Our Top Tips for Conquering Overwhelm in Your Coaching Business

Our Top Tips for Conquering Overwhelm in Your Coaching Business

Our Top Tips for Conquering Overwhelm in Your Coaching Business

It’s common to feel overwhelmed at times when it comes to your health coaching business, so if you’re feeling like there’s a lot to juggle right now, you’re in good company. You wear many hats as a health coach and business owner, so there are going to be times when you feel like it’s a LOT!  We’ve been there too and there are still times we feel overwhelmed, but we’re much better at managing it and dealing with it now. So today we’re sharing Our Top Tips for Conquering Overwhelm in Your Coaching Business

Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed can prevent you from taking action or making decisions which keeps you stuck, so by implementing our 4 tips, you’ll feel less stressed and be more productive.   

Let’s start with tip #1 for conquering overwhelm in your coaching business. 

1. Prioritize tasks and projects

This is the one that helps me the most and I use it all the time. Make a list of what needs to be done and include the due date or deadline.  I like Trello for this but I also use pen and paper, so use what you like. For bigger projects that have multiple steps, I use Trello, but for my general to-do list that I refer to a couple of times a day, it’s old school pen and paper in my spiral bound notebook from Target.   Each week, determine what tasks and projects are a priority for the week or for the month. Sometimes, a priority is based on a deadline you want to meet such as your weekly email or blog post and sometimes, it’s a deadline for content for social media or something else. Map out a timeline and what can be done each day or each week, so you have a plan to help stay on track.  Even putting things in writing can help, so you have a visual on it.

I did this recently with a promotion I was doing.  I felt like there were several things I needed to do in addition to preparing for the promotion, including outlining podcast episodes, writing copy for Facebook ads and more, so I prioritized based on the deadlines, and that’s always helpful for me. I also looked at my list of promotional ideas for my 3-day sale and looked at what was a must and what was optional, so I could decide what I was going to include.  Not everything made the cut based on my timeline and other things I had going on and that’s okay.  When I’m pressed for time or feeling overwhelmed, I ask myself what the top priority is right now and what is optional. 

2. What can you simplify or streamline?

It’s easy to get caught up in complicating things or going too elaborate sometimes.  An example of this would be that you’re going to be hosting a webinar and you want to have a workbook to go along with it for the registrants to download. While a workbook would be nice, it’s not a must, so if you’re feeling overwhelmed, perhaps this is something you can do next time.  Another example would be instead of hosting your online challenge or group program in a platform like Kajabi, how about hosting it in a FB group for now? Instead of focusing on everything being perfect or having all the bells and whistles, focus on how you can help clients in the easiest way possible.

Our Top Tips for Conquering Overwhelm in Your Coaching Business

3. What can you outsource?

There is a lot to do as a wellness business owner and that means it’s very easy to get lost in the details of the behind-the-scenes tasks. Entering and formatting blog posts, creating and scheduling social media posts, writing emails, creating graphics and/or slide decks, setting up landing pages and sales pages, the list goes on and on.  Write down everything you do and see if there are tasks you can have a virtual assistant do for you.  Even if you take one or two things off your plate, it will free up some of your time to work with clients or reduce your overwhelm.   We did a detailed episode about finding and working with virtual assistants on episode 308 – it was called: Getting Help Sooner Rather than Later – 5 Steps to Take When Hiring a Virtual Assistant. We highly recommend listening to that one if you’re thinking about hiring someone.  I still have my very first VA on my team from 7 or 8 years ago. I remember feeling elated and relieved to delegate some things to her and I’ve never looked back. I was doing it all on my own for too long, so I know how that is. I’ve added more people to my virtual team over the years, and I’d be lost with out them.  Adding even one assistant for a couple of hours a week can make you feel like you can come up for air and get a break from your long to-do list.

4. Take it one step at a time and one day at a time.

Remind yourself that you can only do one thing at a time and you’re doing the best you can and remember to take breaks. Taking breaks during the day and time off each week is critical because if you burn out, it’s so much worse.   Sometimes, just changing your environment or physiology can help.  Get outside for 5 minutes, take a walk, do some deep breathing, get a change of scenery by getting some work done at a local coffee shop, chat with a friend – whatever makes you happy.

