Could virtual services for coaches be the answer to your overwhelm? Will hiring a virtual assistant really help you grow your business?
If you aren't new to coaching, you've probably already heard of virtual assistants but are these and other virtual service providers the key to building the business of your dreams?
As you begin to grow your coaching business, it's common to hit that point where you have more on your plate than one person can handle. There's working with clients, managing the day-to-day, and handling future growth. It's easy, and natural, to start to feel overwhelmed. So you start looking into a virtual assistant. Maybe you do a search on the internet or even ask around on some of your social media groups.
But is that the best way to go about getting help? And what are the first things you should outsource?
Virtual services exist that make running a business much simpler. However, it's important to understand how to identify the services that would be better outsourced and those that would be better kept in-house. Here’re some tips that you can follow.
3 Tips for Knowing When to Outsource Virtual Services for Coaches Like You
1. You are spending too much time on tasks unrelated to the core services of your business.
This can often be a tough question to answer because some coaches are stuck on the idea that, “If you want things done right you must do them yourself.” This is a common mistake in business. Whether you ARE the expert in an area or have no experience at all, hiring and training right can prove that others can do the job as well, and sometimes better, than you can.
The reality is that you’ll spend far more over time trying to do your bookkeeping, marketing, or admin yourself rather than outsourcing those tasks to an experienced virtual services for coaches provider.
Take some time to identify the tasks that are the biggest time wasters in your business and outsource them to someone who does them better. Time wasters can be things that take you much longer than they should because you don't know the systems or processes well enough to do them quickly. They can also be the things you are constantly procrastinating because you just don't like to do them no matter how good you may be.
And even if you can do something faster than someone you hire, it doesn't mean you should. The key to overcoming overwhelm and developing a track record of success is letting go so you only do the things that ONLY YOU CAN DO!
2. Does performing this function highlight your expertise?
The tasks and projects that you outsource may depend heavily on the nature of your coaching business.
As a coach, there are specific things you have to do yourself. Planning and executing your coaching programs, for instance, is essential for your business’ development. But there are many different moving parts to creating, marketing and executing a coaching program. Yes, you will need a strong website and systems to make it happen. However, that doesn’t mean that you need to hire a team of IT professionals full-time.
On the other hand, if you are a business coach who teaches others how to create a brand, then you may want to do the brand development of your program yourself.
Outsource the parts of projects that don't highlight your expertise to someone who provides virtual services for coaches.
3. Is it a service that is only needed a few times throughout the year?
Coaches often do annual or semiannual launches. Since these only occur a few times a year, at most, it makes sense to outsource these projects to a virtual services for coaches company. They'll bring a level of knowledge and expertise to the project so you don't have to spend a lot of time learning skills you'll only use once in a while.
6 Top Virtual Services for Coaches to Delegate
Virtual services are available in a wide variety of skills. There is a service that offers a solution to almost every problem a coach faces. Here are some of the virtual services you can consider when choosing where to get started.
Attractive visuals form an important part of branding. A graphic designer will, therefore, be an important member of your team. However, it is highly unlikely that you will have a consistently high volume of work for him or her to complete. This means that hiring a graphic designer as a permanent member of your team won’t be the best use of your funds.
It's tempting to hire a virtual assistant as a generalist to handle everything from your basic admin to things like graphic design. Most virtual assistants, though, won't have that range of skills. It's better to let your virtual assistant do admin related tasks and then find freelance graphic designers who you can hire on an as-needed basis. You’ll find that you save a lot of money and time without compromising on the quality that you need.
When looking for a good graphic designer, consider these important points:
- Experience - While Canva has come a long way as a graphic design tool for social media posts, experienced graphic designers will have skills in more advanced programs such as Adobe. Graphic designers have a deeper understanding of color theory, font styles and even psychology so that the graphic elements you are asking for will enhance your brand and message.
- Portfolio - Do they do the kind of graphic designs you need? Some graphic designers only do logos while others specialize in websites or print design. What are the types of projects you are looking for and does your graphic designer specialize in those areas.
- Accessibility - There's nothing more frustrating than needing something done by the end of the week and not being able to reach your graphic designer because the power in their country is unpredictable. (Ask us how we know that one). Make sure you work with someone who's internet and electricity are reliable and they are available based on the hours you need. It's important to understand what you might be getting when someone who provides virtual services for coaches works in other countries.
Task and Appointment Scheduling
Task and appointment scheduling is one of the quickest and easiest virtual services for coaches to delegate when they are just getting started. Virtual Assistants are often one of the first people a coach will hire and they tend to have the core skills for this type of work.
Virtual assistants are often adept at the use of scheduling software and project management tools common in the coaching industry. Your virtual assistant can use these tools to call to confirm client or prospect appointments, follow up on tasks or manage other details on your behalf.
