How to Hire a Virtual Assistant

Are you thinking about a virtual assistant (“VA”), but don’t know where to start?

I’ve been working with several virtual assistants for quite a while now, and they are the integral part of running my business. In this post, I would love to share my view and tips on hiring and working with virtual assistants.

right-fitWhat is a “Virtual Assistant”?

A virtual assistant (typically abbreviated to VA, also called a virtual office assistant) is generally self-employed and provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients remotely from a home office. (from Wikipedia)

In short, they are freelance administrative assistants who remotely work for their clients. A VA is NOT an employee and typically works with multiple clients.

What are the benefits with working with a VA?

Since the early days of my business, I’ve always opted to work with VAs instead of hiring employees. People have different reasons for working with VAs; here are some of mine:

  • Depending on your needs, you can efficiently hire virtual assistants already skilled in the areas you need help with. In my case, I have a team of VAs, each with unique talents and passions. I believe in getting the right people into the right seats on the bus to run a successful business, and working with VAs makes it easier for me to do that.
  • Because of the above, they normally do not require a lot of training time.
  • You pay them only for the actual time they spend on your business.
  • They work from their own office, using their own equipments (computer, phone, etc.), so you do not need to provide those.
  • As they are self-employed, you do not need to take care of their insurance, payroll tax, and other hassles that come with hiring an employee.
  • They can help you build your WordPress website and collaborate with you on it!

Where do I find a VA?

First, I recommend asking around.  Chances are, somebody in your network is already working with a VA. Ask for referrals, or ask how they found their VAs. When you go to in-person networking events or trade shows, you may find one, too.

If you are looking for a VA who is familiar with a specific tool, check with the provider or the training organization of that particular tool. For example, some Infusionsoft training program providers (including Infusionsoft themselves) list the VAs who went through their certification/training programs on their sites.

There are also VA training/networking organizations that offer free referral services. Here are a couple:

How do I know the right VA for me?

In my opinion, working with a VA who is the right fit is so important! Make sure you’ll interview as many candidates as needed until you find the right VA for you. A dream VA for your friend Mary might not be an ideal VA for you. It’s your job to go through an interview process to figure that out.

Observe how he/she communicates via emails and also over the phone. Don’t be afraid of asking tough questions. Listen to how the he/she will handle them. Also observe how comfortable YOU feel while taking to him/her.

You might be tempted to ask their fees at the beginning, but I strongly recommend not to use their fees as the biggest determining factor. When you work with a right VA, the ROI could be so much higher regardless of the fees. Plus, a good VA could easily finish a task in much less time, essentially reducing the cost to you, compared to a slow VA with much lower fees.

You might have heard this expression, “Hire slowly, fire fast!” I think it really applies when you hire anybody for your business. With the right members on your team, your business can transform. So however you decide to find your VA, don’t rush into a relationship. It’s not a speed dating! Remember to take time to find the right person for you and your business.

Summer 2015 Website Creation Camp is Coming!

Mark Your Calendars!  The Website Creation Summer Camp 2015 is happening in June!

I will be doing an easy 6 week training program teaching you how to create your websites with WordPress in the Website Creation Summer Camp 2015!

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Here are some of the details:

What?Website Creation Workshop Quick Summer Program: A 6 Week Online training series

The Website Creation Workshop Quick Summer Program is an Online program that takes you through the process of creating your own website without a webmaster. Using the WordPress software you will learn how to create a blog or a website that is easy to update, great for the search engines, and does NOT require webmaster skills. You learn hands on by having your own practice site  “student project” WordPress Website Installed for you.

Who?Christina Hills (your teacher/mentor/coach)

Why? – To have the freedom and control to create and update websites yourself without having to rely on a busy webmaster

When? –  Live Interactive Calls will be listed soon.  If you miss a call, no worries, it’s all recorded.
Plus you can submit your questions ahead of time.

Where? – All Online! From the comfort of your home or office, you listen on the phone or computer and watch online. We meet via live calls and on a private Facebook group. Plus online mini videos, online study guides (PDF), plus a WordPress Website installed for you so you can get started learning WordPress immediately.

How? – You will learn by step by step online lessons, walking you through creating your website with WordPress.  No technical skills required.   Each week the students will get a link to join the Interactive Q&A calls where we will go over the material you are learning.

How much? – Price details and registration link will be released as soon as it’s ready . Space will be limited so enroll as soon as it opens.
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Go Here to Get on the Early Notification List

What’s New in WordPress 4.2 (“Powell”)

The new WordPress release 4.2.1 is now available. WordPress 4.2 is nicknamed “Powell” in honor of jazz pianist, Bud Powell.

Since 4.2 is considered a major update (ie. not a minor security update), you might need to manually run an update on your WordPress sites unless you have a hosting account that handles it for you. If you are not sure how to update your WordPress, refer to this step by step article.

This Short Video to Shows You Highlights of WordPress 4.2

Preview Your Site with Different Themes

Have you ever wondered what your site will look like with a different theme that you already have?  With WordPress 4.2, you can preview what your website will look like with a different theme right in the Appearance – Customize screen without having to make that theme active.

theme-preview

Improved Press This

“Press This” tool (available in your Tools menu in the WordPress Admin panel) has always been a not-so-obvious convenient tool for people to quickly create and publish a blog post. Now, you can use Press This to easily grab the content of a web page you visit and repost it to your own blog to share. It grabs images and videos, too! If you see something you just can’t wait to share with others via your blog, this can be such a handy tool.

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Emoji and More Foreign/Special Characters are Now Available

Emojis are fun. ✨

People use them all the time when texting on mobile devices, but WordPress wasn’t supporting them… until now. With WordPress 4.2, you can use emojis in pages and posts.  Big smiles here :) 😀

Also, the character options for special characters and foreign languages have increased with this release. A big sign that the WordPress users are still increasing all over the world.

One-click Plugin Update

You can update plugins more quickly with WordPress 4.2. When you click on the “update now” link, the update will be done right on the same page. You’ll simply see the “Updated!” message right in the same plugin area. Easier and faster!

plugin-update

At WordCamp San Diego that I recently attended as a speaker, Andrew Nacin, a Lead Developer of WordPress shared some exciting updates are yet to come with WordPress updates this year. I just love that WordPress keeps adding new features to make things easier for the users!

Curious if there is any feature you’d like to see in the future releases. Please share in the comment section below.