5 VA Tips – Train Your Virtual Assistant On Your Unique Tasks


Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant (VA), can be the single best thing you do for your business all year. This simple step helps free up your time so that you can focus on growing your business. However, it also requires some planning and preparation. You want your relationship with your VA to be effective and productive, and that may mean training them to perform your unique tasks. It’s a mistake to assume that your VA knows how to do something specific. Creating training materials is the best way to make sure you’re both on the same page, and that the job gets done the right way.

1. Create SOPs for Your VA

An SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is a step-by-step outline of the process. For example, if you hire a VA to upload and schedule blog posts, then your SOP might start with logging into your blog and finish with the scheduling step. When you provide an SOP to your VA you can be sure they have all the information that they need to perform the task correctly.

2. Include Images

If you do create an SOP, consider using images to help illustrate some of the points. For example, when scheduling a blog post, you might include a screenshot of the scheduling page. People learn in different ways, so provide images to back up your steps and information.

3. Record It

If you’re outsourcing a technical task, sometimes the easiest way to train someone is to walk them through it. Of course, in order to accomplish that from a distance, you’ll want to leverage video or screencast technology. Simply work through the technical task and record yourself doing it. You can give verbal directions as you go.

4. Background Information

If you’re outsourcing a marketing-related task, it really helps your VA to know as much about your business, vision, brand, and audience as possible. This information gives them a better understanding about what you’re trying to accomplish and who your intended audience is.

5. Make it Easy to Ask Questions

One of the biggest challenges to working long distance and outsourcing tasks is the communication challenge. For example, if you’re in different time zones, then getting questions answered in a timely manner can be difficult. Make it as easy as possible for your VA to ask questions and to have them answered. You might give them your phone number and suggest they text you with questions, or establish a communication system through a project management tool like Basecamp.

Finally, don’t forget about other technologies available to you. For example, if you’re communicating with a team you might host a Google Hangout or use a system like GoToMeeting to speak to everyone at once.

Sending your VA training materials is helpful. You might also ask them to send you materials if they’re performing a task that is unfamiliar to you. For example, if you ask a VA to set up a blog for you, then you might ask them to create materials to show you how to log into your new blog and work within it. Documentation helps both sides communicate effectively and is the foundation for a good working relationship.

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