We recently did a case study with Drew Grimm from “The Schoolhouse Life.” He shared his experience with the disappearing VA phenomenon.
“Unfortunately, a little while ago, I had to let go of the lady who was doing the blog posts for us. All of the sudden she just kind of disappeared.”
He didn’t hear from her for two months, and when he reviewed her most recent work, it was not up to standard.
When she emailed Drew after two months, she told him she had “been out of town.”
- Maybe she “got stuck,” because she felt overwhelmed or confused about a project and she was too embarrassed to ask for help. <<<a VERY common cause of the disappearing VA
- Maybe she was dealing with a difficult family situation or death of a loved one.
- Maybe she was hit hard by natural disaster and didn’t want to disclose the details.
I’ve seen examples of all of the above situations that resulted in the disappearing VA. I’ve even had to work through some of them with my own VAs.
The disappearing VA is the number one problem business owners face with Online Filipino Specialists. And almost 100% of the time, the root of the problem is bad communication and embarrassment on the part of your VA. With good, consistent communication, it can usually be avoided or resolved. But you have to navigate situations with patience and, as Drew puts it, a lot of “over-communication.”
Drew discovered and shared a great tip that he uses to stay on top of communication with his VAs now:
“I keep everything in WhatsApp because I feel like that’s an easy way to communicate internationally. And you can have that feature where you can see if they read [your messages] or not so you know [if they’re getting your] messages. Where email…can be ‘iffy.’”
This kind of regular “checking-in” can keep you in-the-know with your VAs and help you spot issues before they develop into a disappearing VA disaster.
Here’s another piece of advice Drew shares about good communication with your OFS:
“My suggestion is really vet people. How much do you want them to communicate with you? If you want it to be daily or within a reasonable amount of time, then communicate that like with someone a bunch at the beginning and see if they’re going to reciprocate that level of communication. And if they’re not, it’s not a good fit. Once they get going, [their communication] is not going to get better in my experience.”