153 – Hiring a Virtual Assistant with Meridith McCarty – Karen Yankovich

This week’s episode of Good Girls Get Rich is brought to you by Uplevel Media CEO and LinkedIn expert, Karen Yankovich. In this episode, guest Meridith McCarty and Karen discuss hiring a virtual assistant.

Meridith is an outsourcing expert and owner of McCarty Virtual Services, a full-service virtual assistant agency. She has been working 1:1 with business owners for the last two years on how to most efficiently outsource to a virtual assistant to maximize revenue and minimize time-consuming tasks.

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We want to hear your thoughts on this episode! Leave us a message on Speakpipe or email us at info@karenyankovich.com.

About the Episode:

As a small business owner, it can be hard to know where to start when hiring a virtual assistant. Knowing when to hire, how much to pay, how to onboard successfully — these issues and more are common concerns.

Meridith suggests that small businesses hire a VA before they absolutely need one. By hiring early, this allows the entrepreneur to find the right VA without rushing. If rushed, there’s a good chance the VA might not be the best fit, and the entrepreneur won’t have time to set them up for success.

In Episode 153, Meridith McCarty talks about this and so many more helpful tips on how to make hiring a virtual assistant a success. Listen in!

Episode Spotlights:

  • Where to find everything for this week’s episode: karenyankovich.com/153
  • Introducing this episode’s guest, Meridith McCarty (1:32)
  • Meridith’s backstory (2:57)
  • How to hire your first virtual assistant (4:09)
  • What to set up before you hire a VA (8:26)
  • How to make it feel like you’re building a team (10:20)
  • The monetary benefit of hiring a VA (12:07)
  • How to find a VA that’s a good fit (13:15)
  • One VA can’t do everything (15:12)
  • The first step in onboarding a VA (16:27)
  • Additional advice (17:43)
  • Where you can find Meridith (19:00)

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

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Read the Transcript

Karen Yankovich 0:00
You’re listening to the good girls get rich podcast episode 153.

Intro 0:05
Welcome to the good girls get rich podcast with your host, Karen Yankovich. This is where we embrace how good you are girl, stop being the best kept secret in town, learn how to use simple LinkedIn and social media strategies and make the big bucks.

Karen Yankovich 0:23
Hello there. I’m your host, Karen Yankovich. And this is Episode 153. of the good girls get rich podcast. And this episode is brought to you by she’s linked up where we teach simple relationship and heart based relationship marketing, LinkedIn marketing, that gets you on the phone consistently with perfect people, people that can change your business, your life and your bank account for ever. It’s digital marketing with the human touch. And that is where the money is honey. It’s when we talk to people, right? So that’s what we teach. So if you’ve listened before, or if you’re loving what you hear today, please make sure you take a screenshot wherever you’re listening to this and share it on your social media. tag me I’m @KarenYankovich you can use the hashtag #goodgirlsgetrich. And I will then share that with my audience. So that we both get that visibility right we both lift each other up. And that’s how we can support each other year. If you go to KarenYankovich.com/153 you’ll see all the Notes for this episode. You’ll also see a link to speak pipe where you can leave us an audio review or you can tell me who you think I should have on as a guest or a topic you think you’d like to hear me talk about. I’d love for you to do that. today. We have Meredith McCarty, and this is such an important episode because you know, as women, we sometimes think we have to do everything right, bring home the bacon fried up in the pan. Well, Meredith teaches us how to hire support for our businesses so we can stay in the money generating piece. I love that because that’s where I want you to be right so you are gonna love this episode with Meredith McCarty. We have Meredith McCarty, here with us today on the good girls get rich podcast, and Meredith is an outsourcing expert and owner of McCarty virtual services a full service virtual assistant agency, she has been working one on one with business owners for the past two years on how to most efficiently outsource to a virtual assistant to maximize revenue and minimize time consuming tasks. And that sound good. Meredith was born and raised in Des Moines, and after many moves, for her husband’s Alex’s career, her family currently resides outside of Baltimore, Maryland. Meredith, it’s so good to have you here.

Meridith McCarty 2:30
Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to chat all about outsourcing, it’s gonna be fun.

Karen Yankovich 2:34
Yeah, you know, this is such an important topic, because many of the people that I talked to know that they should outsource they really want to outsource, but they don’t really know how to outsource. They don’t really know how to get started, and maybe not even sure how to manage an outsourced team or even just an initial virtual assistant. So I’m really excited to hear where you go with this. So tell me a little bit about the backstory of you. What How did you get started in this industry? And what brought you to running a full service VA agency now?

