Today’s guest is Molly Rose Speed, founder of Virtual Assistant Management, which provides trusted virtual assistant (VA) solutions and flawless tech execution for busy entrepreneurs. Molly Rose is the go-to professional for some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the speaker/author and content creator industry. She is also an awarded military spouse and solo world traveler who believes in creating a career and a life that allows you to do more of what you love.
Molly’s company trains and places virtual assistants, the majority of whom are military spouses.
It’s time to consider hiring a VA when you are sacrificing income because you’re spending time on lower-billable or unpaid work such as administrative tasks. It’s also important to spend time working ON your business (building and improving your business), not just IN your business (client work).
Also, keep note of your energy level. Are you exhausted trying to do everything yourself? Are you dreading each work day—on a business you created for yourself and should love!?
There are a wide variety of other freelancers who might call themselves virtual assistants; they might offer high-level skills such as web design, copy writing or course creation. However, general virtual assistants are akin to executive assistants in the corporate world. VAs might help with scheduling, booking, answering phone calls and emails, managing a blog, creating social media.
To find a VA, ask your network and share on social media, being specific about what type of work you need help with. A VA agency can also pair you up with someone.
Before you look for a VA, be very clear about what you want the person to do but also think about whether time zone matters and the personality types that might work best for you. Do you want a leader in your business or someone more behind the scenes?
Ask potential VAs for references. You may also want to consider giving them a paid test in the area you need help with—such as asking them to create five social media posts or draft an email.
One misconception is that you have to hire a VA for 20 hours or so each week. But VAs—like you as a freelancer—often have multiple clients and aren’t available for that many hours. Instead, you can negotiate hours with a VA. Molly recommends hiring them for at least 5 hours a week, or 20 hours a month, and creating a retainer agreement.
You can also hire virtual assistants for one-time projects or at a specific time when you need extra help.
Molly always recommends creating a contract with a VA and paying the VA’s retainer at the end of the month. That way, if they go over their hours (which you have both agreed to that month), you have the flexibility to pay them more at the end of the month based upon an already agreed-upon rate.
Be sure to also have a privacy agreement as part of your contract and a separate non-disclosure agreement to help secure client information, as well as your passwords, banking info, etc.
What about freelancers who say they don’t want to give up the control or take the time to hire a VA? Molly believes that person won’t hire a VA until they’re fully ready, but she tells them: Teaching a VA might take you a “painful hour,” but then it’s going to save you, for example, five hours a month.
She also recommends shooting a Loom.com video to show a VA how to do something and then let them “run with it.”
Make sure you establish good communication with your VA from the beginning. Molly recommends a Monday check-in and setting up checks and balances. Make sure they have access to the tools they need, along with passwords, before they start.
It’s also important to establish and agree upon the style of communication between the two of you.
Ask your VA for a list of their “favorites” so you can send them appropriate, thoughtful gifts. Don’t take your valuable VAs for granted!
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