Join us at the next Guild Mastermind in Minneapolis on April 18th and 19th! Click here for event details.
In today’s podcast episode Jim and Tyson partnered up with their email management virtual assistants to share the behind the scenes of how they outsource their inboxes. They share inside workflows, how they got started and insider tips of having an email management VA on your team!
Watch the interview here.
Natasha’s Tip: When you get an email with a question, always think what is the next question? Anticipate questions and answer them before they’re asked to lessen email threads.
Lauren’s Tip: When hiring, have a project that relates to a qualification for that position.
Tyson’s Tip: Start out with a set rules for certain emails.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel so you never miss an interview, presentation or training!
- - - -
Run your law firm the right way.
This is The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
Your hosts, Jim Hacking and Tyson Mutrux.
Let's partner up and maximize your firm.
Welcome to the show.
Jim: Welcome back to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast. I'm Jim Hacking.
Tyson: And I'm Tyson Mutrux. What's up, Jimmy?
Jim: Oh, yeah. So, this is going to be a great show. I'm excited to have two of our friends on the show with us, people who help manage our email and manage our lives. And we're really lucky to have them. Lauren, who works with me, and Natasha, who works with you.
You guys, welcome to the show.
Natasha: Thank you.
Lauren: Thank you.
Jim: I'm sure a part of you is like, “Why am I here? Why are we doing this?” I know Lauren looks a little nervous.
The reason that we're all four here is because, time and time again, I would say in the top three complaints that we get from maximum lawyers, one of the top three complaints is that my email has overrun my practice or my life and that it's just become very unruly and they're looking for solutions. A lot of them think that they can set it up with filters, or that they can download some software, and that the big hairy problem of email goes away. But I was lucky enough to meet Lauren, a while back, and she was able to help me get my inbox under control. And then, I know Tyson's been working with Natasha for the past few months.
We wanted to have you both on to sort of talk about that. So, welcome, and thanks for being here.
Natasha: Thanks for having us.
Tyson: Yes. So, Jimbo, where do you want to start with this? Because I was in a really bad spot with my emails and Natasha can attest. So, I guess, we can-- let's go back and forth with, really, I guess, how you started. And then, we can go with how I started. And then, we can get feedback from Lauren and Natasha. They’ll kind of chip in as we go. Sound good? So, go ahead and start with how you started. How did you get the ball rolling?
Jim: Well, as is so often the case, Tyson followed my lead, right. So, you know, he saw the success that Lauren and I were having with sort of getting my email under control. You know, Tyson and I thought we were so clever, years ago, adding a little autoresponder to our email that said, basically, “Hey Joe Blow, Thanks for emailing me. I'll get to you when I feel like it.” We thought that was like the epicenter of email management but, anyway.
I don't know. Lauren, how long have we been working together? Do you remember?
Lauren: Yeah, over a year. I think we started August of last year.
Jim: Right. So, before Lauren, I had another person that I'd hired through Leverage. And they took a look at my email. They hung out for about a day or two. Then, they never came back, literally. Literally, they never came back.
So, Lauren, why don't you talk a little bit about your experience in this sort of field and then what you saw when you opened up my email for the first time?
Lauren: Okay. So, specifically, Jim, I think was my first client when I really started out in this virtual assistant world. I had done it in the corporate world, previously, but this was the first time on the go. And so, I had worked with a dentist before this and he never looked at his inbox. I think he made it his mission in life to avoid his inbox. And then, just like hoped, when he opened it, it wouldn't be overwhelming.
And so, Jim’s actually wasn't that overwhelming. I want to say maybe-- you were also on vacation at the time that I came right on afterwards. So, I think maybe there was 500-ish. It was so long ago that I really don't remember, but it was a significant amount. But it was easy because a lot of them were promotional emails.
And so, really, what I did was come in and set up folders on the side to really organize them. And then, we've gone through this kind of series of different technologies that Jim and his company were using. So, we've gone a different couple of ways to see really what works best. So, it was kind of trial and error at first.
