In this week’s episode I want to talk to you about outsourcing and bringing on a virtual assistant. I’m going to tell you all the benefits of bringing on a virtual assistant, and how it will actually make you more money.
KEY TAKEAWAYS COVERED IN THE PODCAST
- If you are doing a task in your business more than twice, you shouldn’t be doing it.
- Every time you are doing a task that you don’t have to do in your business, you are paying your hourly rate.
- If a task is not your zone of genius or it is a process, you don’t have to do it!
- You do not have to do everything in your business.
- In the UK, you can expect to pay anything from £25-£40 per hour for a VA depending on experience. In the Philippines, you can expect to pay between $5-$15 per hour.
- You don’t have to have a full time VA, they can do as many hours as you need.
- VAs can get things done so much quicker than you can.
- Different people can do different things, no one can do absolutely everything.
- You have to make sure you are managing your team and giving them enough work to do.
THE ONE THING YOU NEED TO REMEMBER ABOVE ALL ELSE…
You do not have to do EVERYTHING in your business, you can outsource it. Whilst they are doing those tasks, you can focus on the things that only you can do.
HIGHLIGHTS YOU SIMPLY CAN'T MISS
- What is a virtual assistant? 05:00
- You do not have to do everything! 05:35
- My VA experience 12:00
- Hiring a Filipino VA 13:42
- The cost of hiring a VA 19:20
- Working with a VA 23:56
LINKS TO RESOURCES MENTIONED IN TODAYS EPISODE
Hi and welcome to this week's episode of the podcast. How are you doing? So I just want you to pitch it for a second. I'm sat in my office, windows open. I've got a fan that blaring at my feet. I'm hoping you can't hear that too much.
And I'm slowly melting. Now I am really not one to complain about the weather, but I just really struggle when it's humid. I love the heat. I don't like sitting in my office melting and slowly my makeup falling off my face because it's so warm. So that's where I am today. Recording this podcast episode.
And I'm recording it late again. The team are so very kind and gracious to me because obviously these last few weeks have been somewhat crazy and hectic, and I am still only just getting back into the swing of things. But the other thing that's happened is obviously when mum was poorly and died and obviously I'm seeing my dad an awful lot, make sure he's okay.
I was basically putting everything on hold. So there was calls. I should have done interviews. I should have done me being interviewed and all these various things. And now of course, I've pushed them all back and they're all in my diary at once. So my days, are crazy busy as well as I've literally just come back from seeing my dad just to make sure he's all good.
So it has been a little bit of a busy few weeks, but I'm hoping now to get ahead, which would be good. However, during this crazy time, something kind of cool has finished. A project has finished for us here. And that is my new website. Now I am a huge advocate of you still having a website it's still really, really important.
And next week, we've got an interview where we talk about websites and we talk about some of the things that you want to do to ensure, to convert people when they're on your site. But I'm a huge advocate for it. And I've always had someone do my website for me, because as you will know, I am not that techie.
So a website is definitely not something I would do for fun. So I've been working with the very lovely Ben Bellamy and he has created me a beautiful site, which I love, and I've done lots of different things to this site. So for instance, my speaker page goes into loads of detail of my, about page is my story now.
Um, so if you didn't know my story, then you'll get to hear that. And there's lots of, kind of, um. There's lots of like little features and things that I didn't have before. So I'm really pleased with it. I love it. Please do go check it out. I'd love to hear what you think. So that would be fab. Okay. So that's pretty cool.
We got that done. Cause it didn't feel like I was going to get that done that while everything else was going on. And actually this is kind of like a good, a good time to talk about today's topic. Because as I said, I got someone else to do my site. Because I do not have the skills and yes, I could learn them because we're in a world where we have Google and it can teach us anything.
However, I don't have the time or the inclination to do either of those things. So it made perfect sense for me to outsource that. To pay someone who does know what they're talking about. Do know what they're doing and get them to do the work that I would take forever to do, and it probably would have been dreadful.
And that's what I want to talk to you about today. I want to talk to you about outsourcing and in particular, talk to you about bringing on a virtual assistants. And I'm going to be real teachery today, and I'm going to like go a really firm hardline with you because I see obviously businesses all the time.
