How and Why to Hire A Virtual Assistant | Effective Ecommerce Podcast #30

Hey everybody in this episode of the Effective Ecommerce podcast we’re gonna be talking about how and why to hire a Virtual Assistant how to outsource how to get someone that’s gonna help you and you’re gonna be amazed at how cheap this can be this is one of the best things I think you can do I think anyone can do for pretty much anything in life that they’re doing but especially with an online business there’s really no reason that I can think of not to hire a Virtual Assistant I’ve told people about my Virtual Assistant and they’ve gone on to hire one and they’ve been amazed at how helpful it really it is and how inexpensive it is I will say right off the bat that you can to 3x your productivity just by hiring one Virtual Assistant and I’ll explain why I say that and how that is but it’s it is one of the best things I’ve ever done personally in my life for increasing my productivity it’s just amazing but we’ll get to that in a just a second but before we get started this podcast I just wanted to announce the winner of the contest that I have.

If you don’t know if you go to iTunes leave a five star review for my podcast I enter you in a chance to win a free one-on-one consulting session with me and every month I have a new winner that will win this free one-on-one consulting session. So I wanted to pick somebody new and we’re this this month is gonna be Carolyn KS. So if that’s your name if that’s your podcast or your iTunes name go ahead and send me an email Travis at effective e-commerce comm and she left a nice five star review all you have to do is enter any kind of five star review and I’ll enter you in a chance and we’ll have a new winner every month. So that means probably about every five episodes now that I’m down to once a week we’ll do that.

Go to iTunes find the effective e-commerce podcasts leave that five star review but that’s enough of that for now let’s get into the real meat of this episode. So we’re gonna just give you some bullet points of what we’re gonna talk about in this episode we talk about why outsource then we’re going to talk about what sites to go to to find a Virtual Assistant and then finally I’ll tell you what my favorite site is and if you know me well you already know what my favorite site is to find a Virtual Assistant if you watch my YouTube channel you probably already know about but I’ll talk about that and I’ll talk about my step-by-step method literally I’ll give you all the information you need to know to hire a Virtual Assistant and we’re gonna go from there. So let’s start off with why why would you want to hire a Virtual Assistant well first off your time is extremely valuable even if you’re only making even if you’re a person that can only make a minimum wage here in California that’s I think it’s over ten dollars but let’s say it’s about ten dollars an hour okay and how much does it cost to outsource to the Philippines or to other places between two to four dollars an hour.

What does that mean that your time is worth at least $10 an hour and if you can give a task to someone even if it takes them double as long as it would take you you’re saving money you’d be better off working an hour at a minimum-wage job then and then having someone outsource it even if they’re half as efficient as you are but that’s not just it like I think that’s a very small part of it there or when you look at like starting an online business or working as an entrepreneur you have a lot of things going on in your head I guarantee it and you probably are doing a lot of things that are boring algorithmic that they there are things that aren’t you at your highest potential. So how do we fix that well outsource those get rid of those this is why people have hired employees for years and years and in the next episode I might give a few examples in this episode but in the next episode I’m gonna go step by step and talk top talk about well that was easy for me to say talk about examples that I personally use and why this is. So effective. So at the beginning of the show I said if you hire a Virtual Assistant you’re gonna two to three extra productivity and right off the bat when you hire a Virtual Assistant you have an extra 40 hours of work a week that you have someone doing.

