ClearDesk

Clear Desk is a US-based virtual assistant company that provides virtual assistants to entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses all over the world.

The company is headquartered in California, US. Their assistants work remotely from locations based all over the world.

Try their 7-day money back guarantee – they guarantee you will love your Virtual Assistant!

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

About ClearDesk

The company started operations about 3 years ago. ClearDesk is headquartered in San Diego, CA and it’s CEO is Jeff Amon.  

Prior to founding ClearDesk, Jeff and his partners operated large businesses with high operational costs in the US. Those businesses came to a close as margins thinned and employee costs continued to rise.

It was only when they started a new company and outsourced a large portion of their operations overseas that they realized how much money they could save.

After several years of outsourcing to staff in countries like India, the Philippines, and Colombia, they decided to start ClearDesk.

Their mission is to share the business model they used to grow their businesses and help other business owners save on employee costs and overheads.

How ClearDesk Works

To get started working with ClearDesk you need to reach out and leave your contact details. A member of their team will ‘contact you within minutes’ – that’s pretty fast!

After a call to discuss your requirements, ClearDesk will find the best-suited assistant for you based on your business’ needs.

You will have a point of contact at ClearDesk’s offices in California should you need them. Otherwise, you can communicate directly with your virtual assistant and have them start working on your tasks.

ClearDesk allows you to use your own communication tools if you wish. Otherwise, they support Slack, video calls, and phone calls as ways of communication.

ClearDesk specializes in:

  • Customer Service
  • Sales/SDR
  • Exec Assistants
  • Ecommerce management (shopify, big commerce, amazon, etc)
  • Legal Assistants
  • Real estate and mortgage
  • Marketing & Social Media
  • Bookkeeping

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

ClearDesk Services

ClearDesk’s virtual assistants can take on the general day-to-day business tasks most business owners are looking to outsource.

To give you an idea, they group their services into the following categories:

  • Admin Support
  • Customer Support
  • Project Management
  • Social Media Management
  • Sales & Lead Generation
  • Virtual Executive Assistant

ClearDesk also says they have assistants with experience working with start-ups, realtors, and sales organizations. It’s worth booking a call with their team to discuss your business and what you’re looking for in an assistant.

ClearDesk is happy to offer Virtual Assistant services in English, Spanish and French – in any time zone that you need them to work in – Great flexibility!

ClearDesk Plans and Pricing

Clear Desk currently has multiple pricing plans, and the option to create a custom plan to suit your requirements. 

This positions Clear Desk at a lower price point than what you’d expect to pay for a US-based assistant, while higher than a competitive overseas rate.

ClearDesk’s pricing plans at the time of publishing was:

  • Full Time Assistant = $2,500 per month for 180 hrs per month ($13.88/hr)
      • 6 month commitment = 10% discount, $2,250 per month ($12.50/hr)
      • 12 month commitment = 22% discount, $1,950 per month ($10.83/hr)
  • Specialized Assistant – (engineering, software development, Facebook Media Management) = $3,500 – $4,500 per month for 180 hours/month (8 hours/day)

Try their 7-day money back guarantee – they guarantee you will love your Virtual Assistant!

There are no other charges and no fixed contracts. You can pay for additional hours at a rate of $20/hr on all plans. 

It’s worth noting that you can’t roll unused hours over at the end of the month. They do say their assistants are flexible in regard to business hours though, but that’s something you need to discuss upfront.

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

ClearDesk Guarantee

ClearDesk ensures that you are provided with the best VA for your needs and have a guarantee that your VA will have the following requirements:

  • Education: Min 4 year college graduate
  • Work Experience: Min 2 years of work experience
  • Thoroughly vetted: background check, employment verifications, skill assessments, and a DISC personality test
  • Managed, trained and job prepped by ClearDesk
  • All talent compensation and benefits are handled by ClearDesk
  • Satisfaction is guaranteed or ClearDesk will replace the candidate for free

ClearDesk Alternatives

ClearDesk’s hourly rates place them somewhere in between US and overseas rates. If you want to work with a US-based assistant, you can expect to pay $24/hr upwards working with companies like Prialto, Time ETC and Boldly.

