Hiring a Virtual Assistant – Tips and Pitfalls
So maybe you’ve sat on the idea for a while now, or maybe you’ve never heard of the term “VA” before.
Either way, if you’re a therapist in private practice today, you need a virtual assistant.
Because while you’re in session with a client you can’t be answering the phone, creating marketing content, and writing a blog post at the same time. So to save yourself time (and yes money) here’s
10 Things To Know About Hiring a Virtual Assistant:
1. False Belief: You Think You Can Do It All…And ONLY You
The truth is, you’re right. No one is going to do things exactly like you..but the kicker here is, that’s OKAY!
Believing you have to do everything in your practice because you can’t trust someone else to do it exactly like you isn’t going to save you time and energy in the long run.
When you operate this way you’re running in “superhero mode”. If you’re feeling burnt out and overwhelmed by the amount of work you have to do to upkeep your practice, trading having to go through a few growing pains of relinquishing a little control for space to breathe is well worth it.
If you can find someone who can do what you do 80% as well as you, you have a winner!
2. Remember No One Is Perfect
Knowing that your VA is going to make mistakes (especially in the beginning) is key in helping you stay calm during the first few months. Just like you, they make mistakes, you just may be more attuned to theirs!
Use their mistakes as an opportunity for them to learn and get better at their role.
3. Set CLEAR Expectations For Them
When hiring and onboarding a new VA one of the biggest ways you can help them help you is by setting clear and concise expectations. When you create measurable tasks for them to complete that are clear and have time limits, this will help them feel equipped and ready to start tackling them.
There is nothing worse than feeling like you don’t know what you’re doing or if you’re hitting or missing the mark. So give them feedback consistently with how they’re doing so they can make corrections and/or know they’re on the right track.
4. Hire Slow, Fire Fast
Hiring someone and having to teach them the ins and outs that are unique to your practice takes a lot of time and energy. Listen to your intuition if something isn’t working out, but also give the VA enough space to learn, grow, and make mistakes.
5. Give Them A Trial Task
If you’re not ready to officially hire a VA candidate, but you still want to see their work, hire them for a paid trial.
This could be for a week or could be one task you give them to see their work. An example might be giving them the task of writing a blog post so you can see their copy skill or asking them to create a few social media posts for you. This way you can see what they’re capable of before hiring them on.
6. Meet With Them Weekly
If you want to keep your VA motivated and in line with the vision and mission of your practice meeting with them weekly is a great way to keep both of you accountable. In these meetings, you can use a “wins and challenges” model where they prepare what’s been going well and what’s been difficult for them in the past week. This will give you a gauge for where they need more help and direction and what they’re excited about.
Again when you have these meetings it helps your VA know how they’re doing. So make sure to give them feedback here as well.
7. We Suggest Hiring Directly (and someone in the mental health field if possible!)
There are a few ways you can go about finding and hiring a virtual assistant for your practice. The first is through a Virtual Assistant Agency.
These agencies have VA’s on hand who are ready to work and can jump into the job quickly. The only problem here is you have to pay more due to the overhead fee of the agency.
That’s why we suggest hiring someone directly.
Here are a few ways you can do this:
-Go onto a therapy Facebook group and let people know you’re looking for a virtual assistant
-Post it to your social media that you’re looking for someone
-Check out our friend Taylor Anderson’s opportunity to get plugged into a Facebook group full of therapists-in-training who have taken her VA course and are looking for work. Check it out here
8. You Get What You Pay For
Set your VA up for success by creating an hourly or project-based rate that you can afford, but also gives them space to advance and make a bit more once they’ve grown in their skills. Everyone wants to feel like they’re going somewhere in their job, so make sure to let your VA know there will be opportunity for this while working with you.
This will increase morale and their overall motivation!
Want more? Watch our video where John explains this in more detail:
Wanting a practice you love without all the overwhelm? Click below to work with me!