Things are going great for your business. You’re making money and your customers are happy. However, you have so much work coming in and so many things to keep up with that you don’t have time to breathe! It’s time to partner with a virtual assistant to help you stay on track and move to the next level of your business.
In my post Three C’s to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant, I covered some important aspects of establishing a relationship with a VA. After that, I received many inquiries about how to start the process from the beginning. People wanted to know, “Where do I go to look for a VA? Are sources like Elance and Odesk reliable?”
Here are my answers as a professional in the industry–in “hot potato” form–just cause it’s fun;)
There are sites like Elance and Odesk in which you can post your job request. You will receive several replies from people offering to complete your job request with different backgrounds and at varying rates. Here’s my opinion on this. It may ruffle some feathers, but I’m speaking from my experience. If you’re looking for assistance with a quick one-time project then these sites my be just right for you. You will have the opportunity to see how the service provider was rated for past performances and you can choose someone who fits your price range for a quick one-time project.
However, if you’re looking to establish a true long-term relationship with a virtual assistant then this is not the route that I suggest you take. On sites like this, everyone is really just trying to outbid one another. If you choose the person who can do the job for you based on the one who charged you the least amount of money, chances are that you get what you pay for.
Don’t forget to look at the other benefits you’ll receive in partnering with a VA:
- More time to work on other money-making projects
- Being able to rely on someone to get the work done
- Taking lots of everyday tasks off your plate
Instead, if you are interested in establishing a long-term relationship with a virtual assistant and have no where to start, I would suggest websites and directories that specialize in partnering people with VAs. There are sites such as VA Hub and Virtual Assistantville that help to locate the right person for you based on the kind of work you need help with.
Now, here is my favorite tip for finding the virtual assistant that’s right for you. Talk to others in your industry. Who are they using? Are they happy with this person? Ask your contacts through social media. Tell your colleagues on LinkedIn that you’re looking for a VA. Ask who they would recommend. Word-of-mouth is one of the best ways to find a reliable service provider especially if they are being recommending by someone you already know who does what you do for a living. They need the same kind of help you do and they are already receiving it from someone that they like and trust! Then you can contact the virtual assistant directly and decide if you’re a good match for one another.
Have you ever hired a virtual assistant? What was your experience? Do you have any other helpful tips for others?