But, really, it's just, when you go into an inbox, you don't want to be overwhelmed with the things you don't need to see. You really want to see just the things that you need to respond to and tasks from clients or from other people in your business. And so, that was really the goal is to hide away the things that Jim doesn't need to see and give him the things that he does need to see so that, when he needs to go in and check an email or respond, it's a significantly shorter task than what would be if I wasn't in there managing it.
Jim: And so, let's talk, specifically now, after you got the email under control, let's talk about sort of how we work together, what our rhythm’s like, and then what you do with all the emails that I receive.
Lauren: Sure. So, right now, I go in about four times a day - four to five times a day. So, first thing in the morning, throughout the day, and then right before I go to sleep at night. And so, what it looks like now is we have a lead generation software which, basically, when a new lead comes in which I've created a filter for, whether they're like a strong lead or they're just kind of asking questions but, either way, I put them into the lead technology and assign it to one of his team members who handles the lead onboarding. So, that's one process.
Another process, I put it through a filter of Are they a lead? Is it promo? Is it one of his employees asking a question? And so, if it's an employee asking a question, that goes into a specific area of his task. So, we have a task bar on the side that I'll just drop the emails into, so Jim can go in and check them off after he's responded.
We also have Filevine which is his existing clients. So, if there's an email from an existing client, I forward it into the Filevine and either his paralegal answers it or Jim answers it. And so, the team kind of takes over at that point. But I basically just take the incoming emails and put them into either Pipedrive for our leads or Filevine for existing clients. Yeah.
Jim: Yeah. And that that works really well. I mean, one of the great things about using Gmail is that, you know, so with Pipedrive, there's a chrome add-on, that allows you to create a new contact right out of the email, and even then create a new deal which is like what a lead is. And then, she's able then-- do you then go into Pipedrive and-- no, I think, then the team goes into Pipedrive and divide it among themselves to take over that lead.
Lauren: So, I go into Pipedrive. So, once I forward it into Pipedrive, then I assign it to one of the three people who deal with leads. So, I just kind of cycle through. If I give it to Daniel, then I give it to Ariela, and things like that.
Jim: And then, with Filevine, that's really great because once you've emailed to that file one or two times-- I have the sense, Lauren, I don't know for sure, but you sort of get into this rhythm of knowing who the clients are. And then, you know, Gmail will autofill the Filevine email address so that it goes right into the feed. So, that part goes pretty seamlessly too, I think, right?
Lauren: Sometimes the client or whoever, say another attorney dealing with case, replies with that, sometimes it doesn't follow them through. So, if that's not the case, then I do have to just forward it to like push it through but, again, you usually see it in the feed that it does have its own account.
Jim: And then, the last thing that Lauren mentioned was sort of the Google Task is that there's a Google Task sidebar that you can just drag the email right into there. And then, it just turns into a task for me that I know I need to go and clear it out.
Yeah, so a couple of things, just real quick, and I'll turn it over to you, Tyson. Number one is, there's no feeling in the world waking up in the morning-- and Lauren is on the east coast. So, she has an hour head start on my checking emails. So, that's been a great freedom. And the other point, I think, is, one, you have to have a Lauren or a Natasha who filters the email but then you also need people that you trust, on the back end, to receive and act on the email.
So, again, just like in the lead podcast that I've been doing with Gary Falkowitz, same thing with email, that you have to have the systems built out so that everybody knows what to do, and everybody knows their role, and so things don't fall through the cracks. Because, if things are falling through the cracks, then you're not going to have that mental space that you get from knowing that everything's not falling through the cracks, right?
All right, Tyson, you want to go for a little bit?
Tyson: Yeah. So, it's funny. I'm laughing at your 500 emails. And I'm going to let Natasha tell you the number that we actually had to start with. So, I created a set of rules initially. So, as soon as Jim told me he had someone answering his email, it really pissed me off. So, I had to do it myself. And I didn't know he had had for so many months. And so, I immediately started looking for someone. Luckily, I stumbled upon Natasha.
So, Natasha, after I gave you the set of rules, so I went through my email, my inbox, and I created rules based on all the emails I was getting, and I handed it over to you. So, Natasha, what number did we start with? And then, what was the process that you took from there?