Which one of these tips do you think will help you the most? Or maybe you have  a tip that helps you with overwhelm. Come on over to Instagram to let us know.  You can find me at @kathleenlegrys and Karen at @karenpattock.

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Why Marketing Yourself Makes You Feel Vulnerable & How to Build Your Confidence

Why Marketing Yourself Makes You Feel Vulnerable & How to Build Your Confidence

Why Marketing Yourself Makes You Feel Vulnerable & How to Build Your Confidence

If you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable marketing your business, you are not alone.  For some coaches, the feelings extend beyond mere discomfort and ventures into the realm of physical reactions such as nausea, sweating, and, in some instances, even tears. Today, we’re exploring this topic and offering a few strategies we think will help if this is something you are facing right now.

A few months ago, we touched upon a related topic in an episode titled “Crushing Self-Doubt – How to Tackle & Overcome Imposter Syndrome.” If your apprehension about marketing your coaching business and programs is rooted in imposter syndrome, we highly recommend checking out episode 333 for helpful tips and insights.

As a quick refresher, Imposter syndrome, loosely defined, is the nagging doubt that undermines one’s abilities, making one feel like a fraud. While imposter syndrome is one condition that can hold you back from marketing your coaching business full on, what we’re discussing today is something completely different. It’s more of a physical reaction brought about by the feeling of vulnerability. What we’re doing today is exploring what’s causing that vulnerability, so you can turn it around.

For many coaches, marketing their program offer isn’t just business, it’s personal. Of course, it feels personal because ultimately you are your brand. Your business is built around you and what you have to offer. Often, being a health coach is part of your identity. We totally get that and understand how all of those things can feel intertwined and connected.

Vulnerability often stems from a core fear. There are multiple fears that arise when you are inviting someone to work with you…

  • Fear that they won’t see the value in your coaching program
  • Fear that they won’t believe that you have what it takes to help them reach their goals
  • Fear that they’ll say it’s too much money
  • Fear that your program won’t get the client your promised results

In researching this episode, we Googled, “Why do people fear selling”?

The answer that came back was…

“This innate anxiety—about social rejection drives most people’s fear of selling. The fear of the customer rejecting you as an individual, instead of merely rejecting your offer, is at the core of most people’s aversion for this kind of interaction.”

So, at the core of the vulnerability lies a fear of rejection. Ouch! None of us want to feel rejected so that’s why it’s important to embrace certain strategies that will help you separate our personal connection to the outcome of any sales conversation.

Here are 5 strategies you can start using this week:

1. Take on pro-bono clients.

One way to build your confidence when it comes to marketing your program, and something that we always recommend, is to take on 3 clients for free and coach them each for a 30-day period. Be up front with them that goal is for you to practice your coaching skills and in return will be anxious to receive their feedback in the form of a testimonial. We both took on pro-bono clients when we first started out and it really does build confidence. The best part of this practice run is that you’ll get to discuss your program with them, marketing it, without the pressure of asking for the sale. This is a perfect time to ask friends and colleagues for referrals. And more often than not, at least one of those clients will turn into a paying customer after the 30-day period is up.

2. Stop making assumptions.

One of the mistakes coaches make when marketing their program is to assume that their would-be client is going to have certain beliefs about the program, particularly as it relates to the investment. It’s easy to put our limiting beliefs off on our potential clients without even realizing it. When that happens, you are basically sabotaging the relationship right from the beginning. 

3. Don’t take ‘no’ personally.

We know that’s easier said than done but here’s a reframe that should help you overcome taking it personally. When someone says no to working with you it really has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. In essence, they are saying no to their desired outcome and/or reaching their health goal. It truly has nothing to do with you or your program.

4. Shift your perspective.

How would it feel to think of yourself as “sharing information” about what you do? Or “showing benefits” or “sharing your passion?” If you feel uncomfortable or anxious about “selling”- find a way to shift your perspective to one of sharing information rather than “convincing someone to buy.” If you reframe your perspective to one that feels like you’re sharing information and giving your potential client the opportunity to make the desired changes in their life that can be the mindset shift that makes the conversation feel uplifting rather than salesy.

