Join Heather as she continues the conversation with Tracy Harwood from Rock Solid Assistants centered around delegation. Tracy shares the three aspects she feels are key to any virtual assistant relationship. Communication, expectations, and delegation cannot happen apart from one another. Strong daily communication is key to any relationship, but even more so in a virtual setting. Listen in as Tracy shares her view of how social media fits into Rock Solid’s business model and how delegation can business owners help utilize social media in a healthy way.
・Communication is important in any relationship, but much more in a virtual relationship
・Communication needs to include more than just exchanging words and information
・Tracy shares how at Rock Solid they do not match according to skill, rather they match based on heart
・Expectations, communication, and delegation are the three key concepts that make it work
・Virtual Assistants can come along side you and partner with you in both the big and little things
・Tracy shares that the best thing you can buy with your money is your time
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31 | Ask the Expert: Delegate, Part 2 – Looking to Hire a Virtual Assistant? Tracy Harwood Shares Her Top Tips for Delegating to a VA.
Hi guys, and welcome back to the scale without social podcast. And if this is your first episode, welcome, and today’s actually going to be a part, two of an interview. That is a part of a series that I’m doing with five simple steps that all start with a D. For those of you guys who are looking to take your business off social media.
Whether that’s for a short term or the longterm, there are five steps that all start with a D decide, divulge direct, delegate, and delete. And so I did an entire episode, episode 21, where I did a little brief overview. If you want to go listen to that. And then now we are on step four, which is that delegate. And this is the second part of the interview with Tracy Harwood, who is the founder and CEO of rock solid assistance.
And you might want to go listen to her backstory on episode 30 as there’s some serious gold in that one, but we’re going to be continuing the conversation and honestly diving a little bit deeper into. What it looks like to delegate the aspects of your business, whether you’re looking to do less on social media, but you still need to show up there. So maybe you’re an online influencer or a social seller.
Or you are looking for some alternative solutions, like some good tech components, email marketing, communication pieces that someone could help you with. So Tracy shares her advice, her wisdom, and just some really good gold golden tips. And I share also a little bit of my background and story and how I struggled with delegation hard core. And so I’m going to address head-on some of the hesitations you might have.
In terms of hiring a virtual assistant, whether that’s you know, the cost associated, it could also be that you’re not sure what exactly you will delegate. Maybe you’ve got some control issues like me. And so we’re going to hit some of those head-on. So if you’ve been thinking about hiring a VA or virtual assistant, this is really going to help you, and it will break down a little bit more, the basics of delegation.
Especially in regards to taking your business off social media. So let’s dive in
Heather: I feel like you told me there was a third tip when it comes to delegation, was there a part three
Tracy: communication? That’s right. Yeah. Communication has to be so intentional., I mean, in any relationship, right. But when you’re working virtually It, it it’s a different animal and you have to be a little bit creative, but it’s not hard because there are so many ways you can do it. One of my favorite things that, I want people to hear so badly is that communication.
Does not happen by email? It does not. It, it, it barely barely happens by text messaging or slack. Communication is more than just transferring written words to somebody else. I love the app boxer. I love that we have zoom call ability or, or Google Hangouts or meet or whatever they call it now, or pick all of the platforms.
But I love that we can look in someone’s face. So one thing that we. We try to enforce, we can’t really make rules. But one thing that we suggest very, very strongly is a weekly meeting. And we ask that it be by video chat one way or another. A phone call is sometimes okay. But it, we don’t wanna get into that habit.
Heather looking in, in your face, I get so much feedback and In a world where we’re taught to be influencers and in a world where we’re taught to put on a certain face and say all the right politically correct words. And you know, not, I mean, we’re taught to not be real. Right. But if I’m looking in your face, especially as we get to know each other, I can deduce far more. Maybe she didn’t really like that ad we just did, or I don’t think that formatting was quite right on that newsletter. And then I can say Heather, is, is there anything you would’ve like for me to have done differently on that?
Right. And so that communication piece is absolutely vital. Now, how do you make that work in a, in a virtual relationship, besides the weekly meeting, use something like Voxer and give a daily rundown, both sides of the team, not just the VA, constantly feeling like she has to say, Hey, Heather, I wanted to pop in today.
I’m done for the day, but I wanted to let you know, I got a, B and C done. Here’s where project X, Y, and Z. Is, but instead you as well popping in and saying, Hey, good morning. Nothing has changed this week. I don’t really have any updated priorities. I’m excited to hear a, a project rundown on this, you know?