If you are specifically looking for a VA that is bilingual (Spanish/English), check out Virtual Latinos.

If you want to outsource overseas, we recommend checking out OnlineJobs.ph and OkayRelax. Their hourly rates are a lot more competitive ranging between $3-$12.

Your Turn

Have you worked with ClearDesk? If so, please share a quick review of your experience below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Remote CoWorker

Remote CoWorker is a virtual assistant company specializing in providing virtual assistants at competitive rates to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes all over the world.

The company’s headquarters is located in Florida, U.S. All of their virtual staff work out of their offices in the Philippines, enabling them to offer very competitive hourly rates.

Book a FREE Consultation call here!

About Remote CoWorker

remote coworker reviewThe company started operations in 2013 and is headed up by CEO Gidon Levy, and COO Sean Rivkin.

When I asked about the areas they specialize in, Sean told me:

“We have a vast experience working with the following industries: Real Estate Agents & Brokers, IT & Technology, Insurance, Healthcare, Public adjusters and businesses that are mainly those who are working on a commission sales structure and looking to build a team.”

He also went on to say that when someone signs up with them, they provide a period of free training to ensure a smooth onboarding process for clients.

How Remote CoWorker Works

If you’re interested in working with Remote CoWorker you can get started by reaching out to them to schedule a time for a call. You can reach them by email, live web chat, or phone via their site.

Once they’ve learned more about your business and your virtual assistant requirements, they’ll be able to provide you with a quote for an hourly rate.

After you’re signed up, you’ll be assigned an account manager as a point of communication, as well as a dedicated virtual assistant. Their VAs are managed with a ratio of 1 manager for every 10 agents, and you’ll work closely with each to get your new team members up to speed.

Remote CoWorker Services

Remote CoWorker split their services into two categories:

  1. Virtual assistance
  2. Bookkeeping

This is interesting because a lot of virtual assistant companies list bookkeeping as part of their general services, but few list it as a separate service to a general VA.

Bookkeeping requires some specific skills and qualifications, at least to perform the role at a high level. It’s reassuring to see they have some assistants that work as dedicated bookkeepers — if that’s what you’re looking for.

Under their virtual assistance category, you’ll find the usual wide range of business tasks that can be completed remotely. Some of the tasks they highlight on their site include:

Remote CoWorker Plans and Pricing

Remote CoWorker pricing starts at $6.99 an hour and go up depending on the skill sets and experience you require from your assistant.

This is a very competitive starting rate, and comes with a full-time dedicated virtual assistant.

Part-time support is also an option for an extra $1 an hour.

There are no long-term contracts to sign; everything is month-to-month.

Book a FREE Consultation call here!

Remote CoWorker Alternatives

At a similar price point and offering bilingual VAs (Spanish/English), take a look at Virtual Latinos.

There is no shortage of virtual assistant providers based in the Philippines to consider as alternatives to Remote CoWorker.

That said, Remote CoWorker’s starting rate is one of the most competitive.

OnlineJobs.ph ClearDesk FreeUp Remote CoWorker
Customer Rating
Established 2009 2017 2015 2013
Hourly Rate $3-8 $16-18 $5-20 $5.99-8.00
Minimum Package $69 to post a job $500 for 30 hours Free to post a job $139 for 20 hours
Dedicated Assistant *
Best For Full-time hires Full-time hires | Small Businesses Quick pre-vetted hires in e-commerce and marketing Full-time hires
Team Access
Rollover Hours
Free Trial
Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

*Dedicated option available.

