When you are new to partnering and outsourcing and just seem not to be having any luck, it might be in the approach that you are using for your search. No matter what you want to delegate whether it be to a plumber, landscaper or web designer, virtual assistants are really not any different. They are skilled, professionals who are business owners. That seems to be the part that is forgotten. However, there are 3 controversial traits the best virtual assistants possess that you will want to look for in your search. Not everyone agrees with me on this, but this is what I have learned when I have outsourced for myself. These are the traits that I look for and the ones I want others to look for in me.
3 Controversial Traits The Best Virtual Assistants Possess
They have a process: When you go to get an estimate from a plumber, they have a form you fill out or a number you call to get the process started. You don’t call them and start interviewing them and telling them how they are going to do things. Virtual Assistants need to have an intake process of some kind. If you are going to partner with them, you follow the protocols of their business and if they don’t have them, that is something to worry about.
I can’t tell you how many times I see people posting in Facebook groups and creating forms online and ask VAs to fill out this list of crazy questions of why they want to work with them, what’s their spirit animal and even some that are invasive such as how many clients they have. You are the one who needs the service, the service provider should have the guidelines. Business owners who ask VAs to email them with a subject line to start a conversation is also an acceptable way, but in general, the person who needs the service goes to the person who provides the service and not the other way around.
They know their strengths: Some people get into the virtual assistant world just make money and they don’t care what they do — or sadly don’t do — to get it. The best virtual assistants will tell you outright if you are asking them to use a program or do something that is not their strength. They are not afraid to pass 0n a client because they can not serve them to their fullest potential. If it is a skill they want to learn or think they can pick it up, they will offer to do it at a low rate if they can be shown how to do it.
It is not a bad thing if you ask a VA to do something for you and they say they don’t have that skill. That shows 3 things: They are honest, They are trustworthy and They know their strengths and weaknesses. Just because this task may not be a fit for them this time, this trait will make you want to come back to them later.
They invest in themselves: If your potential partner has one of those generic “About Me” free single pages, a free website and a non-domain email address, they are trying to run on free fumes. If they can’t invest in themselves, why would you think they are worth the money? This is a contested issue but, to me, if you don’t have the business fundamentals, don’t start your business.
This to me is also a red flag when it comes to big ticket items like social media. You can’t guess and do it right. You need to learn. I have studied and still study under some of the top social media names like Kim Garst. ( affiliate link) I paid for that education and I use it. When you need your social media done, most people will not want to admit that they have outside help, therefore, you can’t ask to see examples — in most cases. Where you can see the proof, is in the VA’s actual social media accounts. If they haven’t been touched in months and have nothing but promos, is that what you can expect for you? Most likely.
It is scary to want someone to partner in your business and love it like you do. Find someone who clicks with you and has those 3 controversial traits: they have a process, know their strengths and have invested in themselves. Once you find that, you are one step closer to the right fit. I would love to see if we are a fit! Feel free to contact me to get started on how I can serve you!
Heather Santo is a certified Virtual Administrative Consultant with over 15 years of customer service experience. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting. She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently. She specializes in Aweber, Pinterest, WordPress Thesis, Gratitude Concierge Work and social media content graphic creation.
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