In my latest podcast episode, I discuss the different types of virtual assistant roles you can hire to help you grow your business. Learn how to save money by breaking down your process, the different roles of VAs, and tips for creating good habits as an entrepreneur.
You will learn:
- How to break down your process to save money when hiring virtual assistants
- The different roles of virtual assistants and how they can help you stay accountable in your business
- Tips and tricks for finding the perfect virtual assistant for your business.
Another task for a general admin assistant could be to just grab your analytics every two weeks or once a month. If you struggle with staying mindful of your numbers, then an admin VA could easily be hired to help you with that. So the way that would work is that you’d probably have a spreadsheet where you have them look up your follower numbers or take screenshots of your Instagram Analytics page. Whatever numbers are important to you. job is to sit down and look at it for at least 15 minutes and write up some notes to yourself on what you notice
This is Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy, hosted by me, Rochelle Sanchez. I help solopreneurs like you build good habits and compassionate systems that allow you to show up consistently and authentically in your business.
The end goal is to help you onboard a virtual assistant who is 100% aligned with your mission and within your budget, but there are a few things you should probably get in place first, right? That's why we're here.
You deserve to do what you love for a living. And I believe that you're closer than you think. So clear your schedule and let's get to work on the next best step for you on your business journey.
This episode is sort of a continuation from the previous episode about building good habits to set yourself up for finding a virtual assistant. That episode has a lot of info on the habits and simple workflows that I suggest you have in place before you bring on a team member, and remember: I’m sharing this from the point of view of having been one of those magical unicorn virtual assistants for a lot of small business owners.
As a VA, I helped lots of folks in the transformation industries: life coaches, therapists, authors, thought leaders — you name it!
So I’ve witnessed first-hand that launches can get complicated, especially if you consider yourself “tech-challenged” or if you feel generally overwhelmed right now and just need some help.
I’m not trying to diminish the experience that you’re having right now. Running a business is hard. It’s really, REALLY hard in the beginning when no one understands why you’re doing all this work, and you’re spending your own money, and you refuse to commit to the corporate lifestyle of working for 40 years and then retiring.
I mean, I’m not really sure why anyone chooses that path nowadays considering even people who do it right and retire at 65 still have to get a part time job anyway because of inflation, but anyway. We’re not talking about that, today.
My point is that I get how much work you’re doing and how hard this stupid but wonderful business is that you’re trying to get out there and grow and scale. It looks all fancy from the outside but maybe behind the scenes you’re like, I hate most of what I’m doing and I want to hire it out, but I also don’t know how I’d hire any of this out and also I probably can’t afford it. Because a lot of us (and by “us” I mean you and me and probably not millionaire billionaire one percent-ers) we’re used to not being able to afford any kind of help with anything.
So, validating your experience first. Also, it is possible, but it also might get complicated. But you’re an entrepreneur, so you’re used to that, right?
Anyway, back to my point. In the last episode I walked you through habits and workflows for the specific example of needing to hire someone to help you with Instagram. Make sure you listen to that one first because this one won’t really be that useful without it.
So today, I’m walking through the outsourcing opportunities within this need to get help with Instagram as an example.
This is assuming:
You have good habits in place, already.
You can keep up a simple workflow or process of creating content and gathering leads via your Instagram account already.
You like Instagram, genuinely. You’re not outsourcing it because you hate it and don’t want anything to do with it anymore.
You have a budget for outsourcing and you’re not here to cut corners and find someone in a third world country to do a full time job for you for $50 a week.
Obviously I’m tailoring the examples to Instagram but this can easily be applied to whichever platform it is that you’re focusing on for your content, whether it’s Twitter or Linkedin or Facebook or something else.
Okay so here are the opportunities within that Instagram process, and I’m dividing them up by the type of person that you may want to hire. I’m separating them out because you’ll find that if you look for a “virtual assistant” then you’re going to find all kinds of people who are willing to do all kinds of things, and you’re not going to know who exactly to hire. But I’ve found that if you’re specific about the title of the role (even if it’s still a VA, you can call it a VA “slash” something else) and that’ll narrow down the kinds of people who start pitching you for their services.
Also, and this is important: I am not by any means suggesting that if you want to start outsourcing, you have to bring on one of each of these kinds of virtual assistants. These are just examples of how you can break down your process and perhaps save some money as you’re starting out, because you’re not hiring a VA to do ALL the work, just some of the work.
The first kind of assistant you could look for would be a Writer or Editor. A writing-focused or editing-focused virtual assistant can look at those notes that you have in your Evernote account and flesh them out for you. Because remember — it’s saved online and can be accessed from anywhere, so it will be easy to share with whoever you hire. You can request that they contact you once a week when they’re all done with the current batch of ideas. Whether that’s one idea, or three ideas, or whatever you decide on and whatever’s in your contract. Or if you’d like to get really good at batching, you can do a whole month’s worth and that’ll really rev up your production efficiency. I can talk about this another time but batching a whole month’s worth of anything for your business is pretty magical. The first few times you do it, you’ll wonder why you have to do so much work at once and then you’ll be like, wait I have literally nothing to do for two whole weeks. It’s great.
The next type of person you might hire for our Instagram example is a
Creative or Creator
Along the same lines as a writing or editing assistant, you might want to find someone who’s more creative and savvy with social media content. I’d call this kind of assistant a “creator” or “creative” of some sort. This is someone who loves social media, loves following the latest tricks and updates. They just get it and they’re excited about applying their knowledge to your work. The idea is that they’d look at your notes in Evernote, again, but match them up with trending audios or memes or whatever’s big on the internet right now.
