Outsourcing to the Philipines

82 replies
Hi all, I will be outsourcing web copy work to the Philipines to test the waters. I'd like to know what your experience is with this, what freelance sites do people find most success with, and how you manage the payments. I used Craigslist and got 5 replies, only to find that my ad was flagged. Did I do something wrong? I'm offering legitimate work here. This info should be pretty helpful to most members. Thanks in advance to all the experienced online marketers for their input.
#kano #mabuhay #outsourcing #philipines
  • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
    People in the Philippines have a very good grasp of the English language. They speak and write our language well compared to the Indians. It will be better if you screen applicants first then choose who among them is the best. My copywriter is a filipina and i found her thru odesk. She has a fantastic feedback and has been with odesk for a year. You may also want to check other sites like elance. Hope i was of help.
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    • Profile picture of the author knmrwarrior
      Interesting timing.

      I've used Indian freelancers in the past with some good results, some not so good. Overall I was satisfied but I thought I'd try to target Philippine freelancers for a change.

      I posted my job early his morning, I will let you know how I get on.
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      • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
        Originally Posted by knmrwarrior View Post

        Interesting timing.

        I've used Indian freelancers in the past with some good results, some not so good. Overall I was satisfied but I thought I'd try to target Philippine freelancers for a change.

        I posted my job early his morning, I will let you know how I get on.
        Please update us. : )
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        • Profile picture of the author knmrwarrior
          Originally Posted by morwanneg View Post

          Please update us. : )
          A few days into my Odesk experience, here's where I'm at. (For reference, I've used most other freelancing platforms over the years).

          I listed a job for SEO and writing work. I got around twenty responses pretty quickly, with respondents from the Philippines, India and the US.

          It was interesting that I was looking for an all round candidate to cover both elements of the work, but the candidates I got were *much* strong at either one discipline or other, not both. Kind of makes sense. Talented creative types tend not to like repetitive SEO activity (linkbuilding, site submission etc) and v v.

          The range of bids I got were from $2 to $17 per hour. I was very happy with the quality of bids, though some of the prices were higher than I expected. The general rule is clearly that if you have good feedback, you charge a multiple compared to those seeking their first feedback (not dissimilar to other freelance sites).

          Having decided to split the job in two to suit the talent pool, I decided to interview six candidates. That involved sending questions by email.

          Unfortunately only 3 replied, which I find astonishing. I can only assume my mails (from multiple accounts) are sitting in their spam folders???

          I have held off announcing winners to give a chance to the non-respondents but plan to do so tomorrow regardless.

          Finally, One of the candidates who I liked but was beyond my range reduced her bid to fit my budget, when suggested.

          With the exception of the poor response rate to my interview questions, I've been impressed with Odesk . Of course, the real work has yet to begin!

          More updates to follow.

          Der
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  • Profile picture of the author goingup
    I like the fact that on Odesk there is feedback, past work experience, and tests that you can look at that individuals have passed (or not). For example, if you wanted an article writer check to see their score on sentence structure and so on. Also, look at past jobs, what they have done and payment structure for larger jobs. Example-one worker out there wants $3 plus per hour as her HOURLY rate, but for larger jobs she has had(100 hrs or so) is being paid $2 an hour. Helps you determine what to offer if you want a person full time. I'll be trying someone out this coming week. In any case, its my understanding you pay for part times weekly and full timers monthly, but you could always ask. You pay through one of the methods listed in Odesk, which is free to use. I'll be using the western union type thing-the name ecapes me at the moment.
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    • Profile picture of the author morwanneg
      Originally Posted by goingup View Post

      I like the fact that on Odesk there is feedback, past work experience, and tests that you can look at that individuals have passed (or not). For example, if you wanted an article writer check to see their score on sentence structure and so on. Also, look at past jobs, what they have done and payment structure for larger jobs. Example-one worker out there wants $3 plus per hour as her HOURLY rate, but for larger jobs she has had(100 hrs or so) is being paid $2 an hour. Helps you determine what to offer if you want a person full time. I'll be trying someone out this coming week. In any case, its my understanding you pay for part times weekly and full timers monthly, but you could always ask. You pay through one of the methods listed in Odesk, which is free to use. I'll be using the western union type thing-the name ecapes me at the moment.
      With odesk, you don't pay weekly or monthly. You have an option to pay fixed price or hourly. Providers on Odesk, usually get paid weekly.
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      • Profile picture of the author jaijav29
        Originally Posted by morwanneg View Post

        With odesk, you don't pay weekly or monthly. You have an option to pay fixed price or hourly. Providers on Odesk, usually get paid weekly.
        Hi, does odesk charge fees and how much? For example you're in the Philippines and somebody wants to send you money from the states.

