Thinking About Hiring a Virtual Assistant? Read This First.

My work history is speckled with odd bits of experience. After college I was an adjunct professor for a year, then worked as an administrative assistant for a tiny operation that sold industrial systems. When I moved on from that I taught yoga for a couple of years, tried out the event planning industry, and then, through a connection of mine, began working for an online support system for entrepreneurs.
 
Two years ago after a major shift in the company, I found myself jobless and unsure of my next step. I’ve never had difficulty finding things I want to do, it’s just that there are too many to choose from.
 
So, as many people do when they are faced with a big moment in life, I sat down and made a list. A list of things I like, and things I am good at.

  • Organization
  • Planning
  • Problem Solving
  • Making Connections
  • Teaching
  • Flexibility
  • Working with People

 
Then, I Googled.
 
My research was conclusive: Virtual Assistant was the perfect job for me.
 
Virtual Assistant, or VA, is a title that I had never heard before that day. According to a rather insightful post by Chris Ducker, “GVA’s (general VA’s) are a Godsend. They help you ‘buy more time’ in your work day, alleviating entrepreneurial stress, and allowing you to start working ON your business, instead of being trapped working IN it instead.”
 
When I began my venture as a “Godsend”, I intended to take on projects until I found a different job. That’s right, I’m an accidental entrepreneur. Sometimes we don’t realize aspects of our personality until they get a chance to bloom. A few months in I was inundated with work, and hired a contractor (my sister) to help. To my surprise, it kept growing, and within two years I was working with 30 inspiring businesses.
 
I love what I do, primarily because I get to help people like YOU every single day. I know firsthand that it is a lot of work to build a business, and having the opportunity to help entrepreneurs put their dreams into action has been an amazing experience.
 
However, not everyone is ready to jump in. In my business I have encountered three main concerns that people have about hiring VAs, and I’d like to disprove them right here and now so that you can take the next step!
 

1. “I don’t even know what to delegate”


One of the very best things about virtual assistants is the range of tasks they can take off of your plate. A VA is your ultimate support system – you can delegate anything you don’t want to do! Email management, boring data entry, travel booking, editing, writing, social media… the list goes on and on. Figure out where you are spending most of your time and delegate those tasks, so that you can get back to what you want to be doing!
 
Still not sure? A good VA will help you figure out the best way to work together and where you’re wasting your energy. As a VA I have worked with over 50 different businesses, the small, the large, the successful, and the…not so much. I’ve seen their failures and their triumphs. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t. And that is a goldmine of a knowledge base that I can pass on to my new clients. A good VA doesn’t just work through a checklist, they will invest themselves in your company and help you succeed.
 
 
 

2. “But with all the time I spend explaining things, I could be working on my business”

It’s true – the first time you delegate a task, you will spend time explaining it. Maybe more time than it would have taken you to just do it yourself. But then, you never have to do it again. Ever.
 
Let that sink in…
 
The number one task that my clients delegate is social media. Really…who has the time for everything they say we need to do with social media?? It is a great project to give away. The other day I was on the phone with one of my clients that I have worked with for two years. It took a couple of months to get down her tone and her likes, but now I write and schedule her posts every month. Her audience engages, her number of followers goes up, and she never has to worry about it.
 
Besides, it’s probably not going to take as much time as you think. Remember, unless you’re hiring someone who is brand new to the VA world, they have probably done a very similar project before. They know the ins and outs, they just need you to fill in the blanks. Piece of cake!
 
It’s a funny thing that people worry about wasting their time explaining a task when really, they are ultimately freeing up a tremendous amount of time to put where it really matters. If you free up your time then you can work on making your current clients feel valued, chase down that guest posting opportunity you’ve had in the back of your mind, or spend time bringing in new clients! THESE are the things that propel your business forward. Focus your energy in the areas of your expertise, and you’ll love what happens!
 
 
 

3. “I don’t know how to hire a VA.”

This one can be tricky. I understand! You have built this business from the ground up, and you don’t want help from just anybody.
 
If you try Google, you will get conglomerates like Upwork and Zirtual. Notice these resources are not linked, that’s because I’m NOT suggesting them. You might have a good experience, but you don’t know what you’re getting into. We have all heard the horror stories about VA’s randomly disappearing or racking up hours with sketchy excuses. Don’t let it scare you away from hiring a VA, just make sure you choose someone who is right for you.
 
How do you know? You talk to them! Find someone with a free consultation and chat. Ask them about your concerns. Check out their testimonials. Ask for references. And then, if it feels right, try it out on a trial basis.
 
No matter how far we progress in our business, it’s always hard to know when we are ready to take the next step. But at some point, we have to. You can’t do everything on your own, it’s time to delegate! Set up a free consultation to talk with a VA – no commitment, no more overwhelm.
 
 

Do you have any concerns about working with a VA? Leave them in the comments and we’ll see if we can help.

 
 

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Jess Hershey

Jess Hershey is the founder of Jess Hershey, LLC, Virtual Assistant services to make life a little easier! When she isn't spending her time helping other entrepreneur's succeed, she can be found working on various creative endeavors or, most often, playing Frisbee with her energetic border collie on the beach.
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2 Comments

  1. Chris

    I was just wondering what hiring a VA would cost me on the average

    Reply
    • Jess Hershey

      Hi Chris! Thanks for your question. It really varies. There are VAs that advertise extremely minimal pricing, but you are getting what you pay for. They are usually overseas, don’t speak great English, and produce low quality work. I am kind of unique because I sell my hours in packages: http://jesshershey.com/purchase/ The prices is lower per hour the more that you purchase. Let me know if you have any further questions!

      Reply

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