This particular role is different because a lot of people think that social media content creators just make things up on the spot. But I’ve learned through my own practice and also from learning through different courses that the folks who are really consistent on Instagram have a big backlog of ideas and drafts saved up. And then when a specific trend comes up and matches it, then they pair it up and post it.
So while you may not need a specific person to do this one simple “matching” step for you, it may be helpful if you’ve got a limited budget and you want to take a lot of the brain work out of your content process.
Next up is more of a general role, and I call it a…
General Administrative Virtual Assistant, or General VA.
The general VA is a non-creative role that’s a lot like the administrative assistant position in a small brick and mortar business. They’re not doing creative, artistic stuff, no heavy data analysis, no marketing things that require a background in marketing and sales. They do the mouse clicking and what a lot of creative folks like you or me might consider really “tedious” work. So they’ll have a detail oriented, process oriented type of brain where you can rely on them to consistently do the uploading to your scheduling software. Depending on their qualifications, you could even have them help you with managing your team, meaning that if there are things missing from your batch of content for a particular week or month, they’re the one who pings the creative VA or messages the writer/editor to ask that they fill in the things that are missing. Like if a video doesn’t have a title or a call to action. Or maybe you’re a podcaster and you need three carousels of repurposed podcast content made and there’s only one carousel saved in Canva right now. The admin VA or admin assistant could be the one to ask around and make sure all the components are there and ready to go.
Another task for a general admin assistant could be to just grab your analytics every two weeks or once a month. If you struggle with staying mindful of your numbers, then an admin VA could easily be hired to help you with that. So the way that would work is that you’d probably have a spreadsheet where you have them look up your follower numbers or take screenshots of your Instagram Analytics page. Whatever numbers are important to you. And then when your VA sends you the data, your job is to sit down and look at it for at least 15 minutes and write up some notes to yourself on what you notice. Then that VA’s job is to make sure you fill out the notes area and then send those notes back over to your creative VA or writing assistant so they know what to focus on.
Or your admin assistant will ping you again if you haven’t done it within a week, or something like that. See how that works? They may not be doing all of the work for you, but they’re doing enough to take some off your plate, while at the same time building in some accountability. It’s a two- or three- person workflow instead of just you needing to stay focused and really get whatever-it-is done.
To summarize the different roles I've lined up for you, you have:
The Writer/editor is someone who can Look at your notes in Evernote and flesh them out for you. You’ll get pinged once a week when they tell you the current batch of ideas is done and ready for you to access in Evernote.
The Creative Assistant: Matches ideas in Evernote with the saved audios or trends in Instagram by writing out ideas in a shared Google Sheet or Google Doc. Again, this will probably be a weekly thing where they’ll clock in on a specific day and then let you know when the work is done. This is a job for someone who has a knack for this kind of stuff, though, and they will cost more depending on the level of skill you want
A General VA (non-creative) creates content for you for Instagram based on your raw writing in Evernote or the Google Sheet or Doc (the kind of content that doesn’t require your face, anyway) and save those videos or carousels in a Google Drive folder. It will be your job to look at each piece of content and approve it or give feedback so they can change it. Eventually you won’t need to approve each piece, though!
A general admin assistant uploads and pre-schedules all approved content in the Google Drive folder using the Later app, whether it was made by you or by a creative virtual assistant you hired.
A general admin assistant checks your insights on a monthly basis and share the screenshot either in Evernote, Google Sheets/Docs, or Google Drive, with notes on what to focus on in next month’s content.
Finally, some final thoughts on finding a virtual assistant to help you:
Now this is a BIG BIG DEAL — underline it, highlight it, write it on your bathroom mirror. I don’t want you to think that you have to have all your systems together and fabulous habits in place that come naturally every month before you hire someone.
You don’t have to have all of your systems together before you hire someone to help you.
You also don’t have to have a solid, fool proof, proven strategy in place before you hire someone to help you.
The main reason I feel like I need to say that is because I personally believe that the best general, administrative, virtual assistant for you is going to be someone who understands that things change and pivots happen. And I mean that for any of the roles I’ve mentioned in this episode.
Pivoting is a normal part of entrepreneurship, your virtual assistant will understand that, no matter what you may have hired them to do, whether they’re creative, general admin, whatever.
They’ll understand what you’re going through because they’re a business owner, too.
The idea with finding a unicorn who can keep up the pace of your business and help out wherever they’re needed is that they can handle most of anything that you throw at them. This is assuming, of course, that you’re clear about it when you sign your contracts and all that. Don’t hire a general VA for the minimum amount and then suddenly assign them to do highly skilled tasks that should cost more.
But if you do find someone who’s willing to wear a lot of hats because they’re on board with your mission and the work that you do, it could turn out to be a really great, long-term professional partnership between the two of you. Just like you really care about people making it and achieving their goals, virtual assistants feel the same about their clients.
They’ll be excited for you, and they’ll get what you’re creating because they’re on board with your brand and your mission. So be open to the process, be super transparent and open about what you’re figuring out and why you need their help. Virtual assistants don’t usually expect you to have everything together, and that’s actually one of the best parts of being a VA because every client and every project and every day is different. They’re business owners and they get that and they chose that profession on purpose.
I hope you found that helpful! I’d love to know what kind of Virtual Assistant you feel might be most helpful for you at this point in your business. Send me a DM over on Instagram to let me know you caught this episode and I’ll send you a coupon code to get a discount on a consult with me, as a thank you for listening and saying hello.
As always, I’m rooting for you. Take care and I’ll see you next time!
Compassionate Side Hustle Strategy is sponsored by Gentle Momentum.
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