The Ultimate Guide to Training a Virtual Assistant

Oct 19, 2021

Even before hiring, you should equip yourself with knowledge on how to train a virtual assistant. This is a process that you’ll need to design yourself and optimize for the company specifics and best results.

Even though virtual assistant companies provide training to their virtual assistants (we offer 5 and 10-day training programs), it’s important you give your virtual assistant additional training on your company’s systems and protocols.

Maybe you use a specific CRM, maybe you have a brand kit and design graphics a certain way, or maybe your company has an internal database specific to your company or niche. 

Training and onboarding your virtual assistant should take some time, but it’s an excellent investment if you know how to do it right. At Virtudesk, since we do the hiring and most of the training for you, you can save an average of 80 additional hours! 

This is a process that In this article, we’ll share with you valuable steps you should take during your virtual assistant’s training.

Watch: How To Hire Your First VA - YouTube

The Steps to Training

As you hire your virtual assistant, the immediate thing to do is to train them. This involves informing them of the processes, tools, and best practices you implement in your business.

Schedule a First Meeting

This will probably be the first step in training your newly hired virtual assistant.

It’s important to set a one-on-one meeting to introduce yourself in more detail, and allow your virtual assistant to share more details about themselves now that they are out of the interview process.

It’s a great opportunity to go over the next steps for you, your newly hired virtual assistant, and the rest of the team they will work with.

Set Clear Expectations

The next step is to introduce your new virtual assistant to the company’s values, and the nature of their designation.

This will give them a good idea of the next items you’ll discuss with them, including their tasks, the activities they can expect out of the daily routine, your processes, and the tools you use to achieve your business goals.

Set their expectation specifically on how the training will be facilitated, its duration, and the level of service you expect as they transition off the training phase.

As you should have already let them know about some of these during the interview phase, this is the time to go into detail about what it means to be a part of your team. You can explain this in your first meeting.

Identify Their Role and Responsibilities

A crucial part of establishing expectations for any part of your team is to identify their role and the responsibilities that come with it.

Perhaps an organizational chart will help you discuss this better by visually representing the flow of accountability. This is also the time to inform them of how important deadlines are, the limitations of their role, how conflict is handled and processed, and the company protocols with HR and other departments.

What’s important in this part of the training is that your new VA understands what they will be accountable for in their role to help them prioritize tasks, especially in busier seasons.

Create Checklists of Daily Tasks 

Create a detailed list of their daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. If there are quarterly, bi-monthly, or annually recurring tasks, you should also provide those in this part of the process.

This should give your virtual assistant enough information to help them manage their time for the workload given. The list you create will also be their guide to creating a daily schedule that they can share with you and the rest of the team.

Let them know how their tasks affect the rest of the team and tell them how valuable it is that they are here to cover such tasks. Allow them to also ask questions and give suggestions so you can build a schedule that they can confidently commit to.

Give Them the Resources They Need to Get Started

Provide your new virtual assistant access to the resources they will need for the job. Give them their work email and account information for the tools they’ll be using to accomplish their tasks.

Let them know if some logins need authentication if you use Lastpass or any other security measures. Have them create accounts for your team’s productivity and communication tools like ClickUp, Skype, Slack, and Google Workspace.

If they need access to additional tools like SEMrush, WordPress and others, provide them as early as their first day so they can get acquainted with how it works.

Create Video, Audio, and Written Training Resources 

Create and provide recorded training as well to save time. This way, you can outline all the necessary information first, and create a guide that doesn’t skip out on any valuable information.

Create audio and video recordings, and written guides that they can refer to at any time, so you don’t have to spend time repeating them during their first few weeks.

At Virtudesk, we have an online training platform called Virtudesk Academy for thorough self-guided training. We give our virtual assistants this online course academy after their initial training so they continue to up-skill on their own!

This way, you don’t have to put off too many of your regular tasks or spend too much time on skill-based training with your virtual assistant.

Create a Team Protocol

Here at Virtudesk, we also implement protocols for our teams and the entire company. This includes job descriptions of each member for a reliable reference of their tasks and expectations.

This also acts as a reference and guide to how certain situations are handled (and by who) in the team. Detailed instructions are the most important part of the team protocol.

It guides them on how to process concerns, create reports, request information, and other processes that require more than creation and submission to one team member or department.

This helps everyone have a good understanding of the turnaround time of each task, including their’s, and how valuable it is that everyone understands and sticks to the protocol for a smooth team dynamic.

How to Train an Administrative Virtual Assistant

For administrative virtual assistants, it’s most important that they understand their placement in the processes that they are involved with.

Let them know how your team uses your CRM. Training for MLS should also be added for real estate businesses. This is so that they can help everyone when issues arise.

They should also have access to document templates, and a guide to how it should be accomplished to widen the scope of their service.

Most importantly, let them know where and how to organize documents, take minutes during meetings, manage the company and executive schedule, and how to process external requests and inquiries if they’re also handling concierge services.

How to Train a Marketing Virtual Assistant

Marketing virtual assistants provide different services depending on what you need. Social media virtual assistants should be trained on how to create and manage an editorial calendar.

They should also have access to your social media profiles, and the tools you want them to use like Canva, Illustrator, Filmora, SEMrush, etc. Remind your email marketing virtual assistant to also send you test copies of every campaign before sending them out.

Have your marketing VA also create a tone and voice guide if you don’t have one yet. You can also collaborate with them for templates and a branding kit.

Mostly, remember to make it a part of the process that everything they publish should be approved by yourself or their team leader.

How To Train a Prospecting Virtual Assistant

Prospecting virtual assistants will need a detailed guide on how they should use your dialer. Having a script will also help them as they start representing your business to prospects.

An important part of their training is a detailed discussion of your company’s values and services. This will help them handle inquiries and concerns independently.

Show them a reference of the output you expect to help manage their expectations as well. It’s also important that you let them learn about your unique selling point so they can always highlight that.

Make sure they understand how you want your leads to be organized and managed. Train them on your lead generation, database management, processing tools, and best practices. 

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Bottomline

The time you invest into training your virtual assistant will be reflected in the quality of work they put out for the rest of their time with you. Prepare and compile your resources in advance to avoid trouble during the training itself.

You can also record training calls and conferences on Zoom so you can all have a reference to what has been covered, so far. Virtual assistants at Virtudesk are already trained at the core competencies expected of them, and that helps our clients cut down the time they usually spend to train new hires.

Check out this webinar replay where one of our favorite clients and our Director of Sales share their virtual assistant training regimen.

If you’re interested in leveraging your business with professional virtual assistant services, fill out this form and one of our Consultants will get in touch with you.

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