Virtual Assistants...Useful for your business?

27 replies
I recently got to a point where I would need some extra-hands to keep scaling my business, I thought of VA's but I have zero experience with this...What's your experience with this resource? What are the best sources, websites to hire them, etcetera? General Tips?
#assistantsuseful #business #virtual
  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Administrator
    Website to hire VAs? Freelancer.com
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722751].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      Thanks! I've been recommended too onlinejobs.ph and Upwork, I think I'll start with those + Freelancer.com and let you know my experience...Hopefully I can get rid of some annoying tasks hehe
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722807].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    This forum is owned by freelancer.com - so that is what you will see recommended here.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
    ***
    The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing,
    someone else does.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722812].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      Wow! I didn't know that but thanks for letting me know, useful information! freelancer.com second to none then haha
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722822].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Join the Nothing Held Back Job Board on Facebook. Post in there for what you're looking for. It and its parent group (NHB) are the best FB groups I've seen in over a decade in online marketing and agency ownership. Also look here:

    https://www.warriorforum.com/main-in...ssistants.html

    I posted a great article or two, and a video I'm going to try and chase down... not sure why he made it private as it has been out for years.

    EDIT:

    The missing video described 5 levels of delegation, to be done in order...

    1 - Production
    2 - Accounting/Documentation
    3 - Marketing
    4 - Business Development
    5 - General Manager.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722837].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author chuckholmes
    I've used VAs for years. Upwork is where I get most of mine, but I also use Fiverr for a lot of one time tasks. The Philippines is my favorite country to source VAs from. Fluent in English, hard working, polite, and affordable rates.

    When using VAs you must be very specific. Let them know exactly what you want. You might even have to experiment with a few before you find one who can do ongoing work for you. I normally find about 1 in 8 I hire are good for long-term work with me. Just my two cents.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11722840].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Pribeiro
    VA are great for a couple of tasks, so you can be focused where you are good at. But the point about VAs if finding the right resources, because sorry my french but there are a lot of crappy VAs.

    So you need to do your own diligence on that, hire a bunch to do the same task as a trial and then keep the one that you find best. If for some reason none of them have enough quality, repeat the process until you find the right one.

    And for last but not least be very specific in what you want them to do, list it point by point, or else things may go sideways.

    I wish good luck in your journey.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723017].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
    Administrator
    So have you gotten started?
    Signature
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723074].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      Originally Posted by WF- Enzo View Post

      So have you gotten started?
      Yes, I have hired one of each of the most recommended platforms (Freelancer.com, Upwork and Fiverr) and I gave them a serie of tasks that I want to get rid of with clear instructions, in one week I'll value the results and I'll see if I have to find new ones or keep 1,2 or 3 of them...I'll keep you posted, thanks for all your recommendations!

      Originally Posted by marketing2021 View Post

      Best and expert virtual assistant you get from fiver , upworker, freelancer and hvateam.com ,
      I never heard of hvateam.com but it's interesting because they gave you consultation and assign you one...It saves time, let's see if the results and pricing is good!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723129].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author marketing2021
    Best and expert virtual assistant you get from fiver , upworker, freelancer and hvateam.com ,
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723078].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author ChristopherAndreas
    Banned
    I've been using fiver, I normally find 3 I hire are good for long-term work with me. but thanks to you I'll definitely try another one and maybe find something more!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723093].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rajamanickam
      Originally Posted by ChristopherAndreas View Post

      I've been using fiver, I normally find 3 I hire are good for long-term work with me. but thanks to you I'll definitely try another one and maybe find something more!
      Please provide me the list of virtual assistant job websites, Fiverr is good.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723228].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
        Originally Posted by Rajamanickam View Post

        Please provide me the list of virtual assistant job websites, Fiverr is good.

        If you read all the other posts in this thread, there are a number of site options.
        Signature

        Cheers, Laurence. Read my Warriors for Hire ad.
        Writer/Editor/Proofreader. Place orders.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723368].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I posted a great article or two, and a video I'm going to try and chase down... not sure why he made it private as it has been out for years.

