You’ve got a great idea for a book, but your day job is taking up more and more of your time. Or maybe you’re so busy with your current writing project that you can’t find the time to write another one. If either of these scenarios sounds familiar, then hiring a virtual assistant might be just what you need to get started on your next big project — or even get it done! As someone who has hired two virtual assistants since starting my own writing career as an indie author just over seven years ago (and counting), I’m certainly glad that I did. But as with any relationship, there are some things that you’ll want to consider before making this decision.
Indie Author – Find Out What You Need
Before you even think about hiring a virtual assistant, it’s essential to know what kind of help you need. The best way to do this is to create a list of tasks you want your remote assistant to complete. This can be anything from scheduling social media posts, answering emails and calls, managing your calendar, and more.
Here are some other things that you’ll want to consider while making your list:
When do you need this person? Will they be working full-time or part-time? The more hours per week they’re available for work (and able), the more money it will cost. If it’s just for an hour here or there throughout the week, chances are those tasks won’t take up much time in total but could still help keep up with other projects at hand—so don’t worry about paying them too much!
How much can you afford each month? Hiring VAs isn’t cheap; however, what makes them worth every penny is their ability to save time and generate revenue by helping with tasks related directly back to book sales/revenue streams (like designing websites). As long as there’s enough money left over after paying bills each month (and maybe buying groceries), then setting aside some funds specifically meant only towards hiring virtual assistants might not be such a bad idea after all!”
Compare Potential Candidates
Looking at the candidate’s portfolio and asking for references is essential. You want to see if they have a professional looking website and if their work is up to your standards, so asking them for samples of their past work can help you make a decision. How long they’ve been working as a remote assistant is also an important factor; it will give you an idea of how familiar they are with your specific needs.
The more experience someone has working with other clients the better prepared he or she will be for the job—but this doesn’t mean that newbies can’t do the job well! Just ask about their experience with virtual assistantships and whether it aligns with what you need from them. If all else fails, try reaching out directly via email first before deciding whether or not this person will be right for you (or vice versa).
Make a Short List
Once you’ve got a solid idea of what assistance you need, make a shortlist. At this stage, it doesn’t matter how detailed or specific your descriptions are; just get an idea of each candidate’s skills and experience.
- What tasks do you need help with?
- How long will each task take to complete?
- What skills are required to complete that task?
- How much experience does the candidate have doing that task?
Interview Your Contender
When you’ve found a candidate who looks promising, it’s time to interview them. Ask them about their experience, availability, rates, and work ethic. Then ask for references; if they’ve done similar work before (or if they’re willing to send you samples of past projects), this can help assess the quality of their work. Finally, see what the prospective virtual assistant has studied and how that’s relevant to the position.
Assign a Trial Project
Once you’ve found a candidate that seems like they can work well with you, it’s time to assign them an initial project. This will be the first step in determining if they are: (a) capable of doing what they say they can do and (b) compatible with your writing style. After all, nobody wants to hire someone who doesn’t understand your vision or won’t get along with you as a team member.
The trial project should be something relatively easy—something that will give you an idea of how well the remote assistant works for YOU. Don’t try out their response times by handing them a manuscript that needs editing; instead, try asking them for help with some simple tasks like finding information about local events or scheduling social media posts for your upcoming book releases.
Finalize a Contract and Start Working Together
- First and foremost, it’s important to sign a contract. Your virtual assistant will be working for you, so make sure that their rights are protected as well.
- Next, it’s time to get down to business! If you’re working with someone who isn’t in the same country or state as you and you don’t have the funds available (or if they’re not willing) for travel expenses, this could be old-fashioned emailing back and forth until everything is worked out. That can get tedious quickly; if possible, try video calls or even Skype calls instead.
When it comes to finding the perfect virtual assistant, there’s no rush in making your final decision — take all the time you need to find the best option for you.
Don’t rush the process.
The decision of whether or not to hire a virtual assistant is one that can literally change your life, and it behooves you to take all the time necessary to make sure that you find the right person for the job.
Don’t settle for someone who isn’t a good fit.
A great deal of time and money goes into building up your business, so don’t be afraid to be picky about whom you choose as an assistant. If someone doesn’t seem like they’re going to be good at what they do, keep looking until you find someone who does fit your needs perfectly.
Ask for references from past clients (and even from friends).
If possible, try having them call some of these references directly; if not possible, then just ask them directly why they themselves left their previous jobs and if there were any problems along with that information! This way, when interviewing potential candidates, you will know exactly which ones are worth interviewing further based on feedback provided earlier by other professionals like yourself.”
As you can see, finding and hiring a virtual assistant is a process. And while there are no guarantees that your first attempt at finding someone will result in success, if you take your time with each step of this process and do it right, the odds are in your favor of ending up with someone who can help your business grow. With these tips and tricks at hand, we hope they’ll make things easier for you as you embark on this journey!