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10 Minute Marketing

10MM: Mastering Remote Team Management and the Art of Hiring VAs with Tamsin Parry

August 8, 2023

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The remote work landscape has been growing at a rapid pace, transforming the way businesses operate. One of the keys to success in this digital arena is leveraging the talents and skills of remote workers, specifically virtual assistants (VAs). In our latest podcast episode, we sat down with Tamsin Parry, a remote team specialist hailing from Cape Town, South Africa, who has found success in hiring Filipino VAs to streamline business operations.

Tamsin’s journey started in a traditional corporate setting before transitioning to entrepreneurship. What sets her apart in the team growth realm is her specialty in hiring and managing remote teams. She believes in passing the baton of initiative to the applicants, thereby making the recruitment process hassle-free for business owners.

The key to successful remote team management, according to Tamsin, is building strong relationships and networking. She emphasized that the ability to connect with people, understand their skills, and match them with the right job roles is crucial. Her focus on fostering relationships is not just confined to the hiring process; it extends to the management and growth of the team as well.

Finding the right fit for your team is not an easy task, and Tamsin’s innovative approach simplifies this process. She utilizes a rigorous recruitment process that puts the onus on the applicants. By using a robust application, only serious and committed applicants make it through the selection process, thereby saving business owners’ valuable time.

Another aspect that Tamsin touched upon in the podcast was the power of Filipino VAs. Known for their dedication, hard work, and cost-effectiveness, Filipino VAs can play a significant role in propelling business operations to the next level. From general administrative tasks to specialized roles such as social media management and bookkeeping, these VAs can offer diverse support, thereby allowing business owners to focus on strategic aspects of their business.

In this era of digital transformation, building and managing remote teams have become a necessity rather than a choice. Whether you’re a business owner struggling to find the right fit for your team or someone interested in remote team management, the insights shared by Tamsin in this podcast episode can prove invaluable.

Ultimately, the key to mastering remote team management lies in understanding the dynamics of the remote work landscape, identifying the right talents, and fostering a work culture that promotes growth and collaboration. By doing so, businesses can leverage the power of remote work to their advantage, thereby ensuring sustainable growth in the long run.

Tamsin Parry is a Virtual team and Filipino virtual assistant specialist with over 10 year’s experience building and managing remote teams. With a passion for helping entrepreneurs and business owners, Tamsin has become an expert in the field of virtual assistant services to streamline operations and achieve sustainable growth for small to medium-size businesses. In addition to finding the right VAs for clients, Tamsin also helps to onboard, manage, and incentivize them, ensuring they’re equipped with the skills and resources needed to perform at a high level. With Tamsin’s expertise and guidance, clients delegate business tasks to a trusted virtual assistant, freeing up time for business owners to focus on growing their business.

Check out Tamsin’s VA Solution Blueprint on how to hire a virtual team member and complimentary VA Fast Track Call to review your current workflow and bottlenecks, identify tasks to offload, draft a list of required skills and qualifications, and map out your next steps (valued at $200). Contact me for a special 10 Minute Marketing promo code!

Watch the episode!

Read The Full Transcript From This Episode (click to expand and read the full interview)
    • Sonja Crystal Williams: 0:11
      Hello, thanks everyone for being here. Welcome to 10 Minute Marketing. I’m your host, Sonja Crystal Williams, so I have a special guest joining us today, and our guest is Tamsin Perry joining us from Cape Town, South Africa. Welcome, Tamsin, hello how are you? Good, thank you. So a little bit of background on Tamsin and then Tamsin I’m going to turn it over to you to share a little bit more of your story. Tamsin is a remote team specialist. She’s spent over 10 years building and growing businesses small businesses, medium-sized businesses and truly has a passion in working with entrepreneurs to really streamline their operations. How does she do this? Through VA. She specializes in finding remote support, specifically Filipino VA’s and Tamsin. I’ll let you share a little bit more about that. So I kind of first, I’m really interested in hearing like what is your backstory? How did you end up even getting into this line of work and then specifically helping businesses with finding Filipino VA’s?

