Well done! You’ve finally decided it’s time to make more efficient use of your time, and hire a virtual assistant (VA) or outsourcer. It’s a big decision but it should be a game-changer as far as how much your business can grow with all the help you’re going to get. Obviously the first step is to decide on WHO will be your outsourcer, but this article is about training him/her once you’ve settled on the right person so we’ll jump to that step.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that you’re going to have to spend some time training them in the beginning. How much time will depend on how you go about it. Here are some tips:
Don’t think you have to sit down and hold their hand while training them. I know you want to tell them everything, but the best way is to create training materials they can refer to over and over. Otherwise, they can hear what you say but until they start doing it, they might not have questions or concerns. If they can go back over the training materials as they go along performing the task for the first few times, they won’t have to bother you with questions that are answered in the materials. Plus they won’t feel stupid.
Probably the best way to train an outsourcer or virtual assistant on a task, especially one they’ll be required to perform again and again, is to do a training video. Walk them through it all via video. Show your screen and exactly how to perform the task, step by step. This is powerful for them and ultimately beneficial for you.
Another training method is written instructions with screenshots. Sometimes this works better for you as you can be sure you’ve added all the details you want them to know. It’s also easier to update written instructions when there are changes in how you do business than to have to redo an entire video.
Third, consider audio training. Some tasks can be fairly simple and a Step 1, Step 2, Step 3 recorded message will suffice. This is especially true if your virtual assistant already has extensive knowledge in your field.
Lastly, don’t forget about the training programs that come along with products you’ve acquired. You might buy a product you know will be good for your business but you don’t want to take the time to learn it. Just pass everything on to your virtual assistant, have them learn it and then implement.
Whichever method you choose for training your virtual assistant be it video, audio or written instructions, don’t personalize it. That way you can use the same material for another outsourcer. You may lose your virtual assistant for whatever reason, or you may be expanding and need more help so it just makes sense to create the training material once and use it over and over.