Owning an author business can be one of the most liberating, exciting and rewarding experiences. It can also be overwhelming, frustrating and isolating – it depends on how you run your business. Are you comfortable asking for help? Or do you try to do every single little thing yourself?

If you’re the latter and not feeling the self-employed love right now, it might be time to hire a support team or start delegating tasks to a virtual assistant. Trust us, you won’t regret it. 

But even if you’ve come around to getting help and have a solid team around you, delegation doesn’t always feel natural or easy. We’ve created the ultimate step-by-step list to help you become a delegation king or queen and what to consider when delegating tasks to your VA. 

“Focus on what you are good at; delegate all else.” ― Steve Jobs

What does a virtual assistant do? 

Think of a virtual assistant as the person you hope to hire one day as an employee. They’re reliable, trustworthy, and hard-working and want to help you grow your business. Depending on the VA, they will have a specific set of skills that they can help you with. Some specialise in email marketing, others social media content, and some will take the ease off your bookkeeping. Generally, VAs are all-rounders and can help with various tasks; however, it’s best to find the right virtual assistant for your business. Not sure if you’re ready to hire a VA or who to hire? This guide will answer all your questions. 

What are the benefits of delegating tasks to a virtual assistant?

The main benefit of delegating tasks to a virtual assistant is obvious. More time for you to do what you specialise in – write incredible books. Once you start outsourcing jobs to your VA, you’ll not just have more time; you’ll have a partner to bounce ideas off and share the highs and lows of running your business. 

5 tips for delegating tasks to your virtual assistant 

1. Agree on regular set tasks (hire the right VA) 

The most important thing to remember when working with a virtual assistant is making sure they’re capable of performing the specific tasks you need help with. Want to grow your audience? Hire a VA with experience in marketing. Hate the bookkeeping and day-to-day operations of running a business? Hire a VA who specialises in organisation or communications. Once you hire the best VA, it’s time to confirm (and agree on via a contract) the regular weekly or monthly tasks required. 

2. Show how to complete tasks & set expectations

Of course, it’s one thing to delegate the tasks (the what), and it’s even more important to let the VA know the how, why, and where. We recommend allocating time to show your VA (yes, share screen) how you perform said task, so they’re not flying blind. This will save time in the long run and ensure the VA understands the level of detail you expect and how you prefer to complete the tasks and how to communicate with you. This is also an opportunity to ask the VA what they think of your processes. They may have constructive feedback or ideas on how you can make what you’re already doing even better! 

3. Set realistic deadlines 

While you may be comfortable leaving tasks to the last minute or doing something as soon as you think of it, virtual assistants will require more structure. When delegating tasks to your virtual assistant, give them plenty of time so they can complete your work well. We recommend having a date in mind when you’d expect to have a job completed and asking the VA how realistic it is. They might instantly agree with your deadline or suggest an alternative. The most important thing when setting due dates is ensuring you and your VA are happy. You both need to be open-minded and flexible and find a mutually agreed timeframe. And one last note on deadlines. If you’re thinking about delegating an unexpected, perhaps ad-hoc task, make sure you give your VA plenty of notice. Remember, they have other clients. 

4. Use project management software 

Emails are great, but in today’s modern and accessible digital world, why not use free project management software to your advantage? Our go-to is Asana. However, countless tools are available to help you stay on top of your work, communicate with your virtual assistant, and brainstorm ideas all in one place.  

5. Consistent communication & feedback 

Communication is key to keeping a healthy, fun and respectful working relationship! While you may have regular monthly tasks, it’s still worthwhile checking in with your VA each month. Ask them how they’re finding the work, if there’s anything else they need from you and perhaps brainstorm future ideas on other tasks they may be able to help you with. 

Common tasks a virtual assistant can help with (in your author business) 

  • Content creation 
  • Blog writing 
  • Email marketing 
  • Automation set-up 
  • Community management
  • Newsletter management 
  • Social media management

Need help delegating tasks or finding a virtual assistant?

You’ll now understand how valuable a VA can be within your author’s business. However, that doesn’t mean loosening the reigns in your business is easy. We get it, your business is your baby, and you can’t just let anyone help you look after it. Need help finding a VA or delegating tasks? Maybe you want other ideas to help take the load off the daily grind? At The Daring Press, we’re here to help. Book a 1:1 strategy call with our experienced author marketing specialists.