Outsourcing

Do these 4 things before you outsource

Do these 4 things before you outsource so you hire the right team memberAn issue I’ve seen come up again and again in my work as a Virtual Assistant is that someone decides they want help in their biz, they hurry up and hire someone, and then have no idea what to have them work on.
They stress over what tasks to assign their new team member, and feel stressed thinking about having to teach them how their biz runs.
Thankfully, that doesn’t have to be you! Because, I’m going to help you prepare for outsourcing before you even start looking for your new team member.
When I say “before” you outsource, I mean before you hire, interview, and even start searching for a new team member.
If you’ve already hired team members but are struggling with what tasks to outsource, you can do this process now.

High-Level Tasks

Start by writing down all the high-level tasks you can think of that you work on. Think of high-level as the main project or task. For example, a high-level task would be blog posts or podcast episodes. There’s a lot of little steps that go into those, but overall, those are your main tasks.

Low-Level Tasks

Then, break down those tasks into low-level tasks. These would be all the steps you take to complete the high-level task. Your blog post task may look like this:

High level: Blog Posts

Low level:
Outline
Write draft
Proofread
Upload to WordPress
Format
Create graphics
Schedule

You get the picture!

Decide what to outsource

Now you get to start having some fun. Bust out your highlighters (or virtual highlighter) and start highlighting every low-level task you want to outsource. You might even find that you can knock an entire high-level task off your to-do list by outsourcing it!

Does it make you money?

Now you have your list of tasks you want to outsource – go you! But before you start posting a Facebook group post about hiring someone, you need to do 1 more thing. Go through each task you highlighted and ask yourself if it helps you make money. Back to that blog post example: if your blog posts provide value to your audience, which build the know, like, trust factor, which turns them into customers and clients, then YES it helps you make money!

If spending 30 minutes each week scheduling Twitter posts is highlighted, but you barely get any traffic to your website from Twitter, NO it doesn’t make you money. And why on earth would you pay someone money to waste their time on Twitter when you aren’t going to get a return on your investment?!
Phew! I’m so glad I was able to share all that with you before you started outsourcing!

What could you do with 117 extra hours?

What could you do with an extra 100+ hours?

About a year ago, I hopped on a call with a potential client.

She was busy, overwhelmed and knew she needed help.

They were tasks I loved working on and I could hear the overwhelm in her voice. I knew I could help make her life so much less stressful, so I took her on as a client. She chose 1 month of the biggest package I offered since she needed to get a lot off her plate.

I emailed her on the first day of working together and let her know I was ready and eager to get started! She let me know she was busy, but was going to start handing things off to me that week.

2 weeks later, I hadn’t gotten a single task.

I emailed her again, just to check in.

Again, she was busy, but it was on her to-do list to send some tasks that week.

She went the entire month without handing over a single task.

I asked her what stopped her from handing over part of her to-do list to me.

She said was just “too busy” to show me the ropes of her business.

And that’s not the only time I’ve heard someone say that.

I’ve hopped on calls with potential clients who feared that it would take too long to teach someone how to do something and it would be faster to do it themselves.

But is that really true?

I was going through my reports the other day of all the work I had done for my clients during the past year. For one of my clients, I had worked 122 hours for her throughout the year. Let’s say that maybe 5-10 hours of that was training for new tasks. She spent less than 10 hours teaching me how to run things, and then I saved her over 100 hours.

With that 100 hours, she was able to focus on her clients, create content, and plan successful launches.

So you tell me, is it more efficient for you to keep doing everything yourself?

Ditch your stressful tasks and grow your team

Ditch your stressful tasks and grow your teamYou started your business for freedom.

> Freedom to do what you love.
> Freedom to make as much money as you’d like without having to ask for a raise.
> Freedom to work with people you like and would hang out with IRL.
> Freedom to spend a Tuesday afternoon at the park with your kids.

You started your biz for all those freedoms. But right now, your biz makes you feel anything but free.

There’s so many extra tasks that come with owning your own business. Writing blog posts, scheduling social media and responding to emails have taken up more of your schedule that you anticipated.

The work you do for your clients is what you really want to be focusing on.

You keep telling yourself when you hit $5,000 a month then you’ll hire someone to help you. Once you land 3 more clients, then you’ll finally grow your team.

But what if you had 2 extra hours a week, what could you do?

How about 5 hours a week?

If you stopped waiting and had a wing woman there to take away all the “extras” that come with running a biz – you know, the things that stress you out and really don’t need your attention anyway –  you’d have more time to reach those extra clients and build your business.