So there’s a communication, not just a receptacle, like, Hey, I’ve been waiting all day for your check-in and that is where the relationship is built. If you don’t build that communication. You aren’t building a relationship and before you know, it, you’re gonna be reaching out to me or my team management, people saying this isn’t working.
And the first thing we’re gonna say is how is communication between the two of you? Are you getting a daily rundown? Are you giving a daily rundown? Are you guys having team meetings by email? Because that, isn’t a real thing. that is nonsense. And again, You kind of hit on the point? That it’s different because I ask a lot of questions during our time, our initial time together.
Yeah, because we don’t match according to skill. I should have given everyone a warning because no one likes that either. , that’s the other thing. People are like, you don’t match. it And we don’t, we do not match according to skill. Now, remember we have tested our VAs. We know their skills. We know what they love to do too.
Sometimes people have skills. They don’t love, but we know where, what do they love to work in? Where are they gonna be excited to come to work for you every day? And instead we flip that script and say, who’s gonna fall in love with Heather, her business, her mindset, her every single thing she’s got going on and have, you know, skin in the game.
If that’s the term we wanna use and really work. Because they love you and love your business. Now, if I flip it and say, who has the skills to do a, B and C? Well, I mean, we may as well have just went to LinkedIn or fiber or, or what, sorry, not saying anything bad about those platforms. I’m just saying it’s a different business model.
So communication and having that person who gets you, who understands, who has passion for your business too. It’s all part of delegation. And those three pieces expectations. Communication and delegation, they don’t happen separately. It it’s a, it’s a, it’s our perfect little triangle over here. That those are the three pieces that make it work.
Heather: Oh, I love it. That’s awesome. Well, specifically for those who are listening that do wanna take their business off of social media and I’m hearing it more and more where people are like, okay, you know, sign me up. And, and when it comes to delegation, what would be, and it can be in the form of like platforms that you use or, you know, alternatives for communication, or it can be something like, I know a lot of your clients actually.
Partner with a virtual assistant to manage a lot of the facets of their social media. So they don’t have to be the ones showing up. Mm-hmm . So specifically to someone looking to scale and grow their business without having to be the one showing up on social media. What advice would you give to them?
Tracy: I’m gonna, I’m gonna go back to what rock solid, what we do here with social media and what is my purpose? Yeah, I, I’m not a fan of, I, I will never run my business. According to man’s algorithm, I run my business only according to God period. And so those two things are usually quite in conflict. Do I think we’d be shooting ourself in the foot to get rid of social media. I do. And the reason is this because we happened to live in a world where somebody hears about rock solid and the first place they go is to social.
They don’t even check our website out until they’ve checked out there. So to me, what that translates into is we have to have a strong brand presence. We do not do sales on social media. That is not how we should be doing it. We aren’t trying to rope anybody into anything.
We aren’t trying to prove why we’re better than anybody else. We are not out there trying to give the biggest discounts and, and you know, throw a party. We’re just trying to help you have an amazing business and show up and be who. Made you to be. And so we want to have a strong brand presence.
Meaning if somebody peaks over there on our social media platforms, they’re gonna see who we are and who we aren’t also, they’re going to get some tips. We have to serve, we have to serve our people. even people that aren’t our people. We we have to serve, this is kind of a new thing, still working virtually and, and handing a lot of different pieces of your business away to somebody that you may never meet in person.
So we wanna offer tips and tricks. We’ve we’ve been doing this long enough now that we know it works and what doesn’t. So we wanna share those things. And I think. I think if, if we can approach social media that way and stop trying to play the game that everyone else is playing and stop trying to show up and do what they’re doing then.
I think you’re, you’re okay to stay there. Now. Some businesses require you to be an influencer. Some people that is their business. Now that’s a whole different ballgame. So how can we help? How can we help the person who wants to stay the person who doesn’t wanna stay the person that wants to stay?
We are going to learn your brand voice. I’m not sure the world is ready to hear this one, Heather, but we are gonna show up on social media in your, your listeners, your followers, your friends. They aren’t gonna know that it’s not you showing up on social media because we’re gonna sound like you.
And we’re gonna produce things that look and sound a whole lot. Like you.
How are we going to help those that wanna get off? My favorite. Marketing platform is email marketing. I think it’s far underused. So maybe we are sending your newsletters. Maybe we’re helping with the blog formatting and posting and good Lord pay attention to SEO.
