If you have been toying with the idea to hire a virtual assistant or a freelancer, just do it. Still need a good reason why? Here are just a few reasons why it’s the best decision you’ll make.
Becoming an entrepreneur can be an exciting, but daunting task. As the CEO of your own company, you often wear multiple hats and fill several (or all) of the roles within your business. Until you feel like you can “afford” to hire someone, you end up doing tasks that you don’t enjoy and maybe even not good at. You possibly fill your days doing tasks that don’t generate any income for the business, which is what productivity coach and bestselling author, Marcey Rader, calls “the $10 tasks.”
Top 3 Business Challenges
There are three main business challenges that small business owners have come to me with, which they need my help to solve.
- Improve cash flow/become profitable
- Stay in business
- Improve work/life balance
Solve these common challenges and you’ll stop feeling overwhelmed, financially stressed, and sleep-deprived by building and hiring a team. Hire freelancers to take on tasks and projects at the exact point that you need in your business, then pay and close the contract when the work is complete.
Hiring Virtual Assistant Services Is Like Requesting An Uber
This is one of my favorite analogies. If you have ever been worried about hiring out virtual assistant services or freelancers, I hope this puts your mind at ease.
How hiring a freelancer is like requesting an Uber ride:
- Request – You can browse the freelancer database (my favorites are Upwork and Virtual Valley) to see skill, availability, and rate. When you find one that you like, you can “Invite to a job” and see if he/she responds and accepts.
- Comes to you – You don’t have to be located in the same city, state, or even country as your freelancer. They can work virtually with you through a messaging platform, email, or project management tool like Asana. I find many will accommodate and work the hours and timelines that you need if they accept the job.
- Pay and Go – Once you’ve received and approved the final output from the freelancer for the project/job, you get automatically charged to the agreement on file. You usually don’t have to deal with any employment issues or taxes since the freelancers have their own agreement and tax forms that they signed with the freelancing company.
What Is A Virtual Assistant
With so many people working from home, the term “virtual assistant” is used more often than freelancers, but it’s basically the same thing. There are freelance graphic designers and there are virtual assistants that focus on graphic design.
When you are looking for freelance employees, another term you’ll run into is “remote worker.” That is someone that works exclusively from home.
If you want to hire freelance workers, you might run into the term virtual assistant more often. Before you hire a virtual assistant, make sure they have the skills necessary for the jobs they’ll be doing.
Why You Should Hire A Virtual Assistant or Freelance Worker
There are lots of reasons to hire someone remote and pay them as a subcontractor. The biggest one is money.
When you hire virtual work, it’s a better return on investment (ROI) to hire someone that can do it well, quickly; versus you spending hours trying to master a new skill. As a small business owner, time is money. The more time you try to do something that you don’t know how to do, the less money you are making.
Another reason is that it’s easy marketing too. Think about it. The virtual assistant that works for you will have pride in their work and could tell their friends and family about it. This will naturally spread the word about your business.
Plus, if you hire a really experienced freelance worker, their experience will make your projects much more successful. For example, if you hire a ghostwriter to create search-engine-optimized content for your website, you will be more likely to rank in Google than if you try to do it yourself.
Earn More and Work Less
Yes, hiring a VA is a bit of a financial investment. But it can also be a smart strategy for earning more money while keeping your time working down. Find out more strategies for earning more and working less with my free 5-day course!
Virtual Assistant Services
What can you hire freelancers and virtual assistants to do? Almost anything!
Here are six categories where you can hire a freelancer, with examples of common business challenges that I personally have hired freelancers and virtual assistants for.
- Administrative – perform data entry of contact information from business cards into Excel and/or a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, download training materials and files from paid sites before canceling a monthly subscription, organize and post document/image files to a cloud-based storage system such as Office 365, and research a list of definitions to create a glossary
- Graphics Design – create graphics and promotional material to promote key business events and conference sponsorships, including business cards, bookmarks, print ads, infographics, and holiday cards
- Social Media – create images, research articles, and schedule posts to promote and share relevant information with followers to increase social media presence
- Technical – create interactive editable pdf forms such as customer intake forms
- Web – create landing pages for marketing calls-to-action to build up an email list
- Writing – write and edit bios for marketing material and ‘About the Author’ pages
Examples of Things Created By Freelancers
Here are a few examples that were created by my team of freelancers. It would have taken me much longer to create these since I’m not a graphic designer. I love how they turned out!
#1 – Business Card
#2 – Print Ad
#3 – Infographic
Where to Hire a Virtual Assistant
Now that you know why it’s great to have a virtual assistant and what they can do for you, let’s talk about how to find one. For someone who is hiring an assistant for the first time, the Uber-like concept works great. This is because there’s no major commitment involved—just give them a try for a project and see how it goes.
For someone who is looking to grow their business and add additional income streams (i.e. launch a new product, online course, etc.), it might make more sense to have consistent support and someone to train that can take on a variety of support tasks and get to know your business.
For example, when I knew that I needed someone on a more consistent basis when I was launching my first online course, I looked for someone who could do 10 – 15 hours per week (and was willing to do more hours as needed). It was great to have one person who could learn my business and take on tasks as needed, and not have to hire out for each different task. I hired a VA directly from the Philippines based on a colleague’s referral.
One source that I found that can help match you with overseas (Philippines-based) VA candidates to interview is Virtual Staff Finder.
If you prefer US-based workers, another source I found is Belay. This is a good way to find someone who acts more like an executive assistant.
Lessons Learned From Hiring Freelancers
When you hire virtual assistants and freelancers, you free up time to focus on running your business. Don’t try to do it all. Hire help, and use the Uber-like concept by hiring freelancers and virtual assistants only when you need them.
If you’ve never hired a freelancer before, what will be the first task/project that you want to accomplish that will save you time, money, and stress? If you’ve hired a freelancer before, do you have a success story or lessons learned to share with other entrepreneurs?
My current virtual assistant started with me in January and has given me back over 700 hours to-date! I just gave her a token of my appreciation (work-related item that she wanted) for all the hours she’s given back to me. She was recommended to me by Productivity Expert Marcey Rader, who has an excellent un-webinar Secrets to Hiring a Virtual Assistant: Breaking the myths of outsourcing.
Hire A Virtual Assistant: Final Thoughts
Are you convinced now that you need to hire a freelancer or virtual assistant? Do yourself a favor and take one task/project that you’ve been meaning to do, but never seem to find the time to start and finish.
Create a simple job description and post it to a freelancing site like Upwork. Then, search for freelancers and invite them to the job or just sit back and wait for them to apply.
Either way, you will be amazed at how quickly your business can change just by implementing this simple, Uber-like concept to building your team and maintaining your business!