Now that $5k month is easier to reach because instead of wasting time editing blog posts you have time to meet with more potential clients and do the work you actually enjoy.

What type of team member can you hire to take off unnecessary tasks from your to-do list? A graphic designer? A Virtual Assistant? A WordPress wiz?

Tell me in the comments below who you should hire to help you reach your freedom.

Your business is growing! What’s next?

Your business is growing! What's next?2017 was a year of growth for your business.

You landed more clients, got visible, and you’re a go-to person in your industry.

But with that growth comes more responsibilities. More work to get done, more clients to juggle, more systems to manage.

The sense of overwhelm has slowly been increasing.

You’re so excited for what this new year will bring for you and your business. But the thought of your business growing even more and having more work to do seems slightly terrifying.

How can you possibly keep up with #AllTheThings?!

Being a solo biz owner comes with a lot of responsibilities – one of them being that you need to decide when to build a team and outsource some of those responsibilities.

If you don’t take some things off your plate, you’ll be left overworked, overwhelmed and your business will remain stagnant because you won’t have enough hours in your day to bring on more clients.

Not to mention, your husband would prefer if you got off your laptop before 7pm every day.

You started your business because you wanted some type of freedom.

Freedom to do what you love for your dream clients.

Freedom to earn what you’re worth and not let a yearly review decide your income.

Freedom to start your days slow with a cup of coffee and some yoga.

You’re holding yourself back from all those freedoms because you’re chaining yourself to your laptop trying to manage every aspect of your business.

Let your business continue to grow and finally find that freedom you’ve been searching for by building your dream team.

Decide what parts of your biz are the most draining – or that you just hate. If you don’t need to do them, start searching for the perfect team member to hand them off to.

Maybe you need a graphic designer, a Virtual Assistant or bookkeeper. Whoever it is that will add value to your team and let you focus on your zone of genius, welcome them to your team and embrace the growth of your business.

Freedom is closer than you think. You just have to have to put the right pieces in place to make it happen.

Tell me in the comments below, what type of freedom did you start your biz for and how are you going to make it happen this year?

Is It Time To Hire A Virtual Assistant?

Is It Time To Hire A Virtual Assistant?You try to keep your expenses at a minimum, but at what point do you invest in outsourcing some of your tasks?

If you find yourself in any (or let’s face it, all) of these categories, it’s time to invest in a Virtual Assistant to take over one of your most time-consuming tasks.

You constantly feel overwhelmed

If you’re in a constant state of overwhelm, invest in your sanity and your happiness. A virtual assistant is there to take the weight off your shoulders. There’s a ton of things that need to get done in your business, but don’t feel like you have to do it all alone. It can make a big difference in your schedule to hand over your most time-consuming (or frustrating) tasks.

[clickToTweet tweet=”If you’re seeing these signs in your biz, it’s time to hire a Virtual Assistant” quote=”If you’re seeing these signs in your biz, it’s time to hire a Virtual Assistant”]

You’re doing the same tasks over and over

Be more productive with your time by focusing on the work that only you can do. Think about what tasks you have a system for – integrating your LeadBoxes into your blog posts, scheduling your social media or newsletters. Whatever it is that has a system in place or can be easily taught, hand it over to a VA. Your time is better spent focusing on larger tasks and work that you can’t pass off to anyone, like client work or writing your next e-book.

You can’t keep up with the work

If you’re working 10 hour days and weekends, stop running yourself into the ground. There’s only so much work one person can do. And as your business grows, so will your workload.

You won’t be able to create your best work if you’re constantly struggling to keep up with it all. You don’t want to rush anything or put off your launch for 3 months because you have a to-do list a mile long.

You have no time for a life

You can’t even remember what it’s like to not work past 6pm. And your friends think you’re mad at them because you skipped your weekly Starbucks date 5 weeks in a row.

Trying to do everything yourself, while sacrificing your life, is going to make you resent your work and lose the passion you have.

I know what it’s like to think about every little investment you make in your business. I thought about that $29 investment for ConvertKit for weeks and weeks until I finally decided that $29 a month was well worth the time and energy I’d save creating opt-ins and managing my email list. And let me tell you, it’s one of my favorite investments I’ve made in my business!

Are you ready to get help managing your business? Click here to find out if I’m the right woman for the job!

Free Up Time By Hiring A Virtual Assistant

Free Up Time By Hiring A Virtual Assistant“Sorry I can’t make it, I’m swamped with work”

If your girlfriends are so used to hearing that response that they’ve stopped bothering to invite you out, it’s time to hire a Virtual Assistant.

