Dropshipping Success With Virtual Assistants

Sarah Crisp of Wholesale Ted is passionate about dropshipping and online selling. She’s so passionate about her business that at 27 years old, she’s been able to so many things that other people her age could only dream of.

Among them are:

  • Make seven figures from dropshipping 
  • Have a successful YouTube channel with over 280,000 subscribers
  • Help hundreds of other business owners start their online selling business.

This isn’t something she did all by herself. Sarah knew that if she wanted to scale up her business, she would need a lot of help. So she went out and found virtual assistants using Upwork and Onlinejobs.ph. To make sure she had the greatest chance of success, she uses a smart, methodical approach to find the best. In this video she shares: 

  • her system for hiring virtual assistants, 
  • how to use both platforms, and
  • why she prefers Filipino virtual assistants for her business.

Sarah, Beast of Econ and Bodie have grown their dropshipping business exponentially thanks for Filpino virtual assistants

What about you? Are you ready to grow your business? Sign up for an Onlinejobs.ph employer account today, start outsourcing, and start making more sales today!

You can also read the full transcript below:

Hey, guys! In this video, I’m gonna teach you how to hire a virtual assistant. For those of you that don’t know, a virtual assistant, otherwise known as a VA, is a remote employee.

One of the advantages to hiring a VA is that you can hire them from anywhere in the world, including developing countries that have a lower cost of living, which means that the salaries are lower than countries like the United States.

And when I say much lower, I mean $3 an hour lower.

And while it may sound scary hiring employees, it’s really not intimidating at all.

In fact, it’s the key to making your businesses passive, as I described in my video, The Four Ways to Make Passive Income Online, and I’ve got a link to that video in the video description below.

I’ve got several VAs that work with me and if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to run my businesses or scale them. So I very much appreciate the work that they do.

I’ve already discussed how VAs are a great solution for handling dropship fulfillment, but I’ve also used VAs in the past to help me with website design and product research.

In this video, I’m gonna be answering two key questions.

One, what website should you use when hiring virtual assistants and how do you use them?

And two, what countries should you hire in and which countries should you avoid? And which ones are the cheapest?

I think some of the answers here may surprise you.

All right, let’s jump straight into it.

Question, which website should you use to hire virtual assistants?

There is no steadfast, easy answer here. There are lots of websites that you could use. In this video, I’m gonna be showing you my favorite ones to use.

The first is Upwork. Upwork has a huge user base so you’ll have a lot of applicants to select from that have a lot of skills. Plus, it’s very safe and easy to use as an employer. Posting a job is easy and free. Just come and click Post Job. Next, you can select what type of job you are posting.

When hiring a VA, I recommend that you start with fixed-term contracts. This isn’t just for your benefit. It is for the benefit of both of you. This way, you can see if you both like working together. If you both like working together, then you can talk about moving to a permanent, ongoing position. If you’ve got a previous job, you can reuse that. Otherwise, select a category.

Next, type in a title for your job description. Make sure it is very detailed.

Next, type in your description. Again, the more descriptive the better. You can add attachments. I will often add videos that capture my computer screen and show exactly what I need completed. This is, of course, optional.

Next, select how many freelancers you want to hire. When you are new to hiring VAs, I recommend hiring just one and getting used to having an employee before you hire any more.

Next, select the type of project. Again, I recommend having a fixed-term project and then moving to a permanent one from there.

Next, select how you want to pay. For fixed jobs, you’ll usually have to pay a fixed price. If you’re hiring someone ongoing, you’ll pay them by the hour.

Next, select what level of experience you want. Now here is where most business owners fall into the trap. They select entry-level. This is a huge mistake. Someone who is entry-level won’t have the experience so you don’t know how reliable they will be. Businesses live and die by the talent of their employees. Never take them for granted. I almost always select intermediate or expert. Don’t worry about their hourly rates listed. Those are for USA-based freelancers and VAs.

Next, select how long you expect the job to last. Since it’s a fixed-term contract, it’s probably going to be between one to four weeks.

Next, select the time commitment. For this section, I strongly suggest that you select that only freelancers on Upwork can find the job. The reason for this is that you don’t want your competitors finding your job postings, which they can if you select it so that the search engines can find your listings.

