4 Ways Virtual Assistants Can Improve Your Productivity and Help Manage Your Business with Molly Rose Speed, Virtual Assistant Academy: Show Notes & Transcript
Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
In this episode, we’re talking how virtual assistants (VAs) can help your business with Molly Rose Speed. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!
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Marketing Smarts: 4 Ways Virtual Assistants Can Improve Your Productivity and Help Manage Your Business with Molly Rose Speed, Virtual Assistant Academy
IVirtual Assistants (VAs) can be a huuuuge help for your business. Imagine how much time you could free up for yourself while not being worried about things falling through the cracks. Use VAs to grow your business by having them do the tasks that will enable the team, having them do the tasks that disproportionately consume your attention, having them extend customer service in off-hours, and choosing the right VA for the job. We wanted you to learn from someone with an incredible resume of partnering with VAs, so we welcomed on Molly Rose Speed. She’s the creator of Virtual Assistant Academy and Virtual Assistant Management. This episode covers everything from VAs to delegating. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:
- How can virtual assistants (VAs) help your business?
- What should you assign to your team vs. VAs?
- How do you overcome the fear of hiring VAs?
- Does Molly Rose have a VA?
- What are the top things Molly Rose and her team do well?
- How do you find the tasks that will enable the team?
- What tasks disproportionately consume your attention?
- How does Loom work?
And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at: ForthRight-People.com.
Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:
- 4 Ways Virtual Assistants Can Improve Your Productivity and Help Manage Your Business with Molly Rose Speed, Virtual Assistant Academy
- [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
- [0:28] Anne Candido, April Martini
- [0:32] How can virtual assistants (VAs) help your business?
- [2:14] Learn more about Molly Rose at VirtualAssistantAcademy.com, VirtualAssistantManagement.com, and on Instagram @MollyRoseSpeed
- [3:12] Have them do the tasks that will enable the team
- [4:26] ABMs (Assistant Brand Managers), Tide
- [4:52] ForthRight Women (FRw)
- [8:31] What should you assign to your team vs. VAs?
- [10:05] Have them do the tasks that disproportionately consume your attention
- [12:04] P&G (Procter & Gamble)
- [12:49] Slack
- [17:50] How do you overcome the fear of hiring VAs?
- [19:39] Checks & Balances
- [20:25] Do you want to stand out in your industry and get more sales? Show you’re different to attract and retain top talent? Build a brand that drives real business results? Grab your Brand Strategy Workbook at: https://forthright-people.com/brand-strategy
- [21:08] Have them extend customer service in off-hours
- [24:52] Social Media
- [28:10] Does Molly Rose have a VA?
- [28:39] Choose the right VA for the job
- [35:34] Loom
- [36:17] What are the top things Molly Rose and her team do well?
- Marketing Smarts Moments
- [40:41] Learn more about Molly Rose at VirtualAssistantAcademy.com, VirtualAssistantManagement.com, and on Instagram @MollyRoseSpeed
- [42:24] Recap: How can virtual assistants help your business?
- [43:13] Make sure to follow Marketing Smarts on your favorite podcast spot and leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts
- [43:18] Learn more at ForthRight-People.com and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn
- [43:23] Sign up to view all the ForthRight worksheets & tips for FREE!
- [43:32] Shop our Virtual Consultancy
What is Marketing Smarts?
From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.
How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?
Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer.
Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.
Anne Candido 0:02
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we will dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We will also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. And if you missed anything, don’t worry, we put worksheets on our website that summarize the key points. Now, let’s get to it. Welcome to Marketing Smarts! I’m Anne Candido and I am April Martini. And today we’re gonna talk about how virtual assistants are you going to come VAs for short, can improve your productivity and manage your business. So when coaching our executives, one big wish that they all have is that they wish they had more time, time to think time to focus on bigger strategic opportunities, all those things that they just don’t feel like they have the time for, but they still want to have that peace of mind and confidence and nothing is falling through the cracks, right? And that’s where sometimes that control freak mentality starts to take over. Which is why when it bluntly, we don’t have time, right. And true time is our most precious commodity. But getting more time can be really challenging. So for many of you guys listening, your staff has already spent them we hear this a lot. So heaping more work on top can seem unfair. So we need to find an alternative approach.
April Martini 1:23
Yeah, that’s right. So the truth is, we spend a lot of time actually doing the tasks we shouldn’t be doing. Either because and this goes to the control freak, part two, we feel comfortable doing them, they’re easy to do, or they distract us from the bigger things that are on our plate. So hopefully one or multiple of those sound familiar to those of you listening. But here’s what we would say, if you could pay somebody else to do the task as effectively if not better for cheaper than your team gets paid. You should try and get somebody else to do it. And this is where virtual assistants can be very helpful extensions of your team. But ultimately, the question is, when do you make that call to use a VA? And how do you get over that discomfort so many of us have in using them? And that’s ultimately what we’re gonna get into in detail today. Yep.