People like it. It’s pay attention to SEO. It’s gold. You, you want to really have a, a good game with your SEO. Let, let people find you Make sure they’re finding the right you so that they can see who is, I mean, literally I used, who’s gonna trim our trees as an example earlier, because very recently we did just have one of our huge, huge trees trim that we couldn’t do ourself.
I went to social media to see who who’s reviewing this guy. Right. So we know those people are out there and they’re going to be looking. So let us handle those type of things. Let us send the testimonial. Requests saying, you know, we’ve enjoyed working with you, if you would like to give us a Facebook review.
Here’s a great place, you know, here’s a link that makes it easy for you. Maintaining websites and updating websites, all of those kind of things. Where we can step in and help you, you as the business owners shine the way you’re supposed to, and then , you are not. I was gonna say chained, but a picture of a noose just entered my mind to social media.
Right. Then you’re not checking like how many people are clicking the like button has anybody commented today? What is so and so doing? You know? No, no, no. Just be you be who God made you to be. And, and if, if it requires someone else stepping in to do that, do it, it’s freedom. And then you get to go be what God made you to.
Heather: man. That’s amazing advice that I know will touch the hearts of everybody that’s listening for sure. So as we wrap up today, Tracy, is there anything else that we haven’t talked about when it comes to the key word delegation or anything in your experience or anything that just comes to mind at all that you think is serve those that are listening?
Tracy: The final piece that I, I should have mentioned just a second ago. I think one of the biggest things that I hear our clients coming back to us and saying is that it was nice to have somebody help with strategy, whether it’s on social media or off social media, just the collaboration piece. It’s my favorite thing with my internal team.
It is my favorite thing to be able to say, I mean, I don’t care if we’re talking about the smallest business issue or, or something that is very, very big. I love having a team member who I can say, what do you think am I, am I seeing this correctly? And then when, and I think you may know this from Jessica, when we have amazing teammates, they see our blind spots before we do so they might be the ones to reach out and say, I.
Don’t forget this aspect of the situation. Don’t forget this thing. And I, I have an incredible team. They leave me speechless on a daily basis, but the thing I love the most about them is just that I can say. What do you think? Because at the end of the day, when I was working solo, when this company was brand new and, and I, you know, mistaken like that, I could handle everything and anything that was thrown my way by the end of the day.
And if I’m, if I’m being really honest by about noon, if my husband said, what do you want for dinner? I, I literally couldn’t make another decision. I wouldn’t even care if we ate that day. I don’t know because I, my decision making ability is completely gone. And so that collaboration piece that, that piece where someone else is helping with strategy with every single thing, greatest thing ever.
Heather: Oh, my gosh, I am 100% with you. And I think that’s been the biggest blessing as someone who loves strategy. And actually, I would say that’s one of my my gifts is strategy and, you know, kind of setting that big picture vision, but the craziest, unexpected blessing of working with my virtual assistant, Jess.
Through you guys is the fact that I she’s a partner and I go to her all the time with, you know, well, what do you think and what do you, how do you think you should do this? And what’s crazy is like, even just this week, she came to me with an idea that I had that I didn’t wanna put it on her plate. I was like, mm.
I, I think I’ll just, we’ll run with it out as it. Planned and sure enough, she came to me with the same idea and said, what if we did it like this? And I’m like, Ugh, I can’t believe you just said that. I didn’t wanna ask you, but yes, that would be great. And it’s, it’s gonna make actually both of our lives so much easier because it’s gonna in, you know, in kind of include this little automation component that might take a little bit more time on the front end to set up.
But that’s what she’s there for. That’s what she is just as excited to do, because like you said, she’s invested in my mission and my vision of helping entrepreneurs be able to grow their business without having to have that news around your neck, like you said. And so, because she’s excited about that.
She’s happy to. Try to tackle the hard things or do the extra work and go the extra mile to make it happen. And that I’m just, honestly, I’m shocked that that is, has been my experience in working with her because it wasn’t something I ever expected from. You know, what I thought was just gonna be a task.
You know, faster or essentially somebody I could hand off little, little small things, but no, she’s there in the big things. And that is, I think when you get it right, and that’s, as you’ve shared today, that’s how you’ve built. The foundation of your business is, is on service and on heart. That starts from you from the top down.
And it infiltrates through the hearts of the people that you partner with. And that’s why, like, for anybody that’s listening, that that is looking for a virtual assistant or maybe like me has not had the best experience in the past with one, how can they reach out to you or connect with you to. To start that process, or even just because, like you said, there’s no pressure when I, I told you the truth that I don’t know if this is gonna be right for me, but I’m gonna explore cuz my coaches told me to.
