When was the last time you started any new friendship or working relationship without getting to know someone a little first?
It's pretty unusual to start any relationship this way but many of us expect to be able to do this when it comes to outsourcing work to a Virtual Assistant online.
Because Virtual Assistants work remotely, we sometimes forget that they're just like us - and need to be motivated, engaged and communicated with.
What does this mean for you? Well, honestly, having a Virtual Assistant is highly unlikely to work out for you if you're expecting to log on, send your tasks, get them done and be on your way.
The best Virtual Assistant relationships need more input, interest and effort than that.
The good news, though, is that if you take the time to engage your Virtual Assistant at the start of your relationship you will unlock something much more powerful than just getting some tasks done.
See: Virtual Assistant Vs. Freelancer: The Best Ways To Outsource
Here are our top three tips for starting things the right way with your Virtual Assistant:
1) Think 'human'
Virtual Assistants may work remotely but they're not robots - they have the same need to connect and communicate as you. They don't just want to do your tasks, they want to be part of your success. They'll perform better with regular contact - a little email or phone call here and there. Be yourself and invest the time in making a human connection first.
2) Get to know each other
Just like an employee, a Virtual Assistant will be more motivated to do a great job for you once they learn about your vision, goals and priorities. They want to get to know you, speak with you and learn about you and your business.
Every Virtual Assistant has an incredible story to tell - and lots of experience that you can tap into and benefit from, simply by asking a few questions and taking the time to find out more about them.
3) Understand that everyone needs to be motivated
Most Virtual Assistants are very happy to do tasks as and when you think of them - but if you really want to get more out of having a Virtual Assistant on your team you need to keep them motivated.
Just because they don't work directly for you in a traditional sense doesn't mean you shouldn't think of ways to keep your Virtual Assistant interested, motivated and keen.
Motivation really boils down to making people feel good about themselves - so an easy way to keep your Virtual Assistant motivated is to say thanks, give praise and congratulate a job well-done.