You've hired a Virtual Assistant and you have a great plan of action - great! Now all you need to do is hand the work over to your Virtual Assistant. How you communicate with your VA at the beginning of a project and throughout that project can have a big effect on how productive she is.
It doesn't matter how great your plans are if your Virtual Assistant never really understands what you want from a project. Of course a good VA will know which questions to ask to get the information she needs to do the job right but it will save you time (and money) to know how to effectively communicate with your VA from the beginning.
Tip 1 - Project Objective:
When you start a new project it is important to explain what you want completed in terms of your objective. What do you want to accomplish by doing this project? What is your overall goal - more money? more prospects? more publicity? For example, if your VA is creating an opt-in page for you she'll need to know what the reason behind it is, why you want these visitors to sign up with your newsletter.
Tip 2 - Personal Communication
In this world of emails and instant messages it is entirely possible for you to hire a virtual assistant without ever actually hearing her voice at all! However, something seems to get lost in written communications and I find it very helpful to touch base by telephone at least once a month. It doesn't have to be a long call, 15 minutes even to do a quick review of your goals and changes, etc.
Tip 3 - Emails
When sending email communications to a VA keep each email to one specific focus. If you are sending work it is a good idea to attach it as a notepad, word or even a zip file so it doesn't get lost in the stack of emails a VA can get each week.
Good communication is so important to a productive relationship with you VA so please don't overlook it or it could end up costing you money! It may take some time to find what works best with your virtual assistant but the rewards will be well worth the effort.