That doubles your productivity right off the bat but I actually firmly believe and this is arguable but I firmly believe you actually three extra productivity especially when you first hire someone because what it makes you do is it makes you go through all your tasks everything that you do and figure out what things you can outsource and right away what you’ll realize is a few different things most of what you do is probably something that someone else can do. So right oh right away like about half your tasks are gone but a good percentage of your tasks that say the remaining out of the remaining 50% another 50% of those tasks you’ll realize are a waste of time and what I mean by this is if you have tasks that you’re doing that you’re not willing to pay two dollars and 50 cents an hour for then they’re not worth being done like why are you wasting your time. So it makes you go through all your tasks and it makes you think about what things are you doing that are just a waste of your time and you eliminate those the other thing is going to make you do when you have to teach someone else how to do a task of yours you’re gonna have to go step by step through the task and think about how you’re gonna explain it to them and a lot of times when you take this more algorithmic strategic approach you realize that maybe steps 3 through 5 are unnecessary they’re just a waste of time they’re things that you don’t need to do. So this is why I say it actually ends up 3x in your productivity and this is probably one of the number one secrets I think of really successful people is it’s not just them that’s successful I have a lot of people to look at me and look at all my different projects and businesses and say wow that’s really amazing you run three different companies and I’m the reason I’m able to do that is because a lot of the tedious work I don’t do I do more of the big-picture thinking work I do the things that I would only do one time. So if you do something more than once especially if you do something more than once every three months I would say outsource it you know what and there’s easy ways to do this. So I’m gonna get off this rant in just a second and talk about the actual step-by-step how-to but one of the easiest things you can do is screen record yourself doing it and then show it to your VA and say hey you try this next time and I’m actually doing this right now for my state sales tax the last time we did State cell sex and we file quarterly with state sales tax last time I did it I screen recorded and I showed my VA how to do it and one of the good things about screen recording it is I also wrote down the step by step of what I need to do because I only do it once every three months and I forget how to do it. So it’s good to have it written down that way you know if if something happens in my VA can’t do it I can go back and do it and in fact originally I think I wrote down the steps not thinking my VA would do it thinking just as a reminder from self because it’s a little bit complicated especially with online businesses but then what I realized is well if there’s an algorithmic approach and by algorithmic I mean if you can write out step-by-step directions and there’s a very scientific way of looking at it like if this then that kind of clauses to whatever task you’re doing then it’s something that someone else can do and what I like to think about people as especially Virtual Assistants as really really smart computers they’re they’re self-learning computer the people obviously and I know it sounds funny to say that but I think a lot of people hire Virtual Assistants and don’t realize the fact that they can learn things like just because they don’t know something really well right at the beginning doesn’t mean you can’t teach them an example of this is my Virtual Assistant is getting better and better at video editing and I’ve showed him examples I said hey this is an example this is one of the tasks he’s currently doing is compiling a list of all the top ecommerce entrepreneur type vloggers and what I’m doing is I’m having them compile this list and figure out well what’s their highest rated video well what video do you think’s their their best and what we’re probably gonna do is find a few different entrepreneurs that have really cool vlogs and straight up just copy them at first and you know not I know that sounds rude right off the bat but what I mean by this is it’ll be an exercise for my Virtual Assistant to learn how to do different video editing skills and I’ve seen him progress. So keep that in mind when hiring an assistant they’re gonna grow with you he also does all my thumbnails for the YouTube channel and especially the beginning every single thumbnail he would do I’d go back and forth and message him say no I don’t like this move this here move that here and now he’s gotten very good at it we’ve come up with an algorithmic way of doing it I say hey if it’s this type of a video you know what use the this type of a thumbnail tump template and he learns from that every time. So that’s enough about why you should get a Virtual Assistant trust me it is the best investment you will make in my opinion it’s gonna cost you between 250 to 400 dollars a month maybe you can start off easily finding one for 250 it might be worth it to pay 300 3 or 50 starting depending on what you want to do but test it out and the worst case scenario is if you don’t like them you can fire them opposed to if you hire a an employee in your own country especially I know in the United States if you don’t like that employee it’s awkward to fire someone it’s not as bad I mean it still is not fun but it’s not as bad to fire a Virtual Assistant there’s a lot less legal things around it. So anyways. So I’ve have you convinced at this point that you should hire a Virtual Assistant and there’s a few different things to think about do you want to hire a full-time Virtual Assistant which I highly recommend if you’re a full-time entrepreneur or even if you’re not a full-time entrepreneur I highly recommend hiring a either a full-time Virtual Assistant or like a repeated ten hours a week style Virtual Assistant that’s one way of doing it the other thing and I might save this for a future episode but the other thing is you can hire people on project basis. So if you want to hire someone to redesign your website if you want to hire someone to write some code for your website things like that if you want to hire someone for project type things that’s different that’s totally different and we’ll talk a little bit about this that in this episode but most of this is gonna be focused on hiring a 10 plus hour a week Virtual Assistant and I personally right now I only have one full time Virtual Assistant and he’s very good his name’s Adrian he’s and he’s probably gonna be editing this YouTube video or if you’re listening to this as the podcast will be editing this podcast and what does he do when I’m done recording this he he splices the he splices it. So when I start talking the podcast starts or the YouTube video starts and when I’m done talking it stops he uploads he sinks the audio in the video together uploads it to YouTube adds a image or adds a thumbnail to it adds the the links to the info card he adds sometimes transcriptions even I’ll have him just transcribe the entire thing to rank higher up in Google these are all things that I should do but I just don’t want to do it he also will do the same thing for in libsyn for the podcast and. So basically for me to record a podcast all I have to do is hit record and that’s it it’s done it syncs to a Dropbox and he takes care of it. So anyways. So you have some different options here the three main sites I’d take a look at our up work Fiverr and online jobs dot pH. So up work is let start with Fiverr actually Fiverr is a great site if you have small little tasks that you want to get done maybe you want a really crappy quick logo and you can pay five dollars and have someone do it you can have people do video testimonials for you can have people write articles for you you can do a hundred different things go to fiverr.com I think it’s fi ve are are calm to check it out I do have a link effective e-commerce comm slash Fiverr with two R’s once again that gives you like I think your first gigs free if you sign up using that I don’t remember it’s been a while since I use that. So Fiverr is great for those small little gigs up works really good if you’re looking for a bigger project if you’re looking someone to redesign your website if you’re looking for someone to do some in-depth things like I’d say in my opinion up work is if you want to spend $50 to you know a few thousand dollars up work is worth looking at fibers for the smaller things last but not least online jobs dot pH and this is the site if you’re gonna have a repeat you’ll want to hire like a real employee a real Virtual Assistant this is the site to go to hands down I’ll pork is much more expensive and up work takes a fee where online jobs dot pH does not. So I will say online jobs pH I think it’s $49 for your first month and if you go to effective e-commerce dot-com slash online jobs and I’ll put a link in the YouTube video as well use that link to sign up and I’ll actually give you a free one-on-one consulting session to help you find your first Virtual Assistant but even before I was ever an affiliate for them I highly I’ve hired my first Virtual Assistant from them I think three or four years ago and it was one of the most glorious days of my life as far as productivity goes. So why is online jobs ph. So good first off there is a forty dollar $49 fee for that for the one month while you’re searching for an assistant the cool thing is you can call them up i think you can email them up and say hey i want a refund i’m not happy with my service and i’ll give you a flat out refund and to be honest when I first signed up that’s what I was planning on doing I was planning on just signing up and even if I found a good Virtual Assistant just asking for my money back the truth is I was. So happy with my virtual that I thought they deserved the $49. So that’s a little insider tip if you want to get your money back you can probably just use the service and get your money back but. So online jobs at pH the way it works is you can either a post a job and people will come apply to your job which I recommend doing or be you can go search through people message them and that’s another option as well and you can find people. So if you post a job you’re gonna get somewhere between 100 to 200 people applying to your job I think the last time I did it I got 200 people applying to your job to my job and I’ll talk about the system I use to sift through those people it’s very algorithmic very simple and it’ll make it. So those 200 people that applied to your job it’ll sort it down to two or three very quickly and then you can make the final decision. So let’s talk a little bit more why I think online jobs dot pH is the way to go another thing. So okay it’s you pay that one-time fee hire someone and then it’s gonna be between 250 to 400 ollars a month maybe a little bit more if you’re looking for someone with like an insane level of skill but I got I think I started around three hundred three hundred fifty dollars with my Virtual Assistant per month this the most recent one and he’s amazing he does a great job I’m really happy with him the first Virtual Assistant I had I was paying her two hundred seventy-five dollars a month and I gave him raised I give both of them raises over time and very happy with all of that I do have a lot more information. So I’m gonna go over all the information on how to sift through all the candidates but if you go to effective e-commerce comm and sign up for the free e-commerce success pack I have all this stuff step-by-step and we’ll go over it in just a second but if you want the actual text for it step-by-step the exact messages you should send the exact post the