This is in my opinion the number one reason why people procrastinate outsourcing. So, I know I’ve said it before and I’m just going to keep hammering this message. The quicker you outsource, the sooner you adopt this mindset, the faster your business will grow and – and really, the happier you’re going to be about your business and the people that you work with.
But for many people it’s like that first mile, you know, you just dread doing it so you don’t know where to start. So today I’d like to motivate you to take a look at the most basic things that you should be starting with.
Social media is one of the easiest places for you to start outsourcing, because I don’t care what kind of business you have, you can be someone who lays brick, you can be someone who sells an online academy, you still need customers and your customers are online and they need to know about you. So you need to have more eyeballs looking at your business. And the best way to do that is to have a stronger presence online.
So here are some of the things that you could begin outsourcing immediately—creating a social media calendar, researching cliff notes on recent changes in social media, transcribing your videos, creating a schedule for your Facebook, creating a schedule for all of your social media, editing photos that you might post in social media, looking for great content, categorizing and indexing, all of the things that you already have posted over the years in social media, liking photos, transcribing any of your videos.
Now, we’ve talked about that in the lesson on how to really capture your voice. And this is a great way to help your virtual assistants or your virtual staff really start to understand your voice. So they can start transcribing your last videos, email templates, commenting, but again, using your voice. So if that makes you nervous, then please watch the lesson on voice. But you can give them a series of comments that you would say and that you use in rotation anyways.
Like when someone tells me, “Oh, hey, Chalene, I love your podcast.” I don’t write them an email back. I say, “Cool, thanks. Awwww. Thank you.” And I say like the same ten things over and over and over again. So I’m perfectly okay with outsourcing that to somebody while I’m sleeping. How about looking for specific hashtags, the less common ones, the ones that really relate to someone who’s looking for your type of business.
What about somebody who could actually go through all the links on your website and figure if they actually are working. Just categorizing it and indexing all of your past social media post, finding images, creating images on Canva. And then not creating their own phrases or comments, et cetera, but taking motivational phrases or comments or tweets that you’ve used in the past and then creating images to go with those by using Canva.
Organizing your Dropbox, creating a system, helping you create that system that makes all of the other – virtual staff members makes it easier for them to do work. So let me talk to you specifically about what this looks like. Okay.
Start with one thing, one thing. So when we first hired our very first virtual assistant who would be dedicated, devoted to Team Johnson, full time, 40 hours a week, and I want to give you this advice too, she started at $3 an hour. And there were plenty of candidates who were asking for $1.50 an hour, $2 an hour. And then we’ve got to get over the fact that that’s so mind-blowing to those of us who may live in the United States or even in Europe to imagine that people – that’s their cost of living. But that’s a great job, that’s a great opportunity.
And so, when we first brought her on, full time, I was happy with just having her learn one thing at a time. Now, here is how we did it. We wanted our virtual assistant to be in-charge of hiring – we didn’t expect her to be able to do all of these things. That person doesn’t exist. Chris Ducker says that is a myth to think that there is what’s known as a super GVA, someone who can do everything. Hello. That’s you. Those people own businesses. If somebody could do all of these things, do you think they’d be working for you? No. But they can do a lot of things that you shouldn’t be doing.
People tend to get caught up in that idea that somebody is supposed to do everything and that’s not the case. So here is my suggestion to you. This is what we did with our virtual assistant to begin with, is we had her begin trying just to learn how to do it many of these simple social media tasks, like liking comments, like creating blog post from my words in a transcript, like transcribing, like creating tweets from the content that was in my podcast. And we had her do that not to give all that to her, but to see where she would excel. We never intended her to do all of these things. But there’s two reasons why we would give her just one or two assignments per day. Don’t overwhelm them. Like, “Oh, cool, it’s day one, guess what I’m going to have you do? You’re going to be transcribing all of my videos. You’re going to be listening to my podcast and creating tweets. Oh, and don’t forgot to like all my comments on Facebook.” You – it’s slow. So, if you really want this to work, you give them a little bit at a time. And the other reason why that’s going to work for you is because, then you don’t have to like step away and teach them the world week one. Deal with it. They may only have five hours’ worth of work the first week, so what? This is a marathon. And the next week you’ll have more time to outsource more to them. They’ll feel comfortable with what they’ve learned and what you’ll recognize what they’re not great at. And then you add more. It’s a slow process.