Natasha: We had 3300 unread. So, a lot of those were promotional emails and things like that. We had 15,000 that we were working with. I didn't think we were going to actually say the number. It was a lot.
Tyson: That’s fine.
Natasha: You had the rules which was great.
So, when I first open the inbox, I said to my husband, I was like, “I don't even know. I don't know. How am I going to do this?” And he was like, “Just breathe and go through it.” So, I looked at the rules and I think what was great is that you, early on, established these are the important emails. So, not only from clients, and other lawyers, and things like that, and insurance agents, and things like that but, you know, in terms of your subscriptions, things that are important in relation to your kids, in relation to Maximum Lawyer, things like that. So, I knew what I really needed to keep.
And the first thing we did was just unsubscribe from dozens, and dozens, and dozens of different email lists and kind of made a succinct list of what you actually needed to see. Like Lauren said, it's all about eliminating the chatter and the noise.
So, I think the first-- what was it? Maybe month, I mostly spent organizing it. Making sure that we had everything where you need it, so it was easily accessible. And we kind of just flowed through the rules a little bit and made kind of our own system.
So, now, I think, right now, you have 21 emails in your inbox. So, we've gotten it down to zero quite a few times which is very, very exciting. And we always do like our little happy dance in Slack when that happens.
Tyson: Yeah. Every time it happens, it's so exciting, like, Oh my gosh, we're back at zero. And it's not that hard to do. It's just really, honestly, an hour of me putting some time into the emails.
So, we started with the task system. And I was clearly a logjam and it wasn't working. So, talk about what we used instead and just the process that we use now.
Natasha: Sure. So, what happens when an email comes in, I see it, I open it. If it's a case of perhaps it's an invoice or a notification, things like that, I can just kind of push things where they need to be. But, a lot of times, I'll mark it. We have a different system. So, you know, we have the green checkmark. We have the red exclamation mark. We have a bunch of things like that. So, if I put kind of the green X-- or not the green, the blue little exclamation mark, it means that, “It's there. You need to look at it but it's not urgent.” And then, the red one, that's urgent. So, you need to respond. It's probably really important.
And then, Tyson has a series of checkmarks that he uses. So, like a green star is forward to one of the case managers. The red arrow-- there's a bunch of them, but we know, together, what means what so that I can forward it and then file it, archive it. So, everything needs to be labeled and archived, or it needs to be deleted. So, we kind of do that every day. I'm in there, like Lauren, probably four or five times a day. I go in there, even when I'm just bored, to just quickly tidy up some things.
So, you really need to work with somebody that's flexible and that really is going to take the time and care to be in there all the time, you know, so that when you wake up on Monday morning, it's not just this crazy deluge of emails and you just feel like, you know, “Where am I even going to start?” You know, you just kind of start with this heavy feeling. Like Jim said, it's just a lot of clutter. So, that's the way we do it.
And then, we set up these two weekly meetings, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where we do a check in. So, if it gets to be a really big backlog, for us-- I don't know, it really depends on the feeling, and we can kind of gauge it. Then, I will kind of make a note of every email, and what's in there, and ask him what he wants to do with it. So, just give him a push. And sometimes he'll ask me to respond. Sometimes, it's just Tyson just getting the heads up like this is still on the back burner and pushing it forward.
And now, that we've kind of got this rhythm, we still have the two weekly meetings on the calendar because I think Tyson likes to kind of know that I'm watching, like I'm here [laughs]. But most of the time he’s--
Tyson: Accountability. It is. It’s accountability. You're right.
Natasha: And then, I check in in the morning and I'm like--
Tyson: I didn’t mean to cut you off but, when you talk about like how you respond, like-- because you don't respond as me--
Tyson: --you respond as you. So, will you say how you respond?
Natasha: Sure. Yeah, I never respond as Tyson. I think that's really important. I never want to speak for him, especially because he's a lawyer. I never want to really speak for any of my clients.
