Skip to main content


If you’re overwhelmed with business hiring a VA can be one of the best things for your business, streamlining and systematising so you can focus on the important things. In this episode Kirsty shares her favourite systems, tools to build your socials, the importance of a personal brand, and building a community – and of course, how to find the best help for you and your business. If you’re feeling the overwhelm and ready to hire someone this episode is for you!

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • The best software and tools to streamline your business
  • 4 different kinds of content to post on your socials
  • The importance of building a personal brand
  • How to find the perfect VA for you when 7,000 people comment on your post in that group
  • And so much more


[00:00:00] Kirsty Whybrow: When you’re at that point where you can see your business is growing, you can see that you are spending too much time in your inbox, or you’re spending too much time feeling like you’re drowning in those mundane tasks of day-to-day thinking, oh, what am I gonna post on socials tonight?

[00:00:14] I don’t know. That’s probably the point where you need to stop and think, okay, maybe I need to bring someone onto the team.

[00:00:23] Dahna Borg: Hi, and welcome to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. I’m Dahna founder of bright red marketing, and after helping so many businesses in the e-commerce space over the years, I wanted to bring you the best advice from Australia and experts in e-commerce and e-commerce store owners. If you want to relatable stories and actionable advice and the latest Facebook advertising strategies, you’re in the right place.

[00:00:43] One help with your Facebook and Instagram ads. Remember you can always book in a free strategy Forward slash free dash strategy dash session will run through your ads. See what’s working and what’s not. And no sales pitch. I promise. So let’s get into today’s episode. On today’s episode, we are joined by Kirsty Whybrow. Welcome, Kirsty.

[00:01:05] Kirsty Whybrow: Thank you so much for having me. I’m excited to chat with you.

[00:01:08] Dahna Borg: It’s so good to have you on the show. So can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how your business came to be?

[00:01:13] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, for sure. So I’m Kirsty. I’m from Kirsty and Co. So we are a virtual assistant agency. We mainly help e-commerce friends and businesses to remove the overwhelm so that they can scale their businesses. We help. With things like social media email marketing, Shopify updates, customer service, and all of the fun things no one has time to do.

[00:01:36] I’ve actually nearly had my business for almost five years, which is crazy because that’s gone so fast. I almost fell into having my business. I was very, very lucky to have a, a good friend of mine who had a brand and she was like, Hey, I need help. And I was like, I can probably do that.

[00:01:54] And I was very fortunate enough to grow with her brand and learn along the way with her as her brand grew, which was exciting. And from there, I just, I absolutely loved it. I loved helping people. I loved learning about their businesses. And seeing that relief when all of those things were taken off their plate was amazing.

[00:02:13] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I mean obviously I work with a lot of e-commerce businesses and all those things are things that just, they stack up so quickly and they take up so much of your time, but they’re not why most people started an e-commerce business,

[00:02:25] Kirsty Whybrow: they didn’t. And a lot of the time too, those things aren’t maybe. Like it might take an hour to do your inbox, but you know, it’s the overwhelm feeling of I need to check my inbox. Like, has anyone emailed me? Is there anything urgent sitting in there? So sometimes it’s often just that space that that actually takes up rather than the physical time.

[00:02:44] Dahna Borg: Yeah, and even just, I mean, a lot of us started our businesses to have more time, and that time is not always best spent sending emails. Sometimes it’s, do you wanna go hang out with your family or you wanna sit around and. Brainstorm ideas for new product. So that time is always really good to get back if someone is thinking about getting help.

[00:03:05] When do you sort of work out that time? How do you get that timing right? I know that’s something that a lot of people struggle with is do I get them now? Like is it too soon? Have I missed the boat? Like how do people work out that time of getting help?

[00:03:18] Kirsty Whybrow: It is really tricky, especially when often businesses scale really quickly and then they don’t realize that they’re absolutely drowning and that they need help like three months ago. And that’s, that’s tricky. And it isn’t something that we can always get right. We don’t always have a crystal ball in business.

[00:03:35] So what I would recommend is definitely getting help. Before you were drowning if possible. So if you, when you’re at that point where you can see your business is growing, you can see that you are spending too much time in your inbox, or you’re spending too much time feeling like you’re drowning in those mundane tasks of day-to-day thinking, oh, what am I gonna post on socials tonight?

