Tips to be a Good Virtual Assistant

I regularly hire helpers for tasks for my online businesses off upwork or other online sources. It’s good to think of issues that might occur before you try something, so I thought it might be of help to read. I typed this up after an aggravating incident, so it might be too snarky to give to an assistant, unless they’re a new hire and you want to keep them on their toes. 

Tips to be a good Virtual Assistant

Keep a Password File

This should be obvious, but for some reason it’s not. Every person who does work for me online has not kept up with passwords. Whenever you get a new job online, you need to immediately make a password file. I’m not great at keeping up with passwords, so I’m going to go through some effort in order to get them to you.



Recognize When you Need to act on Things Immediately

Setting up certain user accounts require that you click a link to set up the account. These links tend to expire. It’s perplexing why people don’t click on these.



Take a Little Time to Get Familiar with My Businesses

It’s hard to specify job tasks completely. Higher value job task in particular can require some creativity and thinking. Take some time to look around and try to understand what’s going on. Try to get into it a little. While you will probably be doing the more routine chores in running a site or web business, you can nevertheless learn something and you’ll do better if you try to know what’s going on.

One related issue is not using the same format used in the business. If you send round logos png’s when I ‘ve been using rectangles jpgs in my websites I’m going to wonder if you have any sense.



If You Don’t Want to Do Something, Say Something

It’s advantageous to have a fewer number of outsourced helpers. If I think you could handle a task I will offer it to you. I’m very aware that you might not want to do it. I specifically ask people if they want to do it. I tell them to tell me if they don’t want to do it. I really mean it. Nevertheless, I run into assistants half-assing it on stuff they clearly didn’t want to do or just not getting to it.

So don’t be a chickshit and tell me if you don’t want to do something. I’ll respect you more for it.



If You Run into Problems, Don’t Just Guess

If you run into a problem doing something, the best thing to do is do a little bit and then send it for feedback. Also, if it’s been done before on the website then don’t do something radically different.

Also, in the event of health problems or scheduling conflicts try to warn me if there will be a problem. More notice is always better and there’s always the possibility there’s flexibility built into the schedule.



If You Have Skills Don’t Assume I Have Any

If I’m hiring you for say graphic design, then I need the product in an end format. Unless you know I’m a graphic design agency then you should assume I want the final product in a ready to use format. Of course, I’d like the files in a more raw format just in case I want to change things in the future, but if I’m running a website then I almost certainly want to be able to just upload a file.



Don’t Just Work on One Thing

It’s entirely understandable that there will be tasks you prefer. However, abandoning one task and spending all your time on one thing doesn’t work. If you really don’t want to finish something then refer to the above no-chickenshit and tell me and we can go from there. If I give a task then I expect it to be done, and if not informed there’s a problem.