Meridith McCarty 3:06
Yeah, sure. So like you mentioned, I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa, and my husband’s career has is moving all over the country every year and a half to two years. So we’ve moved a lot. And that would look like for me a lot of nine to five, every time we moved trying to figure something out. And then knowing it was going to be short term because I was moving again. So in 2018, I decided that was kind of it. I was going to find something I could do location independent. And so I did the you know what everybody does Google, what can I do from home and virtual assistant popped up. So I, I went all in it was my plan a there was no plan B. And so that was kind of how it came to fruition. And then after many pivots, like all entrepreneurs, turned into an agency. Yeah, so I do more of the strategy that outsourcing, you know, marketing stuff like this, I work on VIP days. So I do the high level. And then I have a team of VA that are also experts in their field, and we serve clients. So it’s been good.

Karen Yankovich 4:02
I love that. I love that. So most of the listeners to this show are already having some success. They’re already running a business, at what point like What kinds of things do you think you should get started by outsourcing? Like, how do you get started with hiring your first virtual assistant?

Meridith McCarty 4:17
Yeah, so the number one question I get asked whether it’s a new entrepreneur or an established entrepreneur is always what to outsource? That’s always the question. So what I tell business owners to do first is to look at what are you doing recurringly in your business. So look at weekly, monthly, what are the things that you’re doing every Tuesday, Wednesday, and we’re gonna make note of that, once you kind of figure out what you’re doing recurringly we’re gonna take that and put it into three columns of what you love to do what you dislike doing. And then I call them the math tests. They’re just kind of there, they have to get done, but like, you don’t love them, hate them, whatever. So that’s kind of one piece. So once you have that complete, you kind of put that to the side for a second because then we want to Focus on the revenue generating activities in your business, which is obviously very important as a business owner, that is your number one job is to bring, you know, money into your business, especially when you bring on a team. So we’re going to look at what that looks like. You know, for example, we work with a lot of coaches. So I’ll just use them like one on one coaching clients might be a way that they’re making money or programs or courses or webinars, things like that. And then looking to see how you make that revenue. So is that sales calls is that, again, is that webinars marketing, podcast interviews, so looking at what those revenue generating activities are, and then we kind of narrow it down to what has to happen to have that revenue generating activity, but those aren’t actually making you the money. So again, if you’re using the coach example, that would be customer service for your coaching clients. That would be scheduling, that would be contracts, invoicing, those sorts of things. So once you kind of have the tasks that need to get done, so that you can make money and the tasks that you dislike, those are the two that I say to start outsourcing first.

Karen Yankovich 6:03
Meredith, I love that. And I want to just say like, you know, when we do these podcast interviews, right, we give all of our guests an intake form to send us so we know their bio, and their social media links. And I love that you added your clubhouse name, and I think clubhouse. So here’s the deal. I watch. I sit here I love clubhouse, and I look at my phone, and I see it blowing up and I see all these people and I think how the heck are they on clubhouse all day long. And I but here’s the thing, when I’m on clubhouse, my business makes money. So if I if I look at that and say how are they on clubhouse that means that there’s too many things that I’m doing in my business that I can outsource. And even though it seems like I’m paying for it, really what it’s doing is giving me the freedom to be out in front more to be bringing more money into the business so that we can scale and continue to scale and continue to scale and continue to scale. Right? Does that make sense?

Meridith McCarty 6:54
Yeah, totally. It’s something has to give right? Like you’re gonna get capped on hours, you’re gonna get capped on how much revenue you can make. So something has to give. So if you’re not making money doing something, we want to think about outsourcing that.

Karen Yankovich 7:06
Yes, yep, yep, exactly, exactly. When you know, we teach LinkedIn marketing over here. And what what we teach is basically start looking for the bigger money opportunities first, because then you’ve got money coming in at a higher at a higher price point, filling your bank account so that you can hire people to help you do all the things. You know, a lot of people say, Oh, I want to get a trip wire up, or I’ve got a four or $500 course, the amount of tasks that you have to do to create a trip wire or to or to sell a $500 course is astronomical, versus selling like a VIP day for $5,000. You know what I mean? And doing that twice a month, and then paying a virtual assistant to do some of those other things, so that you have those multiple streams of income. I love the multiple streams of income. But I think that many people don’t understand that if we flip it and look for the higher price points first, then we can bring in people like you and like your team to help us bring in the second in the third revenue stream, instead of struggling on the bottom end for so long, waiting to have enough cash to be able to do the next thing.