[00:03:55] I don’t know. That’s probably the point where you need to stop and think, okay, maybe I need to bring someone onto the team before. For everything’s absolutely, you feel like you’re drowning if you’re able to bring them on at that point, you’re just able to onboard them a little bit easier and more streamlined onto your, into your business.

[00:04:14] You can set up those procedures in place because of course every business is slightly different and that is gonna take a little bit of time. And then, and then you can go forth from there. If you are at that point where you’re drowning and you feel like you needed someone in your business six months ago, that’s okay too.

[00:04:28] That’s gonna happen. It absolutely is. It just means that that transition may not be as smooth as what it could have been if you’d done it a little bit earlier.

[00:04:36] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I totally agree. Is there ever a. Time where it’s too early to get help.

[00:04:42] Kirsty Whybrow: The only time is, is if you physically can’t afford that investment in your business. Obviously there’s VAs come with many different price points and that may be an option as well. If you choose to go with a VA who may be at a, a lower price point with a little bit less experience, that’s generally the only time where it is too soon in the business.

[00:05:01] Dahna Borg: Yeah, that makes sense. So obviously you come in to businesses of all shapes and sizes. Where do you tend to see the most growth? So obviously you’ve come in, you’re helping people. What sort of activities, tasks that do you take on that you then see the most growth in those businesses?

[00:05:17] Kirsty Whybrow: The biggest things are those daily things, so customer service social media, obviously. A lot of the brands and businesses that we work with have a, a pretty clear marketing strategy in place already. They’re already at that level where they know who their customer is, they know their marketing strategy and all of those sorts of things.

[00:05:35] So that’s already up and sailing and growing. But by taking those daily things like the. By actually implementing their emails that they’ve got, you know, planned out their social media, their customer service. It just means that they’re then able to actually use that brain power in their business to grow it.

[00:05:52] So that might be product development and might be looking into, you know, adding Facebook ads into their, into their marketing and those sorts of things. And then that’s where they’re then able to actually grow their business because they’ve just got that head space where they’re not having to think about.

[00:06:07] Those emails, and that sounds really like for a funny thing, just by taking that off someone, it just means that their head’s so much clearer to be able to think about, okay, well what’s next for our business?

[00:06:18] Dahna Borg: Yeah. Fantastic. What are some of your like. Favorite systems, tools, or strategies that you implement into other people’s businesses that make a big difference? Obviously, we’ve just talked about some of those things, but like in terms of growth, in terms of things that people listening to can actually implement themselves from this call, what are some of those things that you find really make a a big difference in terms of those systems and tools?

[00:06:42] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, so we use Asana and. I will use Asana with our clients to help with our communication back and forth. But what I’ve found is a lot of clients will then take Asana even further and start actually implementing that into their business. So then they’ll have different boards for marketing, they’ll have different boards for you know, product development and all of those sorts of things.

[00:07:03] And then that’s just a place where they can house all of those thoughts that are in their mind. That tool is probably that one of the biggest ones that I find that most people then take on board and take in their own business.

[00:07:17] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I think having that sort of systems and structures can really help. Is there anything else that you find really helps?

[00:07:23] Kirsty Whybrow: Most are already using things like social media, scheduling platforms. If they’re not, unless they’re, they’re people who are. Of course I’m posting on the fly actually scheduling out their social media and using a platform like plan or Plan only. There’s many out there. But most I find are already using some form of scheduling platform.

[00:07:45] The other one is gorgeous, which I absolutely love for customer service. And that’s a big one. If we can get brands and businesses into gorgeous, that streamlines a a lot of their customer service. And I love it. And it’s even better than for a team to be able to use. So you’re really taking it to, to the next level, and you’re not then needing to check you know, Three different inboxes and your, your dms on Instagram and your PMs on coming in on Facebook.

[00:08:12] It’s just everything’s in one. That’s a big one. I can’t believe I, I forgot about the gorgeous,

[00:08:17] Dahna Borg: I love going. Just I I’ve got a, a merch t-shirt of theirs and it’s the

[00:08:21] Kirsty Whybrow: Oh, do you?

[00:08:21] Dahna Borg: thing ever, but their software is amazing. They also make great merch t-shirts if you can get your hands on one. But the software’s great for that exact reason. I mean, for us, we obviously need our clients to maintain and monitor the comments on their Facebook ads, and gorgeous lets them do that really easily.