way to word it all that kind of stuff I have all that there. So you can do that Effective Ecommerce com I think slash success pack will get you there or just go to effective e-commerce comm and poke around if you’re watching the YouTube video the links up here. So why the Philippines sorry I realized that I didn’t finish that I’ve hired people from different countries and by far the Philippines is the best place to do it one their English is usually pretty good it’s much better than most the other countries I believe they actually in school the the only language they speak is English. So they’re taught in English. So they learn English from a very young age. So that’s very helpful the wages are very low it’s you know and don’t think that you’re don’t think that you’re cheating these people don’t think you’re using these people they’re happy to make the money I’ve heard that engineers and professors make 350 to 450 dollars. So for these people in the Philippines to be able to work from home at their own leisure and make the same amount of money as an engineer a professor is a pretty good deal you know. So you’re you’re helping out the world you’re helping out the world economy and what you’re doing is you’re lowering your costs for your business which means that you can give the products and sell the products for cheaper in the United States if you’re based in the US it also means that you can save more money to hire us-based people if you want and the example I’ll give there is with my dance clothing company we hired a Virtual Assistant it doubled my productivity it helped me grow the business which means that I needed to hire people in the u.s. to help manufacture the clothing. So don’t think of this is like you know us versus them mentality I need to hire an American person I don’t think that’s true at all there’s some tasks that maybe an American or a native English speaker is better at but there’s some tasks that I think a VA is much better at. So the Philippines specifically their English is really good but also they have a very loyal sense about them I don’t know how exactly to describe this without sounding you know weird but they’re very loyal trusting not just trusting honest they’re very honest people in general and obviously there’s exceptions to everything but just you can tell like certain cultures are a little bit more schemee and other cultures they have just a general more positive outlook there’s also seems to be less of an entrepreneur it seems like people in the Philippines are happy to have a salary job and I steady job they’re not like in the US a lot of people there’s a sense of entitlement there doesn’t seem to be that there’s not that same sense of entitlement I was paying someone $12 an hour to do stuff that my VA was doing a better job at at 250 an hour and that’s when I realized that America is screwed if we don’t change something because of this sense of entitlement not all Americans but you know a lot of younger Americans for sure all right. So finally let’s get into what is the step by step to hiring a Virtual Assistant. So the first thing is sign up for online jobs dot pH like I said it cost about forty nine dollars go to effective e-commerce comm slash online jobs to use my link and I’ll give you a free one-on-one consulting session to help you set it up to post your jobs. So let me give you a sample of my job post and it’s very simple. So it was just you will be doing a variety of tasks almost all of which I will create tutorials for you some things I have in mind for you to do in the immediate future is collecting emails off websites data entry change the stuff on our website that is very easy posting blog post to our wordpress blog easy social media tasks sending and responding to emails to apply for the job and this is the crucial part send me a message with a few sentences on why you would like this position. So that’s number one number two change the subject line to I want to work for you and then I put in brackets insert the name of my mom who is the co-owner of bee dance or calm here and. So what I want them to say is I want to work for you Cindy and even though I’m not Cindy it’s it’s easier for them to find Cindy and but it takes them they have to go to be dance or calm and click on the about Us page which is very easy to do but if they’re not willing to do that much work I don’t even open the email and you can make that slightly more complicated if you want because what happens when they apply for the job they message me with an application. So right away I see do they did they change the subject line like I asked then the next thing I look at is what they say and a few sentences on one that why they want to work for me and number three it says there will be a short Skype call between us and video will be required. So that automatically eliminates anyone that doesn’t have a webcam but and I know that sounds weird to you why why do I care if they have a webcam the truth is I want to see them I want to be able to interview them in person and when I communicate with them on a week-to-week basis I want to be able to have a real conversation with someone that has a webcam and I can see to make sure they’re not lying to me there’s not I’ve had people call me and they say oh my webcam doesn’t work and I’m pretty sure that there’s just a shady vibe about it. So the other thing and this is really important that it does is that test their internet speed because if they can’t have a good Skype call with me with video there’s their Internet’s probably not very good and they don’t have a high enough internet speed. So it also says some Photoshop or GIMP experience is a plus as I will have you do some of this but I’ll teach just about everything you need to know and I put that last little line in there just to say hey you know if you have this skill definitely let me know. So the next thing is they people respond to me and I go through and I pick you know the top 10% that I think will be good and then I