But, yeah, so it's very important that your virtual assistant is in there identifying themselves, so not immediately, but, at the end, you can still have your signature but, you know, I write Natasha Jones, executive assistant, just so that people know who they're communicating with. You never want to give them the impression that that conversation is just between the two of them.
And then, of course, you have to really, on a side note, make sure that whoever you choose is, obviously, you know, able to keep all that information private, that they have, you know, good home systems set up, that they, you know, aren't taking their laptop here, there and everywhere.
Yeah. So, totally forgot my train of thought there.
Jim: You did great. You did great.
Tyson: No. You got it. You nailed.
So, Jimbo, I'm going to hand it back over to you and let you and Lauren talk a little bit.
Jim: So, Lauren, what are some mistakes you see people make in working with email? I think you and I've worked out a nice system. We haven't had our check in for a long time. I'm sort of bad about that. But talk to us like even-- not necessarily with me, but other problems that you see that people get into with email. I think Natasha's point about not speaking for Tyson is a good one. But what other things have you noticed, over time?
Lauren: I would say just the responsiveness to people. And especially in your case with immigration law, people can get very nervous, especially in the climate currently, that they want to be heard. And so, just making sure that things don't fall through the cracks. So, they have to follow up consistently and say, like, “Hey, what's going on?”
So, we do have a system where, if I see something in the inbox and people are very nervous, which it hasn't been the case in a while, now that we've really worked out the system, but there have been times where people have been like just consistently emailing. “Okay, Jim, there's this person in the inbox, I think, like you should address it because they seem quite concerned.” And so, it's just not addressing them and not having their clients feel heard.
Becca: Hey, guys, it's Becca here. I'm sure you've heard Jim and Tyson mention The Guild on the podcast and in the Facebook group that's because we're seeing some really exciting things happening with Guild members and their businesses. The Guild is this perfect mix of a community, group coaching, and a mastermind. Inside, you'll gain support, tap into a network of connections, and continue learning - a common theme among successful entrepreneurs. There are so many benefits inside the Guild, including weekly live events and discounts to all Maximum Lawyer events.
Head over to maximumlawyer.com/theguild to check out all of the benefits and watch a few testimonials from current members. Investing in a community is like the self-care of business ownership. Being in a community with other people who get it is crucial when you're creating a rock-solid foundation to build your business on. One that's strong enough to withstand setbacks, transitions, and growth. So, head to maximumlawyer.com and click on The Guild page to join us.
Now, let's get back to the episode.
Jim: And Tyson, I'm going to ask you a question. What do you think is the mental hurdle that people have to get over, especially maybe as lawyers who tend to be control freaks anyway, what are the mental hurdles that they have to get over in order to be able to, you know, let someone else have access to their inbox?
Tyson: You know, I think the main one and it's something that I think I had to go over, too, is like, you know, “What if someone emails you a personal email?” you know? Like, you have to get over that. Like, you have to like just set that aside. It's your business’ freakin’ email, you know. It's not some personal email address that you have set up.
And, I guess, unless you have something falacious going on in your email, which you and I don't, then you really have nothing to worry about. I mean, I think we have in our minds that, you know, Jim, you're going to email me something personal. No, that's not going to happen. I mean, we keep it professional. And so, it's your professional inbox. I think that's the main thing.
And I also think there's this belief that, you know, that's a no-no, for some reason, that you shouldn't have someone checking your email. And I don't know where that comes from but, if you have that, it's just like with anything else in the law, stop. Just stop. Like, there's no reason for it. There's no rule that says that someone else can't check your email.
And I don't remember who said this to me, but you have people who check or answer your phone, why wouldn’t you have them answer your email? And so, whoever said that to me, I'll give you credit if you tell me. I just can't remember who said it, but it's the same thing. It's no different. There's nothing different about your business email as opposed to your business phone. It's the same thing.
But what do you think? Are you the same way? Like, what do you think?
Jim: Well, sort of. This goes to a question that Cheryl Morrison asked in the Facebook group which is, how are you giving your assistants access to your email? She's using Outlook. So, that's a good question.
And, Lauren, you might correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure I just gave you my login to my email, isn't that right?
