So you’re ready to outsource your work. Your friends, business associates and countless articles on the internet say “Hire a Virtual Assistant” to make light work of your online venture.
It’s true. A virtual assistant, or team of VAs, will help. You can outsource your work, usually offshore, in places like the Philippines (where Gig Station is located), at much cheaper prices while still maintaining quality and standards.
It depends. Lets start with a list of things you should consider when paying your virtual assistant:
- What level of skills are required by your VA for the task?
- Does your virtual assistant need experience or will you provide training?
- Will your VA be required to use any specific software or apps which require understanding and knowledge of how it works?
- Do you expect them to work unsupervised or will you be providing guidance on the outcomes of each task and project?
- Are they working for an agency where there is considerably more support than a freelancer working alone?
Now lets consider some business related matters:
- What’s your budget and is it realistic for the work you want done? If you cut the prices to the bone will your virtual assistant feel looked after? And will you really get the skills you need?
- Will your virtual assistant be working on sensitive information?
- How important is it to you for the work to be completed will be right first-time with minimal errors?
- How detailed and clear are your instructions? As the saying goes – Garbage In, Garbage Out. Don’t expect your virtual assistant to understand your ramblings, especially if you’re trying to go for a low cost hourly rate.
Does Paying a Higher Hourly Rate = The Best Virtual Assistant?
Not always. The price to hire a VA can vary considerably, and price can be a good indicator of skills and experience. Although we have come across many online workers who charge $USD20, $30, $50, even $100+ per hour, but on delivery the value they provided wasn’t there.
On the other hand we’ve seen virtual assistants and online specialists for $US4 – $15 per hour produce incredible results!
It all comes down to knowing exactly what you want; a roadmap of what you are trying to achieve, with definable objectives and action points, and a clear set of expectations for both the client and the virtual assistant.
Do the Best Virtual Assistants Work on Their Own or for Digital Agencies?
There are a lot of good freelancers out there. There are also a lot of good agencies.
Some feedback we constantly hear from clients on freelancers who work independently:
- Lack of skills and experience, or too expensive to hire someone talented
- Unavailability or weren’t available when they said they would be
- Suddenly disappeared or had an emergency
- Freelancer cannot work on anything beyond a specific task
Lack of skills and experience is hard to overcome. It depends on how much patience you have, and you have to reconsider whether you hired the right person or hired purely on the “best”, or lowest price.
Unavailability, freelancers not being online and suddenly disappearing is quite normal for freelancers. Remember you are trying to reduce or lower how much they are paid. They are also trying to maximize what they are paid — if they find someone will to pay more they will leapfrog to the next client, leaving you high and dry. We have seen this in the Philippines a lot. We started our journey as freelancers, and work directly with clients for many years before forming Gig Station.
Something clients also highlight is when they started out they hired one freelancer. Now they have multiple full-time freelancers. Quality has dropped, managing each freelancer has become difficult and each one needs constant direction. You’re now stuck in a time trap.
By hiring an agency it’s a way of outsourcing the “people management” element of working with remote team members. The agency is there to support you, and your team, so it doesn’t all fall back to you.
So You Need an Agency
At Gig Station we’re a low cost marketplace agency. We work purely within third party marketplaces, mostly Upwork. We do this because we also outsource key elements of running an agency – time tracking, billing, invoicing customers – this all takes considerable time. Allowing Upwork to manage this on behalf of our clients actually allows us to keep our costs lower.
Our distributed independent workers (Gigsta) are a virtual team, geographically dispersed, usually working from home – but they also have the freedom to roam – also keeps costs down for our clients.
While your Gigsta is working for you, the agency, Gig Station, will make sure:
- Your work and projects stay on track with your virtual assistant or team
- We will make sure they are working when they say they are working
- Gig Station will assist with bottlenecks or issues you or your Gista can’t resolve
- We can connect you with our talent pool of Gigsta’s when you need to grow and scale
- We won’t leave you high and dry. We won’t jump ship if a better offer comes along. We believe in partnerships, and the best partnerships take work and build over time
Along with your input we will help our Gigsta’s with continuous learning and upskilling
Our central operations team, who keep our Gigsta’s on track, have access to our office whenever they need it. It’s not something we force, especially now in light of the pandemic and working from home, but it’s there for meetings, training and brainstorming.
When it comes to the work we do we keep it focused on four key areas:
- Back Office – ecommerce, administration, online order, account verification
- Digital Customer Support – live chat, email and ticket support, in-app support
- Social Media – social media posting, reputation, community management
- Project Management – task management, workflows, collaboration, progress monitoring
If you’re still unsure of how to hire the best virtual assistant for your budget contact us. We can guide you on the options available and what would work best for your business.