        Help

        Thanks
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        • Profile picture of the author DerrickMarkotter
          ODesk charges a flat 10% rate. in other words, if you are paying your outsourcer $10, $1 will go to ODesk and $9 to the outsourcer.

          Buyer payments are made to ODesk by credit card (or by check if you're in the US and plan to spend more than $500 per week). You will need to have your credit card verified before you can actually pay anyone.

          Payments to service providers are made through Paypal, Moneybookers, Direct Deposit, Wire Transfer or by means of a Payoneer Debit Mastercard.
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  • Profile picture of the author ezinewriter
    I worked with a phillipine freelancer. I really got good results.
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    • Profile picture of the author ShayB
      This is JMHO, but people are all different. There are good and bad experiences with using workers from any country.

      If you find someone with good referrals and you like their work, make sure you keep them happy!
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  • Profile picture of the author Anthony J Namata
    Hi,

    Guru, Elance, GetAfreelancer and now EUFreelance (Oh, my gosh!) all have good and not so good freelancers but if you want to know whether or not they're up to scratch (I saw someone do this), tell them you want to test them on a topic they can write on (as part of the bid -- which means for no pay) before you hire them. Many will oblige!

    Best of luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author roosevelt
    I had few hickups working with some philipines but i work with some good ones. I actually found people from pakistan good in english and didn't disappoint me at all so far.
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  • Profile picture of the author vitruvian
    Great! This is all useful information. I'll be sure to apply some of these ideas. Thanks for all the posts! I'll keep you updated on how my experience evolves.
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  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    For me, the worst experience that I've had with outsourcing so far was with an India-based company. They did disastrous quality work and then I had to endure maybe 5 months of them bugging me for payment which I refused to give them.

    I've also had a bad experience with going through the Phillipines, but did not know it was not working as well as it could've until it was way to late.

    I posted this to the WF a while ago so feel free to check it out:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/main-int...assistant.html
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  • Profile picture of the author Rachel Rofe
    Philippines workers can be hit or miss.

    I write to a few potential workers that I have good gut-checks on, see which ones respond from there, then give them a tough task to do.

    If they work it out, great - I'll hire them for more work.

    If not, I save a lot of time.

    Any time I've hired full-time people in the past, I've given them a few tasks first before committing to anything long-term, and it's worked out awesomely.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Carter
    This is interesting. I've been thinking of outsourcing some work to the Phillipines for a while now, so I'll watch this thread for any further posts.

    I guess there is good and bad everywhere but definitely going to try some people from the Phillipines as soon as I have a good handle on it.

    What sort of work have warriors outsourced to that country? I'd be particularly interested in what results people have had with taking on a full time assistant.

    Goingup: Thanks for the Odesk tip, I'll definitely check them out.

    Roy
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    • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
      Hi Roy,

      I have a part-time assistant that I hired from there who works about 25 hours a week for me.

      He gives me AMAZING results! I would never consider doing IM without the help of an assistant.

      He also happens to be a programmer, so it's like the best of everything all wrapped into one

      Originally Posted by Roy Carter View Post

      This is interesting. I've been thinking of outsourcing some work to the Phillipines for a while now, so I'll watch this thread for any further posts.

      I guess there is good and bad everywhere but definitely going to try some people from the Phillipines as soon as I have a good handle on it.

      What sort of work have warriors outsourced to that country? I'd be particularly interested in what results people have had with taking on a full time assistant.

      Goingup: Thanks for the Odesk tip, I'll definitely check them out.

      Roy
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  • Profile picture of the author cgj1981
    While writing copy tends to be the time consuming part, proof reading does not. One little trick I know a lot of people do is getting someone from Asia to do the copy but then paying someone from an English speaking country to do the proof reading and editing. As that part is simpler and requires less time so it will cost less.
    So your total cost may be a little higher but you are guaranteed great work essentially.
    CJ
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    • Profile picture of the author vistad
      Originally Posted by cgj1981 View Post

      While writing copy tends to be the time consuming part, proof reading does not. One little trick I know a lot of people do is getting someone from Asia to do the copy but then paying someone from an English speaking country to do the proof reading and editing. As that part is simpler and requires less time so it will cost less.
      So your total cost may be a little higher but you are guaranteed great work essentially.
      CJ
      There are companies such as Techmedia India which proof read and edit books written by authors in the US for US schools. There are a large number of India writers for general books which are being sold in the West.

