There comes a point in every entrepreneur’s life when they realize they need a little bit of help. Or a lot a bit of help (yes, “a lot a bit” is a thing, thank you). Most of the time when someone finally admits this to themselves or out loud on social media, they don’t know where to start — they just know they’re overwhelmed. Now, I’ll say this and leave it here — there are many different types of virtual assistants and it can get cray-cray sorting through them all, but by knowing your business, you’ll be able to wade through the different types easier. But today we’re focusing on what to do before you decide to hire someone.
So before you scream for help, let’s make sure you’re not crying wolf, okay?
I’ve got a few steps we’re going to walk through today, and to start, we’re going back to the beginning. (I suggest starting with pen and paper and then having Trello ready to organize it all at the end.)
Who are you and what do you do?
Think of this as your elevator pitch. Here’s mine: “Hi, I’m AllieDanae, owner of The Social Walker Agency. We help entrepreneurs create and implement social media marketing plans.”
It’s okay if it changes some as you go, but you’ve got to know who you are and what you do, and be able to explain it succinctly. How can you bring someone else onto your team and expect them to be a part of your business if you don’t have clarity? This can lead to frustration and miscommunication, which is not good for either of you.
The Nitty Gritty (of the Daily Grind)
This is the section where we talk about what you do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. The question above is the overarching “what does your business do?”. Personally, I know what I do for each client so well that it seems like second nature. But when it came time to hire my assistant, Nichole, I knew I had to show her the specific steps. Let’s walk through it together:
1. Go through EVERY aspect of your business. Client side and behind the scenes.
- Services / Products offered
- Names and Packages of each client
- Where do you “file” everything - Dropbox, Google Drive, Trello, Asana
- How do clients get you their information?
2. Write each step down.
What gets done, when? Daily, Weekly, Monthly
3. Grab some highlighters.
- Green: things you LOVE doing
- Red/pink: things you HATE doing
- Yellow: processes/things that are "easy" for you to do but that you could hand off
- Blue: processes/things that need to be improved on.
Paperless Tip: Move these to your Trello Board and use your labels instead of highlighting! My colors in Trello are for clients, not processes, but that’s just for my client board. Your Systems/Blueprint Board from inside TrelloforBusiness can use the color coding I listed above.
Each client of mine gets a label and Nichole & I know which labels are for each of us.
I think a great place to start is to ask for referrals from people you have worked with in the past. They may know someone who is perfect for the job. However, I do think amazing connections can be made from posting publicly that you’re looking for help. We’ll talk about this more in a minute.
What Should You Do Next?
I would suggest screen-recording the processes for your red & yellow colored tasks. Those are the ones you know are ready to be handed off. Then I would work on your red/blue processes. When you’re ready to start interviewing, look at those tasks. Do you need someone to handle graphics, blog writing/editing, client on-boarding?
You can always tweak and repeat as you add clients and services.
Be Specific in Your Ask
Now that you’ve broken everything down, it’s time to start looking for your first hire. Be specific in your asking — this will save you so much time and will cut down on people who aren’t the right fit.
“Hi y’all, I’m looking for a blog manager who can also edit templates I’ve created in Canva.”
“Hi y’all, I’m looking to bring on a graphic designer on a retainer fee who can start on April 1st.”
“Hi y’all, I really need someone who is great with client onboarding systems and is familiar with (Honeybook, Dubsado, Trello, etc) to help keep my clients flowing through my process smoothly.”
Feel free to start everything with “Hi y’all” because it just sounds sweeter.
These are just the beginning steps. You may be looking for a copywriter, but first you need to find your voice.