It can feel intimidating to outsource tasks at first but let’s visualize something for a second…

You (finally) get to spend Sunday morning hanging out in your pj’s and whipping up some banana pancakes.

You have plenty of time to finish up work and meet up with your best girls for a martini.

You get to have your first date night in months.

Getting your life back sounds pretty damn awesome, right?

You don’t need to keep skipping all your favorite things because you “don’t have the time”. You just need to outsource the tasks that are taking way too much of your time. Because, let’s face it, you can’t do it all and still have a life.

The to-do list of an entrepreneur is never ending.

There’s always a newsletter that needs scheduling, social media posts that need to go out and client emails that need answering. The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. And you don’t have to go through the annoying process and commitment of hiring an employee. A Virtual Assistant works as an independent contractor so there’s no strings attached. You hire them for X amount of hours a week or month and get your time and sanity back.

What would I have a virtual assistant do?

You’re probably spending a bunch of time on repetitive tasks. Whether it’s scheduling your weekly emails, setting up LeadBoxes or keeping your Buffer account topped off, find out what tasks have a process that can be easily outsourced.

If you find yourself spending an hour a week editing, formatting, scheduling and creating an image for your blog post, push those tasks over to your virtual assistant. You get to focus on creating the content that you love and go to yoga class knowing the rest is taken care of. Yes, you can start enjoying savasana again.

Focus on what you love

When you free up hours from the not-so-fun, smaller tasks in your day, you get to focus on the work you love doing, which is why you started your business in the first place. You can get back to designing WordPress themes or illustrating your next wedding invitation bundle and know those other pesky tasks are being taken care of.

More time to build your business

When you outsource the smaller tasks, you’re able to focus on the bigger tasks that require your attention. This can be anything from client work, hosting webinars or working on your next big launch. By focusing on these crucial tasks you’ll be building your business which means more clients, customers and of course, more money.

Are you ready to free up time in your life and hire a virtual assistant? Click here and see if I’m the woman for the job.

7 Tasks You Can Start Outsourcing

7 Tasks You Can Start OutsourcingYou can’t do everything in your biz without driving yourself crazy. Thankfully, there’s a whole world of kickass ladies on the internet who are ready to help you run your business.

The tricky part for most people is deciding what parts of their business they should outsource and being able to trust that the people they hire can do the job just as good as they do it themselves.

Get rid of your delegating fears

It can be intimidating to let someone else into your business after you’ve been running it by yourself for so long. I totally get it. But once you trust that other people can help you, your life will get a lot less overwhelming!

First you need to get over the idea of thinking that no one can do your tasks as well as you can. If you’ve read my post on how to hire a Virtual Assistant (it can help with hiring anyone, not just a VA) then you did your research on potential people to hire and are confident that the person you’re hiring is good at what they do.

Now, you just have to figure out what tasks to delegate before hiring a new team member. Here are the most common tasks clients delegate to me:

1 + 2. Editing + formatting

You’ve probably gotten used to writing your own emails and blog posts and then spending a bunch of time formatting them the way you like. Think about all those little extra tasks you do in WordPress to optimize the post – like filling in your Yoast settings, adding images and formatting everything to be juuust right.

3. Social media posts

Consistently posting on social media accounts can take a huge chunk of your time each week. There’s clients that I spend anywhere from 10-15 minutes a day scheduling out their daily posts. That adds up quickly! We’re talking over an hour of work each week they now get to focus on important tasks like hosting webinars and client work.

4. Facebook group management

If you have a Facebook group, especially with an active community, it’s a great idea to outsource your group management. Clients have me schedule their weekly post prompts, approve new members and moderate comments. These are really repetitive and easy tasks, however they’re pretty time consuming!

5. Email management

Your business is on a roll! Which means that your inbox constantly has emails rolling in. My biggest advice is to create a general email account – like hello@businessname.com or info@businessname.com – so that you can start using your inbox for more urgent things like client emails. Put this email on your contact page so people can start contacting you through there with requests and eventually, if needed, you can give your personal account.

When handing this over to your VA, create a Google doc with canned responses to the most common questions you see come in.

6. Video/Content upload

A lot of people are taking advantage of video and audio (podcasts) content right now. If you are, you’re probably spending a heck of a lot of time uploading this content to your website, YouTube and iTunes. Record your screen the next time you do this task and share the video tutorial with your new team member. Video tutorials are my favorite way for clients to share their process with me because I can always go back and re-watch it if necessary. 

7. Graphic creation

Send your Photoshop templates for your social media and blog images to your new team member and let them create graphics as needed. It’s one less thing for you to worry about when you write your blog post or need some new Facebook ads created.

