The Social Selling Sisterhood Podcast Episode 78- When and How to Use a Virtual Assistant

direct sales podcasts May 31, 2021

This blog was transcribed using AI

Yeah. Hi friend. Welcome to the social selling sisterhood podcast. I am Lindsay Dellinger and I have many titles. High school spanish teacher, dog mom, world traveler and direct seller. I empower women to run your direct sales business is the right way. So you can earn the money. You deserve to live the life of your dreams and travel the world. Now we got that out of the way. Let's get started. Hey friends, what's up social sellers? My name is Leslie Dollinger and I am here today to talk to you all about something that I think is super underutilized in direct sales, social selling, network marketing, whatever industry you like to say that you're working with and that is hiring a virtual assistant. Um Also referred to as a V. A. Um as we were chatting today I I never realized that people didn't know what I meant when I said be a. So I just wanted to clarify that virtual assistant would be a V. A. And this would be someone who is working and helping you with different business tasks virtually. So they don't need to be at your home. It's not someone that you employee and that you need to do like W. Two W. Four all that jazz with um someone that you would pay for work that they perform for you. So this could be something like an individual task or like a project. So something like more one time it could also be something that you are doing continuously. So I just wanted to share my experience and how I found my virtual assistance. Um And if I said assistance, I have plural because I have more than one business. Um And I also want to point out with that that not all virtual assistants are created equally. Just like not all direct sellers. Like we're all different right? We all have different talents and different things that we prefer to do or that we do well or areas of expertise and the same thing is going to go for your virtual assistant. So um I have well let me back up so I decided to get a virtual assistant for the first time when I joined a mastermind last year. So this was 2020 this was um I joined the mastermind, I think technically mid february. It started up like the end of March really got going the beginning of february or the beginning of april and I'm pretty sure I hired my first virtual assistant probably midway through that month. Um That came a lot from the prodding from my coach at the time, which I'm very grateful for that because I think I just had this idea in my mind that I could do all the things and I could do all the things and that's the thing, like you can do all the things and I'm sure you feel like you are able to do all those things. Like it was very much in mind set where I'm like, why am I going to pay someone to make a graphic for me? I know how to make the graphic, Why am I going to pay someone to um You know, upload my podcast transcripts when that just takes me five or 10 minutes to do. And here's the thing that I really want to encourage you with your mindset around this is to just think of, you know, okay, yes, that is true. You could do all those things, but do you need to be doing all those things and what could you be doing in that amount of time that you get back? So the final straw for me? So actually, you know what, it might have been, it might have been the end of april, beginning of May when I officially hired someone. My final straw was I was trying to make end of the month shoutout graphics for my team um and we were honestly probably about half the size that we are now and I it took me like three hours to get this graphic right because I kept missing someone off. Um I think the reports in mind events, the reports were not running right? So I was just like spending and I literally spent three hours making this graphic That in my mind should have taken me like 10 minutes and I was like, I can't believe I literally just spent my whole night, my whole working time. Like I had so much other stuff that I could have got done that were actually income producing activities, but like I really need to be doing, but yet I spent this time on this graphic, so I'm like, okay, this is it. Like I need to listen to the advice of my coach and at least just give it a try and you know what if I hate it, if I feel like I'm not getting my money's worth. If I feel like it's not a good investment, good use of that, then you know, I don't have to keep going with her. So um there was actually another woman in my mastermind who was a virtual assistant and like she was making courses for a virtual assistant in training virtual assistance. So I reached out to her first because I felt comfortable. It was someone that I knew um we hopped on, I think we hopped on a zoom, I got her rates ahead of time, so I like knew what to do, you know, to expect going in. Um And when she sent me over her rate, she also sent me like a, like a cover sheet or something, like kind of like a resume, but like this is all the things that I'm capable of doing, and I was looking down through this list and I was like, oh my gosh, this is amazing. She can do email copy, she can do captions, she can make graphics schedule your posts out, interact as you send private messages, follow ups. Um I mean there was just so much and there's so many things that I'm not even mentioning website um you know what different websites stuff and I was like, oh my gosh, just amazing. So I met with her and what works for her and I, and this is actually what I do because I don't currently work with her anymore, I've moved on and I use different virtual assistant. Um But what has worked for for my programming is you know we had this meeting, I have a google doc that is