10 Unspoken Secrets of Outsourcing to the Philippines — By a Serial Producer
The outsourcing model is not just another Internet pipe dream. The top profiteers using this model are making millions yet working 20 hours a week or less.
I personally have completed over 360 projects at freelancer.com and received 250 5-star reviews. Hence in this article, I am speaking from experience.
Thanks to the global reach of the Internet, time management and productivity can now be enhanced by utilizing international workers.
Web sites like Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com, Upwork.com, Guru.com, and more have made cheap outsourcing quick and convenient. This simple step for multiplying your efforts, however, is more properly called “out-tasking.”
You have a task that you don’t want to do and you assign it to somebody else. They do it. They get paid and you get paid, only you get paid more for the final result. The expected outcome is a good profit for you.
The benefit to you is limited to the task. Your overall lifestyle has not been impacted significantly. You saved some time and made some money.
With outsourcing proper, major lifestyle improvements become possible. While it is true that it will take time, money, and testing in advance to arrive at the right people to meet your Internet business needs, it is a fact that they exist. They are ready, willing, and able to work for you today.
While it may be up for debate whether it is India or the Philippines that is now the outsourcing leader, there is no question at all which one is better for independent American marketers to use.
The situation in the Philippines is ideal for Internet marketers in several ways.
Their culture emphasizes working hard and staying honest. Very competent English speakers and writers are available. Due to their low living costs, what constitutes a respectable wage for them still leaves plenty of profit for us.
From the perspective of the Filipino worker, apart from getting a decent wage and a fair boss, the most critical need is that the work will be steady. They are devoted and responsible workers.
The other thing to keep in mind is that, due to global economics and unique cultural characteristics, the Philippines remains the top outsourcing option for American entrepreneurs. There is no reason to look elsewhere.
Successful reliable outsourcing can give your profits a big boost. Below I show you where to focus your efforts in order to justify the added Virtual Assistant expense.
(1) Hire female Filipino workers whenever possible.
Filipino women rarely aspire to become entrepreneurs. Some Filipino men, though, do have this dream. If so, they may take advantage of you.
The problem that developed for a few marketers is that the male VA got paid by them to learn valuable Internet skills. Then he went to work for himself.
It is entirely possible to find reliable devoted male Filipino employees of course.
(2) Filipinos do know English, but their skills can vary greatly. Test them.
Although Filipinos usually know English, their ability to speak and write it at the level that you need will vary considerably. For this reason, it is good to ask your prospective VA to write something for you even if that will not be their main service for you.
A good place to include this task is at the very beginning. In their application email to you, have them include an essay called “Why I Will Be a Great VA For You” (or something to that effect).
They will not know that you are grading their English. They will write spontaneously thinking that their content, not the grammar, punctuation and spelling, are most important.
Due to the amazing Filipino desire to please, it is not as underhanded as it seems to resort to this subterfuge. You are doing both of you a favor.
(3) After you get your shortlist of candidates, talk to them on Skype.
When you have narrowed the field down to your final choices, get them on Skype. Talk to them and experience for yourself just how good or bad their English is. This will give them a chance to know you as well as give you a chance to evaluate them. A commitment made after this will be stronger.
(4) Don’t be afraid to test them first. Include a “trick” inside the test.
Give them a sample task involving multiple steps and a time limit. Among the steps include a trick designed to trip up lazy or careless workers.
For example, you can include the words “purple zebra” on page 10 of the pdf they are to follow. As one of many detailed steps, include “Write down the top sentence on page 10.” Later, ask them “What color was the zebra?”
If they don’t know, don’t bother with them. The same goes if they are late in delivering the project. Move on.
There are many Filipinos eager to work who are highly qualified. However, you may still have to sift through dozens of people before you find them.
(5) Even if your goal is a full-time VA, start out with short assignments.
It’s okay to start out with short-term assignments. As trust builds based on a good performance, you can approach them for a steady part-time or full-time position with you. By then it will not feel like a risk for either of you.
(6) Do not overpay them. Repeat. Do not overpay them.
This is important. Do not overpay them! It is tempting to do so, but I have heard story after story that this does not turn out as expected.
(7) Remember your old boss? Be like him. Do not increase salaries quickly.
Do not increase their salary quickly. It is better to give surprise bonuses for a job well done. Or remember a birthday or Christmas. You are their boss.
When you worked for somebody, how did your boss treat you? Did he raise your salary all the time? Of course not. You should not do that either.
(8) Plan ahead. Know how long things take. Have plenty for your VA to do.
Have plenty for them to do. A common experience for marketers who in the past have only out-tasked a job here and there is that their VA is done after two hours and then calls them up on Skype and says “What do I do now?”
(9) Know with certainty exactly how what your VA does makes you money.
Be absolutely clear how your VA will be increasing your net profits. For this reason, outsourcing to VAs is typically a step for intermediate or advanced Internet marketers. The marketer already has proven high-performance products, conversions, sales funnels, tracking, and email autoresponders.
(10) The area for most Internet marketers to target with their VA is traffic.
The place for most Internet marketers to start with VA outsourcing is to ramp up building traffic to sites and offers. This will most likely be the best way to impact the bottom line. Other task targets can follow from profits.
If you make a video of yourself doing a simple traffic generation task, that might take you a couple of hours. When you give that video to your VA, they can learn it and run with it, effectively multiplying your two hours into hundreds of hours of extremely valuable targeted traffic generation.
An added advantage is that many of the tasks for traffic generation are simple and repetitive, reducing the time cost of training. Yet another advantage is the fact that some of these tasks can be repeated over and over again. The right traffic tasks can keep your VA busy all day long.
For some Internet marketers, there is a stigma associated with outsourcing. They may think they are taking advantage of other people. I’ve heard many reasons to avoid outsourcing, but none of them is accurate.
If you are a good boss, you will be doing your Filipino employee a big favor. You can expect them to make a commitment to you, so your main responsibility is to have your “stuff” together.
Don’t go into this half-cocked. You will have people, maybe even families, who will be depending on the paycheck you are providing.
That is why I suggest an early emphasis on traffic generation. It gives your VAs plenty of work to do and it sends lots of new prospects to your online profit centers. When you make money, they can count on job security.
If you think you’re not ready for outsourcing, think again. Any repetitive time-consuming tasks, such as those required for traffic generation, can and should be outsourced.
Regardless of how long people have been doing Internet marketing, when asked about outsourcing we hear the same thing from them over and over:
“Outsourcing? It’s fantastic. My only regret is that I did not start doing serious outsourcing sooner.”