How to use Youtube Videos to train your Virtual Assistant on the tasks you need done

Posted by Owen McGab Enaohwo

“How do I train my virtual assistant to get things done just the way I like it?” is one question I always get asked all the time by small business owners. The answer is simply that you need to have a well outlined systems and processes map that explains what, why, how and when you need your tasks done. You also need to explain the standards for how the results provided to you by the virtual assistant will be measured. When the person is there with you at the same location, you can literally show them the ropes. But how do you do that when the person lives in a different location—maybe even a different city, state, or possibly even a different country?


One of the best ways is by creating a series of training videos. Thanks to the power of the Internet, this is easier than ever. By making use of free video hosting sites, you can create training videos and upload them to the site. Then you just give the URL link to the videos to your virtual assistants, and they will have an instant, on-location trainer. And yes, I do recommend Youtube for this project. Uploading videos to the video hosting sites is faster than trying to email the actual video files to your VA, plus it stays there, ready to be accessed, by all your future virtual assistants. If you are concerned about privacy, Youtube also makes it possible to keep videos private, so you need not worry about competitors getting an inside look at how you do business.


Let’s take a look at the steps involved in creating your virtual assistant training videos.


  1. Write a list of everything that you want to train your virtual assistant(s) to do. This step should come even before you get your materials together for producing the video—because the materials that you’ll need will be partly determined by what lessons you plan to cover.  Some examples might be: proper telephone procedures, how to use any software that you need them to use, how to use any collaboration or virtual-office websites that you will be using, and anything else specific to your assignments for the VA.
  2. Now gather together the tools and materials you’ll need for the video. This will include the office equipment that you’ll be training the assistant to use, software you’ll need them to use. Most importantly, you need a good digital video camera / camcorder, a tripod, camera lights, a microphone, a computer with enough processing power to do video editing, and editing software such as Vegas Movie Studio HD (if you are using a PC) and ScreenFlow (if you are using a Mac). You also need screen capture software such as Camtasia and Screenr that allow you to record the content displayed on your computer screen.
  3. Keep each video lesson to no more than 15 minutes. There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, Youtube videos are limited to about 15 minutes, and you might lose a viewer if you try to span one lesson over more than one video. Beyond that, though, it’s easier for your virtual assistant to digest bite-sized chunks.
  4. Before you ever start filming, put the content of your videos down on paper. This means first, write an outline of everything that you’ll cover in each video. Then, based on the outline, create a script. Once you have a script, do a dry run, seeing how long it takes you to finish each script. Once you have it down to about the length that you want, you’re ready to film.
  5. Record the introduction and conclusion at the same time. These are the parts where you will be talking directly into the camera, to the viewer explaining the reasons for the task and so on. By filming these at the same time, you’ll ensure that everything looks and sounds consistent.  Same sound volume, same distance from the camera, and so on. Also it gives the viewer the feeling that you are next to them explaining the task.
  6. Record the steps for carrying out the task. After you film the introduction and conclusion, film yourself actually doing the steps of the task that you want the viewer to learn. Depending on the type of task you might just need a screen capture video or a combination of both. Try to get close-ups of important elements (views of the computer screen, equipment they’re using, etc.).
  7. Edit and create the video. Connect your camera to your computer with its USB cord and upload the video files. Then open them in your video editing software, depending on the one you use, it can be as simple as “cutting” and “pasting” them into the right spot. Add in the introduction, the video that shows the steps and also the conclusion. Feel free to play with the transition effects and to cut out anything you don’t want in it. You may also want to upload a musical soundtrack for it. Once everything is in order, render the video in the format that you desire, I recommend MP4.
  8. Upload the video to Youtube. This step is really easy and Youtube does a great job of explaining how you can get this done. Just make sure when uploading the video, you select the “private” option, so that only people for whom you provide the URL link can view the video.
  9. Share the link with your Virtual Assistant. Send your training links to your virtual assistants and you’re done.  Your on-site trainer will soon be on the job!


Please note that the above steps I have outlined are not meant to be exhaustive, it is just a guide to get you thinking of how you can create Youtube videos to use for training your virtual assistant. Keep in mind that the more detailed you are in explaining the tasks you need done, the higher the chances of you getting the results that you desire.


Questions for you:


  • If you know of any other good, free video editing programs, what are they?
  • What other video-sharing sites might work better than Youtube? I’d like to hear your input.