SPI 020 : All About Virtual Assistants and Outsourcing with Chris Ducker from VirtualBusinessLifestyle.com

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In this session of the Smart Passive Income Podcast, my good friend Chris Ducker from Virtual Business Lifestyle joins us and shares his expertise and wisdom in the world of virtual assistants and outsourcing.

Hiring help for your online business, whether it’s just for one task you’d like to complete or on a more full-time basis, can definitely take your business to the next level and at the same time make your business a lot more passive and automated – as long as you know how to find the right help and work and communicate with your hired help in an efficient manner.

I’ve used sites like Elance and Odesk before to do a number of “one-off” projects, from designing WordPress themes to transcription work and even article writing, however recently I hired my first full time VA, a programmer who is designing a number of websites for me and clients of mine, and the experience so far has really blown me away.

Like you’ll hear me say in the podcast session with Chris, it’s like I’ve been able to clone myself and get twice as much done.

My only regret is that I wish I had hired someone to help me leverage my time sooner.

In this session, you’ll hear Chris and I discuss:

  • What exactly a Virtual Assistant is, and exactly what they can do for your online business.
  • How a Virtual Assistant can pretty much automate your entire niche site marketing process.
  • Why it took me 2 and a half months to write an eBook that was already 95% written.
  • Where exactly one can go to find a good Virtual Assistant.
  • How to make sure you find quality hired help when searching for Virtual Assistants to work for you.
  • How to get a birthday message for you from a guy dressed in a banana.
  • Why the Philippines is the most talked about country for finding Virtual Assistants.
  • How much it may cost you to have someone work for you full time for 40 hours a week.
  • The kinds of things I have my own full-time virtual assistant do for me.
  • The 4 tools that you need to make sure you’re getting the most out of your VA experience.

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Cheers!

Transcript:

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  • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

    I’ve been contemplating on outsourcing for sometimes for a long time now and I have a lot of questions I want to ask. I think this podcast is really handy and will be giving me clarification on things that bother me. I’ll be listening to it right away!

    • http://zachcrawley.com Zach Crawley

      I’ve read a lot about outsourcing and it seems to be a fantastic way of making your business more automated .. It also lets you get more important things done.

    • http://increasingworkplaceproductivity.net Bojan

      I’m in the same waters. Contemplating about VA’s ever since I’ve read 4 hour work week. I am now in position to afford one and will so pursue this opportunity.

      • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

        That’s great to hear, Bojan.

        Let me know if you need any help, or have any questions, buddy!

        Chris

    • http://onlineincomelab.com Trent Dyrsmid

      If you do decide to outsource, I highly recommend creating a task management dashboard as emailing tasks back and forth will get out of hand very quickly. I have written a post on my blog about how to do this with a Google spreadsheet. When I launched it, my team of VAs told me that it made their job FAR easier!

      • http://www.youroffshoreteam.com/ bo4610

        If you can afford it use baseCamp, it can make things a lot easier for your VAs

  • http://www.shajjad-online.com Shajjad

    I am a newbie in online marketing. So it’s not best time to hire a VA for me. But I will soon going to hire a VA for increasing my online business.
    Pat I learned Reinvesting can bring more passive income from your niche site “security guard training”.
    Thanks lot for this type of important Podcast

    Shajjad

    • http://startworkingonline.blogspot.com/ Rory Mullen

      How true. I see your are looking towards your long term goals Shajjad. As with investing offline you will need to reinvest most of your earnings in the beginning to ensure success. Many people are lucky to have a successful blog with limited to no re investments, but normally I would like to see a blog start creating “Passive Income” for a set period of time and then see if the investment will create more money faster or more money in the long run!

      • http://www.shajjad-online.com Shajjad

        @ Reply Rory Mullen
        Thanks for your respond. I appreciate what you tell…
        Ok I need to explain what I was talking about in my previous comment. You know Pat hired a Freelance writer to complete information for Security guard training blog?
        For this work Pat may be investing around $800+… But he already tells that this investing will increase his earning…..

        Shajjad

  • http://www.ehrreporting.com plin

    Love your Podcast and website as you always provide extremely useful contents.

    The only comment I have is regarding Last Pass. I saw this article on PCWorld awhile back:
    http://www.pcworld.com/article/227223/lastpass_online_password_manager_may_have_been_hacked.html

    Do you change your password on a regular basis just to protect yourself for potential attacks? Love to hear your thoughts.

    • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

      Plin,

      I am a Lastpass user, and they immediately asked me to change my password for security purposes. I feel that they handled the situation good, and later I got an email with an explanation.

    • http://andrewsviewoftheweek.com Andrew Reynolds

      Plin,
      You might want to check out this article:
      http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2362692,00.asp

      Regularly changing your password only has limited effect on securing you account to anything – what happens if you change your password two days before the attack? You still lose. You get more benefit from having a strong password and monitoring the activity on your site. Two ways I monitor is that I subscribe to my own RSS feed and email list plus check my site logs from time to time.

      Lastpass is just the latest computer service to get hacked – look at the trouble Sony is having. Sooner or later all web sites and networks get hacking attempts directed at them. The best you can do is to only use services that actively monitor for attacks and take quick action. Lastpass moved up my list services I’d consider once I learn that they discovered the problem and did something about it.

      Changing your password should be event driven – when you get a new account, when find unauthorized activity, you get a new VA – especially if you’ve had to fire a VA.

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    Pat,

    Based on your experience, would you recommend newbies, who still need to make their first $$$ online, to immediate start with a VA?
    Or should they first start learning to do everything by themselves, and then in a later phase start outsourcing?

    Remco

    • http://go-outsourcing.blogspot.com/ Nicole

      There’s nothing like doing things by yourself at the beginning; at least as far as I am concerned. The experience is just not replaceable. A vA will be quite useful when you are good at what you’re doing, you want to improve and you don’t have time to do the basics any more. :)

      • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

        Thanks Nicole,

        I’ve indeed been doing everything myself…..it’s a challenge, but want to make some next steps.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Remco

      Nicole is right – learning to do a few of the things you eventually want to outsource to a VA is a good idea. However, its not totally required.

      As an example, I have absolutely NO IDEA how to develop a WordPress website. Yet, I have over 20 of them online!!!

      It also comes down to time, if you know what you want, and even if the project is a small one, and you dont have the time (and dont mind paying someone else to do the work10, then working with a VA is fine, obviously.

      If in doubt, just follow your GUT. It’s always the best thing to do, and you will very rarely regret saying ‘no’ in life, whereas, you’ll no doubt regret saying ‘yes’ quite a bit..! :-)

      Chris

      • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

        Thanks for your advice Chris!

  • http://www.wasimismail.com Wasim Ismail

    Time is definitely money, I at times use VA for odd tasks here and there. It saves so much time, and especially the lifestyle we live now days it’s so hectic, you can always do with a helping hand.

  • http://www.marcussortijas.com Marcus

    Thanks for this great interview. A lot of good info, I appreciate that you and Chris emphasized treating virtual assistants well. They’re real people, not just robotic worker bees in the third world.

    With all the outsourcing hype about India, it was nice to see the Philippines get the limelight. Proud to hear the nice things you said about Filipino workers. Perfect blend of cheerful attitude, strong work ethic, and high talent. I’m Filipino-American too :)

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Marcus

      Glad you enjoyed the conversation, and if you’re ever back in the Philippines, look me up, buddy!

      Chris

  • http://www.kidsiphoneapps.net Pavel

    Great podcast, Pat!

    What about the case when you need a part-time VA?

    I think many rookie online warriors are in the same boat as myself. Right now there are 2 hrs a day of admin tasks that I can easily outsource, however I just can’t justify spending $350 for Chris’s service for a part time VA. Plus I would not be able to fill a full day for a VA.

    Any recommendations for us, who are just starting out?

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Pavel

      For pat-time workers, if you cant/dont want to use Virtual Staff Finder (we do find part-time staff for clients, too), I suggest you spend a little more time going through eLance and oDesk. They should bring up a few candidates for you.

      Failing that… Let me know, personally, and I will see what I can do to try and help you out, buddy….!

      Cheers,
      Chris

  • KimP

    Thanks for another great podcast, Pat!

    I’ll probably get around to hiring a VA at the end of the year, but for now, I’m still getting the hang of things.

  • http://www.internetentrepreneurconnection.com Hector Avellaneda

    Awesome Interview with Chris, Pat!