Anne Candido 2:12
And for this comment, we have a special guest to help us and that is Molly Rose Speed. She is the creator of Virtual Assistant Academy. And Molly, it’s great to have you would you like to introduce yourself and say a little bit more about what Virtual Assistant Academy is?
Molly Rose Speed 2:25
Yes, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. So I created Virtual Assistant Academy to really professionalize what we all know now as a virtual assistant. And this came about for me personally, about 12 years ago, and it’s evolved into what it is today. And so now we’re serving clients of all sorts, and we have a certification program and training and placement. And then we have a placement program for the certified bas so we can serve both sides of the business.
Anne Candido 2:53
Awesome. That’s awesome. So this is gonna be a fabulous conversation, all your questions are going to be answered about bas. And if we don’t answer them here, and now you have a fantastic resource, and Molly Rose to go to and get all those questions answered. So with that, let’s get into four ways virtual systems can improve your productivity and help manage your business. And the first one is to have them do the tasks that will enable the team. So we would say you need approaches from two different angles. First, the tasks that are distracting you are the team. And the other side is tasks that can help boost yours in your team’s success. So for tasks that are distracting a team, what we suggest you do is help people create a list. And this includes you because it’s not just your work and you being the leader of the team or whatever position you’re holding. But it’s also what is distracting your teams. So we want to kind of get that whole picture of that. And these are tasks that are their regular doing which are not utilizing the talents for which they were hired or for which you are hired, frankly. So the most common here are administrative tasks like calendar management, vetting vendors, those things that are important for the business, but they’re just really not actually in the work itself, or repetitive plug and play. So reporting newsletters, social postings, these are tasks that someone has to do, but you generally try to get them to like the person who’s lowest on the totem pole like so. Our ABMS had to do all the reporting, because it helped them to understand the business but really it was just a daily task in order to suit our executives who wanted to know daily how Tide was doing, right? So the other side is for those tasks that help you boost yours and your team’s success. So you might want to have them do a little bit of a slightly different exercise which is fill in the blank, which is if only I had this I could be so much more successful. So as an example, you know, for April and I we are trying to really build forthright women and we wanted to make sure that we were reaching the executives that fit in on Our demographic and our psychographic and make sure that we’re on our list. And so we actually hired a virtual assistant to help us create that list. Same thing with trying to pitch our forthright women capabilities to corporations, we wanted the HR leads in those corporations. So we had a virtual assistant that was going to help us and they did help us create that list. Now, we could go do that ourselves. But again, back to the intro, we need to focus on higher order things, we need to focus on the strategy behind why we’re doing it, what we’re doing, not really kind of going down and getting the list. It’s a very important work. It’s not an important work. And it’s actually enables a team and enabled us to go do other work. But the whole big dilemma here is that even though you can do it, should you do it, right? Or should you be doing other things that helps you to be able to work more on your business versus in your business, or help enable the team or help the team from being distracted. So Molly, I know you have a lot of this that comes your way. So I’d love for you to kind of elaborate about what you see how you facilitate through this, this process with these clients and and what kind of comes out of it?
Molly Rose Speed 6:11
Yeah, so when clients come to us, again, our placements at ABC, which is virtual assistant management, we get a gamut of people in business owners and employees who are like, I am overwhelmed by all these things that I do. I didn’t necessarily necessarily sign up to do these things when I took on this job or started this business, and how do I do this? And to your point in creating that list, and really figuring out what do you do all day. So that’s an exercise in my clients or what have a week that they spend writing down everything that they do. And then they come back to it and realize team that already been placed and probably be doing this. Or if I’m a solo business owner or freelancer, or don’t have a team at this moment, this creates my job description to then be able to outsource to a competent virtual assistant. And it is overwhelming, right? Part of what we bring up is all the things that we have to do to win 27 hats, and we think we’re going to work two or three, right when we come into our business role. And that’s where you can start to again, hire out, find that perfect person to come in. And from the virtual assistants perspective, at least the ones that I train, it’s finding that balance and not having that overwhelming you come into this clientele, because obviously they’re all the same. I’m using air quotes here, because everybody gets there are some that are very organized and very straightforward. But the task list that we get as virtual assistants are all over the page. And that’s okay, that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be. And just knowing that there’s someone there to help us be able to do this is really, really important. Yeah, I
April Martini 7:41
think it’s such an amazing exercise to go to that granular level of recording. We do a similar thing, actually, with our coaching clients, when they’re trying to figure out what things can they offload and what things do they need to keep? And so I think it is super smart to have them do that. Because I think it puts it right back in our faces, right? Like this is literally how many things I’m doing that either. Like you said, I didn’t know that I was signing up for or oh my gosh, I thought I was focusing whatever percentage of time on the higher order strategic stuff that you were speaking about beforehand, when actually I’m doing the nitty gritty detail far more than I think I should be. And Molly Rose, one question I’d ask back to you is, you mentioned, you know, if you have a team, so I would love some perspective on what you get out, like, what do I give to my team versus what do I give to a virtual assistant? Because I think that’s another question we get.