Lauren: Yes. And anything that we use, additionally, there's always LastPass, that puts that layer of protection between you not necessarily needing to see what the password is if you're uncomfortable.
Jim: One nice thing, for me, about having Lauren be in New Jersey and me and St. Louis is that I actually like giving Lauren access to my email, as opposed to giving it to someone inside the firm, because there's information that I get, as the owner of the firm, like say about financials or certain pieces of mail that I wouldn't want the whole firm to see. But with Lauren, I have that trust with her and I can just-- you know, she's just not going to be digging around looking for stuff like other people who work here might. So, I think that's a good thing.
Cheryl, as far as the technology of giving access to Outlook, I would assume it works the same way but I'm not an Outlook guy so I don't know. But I would think that if you use LastPass or some other password OnePass to share your password with them, that should work fine.
The next question comes from Leslie Thomas, Leslie Dylan Thomas. And she said, How did we find our VA? So, for me, Tyson and I were lucky enough to have on the podcast, a couple of years ago, a lady named Gina Horkey. And I'll let you talk a little bit, Lauren, about Gina. But I believe that what she does is she sort of has this service where she teaches people who want to get into the VA game, I would say sort of at a higher level. It's not like Fiverr and that kind of stuff. But that people that want to build themselves out as a virtual assistant.
And we've had great success with those. I was just telling Nicole Christie last night, how helpful and how great that service was then because I found more in that way. And Tyson and I found Becca Everhart, who runs Maximum Lawyer for us. So, it's a really good resource.
But maybe, Lauren, you could talk about that and then Tyson and Natasha could talk about how they connected?
Lauren: Sure. Yes, I think she offers this service for virtual assistants and just starting your business. And then, you could pay a monthly fee, basically, to have access to her directory of people who are hiring. And I think the really great thing about that, especially for actually both sides in this case, is that both sides are verified. Like, on my side, I knew that Jim was a legitimate client because, shockingly enough, there are people who pose as clients to get your information and are not real clients. And same on that end, they don't necessarily know that I'm an actual virtual assistant. I have an actual business. And so, there's kind of that layer of protection and making sure, as opposed to Fiverr, there could be people going on and posing as virtual assistants but who are actually not virtual assistants.
So, there are and there's a bunch of services like that, that are really great, that are verified. And it goes through the process. I think I gave her all of my information. And they kind of put the whole Jim's, I guess, job search and everything that he needed in one place. So, you could go through and see all of them and make sure that you are qualified to do it. And then, you apply for the job.
Tyson: So, Jimbo, when we got started, what we did is I put an ad on Upwork like I normally do, whenever we need a VA. And all the people that applied Natasha was clearly, like far and above, everyone else. And so, it was pretty easy. Since then, we've actually switched, and she just invoices me, and I just pay her directly. It’s just how we do it.
But Natasha, I don't think I've ever had someone come on to talk about the other side, the flip side, of finding someone that is looking to hire someone. So, do you want to talk about it from that angle?
Natasha: Sure, yeah
I think Upwork is a great resource. Usually, I find clients through word of mouth. I like that better because I really like to work with a certain, you know, type of person. And, you know, going through all of Tyson's emails, just to know, like he's a very nice person, genuinely. I think, I say that all the time. Like, when I was doing this, I was like, “This guy is so nice.”
But, anyway, aside from that, yeah, I think it's very important, like Lauren said, to vet the person. So, you can find them in all avenues and areas, whether it's Upwork. You can put a job notice on something like weworkremotely.com. Also, LinkedIn.
And I think it's very important, like Lauren said, as well verify these people because they have access to a lot of sensitive information, your client’s addresses, their phone numbers, what's going on with them, all that kind of stuff.
I used to be a journalist-turned communication specialist. So, I have a LinkedIn profile with a lot of recommendations. And my Upwork profile has a lot of past client reviews and things like that. So, I would definitely aim to hire somebody that has those kind of references and reviews. And, because I'm a journalist, I'm like even vet the people that left the reviews to make sure that they're real people and their businesses, but I kind of go a little further than that.