[00:08:36] There are some other platforms that do similar things. But having that ability to be able to reply to customers quickly, it’s all in one place. Nothing’s getting lost, nothing’s getting forgotten, is always a really good thing.

[00:08:46] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, definitely. I absolutely love gorgeous, and when you are working with a team and those internal notes are like a godsend because it means that we can communicate back and forth about different problems as well. As on top of not missing any comments, any dms, all of the things, it’s just all in one place.

[00:09:03] It’s fantastic.

[00:09:04] Dahna Borg: Yeah, lovely. You touched on it briefly in terms of the social media posting using schedulers and things. It is something that a lot of business owners do struggle with, even the ones that are planned and organized and have a scheduler. Do you have any tips on how to sort of like streamline that, have the, the content coming through in terms like that content creation and the automation side of things?

[00:09:27] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, it definitely is tricky to get everything happening. So we plan content out a month in advance, and that’s not always possible. You know, products don’t turn up on time and stuff like that. There’s always room for movement. We actually just use a Google Doc to plan out all of the content.

[00:09:42] In a month for a month in advance. And then from there, it’s then scheduled into those platforms. And I think that that’s the easiest way, even if you do need to move things or products don’t turn up on time or you need to stretch out, launch dates. If it’s planned out, can see that month done and you only really need to think about it once a month.

[00:10:01] Rather than having to think about it every week or every day when you’ve only gotta think about it, you can get your head in that head space of content planning and content creating and then it’s done. You don’t need to think about it again.

[00:10:13] Dahna Borg: It does take so much more brain space to be thinking about it all the time, rather than just getting it done in one hit. I try to remember to get it done in one hit. That doesn’t always happen. In terms of the structure of those posts, finding content, those sorts of things, any tips for our listeners?

[00:10:29] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, it’s hard. So we tend to work around four content pillars, and I think I’m understanding and knowing those content pillars is really important. And then once you’ve got those content pillars, you’re really just recycling between each. So for product-based businesses, one thing that we always try and concentrate on is obviously educating their audience on their products.

[00:10:50] What are the questions that are coming into the inbox? What are the, you know, frequently asked questions, that sort of stuff. Educating your audience on the products. So that’s obviously one. Every post doesn’t need to be buy my things. I think that that’s something that is very

[00:11:03] Dahna Borg: too much.

[00:11:05] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah.

[00:11:05] Sometimes it feels like it needs to be by my things all of the time, but it, it really doesn’t. The biggest thing also is personal branding, like around working that why did you start your business? Who are you, you know, that those sorts of things is really what’s connecting with, with your audience. So I think once you’ve got those four content pillars mapped out for your brand and business, so then you’re just recycling through those content pillars.

[00:11:28] And I think that that kind of breaks it down a little bit.

[00:11:31] Dahna Borg: I love that. About some like streamlining and things. Do you have any other areas of business that you like to sort of streamline or automate that other people can sort of learn from?

[00:11:42] Kirsty Whybrow: They’re probably really the biggest ones that we use in terms of helping with social media, which we’ve covered there. Customer service. Shopify updates is always gonna be a big one. And we really use Asana in terms of that. So, for example, for an upcoming launch, we would have a launch template set out that would have all of the steps.

[00:12:02] So then every single launch, that template is just duplicated over and over and over. You know, there’s lots of things that need to be done. Images need to be added, or text needs to be added, all of those sorts of things. And when you’ve just got that list there in a template that can be ticked off as you go, either as you do it.

[00:12:19] Or someone else on your team does it. It just means that that’s all being ticked off for each launch. And then you’re good to go. What else do we cover? And then email marketing really comes into the same sort of planning as social media, you know, I think the two, and you would probably agree kind of work hand in hand depending on what’s going on in your business.

[00:12:38] At the time the planning comes together for those.

[00:12:41] Dahna Borg: Yeah. I love that. It sounds so common sense to be like, have a checklist for launch. But we have a big client who almost forgot to put the new products online

[00:12:50] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, that’s a big one.

[00:12:52] Dahna Borg: a big, they’re a big company. It’s, it’s not my job. I didn’t forget. But

[00:12:57] Kirsty Whybrow: can be

[00:12:58] Dahna Borg: that got

[00:12:58] Kirsty Whybrow: so many, there’s so many little things that need to be done for a launch and sometimes, you know, you get, you get into the groove of doing each thing and it’s easy to miss something.