5. Keep practicing!

To overcome the physical symptoms you feel right now when you’re inviting someone to join your coaching program, just know it gets easier the more you do it. Make a point of making at least one offer every single week. That could be in your Facebook group, through email, on a discovery call, or on your social media accounts. Let your audience know that you have an open spot in your coaching program, or invite them to book a discovery call.  You can do this at the end of some of your posts to make it easy.  On average it’ll take someone 10-12 times of hearing your offer before taking action.

If getting better at discovery calls is one of the skills you want to work on this year we also have an amazing episode called: How to Lead a 1 on 1 Discovery Call that Results in the Client Saying Yes. It’s episode # 24 which we will link up in our show notes. This episode will give you a proven framework for running successful discovery calls which will lead to building your confidence when marketing your coaching program.

Let’s recap our 5 confidence boosting strategies:

  1. Take on pro-bono clients
  2. Stop making assumptions
  3. Don’t take ‘no’ personally
  4. Shift your perspective
  5. Keep practicing
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Crushing Self-Doubt: How to Tackle & Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Crushing Self-Doubt: How to Tackle & Overcome Imposter Syndrome

Crushing Self-Doubt: How to Tackle & Overcome Imposter Syndrome

We’re covering a topic that is in the hearts and minds of many coaches whether they are brand new, or they’ve had their business for a while. Each stage of business can bring on feelings of imposter syndrome.

The definition of imposter syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud.

There are many reasons to feel self-doubt that comes with a big helping of imposter syndrome. It can be because…

  • You’re just starting your business and don’t have much experience yet
  • You’ve been away from your business for a while and aren’t sure how to dive back in with your followers
  • You want to make some big changes in your business and aren’t sure how your family, friends and followers will take the news
  • Maybe it’s a little bit of all of those things that has you feeling unsure of yourself.

But here’s the thing, imposter syndrome is a thought, not an actual fact. It has no control over you and isn’t part of your identity. You can choose to ignore thoughts and feelings of imposter syndrome and replace them with healthier, more self-affirming thoughts instead.

Do you ever second-guess your abilities to help a client or the value you bring to the table? If you answered yes… rest assured you’re not alone.

Imposter syndrome can cause fear of success, fear of failure or even fear of being exposed as a fraud.

One coach recently shared with us – I suffer from imposter syndrome every day and I’ve been at this a while!

Every time you up-level your business you are going to be challenged by imposter syndrome.

Today we’re sharing 3 steps to cure self-doubt and impostor syndrome once and for all.

Step 1: Learn to quickly identify the feelings that cause you to feel like an impostor.

Being able to quickly identify the feelings, or even situations, that cause you to feel inadequate is crucial to shutting down those nasty voices inside your head. Typically, each of us has a very specific voice reel that plays in our head when we feel like we’re not good enough. As soon as you recognize that voice you must turn it around with feelings of positivity. Keep a list close by of people you’ve helped & successes you’ve experienced that you can reference whenever necessary. Believe the list of grateful clients that is fact and not the negative voice in your head.

Step 2: Identify a support person or group that you can rely on in times of need.

Having a friend, family member or trusted colleague that you can confide in is a must. All of us need a go-to support person in our life. In business, entrepreneurs often join mastermind groups to find support. We’ve always believed that when two people share a similar experience the potential for extreme healing and growth is usually the outcome. Having that support person that knows what your experiencing is the quickest way to banish those feelings of fraud. Your accountability partner will call out your feelings of inadequacy and remind you that the voices in your head are just your brain’s way of keeping you safe and inside your comfort zone.

Let’s discuss this further in step 3.

Step 3: Become crystal clear on what is fact and what is fiction.

Anytime that you begin to feel like an impostor ask yourself this question, “Do I feel this way because of something I know for a fact or is it coming from a feeling of inadequacy?” When you have strong feelings about something it can feel very real, however, without something factual to back it up, it remains just a feeling. Knowing the difference between the two is the best way to break that cycle of negativity.

The last thing we want to share before we wrap up today is that most health coaches are carrying a huge burden on their shoulders thinking that they need to know everything about their niche so they can answer every single question someone asks them. This is a false belief and is not the case. Your role as a health coach is to be a trusted and reliable resource and sometimes that means simply saying, “I don’t know the answer to that question off the top of my head, but I have a network of colleagues that I can tap into to get the most up-to-date information on this topic.”

Your potential client will appreciate you doing the legwork for them and will never ever look at you as an imposter for not knowing the answer to their question.