Molly Rose Speed 8:35
Yeah, so again, depends probably depends on what, who’s on your team. But I didn’t realize this, when I started placing virtual assistants, business owners that already have teams, they’re not utilizing them to their capacity. So if you have a marketing assistant, or if you have a forward facing, I don’t know what the exact role would be like if they’re actually serving your clientele, right and account executive, maybe you have a bookkeeper, you’re gonna see things on your list that your team probably is already supposed to be doing for you. And that’s an easy handoff, that’s a conversation, there’s this catch all that you’re probably gonna find that you’re like, Oh, I’m not going to ask my team to start managing my schedule, and then calendar, they’re probably not in that admin level, unless you have a true admin, they’re probably already doing that nine times out of 10. So those things that are repeatable, administrative, that’s where you really want to look for that virtual assistant, that starter role to come in and take those things off your plate. And to your point a little bit more. When you do this exercise. You’re going to see all these things on your on your list that you didn’t even think you’re doing and you’re not even going to realize how much time you’re spending doing that like checking your email you an hour passes by. We don’t even feel it. Yes. Yeah, it’s it’s very eye opening to see how much time we spend doing very basic, managerial things are certainly boosting our business,
Anne Candido 9:58
which is a really nice segue. into the next point, which is have them do the task that disproportionately consume your attention. Look at that setup. Yes, like Molly Rose knew
April Martini 10:07
what was coming.
Anne Candido 10:10
So you brought up the example and I’m going to elaborate on it is like, how much time? This is for all of our listeners, do you actually spend it in your inbox? Right email, if you mentioned my res could be that like the biggest time and energy suck, especially for those who are OCD about having like, the clean inbox and April’s like cringing, because this is like, 1000 person I used to be this, I don’t do it anymore.
April Martini 10:35
And actually, you get mad at me because sometimes I swing the other way. And then I say put it in Slack. And and then I’ll respond.
Anne Candido 10:42
So yeah, we have a little bit of a channel war that goes on sometimes. But you know that that mentality can be very like, it can be very draining, because you’re kind of fighting against yourself a little bit, because you’re like, I really want to have that clean if it’s there for my peace of mind. But it’s not like you said, moving the business forward. Because when you’re in your email, you are doing somebody else’s agenda for the most part unless you’re like waiting for a response or something to that effect. But a lot of it is just junk. Yes, that really comes through. And so what if I mean, if you’re just going to hypothesize you had a gatekeeper that can get rid of all that junk and help you prioritize your inbox? And when we ask our, you know, our executives, like, would that help? And they all like, oh, yeah, that’d be fantastic. I would really love for somebody to do that. But which is usually then I can’t let go of control, what if I miss an important email or they like, don’t catch something that I would catch, or maybe if I really wanted to be in putting in that and then like, the FOMO sets in, and then though, the worry that they’re not going to be as responsive as they should be kind of sets in, I can tell you, all those excuses. They’re really just not real. So I practice email triage for at least like five years, and my last five years at p&g, and I would get, I would say, it was a light day if I got less than 200 emails a day. And so I mean, frankly, I mean, I could be in my inbox all the time. And so I do the triage, like, I would be looking for certain names, I would be looking for certain topics, I would ignore the rest, it was not unusual for me to have 10,000 unread messages in my inbox. But I can tell you in those five years, and it was like HIPAA, how much did you miss? I’m like, I would say probably in the five years, I miss maybe one critical email that I should have probably responded to. And maybe there was be a handful of ones that and maybe I should have engaged in, but it’s not really that important. Because what happens is they kind of find you on a different channel, they slack, you, they text you, Hey, did you see this email, right. So Melinda, this is one that you guys are really fantastic specialists at, can you help our listeners get a little bit more comfortable with, if it’s email or other things that you’ve helped folks kind of get over, that really consume their attention and really big waste shouldn’t?