shared between me and my virtual assistant and I literally right down like the tasks that are to be done how often they're to be done and I put like a script if it's a script that I'm sending to someone um my passwords are on there, so they have my password to my trailer board because you guys know that I love my trailer board and I keep track of my customers and parties and all the things on my trail aboard. Um You have my facebook, log in, my podcast, log in my website, log in my virtual office login for my back office. So it needs to be someone that you feel comfortable. Mhm. Giving those logins to. Um or else you need to come up with task that they don't need to log in, if that makes sense. Because that's one of the things that I hear a lot as well. I don't feel comfortable sharing things that are linked to my bank account. Like I mean technically facebook probably if you've set up facebook pay is linked to your bank account. So um that's why I would start with someone either someone that you know or who comes recommended or it's part of a like a legitimate company. So I have had to sign a contract. Um and the contract has, you know, in terms of condition and service and like this is our expectation of zero expectation um you know, a nondisclosure um that they're not gonna share the things that they know that you're working on because we are all creatives in here, right? And they're going to see our numbers and all this stuff. So it's really important that we have that protection that privacy as well. So you're going to want to make sure you get that signed and um if it's someone that's professional that shouldn't be a problem. If it's someone that is just like a friend of yours who is not technically a virtual assistant, you could probably google like virtual assistant contract or terms of conditions or something and something would probably pop up that you could create. Um and then you want to find out the payment schedule. So I the first, the first lady I worked with, I paid her completely up front again, I trusted her and every day that I worked with um I get my hours itemized. So her and one of the women I work with right now have a google like um spreadsheet shared with me and they updated real time so I could go in and check if I wanted and like when I very first started, like my first week I would go and check because I was just curious, I'm like okay how much time stuff really taking because I was a little nervous, you know, I didn't know and and like is it going to take her five hours to make a graphic like you did me or is it going to do you have an hour? Right, so um I did check that. I don't check it now. It's been going fine for me. I mean I've been using a virtual assistant now for well over here and not come with, there's been no problems. Um So that's something that you could request is like a live time update, something like that where you could go in and check. And then the other guy that I mentioned um So I have to virtual assistance now the other one that I work with just sends me something at the end. Um And I actually pay her after the fact The other to the one I started with and the other one that I currently use that has the real time updates. Um I bought a package with them, it was like a 40 hour package because it was cheaper that way to buy more hours. Um And I want to say I think I pay anywhere between 18 and $20 an hour when I when I bunched that together and she actually broke it up for me, I pay like 3 50 like in february and then my 2nd 3 50 was due at the beginning of april I think it's how we did that. The first guy I did I had to pay all of it up front. So again you need to find something that works for you, your budget. But don't forget this is a tax write off. I'm not a tax professional but it is a tax write off And to me those 40 hours or however many hours that I'm getting back that I'm able to do things like record an actual live video. Like my virtual assistants can't record a live video for me right? They could edit it, they could upload it to Youtube for me but they can't actually do the things that take like my genius right? Or even answering questions about product or suggestions about product or things that are a little bit more personalized or things that like I actually have to be doing. So I will tell you once I started working with a virtual assistant, it lifted so much pressure. That was honestly a lot self imposed. But also just like okay, well I know that someone is touching my business today even if it's not me for more than like 15 minutes so I can do my personal connections, I can make sure to be making some content on social media. I can get my face out there which we know getting your face out there is what really matters right? You have to be visible. You have to have your face in front of people or they're not going to know like and trust you and that's how we build our business. So um that's that's my why that's why I got into into using a virtual assistant. I'm so glad I did. I will never not have one now. Um so let me just tell you a little bit about what each of my virtual assistants do and you can probably find someone to do both things. Um, I just kind of have a special circumstance on how the second woman I was introduced to her. So let me just explain. So, um, I'll start with Megan who I pay up front, so I pay making up front the tasks Meghan does for me and both of my via these guys are absolutely amazing. Like, I cannot say enough. I actually don't think either one of them is taking on new clients, but um, you want to find people like this. Okay. So, um, Megan does actually, I should probably just pull up my thing that has my list. I should have had it up, but mega takes my transcripts from my podcast and upload them onto