But yeah, I think it takes a little bit of looking. You might not find the person right away. It might be a little bit of trial and error. But, as long as you vet that person, know that they're professional and know that they're trustworthy, then you can try them out. If it doesn't work out, then your information is still safe. Like Lauren said, you know, best to use a LastPass or a Passpack, or something along those lines.
But, yeah, it's definitely, more than ever, you'll be able to find somebody to help. And they can have a wide variety of skills, not just email management. You could actually have them branch out into different areas, if you wanted them to. And yeah, it shouldn't take that much time, the initial time of organizing and all that does take time. But once you're in the flow, they actually won't have that many hours a week, so it is very affordable as well.
Tyson: Okay, Natasha. So, first of all, you're way too nice. But the other part of it is that what are some things that people can put into their ads, their job ads, their job posts, to make them more appealing as the client, so to speak? What are some things that you're looking for?
Natasha: Yeah, for sure. I look for specifics. So, you'll find some people that throw up a job listing and they're like, “I need an email VA.” And there's no other information. And it's a bit like, “Um, I don't know.” I think it's important to tell the person what kind of work they'll be going into. So, you don't have to be specific and tell them your name and all of that but it would be good if you say something like in the legal profession or something like that so that they have more of an idea.
And give them specific skill sets that you would like them to have. You know, giving them examples of things that they'll be doing, so that they can know, “Yes, I'm qualified for this” or “No, I'm not.” You know, you don't just want a bunch of people applying that don't have the necessary skills. So, be specific. Also, be friendly. We do want to work with people who are nice and will help us in the beginning.
So, I've seen a couple of job ads that are very, you know, “Do not apply unless blah, blah” like they're very hardcore. And sometimes even if I have that set of skills, I just think, “Hmm, I don't necessarily want to be in that kind of environment.” So, make your job listing professional but friendly.
Tyson: Jimbo, I'll hand it back over to you.
Jim: So, Devin asks, why not just use software? Why not set up autoresponders, and filtering, and all that stuff?
And maybe, Lauren, you want to try that one?
Lauren: Sure. I think there's an additional layer because we do have that software in the business that I can make sure it's going to the correct. Like I don't think there's necessarily that-- I mean, Zapier is obviously an amazing addition to any business to really automate systems, but I don't think there is that next level of the differentiating of like, “Okay, this is a new client, they need to be put into here, where this is an existing client, and they need to go here.“
From what I've seen is that it needs that push, initially, to put them into their correct location. And unless you have a very specific filter on keywords that are targeting, like, you're not going to be able to see, “Okay, this person's really freaking out. Jim, you need to address this immediately.”
Jim: I think that's a great answer.
Tyson: Yeah. And Jim, like-- but don't you also think like it's kind of like answering the phone, like you can't automate everything. I mean, if I could, I would automate everything, but some things do need that personal attention. And you can use things like Zapier and email parsers and all that to filter things and filters. But some things need a human being to deal with it. They need to get to the right hands. And you can't always do that with automation. You can't do that with email parsers. You can't do that with filters. So, wouldn’t you agree with that?
Jim: Yeah, for sure, and remember this is all about freeing up the mind of the lawyer, right? This is all about giving them the mental space. And as long as they're having a reserve space on the side to catch things, then it's not going to be nearly as effective. That's one piece.
The other piece is that one of the things we say on the show all the time is that, when you're working with other people, whoever it is, whenever you're talking about delegation, you're not expecting them to do it 100%. They're not going to do it the exact same way that you do it. But, if they can get it to 80% of the way there, or 90%, or in Laurens case, for sure, 95% of the way there, that just frees you up. Then, when you are dealing with your 5%, you're like, “Hell, yeah, I'll deal with this 5% because I'm not having to deal with all that other 95%.”
This is this is about getting the stuff that you don't need to be worrying about off your plate, as quickly as possible, and onto a better place. If you have 500 emails sitting in your email box and then not being routed to the right people who need to respond, you're not doing a good job for your clients. And it's just sort of an ego thing that makes you think, “I'm the only one who can do this.”
