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How to choose your VA

When deciding it’s time to work with a VA/EA, the first thing to do as you may know is put it out there. See who bites and interview. Both you and your VA will have discussions to see if you two are a good fit. Your encounter might not be positive if your personalities don't get along.

I must admit that I've been really fortunate thus far in terms of expectations and personality fits, having started with some truly amazing clients. Which brings me to the how to choose part. 

Take advantage of a free consultation or discovery call! Spend a little time getting to know one another. Ask questions of course about their experience and about them personally and they should do the same with you. I want to find out from my clients whether they have previously worked with a virtual assistant (VA). If so, I would like to know about their experience—if it was positive, why are they searching for another VA, and if it wasn't so great, how can we collaborate to make it better?

It's important to set clear expectations. You must establish reasonable turnaround periods for texts, voicemails, emails, and posts on social media. Check to see if your expectations are reasonable and in line with theirs. Describe what a normal day or week would include. As an EA/VA, it is crucial to me to learn about the difficulties that my clients face and how I can support them. In order to see how I may help them, I also like to discover their short- and long-term goals.

It's also important to talk about communication style. Since there are so many different apps and styles, it is our responsibility as assistants to find out what the client feels comfortable with. We also need to establish regular response times. For instance, responding to emails might take two hours, and responding to texts might take one to two hours. 

The next topic that needs to be covered is task delegation. We need to determine the tasks they wish to delegate and the way in which they would like to delegate going forward. We must make sure that there is clear information about how to update tasks because many apps track completion of tasks.

Clear expectations are important for both the VA and the client.  What is their expectation for communications - is it weekly, bi-weekly for 15 -30 minutes? We work virtually so meetings will be attended via some sort of virtual meeting app. 

Each client could use different technology and software, we need to figure out what they use and ensure we are familiar with it.  

I work best with clear deadlines and I like to ask my clients for their priorities for the week.  If they have a deadline coming up that requires reports or drawings, I need to be sure to complete those tasks first before moving on. 

In order to provide our clients with the greatest service possible, it is essential that we as assistants make sure that we organize ourselves effectively. This will be essential to building a strong rapport with our clients and ensuring that they want to stay in business with us. 

~ Written by Ashlee Hyde 

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