If you’re feeling those pangs of self-doubt or imposter syndrome, just know that it’s a normal part of the process and it means you truly care about helping people.  The more clients you work with, the more confidence you start to build – it’s all a process.

What helps you feel more confident as a coach?

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Setting and Achieving Purposeful Goals for Your Wellness Business

Setting and Achieving Purposeful Goals for Your Wellness Business

Setting and Achieving Purposeful Goals for Your Wellness Business

When you hear the words ‘goal setting’ does it make you feel a little uneasy or does it motivate you to put things into action?

If you haven’t set goals for your business yet, it could be that you aren’t sure what type of goals to set and/or you don’t want to feel disappointed if you don’t reach them. 

Whatever your reason, we’ve got you covered on this episode where we’re sharing ideas for 3 types of goals to focus on in your business and how to set yourself up for success when setting them.

Before we dive into this episode, we want to let you know that we’re hosting a free live training called: 3 Secrets Every Wellness Business Owner Needs to Know to Grow a Thriving Practice in 2023.

You’ll learn a Streamlined Blueprint that Attracts Dream Clients, Grows a Niche-Specific Email List, and Generates Consistent Monthly Revenue on Autopilot

We have two dates: Oct. 17th and 18th

To save your spot, register here:

Let’s get started with goal #1

1. Income: How much revenue do you want your business to generate each year?

You can have different timelines for this such as your income goal for the next 12 months, and then what you want to earn after your first year. Break that down into a monthly goal and how you can get there. For example, if your initial goal is to earn $2,000 a month, you can reach that with 5 clients at $400 per month or 10 clients at $200 per month.  You can also reach that with a combination of 1-on-1 clients and your online group programs or membership.  Setting income goals is the first step to coming up with a plan to put the pieces in place. 

TIP: We like setting 3 levels of goals for this: low, medium and high. This takes some of the pressure off of having to reach one goal where you either reach it or you don’t. 

The low goal is one you feel pretty confident you can reach. The medium goal is one that will be a little of a stretch, but it would be nice to reach it.  The high goal is one that would be amazing if it happened. 

NOTE: Goals aren’t intended to make you feel like you’ve failed if you don’t reach them – but they serve as a way to measure results, so you know what’s working well and what you can do differently next time.  It’s just data that you use to decide how to move forward.  There will always be things you want to change, especially when you’re starting out. 

2. The second type of goal to set is how many new email subscribers you want to get each month.

Your new subscribers are new potential clients, so having a focus on growing your email list each month will help you build your business.  If you have an email list and you aren’t growing it each month, it’s shrinking because people unsubscribe – it’s just part of the process.  In order to have a current and active email list, bringing new people in each month is critical.  So, what would be a low, medium and high goal of new subscribers for you?  Your goals may change if you’re running FB ads or you’ll be a guest on a podcast or an online summit where you know you’ll be getting in front of a new audience.  How many times per month are you promoting your free offers, so your followers know about it?  Again, when you set a specific goal, you can reverse engineer a plan to reach it.   

3. The 3rd type of goal is deciding how many hours per week or days per week you’ll work on your business.

This is important to do because working 7 days a week, long term is a recipe for burnout. You also want to set a goal for how much time off you’ll take each year. How many weeks do you want to take off? Be sure to put it on your calendar, so you can work your schedule and promotions around it. When you decide how many days a week you want to work, you can look at the tasks and projects that need to get done and decide what you can delegate and outsource.  Growing a business requires you to wear a lot of hats and the fewer hats you have the wear, the more you can focus on the things that only you can do such as work with clients, show up on video on social media, do podcast interviews, deliver workshops, etc.  The beauty of having your own business is that you get to decide how you want to run it, so being intentional with this is key, so that you don’t end up with a business that is running YOU. 

What goals do you want to set for your business? Be sure to write them down and refer back to them often. Make adjustments along the way and know that your goals serve as a guide to lead you towards reaching them.

Be sure to save your spot for our free live training: 3 Secrets Every Wellness Business Owner Needs to Know to Grow a Thriving Practice in 2023.

We hope to see you there!

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Our Top 7 Book Recommendations for Health Coaches

Our Top 7 Book Recommendations for Health Coaches

Our Top 7 Book Recommendations for Health Coaches

Karen Pattock and I love to read, so today we’re sharing a few of our favorite business and personal development books that we think you’ll like too.  These are books that have made an impact on us personally or in our business (or both). 

In this episode, you’ll discover: 

  • A list of our favorite business and mindset books that made a lasting impact on us and how we show up each day as coaches and entrepreneurs
  • Insight into what we loved about each book and why we believe they will have an impact on you too
  • Personal stories of what we were struggling with and how these books pushed us to change and grow

Good books are meant to be shared and we’re excited to share our faves with you.

1. The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran. You’ve likely heard us talk about this book on the podcast before because it is one of our all-time favorites. If you’re a planner like we are then you’re going to love the premise of this book. Essentially, the author shares a strategy for planning and running each 12-week increment – or 90-day interval as a year in your business. If you’ve ever tried to put a one-year plan in place on January 1st, chances are by the end of May you were already off track. Projects took longer than expected, new opportunities presented themselves, your personal life had something unforeseen come up. When you plan in 12-week increments, and they are considered their own individual profit and loss centers, it’s easier to stay on track with meeting your goals.

2. The Power of Less – By Leo Babauta

I read this book a few years ago and I just picked it up to read it again recently.  I like it because it’s really about simplifying things to get the best results – in business and in our daily lives.  It’s about setting boundaries and goals, so you can have better focus, less stress and live a more fulfilling life.  Rather than feeling like you have to do it all, when you focus on less and you go all in, you’ll make more progress. 

The author talks about choosing the tasks and actions with the most impact – he calls these high-impact tasks.  He also covers something we both know to be true, but it can be difficult to stick to sometimes and that is focusing on the task at hand instead of multitasking, because focusing on one thing at a time, makes you more productive because you can take things to completion, and see progress faster.

In a nutshell, it’s about streamlining your life by determining what is essential while ditching the unnecessary, so you can accomplish the goals that can change your life for the better.

  • You’ll learn how to break down goals into manageable tasks.
  • Focus on fewer things at one time.
  • Create more productive habits.
  • Improve your focus.
  • Increase your efficiency.

The book is only 170 pages, so it’s pretty easy to get through. 

3. The One Thing by Gary Keller. If you tend to not finish projects or are easily distracted by shiny object syndrome this book is for you. It is an amazing book that outlines the necessary steps to be your most productive self.

In The ONE Thing, you’ll learn to:

  • Cut through the clutter
  • Achieve better results in less time
  • Build momentum toward your goal
  • Overcome that overwhelmed feeling
  • Master what matters to you

The most amazing thing about this book is you can apply the principles to not just your business but your personal life also.

Our Top 7 Book Recommendations for Health Coaches

4. Rise of the Youpreneur, by Chris Ducker. The subtitle of the book is: The definitive guide to becoming the go-to leader in your industry and building a future-proof business.

This book is kind of like your A-Z guide for starting and growing a business for your personal brand.

I’ve met Chris in person, we’ve had him on the podcast a couple of times, and he’s a great teacher. He has a way of breaking things down in easy to understand and implement steps, so the book is very actionable.

Here’s some of what he covers in the book:

  • Defining your perfect customer
  • Positioning yourself as an expert
  • Growing your business circle – making connections and networking
  • Building your email list
  • Developing your pricing strategy
  • Launch strategies for your promotions

It’s a really good book for anyone who is starting out in the online space or they’ve been at it a while and want to fine tune things a bit.

5. Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes.

Shonda Rhimes is a television writer and producer of some of the most popular shows ever created. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder, and Private Practice. Needless to say, she is a very busy and focused woman. She also has 3 kids at home so staying in her lane became her formula for success for years.

Then through a conversation with her sister she realized that she was always saying no to the opportunities that came her way. That’s when she decided to embrace what she called a Year of Yes.

Karen loved this book because it’s so easy to double down on building a business once you’ve made the decision to become an entrepreneur and forget everything else around you. After reading Shonda’s book, Karen realized how isolated she had become since starting her business in 2011 because she was focused on building the best business she could. After reading this book a few years back she has reprioritized the things that are truly meaningful to her, opened herself up for the unexpected, and to say ‘yes’ more than she says ‘no’.