Lauren: Right. And I will say, additionally, especially because this popped up a lot when we started working together is, and I go back to Zapier, is like the Zapier alerts, if those are things-- like a zap failed. So, say, you set up an automation where you wanted a filter to go somewhere specifically and it fails, that brings it back to you to have to now deal with that situation. Go into Zap, see why it failed, and then, potentially, you need to go fix the situation instead of like, “Oh, I could go to-- especially if there are issues, I usually know who, inside of the company, can fix them. So, I'll forward that email to them.
Jim: Right, right, right.
All right. So, I'm ready to wrap. Unless you guys have anything that you want to add, any other insights or tips that you have for people on maybe sort of dipping their toe into the water. What last piece of advice? Maybe everybody going around, starting with Natasha.
Natasha: Sure. This is just advice, in general, for email that I like to use and that's the preemptive strike. So, if you get an email and somebody is asking you a question, think to yourself, “What is the next question?” So, if they're saying, “Oh, are you available for a deposition this and this date? Then, maybe just throwing, “Yes. And I would like to depose so and so and so” because that's going to be their next question. So, kind of reduce the flow of your inbox by anticipating questions and answering them before they're asked.
Jim: Okay, Tyson?
Tyson: I think Natasha’s trying to tell me something because-- I think that's a good piece of advice.
I've got to say, I mean-- and I don't know, Natasha may disagree with me, but I thought really it did help starting out with that set of rules that I had for specific emails. At least, it helped me. I mean, it helped me deal with the mindset of knowing where things were going and at least helped with my comfort level. I think it helped with Natasha not having to ask me a bunch of questions because she knew what to do. And then, she clarified some things with me which was really nice. Like, she's like, “Okay. Well, your rule says this but what about this?” And so, after some time we got the rhythm but, really starting with those rules, I think that was really, really helpful.
What about you, Lauren?
Lauren: I have two because one goes off what you were just saying. Having SOPs in place is really important. So like, if you record a Loom video or the step-by-step process that your VA can hand back over to you to say, ”Hey, does this work?” because, you know, sometimes somebody may need to step out of the business and it's easily easy to replicate, if you just have those systems written down. Or, if something's going the wrong way, you know, exactly like where, in the process, it's happening.
And the second thing comes with hiring. What I really recommend a lot of my clients do is have some type of form or some type of project - and I didn't do this with Jim starting out, but to have a project to really-- so, if they say a big part of this job is attention to detail. And I realized that a lot of people say that they have attention to detail and don't necessarily. So, having, even in the job application part, put like, “Write this in your subject line” like hidden somewhere in the text so that you can actually test them to see, “Okay. These people have a strong attention to detail.” And that helps you just weed out the application process because sometimes, depending on where you're looking, there is a lot.
Jim: Well, this is a timely episode for the Hacking Law Practice because my wife and law partner has 16,000 unread emails. And we're in the process of hiring an actual personal assistant for her for the firm. And one of the first things, other than Amany's calendar, that they're going to have to work on is email. So, Amany is one of the people, too, that thinks they need to respond to every email even though they might not necessarily be responding to every email.
So, this will be timely. We’ll have her listen to it. And then, I might be leaning on both Lauren and Natasha for any tips that we need to help her personal assistant get up to speed.
So, thank you, everybody, for being on the show.
Lauren: Thank you.
Jim: Bye, guys.
Tyson: Thanks, Lauren.
Tyson: Thanks, Natasha.
Jim: Good job, guys. Thanks.
Thanks for listening to The Maximum Lawyer Podcast.
To stay in contact with your hosts and to access more content, go to maximumlawyer.com.
Have a great week and catch you next time.
What personal information do we collect from the people that visit our blog, website or app?
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your name, email address or other details to help you with your experience.
When do we collect information?
We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order, subscribe to a newsletter, Use Live Chat, Open a Support Ticket or enter information on our site.
How do we use your information?
We may use the information we collect from you when you register, make a purchase, sign up for our newsletter, respond to a survey or marketing communication, surf the website, or use certain other site features in the following ways: