10 Steps to Better Communication With Your Virtual Assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) can be a great way to free up more time for other key business tasks, but communication will be vital. What is one tip you have to ensure good communication between you and your virtual assistant?

virtual assistant

These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invitation-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. More information at yec.co.

1. Never assume

A key point to keep in mind when communicating with a virtual assistant is to never assume anything, especially if you’ve only recently started working with them. They are not familiar with your business, style, expectations, etc. Be sure to explain all the details and encourage them to ask questions. Make sure they are clear on everything. What is obvious to you may not be obvious to them.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

2. Take advantage of video tools

I have found that video communication is powerful in getting a virtual assistant aligned with your goals. Platforms like Loom allow you to record your screen and give clear instructions. I recommend mixing video and written communication for different tasks so your virtual assistant can easily understand your expectations.

Syed Balkhi, WPB beginner

3. Make sure you are clear first

The most important thing is to be clear about what the task is. Yes you you don’t clearly understand what the task is, then your assistant won’t help you.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC

Virtual assistant that helps entrepreneurs

4. Create a reference document

Create a frame or document that acts as a reference to help your virtual assistant when trying to remember certain preferences you have. Think about common situations that might arise and how you would like them to be addressed so that your assistant can easily execute and unlock new time for you. Make the document alive and open to feedback so it can be constantly improved.

Akshar Bonu, The personalized movement

5. Set clear expectations and guidelines

You’ll have a better chance of ensuring good communication between you and your virtual assistant if you set clear guidelines. In other words, hiring someone with a simple understanding of their role is not a good idea. You should have clear expectations and a list of tasks you expect your assistant to complete.

John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Know their schedule

Knowing what time your VA is active for work helps ensure effective communication. The time zone they are active in may differ from yours, especially if you work in a remote environment or have flexible work schedules. Knowing this helps you schedule your meetings, calls and messages accordingly, ensuring a quick response.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable shapes

7. Use a task management solution

You should have a task management solution like ClickUp where all your tasks are organized and tracked. When you meet to discuss tasks, create the task in ClickUp at that time and assign it to your VA. In this way, nothing is lost in verbal communication, which is certainly common. When the task is finished, you can close it.

Andy Karuza, Nacho Nacho

Virtual assistant helping an operational startup
Photo credit: Cottonbro / Pexels

8. Treat them like an office worker

Forget the fact that they’re a virtual assistant and treat them like you would if they were sitting right outside your office. Choose video calls over email or Slack messages, especially at first. When you treat a virtual assistant as an outsourcing tool, that’s exactly what they will be. Instead, what you want is someone who is part of your business and thinks about it.

Karl Kangaroo, Above the House

9. Provide written instructions

Don’t rely solely on verbal communication to communicate with your virtual assistant. Make sure you also provide clear written instructions for the tasks to be performed. This will help ensure there is no confusion and your virtual assistant knows exactly what to expect. I recommend using Google Docs or a similar tool to create and share to-do lists and instructions.

Blair Williams, Press member

10. Review tasks daily

The only advice I would offer to those using a virtual assistant is to set a short time each morning and evening to go over the day’s tasks over the phone or virtually. The day’s schedule should be set in the morning and a review of completed tasks with some conversation about the next day’s plans should be done before leaving time.

Baruch Labunsky, Safe classification

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