I speak to entrepreneurs all the time and I see that basically. They are nervous or they have a load of reasons why they can't bring on a virtual assistant. Mostly down to “I can't afford it”. But today I want to talk to you about how not only bringing on a virtual assitant will be amazing, but also how it will actually help you make more money.
So this episode is very, very much in praise to my amazing assistants that work with me and almost like an odd to them. And both of them have dealings with the podcast. So both of them will listen to this. And I want them to know that they are a massive, massive support in my world. And my business would not be the business is today without having my systems that I've had.
So let's get started with this. So let's just talk about what a virtual assistant is just in case you didn't know. So virtual assistant is basically someone that works with you in your business from a virtual place, obviously. So they don't have to be in the same room in the same town or even the same country.
And they work alongside you to do specific tasks and things. Now. There is a saying out there that basically says, I think James Wedmore originally said it to me that “If you are doing something in your business, more than twice the same task, you shouldn't be doing it”. And I want you just to, I'm jumping around here a bit, but actually it's something just coming to my head.
I want you to think about what's your hourly rates. Okay. So I don't know whether you've given that any thoughts since you have your own business and no one is actually paying you by the hour. And if they are paying you by the hour, it's when you're specifically doing something for that person. And therefore you might not be getting a full time salary being paid by the hour.
But I want you to think about what you actually charging at your time outs. And then I want you to think what if you had to pay that every time you sat and did a task that you didn't need to do? What if I had to pay someone my rate, every time I wanted to mess around in Canva for a few hours now I do love messing around in Canva.
So the thing is, I don't even give that to anybody. I like to do it, but I do it in an evening while I'm half watching the telly and having a glass of wine. And therefore, I don't feel too guilty about that. But, I want you to think of it that way. I want you to think about every time you are doing a task that you do not have to do in your business.
What if you had to pay yourself your hourly rate and I mean, your good hourly rate. I don't mean the hourly rate that you like, “Well, you know, and probably there's”, I mean, this is what I should be charging hourly rate. So that's the first thing I want you to think about. Like I said, if you have to pay it for it, that would be a lot of money for you to mess around on Canva, if that's your thing.
Okay. The next thing I want you to think about is when you went into business, you went into business because you, you are really good at a particular thing. The thing that you sell, the thing, that's your service. You are really good at that thing. And that's why you went into business. So I went into business for myself because I kick butt up marketing. Okay. And I'm feeling really empowered cause I've just finished reading the Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes. And basically we need to like be our own biggest cheerleader. So I am going to be blazing and say, I am amazing at marketing. I've spent my entire career. Doing marketing, talking about marketing, helping businesses with marketing, making huge mistakes in marketing.
So I am really good at what I do. I know I am. So I get into this business and I think brilliant. How hard can this be? I'm an expert in marketing and that's then my business. I'm going to help people with marketing. Yeah. But that doesn't mean I can run a business that doesn't mean I need to do admin. That doesn't mean I need to do finance hate finance.
It doesn't mean I know how to do all those other bits of my business. And not only, even if I do know it, even if I do know how to complete a process for the podcast or do something else that is, you know, something that isn't doing marketing, that's not my zone of genius. That's not where I am best spent.
It's like having a whole team of people and giving, I don't know, the chef and getting the chef to go and plaster your walls or, you know, getting a marketing person to go and do some HR. It's just not our bag. It's not our thing. So we are not the most efficient and effective people to do this. So that's the other thing I want you to think about that you, this is not your job.
You shouldn't be doing this. This should be someone else. And again, I know you're saying, but I can't afford this. I can't afford this. Bear with me on that. Okay. So, like I said, first thing, your hourly rate, if you had to pay yourself, that would be a very expensive member of staff. Secondly, this isn't your zone of genius.
This isn't what you should be doing. And thirdly, if it's a process, you don't have to do it. So if it's a process, anybody can follow that process as long as you make it clear enough. And that's what I want you to think about because the other thing that people often think when they talk about getting a virtual assistant is, “Well, what would I get them to do?”
And you're kind of in your head think, “Well, I'm not sure what I'd get him to do. So I don't know that I need one.” Oh, believe me, the minute you get one, and then you start realizing actually you could do this. And actually you could do that. It suddenly takes a whole host of work off your desk. Which in turn, this is where the, it will make you more money.
