Episode 57: Should You Hire A VA Or A Project Manager To Help Your Ad Management Business?

As your ad management business grows, you reach a point

Jody Milward

As your ad management business grows, you reach a point when you need help to stay on top of everything and keep up a high standard for your clients. You might be wondering if you should hire a virtual assistant or a project manager to help you with your ad management business.

That’s what we’re diving into today in this episode of Online Confidential, where I take you behind the scenes to talk about “Secret Ad Manager Business”.

So you’re running ads for clients and everything’s great.

However, you feel a bit swamped. There are so many things to do, and you spend a bit too much time doing them. So you might be considering whether you should bring in regular help.

Someone who can come on board and help you with the day-to-day tasks. Someone who will take a few things off your plate, and perhaps, let you have a week off every now and then.  Because when you’ve got someone on board who knows how to run the ads and knows what to look at, you can take a well-earned break.

So you may be thinking, “What type of help do I actually need?”

“Do I need a project manager who’s going to help me stay on track and make sure things don’t get missed? Because we’ve got projects lined up for these launches, copy is getting requested, graphics are getting requested…”

And get help with all those bits and pieces that need to be managed in a tight timeframe.

Or perhaps you’re thinking, “Maybe I need a virtual assistant”.

You can have someone who can manage your inbox, do the day-to-day tasks that just need to be done, like reporting, and maybe even loading up some campaigns. A virtual assistant can do all that for you.

Having a virtual assistant on board means you can come in and focus on what you’re great at instead of doing things that take up a lot of time, like loading up campaigns.

What type of support should you hire for?

Recently, for members of The Clique, my mastermind group, we had Kolbe Certified Expert Eryn Morgan come in and present; she’s fantastic at building dream teams.

I had all our Certified Elite Ad Managers in The Clique complete a Kolbe test so they could see their strengths and understand who would be the right fit for them to have on board in their business.

During our mastermind call, one of our ad managers said when she recently went through the process of hiring somebody, she noticed she vibed really well with an applicant. But then she realized it was because they had the same strengths!

When it comes to hiring, you don’t want to hire someone who has the same strengths as you. It’s better to hire somebody who has great strengths, but their strengths are in the areas that aren’t your strengths.

So that is something to consider right there. While you may be attracted to someone very similar to you and it sounds like a great match because you gel on the same things, it may lead to frustration.

Over time, you may realize those areas that you really need help and support with still aren’t getting done. Because the tasks are not in their wheelhouse, and those areas are not their strengths which is a problem for your business.

So by going through the Kolbe tests for 17 ad managers, Eryn could see there were about seven who had very similar strengths and one of those being that they’re all strong with fact-finding.

As an ad manager, a lot of what you do is research. You’re in there looking at the data, analyzing the data, and doing a lot of research. You look for audiences, and you dig around and gather information on what’s working and what’s not working. So a lot of ad managers, and maybe you can relate to this as well, are good at fact-finding and research.

I hear a lot of ad managers say they lack systems. The trouble is not that they lack systems. They lack the time or capacity to get the systems out of their head and into a project management tool, or even into a spreadsheet or a Loom recording.

It’s about getting those systems they’ve been developing over the months or years into a format that someone can follow and help them run their campaigns or support them in an administrative task.

So if you feel that you’re lacking systems, chances are you’ve already got systems; they’re just stuck in your head.

Do you need a project manager, or do you need a VA? 

If either of these situations sound familiar to you…

You might have systems stuck in your head, or you’re really good at research and fact-finding, and you’ve got everything dialed in, then you don’t need a project manager.

If you do end up going down that path of hiring a project manager, that might be at the time when you want to scale an agency. If you want to have 10 or more clients, or 15 clients, then things will get out of hand quite quickly.

That’s when a project manager is needed to help manage your team. Having a project manager means you could do higher level tasks such as strategy meetings with clients and mapping things out, making sure that copy, messaging, and the avatar is all in order. And you have another ad manager responsible for loading up the ads and campaigns.

You may have a couple of ad managers if you’re getting to 20 clients or more. When a project manager comes on board, they help coordinate tasks with the ad managers, make sure copy has all gone off, the creatives have come back, and keep everyone on track. That’s when you need a project manager.

But if you’re not at 20 clients or more, if you’re just at 10 or 5, hiring a VA instead can be a lifesaver and a game-changer for your business because you’ll get back at least 10 hours a week.

If you’ve got five clients and you’re doing the reporting, that can take a full day to make sure the weekly reports are all in order. This is when a VA can be really helpful.

Your VA can do the daily reporting and pop the numbers straight into a spreadsheet for you. Then they can wrap up the numbers at the end of the week. All you need to do is double-check the numbers, and while that might also take a bit of time, at least you’ve saved the time of getting all the information together.

Maybe what you really need help with is managing your inboxes and calendars, doing some more administrative tasks, and following up with potential clients. For example, you could have a template written up of the wording to use, and your VA does the tasks and follows up with clients.

That can be a game-changer for you. You don’t have to worry about your brain space being taken up with admin tasks. Instead, you can focus more on serving your clients, communicating with them, working on the strategy, and managing the campaigns.

So chances are, you wouldn’t need a project manager; you just need to get a VA on board. That can be very cost-effective at $20 or $25 an hour to get someone to help you.

And when you get the right help, you buy back your time, which cannot be replaced.

If you could get an extra 10 hours a week back, what could you do with that? You could develop your business. Look at other ways to get new clients on board, increase your prices, and implement other business strategies like coaching.

You could find two new coaching clients prepared to pay you $500 a week each to do strategy sessions. Or if it’s a VIP day, that could be $2,000. That extra time gives you the capacity to do other things to increase the revenue of your business, rather than being caught up working on super important and time-consuming tasks that someone else can follow and complete for you.

So getting a VA on board who is strong with systems and likes to follow systems can help you get important information out of your head and put it into your project management tool, or even a Google doc spreadsheet. You can do a Loom recording and tell your VA to put the steps into a spreadsheet, so you create the systems as you go with a VA to help you.

Save yourself the stress and the cost of over-hiring someone you do not need at this point in your business.

If you’re working with 5 to 10 ad clients, get a VA on board and look for that person sooner rather than later, before you’re completely stressed and burnt out from working too many hours. If you get them on board sooner rather than later, they can start doing a few hours a week.

They can learn the ropes so that in a couple of months down the track, they’re up to doing 10 hours a week, or possibly more, depending where you are with your business.

When they’ve learned the ropes and know what’s happening in Ads Manager, and they know what to do without any hand-holding, you can take a week-long break without worrying about your business.

Doesn’t that sound ideal? It’s well and truly possible.

Have you hired a VA, or have you hired a project manager?

Or are you still unsure about who you should hire or when you should hire?

I’d love to know. Email us at or comment below. I would love to hear from you and answer any questions you may have about it.

That’s all for now, until next time. See you later!


I love to share practical information to help you improve your skills, learn something new or help you avoid the mistakes that many Ad Managers and I have made to help fast-track you on your journey as a well-paid and in-demand Ad Manager.