Hire an America, Not A Virtual Assistant When…

Hiring virtual assistants (VA’s) to do the things you do not understand is usually a bad idea that will blow up on you sooner or later.

It’s temping to hire virtual assistants (VA’s) to do the things you do not have the skills to do.

This is usually a bad idea.

We spend a lot of time talking about all the things VA’s can do, all the skills you can hire VA’s for. In this article, we will be discussing examples of what not to hire virtual assistants to do.

In short

Hire virtual assistants to do the things that you know how to do.

Focus your time and your local staff’s time on figuring out how to grow your business. Avoid hiring VA’s to do things that you do not fully understand.

Agree with The Above Comment Yet Do the Wrong Thing Anyway?

It’s an odd thing but I’ve seen many examples of business people listening to the above advice, yet go ahead and hire virtual assistants for the wrong things anyway. Invariably they come unstuck, yet they still seem to be unable to make the connection.

Examples

Our favorite example is social media.

*Most business owners, do not understand social media (SM). They do not like it, they do not understand it, they do not want anything to do with it. Yet at the same time, they read the hype and conclude that they are missing out on a vital business strategy by not participating in social media.

They get it in their head that if they get someone to “do” social media, business growth will rain down on them like sunshine does in California.

A Waste of Time and Energy

Just “doing” social media more often than not, is a complete waste of time for most businesses.

Any company deciding to add social media to their marketing strategy, should first figure out how to leverage it to gain a measurable business benefit. It is a sad truth that 90% of companies still are not able to quantify a strong correlation between social media activity and an ROI.

Hire an American to figure out how to leverage social media for your business. Then hire virtual assistants to scale up your engagement.

This does not mean that we are suggesting that you must figure out how to gain tangible benefits from SM, before you start experimenting with it.

The trick is to understand that phase one with social media is to understand it, to figure it out. To figure out if there is a way to gain an actual business benefit for your business from it. To understand your strategy, what needs to be done and how to measure the outcome from the work.

For that job, you should hire an American. Trying to hire a virtual assistant to “figure out” how to leverage social media for your business, is the mistake.

However, when you get it figured out…

When you know what needs to be done, how it needs to be done. How to track a defined outcome from social media, that’s the time to hire a virtual assistant to do the work.

  • Hire an American to figure it out
  • Hire a virtual assistant to do the work
  • Hire a virtual assistant to scale up your engagement

Create video training for your virtual assistant and watch them go…

Virtual assistants are great at executing. They are not ideal however for figuring out what needs to be done.

Virtual assistants are perfect for social media and all types of social media work. You can hire a VA with experience working with SM. They can be perfect when you know what you need to get done. Often, they will be super-fast, efficient and sometimes make suggestions on how to improve results. However, understand that you must first take responsibility for the “figuring it out” phase.

If you follow this model when you hire your virtual assistants, you will set yourself up for success and to scale your business.

The Model

Hire virtual assistants when you know ‘what’ you want done and ‘how’ you are going to measure it. Create step by step training and set expectations regarding output. Don’t get fixated too much on the number of hours they work in a day. Instead, measure output.

Hire Americans to figure out what needs to be done, to become experts. Then when they know what they are doing have them hire and train Filipinos to get the work done. Scale up the amount of work done and lower your costs though enhanced productivity.

See Advanced – Smarter Strategies for Growing a Small Business.

Confusing Non-exceptions

Is “web developer” a good thing to hire a virtual assistant for?

Applying the model above, does this mean you have to be a coder, a developer yourself, before you can hire a web developer? No. So is this an exception? Actually, it is not, here’s why.

To get a great result from hiring a web developer you need to understand web development in general. How websites are built, what a CMS is, what HTML is, what CSS is, how domains and hosting works. You need to understand what can be done with software and its limitations. You need to know exactly what you want built, how you want it to work and what you want it to look like. This does not mean you have to be a coder, a developer yourself.

If you do not understand web development, hire an American who does. Then have them hire and train Filipinos to get the development work done. Scale up the amount done and lower your costs though enhanced productivity.

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*While it’s certainly true that most business owners are clueless when it comes to leveraging social media, it would be irresponsible to suggest that all are. Indeed, some business owners have this so figured out that their entire business is driven through this channel to market.