Meridith McCarty 8:06
Totally. Yeah, that’s always the question. Once they kind of figure out what to outsource, I always ask, what are you going to fill your time with now. So either we’re going to be making money, or we have those burnout entrepreneurs that are just, you know, dying to have a day off with their family? Right? So those kinds of things that are priceless, we want to outsource so that that is possible.

Karen Yankovich 8:26
Okay, so What kinds of things do you need to have set up in your business before you can hire a va? Is there anything?

Meridith McCarty 8:31
Totally Yeah, so a lot of times what we see with people that hire VA is and aren’t prepared is that the VA just doesn’t work out. So I always suggest that we are going to set up a video library. So that is as simple as you can start that today by downloading, I recommend loom it’s what me and my team use just right to your Chrome as an extension and everything that we already talked about those recurring tasks, start recording yourself doing it one time and talk through it. So like you’re teaching somebody else to do it. And then we’re going to have that video library already with the tasks we’re going to hand off before we even bring a VA on. That’s super, super important. So that’s one another thing would be a home base. So this is kind of where your team can go to for anything that might need that maybe they would come to you for that we can avoid you getting bogged down with questions. So I like to include like mission vision and value statements. So things that business goals, right, we want our team to know that contact information. I have a team so everybody should have everyone’s contact info headshots bio, if people are, you know, pitching me for podcasts, they need access to that, right. Branding kits, important workflows. I mean, I could go on and on, but things that your team would need access to. We’re just going to put it all together and that will be your home base. So that’s like the second thing we want and

Karen Yankovich 9:49
where does that homebase live?

Meridith McCarty 9:51
Yeah, so it can either live in your project management system, or it can live in like Google Drive, or whatever your file storage is, I use Google Drive and teamwork is probably management system. So that’s what I’m coming. Okay, yeah. And then the project management system is another third thing that I would say sometimes depending on the level of VA you’re bringing in, they might already have one that they add you to. But that’s another thing that we want to think about is, that’s how you work with your VA day to day. So that’s very important.

Karen Yankovich 10:18
Awesome, awesome. Well, that was what I was gonna say. So when you so you have a VA, you know, obviously, they’re virtual, so they’re not in your office with you? how, you know, how do you make it feel like there’s like you’re building a team and not just having somebody doing tasks?

Meridith McCarty 10:32
Yeah, so important. So team meetings are important, you can have that in your package with your VA. But with the project management software that we use, there’s a chat feature, so they can access that chat. And they can send messages to me. So it’s not, you know, overloading my inbox, if they have a question. They’re not texting me and others boundaries with how they get ahold of me. But that’s super helpful, because they can just send me a quick notes. So I would say the team meetings also are very important. But those two things I would say, is vital to having somebody on your team.

Karen Yankovich 11:02
Yeah, yeah. It’s interesting. When I first hired my first VA, I was a nervous wreck. And I at the time, she was like, she had an hourly rate. And at the end of the month, she would send me a bill for whatever hours she did. And she detailed it all. And it was all really, it was all great. And I was and every month, I’d be like, Oh my gosh, I’m giving her so much stuff. I’m dumping on her. I’m dumping on her, I’m dumping on her, that bill is going to be enormous. And every month, I’d open it up and go, that’s it, you know, because VA does this stuff faster than me? Right? They know what they’re doing. So even though it seems like it’s gonna cost you more money, right? It is often not, it’s often less because they do it all the time. So they have the skills, they know how to do this stuff, they can get in and out and bang it out, where somebody else might not have those same skills and not might not be as fast at it. So it was so nice, so nice to be always like thinking, Oh my gosh, I’m just gonna keep going I needed I need her out. So I’m gonna just keep giving her stuff. And then to get a bill that you’d be like, Really? That’s all?

Meridith McCarty 11:58
I mean, even if it’s even if it’s a large bill, you’re the value of handing off those things. I would pay any amount of money, right?

Karen Yankovich 12:05
Yeah, exactly. So you know, cuz here’s the thing, like, let’s just say you and at some point, you don’t want to hire some people on your, you know, maybe on your team, right. But until then, think about it. Like I think about the jobs I was in over the years, right? When you’re hiring a VA they’re keeping track of their time, right? If they if they weren’t giving you their billing you for an hour, they’re doing an hour’s worth of work. If they’re billing you for eight hours, they’ll need eight hours worth of work. When I worked in corporate I wasn’t doing eight hours worth of work in an eight hour day, I was wanting a bathroom, I was having lunch, I was at the watercooler I’d stop and talk to people. they’d stop and talk to me, right? It wasn’t like it wasn’t they weren’t. I mean, and I and I’m a pretty hard worker, right? But no matter there’s, it’s impossible. It’s impossible for that to be the case. But when you’re outsourcing it to something like this, they’re tracking very carefully. The time the only that you’re only paying them for the time they’re actually working on your business.