Other options worth considering are My OutDesk, which operates on a similar agency model and specializes in the real estate industry, and OnlineJobs.ph if you don’t mind putting in a little more work upfront on your talent search.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Remote CoWorker? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Virtual Latinos

Virtual Latinos is a US-based virtual assistant company operating out of San Diego. They started operations around the middle of 2018 and specialize in supplying virtual assistants from across the Latin American countries.

FREE Consultation call with their team!

About Virtual Latinos

Virtual Latinos ReviewThe idea for Virtual Latinos came from the team behind Bloominari, a marketing agency in San Diego.

They were hiring virtual assistants from all over the world for their clients and realized there was a huge pool of talented assistants based in Latin America working out well for them.

So, with experience finding and hiring from South American countries they decided to start Virtual Latinos to tap into this market and provide virtual assistants to entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes.

How Virtual Latinos Works

They put their applicants through some strict testing to make sure they meet the high standards they’ve set and marketed to their clients.

“About 5% of all applicants are accepted, and 2% are hired my contact told me, and they are currently supplying VAs from 18 different Latin American countries.

Virtual Latinos point out that there are a number of reasons why working with one of their VA’s based in Latin America might be a great fit for your company, these are:

  • Similar Timezone – Depending on the country of the assistant you agree to work with there will be a few hours difference at most from you if you’re in the US.
  • US-Based Trainings & Certifications – Their assistants are put through US-based certifications and training courses to build on their skill sets.
  • Bilingual – If you deal with Spanish speaking customers or want to increase your reach in the Spanish speaking market their assistants are fully bilingual in English and Spanish.
  • Affordable – Virtual Latinos says their assistants are 40-75% less expensive than US-based assistants due to working from locations with a lower cost of living.

If you’re interested in the full details of their hiring process, checkout this Client Hiring Roadmap.

Virtual Latinos Founder Interview

I had the chance to sit down with Jaime to learn a bit more about his hiring processes and what it’s like to work with Virtual Latinos.

Virtual Latino’s Services

Virtual Latinos virtual assistants are trained and experienced in handling a wide range of tasks that can be completed remotely.

To give you an idea of the kind of tasks they commonly complete for their clients, they group their virtual assistant services into the following categories:

  • General Admin Assistants
  • Executive Assistants
  • General Digital Marketers
  • Customer Support
  • Sales & Customer Reps
  • Writers & Bloggers
  • Project & Operations Managers
  • Branding & Graphic Designers
  • Social Media Marketers
  • E-mail & Automation Experts
  • Web designers
  • Video editors
  • Legal Virtual Assistants
  • Healthcare Virtual Assistants
  • Real Estate Assistants
  • Many other roles

Who Virtual Latinos Helps

Virtual Latinos helps businesses of all sizes, from solopreneurs to small or medium businesses, as well as from a variety of industries. Below is a recap of their most popular types of companies they work with, but if your industry isn’t listed, they can probably still help you to find and hire a virtual assistant based on yours specific needs. Their community of pre-vetted assistants includes professionals with various educational and work experience backgrounds. 

Virtual Latino’s Plans and Pricing

They do require a minimum of 20 hours per week to start as of Jan 2022.

Virtual Assistant Plans

If you want to leave the legwork of finding and vetting the best candidate to them, there are three virtual assistants and virtual professionals plans to choose from:

  1. General, Entry Level
  2. Mid Level 
  3. Expert Level

Their General Virtual Assistant plan is to hire a less experienced VA, while their Expert Virtual Assistants plan is to hire one of their more experienced VAs and remote professionals. Please note the rates below are starting rates, and can vary based on the candidate you choose

General, Entry Level Virtual Assistants and Virtual Professionals Plans 

  • Part-time – starting at $790 per month ($9/hour, 88 hours/month)
  • Full-time Plan – starting at $1,400 per month ($8/hour, 175 hours/month)

Mid Level Virtual Assistant and Virtual Professionals Plans

  • Part-time Plan – starting at $1,056 per month ($12/hour, 88 hours/month)
  • Full-time Plan – starting at $1,925 per month ($11/hour, 175 hours/month)

Expert Virtual Assistant and Virtual Professionals Plans

  • Part-time – $1,496 per month ($17/hour, 88 hours/month)
  • Full-time Plan – $2,800 per month ($16/hour, 175 hours/month)

 

FREE Consultation call with their team!

