How a Virtual Assistant has Helped Me

pacific ocean outsourcingGetting a virtual assistant was a big decision for me because of the cost, the time to train and show her what to do, and just wondering whether getting a virtual assistant would be value-added.  Now, after having a virtual assistant for over 3 months, I’m a big believer in the value of her.

If you’re undecided about whether a virtual assistant can help you, here are they key ways that my virtual assistant has helped me.  They may not apply to you, especially if you’re not building a business as an income stream, but for many who are, these tips may be very value-added.

 

Focus on What Matters

This has been my core theme of 2013, but it really started back in 2012.  Building a business, even an online business, requires you to wear a lot of hats to get things done.  For my web businesses, not only am I the editor-in-chief, but I’m also the lead web developer, technical support, SEO specialist, social media manager, bookkeeper, and more.

The bottom line is that you wear a lot of hats.  And that isn’t always a bad thing.  I’m a firm believer that you have to know and understand every process so that you can effectively outsource them.  It doesn’t mean you have to be an expert in the tasks you outsource, but having a basic understanding is key.

However, with my business and passions, and my family, which is very important to me, many of these “other” hats don’t really add personal value.  I love to write, create content, and build relationships.  I’m not a fan of backlinking, or even scouring the internet for research (although I do love to read other blogs).

By figuring out tasks to outsource to a virtual assistant that are core to your business, but not necessarily your passion, you can really focus on what matters!

 

Time Management

Along the same lines as focusing on what matters, time management starts to become a real struggle as your business grows.  Time management has been one of my struggles throughout 2012, and it’s one of the key drivers behind my decision to quit freelancing.

However, because I’ve outsourced, I’ve gotten a lot of time back that I wouldn’t have previously had.  That has allowed me to not only focus on what matters, but even to expand into different directions.  My virtual assistant works roughly 4 hours each workday doing social media management and backlinking tasks.  I view that as essentially 4 hours that I just got back to my life to do other things with.

 

Savings on Other Expenses

Before I hired my virtual assistant, I was already paying different freelancers for tasks or leveraging software to help me get things done more effectively.  By hiring a virtual assistant, I was able to consolidate the tasks I was already outsourcing into one person, effectively seeing an instant return by saving money on other expenses.

One example is Carnival Submissions.  You’ve probably heard that blogger carnivals are a great tool to get your site some exposure as well as build backlinks.  I’ve discussed that value of blog carnivals as a way to improve your inbound links.  However, submitting your site (or in my case, multiple websites) to blog carnivals each week can be a very tedious task.  Every carnival has different requirements, different timing, and then you have to link back to the carnival if your post was accepted.  Even though it’s a very value-added way to build links and get exposure, it takes time.

That’s why I started outsourcing to a freelancer last year to help me submit to blog carnivals.  She charged $5 per website to submit to 5 blogger carnivals per week (if I remember correctly).  This equated to about $20 per month per website, which I thought was a solid deal.  However, as my web presence grew, the costs would continue to rise.  I would have to pay $80 per month right now to submit all of my websites to blogger carnivals.  Since I pay my virtual assistant $250 per month, this was an easy expense to eliminate and roll into my virtual assistant.  It was also very easy to train my virtual assistant on how to submit to carnivals and keep a log about whether my posts were accepted.

For reference (and since so many people have asked), I found my virtual assistant through Virtual Staff Finders.  I highly recommend them and will share more about why in an upcoming post.

 

These are some of the ways my virtual assistant has help me…how could a virtual assistant help you?

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Comments

  1. Hey Robert, where do you actually find a virtual assistant. Could you tell us who you use. or post a link? I don’t have a big blog but with tax season a little help might actually be helpful.

  2. How much does it cost per hour? Does she work for you every day for 4 hours?

  3. I also got a VA from Virtual Staff Finder but she only have worked for 2 months in my business. I honestly don’t like the way she handle things when she starts doing her job. But I’m glad I got a new VA from the Philippines, he’s been working with me for almost a year now. I got him from Staff.com by the way.

    • I’m guessing that Staff.com is very similar to VSF? Did you try to get another one from VSF before switching?

      • Hi Robert, thanks for taking the time to reply. Yeah, VSF and Staff.com are just the same. You can get VAs from both sites. I didn’t try getting another VA from VSF after that because I heard people are also talking about Staff.com on forums and other community sites (aside from Elance, Odesk etc). I tried it and I was able to hire a good staff from them. By the way, I think the main difference between VSF (or other sites) and Staff.com is that, Staff.com focuses in full time hires.

  4. Was not aware of VSF but I do have on call VAs for any web programming related tasks I can’t do myself or don’t have the time for. You can’t do it all yourself, best to hire help when needed!

  5. Virtual assistants are really helpful because you can’t just do everything without getting stressed out. Having a virtual assistant doesn’t cost that much and you can also some arrangement that will go with your budget.

  6. Wow, what a cool job! I would love to have one. I don’t think it would be the right career move at this point…but someday. Thank you for the information!

  7. Hi Robert! So glad that you’re getting great value from your VA! I am a Filipino virtual assistant myself so I am always feel proud when clients like you say good things about Pinoy VAs.

    More power to you!

  8. Finally taking the plunge to hire a VA! I used your link to VSF and am waiting on a response. The goal in 2014 is to live outside of the blog so I will definitely need to outsource many of the tasks that keep me behind the computer.

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