Next, you can add preferred qualifications. I don’t usually bother though because it doesn’t stop anyone from applying for your job.

Next, you can add some screening questions. I strongly recommend that you add some so that you can see if people answer them in their application. If they don’t answer them, then they didn’t read your application and you can immediately reject it.

Next, you can require that they add a cover letter. Cover letters are helpful when deciding between applicants, so I do require it.

Once you’re finished this, click Post Job and then, you are done.

When it comes to hiring people, the process is also very streamlined and beginner-friendly. In your dashboard for the job posting, you’ll see a list of the different applicants for a job, including their proposals. You can then click on each proposal. You’ll be able to see what their job history is, including their reviews. Scroll down and you’ll be able to read their cover letter. Usually, these are just stock cover letters. That is absolutely fine as most people I know offline and online will reuse a cover letter.

If you scroll down, then you’ll see their work history and feedback, if they have any. Scroll down further and you’ll be able to see their portfolio, if they have one.

There is a test section. Upwork provides different tests that VAs can take to prove that they have certain skills, such as a language proficiency test.

There is also an optional section in their portfolio for employment history. And there is an optional section for their education history.

Quite likely, you’re going to want to message candidates that you’ve short-listed and once you’ve selected the candidate that you want to hire, the hiring process is also very simple. On your application, click Hire Freelancer. Here, you’ll need to fill out the application.If you want to modify the budget based on your negotiations with them, you can do so here.

Next, you’ll need to deposit the money that you’ve negotiated into an escrow, if it’s a one-off job. You can also split the money into milestones. For example, this job is about analyzing 3,000 products. Together, we may have negotiated that half of the money will be released when half the job is finished and then the other half when the job is completed.

If the job is ongoing, then Upwork will automatically pay the VA for you, using the credit card you provide.

You can modify a description of the project and contract here. Otherwise, by default, it will populate this field with the job description you originally posted. Agree to the terms of service and then click Hire and you are done.

A word of caution with Upwork. While Upwork may be good for the people hiring the VAs, Upwork is not very good for the VAs themselves. This is because for the first $500, Upwork is going to charge them, the VA, 20% in fees.

Not you, the VA.

So if the contract is for $100, then Upwork is going to charge them $20 in fees, which is huge. Between $500 and $10,000, Upwork is still gonna charge 10% in fees, which is a lot. What this means then is that good VAs quickly come to dislike Upwork and they avoid the platform.

So in the future, while it’s kind of against Upwork’s rules to take the contracts off of the website, I suggest that you do so.

In addition to Upwork, I also use another website called Onlinejobs.ph. This website is exclusively for hiring virtual assistants located in the Philippines. 

Upwork actually has a really strict policy against country discrimination. You can’t come on there and say that you only want to hire someone in the USA or that you only want to hire someone in the Philippines. So if you are interested in hiring someone exclusively in the Philippines, then Onlinejobs.ph is a great site to do that.

Beware, it is not free.

It kind of looks free on the outside because with a free account, you are able to post jobs on the website. But, without a paid plan, you can’t reply to applicants that message you or even read the messages. Plus, it’ll take two days for your application to be approved. With their lowest cost plan, your job postings will be approved instantly.

Personally, if I’m looking to hire a VA based in the Philippines, I will use Onlinejobs.ph instead of Upwork. Every time I’m looking for a new VA for my business, I will upgrade to their lowest cost, $49 a month plan, find my VA, and then cancel my membership.

So basically, every time I want to hire someone new, I upgrade, get my employee, and then immediately cancel.

Part of the reason why though that I use Onlinejobs.ph is because, as I said earlier, on Upwork, the best VAs often leave the website because it’s actually a really bad deal for them. And the best VAs in the Philippines will often end up on this website because if you hire someone through this site, then you handle the contracts privately. I personally pay all of my VAs with PayPal. There is no escrow system.

Posting a job is simple. Simply click Post Job. Next, add a title to your listing. Next, add a job description.

Here, type in the payment.

I recommend either writing it in USD or in PHP. Again, I recommend that when first hiring, that you use the fixed-term contract so write a fixed price here.

Next, select the type of employment. For a fixed-term contract, you should select freelancer.

Next, you can select to require an ID Proof score. Good candidates will almost always have a high ID score so I usually select this to be 70.