      Again it is a matter of finding the right person. Usually a moonlighter (who may be technically good) will give you good work initially but crack when there are tight deadlines.
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  • Profile picture of the author Roy Carter
    Justin

    Excellent! What sort of tasks do you have him do?

    Roy
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  • Profile picture of the author JJOrana
    Comparing it to neighboring countries like India and China, people in the Philippines are better in terms of English communication.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMChick
    I have a basic security question. I know that we have to give up some sort of control to find a PA that is the right one for our own situation. After the 'tests' and qualifying tasks are complete, then what? That's the question. For example, I can set up an unused domain so that I can do some PA testing and training on it and then erase the results and change the passwords. But what then? Do I give out the 'real' FTP files, access to the sites, passwords, ppc, keywords, paypal, clickbank and other money stuff? I can't seem to get myself over this hurdle. I know that some of the bigger IM names have had problems with PA's duplicating their content and plunging their businesses into the dustbin. How is it done to hire someone and protect your business at the same time?
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    • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
      Great question...

      Obviously it's up to each marketer to make their own choices. But, for me my VA gets access to everything BUT my Paypal and CB information.

      What it comes down to is "establishing trust" with a potential VA (sounds like a great name for a product, hint hint!)

      But, in the end the most secure way is to do everything yourself, but that by no means is very economical and has large opportunity costs.

      Try to screen a potential VA and take steps to prevent a possible catastrophe.

      I put a link up to a post I made in this thread with "7 Tips On Hiring A VA" so be sure to check it if your interested.

      Best of luck!


      Originally Posted by IMChick View Post

      I have a basic security question. I know that we have to give up some sort of control to find a PA that is the right one for our own situation. After the 'tests' and qualifying tasks are complete, then what? That's the question. For example, I can set up an unused domain so that I can do some PA testing and training on it and then erase the results and change the passwords. But what then? Do I give out the 'real' FTP files, access to the sites, passwords, ppc, keywords, paypal, clickbank and other money stuff? I can't seem to get myself over this hurdle. I know that some of the bigger IM names have had problems with PA's duplicating their content and plunging their businesses into the dustbin. How is it done to hire someone and protect your business at the same time?
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      • Profile picture of the author cscarpero
        I outsourced my bookkeeping and data entry to a girl in the Phillipines. She is a good worker but sometimes needs training. Found her on Odesk.

        I've also hired a Filipino to do videos for me. Also from Odesk.

        I'm looking right now for a blogger on Odesk.

        I'm also looking at GetAFreelancer and have an ad on there for article writing. They seem to have a lot more Indians.

        I hired an Indian a couple years ago for bookkeeping and had a bad experience with it. I'm leery about India at this point, but yes it really does depend on the person.
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  • Profile picture of the author MARK BRAVO
    i have a friend that built his whole business on outsourcing to philipines they can change their accent from us to britain in two in two weeks and are the most honest and you could trust them, so you are on the right track
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  • Profile picture of the author jameswatson
    I was just discussing this with a friend last night, wish I'd stumbled across this thread before

    There is a perception that freelancers based in the Philippines are cheaper than elsewhere, is that fair comment or a useless generalization?

    James
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    • Profile picture of the author johnjonas
      @James
      Yes, workers in the Philippines are cheaper than elsewhere.
      They're also honest
      They're also loyal
      They're also hard-working
      They're also super well educated
      They also like americans
      they also speak english (american englsh)
      they also will do anything to make you happy.

      in my HBAO (humble, but accurate opinion), there aren't good and bad of outsourcing to the philippines. There's only good. Yes, on occasion you'll find a person who doesn't work out for you. You got extremely unlucky. I've helped hundreds of people hire in the philippines and they always come back to me and say "I got so lucky with my guy, he's the best!". Sorry to tell you...you didn't get lucky. They're all great.

      I have 6 full-time employees there. I can't imagine running a million dollar business without them. It's just not possible.

      (I can't post a link to my website yet here...I haven't particpated enough...but you can get my free audio by searching google for "replace myself"). In that audio I explain everything.

      John Jonas
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      • Profile picture of the author CambriaCorp
        Originally Posted by johnjonas View Post

        @James
        Yes, workers in the Philippines are cheaper than elsewhere.
        They're also honest
        They're also loyal
        They're also hard-working
        They're also super well educated
        They also like americans
        they also speak english (american englsh)
        they also will do anything to make you happy.

        in my HBAO (humble, but accurate opinion), there aren't good and bad of outsourcing to the philippines. There's only good. Yes, on occasion you'll find a person who doesn't work out for you. You got extremely unlucky. I've helped hundreds of people hire in the philippines and they always come back to me and say "I got so lucky with my guy, he's the best!". Sorry to tell you...you didn't get lucky. They're all great.