Molly Rose Speed 13:07
Yes, this is probably one of my most passionate things to talk about. So I think for the listeners, if I can paint a picture for you, where I’m Friday, you’re at Inbox Zero every single week. So I offer that I train my virtual assistants operate. And it’s, it’s a reality, especially on those 200 email inboxes that we’ve mentioned. And if you can just kind of keep that vision for yourself and believe that it can be real, I’m sure a lot of you are saying that’s impossible, there’s no way but when a virtual assistant can come in, or any assistant they come in, and they’re not attached to the email, right, so they can get in there sift through the job, delete it, it doesn’t matter, all the stuff that you’re getting spammed with, or you’re not supposed to be to feed on, they can read through that because they get to know you your business and your role. And then the rest becomes something a they can take action on, you know, usually it’s a quick response that’s been taken care of, or a scheduling thing, or they’re sending an asset or something over. And then the rest becomes your priority. So when you log into your email every day at 10am sort of age, because that’s extremely unproductive in my world. You have your you know, one to 10, one to 20, if you’re really, really high and email, things that you need to respond to them and you can move on. So I just want to talk about like just envisioning that kind of day to day I think is super important. And then it becomes a control thing, right? So you have to kind of just, there’s no other way to say it other than truly mentally let go of the outcome of what this is going to be and trust the expert that’s going to come in and do this for you. And I say this all with a grain of salt takes time, right? Because they need to get to know you your business. There’s nowhere better to do that than in your inbox, is that sort of business seems to happen. And so that’s really, really helpful. We’ve had a lot of clients over the years that have just completely changed their productivity by doing some of the practices that I’m talking about. A gentleman was a super successful public speaker. But what’s you know, 90 days delayed on payments? Not kidding, that’s true number like in the six figures I’m getting paid is a national speaker. I mean, inbox is just booming leads and opportunities and brought a virtual assistant. And within a month, everything’s selected. Everything’s an inbox zero, he’s getting booked. I mean, it’s just adding that the percentages get on it, and you have a system in place of what they’re supposed to take action on for the certain emails that you’re getting. So just a perfect example of just having someone else handle that that’s a professional that can make life really, really great.
April Martini 15:35
Yeah, I mean, I have a sense of relief, just hearing you talk about it like that, because I think that that is an amazing way to look at it. But I do think that we, it’s one of our like, default triggers, right. And it is what you said, where they used to be the physical mailbox, like the mail dropping into the mailbox. Now, it’s the thing of, you know, the new emails coming in. But I mean, I personally and and made this joke about me the clean inbox thing for me. And when I think about how many hours I wasted, making sure that that inbox was empty. First of all, I don’t have those hours anymore. Like, I now have two kids, we’re running our own company, like, I don’t know how I like that would never work anyway. But I love the fact that it can be an end, right, that you can bring someone on. And that, you know, if I let myself go back to that neuroses, and I needed the clean inbox, there’s a totally other solution to getting that. And I also think your point about starting out in your inbox first thing in the morning is also huge. There’s so many things you can read about, you know, don’t lay in bed and get right into your email inbox. But I also find myself doing exactly what you said, were, before I go to bed, I tried to set you know, what are what’s the thinking stuff, I need to do first thing in the morning, because a lot of the days, I’ll get 45 minutes or an hour, we’re in the summer right now, at least, where my kids aren’t awake yet. And so that’s focused time. So I should be doing whatever that big thing is. And the days where I mess up is when I open that email, and I start going through and then I’m like, Oh, my 45 minutes is gone. And what have I done answered, like three emails and deleted 20 others. So your point is very well taken from that standpoint?
Molly Rose Speed 17:20
Yeah, absolutely. I just yeah, good, a good reflection on how we can start our days.
Anne Candido 17:25
Yes. So a little bit of a follow up question to this one. Because I know a lot of people are like, Yeah, that sounds really great. But I don’t want to let some like random person into my email that I don’t even know. And, you know, I don’t that’s not working as part of our business. There’s confidential stuff that comes from all those sorts of things. How do you help people overcome that fear?