Travel arrangements can also be scheduled. A virtual assistant can schedule flights, accommodations, car rentals…essentially any aspect of traveling.
Content Creation and Management
Content is what establishes you as an expert in your field. This might consist of podcast episodes, blog posts, e-books, free webinars or courses, videos for social media and your website, etc... All successful coaches use a variety of content marketing strategies to make their brand visible to their target audience. And yet, it is a time consuming and often difficult process that requires content creators with deft skills and experience. This makes it excellent virtual services for coaches to delegate.
Marketing forms a huge part of your coaching business. If you aren't already producing consistent content to market your coaching skills, it will be an important next step.
A content marketing manager might be just the right person to add to your team. This person’s role is to make sure that all content pieces (whether written or visual) appropriately depict the brand. They help to create and implement a comprehensive content creation schedule. He or she can also help you get the most out of the content created and ultimately allow you to reach a wider audience. While some content managers can also create the content for you, this typically falls to you as the expert or to an expert content writer.
Social Media Management
If content on your podcast and blog are like the marketing signs IN your store...
Then social media is like the billboard outside enticing people to come in.
If your social media content isn't well managed, it will be like having a billboard in Death Valley, CA. There won't be many visitors.
Social media changes, ALL...THE...TIME! Don't make it your career to keep up on all those changes. These are excellent virtuals service for coaches to delegate so they can free up more of their time and focus on what matters most.
Coaches, regardless of their niche, often host events (whether virtual or in-person) occasionally. Event planning is a highly detail-oriented process that can distract you from the core needs of your business. It may be something that you believe you can do yourself, but carefully consider the time you would lose when you could be spending that time attracting more clients.
You want your events to be the talk of the town for the right reasons. Consequently, your event planner should:
- Have great interpersonal skills
- Be able to manage time effectively
- Make stellar organization a priority
- Be flexible and have a contingency plan
- Have a track record of success in planning and executing similar events
- Be creative and innovative
- Have a passion for planning
Client Relationship Management
Building positive client relationships is crucial to business growth. You may not have a large client list when you start out so it's tempting to handle the management yourself. However, outsourcing the following client relationship management functions can help you establish even stronger relationships and provide a higher level of professionalism to your business:
- Manage invoicing and payments
- Follow up for schedule appointments
- Send thank you cards
What Should you Look for in a Virtual Services for Coaches Provider?
Now that you’ve jumped onto the outsourcing bandwagon, it's time to understand what to look for in an outsourcing partner. Here’re a few things that should be at the top of your checklist:
Is it OK to hire someone that doesn't have experience with your programs or in your niche?
There's a good chance you'll find a lot of applicants that don't have a lot of experience with your specific tools or in your niche. For example, a content creator that specializes in articles on health and beauty may not be a great fit for your topic of money mindset. Or a website designer who has always used Wix might not be the right hire for your Kajabi website creation. This is often the case when looking at providers with lower hourly rates. Just like in the medical field, it's more expensive to get a specialist. You probably wouldn't get a nose job from someone who's worked in pediatric medicine for a few years and now wants to do plastic surgery too. And, if you decided to, you probably wouldn't pay them the same rate as someone who's specialized in nose jobs for 20 years.
It's totally OK to hire someone with less experience and skill as long as you understand what you are getting. You can't expect them to have the knowledge that a more experienced person will. They also won't be as fast as there is often a steep learning curve (that you are likely paying for). You'll also be investing more of your time to get them up to speed. All of these things will factor into the overall cost.
Now, if you have a routine task that you have already outlined a clear standard operating procedure, it may be perfectly OK to go with someone that isn't highly experienced.
Anyone you outsource business to should be flexible enough to meet your unique demands. This makes communication integral to creating a successful working relationship. Your expectations should be made clear from the get-go and you should also make it clear that there may be instances where flexibility must be exercised.
3. Good reviews and social media presence
Customers paint a clear picture of the true service a company provides. You have to go beyond the fairy tale picture painted on the company’s website. Check out the social media pages and read the discussions people are having about the company or individual. If something doesn’t seem right, they might not be a good fit for your brand.
In this day and age, a person or company that is aligned with yours is a direct reflection of your business. Take some time to review the social media posts and content (just be careful when using this information for hiring individuals) posted by the company. If their values do not align with yours, it could come back to haunt you.
Ready to get started?
If you are finally ready to start outsourcing virtual services for your coaching business, the next logical step is to understand what tasks to outsource and who to outsource to. A great place to start is with these six focus areas:
- Graphic design
- Content management
- Social media management
- Client management
- Event management
And if you want to say yes to a little bit of all of them, then a one-stop-shop for virtual services like Virtual A Team may be the best option for you.
Note: This article was originally published on April 30th, 2019 and updated February 5th, 2024.