        I have 6 full-time employees there. I can't imagine running a million dollar business without them. It's just not possible.

        (I can't post a link to my website yet here...I haven't particpated enough...but you can get my free audio by searching google for "replace myself"). In that audio I explain everything.

        John Jonas

        Nice post Jonas, just wanna let you know that I appreciate this post. Not only that I totally agree with your "HBAO".

        And just so everyone knows, you may think that outsourcing to the Philippines is cheaper you are right. But there is more to that, we provide world class quality of work. Filipino employees always strive to be the best that they can be to please their employers.

        Happy outsourcing to the Philippines....
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Ames
        Originally Posted by johnjonas View Post

        @James

        John Jonas
        Hey I like the music your boys put out
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  • Profile picture of the author MrLD
    You can hire good writers from the Philippines but there are bad ones as well. Ask them to write a couple of articles for you to test their skills first. But if you're looking for link building services, virtual assistants, programmers, coders and especially web designers, they are just top-notch quality. I have been using them for years and have actually converted a few of them to work for me on a full-time basis. They are great workers. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author jedz
    Banned
    It's a pleasure to know that most of my co warriors consider and trust Filipino workers when it comes to your business. This would make me proud and grateful. It help us to work better and give our best to our clients.
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  • Profile picture of the author LoveLinguist
    Joel Christopher is the man with the Philippine contacts. He is the Master List Builder.
    You'll find him online (can't post his url since I am new). He from the Philippines, lives in the US and is very successful.

    Sherrie Rose
    The Love Linguist
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    I've started interviewing people for some various freelance tasks from odesk. I'll keep you all posted.

    I will tell you, most people there seem to ask for $3 to $5 an hour - and I'm talking well educated people with degrees in computer science.

    John Jonas, who posted in this thread, has a website where he gives a lot of good solid information about how to hire people from the Philippines - including another source, which I won't give away - am I allowed to say it's Replace Myself | HomePage Ahem. I just did. That's not an affiliate link or anything. But if I'm not supposed to post it, someone let me know.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    I have found everyone who responded to me on Odesk was an absolute pleasure to deal with, I'll say that.

    The quotes i got for various jobs did vary widely. And yes, people with a lot of feedback on there do seem to charge more.
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  • Profile picture of the author Doug Simons
    Hi

    I actually found a great person after interviewing about ten or so I went through bestjobs.ph or something like that.

    Doug
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    One thing I just found this morning - a lot of people in the Phillipines like to be paid by Xoom. They charge $3.50 minimum to send $, and you have to send a minimum of $25, which is really less than ideal - let's say you're testing someone out for a job that costs $5 or $10 American - you're out $28.50, no matter what. Not to be cheap - but I'm looking into outsourcing to save money...I'd like to be able to test people out by paying them for ONE job up front - and I hate to GIVE money away.

    Any ideas, from anyone who's worked with people in the Phillipines?
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    • Profile picture of the author DominicTFY
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      One thing I just found this morning - a lot of people in the Phillipines like to be paid by Xoom. They charge $3.50 minimum to send $, and you have to send a minimum of $25, which is really less than ideal - let's say you're testing someone out for a job that costs $5 or $10 American - you're out $28.50, no matter what. Not to be cheap - but I'm looking into outsourcing to save money...I'd like to be able to test people out by paying them for ONE job up front - and I hate to GIVE money away.

      Any ideas, from anyone who's worked with people in the Phillipines?
      I've got one. In fact, I've had positive experience hiring Philippine writers using GetAFreeLancer (as Anthony J Namata have already introduced in the initial posts).

      If you are looking to test a writer out, you can always use the GetAFreeLancer escrow service. How the escrow service works is like this...

      Upfront, you deposit the full amount to the escrow service, say $25. and the 'outsourcee' will only get the full amount ($25) upon completion of the project (which is decided by you). In that way, there is nothing for you to lose. If the outsourcee does not complete the work, you submit a complaint and you get the full deposit back. It's that simple.

      How does that sound to you?
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    • Profile picture of the author davezan
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      One thing I just found this morning - a lot of people in the Phillipines like to be paid by Xoom.
      Dana, I have both a PayPal and Xoom account. From what I noticed between
      the two, it's easier to send one's money to their bank account via Xoom than
      PayPal.

