This blog post is a summary of a PDF we send to all our new clients on how they can get the most value from their online PA. It contains some great tips and best practices for working with a virtual PA.
Establishing and growing the relationship
Your virtual PA is your newest asset, to help you achieve day in, day out. Like any other partner in life (your friends, your family, your coworkers) strong relationships lead to successful experiences.
You’ll develop a strong working relationship with your virtual PA over time and it all starts with an introductory phone call. Take this time to get to know your PA and help them get to know you, how you like to work, communicate, live!
Review the list below to help maximize the most from your first phone call
Introduction Call Checklist
- What made you decide to get a Virtual PA?
- Background: What should your PA know about who you are and where you’ve been?
- Do you want to add anyone to your account (family members or colleagues)?
- Is there anything you are currently struggling with?
- Have you worked with a VA or EA before? If so, what worked, what didn’t?
How do you prefer to communicate?
- We use a Google Spreadsheet task list with most of our clients and use a priority system. Is there a specific method you use? (we can adapt to your systems)
- In our experience we have found regular weekly meetings to be the most effective, would you like to set up any recurring meetings? If so what day and time
- What’s the most important task that your PA can help with now?
- What are your travel preferences? Airlines, seating etc.
- Do you have frequent flyer information and/or loyalty program accounts to share?
- Would you like to share access to your calendar? – We use a great tool for this and your PA can talk you through it while on the call with you.
How we work
We are proud employers of our Virtual PAs. We do not use freelancers. We invest a huge amount of time and effort into recruiting, training and testing our PA’s only a very few make the final cut.
All of our pa’s work from home but we have a community driven team and meet regularly to share ideas and resources so we can better serve you. Our head office provides 24/7 ongoing support so no PA is ever working in isolation. Most of our PAs work half days (about 4 hours a day) and these hours vary from person to person (we match PAs according to your timing needs). We try and limit the number of clients to two per PA so that they can give you the focused attention you deserve.
We are in the business of making your life simpler and easier. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your virtual PA
- Deadlines and priorities are critical. Taking 30 minutes each week to manage your PA’s task list and talk to them will save you hours and hours.
- Online collaboration is one of the most useful tools you can use with your PA. Google Drive / Drop box are great tools and our PA’s are fully trained to help you implement these if need be.
- Feedback is always helpful, we want to keep delivering the best service that we can and your feedback is one of the best ways for us to improve.
- Outsourcery PAs work closely with their client, bringing productivity and happiness into their lives. However sometimes you need more than just virtual help. We are delighted to announce that Outsourcery clients can now benefit from discounts with other amazing leaders in the sharing space and beyond. Ask your PA about the special offers available to you or visit our partner page for more information
You can never have too much research done.
Get in the routine of delegating the beginning and time-consuming steps of all research.
Step 1: Send your PA the task via the method that you have set up with them.
We categorise research into three categories:
- Informational: “Please help me accumulate research on how to grow your own vegetables.”
- Comparative: “Please compare local business card print services and provide a recommendation.”
- Data: “Please put together a list of the meeting places in my area with their pricing and distance to my home.”
Step 2: Classify what you’d like to learn from the research, how you’d like the information presented to you (Google Doc, dropbox, email etc.) and any precise steps you would like your PA to take in gathering the research
Bookings, Reservations and Appointments
It’s all about making sure that your life runs as smoothly as possible. Small things such as making reservations in advance, scheduling your regular chiropractor appointment or even sitting on hold to that fancy restaurant that you have been wanting to take your partner to can go a long way in helping save you time. Just get your PA to do it.
- Make a list of all the routine arrangements that you would like to have scheduled (yearly doctor’s visit, monthly haircut) and have your PA manage this schedule and book the appointments, put it in your calendar and remind you the day before.
- Step 2: For ad hoc appointments or reservations (or modifications to existing ones) just have your PA do all the calling, emailing and scheduling.
Delegating to your virtual assistant: Quick Tips
Here are some of our favorite practices to become a delegating master:
- Arrange a recurring check-in call with your PA that fits your schedule
-Monday morning weekly priority review
-Daily morning catch-ups or email updates
- Create Jing screencasts to train your PA on your systems, tools and process-oriented tasks
- Set a deadline and priority level for every task
-[High (1)/Medium (2)/Low (3) /Recurring (0) Priority; Due: xx/xx]
- Always provide clear instructions and additional resources when you can