say okay this skype interview email hi I want to interview you tomorrow could you do a interview tomorrow sometime between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Pacific time via Skype if. So please let me know what would work for you please use the PST time zone send me your skype ID and please add my ID Travis da Mars eonni ok. So one thing I would change in the future is I might put a link to my calendar and have them book it in my calendar but also have them to send me the time in PST which takes a little bit of work because they have to they have to convert it. So that’s the next step and you know in the future like I said I might change the order of some of these I might add a little bit more to get them to to get them to apply right off the bat. So the next thing I do is actually do this Skype interview and here is just a list of all the questions I ask and I don’t always ask all these questions I feel it out you know sometimes you get a bad vibe right away and you know what you you don’t need to continue the interview I’ve cut off some interviews within the first minute because I’m just like you know what this isn’t gonna work I’ve had some weird calls alright. So number 1 send me a link to your online jobs profile and. So they have to go find it and send it to me. So I can remember who they are cuz I’m interviewing a lot of different people at this point number two tell me about your last job number three what do you want to learn / doing this job. So this is a chance for them for me to get to know them better number four do you have your own computer and internet access if you have access how fast is your connection and this is obviously really you just want to double-check that they have their own computer and you want to see how fast their internet connection is desktop or laptop that’s kind of a throwaway question but it’s just kind of interesting I prefer someone with a desktop if they have a laptop that’s fine I usually ask people to get a external mouse because it just makes photo editing it makes a lot of tasks much quicker. So I think that’s very important have you worked for a foreign employers before it’s just kind of interesting to know have they worked with an American or a native English speaker just to get an idea of if they’re used to it because there’s a lot of kinks in working with someone that’s never done this before well you work from home or an internet cafe another question that I find interesting because I want to know to be honest with you I want to know and this comes up later in the questions I want to know do they have two options because if they work from home that’s great I think but you know I want to know that they can also go to an internet cafe once again this is probably not one of the more important questions I might always ask that where are you in the Philippines just let me know a little bit about them I asked about their Photoshop and video editing skills you can ask about whatever is interested interesting to you this is one that I like to catch people off-guard with if you could have a conversation with anyone living or dead who would it be and why now I’ve gotten a variety of different answers for this one and it’s just kind of a good question to see how good people are on their feet and also gives you a little insight into them I think I think it might be my current VA Adrian if you’re watching this I think he might have said Hitler which totally threw me off but you know he saved himself he had a good explanation why but I just thought that was. So random but it’s interesting to hear what people will say I think some people will say I’m sorry I can’t think of anything I’m like if you can’t think of anything then you might not be a good fit number 12 how much money are you looking to make that’s really important you know and people in Philippines are very shy to talk about money but it’s a good idea it’s good to get a get a good to get a good idea of you know how much money they’re looking to make do you have PayPal account very important I think because it’s makes sending money via PayPal. So much easier I’ve send it using like wire transfer services but you know PayPal is way better do you have kids or will you be having kids soon now this is one of those controversial question I think it’s just you don’t have to ask this flat-out and I’ve had people give me flack for asking this but I think it’s very important to know because the truth is and you can talk about this however you want the truth is for me personally I don’t want to hire someone that is about to have a little kid come into the world because that’s gonna be their priority my company and I’ve had people that had little kids that worked for me or just like I think we’re that you know or they were pregnant and they were working for me and it was just not someone that my my business was not their focus and they were not giving me their full attention now this is up to you you don’t have to ask this question but I personally think it’s something that you should know because I’ve had a few different VA s that I had to fire because they just weren’t doing their job because once again either they had a kid that was keeping them up all the time or you know a variety of different reasons this is up to you like I said I got some flack for doing that but trust me when it’s your money that you’re spending you don’t want someone that’s only gotten only had four hours of sleep. So up to you if you want whether or not you want to ask that that’s one of the benefits of hiring someone a foreign employee is you can ask that kind of question and you can you know figure out who you want to hire and who you don’t want to hire and that’s not illegal if you I don’t think you can ask that to someone in the United States but the truth is that makes a difference. So anyways that’s me talking about that number fifteen I asked about their long-term plans are they looking in two to three years to go to college are they looking to