      Originally Posted by Traffic-Bug View Post

      I know Indian English is better than all the other English out there.
      Tell that to various U.S.-based customers dealing with Indian and Philippines-
      based call centers. Heh.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Dominic, that sounds like a good potential alternative, if I can get these people to sign up for getafreelancer - I've already talked to a few people that I am interested in working with and now I'm trying to figure out how to pay them.

    Paypal requires them to have a credit card and does not pay them for 5 or 6 days after I send money so that's not ideal for them. Xoom charges a high transaction fee and their minimum payment is too high so it's not ideal for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author samish
    I've never thought about this idea until I see this post. Great idea.
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  • Profile picture of the author edpudol1973
    Originally Posted by Traffic-Bug View Post

    I know Indian English is better than all the other English out there.
    I don't agree with that... Filipinos are fluent in english, specially professionals
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  • Profile picture of the author ideasuniversity
    Apart from copywriting are they also good at other things like video creation, web designing? and do they have a wite where one can contact them?
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenlean
      Apart from copy, you can get them to proof read your stuff. I outsource to a company in Philippine to proof read my content. Since they've shown their great service, I stick with them for more than a year.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicholas Ho
    There are always talented people in any fields.
    You can either find those which already have the skills or train them.

    -Nicholas Ho
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    I know, I just sent someone a payment by Xoom - but the fact that Xoom charges a minimum of $3.50 for me to send that money is really annoying.

    From what I gather, Paypal takes 5 to 6 days to give them their money once it's sent so that's not great either.
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    • Profile picture of the author stevenlean
      Moneygram is not a good option. The cost per transaction is very high.

      They charge the sender a flat fee of $15.49 for a transaction of any amount below $100 (the receiver doesn't get charged, so it's free to receive money from Moneygram).

      Basically, they're charging a fee identical to a wire transfer fees (but less than traditional cross border wire transfer).
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Yeah, I just checked with Western Union and they charge $25 to send money - so far I haven't found an ideal solution.

    I guess if I were paying someone $75-$100 a week for them to work for me fulltime, and I paid them biweekly, the $3.50 charge wouldn't be as annoying. I paid $3.50 for someone to write 4 articles at $6 each - and they were GREAT, by the way, if anyone's looking for a good cheap article writer PM me - it's just a high percentage to pay when you are hiring someone for the first time and testing them out with a small job.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nicholas Ho
    Their English is excellent =)
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  • Profile picture of the author JessicaL
    I use a cool free online collaboration tool called Vyew when I need to quickly train my Filipino employees or show them a couple of things like article submission and such. It looks like a webinar, you can just open it up and show your desktop. It's really easy to set up and you can even get ten people on there at a time for free.
    Hope that might be of use to some of you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean G.
    My gf is a Filipina..I was assigned there and lived in HK for quite some time. What I can tell you is that if you're looking to outsource higher-end work like programming, copywriting, accounting, and designing, you need to look for graduates from their exclusive universities.

    There is a very big discrepancy in their educational system. There are some people that are very difficult to train no matter what you do if the competency is not there.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
      Originally Posted by Sean G. View Post

      My gf is a Filipina..I was assigned there and lived in HK for quite some time. What I can tell you is that if you're looking to outsource higher-end work like programming, copywriting, accounting, and designing, you need to look for graduates from their exclusive universities.

      There is a very big discrepancy in their educational system. There are some people that are very difficult to train no matter what you do if the competency is not there.
      You know, I was thinking about that - what would you do? Would you just contact the universities directly?
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean G.
        Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

        You know, I was thinking about that - what would you do? Would you just contact the universities directly?
        Well, in my case there's no need since I know what to look for.. I've hired several from odesk

        Their cover letter will also tell you whether they're serious about the job or not. I hired one that was too busy, it took some time to find a replacement. It's better to hire 1 person full-time, I think, than hiring several people..
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  • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
    Very interesting thread! Thanks a bunch! I've just applied to odesk. Very easy to navigate.

    Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Is it self-promotional to put this link in here - Twitter Goldrush by Dana Willhoit - that's a page designed by a Philippino guy I got from Odesk. Cost about $40. Okay, to make this NOT self promotional - DON'T BUY FROM THAT LINK! NOOOO! STAY AWAY! How's that?
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    • Profile picture of the author Sean G.
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      Is it self-promotional to put this link in here - Twitter Goldrush by Dana Willhoit - that's a page designed by a Philippino guy I got from Odesk. Cost about $40. Okay, to make this NOT self promotional - DON'T BUY FROM THAT LINK! NOOOO! STAY AWAY! How's that?
      LOL! Can you PM me the contact info of the guy who did it?
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    • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
      Originally Posted by Dana_W View Post

      Is it self-promotional to put this link in here - Twitter Goldrush by Dana Willhoit - that's a page designed by a Philippino guy I got from Odesk. Cost about $40. Okay, to make this NOT self promotional - DON'T BUY FROM THAT LINK! NOOOO! STAY AWAY! How's that?
      Yah, yah Dana, make me click the link didn't ya! Nothing like negative re-enforcement to get someone to do what you realllllly want! I'm sure you'd like the cartoon 'pinky and the brain'. I do!

      Frank
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanvhamer
    Whoa this is an interesting thread. I got an email some time ago for Traffic Sage and I have been rolling the idea around about using them. They are in India and they seem legit as it has Mike Ambrosio *spelling?* behind it but I am just not sure. Anyhow heading the concerns that you all have about using freelancers from India has me weary. Anyone used Traffic Sage?
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  • Profile picture of the author gavin6
    my take on this is that if you are wanting content written then a lot depends on the quality you are requiring, if it's for your personal site then your likely to be disappointed by work form overseas as they often use different words that we would not use in common speech, your likely to get the same issue if you hired someone from england to write for a US site.

    Make sure you create a system and use that system so that if your VA goes awol then you've got something to fall back on and train the next person.

    Gavin
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    • Profile picture of the author fthomas137
      Originally Posted by gavin6 View Post

      my take on this is that if you are wanting content written then a lot depends on the quality you are requiring, if it's for your personal site then your likely to be disappointed by work form overseas as they often use different words that we would not use in common speech, your likely to get the same issue if you hired someone from england to write for a US site.

      Make sure you create a system and use that system so that if your VA goes awol then you've got something to fall back on and train the next person.

      Gavin
      Very good advice.

      F.
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  • Profile picture of the author imventures
    With odesk, you pay hourly rates, unless I'm mistaken. How do you ensure that the hours the freelancer puts in are productive?
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    • Profile picture of the author my_addict_mind
      This reply may be a little biased since I am from the Philippines. I am also an oDesk provider for 1.5 years now. In all my projects, I have dealt with providers from various countries like Malaysia, India, UK, Canada, USA etc. In one fixed price project, one provider (I am also a buyer in oDesk) from another country ran away after being paid for $200 initially. I won't mention the country but I promised to myself not to deal with any provider again from that country. Not that there are no dishonest providers in the Philippines, but generally Filipinos are very honest in their dealings and they are always there to please their buyers.

      If you want technical guys, there are a lot of extremely talented Filipinos in oDesk who can do things like web design, web admin, SEO, linkbuilders, graphics, multimedia. and programming in any language.

      If you are looking for great copywriters, article writers or editors, I know from experience there are a lot of good Filipino/Filipina writers in oDesk and their careers are flourishing in oDesk. You must understand our great English abilities can be traced to our roots. Our country was occupied by the Americans in the early part of the 20th century

      By Asian standards in oDesk, I wouldn't say we are the cheapest because our services are mostly of high quality. I've seen several Filipinos in oDesk charging $15-20 / hour in oDesk, some even higher than that.

      We are not competing against the Indians, Malaysians, Russians or Indonesians in terms of pay. I am not saying we are the highest in Asia but we do charge our services based on quality, hard work, honesty, and communication skills (many of the people I know trained by American/British call centers can speak American or British English very well, you really wouldn't distinguish if he's an American or Asian).
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanvhamer
    I had heard about outsourcing to the Philipines but never really delved into it. I spoke to one person and had some back and forth over a few emails but I wasn't quite sold on it as the tasks and duties promised were a little skimpy. I know it may seem demanding but I would prefer it if I could get someone who could do all the stuff required to get a project afloat and moving forward. I would want someone who could hit the ground running without a lot of supervision and direction required but alas are there that many experienced freelance va's out there that can do that that aren't already doing that for themselves? LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    I have had a full-time Phillipines VA for a couple months now and it has been a great experience. Before I hired the full time person, I had a couple of part-time people doing various tasks with different results.

    My best advice is to give them a few tasks to test them out. Some are better with English than others, and some have more internet savvy than others as well. Know what you want before you hire them. Most can handle grunt work stuff, but article writing and higher lever skills (like graphics and programming) are tougher to find and you'll pay more.