You get time free to do what you're brilliant at doing, or do the things in your business that really moves the needle. So for instance, creating the podcast, I can't get anybody else to do that. It has to be my voice. It has to be me and therefore I have no choice, but okay. This week is different because things have been up in the air, but normally I'm way ahead on this. You know?
I don't want to be trying to like scramble around on a Thursday, which I'm doing today in order to get it out for Monday. I want to make sure I've got more than enough time to create really well crafted podcast episodes. I want to make sure that I've got the time to reach out, to flipping amazing people that you will love to listen to.
And honestly, only I can do that. That's got to be me. So therefore I need to have the time to do that. I don't need to edit the podcast. I don't need to write the show notes, I'd be horrendous at both of those jobs, to be honest. Uh, so you'd have a terrible experience. If I did it, I don't need to schedule the social media posts or create the social media posts. Because some of those things are one, not my zone of genius and two a process. And once we've worked out the process, I don't need to do it. What I should be doing is focusing on creating more amazing content for the Academy or doing a coaching call with the Academy or marketing my 90 day program, which is coming up starting September.
And I'd like you to come and join me. And I'll tell you more about that at some point. But that's where I excelled. That's where I'm good in my business. And you are good at the particular thing that you do. So for instance, you might be a personal trainer. You are good at personal training that does not mean you are brilliant at scheduling social media posts.
You might be a jewelry maker. You are brilliant at that. That does not mean that you are perfect at putting your regular content out there and turning it into a blog. You know what I mean? It's you don't know, need to feel like you have to do everything. So as if I haven't convinced you enough, let me talk some of the details.
So I want to tell you about my VA experience because I've had a few, not that as in, I go through them as, and they still work for me, I've just added to them. So my first VA it was Katie. Who's been on the podcast. We'll link up to that. So you can go listen to her. And she turned out to be way more than a VA in the sense of, she initially marketed herself as a VA, but this woman had got the most amazing experience. She've got lots of different stuff that she could support me with that actually got to the point where Katie became more of like an online business strategist. So she would help me, almost be my light, you know, right arm. And we would talk about where the business was going and what we were doing and building the team and that sort of thing.
So Katie very much and very quickly became not what I would call a traditional VA and Katie charged a fair bit because of that fact, because Katie is based in the UK, Katie has a huge amount of different experiences and she was doing tasks that were very kind of, I'm trying to choose my words really careful.
Cause I don't want it to sound like the other VA tasks aren't important. Cause they're crazy important. But she was doing more strategic stuff. Okay. So that was Katie. That's why I initially bought on. And I worked the Katie for years and years and years, and it was wonderful. She's great. And she did obviously do some of the more process type tasks, some of the more helping me out type tasks.
So Katie would reply to emails for me. She would organize interviews. She would almost travel if I wanted that. But to be honest, sometimes like things like that, because I would be so picky about what time I wanted to go and what seat the I wanted. And so I would just do those things myself. So then we had the podcast and we worked at the process of the podcast and I knew that it would be really helpful if someone could do it.
And I knew that wasn't Katie, because I didn't want to pay Katie to do the podcast because it would have been very expensive. And I didn't need someone at her level because like I said, she really is now of more consultant type level. So I started looking for a VA and I used a company, which I will link up to here in the show notes.
I'm going to have to check what it's called. I think it's Filipino online, I think. But check in the show notes, I'll put the link. And I use that company and basically I went on and posted a job. Now you have to pay to post a job, but to pay, to post a job, I think it was like $60 a month. And I only had it up for a month and then I removed it and I stopped paying.
So I only paid them $60 to advertise this, this role. So. I put the role up there. And I thought about prior to putting the roll up there, I started writing down, well, one, I knew how to process that one, but I would say to you to do is write down when you are doing something more than once. So are you constantly doing the same sort of thing?
So if you do a blog, you obviously need to upload the blog. You need to choose a picture. You need to maybe do the SEO bit. You are you doing that on a regular basis? Cause if you are, should you really be doing that? Does it need your input to do that every time? But, like I said, I've got a process for the podcast.
