Virtual Assistant Helpful Tips


Warm welcomes are a great way to break the ice. It’s likely your VA is incredibly nervous and unsure what to expect. Treat them as you would any new staff member! Introduce them to the rest of your workers. Make sure they’re comfortable. Reassure them they can contact you with any concerns they have!

And remember, they’ve only just started working for you so they’re likely to make mistakes. Make room for errors as you would with any new or junior staff member. Not everyone’s perfect! Not even us! No matter how many times we want to believe otherwise, it appears even diamonds like ourselves have scratches *sigh*.


It’s your responsibility to choose a reliable and consistent form of communication. Open and frequent communication is integral to maintaining a good working relationship and keeping your VA’s satisfied.

So, get with the times and catch up with the text lingo! Online meeting apps like Zoom / Skype and instant messaging apps like WhatsApp / Slack are what all the kids use these days. But if email is a little closer to home for you, than your preferred system can be discussed with the VA during the commencement of their on-boarding period. The key is to establish a steady line of contact for task updates and solution developments. This allows the trust between you to strengthen.

The online world comes with risks. If you ask any VA about their greatest fears, you may find that right below spiders is not hearing anything from clients after a long, hard week of work. The title of “assistant” means they look up to you for instruction before proceeding on tasks. They may work independently but that doesn’t necessarily mean they work separately from you. So, maintain steady communication to keep everyone on the same track.


VA’s pride themselves on a job well done. But without clear instructions, you might be directing their efforts and energy in the wrong direction. Like down a whirlpool instead of up a mountain.

Before starting a project, be clear on your goals. Create workflows that serve as your virtual assistant’s guide, and clearly define what pitfalls you want them to avoid. Especially the ones with spikes!


VA’s aren’t born with the knowledge of your industry – although, that would make life much easier! Maybe the industry doesn’t exist where they live. Or, perhaps it operates completely different. So, start from the beginning. Don’t dump a five-hundred-page textbook in their lap (flashbacks to university exam weeks!), but help them understand the basics of how your industry works. What do you do? What does your role involve? Who are your clients? What type of services do you offer? These are important things for your VA to know! Giving them background helps them understand the bigger picture and work towards adding value to your thriving empire! Or, you could tell them nothing and let them run around like a headless chicken, but we don’t recommend that.


Training a staff member can be difficult when they’re thousands of miles away sitting on a couch. It’s not like you can go all helicopter parent on them and sit them at the desk next to you so you can watch every move they make. So, what if you could be there whenever they need you without really being there. Sounds like an X-Files episode, right? We’ll be Mulder, you be Scully? No? Moving on!

When it comes to training your VA, Zoom could be your best friend. It works kind of like Skype, except you can record your training sessions. You do the training once, record it, slip it into a shared folder, and then your VA can re-watch it whenever they get stuck! Welcome to the 21st century!


There’s nothing worse than being left out. That one kid sitting in the back of the cafeteria alone with their home-made lunch while all the other kids hang out and laugh and buy pizzas – okay, so maybe we’re projecting a little bit, but our point still stands. Feeling alone sucks. And when you’re working for a group of people on the other side of the world, you can’t get much more left out than that. So, make your VA feel included!

Let them in on the inside jokes and office gossip. Include them in group emails and messages. Hell, send them memes if you think they’ll appreciate it! And, hey, if you ever visit the Philippines, invite them out for a coffee! Make them feel welcome and appreciated in the company. No one has loyalty for a company they loathe, and it’s even harder when you don’t see the faces of your workmates every day. So, give your VA an opportunity to bond with everyone instead!


Don’t you wish there was an app where you could store all your ideas and plans and upcoming projects, and share all the information with your VA instantly? Have you heard of Trello? No, this isn’t a sponsorship, although, hi, hello, if you work for Trello we’d be happy to tell the world about you!

Trello is an easy app you can download to your phone, tablet, or just use on your PC. You can invite your VA to look at your board where you can pin any upcoming tasks and projects that you’d like them to do. You could even put a meme board up if you wanted to!

It’s the quickest way you and your VA can share updates with one another and complete tasks on time. Best of all, it’s completely free! Can you believe people used to conduct business via letters in the post? Thank god for technology!