    My full-time VA is an expert in Wordpress and graphics and that is mainly what I have her concentrate on. She is really good, and at times i can't keep up with her.

    Most Phillipines workers want to be paid through xoom.com I was a little leery at first, but the transactions have been fine. Many don't have credit cards or paypal accounts so xoom is the way to go usually. It's kind of like the paypal of the Phillipines.

    If there is anyone reading this post and would like to "share" my VA every once in awhile, I'd be open do doing that. There are times when I just don't have enough tasks for her to do. PM if you want more details.
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  • Profile picture of the author kckaz
    How do you deal with the time difference? Also, do you primarily communicate via email, or do you use skype?

    I outsourced to India and the time difference made it difficult to communicate via phone. Also, my guy could write well, but was very hard to understand.
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  • I've been researching this very subject for upcoming projects. While it's nice to keep control of everything, actually doing all the chores is counterproductive. I can't focus on the larger picture if I'm up to my butt in alligators!

    I'm also researching specific areas in the Philippines, besides Metro Manila. One area keeps popping up repeatedly -- Cebu City. It's the second largest city in the country (and was the original capital set up by the explorer, Magellan, who died there). Plenty of literate, American-English speaking and writing types with advanced degrees in just about any area you want for your work.

    Heh, I'm considering retiring there. Cost of living is very cheap, compared to USA. Plus, I love the tropics...
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  • Profile picture of the author Dana_W
    Vince, I noticed the same thing - a lot of the people I found were from Cebu. Everyone I've dealt with was very pleasant, with one exception.

    Retiring to the Philippines - you could live like a KING!
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewharrison
    Why Do you send work to other countries when we are about enter a "Depression?" Keep it local and help out those GREAT companies that are in YOUR area. Do you realise that when ONE PERSON loses a job, IT AFFECTS 14 OTHER PEOPLE?

    Here is my way of thinking. (I am not American) I live in Canada. I DO THOUGH make sure I buy American, AND Canadian goods. If we all pitched in to do this. . . Maybe we can work together to help our crisis . . .

    You decide, the economy goes booboo. . . OR we all start buying American and Canadian. . . Seems kind of obvious, doesn't it?
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    GET THE POWER, Take Control before YOUR COMPETITION DOES. (Site Contains Content Of A Graphic Nature) http://www.internetmarketinginsimpleterms.com
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewharrison
    Strange, this post I made disappears. Okay, here we go again. . .

    We in a financial crisis. Why would you send your work overseas? You are cheating and American worker of money. For each person that loses a job, it affects 14 PEOPLE down the line.

    Here's the kicker, I AM NOT even American. Yet, here I am saying BUY ONLY AMERICAN. I ONLY have Americans, or Canadians do my work. I totally practice what I preach. If we all stuck together and hired only local talent or American or Canadian. . . we could actually make a difference.

    So you save some money. . . At what cost to the American worker? The guy who can do a better job, AND feed his family and keep his home. . .

    Regards
    Andrew
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    • Profile picture of the author vicone
      I've used GetAFreelancer successfully. It's very easy to use and they'll accept payment by Paypal. Providers come from all round the world. It's easy to get samples of their work as most expect this.

      I hadn't given much thought to sourcing from the Philipines and have suddenly realized - Manila is only 2 hrs behind Sydney! That's closer than LA is to NY.

      I'll have to look at it more closely for projects.

      Ivan
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    • Profile picture of the author JDSalinger
      Here, are a few other tips for outsourcing and one rant:

      Testing To Find Good Writers: I have used this method in the past. I will review all the bids and then ask a list of about 5 to 7 of the best bids to write a couple articles on your topic and will pick out the winner. I will pay everyone a flat fee: $3 to 5 for the two articles and rights to them. This does three things: one it lets me a choose a good writer. Two, it also gives me an extra number of articles I can use. All may not be of high quality, but usually you can incorporate even the weaker ones into the articles to make them better. Three, it lets me know which bidders will be high maintenance. If you get any resistance about this process, you will know immediately not to work with them. As most often, if they have problems early, they will have problems throughout. Better to avoid this from the start and go with candidates who really want your business.

      Elance v. getafreelancer battle: Elance costs more. However, you tend to get a little better quality and they have a more robust system in place. Price is still king regardless of which system you use. If you want quality, raise your price over $5 and you can get it. If you pay less than this, you will spend more time proofreading. If you want to avoid proofreading, you really will need to pay $9 to $12 on average. This is geared towards India and Australia, but I imagine this is probably consistent with the Philippines as well.

