If you have ever tried working with virtual assistants, you know that it is hit or miss. You have to treat it just as carefully as hiring an actual employee. You also have to cut the relationship if your gut tells you that things are not going to your liking and you have provided clear directions and expected outcomes.
Getting a Marketing Virtual Assistant – a VA that has been trained in Internet Marketing will increase your odds of success. Here are 7 tips for better web results with a Virtual Assistant. You will not like these, because they all involve more work for you. But get over it and get your marketing plan done in advance of hiring your Internet Marketing Virtual Assistant.
- Hire 2 or 3 Virtual Marketing Assistants for small projects and test which one does the best job.
- Either write a detailed, step by step description of how to do the tasks you want done, or provide a video that serves as a virtual assistant training video. There is no arguing with clearly documented directions.
- Set specific deadlines. For example, do not say you want the Virtual Assistant to write 5 unique blog posts in May. Instead, state that each Friday the Virtual Assistant needs to mail you the link and keywords targeted for that particular blog post of the week – by noon your time. Also include a summary of how the last weeks blog post is now ranked for the keywords targeted.
- Keep talking to your Virtual Assistant. Do not set them loose and forget about them. If you want to keep them you need to make them feel like an important part of the team.
- Do not believe Virtual Assistant resumes – Just like job applicants, people often exaggerate skills and likely outcomes. If the Virtual Assistant does not live up to how they sold themselves, move on quickly.
- Expect to get what you pay for. More than any other position, Virtual Assistants pay rates vary from a couple of dollars and hour to several hundred dollars an hour. If you go for a cheap virtual assistant, be ready to do more training and management.
- Treat exceptional Virtual Assistants like gold. Just like any profession, you have some people that are far and away better than average and if they are motivated, making you money and exceeding your expectations, show them you care. Send them a gift certificate, a bonus, a card, flowers – and if you are sure you are not going to need them full time, send your exceptional virtual assistant referrals.
Find exceptional Virtual Marketing Assistants.
As you probably know, I started a Virtual Marketing Assistant network that trains virtual assistants in internet marketing. But more than half the members of the network are not virtual assistants. They are consulting professionals that are happy to help with internet marketing tasks.
The reason that you want to request a free interent marketing quote from the network is because you are going to get more results for less money. If you go after a specialist, you will pay specialist rates. If you go after an assistant, you will get quotes from specialists that are looking for some internet marketing work and want will work at a lower rate because they know they are competing with other virtual assistants that can do internet marketing.
Here are some of the tasks the Virtual Marketing Assistants can do:
- Affiliate Management
- Blog Writing
- Blog Commenting
- Social Media Exposure
- Online Advocacy (Contacting bloggers and asking them to write about your product)
- Article Writing and submission
- Website updates
- Podcasts, Video
And there is a virtual marketing assistant there that can do just about any virual internet marketing task you need. Since it does not cost anything to submit your project, why not go see if there is someone that can help you out?
I had the chance to meet with a prospective client for our VA Network last week. Nice person, but very unrealistic expectations. They did not even have a website but they wanted to generate a bunch of registrations for an event in one month. I had to tell her we could not help her with that, but we could help with a long term internet marketing strategy.
Virtual Marketing Assistants are the best option for many small businesses. They are a perfect solution that is not as expensive as hiring a marketing agency, but not as difficult as a business owner doing all the internet marketing activities.
The top reason that a Virtual Marketing Assistant fails is that small business owners just want them to do too many things – and have unrealistic expectations for the outcome.
A Virtual Marketing Assistant can help execute your marketing plan. But your marketing plan better be better than “go out and create buzz for me”. If you do not have a clue of where you want to start, you need to hire a Internet & Buzz Marketing Agency to help you craft your marketing strategy. Then you can hire Virtual Marketing Assistants to help you keep your strategy going month after month.
And you can do it all yourself. Anyone can do Internet Marketing themselves, but it takes a lot of time and willingness to continually learn, test and create great information. Often a good VA will be your best option to truly stick to your plan.