[00:13:09] Dahna Borg: Yeah, especially when you’ve done it so many times, you think, you know, like you’ve got it. You’re like, yep, I’ve done this 7,000 times. And it’s just that one little step that gets missed and you’re like, so I think those automated templates in Asana is a, a really great idea.

[00:13:20] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah. That’s cool. Thank you.

[00:13:22] Dahna Borg: So what would you say are your top three tips for an e-commerce business?

[00:13:27] You like to ask everyone?

[00:13:28] Kirsty Whybrow: No, no planning on what to say here. Definitely I. Outsourcing help before, before you need it. You can’t do everything on your own. Once your business is at a stage of, of growth you can’t do everything on your own. So definitely outsourcing. And asking for that help.

[00:13:48] Even if it’s Packers, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a VA or however it may look. It might even be to begin with Packers. Cause I know that’s a huge one for e-commerce brands. So definitely outsourcing and taking on that help when you can. Planning is a big one, I think. Definitely, especially in terms of.

[00:14:05] You know, trying to plan out launches. And then in terms of that, where does that then look, have you got your social media ads? Have you got your ads happening? Have you got your emails? That’s a huge one. Definitely planning. And the other one, oh, I don’t know. I, I think. It’s really important to include who you are in, in your, in your products.

[00:14:25] And I think that that’s your biggest point of difference. So I love seeing, I know when I go to shop with someone, I often land straight onto their about me page. I wanna know who I’m buying from before I’m actually checking out. So I think that that’s really important as well.

[00:14:40] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I love that and I’ve spoken to a lot of people about that lately in terms of. You’re selling something that probably a lot of other people are selling and people are gonna buy from small businesses because they like you.

[00:14:53] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah,

[00:14:54] Dahna Borg: Your product has to be great, but people that buy from small businesses tend to buy from people.

[00:15:00] So having that sort of personality and sharing a bit more of your story, I think is a, a really important thing. I, I fully agree with you there.

[00:15:06] It’s just nice. Then you kinda have that brand loyalty cause you’re like, oh, I really like Julie. Like, it’s not even like the brand anymore. It’s just, I like buying from Julie.

[00:15:15] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah. You’re creating like a community as well. You’re creating like that following, that’s then so loyal to you because they feel like they know you. They’re buying something from you, and I think that makes a huge difference.

[00:15:27] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I think people love that, especially when everything’s getting so in your face and very marketing heavy. It’s nice to feel like you’re buying from a friend instead. Before we ask the last couple of questions we ask everyone, do you think we’ve missed anything? I feel like we’ve covered a lot,

[00:15:42] Kirsty Whybrow: the, only other thing that we’re often asked is like how to actually find a va, I guess.

[00:15:47] Dahna Borg: Oh yeah. Any tips on finding a good fit?

[00:15:50] Kirsty Whybrow: There’s lots of VAs out there and it can, I imagine, feel quite overwhelming to business owners. Not really knowing where to start looking for a va. And my biggest advice there is actually just jump on a discovery call.

[00:16:04] Have a look on their website, have a look through their social. Would you be able to see. Brands that they’re working with and if they’re like a similar fit to yours you can tell from their writing if it sounds like the way you speak, if it feels like the way you feel about things and then just jump on a discovery call.

[00:16:20] I think you need to just really trust your gut. I completely understand and it’s a huge, overwhelming task handing over some of that to somebody else.

[00:16:30] Dahna Borg: I’ve just done it again and I’m like, I’ve had some very bad experiences with bas. I’ve never worked with you. Just so everyone’s listening. I’m not saying I had a bad experience with Kirsty. I’ve had some very bad experiences and I’ve taken the plunge again cuz I needed some assistant and they’re doing really great this time.

[00:16:45] But it’s always scary

[00:16:47] Kirsty Whybrow: It is super scary.

[00:16:48] Dahna Borg: the logins to my entire business.

[00:16:50] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, exactly. You’re handing over a lot. So you really, I think you have to trust your gut and you’ll get that like often from, from a call. Like, does this feel like my person? Does this feel like we’re on the similar sort of wavelength? ? And then yeah, from there you should be able to have a contract in place.

[00:17:07] All of those sorts of big things will give you a clear indication as to whether or not it’s the right fit as well. I think.