you know move are they looking for something really big and these are little hints that they they’re not serious about your company ideally the kind of employee I person I want to hire is someone that will stay with me until I’m you know 65 I want to hire someone that will grow with me and they can you know eventually be the head of my Virtual Assistant team maybe for you that’s different but I think that’s an important thing to note next question is when would you be able to start work I think this is really interesting because a number of different reasons but you know the people they’re really hungry for it will sell you you know tomorrow whatever and lasts and this is my favorite question any questions for me and if they don’t have any questions for you I think that’s usually a little bit of a red flag but you know everyone’s different there maybe there’s reasons they don’t have any questions for you but I want I want them to ask Oh what am I gonna be doing and this kind of stuff if they just say nope no questions for you in my head that’s kind of a red flag because it’s like they don’t even care what they’re doing how serious are they about this alright. So I interview a bunch of people from there I’ll narrow it down to two to three you know or maybe three to five people and then I send them a sample VA project and I have a link once again in the e-commerce success pack to my sample VA part two all this different stuff but here’s the the sample VA project it says I’m very excited to see your results on this small project hopefully will not take too long if you need to help along the way please let me know the instructions below will help guide you through the assignment some of the materials you will need are attached some will require information gathered from the internet number one please email me at my email with the subject line I’m ready to start working. So that’s can they follow that basic direction go do this you know speedtest.net take a screenshot of your test results. So how fast is their internet take a screenshot how much free space you have on your hard drive you will need to have at least 400 gigabytes of hard drive space if you don’t have at least this much please let me know if you’ll be able to delete things to make space. So I want to know how much space do they have on their hard drive because they’re gonna probably need about that much space to install Dropbox which I use you know and there’s ways to work around this number two we will be posting on our Instagram using 15 postulate popular hashtags to get help to help get more organic reach please provide a list of 15 hashtags in a row that you think would be most relevant explain how you research and discover these hashtags include the information in the above email. So I want to see how creative they are on coming up with hashtags number three this is a link to our website be dense or calm please send back the following the link to our five closest competitors why do you think these products are competitors. So I want to see who they think are our competitors and this gives them gives me a good idea of how well they know the space but also the why because even if they’re wrong that’s not a huge deal to me as long as they have a good explanation of why number four please create a Google spreadsheet with the following information title company name Leeds and okay please bake columns for the following six cities Los Angeles New York Boston Chicago Seattle Seattle Dallas for each city please write the name and phone number of the five most popular dance studios you may use Yelp comm for this research or Google include a sharing link in the email response to me I must be able to edit the sheet not simply view it. So what does this do I want to see if they can follow some very basic instructions can they start a spreadsheet and list a bunch of different people a bunch of our just it’s basically a simple task but then I also ask them can they email me a link to it where I can edit it. So this is the second step making sure they’re smart enough to realize the difference between sending me a link that’s an edit link and a view link it’s also how familiar are they with Google sheets and I don’t care if they’re not that familiar with it I want to see can they teach themselves can they go on Google and search and figure out how to do it please email this back to me by 859 a.m. PST Friday 10:28 that was you know when I did it there if there’s anything needs to be clip clarified please let me know it’s my job to offer help where I can. So that’s pretty much it. So of that. So of the three to five people that I send this project to only one or two are gonna respond and that’s usually who I go with. So there’s a lot of different hoops that the candidates had to jump through now you could if you wanted to make everybody right off the bat jump through more hoops it’s up to you how you want to do this but this strategy has worked very well for me and it’s got me I’ve had a lot of success with it I have a great Virtual Assistant now and I’ll probably use the same strategy in the future for hiring other Virtual Assistants. So that’s pretty much it once again you go to effective e-commerce comm and get the free e-commerce success pack and it includes the step-by-step like literally everything I told you plus more information on how to hire a Virtual Assistant with links and video examples and all kinds of great things and pretty much all more or less leave it there obviously leave that five-star art iTunes review if you want a chance to win a free one-on-one consulting session with me that’s it for this episode I hope to see you guys next Monday remember we have new podcast episodes every Monday I’ve also been doing a YouTube live from 5 to 6 p.m. PST just go to YouTube go to my channel and you’ll be able to find it there that’s pretty much it for now I hope you guys enjoyed this episode and thank you. So much for watching

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