Productivity, Systems

How to prepare for a Virtual Assistant

You know you want to hire a Virtual Assistant to help you in your business, but how on earth do you go about preparing to onboard a VA? This blog post will help you plan—no matter how far in the future you want to hire a VA, following these steps now will make that onboarding process a breeze! 

preparing for a virtual assistant - Hannah Allen Studio

This is part 3 of my Virtual Assistant 101 series. Check out part 1 (What does a VA do?) and part 2 (How to know when you need a VA)!

1. Have all your passwords and usernames in one place. 

When you’re bringing someone on to work in your business, it’s frustrating to have to scramble to find all the login info they need to do their job! Having all your usernames and passwords in one place that you can easily share makes the onboarding process super smooth. Security is a valid concern, though—you probably don’t want your login info all on a Google Doc or sent in an email. Thankfully, there are password sharing sites that offer a secure way to share! A commonly used site (and industry standard) is LastPass.

2. Screen-record while you’re doing tasks that you want replicated exactly. 

If you have a specific workflow that you want your VA to follow, screen-record yourself walking through it! Recording it once and talking through it might take a little longer at the beginning, but once you have that process recorded, your VA can take it and run with it—freeing up time for you to do other things. I use Loom to easily screen-record for free, but any screen-recording software will work! A lot of computers have screen-recording software (like QuickTime Player) already built in, making this process super easy.

A few tasks you might want to screen-record: 

  • Publishing a blog post (specifically if your VA isn’t familiar with your blog platform)
  • Industry specific work (are you a graphic designer? Maybe you want your VA to use an InDesign template to create simple graphics. Screen record yourself walking through the system you use—including shortcuts and tips!)
  • Updating a system (i.e. updating your scheduling software, your task management system, your CRM, etc.) 

This is especially helpful if you end up hiring a brand new VA, but an experienced VA will appreciate seeing your systems firsthand, too. 

3. Have your brand collateral in one easy-to-find place

Your logos, headshots, stock photos (branded or otherwise), brand colors, brand fonts, brand guidelines, keyword bank, and other brand related collateral should all be available to your VA! Having a folder in Google Drive or Trello board usually works well. 

4. Have your content in one, easy-to-find place.

Don’t leave your VA guessing! If you aren’t writing content directly on the platform it will be published on, keep everything organized in Google Drive. This can look different for different businesses—some of my clients write their blog posts on one document, have a bunch of different Instagram captions on a different document, and their newsletter on another document. Other clients put all content for one week on one document. Either one works—the goal is organization. You don’t want your VA to have to waste time searching for that one specific document you shared with her…was it via email? Or was it on Slack? Or maybe she saw it in Asana….

You get my drift. 😉 

5. Batch your content.

Although this is helpful even when you don’t have a VA, batching your content becomes just shy of necessary when you’re working with an assistant! Most likely, your VA’s schedule won’t perfectly line up with yours (she is an independent contractor, afterall), so it’s incredibly helpful to have more than one week’s worth of content for her to schedule or prepare. I recommend working at least 2 weeks out, but working 4-6 weeks out is a great goal. That way, your VA never has to wait on you before she can complete her tasks. 

And a bonus tip (but one of the most important!):

6. Have clear & open communication. 

Do you want your blog posts published on specific days? Do you want your Pinterest boards to look a certain way? Do you have a certain schedule for your Instagram grid? Make sure your VA knows what you’re wanting and expecting! Most likely, she is working with several different businesses, so as she gets to know your specific business, brand, and working style, make sure you give helpful feedback about what you want and don’t want! Depending on both of your personalities, having weekly or bi-weekly check-in calls can be incredibly helpful to make sure everyone is on the same page. 

Following these 6 steps will help set you and your business up for success! You’ll onboard your VA in no time and can get back to doing the things you really love.

Ready to work with a VA now? Contact me and let’s get started!

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