[00:17:13] Dahna Borg: yeah. I love that. I see so many posts in groups where people are like, Who’s the va and there’s like 7,000 comments and you’re like, that must just be so overwhelming for small businesses being like, how? How do you pick between the 7,000 people have raised their hand?

[00:17:29] Kirsty Whybrow: often everyone’s website looks great because at the end of the day, a website is telling people exactly what they wanna hear. Cause that’s why we make so,

[00:17:37] Dahna Borg: job of the website.

[00:17:38] Kirsty Whybrow: Exactly when you actually speak to someone. So just jump on a discovery call with five different people and see if you get that right feeling from someone.

[00:17:46] Dahna Borg: I mean, that’s how I’ve always hired and I’ve had very good success with that is do I like you as a human being and do we get along? And then the rest is sort of, we can work it out from them

[00:17:55] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah. Completely agree.

[00:17:57] Dahna Borg: and Lovely. All right. The last couple of questions we ask everyone do you have any strategies or habits that you follow each day to keep you on track in business?

[00:18:05] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah, so I actually have, this has taken me a long time to get this happening, but I have two different checklists that I work off every day. So one is a checklist of things that have to be done, even if. My day goes to complete AWOL and nothing’s gone right, or the kids are sick or whatever. I’ve got a checklist of things that have to be done, and this is only three things, but if my day goes horrible, I know I’ve done those three things and I can be wherever else I need to be.

[00:18:32] I’ve got, I’ve got two little kids, you know, life doesn’t always go as it should, and then I’ve got a, a checklist for an ideal day, so it’s completely time blocked out. Being completely honest, sometimes I would sit down at my desk, I would pick up my phone, and all of a sudden I’ve been scrolling Instagram for an hour and I’ve done absolutely nothing.

[00:18:49] So I now I have like a list of things that I, okay, I sit down, this is what I do first, this is what I do next, and then it’s completely planned out for the day so that I can stay on track the tasks that I don’t wanna do or that I find hard time consuming. Those ones that you tend to always put off, I do at the beginning of my day.

[00:19:08] So that means they’re done and I can’t put them off. And that has, that works really well for me. The other thing I try and do is once a week have what I call a C E O day. And this is working on my business. As a service-based provider, it’s hard to often, you’ll always, you know, prioritize client work over your own.

[00:19:27] And I try and have one day a week, which is just working on my business.

[00:19:32] Dahna Borg: I love that. I really like the list, like the two lists. Because sometimes you just have a bad day and sometimes stuff just goes crazy and nothing can get done. So having sort of those two lists I think is, is really clever.

[00:19:44] Kirsty Whybrow: Think it stops you from beating yourself up. Like, oh, I didn’t get anything done, you know? But that’s life. Like life is gonna happen. So by just having those things, okay, it hasn’t gone to plan, but I’ve still done those important things that needed to be done. Let’s move on.

[00:19:59] Dahna Borg: Yeah, I, I also like that you do the big scary things and the big hard things first. I have to do a couple of tiny things just to feel like I’ve checked some things off my list.

[00:20:07] Kirsty Whybrow: Yeah.

[00:20:08] Dahna Borg: But that’s the thing. Everyone’s different. Do you have a.

[00:20:12] Kirsty Whybrow: Oh I ha it’s hard to pick one. I listen to a lot of I listen to a lot of podcasts that are around a lot of mindful stuff. So Christine Corcoran, I listen to her podcast religiously. I love it. I don’t even know what it’s called on the top of my head, but Christine Corin and you’ll find her from there.

[00:20:33] I also love Claire Woods podcast. So she’s Money Mindset and her podcast I find is fantastic and really easy to listen to as well. And I do listen to Blossom Media Chelsea’s podcast regularly as well for e-commerce brands and businesses. That’s a good one.

[00:20:50] Dahna Borg: And if people want to visit you, what’s the best way for them to do that?

[00:20:54] Kirsty Whybrow: So I’m usually hanging out on Instagram. My Instagram handle is at Kirsty and co. Or of course, my website, which is

[00:21:04] Dahna Borg: Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining us.

[00:21:06] Kirsty Whybrow: Thank you so much for having me.

[00:21:09] Thanks for listening to the bright minds of e-commerce podcast. As always you’ll find the show notes at Forward slash episode 40. Thanks for listening.

Dahna Borg

Author Dahna Borg

More posts by Dahna Borg