    Probably made private for the same reason that WF thread is closed - spammers bumping years old comments/posts thus requiring time to delete them.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
    ***
    The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing,
    someone else does.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723152].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Fountain
    A virtual assistant is generally only as good as your recruitment process to find them, specificity of the job role, amount you pay them and clarity of your instructions. You ideally want to have a virtual assistant that does one specific job EG. copyrighting only. You want to set up clear systems and processes for them to follow, with standard operating procedures (sops), laying out exactly what they have to do so a five-year-old child could follow it in theory. You can get the virtual assistants to create Sops too as they go along. In terms of recruitment you want to make sure that you send applicants to a pre-made Google forms questionairre where you can test them on their skills and get them to submit examples of their work. Getting them to do a live task is v. Important. An important question to ask is to test internet speed via a self-submitted video so it can't be manipulated. Having a slow internet connection is going to double or triple your costs alone. Having a graded recruitment process will allow you to score the applicants and you will then have a list of 'spare' virtual assistants graded from your tests, if it doesn't work out with the first one. Doing this also means you don't need to pay for another month's fees on onlinejobs.ph as you will already have 20 va's in your dms. After you have tested them via your Google form and interviewed them, always start them on a short-term trial. Also, bear in mind that lots of people try to scam virtual assistants so you want to start by paying them weekly and always pay them weekly if possible, although you can move to bi-weekly and then eventually monthly once trust has been established. Don't forget to praise them for the hard work and of course always pay them fairly. Wouldnt go lower than $4/hr. I found onlinejobs.ph. to be the best in terms of quality and price. Facebook v expensive. Fiverr poor quality. People per hour is good but expensive. Upwork expensive.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723373].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
      Originally Posted by Alex Fountain View Post

      . although you can move to bi-weekly and then eventually monthly once trust has been established. Don't forget to praise them for the hard work and of course always pay them fairly. Wouldnt go lower than $4/hr. I found onlinejobs.ph. to be the best in terms of quality and price. Facebook v expensive. Fiverr poor quality. People per hour is good but expensive. Upwork expensive.
      Why would a Virtual Assistant wait a month to get paid after providing a service? That's a good way to loose a VA.

      On another note - the part about poor quality on Fiverr is a bunch of bull. Plenty of people use Fiverr and had great results. Same with Upwork what is your definition of expensive? A decent VA who does everything you ask them to do in a timely fashion. Is a lot cheaper than burning through people who are lazy or just plain sloppy!
      Signature


      Earn10% average annual returnshttps://app.groundfloor.us/r/m2aa7b
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723464].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author WF- Enzo
        Administrator
        That's exploitation, innit

        Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

        Why would a Virtual Assistant wait a month to get paid after providing a service? That's a good way to loose a VA.
        Signature
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723869].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AmrBadran
    Good to know this forum connected to freelancer, But i didn't meet any sellers from here on freelancer
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11723413].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author blairquane
    Originally Posted by Artkantos View Post

    I recently got to a point where I would need some extra-hands to keep scaling my business, I thought of VA's but I have zero experience with this...What's your experience with this resource? What are the best sources, websites to hire them, etcetera? General Tips?
    I've struggled with VA's in terms of their results. They tend to promise a lot and deliver less. I've tried detailed briefs and expected outcomes etc etc but its very hit and miss.
    A suggestion is to seriously vet anyone you're looking to take on. I would actually speak to them rather than just rely on their profile/cv. Also, try to talk to a previous employer/reference to actually get an accurate understanding of their work. There are great VA's out there, you just need to look hard. When you get one, pay them well and look after them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11724612].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    A suggestion is to seriously vet anyone you're looking to take on.

    I don't use VA's but I've known marketers who have used them very successfully - and some who haven't.


