being on jobs sites so definitely worth considering. Um, you know, make sure to be very detailed in your expectations, the skills you're looking for and make sure to also post a rate there because you don't want to waste anybody's time. Um, so make sure that you're on the same page from the get go so that you get the most qualified applications. And another thing worth noting again. I live in the US, so I'm just talking relevant to my experience. But even though you're looking for a remote worker, sometimes it helps supposed in major markets like Chicago New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco etcetera toe widen that base of talent of potential talent for a job. So don't you know, don't just post in your local municipality. You really use Craigslist for the global marketplace, said it ISS. And then finally, I've used five or I actually haven't used up work really from either side before, so I'm not super qualified to speak on that. But fiber and up work, um, tend to be categorized similarly, so it's worth checking out. Both fiber is great for those more short term projects where you just need certain tasks done, and you don't have, uh, either the skills yourself or you just don't have the time to do it, so you can effectively do that there. A lot of people who are on both of these platforms tend to be fairly new to freelancing, which is why they're so affordable and so think of working with people on those platforms as your ability to help them build their portfolio. Or again. There are some people who live in countries of the lower cost of living, so think of it also as your way to help them make money. Um, And though most of these relationships for me have been pretty short term, there have been some people I've worked with over multiple different projects. For example, I have a T shirt company called Tanks to get around dot com, and I worked with the same designer to do probably about 20 different designs, at least now, and I will continue to do so because he's awesome. I've also worked with a Web developer for some of the stuff that I can't do or just don't have time to Dio. And we've worked on multiple projects since I found him on fiber, So these were some of the best places to hire a virtual assistant. If you're kind of going into it on your own, Um, a lot of freelancer Facebook groups are also great places to ask for recommendations. You'll definitely get swamped with a bunch of people offering to help you. If you just say, Hey, who's a virtual assistant? You know who wants to help me? Whatever. But if you ask instead for recommendations, then you'll get more vetted applications or vetted potential people that work with you. So that's another good way to do it and you know, certainly there's other ways to find virtual assistance. I'll tell you a little bit later about a book written by a person who has a virtual assistant agency who helps do that hiring for you. But the options listed here really are the most costs in time effective for you to consider . 5. Tasks to Delegate: we've started to talk a little bit about what specific tasks to delegate. But it's worth talking more in depth about the subject. And, you know, specifically I wanted to give you this task allegation framework to think about when you're considering what to give to a V A versus what you should do yourself. So the first sort of tenet of this framework is, you know, is the task time consuming stuff like research. And while I would apply this idea specifically to creating black content and, you know, having a V a help me to research different aspects of a blogger I'm working on. You could also think of it in terms of, like, tasks in your personal life because, you know, just because you hire a virtual assistant for a business purpose doesn't mean that they couldn't also help you To be effective in other aspects of your life is well, so maybe a time consuming task is you know, you're going on a trip and do you want to know what all the hot spots are in an area and yeah, you could go to Google. You could get lost in a rabbit hole, but it would be cool if virtual assistant that you're working with did that for you so you could get more work done. And then but time vacation rolls around. You'll have more ability to enjoy it because you got more done. Another thing, Uh, besides that. Another thing you could do is you could have your virtual assistant help you book appointments, whether it is with clients or, you know, something as simple is like, you need to get a haircut, but you just don't have time to play yourself away from work toe. Give that person or give your hairdresser call or send them an email. So think about it in terms of that, too, um, low value. It's kind of hard to explain. It's something that you're not going to get a whole lot out of doing, and it's not going to be super fulfilling. Besides the fact that you could say, OK, that's done now, um, think about low value in terms of things like scheduling social media posts. So maybe I create my social media content, but the active, um, you know, sending it out on Twitter and Facebook on linked it formatting it for all these different places, making to go out at the optimal time, making sure the images attached all these little things. They're not something that I want to concern myself with, if I can help it. So one of my virtual assistants helps me specifically with scheduling. Um, you also want to think in terms of delegating specialty services or occasional needs that you might have. So like a man, occasional need would be like tax prep. You, you might use a bookkeeper throughout the area. Might try to do your book keeping yourself. But you certainly want to work with the CPI A at the end of the year so that Uncle Sam doesn't shake you down because he did your stuff wrong. Um, occasional are not. Occasional specialty services might be something like, you know, setting up your Facebook ad campaigns that that's not something that you have a lot of experience with. It's much more beneficial to delegate that to somebody who does, you know, saving you the time from learning it and also considering that that person has already kind of like tested things out. You know, they have their own best practices that they could work off of that, it would take you forever to get up to speed on. So some other considerations as far as what? To delegate. Um, consider this stuff. You hate doing so for me. I just mentioned bookkeeping. I really hate Book eight keeping. So instead of, you know, plopping myself down in front of QuickBooks once a week toe reconcile all my