I want to share with you The VA Onramp™. It’s a system that we use to get virtual assistants up to speed quickly and onboard people well.
So, every month inside Black Belt, we have a theme around Attract, Convert, Deliver, or Scale.
September is a Scale month for us. And so, we’re working on the backstage of our business.
I just ran a webinar called “The Handler” about how to work with an assistant to help you make your weeks amazing.
But what I want to do right now is share something that was going on live for us. I’m onboarding 2 new people right now – 1 is a coach and 1 is an executive assistant…
And in both cases, we’re using an onramp process.
For our executive assistant, this is exactly what we’re going to use – The VA Onramp™. And so, this is our process for getting a VA up to speed quickly.
It comes down to a really simple 6-week roll out. And if you’d like a copy of the overview of exactly what to do each week, then just type in ‘Onramp’ maybe in all capital letters so it’s easier for me to see it, and I’ll hook you up.
Three Distinct Phases
Getting an assistant –any kind of an assistant- whether they’re kind of physical and local or virtual and offshore somewhere- up to speed is a bit of a mission –it’s a bit hard.
And so, what we want to do is we want to make sure that we’ve got a process for it so we can get someone from –like, zero to hero- as quickly as we can.
I read this thing by Jason Fried the other day. He said, ““Nobody really hits the ground running. Everybody takes a little bit of time to get up to speed.” This is going to shortcut that process.
So, the VA Onramp really has 3 distinct phases.
And so, we start off with our relationship –when somebody first starts, they’ve got to understand you, and your business, what’s involved, who you serve, what the products are –like, everything about you.
We’re taking someone from –isn’t got any clue and kind of try to take the USB out of your head, stick it in theirs, and bring them up to speed quickly…
And the first thing we need to work on is relationship. What your business is, and what their role is.
Secondly, we’ve got rhythms. And in rhythms, we’re looking at 2 things.
Number 1, what are the rituals in your business? Like, what happens in each day, and each week, and each month? Like, what are the repeat tasks? So they can start to plan out your calendar and manage that.
And then secondly, let’s have them kind of manage the contact that you have with clients or prospects, so they can start to manage your inbox; stuff like that. So, that’s rhythm.
Relationship first, rhythm second, and then roll out third. And rollout is when they start to take over marketing. So, scheduling broadcasts and maybe mapping out campaigns.
And so, this is what we call The VA Onramp™. And again, if you want the detailed walkthrough, just type in ‘Onramp’ and I’ll hook you up. So, the onramp looks like this.
The very first thing we want to do is get them super clear about you, and you super clear about them. We’re going to get to know each other.
Week 1: Connection
Connection first, and I’ll walk you through a little bit about how. But connection first is about ‘who are you?’, ‘what do you guys do?’, and ‘who are they?’, and ‘how are you both wired?’ How do you both communicate best? How do you like to give info –receive information? What time of the day works best? What tools do we use? Just like this setup piece.
Week 1 is to get to know each other; get to know your business, and get to know your goals. What do you need to do? You need to prep for the meeting and there are some sheets around that –The Kick-Off Call™ and The Communication Builder™.
What do you do? Well, you have this Kick-off Call, the ‘get to know you’ meeting. And then what do they need to do? Setup your tools; email; whatever you use for social; your Google Calendar; Voxer, Slack, Dropbox, whatever tools you use for messaging, et cetera. And you kind of work on that together.
So, that’s kind of an overview of what Week 1 is about –some stuff for you, some stuff for them, some stuff together.
Week 2: Role
And then we’ve got the role –what’s the job you hired them to do? What’s involved? The ‘what are all of the tasks?’ that are involved in it.
And then we start to filter them by frequency –what’s daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or other? And so, we filter by frequency.
And then also, we look at through Dan Sullivan’s Unique Ability Filter: What are you incompetent at? What are you competent at? What are you excellent at? What are you genius at? What’s your unique ability?
And obviously, anything that’s daily or weekly, and that you’re incompetent or competent at, we’re going to offload that stuff first. Right? So, that’s that.
Role is what Week 2 is about. So, they’ve gone away and settled the stuff up –the outcome of Week 2 is that you create daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks. So, you just got to end up with a task.
How do we do that? We use this thing called The Activity Inventory™. That’s your job. And then we review them together; systemize –work out what are the first 5 things to start systemizing. And then project plan and systemization is what they do. That gets out relationship piece done. Now, we’re in rhythm.