Next, select the skills you require. I always require written and verbal English skills. Why? Well, because even if the job doesn’t directly use them, it’s important that I can communicate with them.

Next, type in your email address and then you are done. You can then post your job.

Now, as I said, the process of hiring on onlinejobs.ph is very different to Upwork. At Upwork, there is a whole process for short-listing candidates and then creating contracts and then using an escrow system to hold payments to ensure that both parties have their payment managed, but again, it comes at the cost of very high fees.

But Onlinejobs.ph is very different. On here, people send you messages which go into your inbox. Unlike Upwork, which includes their work history and education history and their original application, here, you’ll only receive their actual message. It’s a lot more informal.

Unlike Upwork, applicants are allowed to include their alternate contact details, like their email address and Skype in the application. On Upwork, this is considered circumventing and it is against their policies. You can click through to their profile and find out more information about them, such as a link to their portfolio, their ID score, any tests they’ve taken and the results they’ve achieved, and a self-assessment of their skill set. It’s up to you to email each applicant back, negotiate a contract, and then handle it privately.

I’ve got a link to Onlinejobs.ph in the video description below.

Please be aware, it is an affiliate link. Here at Wholesale Ted, all of our videos are free and affiliate links help keep our videos free.

Question two, which country should I hire my virtual assistants from?

Honestly, there is no steadfast rule here. You could hire your virtual assistant from anywhere in the world and that is the beauty of it.

If you are hiring a virtual assistant from an Anglo-European country like the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the U.K., remember, the cost of living in those countries is very high so expect to pay high prices.

If you’re looking to hire a VA in a country with a lower cost of living, then the most common ones to hire from are India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Philippines. The median salary in India is $620 U.S. a month. The median salary in the Philippines is $570 U.S. a month. The median salary in Pakistan is $480 USD a month. And the median salary in Sri Lanka is $400 USD a month. Again, there is no country that is better than the other.

However, I personally hire most of my virtual assistants from the Philippines and this is for two reasons.

One, the Philippines’ time zone is closer to the New Zealand time zone. It’s only five hours behind so usually, my work day will overlap with my VAs based in the Philippines. It can be quite frustrating when your time zones don’t match up.

For example, I have a great web guy but he is based in the Ukraine so unfortunately, he’s usually online when I’m asleep, which means then that it can slow down projects. Depending on where you live, your time zone may match up better with say somebody based in India.

Secondly, in the Philippines, there is a strong fluency in English. It isn’t the first language but it’s kind of the second. That is because, in the Philippines, English is a mandatory subject in school.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that English is the best language at all. It’s simply the language that I personally know. So if I want to be able to communicate with my VAs, then we need to be able to not have that language barrier.

Because of this, when you’re looking at applicants across multiple countries, you’re gonna find that there’s gonna be a higher density of applicants in the Philippines that are fluent in English compared to other countries, which makes the vetting process a lot easier. But again, this is no steadfast rule.

You might have an applicant based in Sri Lanka who is highly skilled and perfect for the job. But for me, the time zone issue means it sways it greatly in the direction of looking for VAs based in the Philippines first so that is my preference.

All right, guys. I hope you found this video helpful. If you did, I’d appreciate if you gave it a thumbs-up and subscribed to us here at Wholesale Ted for more great videos on online selling.

And if you would like to start your own online business but you don’t know how, then you should download our free eBook, “How To Make $10,000 a Month Online With Dropshipping.” You’ll find a link on how to download this incredible, life-changing eBook in the video description below.

And thanks for watching this video, created by us here at Wholesale Ted. It is our mission to help everyone start and grow their own online business. That is why we’ve created a simple eBook which shows how anyone, yes, even you, can make $10,000 each and every month with dropshipping, even if you don’t have startup money.

And best of all, we’re giving away this eBook for free.

And yes, we really mean absolutely free.

So if you’d like to get this potentially life-changing eBook, simply click on the link in this video description and get it now.

You too can start making this life changing steps today. Sign up for an Onlinejobs.ph account and discover how outsourcing to the Philippines can transform your small business to an empire.


Julia Sta Romana

About Julia Jasmine M. Sta Romana
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City

She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.

You can follow Julia on Twitter and through her blog.

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