      Tamsin Parry: 1:19
      So I started hiring VA’s 10 years ago when someone told me about it and at that time I mean, everybody knows Filipino VA’s for being cost-effective. But for me the lightning bolt went off because I had been hiring local admin assistants and there was such a high turnover that I was just so tired of training admin people, getting them up to speed, six months later leaving. So I cottoned on to that and built that team into Filipino VA’s and some of those people six years later, seven years later, are still working with that company that I was working for. So it was a good move. And then, in my more recent years, I moved into the online business space when my son was born and I wanted to work from home and entered into the online business space. And then I kind of came at it from a different angle where I was working with these amazing dynamic people doing amazing things in the world and I really I mean to transformation and I believe changing the world is going to happen through entrepreneurs. And what I was seeing with these stressed like burnt out business owners, amazing women and men actually, that were like I’m going to quit my business because there’s just too much with the blog posting and the social media and then running my group and then the Facebook groups. They were just caving in and also just couldn’t find good people, and so that’s what I kind of put two and two together. I did work with some VA agencies, but then I kind of opened that. For having been to Cebu in the Philippines, I started to really look under the hood of agencies and exploitation and ethics and all of that, and there was a lot of things that didn’t sit well with me and then I thought to myself the difficulty that business owners have is actually finding the people, but they don’t want the agencies and all of that. So I developed that service to really be a matchmaker for these amazing, dynamic business owners and finding these wonderful, hardworking, committed VAs and really just creating a bit of magic for both parties. So yeah, that’s how I got into it.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 3:46
      Yeah, no, it’s like a match made in heaven, because and I’ll say this from my own experience as a business owner and definitely it’s often a question that I’ve asked to mentors or people who are way further along in business than I am throughout the years, which is like how do you find good talent? And that is such a hard thing. So you bring up a really good point that that’s a struggle for a lot of business owners being able to find the right VA. Another good point you bring up the ethics in all of this. I know that must be huge, right? So that’s a big part of what you do. Let’s shift in talking. Okay, so you’ve been in business, would you say, like 10 years, but you’ve got some people that have worked for how long?

      Tamsin Parry: 4:31
      Officially, let’s say, so yeah, so the doing company has been going for four years. Before that I was in operations and team, so I’ve been working with Filipinos for 10 years, but I’ve got 30 years of team leadership management on the ground, which I’ll certainly bring all of that into it, because people are people and it does take a bit of an art, I mean. I think hiring the right person does definitely make the whole process much simpler, especially if it’s the first time you’re hiring people and you’re not that comfortable If you’ve never managed people before. And hiring the right person from the beginning will just make it so much easier if they’ve got the same values as you accountability, punctuality, attention to detail, hardworking and that is the bare minimum that someone should bring to a job. If you have to instill that into someone, they’re not the right person.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 5:39
      So true. And then you mentioned some of the struggles business owners encounter, that you saw where there was a gap in this need with posting online and things like that. Give me a little bit more detail. Where do these VA’s come in that you find and really help business owners? What areas of support are they offering?

      Tamsin Parry: 6:02
      The main rules that I hire for is a general VA, but it’s very seldom just a basic VA. So when we talk about a general VA, we’re talking about data entry, customer service, uploading videos, doing things like this downloading the video from the podcast and uploading it to the member area, all of those kinds of things, sending out bulk emails. But they will often ask for a twist on that. So it may be a social media manager with a basic admin, or it will be bookkeeping and admin. So for people that have a lot of transactions that need to be reconciled, they just want some of the bookkeeping experience. Digital marketing general digital marketing, so Google AdWords, facebook ads, that kind of thing, and then graphic design. That’s more the social media side. Sometimes. Do WordPress support help desk those types of rules?

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 7:04
      Yeah, it’s very specific. So what does the matchmaking look like for you? Because you said you’ve been to Cebu in the Philippines, where originally you were finding VA’s. What does that look like? How do you find these people with these skill sets?

      Tamsin Parry: 7:20
      I mean, the main thing is getting a really good download from the client, and sometimes it does take a bit of massaging. So often it may be a process where I’m kind of guiding them. They know they need someone but they don’t know where to start. So it’s really finding a good job description with the specific tasks, so that it’s quite. The more detailed it can be, the more grounded it is, the easier it is to find the people. And then we just advertise to the various Facebook groups and from now, for all the years, I’ve actually got a really beautiful network of people and they all know that I get good clients Because I do have really wonderful. I do have a network of wonderful clients that are normally fairly established, because a lot of the problems with the VA’s is that it’s contract work, so they’re just doing little bits here and there. So to find a good client that’s established and looking to grow is really a great job for them. So yeah, and then it’s just a matter of distributing through the, through my networks, to find the right people. And then I have a fairly rigorous recruitment process to find the right person and really it can be overwhelming because you can if you put an ad in one of the Facebook groups the Filipino Virtual Assistant Facebook group you can be bombarded with lots and lots of applicants. So my approach is really to put the onus onto the applicant. So because you’re assuming that most of the people listening are really time poor already, like who’s got time to actually find someone but to put it onto them. So by putting forward an application form so that they have to opt in, and then so you’re more passive and they’re the ones that are doing all the work, is the best way to guide them through, because then the ones that aren’t serious and aren’t committed will eliminate themselves. So then you’re only maybe dealing with a handful or 10, 15 real candidates that are really interested.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 9:28
      Okay, so I’m hearing a couple of things. One note business owners who are listening you got to come with your stuff together when you’re ready to hire a VA or find someone like Tamsin who’s going to help you through that process of really figuring out what you want and who you’re going to hire and how that looks. And then two Tamsin, it sounds like you’ve got a really great handle on that part of the business in terms of how you find people and the processes that are set in place. Let’s talk a little bit about growth, because you’ve been in business for four years so like I mean, that’s you know, kind of to some degree, you’ve kind of coming out of that startup phase. But what does growth look like for you? Like, what does that look like? How have you had to get out there and really earn that client base that you’ve been building?