6. My next book recommendation is another one by Chris Ducker, called Virtual Freedom. The subtitle is: How to work with virtual staff to buy more time, become more productive and build your dream business.

This book was instrumental to me when I was looking to start outsourcing things in my business.  It’s a complete step-by-step guide that walks you through how to decide what to outsource, how to find the right people, writing a good job description, communicating with your virtual team and much more. One of the trickiest things for me in the beginning was trying to figure out what to delegate, and this book was really helpful. I highly recommend it if you’re ready to find people to help you in your business, so you can focus more on the income-generating tasks rather than getting lost in a sea of endless tasks that others can take off your plate.     

7. Perception: Take Charge of How Others View Your Brand, Become Irresistible, and Make a Bigger Impact by: Christo Hall & Franziska Iseli. Karen loved this book, and she has read it a few times over the years. The author uses 3 different entrepreneurs at different stages of their businesses, to illustrate their marketing strategies. This is not your everyday boring marketing book. Instead, the authors brought their teachings to life through the telling of a day-in-the-life of three friends that are all business owners. It’s a quick read and will have you turning the page to find out what happens next.

Perception teaches you to take charge: to define and then create the perception of you or your business that will lead you to the lasting success you desire. It is aimed mainly at small business owners and entrepreneurs who are looking towards defining a brand strategy targeted at increasing business growth. The strategies behind influencing perception outlined in this book also work to shape our personal lives as well.

We hope you enjoyed our book recommendations, and you take the time to read at least one of them.

Enjoy! 

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Getting Help Sooner Rather Than Later – 5 Steps to Take When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Getting Help Sooner Rather Than Later – 5 Steps to Take When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Getting Help Sooner Rather than Later – 5 Steps to Take When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

One way to make progress in your business a lot sooner, is to outsource some of the tasks that other people can take off of your plate. When you focus on the things only you can do such as work with clients, run your programs, show up on video and expand your circle of influence, you will feel less stressed, more productive and can actually earn more money.   

But how do you get started when it comes to hiring a virtual assistant?

In today’s episode of The Wellness Business Podcast, you’ll discover…

  • The 5 steps you should take when hiring a virtual assistant that will set that working relationship up for success right from the start
  • A list of questions you can ask past references to get a feel, ahead of time, if this virtual assistant is a good fit for you
  • Our very best pro-tips that you should consider when hiring a virtual assistant whether they will be filling an ongoing support role or taking care of one-off tasks for you

Karen and I both use multiple virtual assistants in our businesses. If we didn’t, we would never be able to keep up with the daily and weekly tasks that are demanded by our businesses.

As an example, for this podcast alone we have a podcast editor, someone else that posts our weekly episodes to the podcast blog, and then we each have our own VA’s that post our weekly podcast episodes to our individual websites, as well as we each have our own social media managers that create our podcast graphics and schedule our posts accordingly. That’s six virtual assistants between the two of us just for the podcast.

To be transparent, in the beginning of our businesses we both waited way too long to get virtual support. Knowing how that negatively affected our businesses and health we felt it was important to give you these 5 pro tips so you can hire help sooner rather than later.

Here are 5 Steps to Take When Hiring a Virtual Assistant

Step #1 – Determine your business needs – While it would be great to outsource almost everything in your business there are some things that only you can do. The flip side is that there are certain tasks that should be outsourced because your time is better spent elsewhere.

To figure out where you should begin, start by making a list of day-to-day or one-off tasks that you would like support with. This will not only help you get clarity about where you want help, it will also help you decide if there is overlap between tasks so one person could handle more than one thing.

Step #2 – Set clear objectives – In order for you to establish a win-win relationship with your virtual assistant, you need to set clear objectives from the start. When we first began our journey in hiring a VA we tried to find someone that could do it all for us. The idea of having one person that knew the ins and outs of our businesses felt like a dream come true. But we quickly realized that not only is it unrealistic to expect one person to be an expert in all things, it also set the virtual assistant up for failure. Not a great way to kick things off.

Now, when we hire someone, we look for someone that specializes in a certain area that meets the needs of our objectives. The clearer you can be about your job description, due date, and pay structure the more likely all of your objectives will be met.

Step #3 – Check their communication skills – Searching for virtual support is now a global opportunity. You have the ability to connect and work with people from anywhere in the world. That is a tremendous opportunity as long as there is clear communication between the two of you.