    I think that sometimes as an internet entrepreneur we want to have all of the control and that makes hiring a VA one of the scariest things about the entire process.

    I definitely am not in the market for a VA right now but this interview has given me a completely different perspective on VA’s and what is possible with them. Specifically, about how I can be use some of those services to outsource some tasks I expect to come across when creating my ecourse!

    Definitely one to bookmark Pat! I’ve given this a 5 star rating on iTunes! :)

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Glad you found the chat helpful, Hector.

      Thanks for posting the comment, and if you have any more questions in regards to outsourcing, or working with VA’s, just reach out to me, buddy!

      Chris

  • kenneth

    nice post as usual

  • http://www.barnesandnoblecouponprintable.com Warren Shaw

    Very helpful post, I just started outsourcing through elance and odesk and I find some of the people are extremely talented this has helped my business grow in profit quite fast. I understand they are some fundamental goals when weeding out the best virtual assistants, but once found they can make a huge difference your business.

    Thanks for the post will bookmark and will be back again.

    Regards,

    Warren

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Let me know if you have any specific questions you need answered, Warren.

      I’d be happy to help in anyway I can, bud.

      Chris

  • http://mansgreenlife.com Eric

    Pat & Chris,

    Great podcast, as always. Only question I have is.. if these VA’s have this much talent, why aren’t they on the other side of the coin? Creating niche sites, membership sites, etc., on their own?

    I guess I don’t understand why if the person has the tools, that they don’t just freelance on their own, to make much larger cash, instead of looking to be someones VA.

    Thanks and keep up the great work.
    Eric

    • Pat

      That’s something I’ve always wondered too, Eric. Especially in the iPhone application industry. Im sure there are plenty of reasons, different for every person. Not knowing where to start, they’d rather (and are more comfortable) doing things that other people tell them to do. There is a lot more to an overall project than just what is assigned for some of these jobs. There’s the fact that it may be more difficult to start an actually business in another country, especially because the US market is where most people want to be. Also, at least with Filipinos, I know they are a very loyal group of people and many would rather satisfy a boss or someone that is hiring them and nearly guaranteeing an income to provide for their families, instead of risking it and going on their own. I’m sure there are exceptions though and there are probably some who do things on their own. Interesting question, I’d love to see Chris’s take on it. Cheers!

      • RemcoD

        I think you’re spot on there Pat. There are plenty of people that choose security before anything else. In the off-line world it’s just about the same: I know several people that are much too good for the jobs they are doing and should be self-employed but they just aren’t willing to take the risks of being self eployed. Same thing must go for VA’s I assume.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Eric

      Great questions, and as Pat has prompted… Here’s my take…….

      And, I’m talking about Filipino’s here, too. Filipinos are genuinely super nice people. I have lived here, as I started in the podcast chat, for 10 years and have come to not only love the people, but also the country, too.

      The fact is that from a very early age, Filipinos are ‘trained’ / educated into the mindset of an employee, and not one of an entrepreneur. Of course, there are several exceptions to this ‘rule’, however, that is the general consensus.

      I have also found that they truly enjoy their ‘work’, instead of being the boss, and although some might have the odd burst of entrepreneurial juices, ultimately, they will always come back to being that loyal, dedicated employee that will do very well for any boss, giving the opportunity.

      Hope that sheds some additional light on things for you, buddy!

      Chris

  • http://startworkingonline.blogspot.com/ Rory Mullen

    I often wonder,”When is the best time to outsource and hire a personal assistant. Do you need to be making enough money to afford to hire a personal assistant, or do you hire an assistant that creates lower quality work but the work help cut down on creation time?

    Also when hiring an assistant, do you add a short term goal to the list of goals you have already created for your blog, or do you wait and see how the assistant works out?

    Difficult questions but easily answered:
    Q1 When do I hire an assistant? Hiring an assistant should be down when you knowledgeable with working online. One who hires an assistant without consistent earnings could see potential profit flying out the window when your blogs are sitting idle with no visitors.

    Q2 Adding your assistant to your goal list? Adding your assistant to your goal list would be a smart option. When creating goals you can keep records and see how one option works better then another.

    Overall I think VA’s are an amazing option for determined and also knowledgeable users looking to future there success online. A word of knowledge, one may loose money when shopping for VA’s because of questionable content, so remember you can most time write off with your taxes the expenses of a VA’s while gaining useful knowledge to use in the future creation of content.

