As a lot of people utilizing the Virtual Staff Finder service have either a) never hired a virtual employee before, or b) had bad experiences doing so in the past, we thought it might be a good idea to put together a separate page on the site, to clearly outline the fact that one virtual staff member cannot do ‘everything’ when it comes to business support. Sure, virtual staff in general can certainly support and help grow your business – but, like in the ‘real world’, you need to hire different people for different skill sets.
What Can a Virtual Assistant Do For Me..?
Virtual employees have different levels of experience, knowledge and capabilities and therefore have different limitations as well.
The tasks a VA can perform really depend on the skill sets of each of them. But quite frankly, there are some tasks that simply can’t be done by just one person simply because it is a whole different area of expertise.
For example, if you need a Web Developer, you can expect that this person can also do a little bit, if not, a good amount of graphic design since graphic design also entails knowledge on web development and vice versa. However, that’s it. Web developers do not usually do other tasks like article writing or SEO work, simply because web development alone is a broad area of expertise and an entirely different skill set altogether.
On the flip side of the coin, don’t expect a General VA to be able to develop and design websites for you and a SEO specialist to be a fantastic writer. It simply doesn’t work that way.
Just because the table below shows you what WE feel is the best way to approach hiring virtual staff, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be different, or have your virtual assistants try different tasks out to see if they can perform them properly. We all want to get good value for our hiring dollars, obviously!
So, here is a quick guide, charting the four main types of virtual assistants in today’s savvy, online world, and the concentration of tasks they can perform for you to solid, professional levels.
How Much Should I Pay my VA?
This is obviously a personal choice. Some VAs might seem more important to you, than others. Some might become very permenant members of your company, and you want to make sure they are settled and not continuously looking for another job!
General guidelines are as follows, in regards to monthly salaries that are attached to home-based positions above, here in the Philippines. They also vary slightly, when taking into account experience levels, etc.:
- General VAs: $450 – $600 per month full-time
- Content Writers- $500 – $700 per month full-time
- SEO Specialist- $550- $750 per month full-time
- Web Developer/ Programmer – $600 – $1000 per month full-time
How Should I Delegate Tasks to my VA in a way that he/she can Understand?
Delegating tasks can be quite tricky. Most of the time we forget that VAs can’t read our minds and might do things differently so being specific in giving instructions is very essential. So to help you out, here are some tips to be able to work well with your virtual assistant to achieve tons more time and become more productive overall, as a professional:
- Set Clear Guidelines – You have the responsibility of establishing a clear set of guidelines on how you want the job to be done. To avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, you have to clearly define the tasks that you want your virtual assistant to accomplish. Especially when you have complex tasks. Do your best to provide instructions in great detail.
- Don’t Assume Anything – Do not make the mistake of assuming the virtual assistant knows exactly what to do to on any given task, regardless of experience. Perfect example, one of our clients likes all of his emails, letters, reports, you name it, written in Arial font size nine. If he hadn’t of told his VA that right at the beginning, she probably would have made a mistake on this subject matter straight away!
- Invest a Little Time - Obviously when you first start out together you’ll have to spend a little more time going over things together, but that investment of time will make things easier in the long run, for sure.
- Set Solid, but Reasonable Time-lines for Tasks - You should also set reasonable time lines for your tasks. Since you are fundamentally paying your virtual assistant by the hour, you should have a fairly good idea of how long your tasks should take to finish. Communicate these instructions clearly and the terms should be understood by the virtual assistant before he or she starts working. For big or lengthy projects, it is advisable for you to set milestones to ensure that the project is right on schedule.
- Build Trust - This kind of remote setup between you and your virtual assistant requires a good working relationship that is based on trust. You may still have some doubts about outsourcing the administrative tasks of your business to a virtual stranger, but if you want virtual assistants to deliver according to your expectations, you have to give them your full trust. As time goes on, your virtual assistant will devote their full attention to provide the support that you need. In the process, they will get to know you better and understand how your business works, allowing them to put more value in the relationship. This is very much the same kind of set-up, as if you were in the same office together.
For more tips, tactics and resources on working with virtual staff, make sure you check out the different articles, podcasts and videos listed on the Knowledge Base page of this site.