How to Have a Great Experience With Your Virtual Resource

Hi guys, Diane here.

I shot a video last week about how to use virtual resources, contractors, and freelancers to grow your business. Here’s one of the questions I received a few times, as a result: “how do you work with them once you’ve brought them on board? How do you ensure that you’ll have a good working relationship?”

There are a few things that come into play here, and I understand that it can be a little intimidating when you bring on a resource and have never really worked with a contractor or a freelancer before – that you’re not quite sure how the workflow should look. And this is where I hear a lot of people say that they’ve had a really bad experience and that they don’t like working with remote resources or freelancers because they just can’t get the job done quite right.

I’m going to give you guys a few tips on how to ensure that you have a really good experience with your freelancers, contractors, and virtual resources.

3 tips to ensure you have a good experience with your virtual resource

  • The first thing that you need to do when you bring on a virtual resource, contractor, or freelancer is to do a bit of onboarding with them. You have to let them know what you expect from them, whether it’s a one-off project or whether it’s part-time ongoing administrative support or marketing support, etc. You also have to outline your expectations for them. So they need to know what the expected outcome is, no matter what type of resource you’re bringing into your team.
  • Secondly, set things up to avoid any drive-by delegation – you should know what you want the end product to be. This allows you to set parameters around the resource that make you feel comfortable with the work being done. For instance, I spoke to a business owner who told me that they’ve been burned in the past before by a marketing resource: they essentially didn’t do a whole lot. No real return for what that business owner paid. When I asked what the reporting process was… she told me there was none. By reporting process, of course, I mean what are they sending you, how are they sending it, how is “success” being measured, and how are they communicating it all? She assumed it should and would all be sent to her.

This was one of the things you have to be aware of with contract resources – the workflow will vary based on the contractor. Some people have really detailed, tight, customer processes and some people may have a looser process. So if you need something to feel comfortable, like more reporting, make sure to ask for it specifically!

It’s not unreasonable to ask, either: “I would like to see more detailed reporting as we’re getting started in our relationship.” It’s your prerogative as a business owner.

  • The third piece that you need is ongoing checks. For example, if you need a website built, you might think to check in every three months or so – but this doesn’t give you any room to course correct. It has to be more frequently, which I know can be a burden for some people who don’t like managing. However, even the best of virtual resources is going to require your feedback to complete the project per your expectations.

Conclusion

So what do you need? A feedback loop. What does that look like for you? What would make you feel comfortable? Is it a weekly status calls? A weekly summary email? Biweekly video chats? Whatever it is, you need to define that and outline it as a parameter when you start the relationship.

Bad experiences with resources come from when you don’t do these things: when you don’t outline what your expectations are, or don’t give them a clear understanding of what you need to see – when the clear feedback and communication loop is nonexistent.

So, to get what you want and need out of contractors and freelancers and virtual resources: outline your expectations and let them know what those are, make sure you’re asking for updates that will allow you to feel comfortable with their progress and work, and make sure to establish a solid feedback loop so that you always know where things stand (and that they’re in line with that you want).

Hopefully, this helps you in hiring your first virtual resource. It’s never too early to ask for help within your business, especially when you’re growing and ramping things up. If you have any questions about growing your team, or what kind of resources you might need, or how to manage it all, please feel free to drop me a line: I always love chatting with you guys.

Until next time!

Diane

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