      Tamsin Parry: 10:14
      I’ve been reflecting on it since you, you know, since I knew we were coming up to have this conversation and I heard a beautiful expression today that I’ve never heard before, and the lady said marketing is relationships. And I was. I thought wow, that’s really interesting, because I would say that for me and I do believe this is not for everybody, everybody I think the best marketing is when you know who you are, what you like to do and and it’s aligned to that. Okay, yes. And more that I lean into that. So it’s like if somebody asked me to blog, it’s like writing is not my, it’s just not my thing. And even with Chat GPT, it’s better, but it’s still it’s not my natural way and when and so, and I actually did. One of the one of the things that I do find difficult with coaching coaches is that often the coach is teaching you what they know, what they, what they, what their expertise is. So I was working with a coach who was fabulous. He was in all different ways, but he was really into Facebook ads and I spent a lot of time and I was good, I’m learning Facebook ads and it really didn’t go anywhere like it was difficult and it was struck, it struggled just for me. I’m not saying this for anybody. And when I looked back and I pivoted from away from that to what I know, and it is networking and it’s more than just networking, because I’ve realized that networking is it’s more about relationships. And when I look at the success over the last four years, it was showing up consistently in every sphere. So if I’m in a group, I show up, I give 100, 110%, whether it’s related, whether it’s not related, and and and genuine relationships have have blossomed out of that. And when it happens, it’s it’s so natural and and so it’s so. Can that be replicated? I think it certainly can. And now that I’ve been having that as a strategic choice, not just a random thing, which it was before, it was like, oh yeah, I love all these people and I’ve got all my my business besties, but like no, this is my strategic plan, it’s so, it’s so easy and it’s and it’s just, it just comes really. It’s just coming really naturally Because I get for, like, for every one client I get, I get two referrals, so it’s a really. I don’t even know how to do a cold sell, because I like seldom get cold cells. They’re always, you know, through referrals and things like that. So it’s a bit of a long answer, but that that’s yeah.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 12:59
      So relationship is everything and networking not just. I met you once, but now I turn that into a relationship for that might not be everyone that might not be 100% of the people you meet, but you’ll find the ones where it makes sense and it happens organically. How do you begin to foster those relationships, particularly now we’re in a world where you could still meet with some people face to face and sit down for coffee, tea, lunch, but even beyond that, right, I’m in Atlanta, you’re in South Africa. Like, how do you nurture those relationships or those meetings when you do meet people, so that it turns into a relationship and eventually referrals?

      Tamsin Parry: 13:37
      Yeah, the. I mean I have only done two client meetings face to face in four years and I have I’ve done two business presentations in person. All the rest are online. So it’s for me it’s a very organic gut feel. So I’ll connect with someone I might connect with four people and it’s not it’s really natural and then I chat and some people just it’s just a spark that just takes off, like I did. I actually did a masterclass yesterday and the lady because I did what I always do I just show up and I asked questions and I tried to get the most value out of it that I can and she found me on Instagram, the lady who was leading it and just like that, it’s just blown into this. Like we’re Instagram, we’re chatting on Instagram. It’s one minute messages, because I didn’t even know that Instagram only does one minute messages, but I learned last night oh, the voice and it would want.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 14:35
      Yeah voice. A lot of people don’t even think about that as different ways to communicate. You know we have email, we have regular chat, but wow, hearing someone over a voice and it not feeling like they send this to everyone, it’s automated, it feels personal and, yeah, I think that’s actually really touching.