Molly Rose Speed 17:48
Yeah, so just like anything, trust has to be, you know, given or that phrase, earned, right. So you’re not going to take some stranger and throw them in to respond to your inbox on day one that doesn’t, that doesn’t work. So my recommendation in this specific instance, and this probably goes with several of the tasks that are very personal to you, is to have them observe to start, you know, first of all, have them sign the right paperwork. So there’s days and confidentiality, haven’t observed. Just read your mail. For the first two weeks, just get a get, like I said, get to know the business, everything happens in the inbox, and kind of understand who the clients are, how do you how do you respond? How do you operate? Where are your downfalls and you’re not deleting things, right? Or you’re subscribed to everything under the sun, you know, there’s a lot of things that we can start putting in pair, just observe, and then have them start responding or sorting things or getting rid of the junk, that’s an easy thing to do or pretty, pretty basic, and then have them start responding but not sending. So you’re able to review what they’re doing or how they’re sorting things and two different buckets in your inbox. And I have ways of doing this, the client responds, the virtual assistant responds. And then everything else is an example. It’s a great way to organize your inbox, then you as the business owner or employee, the person hiring a virtual assistant can then kind of see how they’re doing it and get a coach that moment. And once you kind of see Wow, they’re really getting a mess, then have them start up here and now it’s perfect. There’s no mistakes, they’re gonna maybe book you with someone you didn’t want to be to go up to it. And then that’s a coachable moment, or you say, Hey, before you book calls, let’s just have that primer Monday morning call or Thursday, you know, hey, I’m clicking these three things gonna go thumbs up, you know, there’s things in place for you to check some balances there. And that brings me to another point when you’re going through emails and assistant, there’s a lot of things you can put into a project management tool like Asana or slack or an outside email thing, where if you’re bleeding with your virtual assistant, they’ll have a list for you and say, Hey, you have these seven meeting requests these aspects of you this person and you need to book this travel. This is what I found. You’re now ready. They’ll be the inside, and then they can do it. Or they can dictate what they want you to respond. And that saves so much time. So there’s just a lot of little tricks to do that you just have to kind of work through and be willing to do that. And
Anne Candido 20:15
gosh, you’re just gonna save so many people if they could just, yeah, give up the control, give up the control. All the time, you would say, Oh, okay. All right, that leads us really nicely into our third point four, four ways, virtual systems can improve your productivity help manage your business. And that’s having an extent customer service in off hours. So most of us, we work in one time zones, and sometimes we kind of try to stretch it, but for the most part, we work in one. But that doesn’t mean our business stops when we’re quote, unquote, off hours. And what’s more, there may be an opportunity to continue to sell in off hours. And for some of you who use customer service is kind of being your key differentiator, this could be one way that you actually differentiate with good customer service. So for some businesses and your they might hire a call center, but in others, like we’ve talked about solopreneurs, we’ve talked about freelancers, we’ve talked about small businesses, they may not need that extensive call center support, but they may want somebody to kind of help extend the time that they’re not actually like in the business doing the work on their computer. So just think about how much incremental value could you be providing if you extended your hours. So maybe you just need someone who will monitor your business’s general inbox back to the email for urgent requests and then funnel them to actual right person. So you don’t have somebody who’s quote unquote, has to be on call and get their whole evening ruined, because they get this random call. But it wasn’t really that important. Or maybe a very least that person, the VA can respond to that person. So you have that like immediate response. But their response is, I funneled it to the right person, and they will get back to you like first thing in the morning. So it just keeps your team from having to be like on all the time, which can be a really big drag, especially for sales organizations, or service based organizations. So I know my husband works for Rotax. And that’s a lot of what he does. And he gets calls all the time in the evenings from people who are in California, and we’re on our way to a soccer game. And he’s like, I can’t do anything for you right now, because I’m in my car on the way to a soccer game, right. So it’s like helping you facilitate some of these things. Now, if you sell globally, there are no off hours. So in this case, you may need somebody who does serve as a little bit of a customer service rep, to field inquiries or questions or even some of your social so being there to react to see if something pops up there. That’s sometimes where the first place people go when they have a complaint. So you might want to just be ready for how you can use a VA to be able to satisfy more of these needs. And these wants and desires actually really differentiate your business and really help your business shine through the rest of the industry. So Molly, can you say a little bit more about this and how you’ve helped businesses do this?
Molly Rose Speed 23:00
Yeah, absolutely. And one more thing. Two things, one, again, paint that picture your dinner with your family, and you don’t have to look at your phone, don’t worry about that call coming in and don’t want to worry about the email inbox. And we all been there, right? Even myself included around business. I’ll sit down at dinner and without, I’ll be cooking. And I’m like, What are we doing? This is not okay. So this is what we’re trying to eliminate. So we’re talking about you are present in your life, while other things are taken care of for you. I think virtual assistants can totally fit this, this need that we most of us need. There’s a term called fractional virtual assistants, meaning you don’t have to hire a virtual school that’s going to work 40 hours a week, eight to five, like we’re all used to your right, they can come in for a couple hours a day, if you start in the morning, plugging in for an hour. And if you want them in the afternoon or late early evening for an hour that can be done. So in this instance, you can hire someone that can come in, make sure that your inbox doesn’t have anything alarming at it at 7pm. And if anything after a little you know, that’s the next day we all expect that or later if you if that’s what your demand is. They’re checking your social media DMS to click social media that big thing to like people are commenting on stuff and you need someone in there to respond right away, especially because that’s all public. Or you’re getting a phone call, like you mentioned as an example. So that person can kind of toggle between two times a day to be busy for you. And then some people never too so you break that job description where you’re asking for what you need. And if having someone check in late evening is something that you need. There are people out there that will happily do that. You know, they put their children to bed and the virtual assistant can go plug in for an hour. That’s a dream to a lot of stay at home moms. That’s what they want to do working. So just knowing that you have that flexibility and those experts are able to do that for you provide a really great solution for what we’re talking about.
