Working as a virtual assistant means that you manage or work on tasks for your clients, most of which are time sensitive. Working for yourself means that you have to be disciplined to getting the work done and communicating when you do need help. When you have multiple clients, it can be difficult to manage all of them at once (on top of your own business goals!). Here are a few tips on managing multiple virtual assistance clients:
Automate what you can
My clients love the idea of using automations so that tech can focus on doing the repetitive tasks that don’t require human oversight, while I focus on the tasks that need more customization. My automations take care of client scheduling, reminder e-mails, dunning e-mails, and payment processing so I can focus on upload blog posts, answering specific questions from my clients’ customers, and more intricate tasks.
Some aspects of business you can automate for your clients are:
- Customer scheduling - I use AcuityScheduling
- Onboarding and invoicing - I use 17Hats
- Social media scheduling - I use SmarterQueue
- Misc. automations between apps - Zapier
Ask questions and give suggestions
You’ve been hired as a virtual assistance because you are amazing at what you do. Sometimes you may use a client’s process only to see that this is really time consuming and hard to work with. I worked with a client who used HootSuite to schedule her social media but it took me so long to do it using that outdated software that I told her about SmarterQueue. She ended up switching over and instead of paying me to spend hours uploading her social media every month, she delegated a new task to me. This freed up more time for me to help her with other tasks and she was grateful for the suggestion.
If there is a task that you don’t understand how to do, ask questions instead of assuming. Your clients may be busy and you may feel that you don’t want to bug them, but it’s better to get it done right than to put in so many hours only to be told that it’s incorrect.
Not every client is great at delegating, so be sure to ask specific questions. You can also request that they take screenshots of what they see or hop on a quick call so that communication flows better.
Use a project management system
All of my clients have their own project management systems for their team (they use Asana, and I also use Asana for my team) but I want to have a system for my own eyes only. I log down every call, block off hours to do tasks for specific clients, and even schedule my meals in my project management system.
The one I am currently trying out is called Focuster.
Work with less clients to get more done
When I first started my virtual assistance business, I took on 5-8 clients so that the income was worth my time. I was charging $12-$15/hour. This was taxing on my mind and body because I needed to keep up with everything my clients needed while managing all of them at the same time.
Now, I only work with 3 specific clients, at a much higher rate, so don’t need to juggle so many clients and I won’t suffer from a loss of income.
Working with less clients means that you have more of yourself to give. You can learn how a client’s business is run, quickly, which makes you work more efficiently.
Set clear guidelines, boundaries, and expectations
I’m usually available to my clients for emergency, same-day, do-it-now tasks since I am managing three clients. They’re usually simple tasks such as cleaning up a spreadsheet, sending out an e-mail, or adding someone to a Facebook group. However, I’ve also let my clients know that I need at least 24 hours notice for a task and I need 48 working hours to complete it after the task has been assigned. This way, they know what to expect but they can be pleasantly delighted if I have free time and can get it done earlier or even immediately.
Setting clear expectations for your clients is also beneficial to working with multiple clients. I do let my clients know how many other people I am currently working with (and be honest!) and how I expect them to communicate with me. I personally prefer my clients directly chatting me through Slack or Google Hangouts but never Facebook or e-mail.
Do you have any other tips to managing multiple clients?
I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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