Indie Author: Ultimate Guide to Hiring Virtual Help

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 start your next big project — or even get it done! 

As someone who has hired two virtual assistants since starting my 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 hiring a virtual assistant, you must 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:

Time frame

When do you need this person? Will your virtual assistant 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, those tasks won’t take up much time but could still help keep up with other projects, so don’t worry about paying them too much!

Budget

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).

If there’s enough money left over after paying monthly bills (and maybe buying groceries), setting aside some funds to hire 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 decide.

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!

Ask about their experience with virtual assistantships and whether it aligns with your needs. If all else fails, try emailing directly before deciding whether 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; 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 promising candidate, 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 who works well with you, it’s time to assign them an initial project. This will be the first step in determining if they are

  • capable of doing what they say they can do
  • 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 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 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 essential to sign a contract. Your virtual assistant will work for you to protect their rights.
  • 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 doesn’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; try video or Skype calls instead if possible.

When 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.

Don’t rush the process.

Whether or not you hire a virtual assistant can change your life, and it behooves you to take all the time necessary to find the right person for the job.

Don’t settle for someone who isn’t a good fit.

Much 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, ask them now why they 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.”

Conclusion

As you can see, finding and hiring a virtual assistant is a process. While there are no guarantees that your first attempt at finding someone will succeed, 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, we hope they’ll make things easier for you as you embark on this journey!

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