  • http://www.getwebbedhosting.net Leon Aldrich

    Pat,

    For you niche builders… Have you heard of ManageWP? Currently in beta, it still delivers on updating ALL of your WP sites with one click, the ability to upload ALL of your favorite plugins to ALL of your sites with one click (or if you find a new plugin you can install it on ALL your WP sites, again with one click) and several other features.

  • http://www.transcriptione-services.com Alicia Jay

    Hi Pat! I wanted to comment on the question you asked at the end of this post. You were asking your readers who used virtual assistants to give some tips on how to make it a good working experience. As a VA myself, I can tell you that communication is so important. It’s crucial that you and the assistant are both on the same page when it comes to things like expectations, price and time frame. Getting those things out of the way in the beginning of the relationship will really allow things to move along smoothly.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi couldn’t agree more more, Alicia.

      The breakdown or lack of any type of communication at work (and pretty much everywhere in life!) is usually the beginning of the end.

      You’re especially spot-on in regards to expectations on salary, time frames to complete tasks, etc.

      Thanks for leaving this insightful comment to top-up the content in the chat Pat and I had.

      Chris

  • Rebecca

    Pat, you’re my hero.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      He’s everyones Hero, Rebecca…!!!

      LOL

  • http://www.myelectriciantraining.com Norm Peterson

    Pat,

    Good podcast thanks for putting together a useful collection of information regarding Virtual Assistants. Here is one topic that I was hoping you and Chris would have covered:
    How do you handle the issue of ensuring that your VA has the specialized software tools required to do the job (i.e., Market Samurai, Best Article Spinner, etc…)? Do you provide them or do you simply request that your VA have these products before starting with you?

    Thanks.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Norm

      You’ll find that some VAs will indeed have a lot of software already, especially if they have spent a certain amount of time ‘on the job’ already.

      If they don’t, and you want them to use a specific piece of software / web portal, then you will have to provide them with the download link / sign-in details.

      Hope that helps.

      Chris

  • http://www.myelectriciantraining.com Norm Peterson

    Pat

    One last question why bother collecting our websites if you put a <> tag in the comments. I get that you don’t want to share the love in terms of links which is understandable. However why even bother having the field on the form?

    Thanks.

    • Pat

      Because sharing the website in the comment section form here isn’t about seo or link juice. If people are interested in what you have to say (me or anyone else reading this), and they want to learn more about you they can click over and go directly to your site. Like, just how I want to learn more about you, I clicked on your name and saw your electrical training site. You might be surprised, but a lot of people click on those links.

      • http://www.youngprepro.com Onibalusi Bamidele

        I second Pat here, I get as much as 50 visitors from a single comment on SPI so it isn’t about the link juice but the kind and quality of visitors you get – if those visitors now love your content they can then go on to link to you on their blogs (at least, it’s happened to me as a result of my comments here one or twice!)

      • http://www.newcustomerworkshop.com Joe

        Pat,

        Great point.

        The other benefit is that hopefully it cuts down on the link spam that you deal with on your site.

        As an experiment, on one blog I advertised the fact that I wasn’t putting nofollow in my links. I ended up dealing with more spam then I wanted.

  • http://www.altnoise.net Stephen Miracle

    This podcast pushed me to finally assigning a VA for a specific task. It was an easy task of getting a couple of articles spun to be put into UAW. It cost $50 to get 3 600 word articles spun in a very high-quality way. It saved me a full day of work that I hate. Definitely worth it.

    Now I have a va doing some web research while I get to read blogs. I think you’ve got me addicted Pat and Chris

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Awesome!

      Another busy entrepreneur converted..!!! I can sleep well tonight.

      Great stuff, Stephen – keep going, and let me know if you have any questions along the way, bud.

      Cheers,
      Chris

  • http://www.bloggingteacher.com Paul Cunningham

    Chris, just want to say thanks for going on Pat’s show and sharing your expertise. This was one of the best podcasts I’ve listened to this week. You’ve both given me a lot to contemplate.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Paul

      You’re welcome, buddy. And thanks for the kind words, too. Much appreciated.