I knew that's what we wanted to work on. So I put an advert out there and I actually said, I want some for social media and VA skills and what I did. And it was a great tip that I picked up again from James Wedmore. Cause he's a big advocate of using Filipino VAs and you don't specifically have to use a Filipino VA.
I'm just talking about my experience. Like I said, I've got Katie in the UK and then I've got now two from the Philippines. But basically his suggestion was that when you put your posts stop, because you're going to get a lot of applications, put something in the middle of the post, that's a little bit different.
So for instance, in the middle of my advert, I put “When you apply for this role, I'd like you to tell me, what's your favorite quote or share your favorite meme? Or your funny joke.” Or something like that? Because what happened was when I'm then inundated, which I was because there is lots of amazing skillful people who are looking for roles.
When I was inundated, I basically looked at the application if they didn't include that thing. I immediately dismissed them. Because you get loads. So you've got to find a way of immediately reducing those numbers down. And in all honesty. If they can't read the application and do what I ask in the first point, then it's not going to be great from there.
So once I had a few people to look at, I went and looked at their profiles. I went and looked at what they were charging in terms of hourly rate, because I let them give me their hourly rate. I looked at their skills. On this website it gives you their level of written and verbal English. So I obviously wanted high levels of them.
So communication would be good. And basically I, I went and had look at some people and I found sort of two or three people that I thought you looked really good. Contacted them and asked them. No, I think actually, sorry. Before two or three people, I emailed probably about 15 people, some questions. So the reason behind this was one, I wanted to know things like, “What would you do if you couldn't get something back to me time? How do you manage?” You know, “When you're a bit stressed”, what is, Oh, what else did I put on there?
Um, “What do you like on weekend? What do you love doing? What do you hate doing?” Just so I can get an idea of like the person they were and again, so I could see their written English, see how well they understood me. So all those people came back. It was all perfect. Understood, absolutely fine. Not a problem.
And I ended up picking it up two or three and then I gave them a paid task. So I said to them, “Regardless of what happens? I will pay you five hours.” So they knew that they weren't just giving me or doing a task and I wasn't giving them any money. So already I'm kind of showing I'm putting skin in the game.
So I gave them a task. So how well they followed it, asked them how long it would take them or how long it took them. And then from that, I made my decision and I found Sophia and she was amazing. And still works to me this day. It's been over a year. And is brilliant. And Sophia manages the entire podcast process.
So once this is edited, the show notes have done Sophia then pretty much does the rest. And she's great. And I love working with her. She's brilliant. And then, then when I wanted someone full time, I brought on Johanne and I did the process slightly different. So instead of putting up a job advert. I went and searched for people whose criteria had to be met in a certain way.
So for instance, I said, right, show me people who have experienced, and this, this, this, their English level is this, this, this there, I can't remember what else I could choose on, but all to do with like their experience and their ability to do the job. And then I looked through their profiles and I picked up a handful of people to reach out to.
And what was interesting is I did bring on someone right before Johanne, before Johanne got back to me actually. And this lady I bought on, I was like, right. We'll do a month trial. And bearing in mind, it's freelance. So you can stop it at any point. And I put her on this month trial and within the first week I was like, this is not going to work.
And I just went straight back to her really confidently and said, “I'm really sorry. It's not gonna work”. Cause there's no point in wasting your time. So if you do start working with someone and you think, “Well, it's okay, but.” That's, that's a really sure sign. Now don't get me wrong. There's a learning process.
There's a learning curve. But if you're not confident that it's just a learning curve, then I would definitely say no. And then amazingly at the same time, Johanne came back to me and apologize that she hadn't come back to me sooner. She'd had troubled, she was locked out of the website and password issues or whatever.
And Johanne came back to me. I almost saw it as a, that was meant to be. Contacted her. We had conversations. She did a test for me, and as I've been working over three months full time for me and is brilliant and amazing. So let me talk money. So obviously I'm not going to divulge what I pay my team, but I'm going to give you a ballpark figure of what you can expect to pay.
