Today I’m so excited to be joined by my friend Maria Carras. She runs an incredible business (www.mariacarras.com) that helps planners like you connect with the right Virtual Assistant for your business.
So many planners face overwhelm in their business with so much to do and so little time, all whilst trying to achieve a healthy work-life balance. In this free video training we are chatting about how hiring a virtual assistant can create more freedom in your wedding business.
During our call, she will cover topics like:
- What is a virtual assistant?
- How to know when you’re ready to hire a VA?
- How to prepare your business for a VA
- The benefits of hiring a VA
- What tasks you can outsource as a Wedding Pro
- How to find and hire your right fit VA
Let’s dive in! Check out the video below:
Here’s a breakdown of what Maria shared.
Who shouldn’t hire a VA?
If you prefer to do everything yourself, or if you are averse to investing in your business, then a VA is not for you.
Who can benefit from a VA?
You’re ready to stop doing all of the things in your business so you can focus on your zone of genius and your clients. You are interested in scaling your business so you can do more and earn more in less time.
What is a VA?
A VA is a business owner who you bring into your business. Together the two of you will create a contract that outlines their scope of work and whether you’ll pay hourly or with a monthly retainer.
What can a VA help you with?
- Social media
- Inbox management
You can hire people with different expertises to perform different tasks for your business.
How much do VAs cost?
This totally depends on skill and experience. A VA just starting out may charge $20-$25 an hour, while a specialist may charge $40-$50 an hour. You can find support that fits almost any budget.
How do you prep your business for a VA?
Think about what you want to outsource. Marketing? Social media? If you’re unsure, take a week to track your time and see where your hours are going. From there create a list of tasks that you could outsource and document your processes for those tasks. To make the transition easier consider using a project management system. Upload any documents they need access to into a shared Google Drive folder. You can also use an app like Tailwind so your VA can log in to necessary accounts without actually sharing your passwords for those.
How do you find the perfect VA?
- Be specific about what you’re looking for.
- Consider creating a job application.
- List what’s necessary. Do they need to understand certain tools? Should they be available at specific times?
- Name your nice-to-haves. When you’re sharing the insides of your business with someone, it should be a person you genuinely enjoy working with.
After you create an application, share it in your channels and schedule interviews with potential candidates. The goal is to find a person you really jive with. Once you choose someone, set a trial period to make sure you’re a good fit.
Where can you find a VA?
Your channels are one place to start the search, sharing the application on Facebook or Instagram. You can also use job boards like Fiverr or Upwork as well as agencies.
How do you conduct interviews to find the right person?
Focus on finding someone who has experience with your needs and has a strong work ethic. Choose someone with good communication skills. Make sure each candidate feels comfortable to ask questions- there’s no way they can know everything right off the bat!
How do you onboard a VA?
A potential VA hire should send a proposal you both agree with, including an agreed upon rate and scope of work. They should then send a contract that outlines all of this and a trial length period. As you begin working together ask them to complete smaller tasks before they jump all in. (I love what Maria said: don’t immediately hand over the keys to the castle!) Establish a central communication hub, whether that’s Slack, email, or another channel!
What tasks do wedding professionals often outsource to a VA?
- social media- Pinterest
- blog writing
- SEO research
- appointment setting and management
- client communication
- vendor communication
- contracts and invoicing
- press outreach
- photo editing and file sharing
- vendor research
- review outreach
Common mistakes when hiring a VA
- not knowing what to outsource
- not creating a formal application form or having a formal interview
- hiring based completely on recommendation
- waiting to hire until you feel ready (by then you may be deep into chaos)
- skipping the trial period
- refusing to delegate
- not accounting for a learning curve
One of Maria’s biggest tips is to hire before you feel ready. Even an hour or two a week can free you up to focus on other tasks in your business! If you think you’re ready to get that extra support. Maria offers a free VA matchmaking service here.
We hope you found this useful and you came away with some actionable tips and advice for when you feel ready to hire a virtual assistant to create more freedom in your wedding business.