Posts tagged ‘seo services’

Myths About Virtual Assistants

[tweetmeme] VAs are becoming an integral part of businesses nowadays –  whether you are in a flower shop business in Paris, a construction business in Los Angeles,  a consulting firm in Sydney or a fitness instructor in Singapore, they now have Virtual Assistants.  Because everybody goes online, internet is becoming the heart of almost all of the businesses worldwide.  Everything can now be done virtually. Sure enough, you have heard so many statements about Virtual Assistants – some of them are true and some are just myths.  I will now discuss the top myths about VAs.

1. You need to pay more to have a good VA. This is definitely not true!  You may want to ask around and get references from those who have had good experiences from great VAs.   And you may conduct interviews via Skype or YM and with that; you will be able to gauge the capacity of the prospective VA.   The current going rate for VAs is about $10-15/hour – and you can get lower rates than that, without compromising the efficiency of the VAs.  You just have to be quite resourceful.

2. VAs from US are better than those from off-shore. This is a common misconception that i would like to clarify.  Off-shore VAs (especially Asian VAs), are not inferior.  They can speak English very well, hard-working, dependable and very knowledgeable – and they are now of the same level of competency as compared to US VAs.  The only main difference is their rates.  Asian VAs offers lower rates with the same quality of work.

3. Having a VA is difficult to handle. Wrong!  I do not see any difference in calling through Skype or even emailing a VA as against to calling a staff on the other end of the room.

4. I will be using a Freelance site to get a VA and i will find a good one there. This is a hit and miss process.  Freelance sites do not screen applicants that are bidding on your project or job vacancy.  You just rely on their profile.  Though many have good experiences, there are also others who experienced the opposite.  It is 100% sure to hire a VA from a legitimate outsourcing company where they train and guide them to be able to complete your every task efficiently. Before making an investment, time and money, make sure you know all the facts before you Hire a VA!

Be happy… and be successful,

Zarah

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February 24, 2010 at 1:11 pm 2 comments

Tips on How To Hire a VA

[tweetmeme]

I have been to both sides of the fence so I guess, I can give you a good view on this topic.

Hiring a VA is just the same as hiring a secretary, accountant or any other staff in the “real world”.  The only thing that will differ, and obviously, is that hiring will be done virtually – through the internet. 

I am sure, you have heard of so many ‘horror stories’ on how their Virtual Assistants have messed up their project timelines.  But you will also find out that there are more success stories on their hires.  Often, even if the VA and employer have not seen in person, they have cultivated a good working relationships.

This is because most of the VAs are ex-executives or ex-employees that just chose to stay at home, for whatever their personal reasons are.  This means they are educated and experience, awaiting for their expertise to be tapped by employers.

Now, how can an employer find these types of VA?  They are everywhere…  There are many outsourcing companies that you can use like oDesk and Elance and you can even find them on Craiglist.

Here are a few tips that you may use:

1. If you post a job, be specific with your requirements.  Do not just post, VA needed or I need SEO expert.  You have to be specific like, “I need a VA who will do the following:  transcribing telephone conversation, replying business emails, sending out flyers by email, etc, who is available 4 hours a day (PST timezone) and can speak and write English well.”  This will filter out those applicants who are not qualified.

And another tip is to put what I call “magic word/phrase” that an applicant should write within his application letter to be able to filter those “spam applicants”, those who do not read the descriptions before applying.  You would not need those applicants.

2.When applicants apply, take time to study the application letters AND their CVs.  Narrow down the number of applicants by separating those with relevant experiences from your job opening.

3. Do not rely on their application letters, you have to interview them.  And if you are planning to get their services long-term,  do a voice-chat interview or even video interview.  You can gauge their ability by doing so.

4. Ask references.  Although many employers wanted to be anonymous, there are some who will be willing to be interviewed or asked about their VAs.

5. Go to forums.  Ask around for recommendations for VAs.  I am sure, many would be willing to give out information on how they got their good VAs.

6. Another surefire way is to tap small outsourcing companies.  It will give you a Virtual Assistant according to your requirements.  Normally, they would assign 2 staff, the Team Leader and the VA.  You just have to give the tasks and coordinate with the Team Leader.  This will mean less headache and less stress on your part.  You do not have to train or monitor the VA anymore – the Team Leader will do that for you.

I have gone through the process and I agree that sometimes, it is frustrating that menial tasks are not being done properly.  But when you got a gem VA, your life would be 10x easier – and well, of course, profitable.  So what are you waiting for, Hire a VA now!

Good luck on your VA hunt!

Be happy…  and be successful,

Zarah

February 22, 2010 at 3:35 am 1 comment


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