my website. So, Michael job websites, that everything that is um that you guys can listen to and the social selling sisterhood podcast, you can also read it if you wanted to. So that is not my Lindsay calendar dot com website. So she puts that up there. Um she also all of my new fright facebook friend requests like once or twice a week. She will send out messages if I have not reached out to them yet um and just say like, hey, thank you so much for connecting. I'd love to learn more about you sometimes have a great day. It's just like a quick touch point that like that doesn't necessarily need to be me because I told her what to say, She's saying it from my account, it's my personality. That's totally something I would say to people. But then once they respond to me, then I take the time to respond back to them, if that makes sense? So I kind of like she's the system a little bit in that way. Um Anything what else she does a lot feels a lot to be honest. I think for my VIP group, any new person, my VIP group, I have like a little script and she modifies it. So it is, it definitely sounds like me. It is something I would say. You know, welcome to my group. Thank you so much for joining. Let me know. Have you ever heard of our products? Would you like a sample? I'd love to send it out, They respond and then I'm the one who's like responding back to them. Um And then with the social selling sisterhood especially I've had more like one time projects coming up like okay um are foundations of social selling courses coming up. I would like some help with inviting, so she'll help me with some invites for that. And um so I'm more message her probably weekly with like hey This week can we add X. Y. Z. 2? Um You know your tasks, we can cut this will add this. So it's kind of a very fluid um working relationships that we both have and it's been going really well. We actually just had a zoom call last week just to check in which I totally recommend doing. Um And I'm super hands off and some people are more hands on. But but to me the purpose of having my virtual assistant is it's someone that I trust. It's someone who knows me, knows my language, knows my values and so I can be a little more hands off. I trust that she's going to send the messages that sound like me, that are not picky, that are not spamming, that are going to make people feel good and then I'll be able to like continue that conversation. Um she also makes my audio grams for my podcast and gets those posted on instagram, my facebook, my facebook page and Pinterest, which has been really great, so she's helping me build my Pinterest audience a little bit um and same thing, she, you know, she'll make pins for things, um my course coming up, you know, just kind of little different odds and ends and we have a relationship through Baxter, so I'll just send her quick box and we check in back and forth a few times a week, works great, super flexible, super convenient, absolutely love Megan. Uh my other original sustain is Chandler, Chandler is the daughter of two current wealth 11 of my two current coaches that I work with and um she also works with several other women who are um leaders in my company. So she already had all that experience before I got to work with her, which was amazing. So she goes into my back office, she will pull up my monthly reports. Um and at first I was happening her do weekly reports and making graphics. She also was my catalog both women do. Um I was having her do like weekly shout outs and honestly I just got to be kind of a lot for the size team that I have. So she does all of my monthly end of the month graphics, let me know when they're done so I can go ahead and post them and put my own wording and all of that. She does a motivational monday posted my group, we do a sunday shines spotlight on someone from our team and those are things that get nominated. So she has access to that google form with all the responses and she makes the graphic, she copies and pastes what they say. It makes like a nice post in my team group. So she does a lot of the scheduling for um, you know, the recognition in my team space. Like pretty much all the recognition besides I make a banner every month. And honestly I kind of enjoy doing that because that is my time that I go in and I looked at my reports and stuff like that. Um So I'm not completely hands off my business, I promises and she does all of that. She also schedules um my girls night in, in my facebook group, so I'll just send her a link. I'm like, okay, I want this one scheduled on this day, like it's just a link to the pictures. Um And she knows like the wording that I use more or less. She goes ahead and schedules without and then I can go in if I want and I can modify the words that she chose is the captions for the post, if that makes sense. So I do that sometimes sometimes I forget and it works fine either way. Um She also schedules my posted my VP group every day at noon. There is a post that goes up and she schedules that for me every week. And again, I'm completely hands off. She knows what group to find the men. She pulls the pictures from that group, sticks it up with what it's a picture of and my my team and my um community are none the wiser. So she does all of that for me. I feel like I'm forgetting something else that she does. So anyway, you will see those are you know those don't have to be your task. I know some people have um their virtual assistant do follow ups for them, send samples for them if you're able to do um you know, samples some people if you have, especially I've heard of people who have people working um that come like to their home, especially pre covid um or maybe it's a family member or a neighbor or something like that and they actually help