Hiring Virtual Staff can be a great way to help manage your marketing strategies, or even to take over your marketing for you.
But it can also have its challenges!
In this blog, I’m going to be talking about how to hire virtual marketers.
As you know, with the constraints you have around running your own small business and learning the new stuff.
Finding the time to learn the tech components and implement them can be challenging.
One of the ways around this is by hiring virtual staff from overseas countries. Who have the technical skills to help you implement your marketing strategies and mostly do it on a budget!
But first, let’s look at why I hire virtual marketers?
It’s not just about hiring affordable virtual staff, because the reality is if you’re paying for really cheap services you’re getting pretty shit results from it.
Or they’re not doing what you want them to do at the level you needed.
And so most people get frustrated with hiring virtual staff because they can’t seem to make it work.
The reason I hire virtual staff isn’t that it’s cheaper labour, because I pay my virtual marketing staff $15 an hour – when the market average is about 6-7 dollars an hour.
Most of my staff are in India and the Philippines, where $15 an hour there is a high wage. The reason that I do this is – because I want the best staff.
…and I want them to be loyal to me and not have to find other work and have my projects pushed aside when something better comes along.
But at $15 an hour, it still works out valuable for me.
The BIG reason I use virtual marketers is – it allows my business to run 24 hours a day effectively.
With the time difference between countries, I can set up tasks at night and go to bed; When I wake up in the morning, the jobs are completed.
For me is the significant advantage of why I look to go overseas and hire staff.
But, there are some risks with hiring virtual help!
A few things you’ll have to work through are:
Firstly, there’s the language barrier, and this becomes challenging when trying to communicate what it is you want your virtual marketer to do.
If you don’t know how to navigate this effectively, (and I’m not saying you need to learn another language)
But, if you don’t know how to communicate what you need to be done to complete the task- then you can find projects take 3-4 times longer.
Therefore it’s not as cost-effective as you first thought!
Another thing is you can lose a little bit of control over your project because you’re not there to oversee everything.
So I try and factor in about 1.5 times the hours it would take somebody I hire locally to achieve the same task.
If I were factoring it would take someone local 2 hours to do a task, I would probably allocate in my budget 3 hours to a virtual marketer.
The next thing is – where do you go to hire virtual marketers?
There’re a lot of options out there and companies who will go and source virtual staff for you – if you want to pay them a fee.
But I think to start with, keep it simple. Start with the two most prominent virtual marketplaces most people use: UpWork and Fiverr.
Here’s what I do…
I hire a bunch of different people on Fiverr and UpWork and give them a trial run on a marketing campaign.
If I like their work and I like their communication, I’ll hire them again, and I’ll start to build the relationship from there.
Eventually, I’ll get their email, and personal details and I’ll start to build a working relationship.
That’s the easiest ways to find virtual marketers.
But hiring virtual staff if only half of it – then you need to manage your virtual team.
How do I manage my virtual staff?
I found the best way to manage virtual staff is first, test before you hire.
I mean, for things like graphic design and article writing, I hire them, give them a brief; and see what they come back with!
Then I ask myself, “Is this good enough that I could train this person to get them up to the quality that I want quickly?”
For SEO, AdWords, or Facebook I’ll pay them to do an audit of my campaigns and give me a report.
Because the thing is…
Very few virtual hires are perfect out the gate, you’ve got to work with them over time.
And big misconception out there is that you can hire one an ALL in ONE virtual marketer.
This doesn’t exist. You do need to have a group of virtual help, and each staff member pertained to a specific area of your marketing side.
It’s very rare, and I haven’t seen it yet, you get somebody who’s excellent at Google AdWords, Facebook, SEO and Web design.
So, try and find people who specialise in each one of those areas and focusing on that one person and work with them and train them.
Ok, so how do I manage my virtual staff?
Some of the tools that I recommend using that will help you manage your staff are:
Hubstaff tracks what the virtual staff are doing and gives them a time sheet where they click on and click off when they’re working on an individual project.
You then get a breakdown of what hours they’ve worked. It’ll track their screen to show you how active they’ve been. Plus it’ll take screenshots every few minutes. So you can jump into your backend and see where they were working on.
As I mentioned before, communication is the key, and what I also do is – I have a weekly meeting with them.
2) Regular meetings
I use, the program called Zoom,
Zoom’s cool because it’s live broadcasting software, where you can record the meeting. What I do is I set the agenda, I go through all the job tasks I want to be done with my virtual marketer, articulate it, and then I’ll save the video to Dropbox, and I send them a copy of the video to my team.
Another tool that’s handy is Snagit.
It’s a screen capture software.
So, let’s say if you need a change made to a website, I can highlight an area, cut it out, then draw arrows and put text on it to give them directions.
Being as transparent as possible with what you want to be done is the fastest way to avoid all frustration that goes with hiring the virtual staff.
And the last one I’d probably recommend you use is LastPass. LastPass is a password protection software, and what this enables you to do it allows you to share your passwords with virtual staff securely.
That’s the breakdown of how I hire & manage my virtual staff. Good luck getting out there and engaging your own virtual team to help you with your marketing implementation.