There are no additional costs or long-term commitments. Virtual Latinos also offer a performance guarantee. This means that if you’re not satisfied with your assistant for any reason, they will replace them for you.

My advice is to speak with a member of their team before choosing between the three plans. Explain in detail what tasks you’ll be asking of your assistant so you get off on the right foot.

The cost of an experienced assistant is almost double, so you need to be sure you’re getting value for your money.

Virtual Latinos Alternatives

Uassist.me operates a similar business model as Virtual Latinos and have some great feedback from happy clients, so I recommend checking them out for a quote.

Their virtual assistants are also based in Central America, although their pricing is a little higher than Virtual Latinos.

If you’re looking for other affordable overseas options and don’t need Spanish speaking assistance, you might consider some of the virtual assistant providers operating out of the Philippines.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Virtual Latinos? If so, please take a moment to leave a quick review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Tasks Expert

Tasks Expert is a US-based virtual assistant company specializing in providing virtual assistants to individuals and companies of all sizes across the globe.

Although the company is headquartered in the US, their assistants work from their offices in Mumbai, India. This enables Tasks Expert to offer some very competitive hourly rates.

VAA Exclusive: Task Expert is offering free 4 days trial 2.5 hours daily usage total 10 hours with Code VAA10!

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

About Tasks Expert

The company started operations in 2017 and was co-founded by friends and entrepreneurs Loren Hamilton and Noaman Ansari.

Tasks Expert has the following mission statement:

“Our utmost priority is to provide virtual assistant services around the globe and make our services accessible to not only corporate clients but also to small, mid and large companies.”

When you sign up with Tasks Expert you’re assigned a dedicated assistant and team leader as a point of contact.

You can communicate with your assistant via email, phone call, Skype, and some other team tools like Asana and MS Teams. They also point out that if your assistant is unavailable for any reason, they provide a backup.

Tasks Expert guarantees client satisfaction. If you’re not satisfied with your assistant in any way, they’re happy to find you a replacement and work out any issues you have.

How Tasks Expert Works

Tasks Expert has a simple onboarding process that looks like this:

  1. Sign up for one of their pricing plans (all but their Bronze Plan comes with a 10-hour free trial) and a member of their team will reach out to you.
  2. After discussing your requirements in a discovery call, Tasks Expert will find the best-suited assistant to handle your tasks.
  3. You’ll receive an email containing all the details about their available assistants to look through.
  4. When you’ve chosen or are happy with an assistant presented, you can start communicating directly with them and get straight to work.

Tasks Expert Services

Tasks Expert provides a complete range of virtual assistant services. By this, we mean that if something can be completed remotely, their assistants are ready to take on those tasks.

To give you a better idea, they list their main services as follows:

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

Tasks Expert Plans and Pricing

Tasks Expert has four different pricing plans. Rates start as low as $4.50/hr for their largest hourly plan, and are as high as $9.50/hr for their pay-as-you-go-plan.

They have many different pricing options from the below categories:

  1. Non technical VAs
  2. Technical VAs
  3. Technical/Non-Technical VAs – Quarterly
  4. Technical/Non-Technical VAs – Semi Annual
  5. Technical/Non-Technical VAs – Annual

 

VAA Exclusive: Task Expert is offering free 4 days trial 2.5 hours daily usage total 10 hours with Code VAA10!

All of their plans come with a 10-hour free trial (excluding their Bronze pay-as-you-go plan), so you can get started without committing to a plan.

Included in each plan is a dedicated virtual assistant of your choosing, email/chat/phone support, a backup assistant, and a 100% money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied.