Meridith McCarty 12:54
Right. Yeah. And like you said, it’s the myth of an entrepreneur too, is that you think you’re gonna work less, but I always work way harder on my business now.

Karen Yankovich 13:03
Oh, my gosh. Yeah, right. Same here. Same here. Right. People said, you heard the quote, like, I quit my 40 hour a week job for the freedom of working 80 hours a week?

Meridith McCarty 13:12
Totally.

Karen Yankovich 13:14
Yeah, okay, so so here’s the thing, and this is a big one for me, because I have a tendency to just I like you, I love you, it’s gonna be great. Let’s do it. And then it’s not always a good fit, right? So how do you find a VA, that’s a good fit. And that can stick around to be a part of your team and to be you know, to stick with you for an ongoing for ongoing engagements.

Meridith McCarty 13:33
Yeah, it’s important, we want to retain our VA because one hiring can take a lot of work, and we want to retain our VA s. And then also we, when they do scale, help us scale our businesses we want to promote with from within, right, that would be awesome, so that they can take on more roles and responsibilities. Yeah. So again, new things. And this is working with business owners that have hired and it didn’t work out. I think a lot of people forget, when you’re hiring one, don’t wait too long. I think that’s a misconception of, I’m gonna wait until I need it. And then I need it yesterday. And then they hire out of desperation, and they don’t find a good fit. So that’s we don’t want to wait too long. But another thing is, when you’re looking on the for the job description, you’re creating your job description. And we’re just going to take exactly what we said earlier of what you’re going to outsource, we want to add what our company values are, I think a lot of people will miss that. And don’t add that and we want to find somebody that is aligned with our business goals and our values. If you value somebody that is responsive, but they work in nine to five, that’s great for them, but it might not be a good fit for long term. So we don’t want to hire just because we need to hire we want to want to find a good fit. So that would be really thinking about the values that they’re going to bring and also the personality is so important. We can teach anybody, especially if we’re good at setting up the systems, the workflows, making sure the video library and home base are good to go. But you can’t teach people you know that you tangible traits, right? We can teach people systems, but we want to have somebody that we enjoy working with every day, because they are going to be such a large part of your business. So that’s important, too.

Karen Yankovich 15:09
Yeah. I love that. I love that. So let me ask you a question. So I vacillate between bringing somebody on that too general, or giving them a lot of things versus bringing a few people on, that are knowledgeable in their area, for example, we don’t do anything right now with Pinterest. And I could certainly give the responsibility of Pinterest to somebody that’s already on my team. But then I think maybe I should just bring somebody in that really knows Pinterest. And you know, and I mean, you can use that as any other example. Right? So what are your thoughts around that?

Meridith McCarty 15:41
Well, I think that, again, is a big problem for business owners is they think they’re gonna find this unicorn that’s good at everything, but nobody’s good at everything, we all have our zone of genius, to something specific. So there are a lot of times that business owners try to look for somebody that can do it all. And I tell them, this is three different jobs. So I do think that it’s important to find experts for specifically what you’re looking for. And then again, talking about retaining that VA is we want to provide further education for them as well, and so that they can still be an expert in their field and serving clients. That’s something I like to do for our team so that they can serve our clients and serve my business, as well. And keep up with everything that’s trending because, you know, it changes all the time, right? So

Karen Yankovich 16:25
it does it does change all the time. Yeah. Okay, so now hopefully, we’ve got people listening that saying, alright, I’m in, I need a VA, I’ve got it, I’m gonna call, I’m gonna call Meredith or I’m gonna, I’ve got to get more work for this or whatever. How do you what is the first step? How do you onboard a VA so that for best success,

Meridith McCarty 16:43
yeah. So that would be a project management system, making sure that that is all set up. Typically, what we do is set up kind of an onboarding call, where we get you know, those username, passwords, everything that we would need to make sure that we are good at, you know, we can fulfill the work that we need to. But also, it’s the job as business owners to keep expectations of feedback, but also support. So I think a lot of people onboard a VA, you know, get them into the video library, get them into the home base, and then kind of just assume that they have it, but it’s so important for the first 90 6090 days to check in with them regularly. Do you have what you need? Do you have any questions, making them feel supported? That’s a really big piece of being a business owner and leading a team. And I think sometimes that’s unfortunately forgotten, and then the VA doesn’t work out.

