So, you think you’re finally ready to hire an assistant… now what?
Hiring an assistant can be a stressful and exciting time. But, it can also be a nightmare. Finding someone who is the right fit for you can be time-consuming, so make sure you know what you want in a person before you start looking. Here are three recommendations I have to make the process a little smoother for you!
Figure out WHAT kind of assistant you are looking for BEFORE you start looking.
Do you want someone you can meet with in person, someone who can come to your office and help pack up boxes and make post office runs? If so, a virtual assistant probably isn’t what you are looking for, so be sure you are keeping your search local.
Do you want someone to set up blog tours, cover reveals, and help distribute review copies? If so, you might want to look into the different services provided by tour companies or a dedicated publicist. Their business model will be centered on bloggers, so they will have a much larger net than your average assistant
Do you need someone to mainly run your social media? There are some people who excel at FB, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you are looking for someone whose main priority will be to manage your social media, be sure that you are up front about that need.
Do you need someone to do it all: maintain your website, contact reviewers, post on FB, draft newsletters, pull together links? Then a virtual assistant is probably the direction you want to take!
Determine and rate your priorities before meeting with someone.
Now that you know WHICH kind of help you need, it’s best to have a plan of attack already laid out. Sit down and prioritize what responsibilities you want to delegate, and list their order of importance. ESPECIALLY if you are going to be working within a budget on a month to month basis.
It’s important to have a clear picture of what you expect from your assistant. If you know exactly what you expect on a monthly or weekly basis, you and your assistant will have a better and more effective working relationship.
My suggestion is to sit down and list ALL the tasks you want to get off your plate. Then, go through the list carefully and narrow down to the list to the most time-consuming and frustrating. Put those at the top of the list to get rid of. 🙂 That way, you will be able to free up as much time as possible, get rid of the headache jobs, and get the best bang for your buck from your assistant.
Don’t be afraid to admit that something isn’t working
If you are finding that you and your assistant aren’t working well together, don’t be afraid to admit that. Your career is your business, it’s your livelihood. While we have a tendency to make friends (or hire our friends) as our assistants, it’s also important to make sure you are making the best professional decisions at the end of the day.
If you don’t feel you are getting your money’s worth, or if your assistant isn’t completing the tasks to the standard you desire, make a change. Sometimes that change might me weekly Skype meetings or a shared To-Do List, or even a termination of the working relationship.
Remember that it’s your assistant’s job to make YOUR job a little easier. A good assistant will be there to take tasks off your plate, help you remember key dates and tasks, and provide an extra set of hands. If the person you hire isn’t measuring up, make the change to find someone who will.