3 Habits To Be Successful with a VA

Picture of a sign with the word habits on a wooden desk in a bright room

We have had great success at Coconut VA in hiring, managing, and providing virtual assistants to our clients. The most successful clients adopt these three habits!

Best Habits for Working with Virtual Assistants

However, we have seen a lot of American companies try to hire VAs but find the process to be problematic, ineffective, and frustrating over the years.

We discovered behavioral similarities in their approaches after speaking with them and analyzing their approaches, which we believe are the root cause of their poor results.

Here, we share those insights in rough priority order, hoping that you get the same good results that we do. We strive to provide insightful advice on not only what not to do, but also what to get as much out of your virtual assistants.

A sort of best practices guide for VA hiring and VA management.

Habit #1: Be Specific

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Filipino virtual assistants are excellent at execution. You are getting paid the big bucks to be the Visionary, and they are here to help you execute so you can keep being the Visionary.

When training, avoid "this is how we do it now." Just like any new hire (US employee or Filipino VA), you need to supply the appropriate amount of training and make sure to describe your vision. Your new hire will thank you for that and execute more effectively.

Here's a great rule of thumb when thinking about hiring a VA: when you're about to delegate a task, do you fully understand the steps involved, the specific work you want to be done, and how you want it done?

​When you have a clear process in your mind that you can define step by step, it is time to write down that process and hire a Virtual Assistant.

The only small exception to this rule is if the Virtual Assistant has been with you for a long time. If they already know the vision and you know how they operate, they can likely operate more autonomously.

I've noticed that with the Virtual Assistants I work with. They know how I complete tasks, and they can typically get the vision of anyone's task.

Habit #2: Provide a Benchmark

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When you hire a U.S. employee or even hire out a job on Fiverr or Upwork, you expect that they will reach some metric of success.

The same goes with your Virtual Assistant! You may have a job for them that doesn't include a specific KPI, but that should be the exception.

​With Lead Generation VA's, you can easily set an expectation for how many leads they should be able to find, or how many appointments they should be able to set.

In almost any scenario, you can perform the task yourself for an hour or two, and now you have some form of a benchmark.

Example: I can extract 50 quality leads from Crunchbase in an hour. My Virtual Assistant should easily be able to replicate that (maybe not in their first hour, but they should improve over time).

Habit #3: Try New Things

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Once again, your Virtual Assistant is just like any U.S. employee, they want to grow!

​If your Virtual Assistant is doing the same task today that they were doing 6 months ago, you may be doing something wrong.

We have a Lead Gen VA that is excellent at Lead Generation. However, we gave her a chance to try out several new skills. We provided her with basic training and gave her some sample tasks. We quickly found out that she has a knack for graphic design, and, even better, she enjoys graphic design!

Providing training to your VA and encouraging them to explore new skills will not only help them to become better people, but they will also become more valuable to you as a worker. Their skillset will grow and you will be able to depend on them even more.


Your Virtual Assistant is a human being who needs training, support, and encouragement just like any other worker. You will be surprised at their ability to develop new skills and grow more independent in your company.