      Tamsin Parry: 14:57
      And I’m not too attached to where it would go. I mean, she’s she’s a pretty high profile person, but I really put that secondary because it’s more about building the relationship and we’ll. And then, having said that, I did a presentation today and I thought about somebody 18 months ago who I worked with and I was like she would be amazing for her and it’s like that and I just follow up. I just really follow my instinct when it’s just doing that connection, connecting, and I do know it’s probably something in my stars or something you know it’s like I’m obviously as something like a manifesting generator or a connector, but it does work. And I think just really embracing that and knowing that about myself and stop trying to do another marketing strategy that doesn’t really work organically for me. It’s just it does feel quite powerful and igniting, if that’s a word like. It’s like I’m in my zone.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 16:05
      Yeah, so I’m hearing relationships and then nurturing. I mean, it’s just kind of a simple two step process but figuring out how and where and different ways, and it could be across multiple channels it’s not necessarily one. In that case, you said you mentioned the one from that masterclass. Instagram was the channel where you all connected and those are where we find the best opportunities. I have a blog post about sliding into people’s DMs and how valuable that can be, so I think that’s definitely a huge way to foster those relationships. Okay, so we’re gonna shift into our lightning round and I’m gonna start out with one question which you kind of already answered, but I’m gonna throw it out there to you, which is if you could pick one way to market your business for the next 12 months or I’ll even be more specific and say one channel that you could use to market your business for the next 12 months what would you put your marketing budget into?

      Tamsin Parry: 17:02
      Sponsoring newsletters.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 17:04
      Ooh, that’s a good one. Okay, why that?

      Tamsin Parry: 17:09
      Because, as I said, I see this as an alignment. It’s a natural for me to do the networking and the partnerships and I feel like it’s a natural extension and so if I was going to spend marketing money, it would be in that area. It’s getting in front of my target audience and that’s really the phase that I’m into now is like how can I be in front of my target audience? Yeah, to have the most impact, Perfect okay, and one to two short sentences.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 17:41
      What do you feel like is the most fulfilling thing about what you do?

      Tamsin Parry: 17:49
      It’s probably the email that I get from the VA, these beautiful emails from the VA saying thank you so much for finding me such an amazing client, and then the other emails, which normally are later, because it takes probably three to six months before the VA really is fully ignited, and then getting the emails from the business owners just saying I don’t know what would have been possible if it hadn’t been for my VA.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 18:21
      And they just love theirs.

      Tamsin Parry: 18:22
      VA in the way that I love my VA and I love all the VA. So, yeah, that’s a really. I really know that I’ve made a difference and I’m transforming both of their lives, which is very satisfying.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 18:34
      Full circle moment. Why do people need more VA’s? Just in one or two short sentences.

      Tamsin Parry: 18:41
      Need more VA’s.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 18:43
      Yeah, why do more people need VA’s?

      Tamsin Parry: 18:48
      Yeah, that goes back to what I originally started with, which was the overwhelming burnout, because, ultimately, my personal values is about there’s not enough feminine in the world. When I say feminine, it’s like I think there’s a lot of women, especially in the women in business, which is a big. There’s all women-only coaching programs, but there’s so much masculine energy in that and that is what’s driving women to burnout, because they’re trying to be like men, even doing feminine things, but there’s not enough feminine, there’s not enough leaning back, there’s not enough creativity and allowing and support and help and being willing to ask. And so that’s why it and I’m really passionate about a lot of work I mean entrepreneurs, as I said, are changing the world, and so I really want to ignite them to go out and do their missions in a very supported, healthy, balanced way, and that’s why they need. That’s why I really want to get VAs, and it’s also about matching, because the cost effectiveness of VAs allows people to get team members sooner than they think they can afford. So that’s why it’s worth really looking into it, because you may be able to get the help sooner than you thought.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 20:12
      Very cool, I think, your point about feminine and masculine energy. That’s like a whole new topic unto itself. It’s such a good conversation. All right, two more quick questions. Number one how can people find you at the Doing Company and learn more about your services and any resources that you might have to offer, where people can kind of start immersing themselves into the world of preparing to hire a?

      Tamsin Parry: 20:38
      VA. So my website is the Doing thed oing. c o and my email I’ll just throw it out there because I’m a networking person more than a blogging person, but it’s admin@ thed oing. c Co and I do have a free resource which is an ebook on how to hire a virtual team member. So it kind of walks you through the process that I said, which was about being more passive and getting them to do the work. It kind of outlines that process of how to find a virtual team member and that you can find at the Doingco forward slash VA blueprint. It’s $11, but for this community I’ve got a promo code which is GG100. GG100, yeah.

      Sonja Crystal Williams: 21:28
      So, everybody, we’ll drop that link so that you have the access to that along with the promo code. That way, you can get access to Tamsin’s ebook for free and have an incredibly valuable resource on your hands to help you figure out, as she says, to be a little bit more passive in your business and find the support you need to live out your dreams. All right, that’s going to wrap us up for today. So thanks again for watching, thanks for coming, and we’ll see you on the next episode of 10 minute marketing. Have a great day.


Social Media


Social Media & Digital Marketing Training

Tools, Templates, and Resources

work with me

1:1 VIP Power Day


I'm Sonja — social media and digital marketing trainer, consultant, and strategist. I'm here to help you and your team work smarter.