April Martini 24:56
Yeah, I mean, I equate it to, you know the world Before we had all this technology and email, right, where it was only maybe a phone call, but the likelihood of that was, you know, virtually non existent. And so then I think we got real excited about all the digital stuff and email really specifically we’ve been picking on throughout this entire episode. But the solutions that you’re offering, I think, get us back to a simpler place, I guess. But also just like the mind space away from it, because I think that’s a big part of it, too, like you mentioned, cooking dinner, and still looking at your phone. And it’s a very real reality for many of us. And it causes a lot of tension and stress where you’re like, Ah, I’m not here, but I’m also not here, and I’m doing neither thing well, and all of that kind of stuff. And so, I think, you know, one of the things that just by happenstance, I had happened at one point, and it’s not a virtual assistant, but it was a writer who happened to move to Paris, and we thought, this is gonna be horrible, we’re never going to be able to line up. But what the reality of what happened is a lot of what you’re talking about, I would give her the feedback at the end of my day, and I would wake up the next morning, and the work would be done. And our client could not have been happier. Because stuff just was so seamless. And the change has happened so fast. Now, when she came back, I had to manage the expectation that that really wasn’t going to continue anymore. Luckily, we had a great relationship by that point. But a lot of that stuff that we’re talking about, it’s like to be able to wake up and feel relief, or to be able to finish dinner and feel like you can relax or whatever that looks like for you I think is huge. Not to mention the fact that someone is working on behalf of your business when you don’t have to be and progressing things forward.
Molly Rose Speed 26:38
Yeah, I love the mention of the overseas virtual social share a little bit later. But that is an option. You have someone that works on a completely different types of links to and they’re working on projects. And you wake up in the morning and you’re like, wow, my asset that I sourced to be designed as an example is complete. Now I can provide a simple, so it’s a great, it’s also a really great, great feeling just uses weapons that everything happens faster, like magic.
Anne Candido 27:06
Yeah, it does. It feels like magic. That’s how I used to feel about the laundry chute. And my when I was growing up, it’s like you put dirty clothes down, and then clean clothes come up. It’s like magic. Your mom didn’t think that was so funny. But I still think it’s hilarious. But I was gonna ask you, Molly Rose when you were kind of going through like your personal experience. I was like, I wonder if Molly Rose has a VA, because it was like, that was good stuff. Very meta normal conversation, because he probably need a VA to manage your VA business too.
Molly Rose Speed 27:38
I do I do. And I understand all the control feelings of letting things go, especially under the VA control, you know, like I get it.
Anne Candido 27:50
That’s yeah, I could totally empathize with that. So our final point here for for ways virtual assistants can improve your productivity and help manage your business is to choose the right VA for the job. And I think this is going to be a really important one in my I’m gonna turn this over to you in a second. I’m just gonna set this point up. Because I think a lot of times people underestimate what a VA can do. And then they also have a lot of concern about like, how much time is it going to take to onboard them? And how much do I need to actually manage them at all? It’s just easier if I do it. Or it’s just easier if my team does. And then we get into that back to that first point of like, well, Is it distracting your team? Is it really enabling your team? Because if it’s not, then it’s probably worth the investment of time in order to be able to get somebody who’s highly capable to do some of this work for you. So maybe you can address some of the other ways people have used vas, I know you have your placement surface, how do you kind of like match make that so it the people who are feeling this way or need these these certain skills or capabilities, you think you’d get them the right one? And then you’d said a little bit about how the process kind of goes when you’re talking about the emails, but maybe you could just speak a little bit more to that. Just gonna set the stage for if somebody wanted to go into this, how do they even think about it? Or get started?
