virtual assistant

How Does a Virtual Assistant REALLY Work?

If there is something I learned during this year and a half as a full-time virtual assistant, is that very many times the majority of people don’t have an idea of how a virtual assistant works.
 
This is the main reason why I decided to write this article.
I want to show you all the most important aspects of working with a VA.
It’s just so important that you have a clear understanding of how I work with my clients.

 
DISCLAIMER: In this article, you will find out about my way of working, so it’s possible that another VA might disagree or work in a different manner, so don’t take this post as a reference if you work with other VAs!
Too lazy for reading? Watch the video instead (although not packed of info like the post)!
 

Tools I use in my everyday work

Toggl

This is my best friend: it’s a handy tool that tracks the time spent working for a client. It’s possible to add notes and keep track of what you concretely have been doing.
At the end of the month, I download the individual reports and send it to the clients to show what I have been doing and the time I spent on the tasks.
Asana
 
My second best friend 😃 I love its interface, which is way clearer and handy than Trello. It allows me and my clients to develop a project and work on it together.
It’s super easy to assign tasks and add tags, attach files and have an overview of the projects and on tasks.

LastPass

I could not live without LastPass. Like I said here, it’s super useful to save and share login details with the support of a browser extension.
If I wouldn’t use this, I would have to keep my passwords and my clients’ saved somewhere, maybe in a spreadsheet, but it wouldn’t be as safe as LastPass.
It’s useful to share passwords and credit card details without me seeing them and LastPass uses SSL certificates (like when you pay online and you have the guarantee that your data won’t be saved or copied), so it makes it super safe.
Google Drive
 
The best tools for sharing documents and working on a project/file at the same time.
Google offers so many products, which are excellent and efficient.
  • Drive: to share and work on a spreadsheet or a PPT together, 
  • Calendar, which syncs with other integrations you might have (Acuity, for example), 
  • Keep, to save ideas and brainstorm,
  • Gmail and all the awesome integrations the whole Google Suite offers (Yet Another Mail Merge, microphone for voice-typing, etc)

PAYMENT

Like I explain in my Quick Checklist for Hiring the Best VA for you, there are several different options a VA can work:
 
  • Retainer based (which is what I have in place for most customers): it’s a flat fee that includes either an X amount of hours or tasks to be performed in a certain time (in my case, in 30 days, no matter when we begin working together).
    The payment happens in advance because in this way I guarantee my clients my full attention and availability for the month ahead.
  • Hourly based: some VAs might work better with an hourly based rate and usually the payment happens at the end of the month or once the tasks are done.
    I personally use this method only for short-term projects, but sometimes it makes more sense a:
  • Project based work: in this case, the client has a well-defined goal (for example, a webinar, a telesummit, a launch or setting up an auto-responder sequence, creating a funnel, etc).
    Besides, I include here training. For example, I recently started providing 1to1 training on ActiveCampaign, so according to the customer’s needs, I create a program and provide an offer.

Step by step: What happens if you want to work with me?

Call

First of all, we’ll get in touch to set up a call and before it, I will ask you to fill in a form to give me an overview about you, your business, the tasks you’d like me to help you with, etc..
During the call, we identify the most time-consuming tasks, in case you aren’t 100% sure about what to outsource, or then we go through the tasks you have in mind.
Then, we decide which package suits you the most, according to the tasks you decided to outsource.
 

Proposal

In case we are talking about a project based work or a training, I develop a customized offer and send it over to you. This usually takes 2 to 5 days, depending on the kind of project.
 

Sign the contracT

When we are ready to go, I will send you a non-disclosure agreement. It’s a way to keep both of us safe: here you will find all the important information about privacy, holidays, the scope of work, availability, holidays, etc.
 
This is a very standard agreement and I do not work without a contract. Of course, I’m more than happy to sign your contract, too, if you need it.
 

Invoice

After I send the contract over to you, we can still do adjustments and discuss some details, before I send you the first invoice for the first 30 days of this great journey (I’m always super excited to work on a new project!)
Payment happens through Stripe or through bank transfer.
 

Set up call

After you sign the contract and pay the invoice, we set up a second call.
 
This is the moment when we start going through your processes.
It’s the time for you to show me the “behind the scenes” of your business, to tell me about your mission, your vision, you goals, your projects.
The more you involve me in your business, the more I can help you.
 
This it also the time to share the login details or creating a personal email, and provide an example of the tasks: if you have specific requirements, this is the time to discuss them!
 
This call can be quite long at times, even 90-120 minutes, but it’s probably one of the most important calls we’ll ever have!
 

Ok, this is pretty much a summary of my approach to working with new clients: it’s a bit lengthy, but I wanted to show you from the inside how I work and why I work like this.
 
What is extremely important to remember though, is that working with a VA requires time and patience: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
 
I can help you reach your business goals by taking care of what is boring or time-consuming for you, but you need to be present, at least at the beginning, so it’s not really a good idea to disappear after we start working together!!
 
Another thing to keep in mind is clarity: the more details and information you give me, the more I will be able to help you, although it’s good to remember I’ll probably come back to you for clarifications or further details.
 
So, I hope I gave you enough insights on my working style and clarified some mysterious aspects about working with VA.
If you like my style and you think we can be a good match, just click here to book a call to talk to me!!