What should I have my virtual assistant do for me?

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I got an e-mail from attorney who uses a virtual assistant “to write and edit letters to prospective clients”. He asked me what else he could have her do.

Great question.

To answer it, I’ll share a (slightly edited) email I received in response to a post I did about justifying the cost of hiring outside assistants:

I have a full-time VA in the Philippines. She costs me about $75 per WEEK (full time). I gladly pay this even though I often don’t have 40 hours’ worth of stuff for her to do. I don’t let her handle much for my law practice. Her English grammar is a bit off sometimes, but she updates websites, edits video, does show notes for my podcast, handles blog posting, social media promotion of my stuff, etc. She’s been invaluable in getting my courses and info products created and published. This frees up some time for marketing, client service, and for ME… I get to have dinner with my kids almost every night.

Letting go of control is my big challenge, but I’m working on it, and Managing a VA is a skill set that needs to be developed, too… the time/distance and cultural differences require some finesse… But I’m glad to have Joanna on my team. I encourage everyone to find a VA to help out with things.

So, here’s what I would do.

Make a list of every task that is performed in your practice, by you or anyone on your behalf. Write down everything, from opening the mail, opening and closing files, meeting with clients, writing articles, and everything in between.

Then, look at that list and put a check mark next to every task that can only be done by YOU.

You probably do a lot of things that someone else could do. They may not do it as well, but as long as they can do it at an acceptable level, you should let them do it.

Make sure break down the tasks that only you can do into sub-tasks that others can do.  You may be the one who conducts the trial, but you can have others assemble documents and write (the first draft) of motions.

Now, what about the tasks that nobody is doing? What could you have a VA or employee do to help you with marketing, for example? That depends on your objectives and what you’re willing to do to accomplish them.

If you want to do Facebook advertising, you can have an assistant find keywords, create the ad graphics and copy (or co-ordinate with freelancers), and manage the campaigns.

If you have my new course on getting referrals from lawyers, you would have your assistant find other lawyers that you can contact to discuss referrals and joint ventures. The VA can compile details about what they do, make the initial contact on your behalf, and follow-up with those who respond affirmatively.

Do only those things that only you can do and delegate everything else. But first you have to figure out what needs to be done.

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