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  • Writer's pictureJenny Wynter

ZAP! POW! BOOM! (Or, “Getting A Virtual Assistant”)

Image courtesy of Supernova Studios

Employing a virtual assistant is an idea I’ve been toying with for quite some time now (seriously since reading about Sarah Wilson’s experience, which part sold me and part deterred me) but have put it off and off and off because…well, why? Fear? The belief that it couldn’t possibly work out, that I would never find somebody who would really get what I need? My control issues?

However, having recently gotten to the point where I simply cannot keep up with my workload, the VA idea kept floating on back.

2012 is looking insane, albeit in a very, very wonderful way, and I’m finding that the hours required to do the things that need doing are simply not in my reach. Unless I want to expand my work-related expenses to include “coke” with a little c.

So…yesterday I pulled my finger out and put it to the keyboard. Not to find somebody, but rather to create a picture for myself: if I did have somebody to help me, what jobs would I actually get them to do?

Turns out there were plenty.

– emailing media releases to media lists; – listing my shows on event websites; – creating event pages for shows on social media; – scouring my blog for posts which I can expand into articles to pitch; – quotes and organising manufacturing of CDs and DVDs and other merch options; – researching potential venues: workshops and performances; – researching to find suitable accommodation for festival runs; – travel planning; – tweaking my blog/website to improve design/functionality; – researching blog posts/web content related to funny parenting/mother/comedy issues, compiling them into a list of things to write about, reference; – compiling an Electronic Press Kit from my existing promo materials; – scheduling my time…

…the list continued.

Seeing these tasks written out was the kick in the pants I needed to take action. I think I’d worried that even if I found somebody, I’d find myself staring into their Skype-pixelated eyes, twiddling my thumbs and going “Well…what do YOU think I need you to do?”

And so it was that I jumped onboard Elance. I typed in some keywords (e.g. “social media, research, writing) and browsed some profiles, which, I found both inspiring and overwhelming.

I found a couple of people I thought sounded fantastic, and then realised that I really needed to post a “project.” It was super easy, based on my existing list of tasks I’d brainstormed, plus the suggested template Elance gives you (based on the position you’re advertising for, in my case, just good “old” fashioned Virtual Assistant), it was done, dusted and posted in less than ten minutes.

ZAP! Within half an hour I had two applicants.

POW! Within twelve hours I had nine.

BOOM! Within fourteen hours I chose one.

Within twenty-four hours we had exchanged our first emails, getting this thang started.

I have committed to four weeks, but am really hopeful that if all goes well, this might be the beginning of a beautiful cyber-friendship.

Anybody else out there have a VA? Been thinking of getting one? Thoughts?

P.S. The next person to comment is officially my 1000th commenter! Candles and sugar for you! xx

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