them package things and ship them out. Make it work for you. I think that's the biggest thing that I'm trying to share. Think of the things that like you personally don't have to do. Think of the things that maybe you dread doing, you really hate doing that kind of like suck the joy of your business out from you. Those are the things that I would consider outsourcing first and it can be an hour a week. I mean I'm trying to remember, I just paid Chancellorsville this morning, I want to say that it was like eight hours of work maybe maybe. And so like I'm just thinking to myself, okay, those eight hours, that's two hours a week, that's essentially my four workouts if I do four half hour bike rides. So like think of the things and when I really started thinking, okay, well what do I actually get back with? Eight hours? Okay, well that is four half hour bike rides a week that I get back by having a virtual assistant just do part of that. Um or you know, the time that Megan spends on my podcast transcript and like just thinking of all of that time that I'm getting back or I'm getting to spend with my family or ideally that I'm spending back on my business. It's a training I can go to, it's a training I can give, it is people that I can connect with. It's one on one cause I can do, it's, you know, planning opportunity event. So that's where you kind of get to weigh the cost and what you could possibly get out of that time. And the very last thing that I want to point out is or chat about is how you can find a virtual assistant. So nowadays I feel as though if you just put a post up on your facebook wall and said, um you know, I'm looking to hire someone to be a virtual assistant or to help me out virtually for an hour a week, two hours a week, three hours, you know, whatever. Um please let me know if you know anyone I guarantee you're going to have people referring people or people volunteering. You could also ask someone who is a trusted customer friend, especially if you know that they have awesome graphics skills or that that's the biggest thing I will say you want to find someone who is willing to learn and that you don't have to teach too much too. So like I had to obviously show my assistant how to go on to my podcast dot co website and how to upload the podcast and find the transcripts and all of that. And I did that in a loom video. You can go to loom dot com and record a screen share for free. And then I link that to that google doc that has all the instructions of the tasks. And that way I don't ever have to explain that again. And so like when I switched to a different virtual assistant, I just re share that doc and then I didn't have to re explain myself, so thinking smarter, not harder. Um but you know, referrals are really great with place to start. If not you can search virtual assistant, but I would very much encourage you to find someone who is familiar with the type of business you have, the industry you have because I have worked with the virtual assistant who is not familiar with direct sales and um it just was a different experience. It was not bad. It just like I felt like I had to explain myself a little bit more and she made me just didn't quite get how the business works or exactly what I was talking about. Versus now when both of my, my virtual assistants are very familiar with not only the industry but also the exact company. So when I'm using terms like um you know, hitting certain ranks or whatever, I don't have to explain to them what those mean because they already know it does that mean that um if you hire someone and they're not familiar with it, they're going to be bad. No, not at all, but just know that there might be a little bit of a learning curve if if they're not familiar with drug sales, network marketing and specifically your company, that makes sense. So let me know what questions you have. Um You said there's ton of groups out there. There was some influencer in direct sales, I think she was in direct sales, but she was putting together some kind of like a virtual assistant agency where you could like find people. So like there are definitely ways out there. Um If it's just like a one time project, you could also put a feeler out for that. But you can also go to fiber dot com. I think it's F F I V R R dot com. Um And maybe even Creative Market. Creative Market might also have things like a one time project like making a presentation for you or something like that. Um But you don't use the power of social media search virtual assistant hashtag search direct sales. Virtual assistant social selling social assistant. I'm sure you will find people out there heck asteroid in this group to someone might be working with a virtual assistant and you had no idea and they might be willing to share their names if they're accepting clients. So If this is helpful, really. Think about this, think about how you can fit this into your budget. You know, for me, I when I figured it out and I'm like, OK, $700 for 40 hours. seems like a lot. But like how much product would I have to sell to be able to, to pay for that? And it was totally doable, totally doable. So I want you to go in with the mindset that it's doable. Figure out a way to get it done and then you know, tweak it, see how it goes. It might be really awesome. You might decide that you're not quite there yet, but I don't know if you if many people ever started too soon. I think most of us start with Original assistant too late when we're already feeling overwhelmed and the burn out. Um and just feel like giving up instead of allowing someone to take a little bit of that pressure in those tasks off. Like all right, parents have a great rest of your day. Bye bye.

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