Hiring a VA (virtual assistant) can feel like a huge leap but really it’s the perfect way to take on new team members. They don’t have to be full time and you can hire them to either complete a job or project or on an hourly rate or a retainer.
Let’s say that you have got to that point in your business where you feel like you are forever on the hamster wheel with all-of-the-things! And feel like it might be time for hiring a VA (virtual assistant) but…
The never-ending list of things to do, blogging, social media, emails, newsletters, SEO, graphics, customer support… oh yeah, and your actual job!
Where do you start?
I must admit, back in the day, when I first started out, life was so much easier. Social media wasn’t really a thing, neither were smartphones… No, I’m not THAT old, it really wasn’t that long ago!
What we need to do these days to stay in the arena is far more than 10 years ago.
So, how do we, one person, mini empire-building mamas get it all done and still keep the kids alive and fold the laundry?
The smart moms out there are hiring a VA
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I CAN’T AFFORD A VA!
Let me share with you some really low-cost options and the one thing that is actually stopping you…
Yes, really, when you at things this way, everything changes.
I’ll use myself as an example. Let’s say I have written a blog post but it needs setting up, the images need making, SEO, blah blah blah. It takes me a good 3 hours to do everything.
Or, I could pay a VA to do it for me, I pay her $45. And now I have 3 hours to work on making money.
There are so many ways that I could spend my time more wisely.
I can set up my own blog posts, I have been doing it for years. Do I enjoy it? Nope, no, not at all. I like the writing but all those extra SEO-type bits, nope.
So for me, this is a job much better passed on to someone else.
Whenever I have a task that I’m not in love with, I ask myself if it makes more financial sense to pay someone to do it for me. And there are so many jobs you can outsource:
- Social media scheduling
- Social media strategy and content creation
- Podcast/guest post-out-reach
- Blog post writing
- Newsletters/email marketing
- All the website techie stuff
I pay for an accountant to deal with my accounts and file my taxes, that was actually my first real outsourcing. This was a HUGE amount of stress taken off my shoulders. Filing taxes in English is scary enough for me but trying to do it in Japanese? Noooo thank you.
My VA is actually a team of sisters, they are great because between them they can handle pretty much whatever I throw at them. You can check them out here at InspiringInks. Tell them I sent you!
Where to find a VA to outsource to….
I have found personal recommendations are always the best. So ask around and see who your friends recommend (or not as the case might be). There are also plenty of places to hire someone for the job you want to do too.
Let’s take a look at some of those.
Upwork is probably most people’s go-to. There are two ways to find a VA on here. You can post a job, and get very specific about what you want and the price you are going to pay. You can pay for the project or if you are looking for someone on a longer-term basis you can pay by milestones.
Or you can check out the listings and look for someone that checks the boxes of things that you need. There are people on there to fit all budgets. As with any of these, do look into their reviews.
If you hire someone for a project and enjoyed working with them then you can invite them back the next time you set up a job listing.
Basically, you pay someone $5 for a gig, some gigs cost more than $5 so check the listings.
Pros: It is cheap! And if you find the right person you can get those pesky jobs off your to-do list without breaking the bank.
Cons: It’s cheap and sometimes you get what you pay for. I have had some great results from Fiverr but I’ve also had some crap! Asking around for a recommendation from someone you trust is a good idea. Also, check the reviews but be aware that you can actually buy reviews so they are not always legit!
If you go with Fiverr I would find someone to do a couple of small jobs first and if you are happy with them then pay more.
Acadium used to be known as GenM. The set is a bit different than just hiring a freelancer. This is an intern that you are hiring, so you will need to commit to 3 months and they will give you 10 hours a week for the 3 months. These interns tend to be students or people who want a change in their career and need to get some experience under their belt.
You do need to have some systems in place to be able to teach them what you want and how you want it. This needs to work from both sides, they want to learn and you want some of the work off your plate, done right it’s a great inexpensive system.
Be clear on what you need your intern to do.
Be confident that you can teach them.
Have systems in place before you hire someone.
I have had a couple of great interns through Acadium, I have had one that just disappeared halfway through, I still have no idea why! And another left 2 months in because she was offered a paying job, which is fair enough. Recently, they have set up a much better structure for helping to get new interns and employers on the same page.
You need to meet with your intern every week and give them an assessment (and they do the same for you).
Pros: You do have to pay but for the amount of hours you get it works out as quite good value.
Cons: It can be quite time-consuming getting a new, inexperienced trainee set up.
The unique thing about OnlineJobsPH is that all the VA’s are Filipino. I have had some great success with hires through this site. It helps that we are in a similar timezone, it makes hiring and getting the work done much quicker than when you have to wait for the timezones to catch up.
On a free account, you can post up to 3 jobs. If you are likely to need freelancers on a regular basis it makes sense to sign up for a pro or premium account.
You post the job and then freelancers will contact you.
Now, I haven’t actually used this site but one of my coaches raves about it! If you are looking for freelancers that are Stateside then this is the place to go. The reason I haven’t used this is that I prefer to work with someone in a similar time zone.
For this site you buy a pack of requests, each request is a 20-minute block of time. I feel that this service is great for all those niggly little jobs that you want to get off your to-do list.
Another idea is to hire a local teen. Let’s face it, most teens these days are way more social media savvy than most adults. They are also comfortable around tech so if that is not your jam, train up a teen and pay them to do the work. I often pay my son to do random jobs for me. It’s a great experience for him and it’s an easy hire for me!
Three Things To Do Before You Hire…
Now you are all fired up and can see all the possibilities, I want you to slow down. Doing these two things will help you get the most out of your experience…
Make a list of all the jobs you want to delegate out, it might be better to split the jobs and delegate them to 2 or 3 people rather than trying to find someone who can do them all.
Think about the jobs you don’t enjoy and the jobs you might enjoy but actually suck at (hello there bookkeeping!).
Don’t think you have to hire everything out at once, start small. Get a VA for 10 hours a month and give them a few jobs to do, then as you feel more comfortable you can pass on more.
Start creating systems and processes within your business right now, so that when you are ready to hire out it is easy to pass on the job, it might take a bit longer right now but it will save time in the future.
I know the first hire out can be a bit scary, so pick a job you are not too attached to (hard for a control freak like me!), something that won’t be the end of the world if they totally screw it up and you can always insist that you see drafts of work before it gets published etc.
One of the easiest ways to create your system is simply to record what you do and talk your way through then pass the recording over to your VA.
Use screen capture software and make a quick video showing what to do. Or as you work through a job, record each step in Asana.
Keep your business safe. DON’T hand over your passwords willy-nilly. Instead use a password keeper such as LASTPASS, that way you can give your VA access but they never know your password. LASTPASS has a system to securely share a login whilst keeping your password details safe.
DO remember to cancel their access and for good measure, change passwords after you have finished working with someone.
FOR MORE TIME-SAVING TIPS AND RESOURCES PLUS PLENTY OF THINGS TO KEEP THE KIDS BUSY, SIGN UP FOR THE FREE RESOURCE LIBRARY…
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