Week 3: Ritual
Week 3 is about the rituals in your business. And so, in Week 3, we’re going to get them to start to handle your schedule; what’s your ideal week look like? How do want things to go? What the themes that focus for each days? That sort of stuff.
Establish our internal communication rhythm. So, what’s your default diary look like? Ideal week, default diary. Then, we schedule in our meeting rituals –our daily check in, our weekly tactical meeting, our monthly strategic, and our quarterly plan.
We set up Calendly, or TimeTrade – any systems that you use.
Week 4: Contact
Week 4 is about contact. We’ve figured out that there are 16 kinds of messages that we get from clients, prospects, and suppliers.
They start to manage your inbox; your calendar and 1:1 communication. So, you review the 16 email templates from your message matrix. The schedule-related stuff; booking your appointments, rescheduling appointments, canceling appointments, requesting appointments; personal, welcoming a new client, checking in if they’ve had some bad news, the persona touch; the good news, this is how we like to celebrate good news.
If somebody wants to request a tool, ask for help, cancel, or update their credit card, how do we do that? Marketing, sales, blah blah blah. Yes?
Week 5: Market
In Week 5, we start to market which is ‘How do we set up a broadcast e-mails?’ kind of the useful things for them to know and start to take over your group messaging.
We’re in roll out territory right now. Marketing. The job is that the VA sets up, cleans up your CRM, sends out first e-mail broadcast for you. We select or share our CRM. We record our broadcast with Voxer, they review it and send it – review the broadcast and here – their job is to import or clean up your list, send the broadcast, work on your systems.
We use a broadcast builder –e-mail builder; what’s your topic. So, this is what you do with a pen –just, what’s your topic?- how do you want the prospect to think, and feel, and do after reading it?
You’ve map out a subject line, an intro, a body, the conclusion, and then you just Voxer –voice record it, and they type it up, you review, and send together.
Week 6: Campaign
And finally, campaigns. And so, if you have a VA that could run this stuff for you –frankly, life gets pretty good pretty quickly. And you’re able to offload a bunch of stuff.
Rolling out the first full campaign is the goal. You decide what the campaign is, together you brief them, and you do your 6-week review. Right?
What are our wins together, and what are we going to do next? And that just gives you a little bit of an idea about how to get a virtual assistant up and running quickly.
Okay. So, here, we’ve got The Virtual Assistant Onramp™. This is an online course that all of our Black Belt clients get.
Ethan, my son, is loving this right now. What we actually did was we realized that most coaches really suck –frankly- at managing their VA. And so, we built a 6-week course –which basically goes from here, right through.
It just kind of shows the coach what to do week by week, by week. And then we built a parallel –this is kind of –don’t know if anyone else has done this, but I thought it was pretty clever. I’m biased, but I thought it was genius.
In parallel, we had a second 6-week course which the VA goes through. And they go through the exact same stuff that you’ll learn, but they’re actually a week ahead. So, by the time you go, “Oh, we should be doing this…”, they’re like, “Yes, yes, yes. All over it.” That’s kind of the idea.
So, we built these 2 courses parallel –if you’re in Blackbelt, you already got them. Just search for ‘VA Onramp’ inside blackbeltmembers.com, and you’ll get it.
If you want a copy of the worksheet, just type in ‘Onramp’, and I’ll hook you up.
If you’ll look at the weeks, you’ll notice that the first 3 weeks are internal; connection with you and the business, what their role is, and then calendar.
And then the last 3 are external; managing contact 101, managing broadcast, and managing campaigns. So, this is just an overview of how we get a virtual assistant up to speed quickly. Assuming we’ve got a general VA whose job is to kind of take over sort of everything in the way..
The first 3, super, super important. And depending on if their role involves marketing, at definitely Week 4 for contact; and then 5 and 6, optional. Cool?
Hopefully, this has been helpful for you as a model for getting your team –either a new team member up to speed quickly, or an existing team member tweaked and improved.
6 things to focus on once a week for 6 weeks. And again, if you want a copy of the handout, just type the word ‘onramp’ in capital letters, and I’ll hook you up.
A bunch of Black Belts on the line right now. You guys, you already got this. Jump into blackbeltmembers.com and search for ‘onramp’, and you’ll see it. Okay?
Team, it’s been really, really fun.
Thanks heaps for your time and your support today. If you have any questions, pop them in the comments, and I’m at your service forever and always. Take care, I’ll talk to you soon.
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