With the set up of a few simple systems, you can get off to the best start with your virtual assistant. Find out what they are in this episode of Savvy Sessions with Joy and Jo.
Welcome to Savvy Sessions #25.
In this episode we're going to be discussing three systems for virtual assistant success.
Now first up is the all important email and this can often be the first thing that a potential client sees about your business. So you want to make sure it looks as professional as possible. Having an email go through your business's domain name, for example, shows that your business is well established and genuine and is likely to make customers feel more comfortable dealing with you and trusting you. Here are a few of the systems that we recommend and like to use:
To be successful with a virtual assistant it needs to be easy for the virtual assistant that you've hired to be able to access your emails if they're doing inbox management, and the email that you might set up for them if they're going to have their own account. And all the other things that come with the calendar and file storage and things like that. All too often we see clients who come to us and they have a free or very cheap email hosted account, and what that means is that if we have to use the Webmail platform it's just harder for us to get access into it, it just stalls the start time and yeah, it just sucks up time and is not as easy. So what we recommend is when you purchase your domain name, it often says 'do you want to get an email address as well', it's super cheap and you might be tempted to say Yes. But just stick to the main two email platforms to host your email and that is G Suite or Office 365 because it is so much easier for a virtual assistant to be able to get the access that they need, and way easier for the email accounts to be managed. So we really, really encourage everyone to jump onto those platforms and pay for those platforms because they really are worth how much you invest in them. So with G Suite or Office 365 often we get asked which one is better, and it's not that one is better, they are just different. If you are needing the Microsoft Office suites, like you need to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc. then the best option really is to go with Office 365 because you get those all in your subscription. With G Suite, if you don't really need to use those programmes or you have them some other way like maybe you have desktop versions of them anyway, then absolutely G Suite is a great option. It is cheaper than Office 365 and you can use Google Sheets and Google Docs and the Google Drive in there as well. So it's just the Microsoft version and the Google version, either one is great, just have a think about whether you need the Microsoft Office Suite. It's a lot easier for us to access that email account that you might have set up for us or if you're wanting someone to do inbox and diary management for you, then way easier for your virtual assistant to log in and access those too.
Next up, you'll want some type of shared task list. This is really useful for ensuring that your virtual assistant and you are on the same page with regards to what tasks are outstanding, when things are due, who's responsible. It just gives you visibility over what's going on and there's no misunderstandings about who is doing what, and when it's due. A couple of our favourites are:
Teamwork is the one that we use internally at Strictly Savvy and we have projects set up for all of our clients and all the task lists, reoccurring lists, so that we can keep track of every month what we need to do, GST returns, or every month we need to provide a report of some kind, so we have all of those tasks, all in Teamwork, which is a really awesome tool - it is a paid tool. We did start off with free tools but then now we've had this probably for two years and we're really sticking to this one now, we really love it and it works really well. And so Teamwork is one of the options.
There's also Asana, there's Trello, there's To-doist, there's Monday.com, there's Wunderlist. There's all sorts of to-do list apps. Trello is a free option and that's a really good place to start. If you want to with your virtual assistant and have a shared Trello board, you can have different task lists and sort out columns that you can move cards around on, you can assign due dates and assign people to each of the little cards, which is essentially a task and use it in a task list sort of way. Then if you want to upgrade to something that has a few more features and a little more, like task list focused, then one of the other options. They essentially all do the same thing, they're just laid out differently. But all those main ones that we've listed off, they're all great and yeah, so choose one of those and work with your virtual assistant on a joint to-do list so that everyone can see like choices. There's no miscommunications and people can see what they need to do and deadlines are met.
You can actually have Trello on your phone as well, just to keep track of personal life stuff, and Trello's handy because it's just like having little sticky notes. So quite often even these days a lot of us will use a sticky label notes and put a note down somewhere stick it to a monitor things like that. So it's almost like they're just shuffling them around.
Now the third thing that you need and probably most important of all, is a communication channel. So that's going to be your preferred way to communicate with your virtual assistant, because once you get going, communication is fundamental. It's the number one thing that will mean that you and your virtual assistant have a good relationship. We cannot stress enough that you need to have good communication, and that there could be so many options.
Our favorite option is WhatsApp. There's also Viber and Voxer which are very similar and like any one of those, the reason why we like them is because they have a 'record your voice' function. So most people who use WhatsApp they might use it like a text messaging app and it's really good for sending photos and images and things. But then there's also the 'record your voice' feature and we use it with our team members, and most of our clients as well. It just means that you could have finished a meeting or you think of something while you're out and about, you can hold down the record button and speak what you want to let your virtual assistant know, it could be the next task for her or something like "Can you remind me about this" or providing photos, or anything like that. It's a really quick, easy way to get information out of your head and to your virtual assistant. And then your virtual assistant can also have it on their computer so they can have the web version of WhatsApp which means that they can actually type messages back to you because often, if you're out and about, it's actually easier for you to read a response rather than listen to the voice message. So you do what's easiest for you and if that's the voice message, that's awesome, because it's super efficient. But then your virtual assistant will reply with the mode that suits you and it's nice and quick for them because they can they can listen, record and type from the web app. And it just speeds up those comms. So you don't have to think "I need to remember to do that" and wait to go back to your laptop. Absolutely not, you can just do things on the run, which is fantastic.
Thanks for watching everyone. That was Savvy Sessions #25.
We'll see you next time!
Want to start delegating to a virtual assistant? Book a call with Jaymie to chat.