The Best Approaches to Training Your Virtual Assistant (VA)

The Best Approaches to Training Your Virtual Assistant (VA)

January 17, 2013

trainingvirtualassistantTraining Virtual Assistant

When you first hire a virtual assistant, training them to do all of your myriad tasks seems like a full time job in itself. It takes some work and patience, but once things are running smoothly, your VA will be a life-saver. Since a majority of what goes wrong with outsourcing occurs in the training phase, here are the best practices to help you do it right the first time.

Do They Get It? – Training Virtual Assistant

Never assume that they ‘get it.’ There are always times when you think you’re both on the same page only to discover that you’re way off. Your VA may have their own website that lists all the services they offer and what you need done may be on that list, but always assume they need your training. Even if they’re SEO-savvy and smart, don’t assume. For every task, start at the very basic level and tell them exactly what needs to be done.

Make It Unnecessarily Detailed

When outlining tasks for your virtual assistant, make it more detailed than you think it needs to be. Explain each tiny step along the way, as well as the overall goal of each task. Ask them to confirm by reading or saying it back to you. After you write your email or document explaining the task to them, read it back to see if you’ve included absolutely everything.

Writing vs. Video

You should create your own materials to train your VA. These materials can be used again when you hire help in the future. Go step-by-step through each task. You can create your training either by making video tutorials or giving them text materials. The best approach is actually to do both. Video walks them through everything visually and skirts any communication barrier, while text provides reference materials they can look at when they get stuck.

Do a Trial Run – Training Virtual Assistant

For each job that you outsource, do a short trial run. For example, if you need a massive list of blogs that accept guest posts in your niche, ask them to find ten first. Check these blogs out to see if they’re what you wanted before you go ahead and hire them for the rest. Make sure they’re on the right track or it’ll be a huge waste of your time and money.

Giving Feedback

Give clear feedback immediately, especially for the first tasks your VAs do for you. Always give them at least one positive bit of feedback to tell them what they’re doing right along with one piece of constructive criticism. The positive feedback is just as important as the negative. There’s always something that a person is good at. Make sure your VA recognizes that you appreciate their work.

Take Responsibility – Training Virtual Assistant

Even when your VA messes up a task completely, take the responsibility upon yourself. Maybe you could have explained it more clearly or given better feedback. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt, because just as they need to adapt to working for you, you need to learn how to delegate and employ someone effectively.