So the UK VA's I would say that for a good VA you're probably looking at 25 to 30 pounds an hour for a really good VA. You're looking at 45 pounds an hour. In the Philippines, you can look to pay anything between kind of 4, $5 an hour up to $15 an hour. So that's what you would pay. So you firstly, can see a massive difference in the cost. Okay. So this is where I'm saying, when you're sat there saying I can't afford to. It doesn't need to be very expensive for you. The next thing you need to know is you don't have to have them full time. So Katie and Sophia do part time hours. They, they basically have a task or not, Katie, Sophie has a task to do, and she builds me for the length of time it takes to do that task. And obviously over the years, you know that we've worked together. I know, and she knows roughly that's going to be pretty much the same each month, depending on how many episodes go in a month and that sort of thing. But, you know, we know where we stand with that. So it's never a surprise.
She doesn't need to track her time and I'm perfectly happy with just paying her invoice the minute it comes through. So it doesn't have to be full time. The other thing is you will be amazed at the speed. Any virtual assistant can do stuff. So when I first took Katie on, I think she was 10 hours a week, not a week a month.
Right. And you'll probably start the game in a month. What the hell can they do in 10 hours a month? You would be amazed because. Then what Oh, you have to think about is when you are doing these tasks or tasks that you don't need to do. You're like doing another million other things in your, this isn't your zone of genius.
This isn't your thing. You're squeezing it into the end of the day. When you doing whatever it is you do for your, for your day job. But you know what I mean? Whatever your service or product that is you sell. Whereas when they go in and do a task, they literally pick up the task, do the task, stop. And it actually could be like 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes.
So it actually isn't, they get so much done. It's amazing. Also, like I said, anything that you don't have to do, don't do. And don't feel bad that you're giving it to someone else. This is where my team excel. I have different people who do different things. I have people who write for me. I have people who designed for me.
I have tech people now that do the tech side things. I have community managers or social media managers. I have obviously the, the, you know, my VA's and my assistants and they are all individually brilliant at the stuff they do. And that's the other thing. Okay. I don't want you to look at a VA as if they are some magic human being that can miraculously do everything amazingly because they won't be able to, they will have a particular skill that they're awesome at.
So Johanne is absolutely brilliant at following. Any given task I give her. So if I do a video and I'll talk more in a second about how I, how I manage this, but if I send her a video of a particular task, she watches it once. She's got it. She's done. If I say to her, every Monday, we need to do this without fail.
She's emailed me and she's being proactive about it. She's amazing at this stuff. So but, you know, I'm not going to use Johanne to design me a new website because that's not her zone of genius. The same way as I would use Katie to do a strategy day, but I wouldn't ask Katie to manage the podcast. So it's horses for courses.
It's, it's different people to do different things. So again, don't think you're going to find this one amazing person and you almost don't want one amazing person because of that one amazing person decides they don't want to work for you anymore. You've literally put all your eggs in that one basket.
Now I hope that my team will stay working with me forever and I love them all dearly. However, you do have to sell you sort of guard yourself just in case. So it would have been super easy and probably, you know, people would think, “Well, why don't you get Johanne to do the podcast because she's full time and she could”. But actually Sophia does it.
She's great at it. And I want that. I want that kind of knowledge that I've got Sophia doing that thing over there. And I've got Johanne over here doing this. So I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket again. So. That's a few points on kind of thinking about how to bring them in, in terms of like what they do and how they do it.
So we use Slack. Johanne, and I use Slack and we talk over that pretty much the whole, all time. She does have a TeresaHeathWareing email address. So we do occasionally email when someone's copied around and we're having a conversation about it. But we pretty much do everything through Slack. She has access to the Dropbox.
You could put a particular. One file in the Dropbox and just only give them access to that if you want. But she has access to my Dropbox. And then basically she has logins to different things and I generate sort of new users or whatever it is and give a log logins to the things that she needs. But most of the tasks are done through Slack and I'll sort of message her in the morning and say, “Hey, can you do so?
And so for me today, or I've got this new task.” Or she has particular things that she knows she does. And therefore she just gets on with those tasks as well. When they came on board with the Sophia or Johanne, I recorded videos, like there was no tomorrow and I still do really. So I use Loom and we'll put a link to it in the show notes.
I honestly, I don't, what's wrong with me today. I feel like I need to just check the name of everything. Yes, it is Loom. So I use Loom. And basically we, it's really, really good. I use a free version. You're able to record your screen, record your voice. You can record your face as well, but I don't bother.