So what’s the next step for somebody who might be looking to partner with rock solid,
Tracy: Visit our website. It’s a tiny bit under construction at the moment, but the links are all still working. And it’s schedule a call with me. I promise you it is no pressure. Some days. I think I might love business more than my own business.
If that’s possible. I love to talk to people. And you know, Heather, honestly, I’ve had, I’ve had calls where within the first five minutes we knew that maybe Their business was not in a place to work with us just yet. And I, I literally will say to most of them, would you like to go through this process anyway, because I think it’ll give you great insight into your strengths and your work style and your weaknesses.
Weaknesses only turn into a strength when we bring them into the light. Right. If we hide them in the closet, they’re just sitting there being weak. So if we talk about those things and then they may be at a place where they can hire. Maybe it is an intern or maybe it’s a college gal. That’s hoping to learn the business.
Somebody that is, is more at the level of where their business is for the moment and it helps them learn to hire and it helps them learn to be better entrepreneurs. So jump on a call with me and you just do that by going to. Website, rock solid assistance.com. Click the button that it’ll pop a contact form up.
And you just tell us what you need. How many hours are you looking for? What are your pain points? And we will jump in and get you scheduled. It’s a one hour. Absolutely no pressure call where we just talk about business things and how we can help. And it’s where I get to know you. So if we do move forward, then I know the person.
That needs to get a VA. I, I know your little quirks. I know the things that you’re a little bit afraid of and we can find the right match for you.
Heather: Yes. And for anybody that like me is afraid of the two things I was scared about were time because thankfully, because I have built a business that’s based on passive income, which is what I’m here to show other people how to do it too.
I really only work my business about the amount of time that I’m now delegating to an assistant. And so essentially I was like, how am I gonna find enough things to actually hand over. To someone else, but guess what? Now that I have this partner, I am be able to basically double the things that I can get done in my business.
I can still do the things that bring me joy, but now I’m able to do the, the areas where I was really dropping the ball and just choosing not to do it because I didn’t have that trust and connection piece to get to hand it off to someone else. And then the other, I know, concern and hesitation is the investment.
And it is one of those that it’s, it’s an investment and it is it is worth it. It’s gonna cost more than hiring your neighbors, cousins, sisters, you know, mm-hmm. Brother. whoever to help you. But at the same time for me, it, that has allowed me to take my business even more seriously. It’s made me wanna step up my game.
It’s made me as a believer to be a steward of the, you know, the investment that I’ve given. And I. At my income level can justify it. Maybe not everybody can and that’s okay too. But I absolutely think that even in the experience, regardless of where they are of just getting that vision and picture of what it could like to be able to partner with a company like rock solid, it could even be a goal that you set to get your business to that level in the future.
And it’s no doubt worth it for me. So,
Tracy: One last thing, Heather, along those same lines, one of my favorite clients said to me, one time, Tracy, the best thing you can buy with your money is your time. Mm isn’t. That good? And then just the other day I had a lady say to me, cheap is very expensive and I’ve gone the cheap route.
Now I’m ready to make the investment that we actually grow. And those two things are so, so. True. I mean and, and we have, I have interviewed people that come back to me a year later and say, we grew and I’m ready. Let’s get this thing going. And so, you know, set goals, let God in, let him in your business, let him be God, follow him.
Walk hand in hand with him, say yes to him. And then, like I said, in the beginning, stand back and watch out because he’s amazing. Oh, amen
Heather: to that. Yeah. Well, I feel like that’s an amazing way to wrap up and if you want to learn more, definitely go to rock solid assistance.com and, and like I said, it’s the information that’s on there.
And I know it might even shift and change. mm-hmm as, as you’re, as it said, our construction, but trust me, it’s, it’s legit. The process that you see on there is exactly the process that you’ll work through, and it will give you clarity on the next steps for, for what. Might need in your business. And there’s some really good information go follow on social media.
I can’t believe I’m telling you. Yeah. But if you’re on social go, you know, go follow them because I know I, I’m not obviously following you guys yet on social media but if I were, I know that I would be eating up the tips and the things that you serve and that you share on there. And it’s also a really good example of, of of how you can show up on, on social media.
Tracy: Awesome. Thank you so much, Heather. I appreciate
Heather: you. Thank you, Tracy. What a blessing? Have a great