    I agree with speaking to the person over the phone at least - but also what is seldom mentioned is that a VA is not a 'mini me'. I've seen marketers who expected to pay a low rate and then wanted the VA to 'take over'.


    Decide WHAT you want done - explain it in writing with examples, if needed. Set the goals for how much work you expect each week or month....and give clear, concise instructions on what you want done.


    You hire a VA to take over some of the routine tasks that take up YOUR time - yet I've known marketers to hire a $5/hr VA and then ask the VA - 'what should we do'. For a VA, time is money - so don't expect to have long conversations several times as week unless you are paying for that time. Tell the VA what you want done - and let them get it done.


    If you are unsure what you would use a VA for - look instead at hiring for specific work - such as content writers, copywriters, etc.
    Signature
    Saving one dog will not change the world - but the world changes forever for that one dog.
    ***
    The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don't know what you are doing,
    someone else does.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11724630].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      There is a lot of poor quality people on Fiverr. There are good ones too. and then, there's a lot of lousy employers on Fiverr.



      The problem? A lot of people do not take the time to vet. And people wanting to pay $5 and get $150 worth of work is not uncommon (the lousy employer, part).


      It comes down to be very clear on what you want your VA to do and vet well. Time spent here saves a lot of time and aggravation later.


      I once saw a complaint on Fiverr from someone. It went like this: I want a logo exactly like this (and they uploaded a logo) that can be uploaded over other stuff. Not a VA but shows well what I mean.



      The Fiverr logo designer assumed they were in need of a no background color version of their logo and made the exact logo on transparent background.


      Turns out, by 'exactly like this one" the person hiring meant a logo that gave off the same vibe... The logo they uploaded was not theirs and, of course, they could not use.


      What would you have thought if someone asked you to create something exactly like in an image they show you?


      Still, they complained.


      Originally Posted by DWolfe View Post

      Why would a Virtual Assistant wait a month to get paid after providing a service? That's a good way to loose a VA.

      On another note - the part about poor quality on Fiverr is a bunch of bull. Plenty of people use Fiverr and had great results. Same with Upwork what is your definition of expensive? A decent VA who does everything you ask them to do in a timely fashion. Is a lot cheaper than burning through people who are lazy or just plain sloppy!
      Originally Posted by Kay King View Post

      I don't use VA's but I've known marketers who have used them very successfully - and some who haven't.


      I agree with speaking to the person over the phone at least - but also what is seldom mentioned is that a VA is not a 'mini me'. I've seen marketers who expected to pay a low rate and then wanted the VA to 'take over'.


      Decide WHAT you want done - explain it in writing with examples, if needed. Set the goals for how much work you expect each week or month....and give clear, concise instructions on what you want done.


      You hire a VA to take over some of the routine tasks that take up YOUR time - yet I've known marketers to hire a $5/hr VA and then ask the VA - 'what should we do'. For a VA, time is money - so don't expect to have long conversations several times as week unless you are paying for that time. Tell the VA what you want done - and let them get it done.


      If you are unsure what you would use a VA for - look instead at hiring for specific work - such as content writers, copywriters, etc.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11724739].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author edward liam
    Just by recommendation from my space community like on Twitter and Discord, if you're active in your space on these platforms, you can get the best referrals of quality VAs from your peers. And yes a lot of people who are doing the same thing as you and are different level will work for you if you ask them.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11724633].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      That's a really good point because I'm pretty active in both platforms...and now that you mention it, I know someone who knows a guy who have used VA's massively to grow his business...I'll ask him!
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11724649].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Luthien
    There's a lot of good advice on this thread. I'm new here so I'll give you some background on why I'm giving any advice on this: I've been hiring and using VA's since 2012 and have had mostly great experiences. I even had one of my VA's contact me about a year and a half after I had to close my business and lay him off, and he was asking if I had any work for him and if he could come work for me again. So it must have been a good experience for him too.