      Whilst contemplating, if you have any questions or concerns that pop into your head, dont be shy to reach out either at the VBL Blog, or via Twitter @chriscducker – I’d be more than happy to help in any way I can.

      Thanks again!

      Chris

  • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

    Hey Pat and Chris!

    I just finished running while listening to the great interview and Chris talking about having his finger up his nose. Thanks! :)

    When hiring a VA through your company Chris, is there any understanding between both parties of how long the length of employment will be?

    I know Pat you mentioned you talked to Mike about contract details so I’m wondering if length of employment was discussed.

    Wonderful podcast gentlemen!!

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Home-based VA’s basically do, if you’re hiring them for full-time positions want FULL-TIME, long-term work.

      This is different on project based, work, obviously. When the project is done, its DONE – both parties move on and perhaps work together again in the future.

      Everything should be discussed before the hire takes place, and as Pat and I chatted about on the podcast – via Skype / phone if possible… That way you both have the chance to voice requirements, opinions, etc.

      Hope that helps a little bit, buddy!

      Chris

      • http://getbusylivingblog.com Benny

        Sure does! Thanks Chris!

  • Josh

    Great podcast on VA’s Question for either Christ or Pat. I am really new to online entrepreneurship. I’m in the learning stage and am yet to generate any real income. So the cost of paying a VA would be larger than what I make. At what point should I seriously consider hiring a VA? As soon as I make enough to hire one or only after I make enough for myself?

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Josh

      That’s really something you are gonna have to figure out for yourself, buddy (which I had a definitive answer!).

      Ultimately, it comes down to HOW MUCH you need to make to ‘survive’, so to speak. Questions – are you working full-time in a 9-5 job, and looking to build online income for yourself at the same time?

      If so, then the moment you start making enough to cover a VA, I would say HIRE ONE and get them working on more of the same stuff thats making you enough to pay ‘em, and then just take it all from there.

      BUT – if you need to make the money (and you’re not working 9-5), then that period of time before you can hire a VA is probably going to be quite a bit longer…

      Let me know if you have any more specific questions, and I’d be happy to help – just reach out on Twitter @chriscducker

      Cheers, and good luck!

      Chris

  • http://www.bigredtomatocompany.co.uk Matthew Needham

    Pat, I listen to the podcasts all the time and I really think you are nailing them my friend. Like you I’ve got to know Chris a lot over the last year and he’s a great guy with lots of unique insights to outsourcing and VA’s. Popped over here to get the password tool. Thanks for sharing the resource.

    Chris, really enjoyed this interview great insights and useful tips, even for someone who has been outsourcing for awhile.

    Thanks, Matthew

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Glad you enjoyed our banter, Matthew.

      Thanks for the vote of support. Much appreciated.

      Chris

  • http://www.barkyourself.co.uk Steve Kinsey

    I just came across these podcasts a few days ago and downloaded them all from itunes. It’s a shame itunes only goes back the last ten but I got the first ten from this site and so I have them all now. I’ve got so much great information and inspiration out of them and I love the relaxed and friendly way you deliver your podcasts.

    Thank you Pat and keep them coming.

  • Bobby

    Pat, My experiences with VA has not been great. I find most of them are handling multiple clients, and will not shy away from excepting more even if they can’t deliver on the workload. Going with you, how do you manage the process where if I hire somone through your company, I know that they are solely dedicated to me. Thanks

  • http://rocketrider.net Bruce

    Had an enjoyable hour getting my daily walk in, while listening to this great Podcast this morning. (Neat idea you have there Pat)

    I have had some experience hiring a VA through a different service than yours Chris but found the screening & hiring process really onerous, especially for a rookie like myself, and landed a couple of duds, one of which I’m finishing up with as soon as I can.

    Having candidates all pre screened and being presented with 3 to select from makes so much sense to me after my last experience.

    Your podcast even kick started me to outsource some review articles I was planning on doing today, while my wife & I went for a spin in the ragtop, enjoying our beautiful spring day. I even blogged about it!

    Quite liberating…

    ~Bruce

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Bruce

      Awesome stuff, my man! Glad to be of inspiration…

      When you’re ready to go the full-time route again, let me know, and I promise we’ll take good care of you at VSF.

      Thanks for the great feedback.

