In today’s episode, recorded live from our hotel room in Manila, Julie (my girlfriend and personal time strategist) and I are joined by our VA – Rose Fernandez. We discuss how to get started with outsourcing, how to buy time (but not waste money), and how to build an effective, long-lasting virtual team!
What happens in Manila gets broadcasted to the world!
As the final leg of our visit to the Philippines draws to a close, Rose shares some of her experiences of being a virtual employee for several years now, and we discuss common pitfalls and shortcomings that virtual employers (i.e. Entrepreneurs like you and me!) face.
We get into the nitty gritty details on the merits of having a VA, why virtual employment is getting more and more popular, what makes Filipinos great for the job and the right reasons and time to get started with building your virtual team.
What does it really take to establish a good relationship with one and create a symbiotic relationship that is essential for a business to work? How does one trust someone who is practically thousands of miles away with confidential details regarding one’s business? How can one get a great virtual staff and maintain a long-lasting relationship with?
Like most online entrepreneurs, outsourcing has become a necessity especially when one doesn’t want to get stressed working more than 40 hours a week in keeping the business going. Outsourcing is easy and for the most part — convenient. However, there are things one should consider before getting your first VA — and to be honest, those things are more about YOU than they are about the VA!
Understanding what VAs are capable of doing and what they can contribute to the business is one great factor to consider. Before acquiring a VA, one must realize that these are people too, and they need training in order to best assist you and eliminate the chance of wasting time and resources. Taking time to get to know your VA is important to establish a strong and loyal foundation that creates a lasting relationship even if you’re living at the opposite side of the world.
Tune in to today’s podcast episode and learn the other side of the virtual outsourcing and discover ways to get your own and make a lasting relationship with your VA.
*The Google Hangout will be on Wednesday, March 26 at 2PM EST. For those who want to join, just email me at [email protected].
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Stay awesome, Meron
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links. There is no additional cost to you, and I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
In today’s episode you will find out how you can successfully become more productive and achieve more in less time by outsourcing. Does outsourcing really work? Well; I was able to switch from running a digital magazine as a full-time job, to running a digital magazine, this podcast, the Digital Publishing Business Podcast, and several other projects that I still can’t tell you about — all at the same time, while working less.
The secret? Understand how outsourcing works. The pros and cons. Understand how to utilize it correctly and most importantly – find GOOD VIRTUAL ASSISTANTS! Which is exactly why it seemed appropriate to summon Chris Ducker for today’s episode.
Chris is one of the coolest entrepreneurs out there (and he’s British!). He stumbled upon the opportunity of creating Virtual Staff Finder (a clever match-making company that bridges the gap between entrepreneurs and VA’s) by chance, but took the bull by the horn and made it an amazing brand. For most professionals today, when they think ‘outsourcing to the Philippines’ — they think ‘Chris Ducker’.
21 Questions You MUST Ask Your VA
This episode is not only about the inspirational success story; it’s also very practical. We will discuss the 21 questions you NEED to ask a VA when you interview them for a job. We will talk about the different types of VA’s, the different salaries, the pitfalls, misconceptions and common mistakes. By the end of this episode, you’ll be ready to hire your first VA (or second, or third… :-))
In this episode you’ll discover:
Chris Ducker’s success story – how he went from working for the worst micro-managing boss ever, to starting a call centre business in the Philippines
How The 4 Hour Work Week movement (Tim Ferriss’s bestseller book) created an amazing gap in the market, and how Chris solved this burning need
Entrepreneurial lessons from Chris – how to handle failure, manage time and invest it well
What makes Filippino VA’s superior to others
How can a VA help you RIGHT NOW!
The actual costs of hiring a Filippino VA
How to easily find a great VA
The 21 questions you must ask when you interview a new VA
The kind of tasks can they VA’s can help you with
How to avoid the common pitfalls of outsourcing
Items mentioned in this episode include:
Virtual Staff Finder[affiliate link] – VST is the service that Pat Flynn (Smart Passive Income), Ryan Lee, Ralph Quintero (The Great Business Project), Corbett Barr, Srinivas Rao and many other including me used to find their VA. They saved me so much time, pain, effort and frustration and actually made the process fun.
Using something else? Copy this address: ––– http://www.meronbareket.com/feed/podcast/ –––
I Need Your Help!
Thank you all for checking out this episode of the Inspiring Innovation podcast!
If you haven’t already, I would love if you could be awesome and take a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It’s the most amazing way to help the show grow and reach more people!
Chris Ducker has recently launched his New Business Podcast, having Amy Porterfield, the Facebook and social media expert, as his first guest. I found myself franticly taking notes while listening to this episode, so I thought it’d be a good idea to share them with you.
It’s the first time I write this kind of post, so please do let me know if you’d like to see more of these in the future.
Why Should You Care?
Let’s face some facts:
No matter who you are, your audience is on Facebook.
No matter who you are, your competitors are on Facebook.
Facebook is one of the first places where new audience will find you. Do you want to have a say in their first-time experience?
What’s This Thing About Fans Not Seeing My Status Updates?