Ready to start outsourcing your most time-consuming tasks? Learn more about my Virtual Assistant services here and we can hop on free strategy call to see if I’m the wing woman you’ve been searching for!

How to Find, Hire, and Work with a Virtual Assistant

How to Find, Hire, and Work with a Virtual AssistantBusiness is booming and you’re ready to outsource the tasks you dread doing every week. You know hiring a Virtual Assistant is your next step but you have no idea how to go about finding one, never mind finding the right one.
Luckily, since I’m a Virtual Assistant for multiple businesses, I know a thing or two about how to find a VA, how to figure out if someone is the right fit, the best ways for getting started working together with your dreamy new VA and how to keep the relationship flowing smoothly.
In this post, I’m going to walk you through the step-by-step process to finding, hiring and keeping the perfect Virtual Assistant.

Step 1: Finding a Virtual Assistant

Some people say that the hardest part of hiring a VA is actually being able to find one. If you do a simple Google search, you’ll probably be met with results for websites like Upwork where you can post tasks and any VA can pick them up. Which is great if that’s what you’re looking for, but if you’re really looking for that 1:1, long term experience, you’re going to want to look further than Google.
My best advice is to search through Facebook groups. If you aren’t in any entrepreneur Facebook groups, there are TONS out there and quite a few members are Virtual Assistants. Search “Virtual Assistant” in the group discussion and chances are people have already asked for VA recommendations in the group. And if not, post your own post asking for VA recommendations and list a few of the main tasks you’d need help with. You can also check out my Virtual Assistant packages to see if your tasks align with my skills.
If you haven’t joined any Facebook groups yet, here are some awesome groups for entrepreneurs where you can definitely find VA’s:

Blissful Boss Society
Savvy Business Owners

Once you have some recommendations, start researching your potential VA’s websites. Check their web copy, blog, testimonials and services. You want to make sure this person resonates with you and shows that they actually know what they’re doing. When reading through testimonials, make sure that people are mentioning the results they got from working with that Virtual Assistant. For example, here are excerpts from testimonials on my website that demonstrate results I get for my clients:

“With Kayleigh’s help I achieved more in the last month than the previous 5.” – Nikki
“My business is so much more streamlined thanks to her.” – Krista

You can see from these excerpts that for Nikki, I was able to help her get more done in a month than she was able to get done in 5 months on her own. And then you can see that I was able to help Krista streamline her business. If every testimonial just talks about how awesome the person is and doesn’t actually mention the type of work they did and how they were an asset to the team, you might want to keep doing some research.

You also want to make sure you can afford to work with the VA’s you’d like to move on to an interview process with. Start by deciding how many hours of help you need each week. If you aren’t sure how many hours you need, time yourself using a tool like Toggl while doing the tasks you want to outsource. The worst is when a client says they only need an hour or 2 of help a week and then start listing a bunch of things they need done that are going to take wayyyy longer. Often we don’t realize how much time we spend on tasks – like taking an hour to write a blog post or 10 minutes a day scheduling social media posts – so when we do finally outsource and someone is timing themselves to get it done, it can be eye opening.
Once you figure out how many hours you need each month, decide how much you can afford to spend. Typical pricing is about $25 – $50/hr for a VA. So if your budget right now only works with $25 – $30/hr, make sure you see if that VA’s prices will work for your budget.
Then start inquiring with the VA’s you’ve narrowed it down to and book an interview.

Step 2: The interview process

Chances are your potential VA has a process for how a call normally flows. For example, I start by asking my potential client to give a quick run down of what they actually do and what tasks they’re looking to outsource. Next, I let them know if I’d be a good fit for those tasks and what it’s like to work with me. Then, I ask if they have any questions for me.
Make sure you write down any questions you have prior to the call. You don’t want to hop on the call and forget everything you wanted to know.

Here are some sample questions you might want to know:

Do you have experience working with X platform?

(ex: ConvertKit, LeadPages, WebinarJam, etc.) Anything that would be pretty crucial to the tasks you want them to do. It’s not a total loss if they don’t know a platform. As long as they seem eager to learn, and you have the time to teach them, it can still work.

How far in advance do you need the task?

This is really important and varies from VA to VA. For example, I tell all my clients that I need to know of a task at least 24 hours in advance of the deadline and that if something is going to take longer than about 2 hours, I’ll most likely need more time.

How do you keep track of your time and how can I stay updated on the time used/remaining?