      Chris

  • http://www.r32media.com Eric Timmer

    Pat,

    Does outsourcing to your wife count? lol

    Great interview! I have been thinking of outsourcing some parts of my iPhone apps. Especially audio/voice.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Glad you enjoyed our chat, Eric.

      iPhone apps are growing in popularity, in terms of outsourcing here in the Philippines. Although, I believe that the Eastern European countries still have a bit of a stronghold on the market right now.

      Saying that – keep your eyes open everywhere, there is talent in every corner of the blog, thats for sure!

      Thanks for the comment.

      Chris

  • Spike Morelli

    Hey Pat, Chris,

    I’m late to the party, but I wanted to drop you a bing thank you for this podcast, it was incredibly useful and filled in some of the details I was missing from looking at VSF a month ago. Just need a bit more prep with my systems and then I’ll take a leap and hire a VA! Very much looking forward to it.

    One outstanding question: you said there are 4 different categories of VA, general, writer, SEO and programmer – but isn’t it common to need them all? At least in my case I’d want at minimum the writer and the programmer, am I then looking at hiring two people? Would I hire them part time then? Would that imply tho that they’d be looking for other jobs and therefore don’t focus/do as a good job for me?

    thanks for any help and again congrats to both of you to put up this great show.

    Spike

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Hi Spike

      I always suggest that you hire VA’s full-time – except for project based work, as we discussed in the podcast.

      The reason why the roles are split is because it WORKS. It is impossible to think that one person can ‘do it all’. So, yes, you’d have to build that team around you… Most web entrepreneurs I know, that do this stuff full-time themselves, have full-time teams.

      It’s all about keeping them busy enough to make the investment in them count! :-) As Pat mentioned… Ultimately, its the best way to go.

      We look forward to looking after you at Virtual Staff Finder in the future, buddy.

      All the best,

      Chris

      • http://www.spikelab.org Spike Morelli

        Hey Chris,

        thanks for your reply. What you say totally makes sense, and I wish I had the money to hire 2 VAs straight away, but at this point I still need to be cautious about my outgoings. I guess I should start hiring per project and then switch to full-time when I’ve reached greater momentum… would you say that’s a common pattern? Do people hired through VSF work on projects or are they all expecting FT employment?

        thanks a lot,

        Spike

        ps: Pat, I hope this is fine for the comments here, I wondered if I was going too much into VSF, but thought other readers might find it useful

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  • http://www.appliancerepair941.com Paul

    Yes, very inspiring. Will be looking into this more.

    • http://www.virtualbusinesslifestyle.com Chris C. Ducker

      Happy to hear you found our chat interesting, Paul.

      Thanks for the comment.

      Chris

  • heather

    Hi Pat, Chris,

    I’m looking to hire my first full-time VA late this year or early next year, and I was stressing over how to ensure I find a good one (as the VAs I’ve hired for specific projects up to this point have been very hit and miss). This interview has been enormously useful in that regard, thanks so much!

    I just have a cautionary tale that might be useful to the other readers, and ask a quick question:

    The most important lesson I’ve learned in my off shoring experience, which really came out in this interview, is that cultural differences really do matter.

    I’ve recently had an unfortunate experience in which I was warned away from hiring offshore developers from a certain country – I was told that in this culture, employers are expected to be harsh with their employees, because if an employer treats their employees like intelligent, independent people, it is regarded as a weakness and the employees lose respect for their employer. I disregarded this advice because the norm I’m used to in Australia is just the opposite; I would never feel comfortable treating my employees harshly. I was personable and respectful to the developers I hired, and they ended up directly lying to me and inflating their prices by hundreds of dollars.

    I understand that my experience is anecdotal, and dishonest business practices happen in all countries for any number of reasons. But can’t help thinking that I was warned about a cultural practice to be aware of, then I disregarded the warning and might have paid the price for that reason. Next time, I’m going to hire developers from a place where collaborative, respectful employer/ employee relationships are the norm.

    Now for my (much shorter) question:
    For English language VA support, the Philippines seems like a winner. However, what if I need foreign language email support in languages that are not widely spoken outside their home country (e.g. Hungarian)? How can I increase my chances of getting a quality employee, instead of just posting on a classifieds website and hoping for the best? Thanks!

  • http://www.appliancerepair941.com Paul

    This place was the starting place for me in learning about Internet marketing and I’m still learning new things everyday. This was a fast track of knowledge so don’t hesitate in getting this product.