With such competitive rates and a no-risk free-trial and money-back guarantee, it’s certainly an attractive proposition to give Tasks Expert a try.

BOOK A FREE CONSULTATION CALL

Tasks Expert Testimonials

 

Tasks Expert Alternatives

For alternative virtual assistant companies offering VAs based in India, we recommend checking out Ask Sunday and My Tasker.

These are two highly rated companies that offer a similar range of services. However, if budget is your main concern, Tasks Expert does offer the lowest hourly rates.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Tasks Expert? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Use Per Wish

Use Per Wish is a virtual assistant company based in Kolkata, India. The company started operations in 2017.

The Use Per Wish team has a great infrastructure, project management team, and the executives on their team have a minimum of a bachelors degree. They target busy professionals, entrepreneurs, and business owners of all sizes.

Exclusive VAA offer! Use code VAUPW20 for 20% off your first month’s subscription!

Smart Trial available for only $5.00.

About Use Per Wish

The goal of Use Per Wish is to provide virtual assistance to individuals and businesses with cost-effective support on remote tasks.

When you sign up with Use Per Wish, you’re assigned an assistant best suited to your tasks. (After a consultation to discuss your requirements.)

You’ll also be assigned a Relationship Manager as a point of contact who will assist to establish and streamline your process.

All of Use Per Wish’s assistants are based in their offices in India. They put their candidates through a selection process that includes tight screening tests and background checks carried out by an autonomous HR body within the organization.

They offer both individual and team-based assistance. That means they can pull extra manpower and complete larger projects faster thanks to their deep “bench” of qualified assistants.

Their target market is busy individuals, entrepreneurs, small to large businesses, or anyone looking for cost-effective support with their day-to-day work.

Use Per Wish Services

Use Per Wish’s assistants are ready to handle any of your day-to-day tasks that can be completed remotely.

Here’s a glimpse into the kinds of tasks they most commonly handle:

  • Content Development – Web content, blogging, article creation, and SEO optimized content.
  • Web Development – HTML coding, landing page creation, custom WordPress installation.
  • Design Assistance – Designing logos, brochures, advertisements, website mock-ups.
  • Internet Marketing – SEO, social media marketing, email marketing, Google AdWords management.
  • Administrative Support – Data entry, email management, transcription services, database management.
  • Financial Assistance – Bookkeeping, account management, business plan creation and updating.

You can request a free consultation via a form on their website to discuss your requirements.

Next, a member of their team will work with you to create a plan and advise you of how many hours you’ll need and the skills sets they have available.

Use Per Wish Plans and Pricing

Use Per Wish has a number of pricing options and packages to choose from.

Exclusive VAA offer! Use code VAUPW20 for 20% off your first month’s subscription!

Hour Based Subscription

Premium service with a minimum of 10 hours – Use Per Wish charges a straightforward $8 per hour.

You will be allocated a Point of Contact (POC) who will be your focal person for managing your account. Your POC will help to establish and streamline your tasks and ensure to deploy the best-fit VA from their team. For recurring tasks, a dedicated VA will be assigned to ensure consistency in tasks. Tasks requiring any skill-sets can be assigned to the team.

Part-Time Subscription

The Part Time Subscription comes at $559 per month. In this plan, you will be allocated a Dedicated Assistant for 4 hours per day for 5 business days. A Point of Contact will oversee and quality assure your Dedicated Assistant’s work. Tasks requiring any skill-sets can be assigned to the UPW team. This is a great choice where the hourly rate is as low as $7 per hour.

Full Time Subscription

Use Per Wish has also introduced a Full Time Plan, priced at $879 per month, which offers great value for a qualified full-time virtual assistant. A dedicated employee works remotely for 8 hours for 5 business days under the supervision of a Manager who quality assures the tasks prior to them being sent out.