If your future VA hasn’t brought this up, definitely ask! I’ve heard horror stories of someone hiring a VA, discussing how many hours a month they *think* they need help with and then they get hit with an invoice at the end of the month far exceeding what they expected. I use Toggl to keep track of every task I do and it acts like a stopwatch. At the end of each week I download a detailed report to send my client that shows them what tasks I worked on and exactly how much time I spent on each one. This way there are no surprises at the end of the month!

Step 3: Getting started with your new VA

You’ve found the perfect Virtual Assistant and you two are a match made in heaven! The paperworks signed (your VA should always send you a contract before you start working together) and you’re ready to get started. But where to begin?!

Create a manual

You already know the tasks you want to outsource – you figured that out in step 1. But now you need to explain to your new VA how to actually do these tasks. The best way to do this is to create an operations manual. It doesn’t have to be an official document, an Asana checklist works great! You’ll include step-by-step instructions on how to do each task. Even for tasks that sound simple should still be mentioned. Sending out a broadcast in ConvertKit may be second nature to you but someone who has never worked in your biz before wouldn’t know that you exclude a particular segment from your weekly newsletter. The easiest way to go about this is to go through the task yourself and jot down everything you do. It’s always so much better when a client gives too much detail than not enough.

Decide how you’ll communicate

You probably discussed how you’ll actually send tasks and communicate prior to officially working together. But just in case, ask your VA how they prefer to communicate – email, text, phone calls, Slack, etc. You also need to know exactly how to send them tasks and how you’ll be updated on the progress of each one. I love Asana for this! My clients can add a task, along with any details I need to get it done, there’s a section for comments and they’ll get a notification once I complete it.

Step 4: Creating a lasting work relationship

The hope with hiring a VA is that this person will be around for the long haul and you won’t have to go through this entire process again. Of course, sometimes it just doesn’t work out with someone, and that’s okay. But there are a few key things you can do that will help you create a lasting work relationship with your VA.

Communication

My best tip for working with a VA is to communicate. Just a simple check in email or call once in awhile helps to keep communication open. You want to make sure your VA is happy with the tasks you’re giving them and the form of communication you’re using is working for them. It’s also a great time to discuss if there’s anything either of you can do better. I think a call at least every few months is a great way to keep everyone happy. This way you can actually talk to each other and not just send emails and emojis back and forth.

Constructive feedback

This is going to be the most important part of keeping a lasting relationship going with your VA. After all, if you’re hiring and paying someone to do a task and they aren’t doing it up to par with your standards, you aren’t going to want to work with them very long. I always tell my clients right off the bat that if I’m doing something that bugs the heck out of them or not doing something just right, let me know! This way we can fix it and the client is happy and not secretly cringing every time I do that thing. Keep your communication open with your VA and stay positive when giving constructive feedback. Just let them know how you prefer it done next time.

And you’re all set to work with your VA!

Find out if I’m the right Virtual Assistant for you by heading to my services page and we can hop on a free strategy call to see if I’m the wing woman you’ve been searching for!

Top 3 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help Your Business

Top 3 Ways a Virtual Assistant Can Help Your BusinessYou’ve probably thought about how great it would be to outsource some of your most time-consuming tasks. The problem is, you may be unsure how to justify taking the plunge and hiring a Virtual Assistant. Here are 3 ways a Virtual Assistant can help your business. 

1. You’ll free up time

How much time are you spending on social media, blogging, formatting emails, etc. each day? 10 minutes? 30 minutes? Start tracking the amount of time you spend on these tasks using a free platform like Toggl. You’ll be able to see how much time it takes to share pins on Pinterest each week, integrate LeadPages with your blog posts and format your newsletter.

You won’t just be freeing up more time to spend on your business, you’ll free up time to spend living your life. Your social life called and it would like to make a comeback. Enjoy the freedom that comes along with owning your own business. Like taking off early on a Friday or grabbing a mid-week lunch with a friend from college.

2. You can focus on work you love doing

You started your business to do what you love, but you didn’t realize how many tasks you’d have to do that you absolutely dread. You wanted to coach clients or create courses, not constantly find new posts to share on social media. Most people don’t realize how much time all these repetitive tasks take up each week.

By hiring a Virtual Assistant, you’ll get to focus on the work you love doing and feel happier at the end of the day, not stressed. Never having to worry if your blog post is formatted and all your Yoast settings are filled in again sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

3. You’ll make more money

Think about it. If you get to spend more time growing your business and bringing in new clients, you’re going to grow your business more quickly. You’re able to focus your energy on the big tasks while your Virtual Assistant is running your business behind the scenes.

If you want to learn more about how a Virtual Assistant can help you + your biz, schedule your FREE strategy call with me here.