At some point in your online journey, you need to hire someone to take on the tedious repetitive work. Not only that, you should hire some professional designers and sometimes coders to build better User experience in your pages.
It goes without say, different sites require different approaches as to whether you need a
A virtual assistant or not. What type of Virtual assistant? When you do need to hire? Etc.
Now with the availability of themes and templates, you don’t need to distract yourself with coding or designing or even hiring. However, it comes to a point where you want to brand your sites and little details that were ignored in the beginning can be afforded to fix especially if you have revenue coming in.
Let’s talk about the virtual assistant’s that you might need.
Term: long term.
Although with ready drag and drop themes available nowadays, you need to consider a designer only when starting to see the attraction and some revenue coming in.
A blog, for example, might never need a designer with these easy setup beautiful themes. You might want to consider it one year in writing your article.
Your core value in the blog is the written content. How valuable it is?
Furthermore, in order to establish trust and authenticity in your blog, your phone camera is more than enough to show images. You can definitely choose to be a reporter in a niche like in the gardening niche, by doing research and interviewing experts or hobbyists.
This can establish authority as well, but what about the idea that you starting a blog about something is your hobby already, your phone camera here is enough to show everyday experience.
On the other hand, an eCommerce site might need it sooner. A good looking product listing including how clear and illustrative your product images is a must in this business. Nobody buys from an average looking image regardless of quality ironically.
- Character: loyal passionate designer
- Tasks: logo, creating a premium store, banner, and product images, etc
- Long term VA’s websites: Upwork.com & Freelancehunt.com
Freelancehunt is a Ukrainian platform for freelancers.
Short term VA’s websites
Cost: $5 per hour
- But start at $3 hour during their trial period.
- You can negotiate $3 per hour. Freelancers want to work for the long term to earn more money
- Let them work and prove their worth…
Acceptable prices for short term jobs
- Logo: $15-30
- Landing page/funnel: ~$70
- Ad creative: ~$5 per creative
TIPS and Intel’s
- Upwork designers demand more money upfront than freelancehunt which is a Ukrainian jobs portal
- Short term jobs cost more per action than long term hires. This is called “Opportunity Cost” in economical terms
- Recommendation: Train your hardworking VA’s and have them on call even if you don’t have work for you need to keep providing value to these talents as much as possible. People tend to give their best and reciprocate if they receive value in advance.
- Once you have enough work to give your designer, and trust goes both ways, you start paying per project rather than per hour.
- The disadvantage of hour-based freelance work is that VAs naturally tend to take more time when their salary depends on hours. At this point, you will have a better estimate more or less of how much time each project should be taking him/her.
Term: when needed by the designer, not needed full time
Character: Very often your designer will know of a good coder that he/she has worked with on past projects and you won’t have to search for this VA yourself. Just make sure the coder is competent.
Managed by: It is imperative to get your designer to manage the coder as soon as possible.
Your designer will be the one to sit on your coder’s ass to get things done, not you. Your coder will be working on other projects, so it will be hard for you to suddenly contact the coder and say “I need you now!!”, but if your coder has a working relationship with your designer, it will be easy to tell your designer “where the hell is the coder? Why is this taking so long?” and get results.
Tasks: Whether you want something is done on your Shopify store, or your WordPress website, or your funnel, your designer’s focus is best spent on doing the actual design, rather than playing around with themes and code.
Cost: ~$5 per hour. They will usually ask for $7-$10 per hour, but you can manage to convince coders to work for $5 per hour.
It is definitely hard to find good content writers because it sometimes needs a sense of copywriting and selling by the written words.
However, you can test VA’s on which type of writing they are good at. Generally, Checklist or listicles type of blogs are easy to write.
Term: Long term
Character: Surprisingly Filipinos (people from the Philippines) have produced good results especially the young boy. They have great English; their motivation is excellent and hungry to prove themselves worthy to grow.
On the other hand, Ukrainians produce lower quality for the same cost. Keep in mind people from platforms ask for more money for lower quality.
You can Source Filipinos from this platform www.onlinejobs.ph
Tasks: Creative Writing: blog posts, product descriptions, product titles, email templates, etc.
Cost: $1.80 per hour,
It can go up to ~$3 per hour if they are competent and proven themselves.
200-word description for eCommerce product listing: ~$5 or per four 50 word description
Blog post: depends on the number of words. $5/50 words = $0.1 (Some bloggers like from the Income School website suggested it should be between 0.2-0.3 per words but they are talking about the American Market probably).
Matching product titles that are unique around 300-400 products: $50 for the project.
As you grow, more and more tasks emerge. Try to figure out which tasks the designer performs that are not worthy of $5 per hour.
Tip: This is just one example of how you should manage your employees’ time efficiently. It’s not just about how you monitor them, but how you price each action and task.
Portal: www.freelancehunt.com or someone the designer knows. This VA doesn’t need to be a designer.
- Cost: $1.80 per hour
- Managed by: The main designer
- Upside: This VA will be directly managed by your designer and will cut down the design cost significantly.
Product & Seller Research
Do you have time to go to all the marketplaces to check for products, and then finding the right supplier that processes and ship the same product within decent shipping time and cheaper prices for the asked quality? If so, then you are not taking care of more priority tasks in your business.
Cost: $1.80 per hour
- freelancehunt is more preferred for reasons that they usually have better English and speak Russian and other languages sometimes.
- Multiple languages here have a unique advantage. Apparently, searching in different languages using Yandex (Google of Russia), or Baidu (Google of China) could give you cheaper prices compared to Google searches.
- Using different geo-location in your search also makes you discover better prices and new things that are not indexed in Google for example, or maybe indexed but not shown in the first pages.
- You can change your geo zones by having VPN services like (….), you can then give access to your VA’s to use them. Make them search using different search engines with different geo zones
- If you in eCommerce, search for products using Amazon, eBay, and Etsy and Aliexpress
- If you in blogging, then Google, Yandex, Baidu, Bing, Yahoo, Naver
You can help your VA’s by providing templates to know what is expected of them. For example, Email templates, blog templates, Checklist guides that are easy to read for different tasks. This will allow you to save so much time.
As a founder of a website, your focus should be only centered around the audience your targeting. Always provide support and monitor people in charge. In the beginning, you should do most of the important pieces in your business, this will allow you to build templates for people to come and take over.
After all, this is your business; don’t expect anybody to care about it more than you do. At the same time, you must lead not manage or worse micro-manage. This attitude will drive people crazy and therefore their productivity declines.
Make people own their tasks and allow room for creativity, everyone has something to offer. Although this is your business, you need to make them feel that they belong.
VA’s come and go for a variety of reasons, and sometimes you have to sack the bad apples. Prepare for that always.
As a business owner, you need to keep an eye on things like accounting, hiring, but most importantly the thing that could affect your customer/audience experience. If you are in eCommerce or blogging make sure fulfillment or good quality content is done and delivered properly within the expected time.
Acquiring customers is difficult in itself, but retaining them is even harder. you need to keep the image of the brand clean as a leader.
Finally, as you scale, add more VA’s to the team as required, those need to be managed by your senior competent loyal workers. This is an extra job to do for your head designer, for example, and so you need to pay her/him more so that he or she is inclined to manage them properly.
Please share your experience with VA’s in the comments below.
If you have more ideas or different approaches to hiring VA’s or obstacles that you have faced, please comment below.