Some time ago, Facebook admitted that any given post you make on your Facebook page will only appear in the Newsfeed of about 16% of your fans. There has been a lot of distress ever since — as most people (including me) expected that a 100% of their fans will see a 100% of the messages they send out. After all, these are hard earned fans!
But listening to Amy (and following a great article by Dan Raine on the Digital Marketing Magazine) , I suddenly realized something. Something that has eluded me, no matter how obvious it may be:
Facebook is not here to serve our business needs. Facebook is here to serve Jane and John Smith. The people.
“Wait a second,” I thought. “That sounds a lot like the way Ed Dale talks about Google!”.
You see, Google still lives and dies on its search engine product. We all know what happens if our website becomes irrelevant in the eyes of Google: _Its ranks drop_.
What Do Pandas Have To Do With Facebook?
Here are some news for you, sunshine: Facebook is exactly the same as Google in this way. Just like the Smiths want to see relevant results when they use Google, they want to see something interesting when they log on to Facebook.
Just like they do not want to see spammy websites on Google’s results, they do NOT want Facebook to serve them a massive shitload of self-promoting content from the tens or hundreds of pages that they follow — every single time they log in.
This is exactly what Chris has mentioned when I interviewed him for the magazine — you must switch your marketing from B2C (business to consumer/customer) to P2P – People to People.
What Do People Welcome On Their Newsfeed?
Amy explains that people want to see content that falls into (at least) one of the 3 E’s:
That’s the kind of the content you need to produce on your Facebook page. But wait, it doesn’t end here (does it ever?).
“90% of the people that LIKE a Facebook Page will never visit it again” —Amy Porterfield
Read that again. 90% of your fans never enter your page for a 2nd time. There are two conclusions you must draw from this statistic:
You need to stop wasting so much energy on making your Facebook Page look drop-dead gorgeous.
Your cover and profile photos are your storefront. You need them to look professional. Help people want to enter and check out the goods.
Don’t go bananas with tabs and all that.
You must find a way to get your content into your fans’ Newsfeeds.
Right now, only 16% or less of them are seeing it.
You can bet your ass they’re not coming over to your page to look for it on their own.
How To Make Your Content Reach More Newsfeeds
Just like Google judges your website’s popularity and relevancy to determine search rankings, Facebook judges how engaging your content is to determine how many of your fans should see your posts in their Newsfeed.
Here are the factors that determine how engaging your content is considered to be, and therefore how many of your fans will see it (ordered in ascending importance):
Obviously, one question remains: How to make my content more engaging, so that it’ll get more likes, shares, and comments?
I’m happy to report that Amy delivered 5 key-points to help out:
5 Ways To Make Your Content More Engaging
1: The Three E’s
As mentioned earlier. Every single post you write must be either educating, empowering or entertaining. And you should mix them. Don’t focus just on one. This is true for any kind of content, not just Facebook.
2: Make It Count
Every post you make is seen by some of your fans. Make it count for them. Don’t waste their time. Make something they want to engage with (like, share, comment).
Remember that every engagement action that your fans make will improve the EdgeRank score – the Facebook ranking that determines which stories people see on their Newsfeed.
3: Use Photos In Your Posts
You MUST. USE. PHOTOS. And use them often.
How often? Amy suggests that 90% of your posts should have a photo attached. Why?
It’s the most engaging format of content on Facebook today — even more than video (read: it gets the most likes, shares and comments).
It gives your posts more space in your readers’ Newsfeeds, compared to text posts (read: you get noticed).
It’s much, much easier and faster to produce than video.
Now, don’t stress! Finding photos can be easy — if you make it that. You don’t need breath-taking photography; You need real life photography. Start using that iPhone camera of yours. Then, the next time you post something, take a quick look at your photo library. Find something nice and voila! Problem solved!
How far can you take this relieance on your smartphone’s camera? Pretty far:
If you don’t have a photo appropriate for your post, why not write the subject down on your whiteboard and take a snapshot of that? —Amy
4: Curate Content
It ain’t easy to create awesome posts every single day. This is where curation comes into play. Share some of the great stuff that your peers, idols, colleagues, market leaders and fans make. This is beneficial in more than one way:
It gives you great content to share without having you create it all.
It shows your community that you care (you spend time on finding them interesting stuff).
It shows you’re on the top of your game (you know what’s going on in the niche).
It creates relationships with the market leaders that you promote via curation.
Two caveats (making my humble addition to Amy’s tips) are:
You should always, ALWAYS, include your own opinion. It can be as short as 1-2 sentences, or even 2-5 words. But add something of your own.
Whatever you share has to be great. Don’t share “just becasue you need content and can’t be bothered with creating it today”. Share stuff because it’s great.
As you can see, Amy & Chris shared an amazing amount of great content. There’s more stuff that was covered on the episode that’s more advanced, like Facebook ads and (my favorite) “how to turn LIKEs into $$$” — but this post is already pretty long, so here’s what I’ll do:
If you liked this post, and want me to cover the more advanced subjects – let me know via the comments and I’ll make a “part 2” post soon enough.