You may find yourself stuck in a rut sometimes. You run out of ideas on how to move forward. Your VA, however, might know something that can help. If your VA is familiar with your business goals, then tap into that well of wisdom! Familiarity makes it easier for them to gather insights from past experiences and help your business progress. Be open to their suggestions – they’re walking bags of potential!


We all love a good Scooby Snack from time to time, and incentives can benefit you and your VA. For one thing, if your VA’s stellar performance isn’t taken for granted and adds value to the business, they’ll be motivated to continue to exceed expectations in the long run. Additionally, you get to reap the rewards of an enthusiastic worker. No need to push them too hard if they’re already motivated enough to achieve your business goals.


24 hours a day, 7 days a week – everyone has the same amount of time. Unless you go on a 4-day bender. Who knows where that time goes?

But think about it – a VA with good intentions could be willing to devote their time to you. They might set aside a personal priority just to make sure they do what they can to help your business maximise its profits. You might do the same thing for success.

Unfortunately, there are times when the time you have is less than the number of pending tasks on your desk. In such cases, it could be tempting to call your VA even when it’s not their regular working hours (or just throw the paperwork in the shredder). “I’m paying them anyway,” you might say. But money can’t buy all the happiness—or time—in the world. Sometimes, you may need to set aside work for the more important things in life. Like binge watching re-runs of Friends. Or ranting on reddit about season 8 of Game of Thrones.

To avoid missing your VA when you need them, develop a work schedule together. Also, consider whether or not the task requires your VA to work the same hours you do, and don’t be afraid to mark days off in your calendar.

The ideal VA will pour their blood, sweat and tears into their work. If there’s an urgent project, ask your VA if they can complete it during the desired time frame, but if they can’t, there’s probably a better alternative. Think outside the box, be respectful of others’ time, and develop processes that work well for everyone. It’s the sure-fire way to make your VA love working for you.


What separates successful people from the unsuccessful?

Big balconies, for one. But also, successful people have the persistence and drive to keep going. Mistakes will always be a part of the journey, but those mistakes don’t keep them from achieving what they want.

Similarly, your business can go through challenges and failures. And there are times when they’re a direct or indirect result of your VA’s actions. In such cases, you have two options: fire them, or allow them to stay and improve.

As cliché as it sounds, nobody is perfect. Assess how many times the mistake has occurred, think of the actions you’ve taken so far, and make sure to notify your VA about it. Silence can be deafening and destructive if you ignore the situation. Like the calm before the storm! Not sure that fits, but I think we’ve established analogies aren’t our strong suit.

The point is, by addressing a VA’s mistakes properly, you teach them the value of success and give them room to grow.


To keep your VA from falling asleep at their computer, make sure you keep at least two days’ worth of work in the system. This way if you’re away from the internet for a while, your assistant will still be able to work. Having a surplus of work also helps if your assistant completes tasks faster than you anticipate.

Additionally, try to switch-up the projects. The same work becomes mundane, whereas new work provides new challenges to keep your assistants motivated and eager to work for your business. Who wants to write up the same data entry reports 20 times a day, 5 days a week? Just reading that sentence could put someone to sleep.


Redundancy. No, it’s not always an awful thing. At least, not in this case. We’re not talking ‘give someone the axe because we’re replacing them with robots’. We’re talking ‘ensure you have enough workers to fill the gap should one of them leave. A safety net!

VAs are human. Sometimes they quit their jobs. Sometimes they run off to the circus and marry a juggler. Point is, you may not have the same VA forever. So, what happens when you lose your right hand? The person who had your back through every business venture and paperwork-fuelled all-nighter? They leave a void in your heart and next minute you’re down at the bar drinking away your sorrows and crying over the last email update they sent you.

Okay, so maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but hey, we’re painting a picture here. If you want to avoid the Shakespearean drama, then just hire 2 VAs! You’re taking even more of the workload off yourself AND you’ll have somebody ready to take the other VA’s place if they start fancying the juggler at the local circus. The first VA can then use the Zoom recordings you intelligently created and train the second VA. This saves you the blood, sweat and tears of going through the whole training process again!

The Future is Young and we're part of it!

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