CHEAP DOESN’T EQUAL BEST, AND EXPENSIVE DOESN’T EQUAL QUALITY.
Now that you are finally ready to onboard a VA to your team, it is time to learn how to assess candidates to find the right VA for your business.
Unusually low, and unusually high prices are warning signs, but don’t make the call on price alone. Consider what you’ve asked for, and compare it against the worker’s previous portfolio of work. If a price seems high to you - consider your turnaround time and the amount of research you’d expect to go into the work.
Shorter deadlines and in-depth research translate to freelance writers who quote higher rates. Also, consider the fees – while you aren’t necessarily charged anything, the freelancer usually is. Many times, they will quote slightly higher rates so they still get paid what they want for the job.
If someone quotes you $1/100 words – this is fantastic pricing for you as the client – but, if that $5 article isn’t grammatically correct or well researched, then you’ve wasted your time. And, for most quality English-speaking writers (not all!) it means rushing through the work to get the job done so they can make enough money to live. You’re better off paying more to ensure you’ll get a high-quality, well-written, and researched piece of work. How much more? That all depends on the freelancer’s previous experience, qualifications, knowledge, and of course feedback from clients. Definitely ask to see previous examples of their work – and if they can’t offer something in your niche – anything they’ve produced will at least help you gauge the quality of their work. Seeing previous work helps you determine whether or not you feel the rate their asking for is a good value, and whether or not their style matches what you’re looking for.
FEEDBACK FROM PREVIOUS CLIENTS
Look at what other people they’ve worked with in the past have to say. If you notice the person is always late on their deadlines – or takes a long time to produce even the smallest of jobs – this indicates an issue with reliability. You definitely want someone who can produce quality work, in a timely manner, and who will communicate regularly with you.
FEES AND TURNAROUND TIME
Virtual Assistants will all have different fees for the same work. And, they’ll all have a different turnaround time, too. It could be because they have more work on their plate - or a lack of work on their plate. It could be because it takes them longer to work because they aren’t as skilled. It could be it takes them longer to work because they have less time every day to dedicate to work (not all VAs do it full time.) Weigh what they’re asking you to pay against their quality, as well as their turnaround time. If they offer to rush it to you – but you don’t need it in a rush, don’t pay the premium they may be charging for the quick turnaround.
CHOOSING YOUR APPLICANT
There’s no “right” formula for choosing your applicant. That is all a personal thing based on what the applicants show, your budget, the quality you need, the turnaround time you expect, etc. You’ll have to weigh everything from all the applicants you are most interested in.
The first time you hire a freelancer you’ve never worked with before, it is a shot in the dark. Both of you are taking a leap of faith – you’re baking on the fact the freelancer will do your job well, and the freelancer is banking on the fact that you’ll approve and deliver payment in a reasonable amount of time.
If there are two applicants who have similar qualifications, price expectations, etc. you could always provide a test gig to each of them – to see which one produces better quality. Then, you can either choose to hire one or both of them on a more ongoing basis.
You are never obligated to hire just a single freelancer if you really feel there are several who could do the job well. Because you never really can anticipate what’s going on in the lives of the freelancer you’ve chosen, it’s also a good idea to have more than one you can work with in the event that one of them is not available for your project at any given time.
If you have multiple projects to outsource, such as writing, graphic design, and SEO, you’ll definitely need to assemble a team of freelancers since not all freelancers can handle all of those tasks alone. Even if you do find a freelancer or a virtual assistant who can handle all of those things – putting the bulk of your business on one person is always a risk.
JAD Virtual Assistance