B050: How to hire your first VA (Virtual Assistant)

By February 22, 2019October 15th, 2019Hire a VA, The Simplifiers Podcast

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If you’re drowning in admin work and your to-do list never seems to get done, you’ll want to pull out your pen and paper and take notes.

The topic is about how to hire your first VA (psst, that stands for Virtual Assistant!)

I’m going to simplify it all down for you, demystify what to look for, how to ensure a good fit, and how to know the difference between which tasks to delegate, and which you should hang on to.

There comes a time where your small business hits a turning point… where you MUST grow your team, or else agree to stay small forever.

The GOOD NEWS is that it’s never been easier to build your team without massively growing your payroll.

A virtual assistant is NOT a 40-hour a week employee.

And that’s a good thing.

Here’s why:

  • They get the work done faster. No downtime, no paying someone who’s just scrolling through Instagram while on the clock.
  • They are highly skilled talent who are specialists in 2-3 areas.
  • And since you hire them for a small handful of hours per project or task, you’ve now got access to this talent without blowing the bank… or having to pay for insurance, benefits or vacation pay.

I have to be honest, the first time I hired a Virtual Assistant, it was a wee bit scary.

Bottomline, trust issues.

“Who can really do it as good as me?” is what I thought. “I’m the one who turns the crank on this business, I’ve got to DO IT ALL or something will drop.”

NEWS-FLASH MARY: when you tried to do it all, you DID in fact drop super important balls! How silly was I!!?!

Don’t be like me.

Well, don’t be like OLD me.


Simple guidance on how to hire a Virtual Assistant (VA):

1. Define what you’re delegating

Woohoo, you’ve hit your turning point, you’re ready to outsource! So, umm, now what…

Lady writing her VA tasks

  1. Gain clarity by writing it down. Set a 7-minute timer and write at the top of your journal two columns: HECK YEAH and HELL NO. I want you to brain dump, onto paper, every single task you handle in your business. If it’s something you LOVE doing and it totally energizes you, put it in the first column. If it’s something that drains you, feels soul-sucking or depletes your creativity, it’s a HELL NO, friend. All the answers sit inside you. It’s time to journal it out on paper to gain clarity.
  2. Make a choice – Ok, so looking at your HELL NOs, can you bundle these into categories? Maybe like: Admin Machine Work, Social Media, Graphic Design, Website Maintenance?
    1. Okay, now rank them.
    2. If you could delegate ONE category or task today, which would you GLADLY let go of, right now? Congratulations superhero, you now have clarity on what to outsource first.
  3. Keep it simple and small. The next step is to write up a simple, concise creative brief on that task or project, outlining the specifics on the work. Think bullet points, not research paper. Imagine you’re describing it to an 8 year old. Simple, simple, simple. If it looks like a BIG project, how can you break it down into smaller bites?

2. Qualities to look for in your Virtual Assistant (VA)

  • They are an excellent communicator. They have a pre-built system to keep you updated on their progress with the assigned work, they work independently and on their own hours, but they also know how to keep you up to speed with simplicity and ease.
  • They are super organized – Their sock drawer is a thing to be admired. And their spice cabinet. And their Google Drive folders, too. This talent translates in the quality of work they provide you, which as we all know… will help you drop your shoulders and say “ahhhhhhhhhh” in satisfaction.
  • They know their stuff – They don’t need to know ALL things, they just need to know their specific niche or skill. Whether that’s managing your schedule or helping you create systems and processes, or stepping up as your superhero webmaster, they are experienced. This type of work totally LIGHTS them up.
  • They want to see you WIN – they see you as their client, not as their boss. This is a really important paradigm shift. Your VA wants to deliver impeccable customer service and exceed your expectations. Why? Because when you win, they win. When you see results, trust is built, and then you’ll outsource more projects to them.

3. How to ensure you’ve got a good fit

Make a choice, give it time, and then see if you’re a good fit with your VA by using this checklist:

✅ You trust and respect them. These are the two pillars to success, and this doesn’t happen unless you’ve got rapport that grows over time, project to project. Trust your gut when you work with your VA (remember that you’ll likely meet them via a video call and not in person!)

✅ You are both aligned, vibing and on the same page. Give them a small task and see how they do with it. Once completed, if it’s not a match, ask to be reassigned to a different person for the next project/task. If it IS a match, keep going!

You can actually accept help – it sounds silly, but as a card-carrying Type A Control Freak myself, this one is really important. You could have the ultimate unicorn of a VA, ready to help you, but if you can’t let go (bit by bit) of the nitty-gritty tasks that weigh you down, this isn’t going to work. Face the fear, go karaoke the Frozen song and get over it. Your business is BEGGING you to outsource the boring stuff. Your mental health is whimpering, too. Listen and accept the help!

You feel less stressed, not MORE – we’re all about simplifying. Yes, there is some stress which ramps up at the beginning of working with a new VA. But if days (or weeks later), this relationship is causing you more stress than less, there’s something wrong. That’s the beauty of hiring a VA in 5-hour blocks… if needs be, you simply wrap up that project and move on to a different Simplifier on the next task.

Bottomline – my team can be your virtual assistants!

When you hire a FT employee, you sink tons of cash, training and resources into one person. That’s why so many dread having to hire an employee… it’s a pain to have to find a new person, you waste cash and most importantly, you waste your time. And say it with me… ain’t nobody got time for that!

My team is now your virtual team.

Schedule a FREE 15-minute call with The Simplifiers. Let’s jump on a discovery call and chat about your upcoming tasks and projects. I’ll give you my advice of how many hours you’ll need, and if we’ve got someone on our team that can help you. If there’s a better resource out there, I promise to point you in that direction.

Click here for more information about The Simplifiers – Hire The Simplifiers business support package, which combines a bank of hours with my virtual assistants, plus 1-1 business coaching with me. I’m here to simplify your life, so let’s get going, friend!



In addition, click here for a free tool to help you write your first VA Creative Brief!

This simple writing exercise helps you… 
  • identify what tasks you should delegate to a VA, 
  • clarify what qualifications your ideal candidate needs,
  • define how you’d like to work with them,
  • and begin to write out the first draft of your VA Creative Brief, so you can take action on hiring!

In addition, you will be emailed a full copy of your VA Creative Brief, once written.

And just one final whisper, just from me to you, dear friend… come in closer.

Letting go looks sexy on you. No really, it does. When you let go of the grind of the machine work (lower yielding tasks) and focus on sales, client relations and the tasks that light you up (higher yielding tasks), you are doing your best work. Living your best life.

But that can’t happen until you let go.

And up to this point, I get it. Your entire business ran because you turned the crank and did ALL the things, all the time.

Take a moment to imagine what your life would be like if you did less.

If you found experienced people you could trust, and work with a virtual team? It could help you to shine with your clients, and feel energized every time you flip open your computer.

All of this is possible… it just requires you to take the first step out in faith. A tiny investment here can deliver in ways unimaginable later. Ask yourself: are you ready to step up in to the new you – who does less, and accomplishes more?

I think we all know the answer to that.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

Snap a photo of you doing the thing and send it to me via Instagram, privately or publicly… just tag @thesimplifiers – I’ll be your virtual accountability buddy in your quest to simplify your life.

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As always friends, keep things simple.

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