For so many entrepreneurs who are already stressed, tired, and overwhelmed by the day to day running of their businesses, the thought of bringing someone on board to help is enough to send them running in the other direction. That’s understandable, because whether they’ve tried to hire a virtual assistant (VA) in the past or just heard horror stories about them from colleagues, they know that VAs often amount to more work and more headache than trying to do it all themselves.
However, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be that way.
By hiring the right VA for your business, you can actually take work off your overflowing plate, as well as increase your profits and expand your marketing efforts.
Follow these simple steps to team up with a VA who is going to grow your business alongside you.
1. Start with your network and trusted resources.
The simple truth of where the VA hiring process too often goes wrong is the location where entrepreneurs find candidates. I recommend steering clear of the most popular VA job boards, where anyone can put up a profile even if they have no work experience.
Instead, either use a niche VA job board where candidates are vetted or trained, or stick with word of mouth from colleagues or professionals you trust. Reach out to your Facebook groups and other online communities for recommendations.
2. Decide what you need help with before the hiring process.
Another mistake I’ve seen many entrepreneurs fall into is not knowing exactly what they need help with as they go through the hiring and training process. Make a list of the areas you feel your expertise is lacking, as well as the tasks you just hate doing.
Starting the search with those things in mind will not only help you find the right candidate for you, it will also give you extra motivation to cross those things off your to do list!
3. Cast your net for VAs with an expertise.
In the virtual assistance industry, there are generalists and also people who specialize in a particular area. If you want a partner who can help you grow your business, you’ll need to find someone who has marketing expertise.
You might need to pay a slightly higher rate, but it will be worth it for their years of experience and the value they provide your business.
4. Work with your new VA to automate your marketing.
Once you’ve found a great VA who is going to help you expand your reach and earn more income, one of the best projects they can do for you is automating your marketing efforts. Automation is the key to growing steadily without spending a fortune or sucking up everyone’s time.
Two great ways to start automating are first, have your VA help you set up a lead-capturing funnel to grow your email list, and second, automate your social media strategy.
Jama St. John is the owner and founder of Your Online Marketing Team, a multi-VA practice that partners with entrepreneurs for implementation and marketing strategy. Jama has been working in the virtual assistance industry since 1996 and is also an Infusionsoft Certified Consultant.