accounts, I pay somebody to do this for me, and it's not cheap, but it helps me to save my mental energy for the things that I do best. Um, he could also think of this in terms of busywork. Kind of like the aforementioned social media scheduling. We've already talked about this, but researching or just, you know, hacking away at subsections of a project. Um, a project to you will be a lot easier if you don't have to do it all from scratch. If somebody can kind of tea you up and, you know, have certain pieces accomplished before you dive in. It just it really helps you to do better work and to feel us stress out. Uh, we've talked about this is well administrative in client facing tasks like scheduling meetings, you know, maybe following up on e mails, maybe just even managing your inbox so that you see the things that are most important. And, you know, they take care of the things that you just don't really need to see this obviously take some time to build trust with a virtual assistant that you'd be able to do that. But in a good, long term gold 1/2 um, specialized tasks. We've kind of talked about that in terms of, like, specialty in that task delegation framework. Um, so, like, for me, as somebody creates black content, I might want to outsource the editing to somebody, um or, you know, from another aspect of my business that I don't know a whole lot about, I might hire somebody to help me with Male Chimp Automation is, for example, again, it's something where my time is not going to be well spent on that, because it's going to require me to get up to speed on, you know how to do what I want to dio. And it's also going to be me wasting time on trial and error. The thing that I've learned as I get deeper into you know what it is specifically that I want to do for clients is that I have limited brain capacity. I mean, that's that's just a fact. That's not me, you know, putting myself down or anything. It's just like I have limited capacity, so learn new things and the things that I want to learn. I want them to be related to my core competencies. So it makes a lot more sense for me to hire these tests out again. It frees up my time toe work on, you know, billable hour projects, not administrative work that doesn't pay me and just splits my time. Another thing you could think about outsourcing, maybe from an even more nontraditional employees, you know, contractor situation, sales. And specifically, I mean creating a an affiliate marketing program so that people are incentivized to send you sales and they earn a commission off that instead of, you know, paying them an hourly rate or a salary plus commission, which would be more of like the typical sales structure. But a lot of online entrepreneurs find a lot of success with affiliate programs. It's probably easiest if you have some sort of product ized offering as opposed to like a service. So, you know, if you're selling like an online course or if you have, like, any book that's really great or something like that. But again, this is another thing that he probably wouldn't traditionally associate with the topic of virtual assistance, but that I associate with the idea of growing your business by outsourcing. So we've covered a lot, Um, in terms of how to work with the But one of the most important things that we haven't talked about yet is how to delegate. So that's what we will be focusing on in the next lesson. 6. How to Delegate: The Basics: one of the hardest things about being an entrepreneur is learning when to let go and learning when toe. Let somebody else in tow help you in figuring out how to work with that person. Delegation is one of the hardest skills to learn, especially if you're a perfectionist. But you have to learn to let go a little bit of some of that perfection in order to grow your business and to be more effective and to be more productive. So to me, um, the idea of delegation starts during the hiring process when you were, you know, still figuring out who's three ideal person for your business in order to find an effective V. A. You're going to want to have a couple different stages in your hiring process. So after you post your job description and you get a couple resumes or whatever samples that you requested will next want to move into an interview stage. Um, if you're working with somebody who is in a in another country, you know, like in the Philippines, you'll probably need to arrange some sort of Skype interview, and it might be difficult, just depending on their Internet connection. But it's important to get that face time. Most most of Filipino workers speak English, at least the ones on online jobs that pH. So it shouldn't be hard to communicate that way. Alternatively, you could do an email based interview but definitely aim for video interview if at all possible during the interview, you can get away with a lot more questions than you'd be able to in a more traditional employee employer interview. Um, specifically, you can ask a little bit more about them personally. Um, my mentor, who worked with virtual assistants before I ever considered them, told me to ask questions about their life outside of work, such as Do you have kids? You know, is that something that could interrupt your day and, you know, make you late to turn in projects and things like that. It's definitely not something you could ask during a traditional and review, But because these people are not going to be classified as a traditional full time or part time employees, you can dig a little deeper into that. Another thing that's really important is to offer a paid test to your top, maybe 2 to 3 candidates, and this paid test should be based on the type of work that you normally want people to complete. Um, what it does essentially is help you to understand what it would be like to work together and to see if there's anything that would be a nonstarter with you. Like, you know, if they're late to turn it in or, you know, if they turn in something subpar, it's essentially a way to test drive what it would be like to work with them without having to spend time on training and on boarding. Um, that, you know, might just fall apart the minute they actually do something. So think of this is a predictive way to see if your intended virtual assistant has what it takes to work with you. Of course, you're gonna want to relax your standards a bit because they're not going to be, ah, 100% up to speed on what you like. But what you're looking for is somebody He's coachable. Um, and then one final note on the interview is that you're gonna want to standardize your