Karen Yankovich 17:30
So yeah, yeah, no, I get that. I get that. Because Yeah, it’s because it is we are so busy all the time doing all the things and, you know, it is great to just like say, okay, they’ve got it, but sometimes they Yeah, I hear that. I hear that. So what did we forget? What didn’t we talk about? What else do we need to know as we are? because let me tell you, there is nothing, you cannot, you cannot grow your business without support without help. And I think it comes from both directions. I think you need coaching on one side and support on the other side, for you to have like a really successful business like, you know, thinking about like athletes, nobody can you nobody can reach peak level, then multiple six and seven figure businesses without getting somebody to help you and coach you on one on one end, but also support you on the other end so that you stay in your zone of genius. Right. So what else did we not talk about?

Meridith McCarty 18:20
Yeah, no, I would just say that, you know, the quote, isolation is the enemy of health and wealth. It’s so true. Like you mentioned, it’s just you hit a ceiling when it comes to either hours or revenue. So my advice, if you took anything from this would be the few systems to set up or start doing today. And also be thinking about it. If you’re already thinking I might need to bring in a VA, I would act sooner than later. That’s probably the biggest piece of advice and the biggest downfall of people that wait and then have to go back and set everything up while they’re onboarding a VA that can turn overwhelming quickly. So that would be my my last piece of advice, I think.

Karen Yankovich 18:58
Great. Awesome. So how can people find out more about you and the services that you provide?

Meridith McCarty 19:03
Yeah, sure. So my website is probably the best that would be McCarty VS. So M-C-C-A-R-T-Y-V-S.com. That has all the information about just what we provide VIP days, monthly maintenance programs, things like that. And then for social media, you mentioned clubhouse, I am on clubhouse and my username is at McCarty VS. And then I’m on Instagram probably the most after that, and that would be McCarty virtual Services LLC.

Karen Yankovich 19:28
Okay. And do you have a free guide on how to outsource to a va? Yes, yeah. So

Meridith McCarty 19:34
I do have a guide that is I usually work through with business owners and it talks about kind of going through of the what to outsource and then also kind of figuring out how, so I definitely want to provide that so that you can actually brain dump and visualize what you’re actually going to outsource. It’s much more helpful when you’re actually doing the exercise and there’s also an assessment scale, which is not meant to scare anybody, but it’s good to know what where you’re at, right? So then we can figure out how do we fix it? Or, or or do better from there. So

Karen Yankovich 20:05
perfect, perfect. So what I will do is make sure we have links to all of this in the show notes for this episode. Meredith, this has been so cool. This has been so good. It’s such an important conversation. It’s such an important conversation. I don’t know, there’s, you know, we focused on supporting women. And, yeah, we have a long way to go, you know, we will not let it go. There’s statistics that show that we are still not where, you know, we’re so far from any kind of equity, we’re so far from, you know, from where we think we are, and and it starts with us, it starts internally, right? If you want to have that successful business, and really take control of your own destiny, then you got to start to show up, like the CEO, and the CEO doesn’t do everything themselves.

Meridith McCarty 20:42
Right. And I think with women, too, and what I have seen a lot, and obviously, I had to go through this as well is that we’re kind of the martyrs, right? We take some of us take pride and being able to complete all of the things and then there’s nothing left for us, you know, so we do have to get through the mindset of I can’t outsource that and figure out why can’t you? Is it because you want to complete your to do list? Or is it because that’s what gives you you know, the satisfaction at the end of the day are your systems not set up? We need to figure that out. But getting past the I can’t is is the step one of looking to outsource in your business in your life.

Karen Yankovich 21:19
I love that. And you know what some of you might not even be thinking the I can’t you’re not even thinking of it at all right? So we’re here to make sure that you’re thinking of it and then realize that you can. Meredith thanks so much for being here today. This was so good, right? Yeah, I’m gonna grab your download. Because I, there’s I can always use support with that as well. And yeah, thanks for being the support for so many of us business owners that need your help.

Meridith McCarty 21:44
Yes, of course. Thanks so much for having me. I could talk about this all day. I love it. So thank you. I appreciate it.

Karen Yankovich 21:49
I loved getting to know Meredith and listening to her talk about how she built her business and how she built her business to support you and me so that we can build our businesses. You know, if you haven’t checked it out yet go check out our masterclass at water that money tree.com where we teach you how to stay in the place where the bit the money is in your business. Right? And that is easier to do if you’ve got support the way that Meredith taught us to do today, right? So check out the masterclass WaterThatMoneyTree.com and I will see you back here again next week for another episode of the good girls get rich podcast.