Unlimited Validity Subscription

If you do not want to subscribe to their services on a recurring basis and require a plan that allows flexible usage patterns, the Unlimited Validity Subscription is a best-fit solution. With the Unlimited Validity Subscription, there is no monthly billing and comes at $12 per hour.

Exclusive VAA offer! Use code VAUPW20 for 20% off your first month’s subscription!

Use Per Wish Alternatives

My Tasker and VA Talks are two of the highest rated India-based virtual assistant companies to take a look at.

If you are looking for larger monthly packages you can save some money on the hourly rates with these companies as they offer discounts on their larger plans.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Use Per Wish? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

5 Signs You Should Consider Outsourcing

5 Signs You Should Consider Outsourcing

Outsourcing has changed the way businesses of all sizes function. It effectively gave all businesses access to all sorts of staff, from entry-level to highly technical and niche positions. Businesses became more competitive within their respective industries as the number of options they had to achieve certain goals grew.

The term outsourcing refers to the business practice of hiring an outside party to complete a task or create goods that were traditionally done in-house. The umbrella term outsourcing covers many different services, from manufacturing goods to the completion of business processes in different countries.

1. Demand Outnumbers Your Supply

While this may seem to refer only to material goods, it also includes services. As your market, audience, or client base grows, you’ll feel like your time is being stretched thin. Having to stick to a schedule while juggling the needs of your customers is hard work. Outsourcing a position, such as a virtual assistant, will allow you to manage the growing demand.

The ability to divide labor in a way that allows you to keep up with the growing demand is something that is easily done through outsourcing. Whether you keep it onshore or offshore will be up to you, but either way you choose to go will allow both you and your staff to keep up with work.

In any case, having your demand outnumber your supply is one of the better problems to have in business. It is a clear sign that your business is growing, which means being able to invest more into it.

2. Performing The Roles Of Other Jobs

In a similar way that higher demand levels will have you swamped with work, being understaffed leads you or your staff performing roles not assigned to you. In most cases, business owners even have to take on finance roles such as bookkeeping, which takes away time from doing everything else that they need to be focusing on.

Now it’s not bad to be a jack of all trades, as the phrase describes someone who can adequately manage a wide variety of jobs; however, consistently doing all of those jobs will lead to burnout and items falling through the cracks.

Having to do multiple jobs at the same time means having multiple things on your mind at once. Being distracted causes wasted time in the office, as it takes the average person 22 to 29 minutes to get back on task depending on the origin of the interruption, with self-caused interruptions taking longer to recover from.

While wearing multiple hats, anyone is prone to more distractions. Let’s say that your primary role is sales, but you also function in the finance and IT departments. Whenever someone in those departments needs your help, you’ll be taken out of whatever task you’re currently doing, or the other person will be stuck waiting for you. No matter what the situation is, a bottleneck is created.

3. Difficulty Recruiting

If your company is experiencing difficulties with recruiting roles, no matter if they’re general or specialized, it might be time to consider outsourcing.

No matter the role, hiring someone outside your immediate location opens up recruitment. If you’re looking to keep the position onshore, you have the rest of the states (assuming you’re in the US) to look for the perfect candidate as opposed to just your immediate area and surrounding cities. If you elect to hire offshore, then you have the whole world to choose from, though it would be cheaper in certain offshore locations.

Cost per hire is another factor to consider when thinking about outsourcing. While it is possible to keep the job onshore and get it cheaper than you could locally, taking the job to a different country is the cheapest option.

For example, an average executive assistant in the US makes about $3,400 a month, whereas an average executive assistant in the Philippines makes about P27,000 which converts to about $480 a month. Note that these are averages and don’t reflect all assistant roles in either country.

4. Recurring Tasks Taking Up Valuable Time

Whether you’re a new or seasoned business leader, you’ve probably had to set aside some time to do recurring backend tasks. While these tasks are important, they don’t directly contribute to the growth of your business.

