In our previous session, we discussed on how to get the right VA to work for you, how you could overcome difficulties with your offshore staff and build trust with them. Now, I am very excited to share this Part 2 of Q&A session with Charley! This video was recorded 3 days before I gave birth to my beautiful son, Jordan.
In this session, we will share our own experiences on how we actually use our VAs and what tasks do we assign to them. I really love this topic because I can now share it with you how we “walk the talk” in our business. We make use of our own products and services in all of our businesses. Like in my case, every single member in my team is virtual. I also thought that this is the perfect time to share with our clients on how do we maximise and get the full benefits of our VAs.
If you are looking for more ways to effectively use your VA and expanding your team, this Q&A session will be very helpful for you.
Question & Answer Session 2
Question 1: How do you use your VA and what are the things you are getting them up to?
Linh: My VA, Wendy, is a top notch VA. Having years of experience working with VAs, I nurtured and made her like my own clone. She helps me in the whole process of recruitment from posting ads on job posting sites, getting and sorting all applications so that I could pick the ones I like and scheduling interviews with the selected applicants. I invested time in making her join me in my previous interview sessions, so she would know the things I look for in a candidate. Now, the majority of the time, she conducts the interviews by herself. She records all the conversation and makes a summary of the interviews. In that way, I can easily review the applicant’s progress and decide whether the applicant is a good candidate or not. I also ask her to book me an interview with the candidate, especially for the urgent positions. She does all the orientation for the new VAs and monitors them closely so that we would have the confidence to let the VAs work with the client by themselves or if we have to let them go.
Charley: I really like how Linh highlighted the way we can have our VAs work as a filter for any potential wasting of time. The second part that I also would like to highlight is that when you have a good VA and you had them for a while they actually start on training other people coming into your team. It’s magic! Outsourcing Angel is now on Podio. I am happy that I spent time with my VA, Juvy, in training her on Podio. Now, when we have new people on board, she conducts the training for me. This is a setup that saves me a huge amount of time that I never expected in the beginning.
Linh: One of the best part on having VAs is when they work with one another and set the system up for us. In that way, we don’t have to get heavily involved in the whole process. It’s been great!
Charley: With my VA, it’s like having another set of eyes and ears on the ground. Whenever I have to do other things, they serve as my troop on the ground that gives me intel and does the gathering of all the information, which is really effective and quick. It gives you a massive win and advantage when you get to that point.
Linh: Wendy is such an asset for me. She knows how to project manage and how to manage the VAs. I always make sure that her tasks are focused on those and not on the nitty gritty day to day tasks which can be assigned to other VAs. In a way, you also need to build a hierarchy of experience. Me, as the business owner, run the business and know what strategy that works. I try to find the next best VA who can manage and train the next set of VAs. That way you can really leverage your business and take advantage.
Question 2: Do you remember what’s the first thing you outsourced was?
Linh: When I started the business, I was into the whole web development and graphic design work. I hired a VA that specialised in that area. When I started out, I was the main general assistant of the business. Then as the years pass, I did come to a point that I need to hire more general VA because as you grow you need someone that is more hands on in some aspects of your business. You will need another version of you to oversee the projects and report to me so that I could focus on the strategy of the business.
Question 3: Has there been anything you’ve tried with your VA that didn’t work?
Linh: Yes, there was once a transcription task that we need to work on. It’s quite funny because we think it’s easy for them to listen to an audio and transcribe, but then I remember getting a lot more false and error with it because they are not as experienced. Even a simple task is not made for everyone. It might not be as cost-effective. After that, I realised that I should hire a transcriptionist so that the task can be finished fast.
Charley: For me, I originally hired Juvy in my idea to move her into doing more graphic works, which she actually did a reasonable job. But on top of that, she began showing more skills in other areas. During my conversations with her, she told me other areas that she enjoys doing. As a team, we made a decision to put her in those areas she’s really good and hire someone else for graphics. And that was a great decision we made out of good communication. I wouldn’t say it’s a failed attempt or she can’t do it, it’s just like giving people the position and environment they would enjoy and do well in.
Linh: Charley made a good point. When you monitor them early on, you won’t waste their time and your time in doing tasks that they are not happy and positive with. It could result to taking them longer in finishing the job. In terms of graphics design, I practise the same approach like how you test a VA on graphics and determine whether or not they are going to meet your standards. I don’t think putting more time can make you a better designer. I think you just have to do other things that you’re good at and hire someone else for it if they do not meet the expectations. That’s why it’s really important to learn their strengths and weaknesses so that you don’t waste time and you can use them more effectively.
Question 4: What are you experimenting with at the moment?
Charley: I am trying to experiment in seeing how far I can push it with them.
Linh: I am pushing them in a sense that I am never afraid to let them try new systems. It’s good that the VAs always try to please you and try to grow and learn. Like with my VA, she hasn’t used Podio but she tried it, learned it and loved it. Our VAs are always eager to learn and be pushed.
Charley: Once, I got Juvy to work on a PPC element which is the Cyfe Dashboards for my PPC clients. I wanted to see if my VA will be able to create dashboards for my clients. She absolutely killed it. She is now better at Cyfe than I am. Another thing is Active Campaign, it is very similar to Infusionsoft which is a CRM system. There is so much that can be done, so I put her into a course. It was fantastic. She did an absolutely awesome job.
There is so much to learn from the VAs. There is so much for them to grow, so the longer they are with you the more they become powerful. The training, time, effort and trust you give to your VA makes them more efficient in their jobs. This sums up the second session of the questions and answer. If you have any questions and inquiries please let us know.