  • Chris

    Has anyone signed up for Chris’ Live2Sell service? I’ve sent them an email and have left a couple of voice mail messages, but so far no one has gotten back to me.

    • Chris

      Live2Sell just replied, it’s much better to call the number and leave a message, rather than using their online form.

      I spoke with Stephanie for about 30 minutes, she was very helpful and I’m signing up today!

  • http://www.virtualassistantassistant.com Nick Loper

    Hey Pat, long time listener, first time caller. Just finished listening to your podcast with Chris at the gym this afternoon. Great reminder to work on the business not in it. And it motivated me to add a page for his Virtual Staff Finder service :). I haven’t tried a VA from the Philippines yet but maybe next time when I’m ready to add more staff. You guys make a good case.

  • http://www.mybusinessassistant.com/ Ecommerce Virtual Assistant

    I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed your site and this post. You make some very informative points. Keep up the great work!

  • http://www.virtualassistanttalent.com/ Racho Alberto Jr L.

    I am really amaze to your post about virtual assistants outsourcing, working as virtual assistant is a very enjoyable job, you must have the ability to handle many things, very informative post, keep up the good work, keep posting.

  • http://www.leasecommercialbuilding.com virtual talent

    great article Chris, good job, I love the way you explain everything about the task of virtual assistant, great job.

  • http://www.teammak.com/ team mak

    wow, I love your post Chris, very informative, keep posting my friend, just add some phrase, Virtual assistant is really enjoyable task, there are the one manipulate all kind of work. great job Chris.

  • http://www.livehelpindia.com/ Ashley

    Nice Post Pat. I am a virtual assistant and my job makes me proud at so many times, getting to know that project doing well and appreciated by client and their customers. Virtual assistance bring so much freedom in the business.

  • http://worksnaps.net Glanna

    I personally use Worksnaps (http://worksnaps.net) since day 1 and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. It is a unique time tracking service that is specifically designed for remote workers, such as offshore contractors or virtual assistants. It not only captures the time spent, but also captures the work activities – this way, the logged time can be verified by managers or employers. It has great advantage over most traditional self-reporting time tracking software.

  • http://www.virtualpersonalassistants.org Cayla Elwell

    Hello Pat,

    just listened to your podcast and thought it was one of the best thngs i’ve heard in a little while. You made a great case for phillipine VA’s and I think i’m going to incorporate that into my business. Working on my business, not in it!

  • http://www.enjoytheworkout.com Michael

    You mentioned in the podcast that using a universal password with Lastpass for all your accounts saves you 5 minutes a day. For the past 3 years you’d save a total of 3 days 19 hours and 15 minutes. Usernames and passwords have been taking up a ton of my time b/c there are sooo many of them. Even for one website I have more than a handful of usernames, passwords, and email addresses. I’m definitely going to give this a try.

    Thanks Pat!

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  • http://www.cloudstaff.com/downloads/assistants Armie Cabrera

    A very informative read about virtual assistants. Thank you for posting.

  • http://www.process-box.com/ Clarissa Lucas

    Thanks for sharing this very helpful post about outsourcing and virtual assistants. The information are truly useful. Cheers!

  • Barry

    Pat & Chris, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, i’m just starting out and this episode has just given me the freedom to actually focus and start! Amazing at how protective your work is until someone says how much is your time worth! First ebook is underway and now have outsourced my first website. My shoulders just got a whole lot lighter…..

  • http://craftdemy.com Max@Craftdemy

    I have used Elance and Virtual Staff Finders and I have wasted about thousand dollars on them and was disappointed. I have found out through other entreprenuer about VASUMO http://vasumo.com and decided to give them a try. With their prices it is really pointless to search anywhere else, and assistant are already trained in all web, marketing, seo stuff so I didnt have to waste weeks for training and then have people who barely speak english. Just my opinion on the whole elance, and assistants from philippines and india.

  • Michael V

    Thanks Pat for this very informative article! I think one of the reasons why Filipinos are preferred is because of their working attitude, they are very industrious and goal-oriented. This being said, I can recommend Mynd Consulting if you are in need of virtual assistants. They have been in the industry for 8 years and all of their employees are Filipinos. You can visit their website here http://myndconsulting.com

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