Molly Rose Speed 29:09
Yeah, so we’ve mentioned, you know, getting clear on the things you need to ask first, right? That’s step one, realize that you need to be a what do you need them for? And then that starts to create your job description, right? This is step one of hiring a virtual assistant. So not only on the job description are there those tasks, those initial tasks that you need, plus the future tasks, right, those are the things that you’re going to source them with right away and the things down the road, you’re gonna need them to know. So it’s very important that you make sure we have all of that good. So you hire the right person. But then there’s also the software that you use. There’s tons of everything on the market, especially marketing resources that we have at our fingertips that we need to make sure that our assistants are also well versed in So either they can train to it or or they already have a skill set. So tasks and software and then there’s the personality type. Think about who you’re going to work with best is that someone from the states that is going to be on a Monday morning call with your team and embedded in your business and knows probably your daughter’s name and is saying Merry Christmas, you know, that type of team member, right? Just because you’re virtual doesn’t mean you’re not a part of the team. Especially if you’re solopreneur. It’s a first hire, or this is your first buddy, right? That’s going to come in and care hopefully care about your business just as much as you are. That’s really important. So that personality said, introverted extroverted, are they super rambunctious and loud and want to come in and lead the meeting? Or do you want them to be more introverted and a little more like, you know, I’m going to tell you what to do. And I say that with respect, because there are people that want either of those emergencies, that pit will go. So it’s very interesting to see that that was one of my surprises in this role. And then talk about time, do you want them to work? Be available from eight to five? Okay, that’s probably a full time position, or are they just able to plug in in the morning and plug in later in the evening? Like we talked about? Are they on the same result as you or does it not matter? Those things are things to think about? As you get ahead? Are they gonna be answering client calls, and you need them available at eight Central, but they’re in Pacific Time, they’re probably still sleeping, right. And then budget. Lastly, budget is a big proponent. You know, this comes in on the a lot of things come up when we talk about spending when you’re hiring a new virtual assistant, you know, like, can I justify this expense, and nine times out of 10, with a quick conversation, it’s very justified, because you can start spending your time doing things that are going to drive the business forward, or your billable hours more than what you’re going to outsource, or your family life is justified more than what you’re going to pay this virtual assistant, that’s my big proponent here. So that kind of creates what I call your job description. And then when you go to find a virtual assistant, there are several places to do this, you know, I run an agency that consults with you every step of the way of making sure that we placed the right person with you. And we’re really strategic, and really, candidly good at that. But there are places tons of places to find great talent, your network is probably waiting at your fingertips if you’re unclear, you know, share it out with your network. Or if you have a lower budget, look for an overseas virtual assistant, you know, there’s great opportunities overseas, you’re paying a fraction of the cost you to be very specific about what you’ve outsourced there. So it just threw a lot of topics there, I just wanted to kind of share the overall kind of path. And then I want to also include that when you onboard a virtual assistant, it is so critical that you have the time to do that. And I say that because when clients are hiring virtual assistants that are busy right there, they’re all over the place for good reason. And they need a virtual assistant to help give them some relief. So it’s super important that you’re able to slow down even for an hour and a half. And do that proper onboarding call, do that password exchange that’s so critical, that two factor authentication that we all hate as a system, they’re comfortable, and then each week have those calls with them for the first six, eight, hopefully you keep going weeks of how this is gonna go. It’s super, super important. And that kind of lays the foundation for success. So when people ask me, What’s the most important thing to do when her virtual systemic, oh, we say onboarding, your onboarding is critical, because if you’re not present for it, it will fail. So that’s super important.
April Martini 33:32
Yeah, I actually didn’t find that at all overwhelming. I mean, I think you broke it down in a really nice way. And gave a checklist of sorts, because I think I can totally appreciate that where it would fail would be in the onboarding, but I also can see in the upfront the clarity of what you’re really looking for, because like you said, and we’ve talked about throughout the episode, virtual assistants can do so much more than I think people picture in their heads. But with that said, you have to communicate what you want yours to do, which sounds so stupid, but it’s completely true, because everybody’s definition is going to be different. And then I think the prioritization or where it falls, whether it’s time or budgetary, or what are you actually looking to solve with this. And it’s almost a Brief Write, like you said, a job description in our world, it would be more of a brief but this on paper is what I’m looking for. And then making sure that it’s understood on the other side, the why and the how it’s going to work and what those needs are paired with the piece of when the person actually comes on, and the rubber meets the road spending that time and I think that’s true. Anytime we delegate anything, right? It’s like, that’s where you get to, like you said, and sometimes it gets to the I’ll just do it myself, because it’ll be so much easier. And then you never get out of your own way when you do things like that.
Molly Rose Speed 34:46
Yeah, that phrase, I’ll just do it myself. Or it’s going to take me longer to train someone. Uh huh. Yep. My My solution to that is there’s a tool called Loom it video oh, So Loom.com And even before going to hire a virtual assistant, you’re the one doing the things in your business, just start recording. Okay, so I am building this newsletter, I am checking my email and this way, you know, create your training deck that solves this problem that we’re talking about. I can’t see I don’t have a T shirt on, we’ll teach them while you’re doing it. You know, so you’re getting it done. You’re teaching it. So just a little, little tip.
Anne Candido 35:25
Awesome. No, I love that. So just to build on this question, too, is I know we talked a lot about email. We talked a lot about a lot of other things at virtual assistants do but tell me within your your your agency, what are like you think that like the top five things you guys do really, really well? Oh, no, I already email was one of them. But what are like, give me give me like five things that you guys do really well, that it maybe a couple that might surprise people with regards to how I didn’t think I should have a virtual system do that. I never thought about that.