The mistake people make is they’re like, “I’ve got a VA. I’ve given her 40 hours’ worth of things to do. And she’s doing some of these wrong, so apparently this didn’t work. And so I’m going to take it all back or I’m going to fire her and I’m going to start over. No, just go slow. You’re trying to figure out what they are good at. And that’s what we did.
So we had her begin by doing each one of these things that we took – made a master list of, okay, all of this can be outsourced. And one step at a time, let’s keep giving her these assignments for two reasons, number one, to see if she was good at it. And number two, because it was our goal that if she didn’t love it, didn’t excel at it, she at least knew what went into it so she could help us be kind of the general contractor and in-charge of hiring experts to do these other things.
So in the beginning, we love using our virtual assistant to, you know, kind of like somebody who works at Starbucks. Like before you’re going to be a manager, you’re going to be a barista. You’re going to know what it takes to do these things even if you’re not the best person on Canva, at least you know what goes into it so that she can actually hire and find someone who’s really good at it and really credible and can master that job.
Okay, so that’s how you do this. You start. You’ve just – I know your list just got so big of things because you’re like, “I don’t know what to outsource,” and now you’ve got this list and you’re like, “Oh, no, it’s so big. I don’t know what to do first.” Just pick the first one where you’re like, “Okay, that’s basic. I wouldn’t take a lot of time to do this and I could begin outsourcing this.” Just as a reminder, once you’ve decided to outsource something, you’re going to create a recording of your screen of you doing it and explaining it and you’re going to record that and you’re going to upload that to Dropbox and that stays there forever. So if by chance this virtual assistant doesn’t work out, you’ve already done the work, right? And, if by chance your virtual assistant doesn’t end up doing this work but she’s got to assign it to somebody else, you’ve already shown them exactly how to do it and what your expectations are.
Once you’ve created that video, then have them watch it and then get on Skype, face-to-face, and say, “Okay, now explain back to me what it is we want you to do after you’ve watched that video. I’d just like to make sure I didn’t, you know, leave anything out or you have any questions whatsoever.” And you’ll find that you left out some pretty basic steps and you’re like, “Oh, yeah, I forgot to even mention that you have to be logged in to my personal account or whatever it is,” and go slow. Create screen flows for all of these things. Have them watch them. Then discuss them. Then have them take a stab at it. Then give them the opportunity to get better.
But then, it’s also important that you realize there’s going to be a point in time where you’re like, “Okay, this just – they’re not good at this. And so, we’ve got to find somebody else.” That doesn’t mean replace that person. It means this particular thing they’re not great at, but they’re good at all these other things. And so, that’s what we did. And that’s just how it works out, you know. Hire the people that you work with because you really trust them, you really like them. You like them. And you spend the time and have the patience to figure out what they are good at. Just don’t give up just because they can’t do some of the things you hired them for. Because it takes you so much time and effort and time away from your business to find someone anyways, that’s like half of it.
So if you can just find some things that they’re good at, dude, keep them. When we’re talking $3 an hour, you – I can have somebody spend 40 hours a week just liking photos on Instagram. I can have somebody spend 40 hours a week summarizing articles that I don’t have the time to read them, like, just give me the bullet points. I mean, there’s – if you’re creative about this and you know your work, you know your value when you do you, then you will be able to find, if there’s a person that you like and you trust and you’ve gone through the process, then just find something that they can do for you and then, you hire another person. And that’s just how it goes.
And we just keep layering these things on, but one at a time. And I’m going to say it again, go slow. A virtual business is not about bots. A virtual business is not about faceless, nameless people in other countries. A virtual business is a team. It’s about people who cares much about your business as they care about their own family. So they have to feel that from you. They have to experience that from you. And that my friend takes time.
You know, this is not an overnight process. And that people who are willing to have patience will be richly rewarded.