      Create Your Job Posting With An Incentive: This can be done in several ways. Common examples are paying extra for quicker delivery, superior work, etc. Another incentive is to suggest in your bid that you are hiring for a long term assignment. This is helpful because you will often get better bidders and work product because of the potential for longer term employment. I am not suggesting making this up though. Ideally, all your work requests should be geared towards long term assignments because once you find a good writer, you want to retain them and keep them happy. This is for a lot reasons. However, one is that you will spend less time having to train them and they will have a better understanding of what you are looking for based on earlier experience.

      Virtual Assistant and Privacy Concerns: The questions about how much to turn over to your VA are good questions. This was an issue discussed in Four Hour WorkWeek. If you are serious about getting a VA, you should read this book. The main point here is about how much risk are you willing to take here. If identity theft is a big issue for you here, you should only go with reputable firms with a track record of good service and have policies in place to prevent someone bringing in a zip drive at the place and taking home your information. Also, you should probably avoid one or two person operations if you need one for the long haul as you will only have a solid VA for so long as they person is healthy and still wants to be a VA. In contrast, a team avoids this issue. The only problem with using a team or more reputable VA firms is you will be paying more for this extra service and protection. Therefore, it always goes back to how much risk you are willing to take and how much oversight on your part you are willing to spend.

      Buy American and other jingoistic nonsense: The reason IMers use these other markets is because other people will do the work for less compared to in America. This lower price tag is important because it helps make it even possible for many projects to get started where a higher cost would be prohibitive. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this and never will be. This is the backbone of Capitalism and the free market. You have a willing buyer and seller who want to do business with each other. That is the surest recipe of how "The World" will get out of this recession. We, the world, are much larger than any individual nation and need to stop scarcity thinking and truly see the abundance in what we can do. This leads to true progress and potential for everyone.

      Best,
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    • Originally Posted by andrewharrison View Post

      We in a financial crisis. Why would you send your work overseas? You are cheating and American worker of money. For each person that loses a job, it affects 14 PEOPLE down the line.

      Here's the kicker, I AM NOT even American. Yet, here I am saying BUY ONLY AMERICAN. I ONLY have Americans, or Canadians do my work. I totally practice what I preach. If we all stuck together and hired only local talent or American or Canadian. . . we could actually make a difference.

      So you save some money. . . At what cost to the American worker? The guy who can do a better job, AND feed his family and keep his home. . .

      Regards
      Andrew
      I'd like to address this. Phooey.

      I'm serious. To hysterically react to the idea of outsourcing, no matter what kind, as being "Bad For America", is silly.

      Specialized work (like that required by business owners responding to this thread) should go where it's cheapest to get. If that happens to be the Philippines, great!

      However, if you're talking about work done by unskilled or semi-skilled labor that actually puts millions of American workers out of a job, that can be different. This sort of outsourcing does have an economic impact.

      Even so, most of the jobs going outside the borders of the USA won't be coming back. Deal with it.

      Here's how you deal with it: take a pencil and a piece of paper and list everything you know how to do. Start with "I can write on a piece of paper with a pencil". Keep going -- don't skip anything. Can you dial a telephone? Type on a computer or typewriter? Paint house numbers on a curb?

      Once you've come up with a complete list of everything you can do, you will realize that you weren't looking at all your skills when looking for work or thinking about self-employment.

      Here's a final thought: no one "deserves" a job. You earn the right to work by being qualified and a good worker. If you're ignorant, disagreeable and lazy, you don't deserve a job. You deserve to starve.
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  • Profile picture of the author kayaker
    I have had good success using freelance workers in India. A good friend of mine has found the same Outsourcing to the Philipines.
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    • Profile picture of the author Darren Critchley
      My business partner and I have been using oDesk quite a bit of late. He has spent a great deal of time in the Philipines, has a home there and is married to a lady from the Philipines. He understands the culture very well, which has worked out well for him going through the applications.

      The major problem we have had, and this is mainly a cultural thing, is that many from the Philipines will say they can do the job or have the skills required, even when they don't. They will say no problem. He said he has run into this before when having work done on his house in the Philipines.
      Fortunately we only had one on oDesk like that. After learning that the person could not do the job, they quickly withdrew and disappeared. We didn't get charged.

      The only other thing that has been a bit of a problem is reconciling the bill. All of the people working for us have been on hourly. He was a little surprised by the size of the bill compared to the work done. I suspect this is probably a management issue on our end though, not keeping track of all the people that we had tested.

      Overall it has been a very positive experience using oDesk.
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