There are many advantages to hiring
VAs instead of traditional employees.
By learning how to effectively tap into
their skills, VAs can help you build your
speaking business while you focus on
what you do best—speak.
ness people, however, who clearly
understand that their success depends
upon helping you achieve yours.
VAs are not virtual “employees.” It is
important to be aware of the following distinctions between virtual support
and typical employees.
• Costs. When you hire an employee,
you make a legally binding commitment
to pay a salary, in addition to many
other costs associated with
having an employee. In contrast, you simply pay VAs for
the work they complete and
nothing more. One highly
successful speaker remarked
that his VA gets more done in
45 minutes than his former
onsite assistant completed in 45 hours.
• Logistics. You need to provide
employees with physical space and
equipment so they can do their jobs.
VAs perform their work from home
using their own space and equipment.
• Training. Employees typically
require training and constant management. By hiring VAs who specialize in a
specific support task, you spend far less
time training and managing.
• Attitude. Employees can quickly
develop an entitlement mentality that
implies, “What are you going to do for
me now?” VAs are independent busi-
As speakers, our intrinsic enthusiasm
sometimes causes us to leap before we
look. If you want to enjoy consistent
success working with VA support, follow these time-proven tips carefully:
Be clear about what you want. Don’t
hire a VA to do everything. Pick one
well-defined support function or process at a time and hire the most appropriate VA for the job. For example,
a big difference in your business right
away. Once that is in place and working
smoothly, go to the next, and so on.
Have the right attitude. A VA isn’t
the solution for every business owner.
Arrogant people who view VAs as low-level employees or who are uncomfortable with getting things done online
probably shouldn’t bother. VAs are
business people who are dedicated to
helping you succeed. As such, they are
equal partners in your mutual success
and deserve your respect.
Interview via email. By interviewing
VA candidates via email, you can avoid
the biases that can creep up in phone
VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS ARE INDEPENDENT
BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO UNDERSTAND
THAT THEIR SUCCESS DEPENDS UPON
HELPING YOU ACHIEVE YOURS.
Kathy in Florida does my bookkeeping.
Vickie in Virginia handles my speaking details (inquiries, flights, logistics,
contracts, etc.). Lisa in Ohio keeps my
online training business running. Robin,
also in Ohio, maintains all of my blogs
and social networking.
Think “team of specialists.” Instead
of an “organizational” chart, imagine a
“process” chart that describes all the various support functions/processes required
to make your business go and grow.
Then hire the appropriate VA specialist for each well-defined process. Start
with the one process that would make
interviews and also gauge their writing
ability. Here are some critical questions
to ask VA candidates:
• Why do you feel you are the best
qualified VA to help me with my [support process]?
• How do I know you will not take
on more business from me and other
clients than you can reasonably handle?
• Are you willing and able to write a
comprehensive process for the [support
process] I hire you to do?
• Can assure me that any tasks I hire
you to perform will continue without
interruption or degradation of quality if