questions across everyone so that you have some basis for comparing them, and when you work with one or more people. You'll want to create a project management process around doing this, so I use different tools for different purposes. For example, I use base camp for managing social media content. It has this list feature that just makes it a little bit easier to figure out. You know what's going out for which client, what time. It makes it easy for my virtual assistant, who helps with scheduling to have all the information they need in one place. Um, but for more like research based or administrative assignments I used to do us. It's a very simple task management system where you know you define the task. Um, you can add comments. You can set due dates. You can set priorities if you have a lot of stuff that's starting to stack up with the virtual assistant, and you want to make it easier for them to figure out what you want to focus on. First, Um, it's definitely not as fully loaded as base camp or something like Asana, but that's kind of why I like it. It gets straight to the bottom of what I want, and it also encourages discussion through the comment feature. So, uh, those air to tools that I use. But of course, there's others out there. I find that it's best to expand off of what you already use. And, like maybe with other clients, so do a little bit of exploration to find the one that works best for you once you hire, you know, multiple virtual assistants or multiple subcontractors. Actually, really, before you do that, you're gonna want to create a knowledge base for people to refer back to for best practices . Things like training videos. Um, what I use is Google sites because it's really easy to build, just like a basic sort of. I see it is like an Internet for the company, where I detail like different things that what people would need to know about specific clients has, like my general style guide. And like I just said, training videos for specific processes. You know, if there's specific software tools I want people to use, then I want what I did was I created different videos for how to do different processes that come up a lot. And then, by the time I on board a new virtual assistant, I don't have to walk through that with, Um, it's already there. It's done. So it's nice to spend some time creating a resource base of different processes that you'll be expecting your virtual assistance or subcontractors to follow. One time and it's done. It's It's a type of thing that's a good investment. It's a type of thing that will save your sanity in the long term. And actually, some of the skill shirt classes I've made have become training materials for some of the virtual assistance and some contractors I work with so, you know, repurpose what you can, but don't think it's a waste of time to spend a lot of time building out these processes. Um, I also use Dropbox and Google Drive for storing, you know, things like image or video assets. It just makes it easier to have all these things organized in folders in one place. And the fact that dropbox and drive allow you to specify a permissions only specific people consume is also really useful for my business. Um, other thing you're gonna want to think about is providing guidance in clear deadlines. Uh, really, the more specific you can get about the test that you want completed, the better. If you don't provide any sort of guidance, you might get something that's totally unusable. So, you know, talk about these things when you're assigning the projects, give a specific deadline. You know, make sure it's reasonable. Don't assume that just because you're working with a virtual assistant that they don't have other stuff going on or that their 120% dedicated to you all the time. I like to give people at least a week turnaround on task, and I'll give them a heads up if I need it sooner. But also give them the opportunity to say no because I don't think it's fair to expect a 24 hour turnaround with any of my, you know, subcontractors without getting their buying for that. So part of working with the virtual assistant is just, you know, being a good human being and, you know, not expecting the world but just expecting to treat each other with respect and to have good communication overall. So another thing that I do in terms of providing guidance is, you know, give ideas for where they might start the research or, you know, maybe an example of a finished product or finished product that looks close to what I'm expecting for them. So, you know, give give examples. Be liberal with that, um And then also, you're gonna want Teoh encourage them to ask you questions from the get go from that first tests assignment, the more you can answer up front, the less there is going to be the edit later. And the more likely you are to receive a final project that looks exactly like what you wanted. Um, the other thing is, after the project is completed, especially as you start working with new virtual assistance of subcontractors, you want to be super liberal with feedback. Um, even though it takes you time And this is this is one of the things that will add to your plate as you onboard new virtual assistance. The fact that you have Teoh guide them the fact that you have to manage them. But the more feedback you can give, the more you can you know, make sense of edits he make or you know, things that you expect, uh, the easier it will be for those virtual assistance to work with you. on going and just, you know, make less mistakes to do things more your way and the less feedback and editing you're gonna have to do long term. So, um, now that we've covered a lot of the basics and how to delegate and you know what task to delegate in general, I'm going to leave you with a couple final thoughts regarding tools to help you manage this new relationship. 