    My main tips would be:

    1) Get John Jonas' training...I think it's called "replace myself" now. Go through the lessons-he'll teach you how to vet and manage your employees. Because that's what your doing when you hire a VA-you are hiring an employee. So take care of them and they'll take care of you, provided you vet them properly. His training will teach you how to not be an a-hole employer and bring out the best in your workers.

    2) Speaking of a-hole employers, be reasonable with your VA's. Don't hire someone and expect them to have a "founder's mindset" and be coming up with ideas left and right to grow your business for you. If you want that, hire a business consultant-seriously. I see posts from people who don't want to do the work to grow their business or think through new ideas for strategy and growth and then think they can just hire a VA to do everything for them and then the VA will just turn over the business to them once it's profitable. That's not at all how this works. (NOT saying YOU are like this, but I've seen that attitude elsewhere so if someone tries to tell you that's what you should expect-meh...no. That's wrong, at least in my opinion.)

    3) You will have more success with VA's if you approach everything from the point of view of "I am the boss, therefore everything is my fault". Let me explain-if your VA isn't productive, your instructions were probably crap. Go back and explain it to them better, and be as clear as you can. Your VA is so bad they need to be fired? Your fault-you didn't vet them enough. You probably didn't know enough what you were looking for so hired the wrong person. Don't get me wrong, there are duds out there for sure, and I've had to hire and then fire them, but in general always remember: you are the boss, you set the work conditions. If there's a problem, it's probably your fault too in some way. Maybe a major way.

    4) Do you even need a VA? Ask yourself-do I have a regular, specific, recurring task that needs to get done for my business or is it more of a one-off thing like getting a logo made? If it's a one-off, then yeah-go to somewhere like Fiverr or Upwork. If it's a recurring thing then you need a VA that you invest in as if they were an employee. Make sure your business or financial situation is stable enough to be able to pay them for a while though. You don't want to hire them for say, three months then lay them off. These are humans with families and livelihoods we're talking about. I think in the IM world, sometimes we forget this.

    5) I get all my VA's from OnlineJobs.ph/the Phillippines. I think it was Tim Ferriss who popularized the "get a VA from India" thing back in 2007, so now everyone thinks that's what you do. I think the newer, better thing to do is to hire Filipinos-they are raised speaking english, like Americans, and have a great work ethic.

    6) Start with one VA-managing another human is hard. Especially when you have to do it remotely over the computer. Get some training in and get one person up and running before you hire more. Don't hire 5-6 and "see who works out". You'll spread yourself too thin doing that and up the odds of having a bad experience with all of them. Put in the time to interview carefully, then pull the trigger on who seems the best and hire them. If you don't know how to interview or vet, get the Replace Myself training and it'll teach you what to do. (I'm not an affiliate for them, BTW, I've just used it and had a lot of success)

    One last thing-Although I think Gary Vee is full of crap sometimes, he makes a good video explaining the right mindset to approach having VA's/Employees/Workers with. Might be worth a listen: https://m.youtube.com/shorts/mPKEFuDbOzg

    I could say a lot more, but I've yapped on enough, so I'll end this post here. Good luck!
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11725452].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
      Really valuable answer amigo, useful tips, specially number 6...I was testing 3 at the same time to find the "one" as quick as possible, but it's definitely not a good approach. I'll start again with the right foundation
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11725457].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Luthien
        Originally Posted by Artkantos View Post

        Really valuable answer amigo, useful tips, specially number 6...I was testing 3 at the same time to find the "one" as quick as possible, but it's definitely not a good approach. I'll start again with the right foundation
        I'm actually an amiga but yeah, no prob! Good luck-take your time to vet and train and you'll do great!
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11725558].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author Artkantos
          Originally Posted by Luthien View Post

          I'm actually an amiga but yeah, no prob! Good luck-take your time to vet and train and you'll do great!
          Haha amiga then! So sorry, I'm so accustomed to men in crypto and business that sometimes I forget, glad to see some diversity though
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[11725559].message }}

Trending Topics