Hiring a Virtual Assistant: How to delegate your tasks.

So you have decided that you need help and have decided to hire a virtual assistant. You  put out a call for help on Facebook or a site like HireMyMom and then wait for the unicorn of VA’s to find you. The clouds will part, a heavenly light will shine down, and all your problems will be solved.


Oh if only it was that easy 🙂 

So let’s take the leap of faith that you know exactly what KIND of Virtual Assistant you are looking for, have found them through a good resource and checked their testimonials, had a discovery call, and all signs point to GO. Now what??

If you are still not sure what a virtual assistant is, please visit my blog on What is a virtual assistant before reading on! 

I have found in my experience that there are so many business owners out there that KNOW they need help, they are overwhelmed with the amount of work that they have to do and responsibilities they are in charge of. However, they have a very hard time knowing WHAT they need to let go of or if they can afford to allow someone else to do it for them. Insert example here? Their business is extremely important to them (it is a part of themselves, as it should be) and letting go of any part of it can feel a little bit like a new mom allowing her 3-month-old baby goes to daycare, not knowing what’s going to happen during the day when they aren’t there. (I am a mom to 2, so I tend to use that in my analogies!!! ) 

This is not a new struggle and you are not alone in knowing that you need some help so you can spend more time working with your clients more directly, coaching them, guiding them, or supporting them in whatever your zone of genius is. 

There is an exercise, recommended to me by a coach, that has helped many business owners out there determine what they can or should be delegating to someone else.

The exercise goes like this:

Step 1 – Make a list on a google doc, or notepad  of the tasks/actions you take for a week or 2.

I know, I know, this seems like a lot of work, and it is, especially if you are a busy business-owner who does ALL. THE. THINGS., but believe me, this will save you time in SPADES later on, and we all know that a little elbow grease now means smooth sailing in the long run. (Okay, I may have just made that up… but you get the point). 

Step 2 – Once you have a comprehensive list, look down it and circle the things that you WANT to outsource (the things that you either don’t get joy out of or doesn’t help your money-making efforts.)

Step 3 – Star/highlight the ones that are the HIGHEST priority for you to remove from your to-do list. Look for the things that you really loathe doing, procrastinating at, or just plain don’t feel good at it.


Once you have gone through this exercise, you will have a pretty good idea of the exact tasks that you can and should outsource to a VA. Huzzah! Celebration time.

But wait Ana, I know what to outsource, and that’s all well and good, but how do I tell them what to do and how to do it?

Well, that’s a great question, because it kind of depends on the type of Virtual Assistant that you want to work with. Per THIS BLOG, you know that VA’s can have a variety of different specialties and work in many different ways. There are VA’s that have worked in corporate for 20 years before taking their knowledge “on the road” and starting their own business. There are VA’s that know how to do a couple of things very well, but can’t, or don’t want to do more than that. There are VA’s in the United States, Canada, South America, East Asia, all at different price points, skill levels, time zones and work ethics. 

While this blog isn’t specific on how to FIND the right VA for you, (that will come, I promise) but regardless of what kind or pricepoint of VA you end up working with, it is important to know and understand how VA’s may work, and how that will work with what you need from them.

There are a couple of business models to take into consideration here, and you will find virtual assistants that fit every model, but I encourage you to see this as a business for them as well, especially if you are expecting a certain level of professionalism that you would also expect to exhibit for your clients.

  1. Hourly This is exactly how it sounds. After speaking with you on a discovery call, and you explain the type of work you are looking for based on the exercise you went through earlier, they will estimate the amount of hours they would need to complete those tasks and then tell you their rate for those hours. In most cases, they will ask for payment up front. Some will accept payment after the service, and others may want a downpayment up front and then every few weeks as long as your working relationship lasts.
  2. Project-based In some instances, you may want to only hire a VA for a certain amount of time, like when you are working on the launch of a product or course. Sometimes you just need help getting a product built, or you need someone to clean up your data an analytics, or just your inbox. In that case, you may want to look for a VA that does project-based work. This is a great scenario for many business owners and virtual assistants alike because the virtual assistants who offer these types of packages are generally much more skilled in them and can do them efficiently and effectively. 
  1. Retainer-based: Retainer-based pricing is a bit like having someone working for you part-time on a consistent basis, but you may not have a specific project or consistent task list for them to work through, it is more of that they are “on-call” for you if you need them. While some business owners in the beginning part of their business may not be interested in hiring on a retainer-basis because they dont’ exactly know what their money will be spent on, more seasoned businesses know that they ALWAYS have work to be done, but may not know exactly what it is, but know they want to have the support available when they need it. An example of this would be a bookeeper who helps make sure everything is up-to-date or Tech Admin that updates your automations and sends out email blasts to your mailing list. 

Knowledge is power, and now you have a bit better idea of the types of Virtual Assistants that are out there, and what kind of payment methods are available for their services. 

Let me know what you think of this blog! What you’d like to see more of or things you’d like me to deeper dive into! 

Until next time, lean in, serve others and go for your dream!

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