Episode 137: How to Work Less and Make More Using a VA with Nicole Bandes

November 2, 2022

In this episode, Nicole Bandes, owner of The Virtual A Team, shares the many ways authorpreneurs can use a virtual assistant to decrease their workload while increasing their productivity and profits as well as tips to create a smooth relationship between you and your assistant.

Resources Mentioned

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Cashing in on your Book Consultation
With Ellen Violette

Wait list for the Book Launch of the 3 Day Bestseller Workbook,


Have you ever wondered what a Virtual Assistant really does or how it differs from what an Online Business Manager has to offer? Host Ellen Violette’s guest on this episode of Books Open Doors® has created a platform that optimizes your outsourced team’s productivity – which means less stress and more money for you! Nicole Bandes founded Virtual A Team in 2017 to help clients, including coaches, consultants and authors, advance tasks and hit deadlines. In other words, her team of VBMs lighten the load by overseeing the delegation of tasks and decisions – freeing you to focus on the big picture! Is it a financial investment? Of course, but can you really overestimate the value of saving time, streamlining functions and enjoying improved quality of life, as well as being able to focus on your genius where is where the money is? You’ll learn about the services Nicole’s team provides as well as some of the pitfalls that busy entrepreneurs commonly fall into when it comes to delegation. Most importantly, Nicole shares terrific tips and best practices to set you and your virtual team up for the smoothest – and most fruitful – possible collaboration!

 Key Quotes

 “If you want to spend more time writing, then there are a lot of other things that you have to get off your plate.” (Ellen)

“You want to balance how much you’re walking someone through a tool or process because … if you’re giving them a step-by-step and then something changes, they aren’t necessarily being proactive about how that change is going to affect things.”

“It comes down to the nuts-and-bolts dollar value of things. You have two ways to evaluate your success: How you’re spending your time and how you’re spending your money.”

“If you’re so wrapped up in the detail that you have no time left over to enjoy life, then are you really, truly successful at what it is that you’re doing?”

“A lot of times there are ways to afford things and you’re choosing not to … so look at it and really reflect on how you’re evaluating success and how you’re reaching that success.”

“A VA is not your 24/7 beck-and-call employee.”

“When you’re working with a great business manager they’re going to know what your goals and vision are and they’re going to be able to say, ‘Is this really in alignment … or taking you in the wrong direction?’ ”

Key Takeaways

  • How a Virtual Business Manager can smooth out – and speed up – the author’s process.
    • Take care of tasks that don’t require your expertise or participation.
    • Build a book promotion platform.
    • Facilitate graphics or other design elements for a book.
    • Secure copyright and other administrative aspects of creating a book.
  • Other “back office” functions that a VBM can perform to free a writer’s focus and time:
    • Travel management.
  • Differentiating between a Virtual Assistant and a Virtual Business Manager:
    • VA: Provides assistance but requires supervision and direction (not optimal if your goal is to fully offload a task like website management or travel planning.
    • VBM: Handles things you don’t know how to do or finds the resources to outsource then oversee the deliverables.
  • More resources;
    • Tango: Documents repetitive tasks that can be automated or handed off to a VA.
    • Loom: Creates how-to recordings of replicable processes.
  • You think a VBM or VA is unaffordable? Consider the cost in time and quality of life when you are managing minor tasks that do not serve your overarching goals.
  • Virtual A Team makes it a priority to create boundaries around availability while also staying open to jumping in on emergency off-hours situations.
  • Time management and bringing teams along is a skill that sharpens over time with experience and communication.
  • Part of what makes for a smooth and fruitful VA/VBM relationship is thinking through your own processes so that the flow is smooth and expectations are set realistically.
  • VBM Value-Add:
    • Another set of eyes on the big picture who can prioritize goals.
    • A backstop to keep you on point when lightbulb moments distract.
  • A VA/VBM can help slammed entrepreneurs ease stress by shepherding projects and material through deadlines.
  • Virtual A Team was born six years ago out of Nicole’s work as a productivity coach with overwhelmed clients struggling to manage their administrative help.
  • Tips for Delegating Tasks:
    • Don’t just hand out assignments. The more they share the big-picture vision, the likelier a VA is to get creative and inspired.
    • Rather than getting stuck in decision mode, let your VA take the reins and own the help you’ve hired them to provide.
    • Create SOPs and guidelines so your VA can deal with the eventualities.
    • Resist the impulse to fix, answer, do. It’s disempowering for the VA.
    • Invest time initially to give your VA solid grounding, so that in the long run they can take ownership of more tasks. (This process can take 4-6 weeks.)

About Ellen

Ellen is a multiple #1 bestselling author, 3X award-winning book and business coach, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation, host of The Books Open Doors® Podcast, CEO of Create a Splash/Books Open Doors® Author Services and Grammy-nominated songwriter.

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About the Author

Ellen Violette

Ellen is an 3X award-winning book, including being named one of the Top 20 Book Coaches of 2022 by Coach Foundation. She's also a multiple #1 bestselling author, a 3-time eLit award winner, podcast host, and a Grammy-nominated songwriter. She has been helping entrepreneurs increase their credibility and expert status, become #1 bestselling authors, and make a bigger impact in the world since 2004. Her mission is to make the world a better place one author and one book at a time!



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