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How To Find A Virtual Assistant You Can Trust At A Price You Can Afford

Aug 17, 2007
You're ready to outsource. You're a busy person who values your time. You've placed a price on your time, made a budget, and you're ready to outsource some work to buy a some time for yourself. But now what? You can see the benefits; you've made the decision. How do you find someone you trust to work for you, at a price that you're willing to pay?

The easiest place to begin your search for your perfect virtual assistant is, of course, online. There are several websites, like Elance, that allow you to place your job advertisement online. The beauty of listing your project on an online service is that service providers will then bid against each other for the pleasure of working for you! Other places to try are Craiglist and going directly to a service provider you discover through a search engine or word of mouth.

You can find virtual assistants with fees to fit any budget. The most common price per hour, is between $4 and $25 US, depending their experience, geographic location, and the project you'll be tasking them with. You will find that although a good number of these individuals will be based in India, China, and other developing countries, the United States and Canada are also well represented.

Often a freelance website will allow you to search for a service provider based on a range of options. A good service provider will have their portfolio online, so you can review their work and see if they might be a good match. You can then invite a number of potential bidders that you think might suit you and your work.

You've posted your job on the web, and you've got a whole range of bidders to choose from. But how do you make the right selection? The person you choose will be representing you... you don't want just anyone handling your affairs! You need someone you can trust, someone who will be able to handle your requests, and someone who will do the job efficiently, on time, and preferably, with a smile and friendly word.

Do not select a bidder solely on their bidding price. Let me repeat that, do not select a bidder solely on their bidding price. There are many other things to consider--their English speaking and writing skills, their ability to deliver on what they promise, and the rapport you have with them. One of the easiest ways to assess a potential virtual assistant is to converse with them before you select their bid. Most freelance websites have a method of communication (a personal message board or the like) in which you can begin communicating even before the job bidding has ended. If possible try to set up a phone call, or set up a video conference over Skype or using one of the free online conference sites.

Another way to ensure you find the right match is post a small job as a test. Just chose one particular task, and post a job for that one task. You'll get the chance to establish a working relationship with a freelancer, without a lot of risk. Alternatively, you could ask for a sample of work from all the bidders--perhaps ask for a sample email they would send to your telephone company asking for a bill payment extension.

The most important thing to remember when choosing your winning bidder--can you trust them? This is your life, and you want it done right the first time!
About the Author
David Burch is the owner of OutsourcedLife.com. OutsourcedLife.com is dedicated to outsourcing and building passive income: http://OutsourcedLife.com
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