One of our favorite ways to make sure we’re a good match for a virtual assistant is to do a test project. As an example, when Karen was searching for a new social media manager she posted a job description, went through the applicants previous work history as well as the portfolios they submitted and then she chose her top 3 candidates. She reached out to each of them and asked if they would be willing to create 3 social media posts and graphics for her Instagram account. She offered to pay them 1 hour of wages based on their preferred hourly rate from their application and she gave them a due date.

Believe it or not, one gal missed the due date and never reached out to Karen. When Karen contacted the VA the next day, she offered a reason why she was late so Karen set a new due date for her. Once again, she missed the deadline. When she did finally submit her posts and graphics, Karen already knew that she was not a good fit because she could not meet a promised deadline. Communication is key and at no time did she take the initiative to let Karen know she was going to be late in submitting her posts. Not a great first impression.

Maria on the other hand, went above and beyond. She researched Karen’s social media and her website. Her trial posts and graphics were ideal client specific, and incorporated her marketing message, so she was hired. 

Step #4 – Ask for their portfolio and/or references – One of the easiest ways to find a great virtual assistant is to ask your colleagues. Karen and I have shared our virtual resources with one another for years and it’s always been a great fit.

If the work you want done is something visual, like social media graphics, pdf creation, or video editing, then it’s easy to ask them to provide a portfolio that includes multiple examples of projects they’ve completed in the past. If they are truly a professional virtual assistant they will already have this created ahead of time which means they can supply the link easily.

If you’re looking for general virtual support with things like email management, calendar bookings, organizing Dropbox, customer service replies, etc. then that’s not as easy to put into a portfolio. This is a great opportunity to ask for references. References are people that you can reach out to that have worked with this person in the past that will share their feedback about what they think of your potential hiring candidate.

Being prepared with a few questions ahead of time that you can ask the reference will make this process go more smoothly.

Here are 5 sample questions you can ask:

  1. How long did you work with the virtual assistant and what tasks did they perform? This question will help you understand the length and nature of the previous working relationship and the tasks the virtual assistant has experience in handling.
  1. Can you describe the virtual assistant’s communication skills and responsiveness? As communication is a crucial aspect of any remote working relationship, this question will give you an idea of how well the virtual assistant communicates and responds to queries and requests.
  2. How well did the virtual assistant adapt to new tasks and challenges? This question will give you an idea of the virtual assistant’s problem-solving skills and ability to handle new tasks and challenges.
  1. Can you describe the quality of the virtual assistant’s work and attention to detail? This question will give you an idea of the quality of work that the virtual assistant delivers and whether they pay attention to detail.
  1. Would you recommend this virtual assistant to others, and if so, why? This question will give you a sense of the reference’s overall impression of the virtual assistant, and why they would or would not recommend them.

Step #5 – Start small and build your skills as a project manager – In any good employer / virtual assistant relationship, both people need to bring their A-game to the table for it to be a win-win. I’ve found that oftentimes, the quality of the work being delivered to me is determined by how well I’m doing my job as the business owner and project manager. That’s why I like to start with smaller projects and progress from there over time as we build a relationship.

Here are some things to think about when hiring virtual support:

  • Are you clear in what outcome you want to receive by providing examples, clear specifications, due dates, pay structure, milestone check-ins, etc.
  • Are you meeting any expectations put on you by the project such as delivering sample screenshots, brand colors, user names and passwords for necessary platforms, etc. If you aren’t meeting deadlines you’ll be showing your virtual assistant that you do not put a priority on deadlines so why should they.
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the relationship you have with your virtual assistant. It takes time to build trust on both sides so starting with smaller projects, getting great results, course correcting as needed, and moving forward in incremental steps is a recipe for success.
  • If your working relationship with your new virtual assistant is going to be ongoing, rather than a one-off project, let them know up front that you’ll start them off with a 90-day probationary period. After 90 days plan to have a meeting to see how things are going on both sides. Is it a good match? How’s the communication? Is there anything you can do to make their job easier? Great communication works both ways and this is a great way to set clear expectations and parameters of the first 90 days.

What is one task or project you can start outsourcing in the next 30 days? Once you get started with outsourcing, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!

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