7. Useful Tools & Resources: We've covered a lot of things in a short amount of time, and there's definitely still a lot for you to learn about being effective with working with virtual assistants or subcontractors. And so I want to first leave you with a couple of tools that I swear by when I work with virtual assistance. That I think will help you to the 1st 1 is a password management tool like last pass. Because you're working with people that you might need to grant access to certain parts of your business, perhaps even certain parts of your client's business, you're gonna want a tool that you can use to securely share passwords. Um, and what last past does it is? It actually obscures the password. So your virtual assistant or whoever it is that you send it to never actually sees the password. But the tool allows them to use it to get into whatever they need to give into. And, you know, in the case where something bad happens with virtual assistant and you have to fire them. Um, last past makes it really easy to then, you know, restrict their access to certain passwords. And since they never actually saw the log in information that protects you from having to change anything. So that could be a lifesaver in a bad virtual assistant situation. But also, from a standpoint of security, um, toggle is a great time tracking tool. And in the idea of setting expectations with virtual assistance, I usually get them some sort of idea in terms of how long I expect to project to take. Um, you know, certainly there's variability within that. And if it's a big project, I give a range for what I'm expecting. But what I'm trying to do by setting that expectation is avoid somebody taking advantage of me and just, you know, charging me 10 hours for a project that takes only one. Um, in general, virtual assistants aren't out to screw you because they want to get ongoing work. But when you're starting to work with somebody, setting expectations like that is good weights. You get off on the right foot with each other. And so I asked all my contractors to use toggle to be proactively recording the time they spend on projects. So there's some level of accountability, and of course you know they could leave this on, they could lie to me, but I found that it tends to cut down on those things compared to the contractors I've worked with in the past, who I didn't ask to use the time tracking tool. The numbers are definitely different when they use the time tracker for the better. Um, so my payroll process is not payroll, but paying contractors process is perhaps a little complicated. But for me, it keeps everything in one place, which is good, because then I can pass it on to my bookkeeper and not worry about it anymore. So what usually happens is I ask whoever it is to invoice me through PayPal, whether they're a domestic contractor or somebody overseas. Just because PayPal is more or less available to everyone, and you know, it provides a searchable database for what I'm paying contractors and things like that. But I used the school called Ben Douala, which connects to Douala, which is like a payment processing tool. Teoh came my contractors, or at least most of them through QuickBooks. I've also recently started using Transferwise to pay the people that I work with in the Philippines. Um, and the reason I use That is because it I pay them through pay power. They usually have not only, um, the fee to use PayPal, which is about 3.3% but they also have to pay a fee. Teoh, translate that money into Philippine pesos on. And so what ends up happening is PayPal. Fees take up a huge chunk of what I'm trying to pay them and as a courtesy to them because , you know, once I had finds a contractor that I really loved working with, I want to keep them around. I take this extra set to pay out through transfer rise really doesn't take me that much extra time, but it helps them to keep more of their money and bend while a charges me a small fee, as opposed Teoh pay, pal. Um, you know, charging the recipient 3.3% for me. It's, you know, 50 cents to a dollar per transaction or something like that. And, um, you know, I found that my contractors really appreciate that as well. So while while you're probably thinking right now in terms of how can a virtual assistant help me? You also want to be thinking about what you can do for them to make the experience justice . Great. Ah, we've already talked about how I used to do it and base camp for task management. So just a reminder here and then for the intranet. I use Google sites to create that kind of knowledge base for people to refer back Teoh. I also recently created a one pager for new contractors That explains all the tools I expect them to download and use. Uh, you know what? My payment processes like training videos. I want them to watch and you know my expectations in terms of I'll be sending you, Ah, a subcontractor agreement and I'll need your W nine information if your domestic so consider also something like that. But again, I'm I'm considering creating another class that dives deeper into hiring and maybe even a separate one for on boarding. So stay tuned for more on that, and then I just want to leave you with this reading less. We talked about Tim Ferris's and I accidentally spell this name calling there. That's very saying, Tim Ferris's book The Four Hour Work Week. Um, I actually had Teoh start this over again because the first time I read it, it kind of made me mad. I thought it was, you know, about exploiting people, and maybe that's what he met. I don't know. That's not the way that I interpret working with the virtual assistant. And that's not the way that my processes reflect. I work with them. So my but it my advice to you is if you read this book, just take it with a grain of salt and try to see it as something that can help you build your processes. But maybe not the way that you want to treat people on. Then there's virtual Freedom By Chris See Ducker. He actually has his own virtual assistant. Um, like recruiting and hiring firm. So if you're really just out of your league here with hiring a virtual assistant, you might consider hiring Christie duckers for him to help you with that. But regardless, I would recommend his book as a good first step into learning more about working with virtual assistants and especially with understanding what makes them tick. You know how to incentivize them how to work with in the right way, and then finally, it's some articles I've written for W P M. New dad when my clients the first ones had agree WordPress business with virtual assistance , which I've covered a lot of that material here, but it'll go into and more dubs and then how to onboard contractors to your virtual earth. Your word Cosby is Excuse me, and that's something that I'm considering creating a future class on. So with that, we're done with this class. Thes resource is will be available on my website as a downloadable. PdF. If you just want to grab him and check him out later, it's so look for that link under the description for the class. But other than that, the class is over, and I love to hear your feedback. This is the first time that I've taught on this topic. I love to hear if you like other classes on this topic, because that's what I'm thinking of doing, so let me know. And thanks for watching