Molly Rose Speed 35:58
Yeah, so the things that are common scheduling 1,000%, don’t schedule your own staff, I started hiring a virtual assistant for that. And it’s been a game changer for myself. travel booking, I have a slogan where I spent a lot of public speakers are these two as well. And obviously, all you got to do is show up and speak We handle everything. For service we do so all your travel booking. And there’s a lot that goes into that, you know, your your car, your flight and the right seat, your first airline or hotel, all that stuff all on your calendar, you just got to follow it. Email marketing, so I don’t say CRM anymore, because there’s so much more that goes into CRM, but But thinking about sending broadcasts in your email newsletter tool, mark as our community marketing tool, or funnels, you know, basic sequence of channels, building those out for you like bookkeeping. So again, mostly for business owners handling all of your expense categorization, invoicing, collecting all of that. And then we kind of a catch all category of task management. But it’s really those things that come up, like, can you format this PDF for me? Can you outsource this to get designed? Can you convert this to a PDF and send it these seven people, the little things that seem to really bog business owners down that are very managerial. There’s that and then lastly, like admin, project management, so business owners, I gators so we have all these ideas and having that person that’s so linear, which bas genuinely are, especially the ones that we attract, to be able to take a big idea and break it down to like, okay, these are all the things that need to happen. These are the deliverables, these are the owners live due dates, let me help you with this. Having that person is really, really helpful. So we were able to fill that some oddball ones. I mean, he didn’t talk about personal, virtual sustained. Corporate Lee employed, this is where our virtual assistants can really be awesome for your personal life. But virtual assistants can not only support you in business tasks, but can also do your personal life. And some hobbies, like prefer that it’s something you want to do. So think about if you’re a business exec, and a mom, and you have a daughter in dance, and a son and soccer and another one in hockey. And so they’re able to like, make sure all those things are scheduled on your calendar are all their uniforms ordered, or the grandparents notified that these are under jeans. Right. There’s that. So I love that because I’ve explained that to moms, and they’re like, oh my god, that would be a dream. Like, I don’t want to do any of that. The basic things like grocery ordering or making sure that contractors are paid things like that. But then we also had a gentleman reach out and he said, No, my wife is upset because he never spent time together. And so I need date nights, or every three weeks on Friday night, we’re going to date. And so he enlisted one of our virtual assistants to plan these dates. And he’s like, sky’s the limit. So she’s like, this is so much fun. So she researched. Dave it was always like dinner and an activity or laying out cool bar, whatever it is or a theater thing. And he was like he didn’t tell her for a long time and so violate she’s like, there’s no way you’re gonna really great like you have taken card from the wife like you’re amazing. Thank you and the relationships doing great, right? So just interesting stuff that just having that person that’s like, that sounds so cool. That’s awesome.
Anne Candido 39:32
I love that I want once that. Oh, that’s awesome. All right. So our last segment is generally a marketing smarts moment when we have a guest we turn it over to them. Now let us just give us the last dice that you might have something that we might have, well, anything we might have missed that you want to add and just kind of put a bow on things and obviously tell people where to find you. Anything else that you want them to know
Molly Rose Speed 39:59
So we started this podcast talking about time, and how important that is. So I just want to kind of hit you over the head with, we’re the only ones deciding that we and making our life have less time, we’re deciding all of these things that we’re putting the more important than our kids soccer game, or the next business needed an accident closed a great deal, because we’re doing things that we really shouldn’t be. And so I’m just here to remind you and tell you that there are people that are far better suited to the doing these tasks and to give you relief, and you are fully able to receive that help. That’s a big thing in my world, where people just can’t fathom having that help, but know that we’re all deserving of that. So I think if this is you, and this landing, kind of start to do some of the things that we’ve talked about, create that list of all the things you do and understand all the things you’re not supposed to be doing. And then if you feel the call to reach out, we are here to help i My agency is VirtualAssistantManagement.com. So that’s our placement agency. And our academy is Virtual Assistant Academy. So if you ever have a virtual assistant that you are someone who needed that needs to be trained up a great person, you can we can offer that support to so I’m happy to talk with anyone I’m @MollyRoseSpeed on Instagram. And can you answer any questions?
Anne Candido 41:20
All right, well, no, this was awesome. We promise it was gonna be a very full and very helpful conversation on vas. I learned a time’s right. Like, can I have five? Right now I’m like, I already have my list. I’m like jotting down my list of all the things so hopefully you guys were doing that same thing and you call Molly rose and you see what she has to offer you because I think she could be extremely helpful, her and all of her VA so just to recap where always virtual assistants can improve your productivity and help manage your business. First have them did a task will enable the team approach this from two different angles tasks that are distracting you or the team task that can help boost yours and your team’s success. Have them did a task that disproportionately consume your attention like inbox management, which we talked a lot about, you may think you’re being productive as most emails managing other people’s agendas. Third is have them extend customer service and off hours for most of us we work in one timezone. How much incremental value could you be providing for you can extend your hours and finally choose the right VA for the job. Molly Rose provided a ton of great suggestions for this. So get with her and you can start your own journey and getting your own VAs. And with that we’ll say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts!
April Martini 42:32
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