When deciding to hire a VA rather than a traditional employee, it is easy to overlook the fact that this is a radically different hire. The biggest difference is not simply that the VA works outside of your regular office, but rather that is simply one component of the drastically different working relationship that exists between you and your VA. In this blog, we will take a look at some of the key factors to keep in mind when hiring and managing virtual employees. Continue reading
A couple days ago I received an email from my friend’s son, a relatively junior web developer who was looking for ways to make money and build experience working as a freelance developer on Elance or oDesk. Some of the questions he asked me were in line with questions I hear many times:
- How can I get my first project given that competition is extremely high and I have no reputation/ rating?
- What can I do to keep my clients happy and coming back to me?
Here are a some of the tips I gave to him, hopefully you will find them helpful: Continue reading
SEO, online marketing, social media exposure, PPC management, brand journalism … all are buzzwords used today to include everything someone interested in doing marketing on the Internet must know about. It looks like a lot of work and it is definitely not easy. SEO alone will have you think that you have your work cut out for you. The main question that comes to mind when evaluating how much work SEO entails is whether you should outsource, do it in house or do it on your own. Each of these options has its pros and cons and to make the right decision we need to take a few criteria into consideration.
When to outsource SEO
The first question
Outsourcing, as a field, is a great alternative to many boring things you do not want to do in house, or you do not want to waste precious resources – human, as well as material – on. SEO is a very particular area of interest, and getting someone in your company to become a SEO expert overnight, even if they are some kind of whizz-kid, is hardly doable. Continue reading
If you have ever hired a Virtual Assistant you would probably agree that finding a good VA can be a daunting task. And if you haven’t, I assure you there is nothing easy about it! There are a ton of websites, companies and agencies that all promise to connect you with the best Virtual Assistants available.
Truth be told, a fantastic Virtual Assistant means different things to different people. They could all offer high quality VAs (not every one does) but their skills, availability or rates might not be what you need. It is important to understand the differences between the wide range of VA sources. You wouldn’t shop for new shoes in a grocery store, right? This is exactly the same with hiring Virtual Assistants. The best source completely depends on what you are looking for.
Let’s take a look at the 7 best places to find a Virtual Assistant:
- Freelancing marketplaces
- General purpose job boards
- Temp agencies
- VA Agencies
- VA Recommendation services
Now, let’s take a close look to see what we can expect from each of them:
Finding good developers has never been easier! Hundreds of thousands of first class developers are waiting to bid on your project. Submit your idea to our marketplace and have dozens of qualified developers bidding on your project in just a few hours. Some of the brightest minds from all over the world have come under one roof to offer their services for rates as low as $8 an hour!… NOT!
While the above commercial sounds great, the old adage is still correct – if something sounds too good to be true it most likely is. No world-class developer is going to work for $8 an hour.
Great Developers are Hard to Find
The good old days of $5 Ph.Ds. are long gone and never coming back. As a matter of fact someone once said, “What makes them good old days is a great imagination and a bad memory.”
Yes, the world is not yet completely flat and there is a significant difference in standards of living and that can greatly affect the rates offered by developers. Take a look for example at the comparison here. Today the difference between the average web developer in India and the USA is staggering. So it is conceivable that you can find some solid developers that are charging their average local market rates through market places like Elance or Freelancer (see, here for a comprehensive list of freelancing marketplaces). It is also conceivable that in order to compete better that developer will reduce his or her rates. But let’s examine the chances… Continue reading
This blog used to attract a lot of visitors and then due to circumstances beyond my control I had to shut it down for almost a year. When I was finally able to bring the blog back to life a large portion of the traffic was lost, various popularity rankings were down, and I realized that restarting would be even more complex than what I had to go through when starting from scratch a few years ago.
I had to undergo many pains including inevitable investment in SEO, a potential bottomless money pit, and the first question on my mind was its financial impact, budget I need to allocate, and the ROI to expect.
A few days ago an old friend of mine called me with a question that I’ve been asked many times before. It typically goes something like this: “I have an idea for a great app, but I don’t know anything about programming. How can I find someone who can develop that app for me? And, I don’t have much money to spend on it”.
Jane (the friend of mine) is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience. She is great at her craft, but has zero knowledge about building software, outsourcing, and building apps. I wasn’t completely sure where to start when answering her, because there are actually a lot of questions behind the question here, and to answer all of them in detail would require me to practically write a book! In this post I will attempt to answer this very question without going into every detail so I can keep this at a blog post appropriate length.