I recently brought on avirtual internto help me start my new practice -- someone I’ll never meet in person, but who has been helping me get the firm up and running in return for more experience in the financial planning arena.

So far, I’m very impressed. He’s handled some difficult tasks, and been able to manage some projects even when faced with limited information.

Sometimes it can be challenging to figure out which tasks to outsource -- particularly when you don’t even know yourself what’s needed. But here are a couple of the projects that have turned out to be great candidates for a handoff.

Finding superintendents:Because I specialize in working with teachers, my “centers of influence” include school superintendents. I want to introduce myself and my firm to as many of them as possible, as soon as possible. In the four adjacent counties alone, however, there are 260 people to get to know -- and the data I had was over 12 months old. I asked my intern to get the most recent data. A few days later he had managed to find an updated Illinois website that listed all the data for these people and districts, noted the changes on our spreadsheet and added a citation. Now he will join me in introducing the company to these people.

Content planning:He also helped me create a blog calendar for the next six months. I told him I wanted to cover two topics per week, include an occasional mini-series to break down a big topic, and determine whether each topic was best covered in video, audio or text. He did a great job: The topics he selected were relevant and well suited for my target audience, including a mixture of teacher-specific and general blog topics.

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