Tanya Foster assistant Laura Pearson sitting in chair holding coffee in Sail to Sable white sweater and Talbots jeans

Laura Pearson sitting in chair holding coffee in Sail to Sable sweater and Talbots jeans

Tanya Foster assistant holding a coffee mug wearing a sail to sable white sweater

Tanya Foster assistant petting a dog in Sail to Sable sweater and Talbots jeans while petting a Norfolk Terrier

Laura Pearson sitting in chair holding coffee in Sail to Sable sweater and Talbots jeans

It’s been six months since I hired Laura to be my assistant. She’s done a phenomenal job and just like her predecessors (Ramsey, Victoria and Brooke), there are certain qualities I look for before I hire anyone to work with me. They key word in that sentence is “with”.  Today, I’m going to brag on Laura a bit as well as dive into the five qualities of a highly successful blog assistant.

Before I get started, I need to clarify that Laura is my part-time (15-20 hours per week) assistant and full-time professional ballerina with Ballet Dallas. However, Laura is the the most I’ve ever worked with an assistant as far as daily schedule goes. You first met her in this blog post. Every one of my assistants that I have worked with possesses these qualities and I think that is the common denominator. Personality aside, you must present these core traits to work with me. After all, my assistant offices in our home and has a very personal relationship with me.

When things were a bit more normal (remember the days BEFORE March 15?), Laura had office hours and then finished her weekly hours from home. I’m sure we will eventually return to that schedule. For now, she works from her home so she a bit more like a Virtual Assistant. A lot of these traits were confirmed when she traveled with me as my plus one on the Disney Creators Celebration trip back in February. Being around someone 24/7 and rooming with them is truly the way to get to know someone!

 5 Qualities Of A Highly Successful Blog Assistant

1. Quick Learner, Organized and Self-Motivated: Being a quick learner in this fast paced influencer industry is key. I don’t expect anyone to be well versed in WordPress and the other tools of the trade. But paying attention, asking questions and picking it up quickly are key to success! Any profession truly needs this, but you’ll need to know how to tap into your motivation when you have an important project due and you’re not feeling it. When you work from home, you’ll have distractions that try to take you off course. This is where organization skills are important. I can’t teach this – you need to know it.

2. Honesty and loyalty: This can’t be taught – you simply have to be a honest and loyal person. It’s deep in your core values and its a non-negotiable for me. While I can teach you how to blog, post social media and check analytics, I can’t teach you how to be a loyal and honest human being. You represent me and my brand and it is imperative that your values align with mine.

3. Detail-Oriented: I can’t emphasize this enough! It’s all in the details. Being a blogger/influencer today is a more than a full-time job. I know. I used to do all aspects of this job by myself. Every single blog post and social media post is a lot of work. Getting it right matters! Following directions about assignments I give requires careful, detail-oriented planning.

4. Strong work ethic: None of my assistants have called in sick, missed a day of work or failed to complete an assignment. Ever. I attribute this to the fact that I seek out people who are go-getters. They initiate work on their own. When they have a question – they ask. I have a job description that any of my assistants will tell you is basically the skeleton outline for the assistant job. Every single day looks different at TanyaFoster.com and flexibility is key. That’s why having a strong work ethic will always trump any other skill set. When we get into a good groove, Laura almost anticipates what is needed. In fact, sometimes she reminds me what I need to get done.

5.  Being flexible, easy going and willing to try: Even though it is not required, I love it when my assistants are willing to shoot with me. Brands like it because they are getting featured on two age levels. All of my assistants have been similar in age to my children which makes it possible to do a Mom/Daughter type campaign. One of the things I love about Laura is that she is so easy to be around. I really noticed this when we traveled together. Nothing phases her! She’s fun, easy going, rolls with the schedule, not a picky eater and has such a positive outlook on life. A good assistant blends in well and is happy to jump in an help in any situation. She also knows her place and is willing to promote the brand organically.

While those five traits are the most important, I would also say that for my personal situation, you must be an animal lover. We have two dogs and a cat. Laura is around them all the time and they absolutely love her. I know Sparky, Max and Ruby Lou think that this should be the most important trait!

I know immediately from the personal interview if the applicant is a viable choice. To date, all of my assistants have been amazing in the position. They simply grow, graduate from college and move on to full-time jobs. Even though I am always sad to lose them, I consider it time well spent together. Hopefully, I have helped them in their current careers in some small way. In case you are wondering… Victoria is a Merchandise and Data Coordinator at Neiman Marcus, Brooke and her family own and manage Roots Boutique in Waco and Ramsey is the Young Adults Assistant at Watermark Community Church. I am extremely proud of all of them! 🙂

What do you look for in someone you work with? Let me know if I missed anything.

xoxo – Tanya

P.S. Laura is wearing size small in the Sail To Sable round hem turtleneck sweater (now on sale for 50% OFF). It also comes in periwinkle. Her Talbots jeans are also on major sale. Fit is true to size. You can see both of us in Talbots in this blog post.

photo: Audrie Dollins (photographed in February)

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Laura Pearson in white sweater and Talbots jeans

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