There is one task that I make sure every single one of my clients assigns their VA. It’s an easy and quick task, but I’ve found it’s instrumental in creating a valuable long-term relationship with your VA, and also helps them support your brand better and better over time.
So what is it?
“Read About [Your Industry]”
Seems a bit obvious, but it’s so often overlooked!
One of the challenges of working with VA’s is that they are – almost by definition – generalists. They tend to be skilled in administrative tasks like research or Social Media. It’s rare to find a VA who is skilled in your industry.
This is why I always recommend adding this task to your VA’s daily list.
Here’s an example:
As you know, we use Asana – so here’s our Asana task that repeats every weekday and is assigned to our VA. (Yes, it’s assigned to me in the image below, but that’s just to keep my VA’s info anonymous.)
Set it up:
- In your task manager, create a new task, due tomorrow, which is also set to repeat every weekday.
Note: In Asana this is a little counter-intuitive. Set the task to repeat “Weekly” then choose every weekday.
- In the description, I always try to include “the why” at the top of the task. I believe this helps your VA feel like part of the team, as it explains to him / her why you are asking them to do something, instead of asking them to robotically just “do” it. Take a look at my example “why” in the screenshot above.
- Make a list of blogs in your industry that talk about your topic. If your VA is new, go ahead and include your own! I would include somewhere between 5-10 blogs, depending on how frequently folks in your industry tend to publish.
- (Optional) I like to include the “Optional” section listed in the example description above. It’s much quicker to just load these blogs into a Feed reader than it is to “check” them all each day. I let my VA decide and she chose to use Feedly – it’s up to you whether you include this (or make it non-optional) for your team.
- Assign the task to your VA and, depending how you communicate, send them a note to let them know there’s a new daily task assigned to them. Let them know you welcome feedback or questions if the description or task are unclear.
… and that’s it!
Easy Peasy – over time your VA will not just learn more about your industry, but he/she will become better and better at speaking the language of your industry, he/she will better understand the styles of images and media used, and will almost certainly feel more included in your long-term vision of your business.