And I literally take them through exactly what I'm doing. So I will say this is how to upload a social media posts to Agorapulse, or this is how to, um, let me think what else I can remember. Oh, so for instance, I do win Academy email every Monday. And in that Academy email, I share lots of great things that's happening in the Academy.
And one of the things I share is what discussions have been going on in the Facebook group. So that's now Johanne's task, that every Monday Johanne goes and duplicates the Monday email. So I did a video about how to duplicate that in Kajabi. And then she, I show her right, you go into the the Facebook group and I literally recorded myself going, “Oh look, there we go.
Wendy's asked the question of”, so I go back to Kajabi and I write, Wendy asked the question about, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then what happens now? Every Monday is without me even asking Johanne emails, slacks me, sends me a message saying the emails now, ready for you to take over in Kajabi, which is great, because sometimes I forget it's a Monday, cause at the moment I don't know what day it is. And that reminder of right. That's there. All I've got to do now is my little intro bit and add some other updates and we're done. So it's things like that. So like I said, we pretty much do everything through recording everything through. I do it. And then what I get to do is I get her to watch the video and type that process up into Trello so that we've got an actual process written down as well.
So. And then, like I said, she takes on the task and does the rest of that task. And the other thing that I want to mention it, if you are thinking about taking someone on full time, rather than a number of hours, one thing I said straight away to Johanne was that you will not be full time to begin with. I will pay you full time, but you won't have full time hours.
When I was in hospital, she couldn't really do much apart from the regular things because I wasn't doing much. So you have got to manage your team. You have got to make sure that they're working effectively for the money you're spending, but I was okay with the fact of, do you know what I'm paying you full time.
It's down to me to make sure you've got work to do, and if I'm not around and obviously I wasn't, that's absolutely fine. I just took that on the chin. And don't get me wrong Johanne was super proactive in terms of what can I do? Give me this, give me that, it was brilliant. She was amazing. So, hopefully, I've given you a bit of an overview and haven't gone into like specific steps or like really strategy stuff in terms of, if I've just given you this overview of why you really should consider bringing on a virtual assistant or adding people to your team to do things that you don't have to do.
Like I said, the aim of this is you pay out some money. That you should be less than what you want to pay out yourself at. And then while they're doing those things, you're freed up to do the things that are more important that actually make you money or the things that only you can do. So in the early days, it's a bit scary.
I'm not gonna lie. On the first few sort of months. I was thinking, “Can I afford this? Is this going to work?” But honestly, if I hadn't have taken Katie on. All those years ago, five, six years ago. I wouldn't have all the people that I have now. And the beauty about this, not that I suggest you view it in this way, but the beauty is that they are freelance.
They do invoice me and therefore there is no real contractual, you know, you've got a sack, some or you've got to, you know, to get out of it. Yeah. You can change that because they are a freelancer. Like I said, I don't view it that way. I don't bring someone on until I can have them permanently. In fact, what I used to do, I don't really think about it now. Is I always, almost used to think, right.
I've definitely got enough in the bank to pay their salary for X amount of time, but now it's fine. It's a case of, I bring them on. And it frees me up to do more of the other stuff. And do you know what if it means I have to take a bit less if it means I have to do some uncomfortable things, like back in the day, prospecting to get work, then that's what I did.
Cause that's how we, I made money. And then, but it freed you up without being freed up. What happens is you are too busy in your business doing this stuff that you don't need to do to get more work. And then what happens is you start losing clients or you, you, you know, where you should be marking and being proactive, and then you panic and you go into marketing mode, you get more clients than you get too busy.
You don't market. It's an ever going circle. So hopefully you've enjoyed this episode. I hope that gives you something to think about. I will put all the links into the show notes because I know I've been a pulling and telling for real what it is. So if you head over to TeresaHeathWareing.com/131 , the numbers, not the words, then you will find the show notes and the links.
Also, you can go check out my new website, which is super cool, and I love it. Okay, next week, I am back with an interview talking about websites and we're going to go through eight things that you need to be, make sure you're doing on your site in order to convert people from prospects to customers. So have an amazing week, try and keep cool. And I will see you then.