Working with a virtual assistant typically involves a lot of back and forth communication, as well as transferring of images, files, and other information. How you handle this will be largely based on your – and your VA’s – personal preferences. Some people like to work informally with just email and phone calls, while others love the structure of a full-blown project management system.
Email – One of the most common ways to send projects to a virtual assistant is through email. And email may be the preferred method of communication for both of you. After all, it’s an easy option and it also gives you (and your VA) something to go back and reference if there’s ever a problem or even if you just need to figure something out about the project at a later date.
Phone – for those tasks that are a little more in-depth and need a longer explanation than what a basic email would allow, it might make more sense for you and your VA to get on the phone. The only downfall to sending a project via phoneis the fact that there are no ‘paper trails’. In this case, you might want to discuss things over the phone but also send an email(s) with some basic info the VA will need for the task. This way your VA will have something to go back and reference if she needs it while working on the project.
Skype/Slack/Glip – You can also use Skype/Slack/or Glip with your virtual assistant. They both allow for instant messaging and file sharing. As well as conferencing. Slack is instant messaging for teams, with file sharing. Glip is similar to both, however, it goes one step further with task management as well. Slack & Glip both allow you to create different private conversations with different team members. This is great for large teams working on a variety of projects. Virtual Gal Friday utilizes all 3 services for different reasons.
Dropbox or Google Drive– Both of these online file storage systems make it easy to set up a main folder that you and your VA can work from – giving you each the ease of adding documents, editing them, etc. One of the great things about both systems is that you can work on a document and when you save your changes, it will sync with the other person. So you’ll immediately be able to see any changes made – no more having to edit a document, email it and then wait for your VA to email it back to you.
You can use them in conjunction with email – simply upload files to the correct folder and then email your VA project-specific instructions. Or better yet, if you prefer (and the VA is okay with it) skip the email step and just write out the instructions/log-in information/etc and upload that right into the shared folder as well. If you download the Dropbox or Google Drive app to your computer all changes will be synced to all users in real time.
Project management systems – some VAs prefer to work with a project management system. If this is the case, she’ll set you up as a client in her system and you will be given login information to access your client area. It is in here that you will communicate with the VA and send projects, etc. One of the more common project management systems out there that you may have heard of is Teamwork PM.
These are just a few of the common ways that you can work with a VA in your coaching biz to send them projects. Most likely, you and your VA will decide together the combination of systems that works best for both of you.
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