Depending on what the specific task is, it could take up a sizable part of your day, which means not being able to attend to more pressing matters.

Taking care of your email inbox could be a multiple-hour affair, depending on your position. Any sort of data entry, appointment setting, travel planning, and a plethora of other backend tasks can be given to a virtual assistant in order to free up time.

In the case of emails, training a virtual assistant to flag important ones and answer general inquiries will save you countless hours that you can reinvest in other areas.

If you’re spending more than 4 hours, roughly half of your work day, on backend tasks, you should hire help right away. Reclaiming 4 hours each day equates to 20 extra hours a week and 80 hours a month to do other, more critical tasks.

5. Late On Deadlines

If you’ve gone from consistently meeting deadlines to barely being able to catch them or completely missing them, chances are you need help. While this doesn’t immediately indicate the need to outsource, as the option to hire directly is still there, outsourcing offers a more pragmatic solution.

Outsourcing has 2 draws that make it attractive to businesses worldwide: its cost-effective nature and the instant access it grants to a wider range of staff.

The ability to potentially hire more staff for the same amount of money as a single in-house employee allows more work to be completed for less money. This means tasks can be split between more people, making the time to finish each task shorter and shorter with each additional employee.

In line with the previously mentioned recruiting difficulties, depending on where you outsource and what type of staff you need, the time it takes to fill roles is reduced. This allows you to get your new staff up to date quickly so they can begin helping you with tasks a lot sooner than if you were to hire in-house staff.

Conclusion

If any of the aforementioned signs can be seen in your company, you should look into outsourcing options that are viable for your business. Using all solutions available to you will allow you to accommodate more work which will lead to your business growing.

 

 

 

 

Author: Iohan loves short walks in his room and the joys of the great indoors. He joined the marketing world in 2021 as a content writer, making the transition from a recruiting position which gives him a unique perspective on topics regarding job positions.

Read More

Why Social Media Assistants Are Important To Businesses

Why Social Media Assistants Are Important To Businesses

The basic human impulse to communicate has led to several technological advancements in how we interact with one another. From writing on papyrus paper to telegraphing by sending electrical pulses through wires over long distances. Times have changed and social media platforms are the dominant form of communication and advertising used in today’s society.

Social media has been around for more than a couple of decades. Since then, several platforms emerged due to its popularity such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Now that social media is a staple part of our daily lives, companies have started investing more in their social media presence, part of which is hiring social media experts professionals to help them navigate the landscape.

From a business perspective, social media offers a plethora of opportunities to increase brand engagement and awareness cost-effectively. Traditional marketing, which has previously been limited by geographical confines and forced to pay for pricey channels to reach their target audience, has evolved into a whole new playing field. Every business across the world is now using social media to spread awareness about products, services, and other business opportunities to a worldwide audience.

With the advent of social media as the most utilized tool for marketing professionals, most businesses are still missing key opportunities due to neglecting to manage their social media footprint. Businesses who are hesitant to fully embrace the digital landscape usually lack the foresight to see the countless opportunities that social media marketing brings. 

Utilizing social media to further a company’s presence online is challenging, especially for inexperienced business owners or operators. It takes important company resources such as time, money, and effort to maintain a well-oiled marketing strategy. In addition, businesses also need to hire a full marketing team to brainstorm and implement the campaigns needed to boost their social media presence.

That said, hiring a social media specialist onshore is an expensive endeavor that might be out of budget for small to midsize businesses. With such positions in high demand, it makes more sense for these firms to hire an offshore social media marketing assistant instead. 

Social Media Is King

It’s important to point this out: every large company in the world has a social media presence across multiple social media platforms This includes giants such as Apple, Mcdonald’s, and even the President of the United States of America.

Social media’s meteoric rise cannot be understated enough. With social media users reaching 4.62 billion in January 2022, and each user interacting with an average of 6.6 social media platforms, it’s safe to assume that everyone uses social media as a means to stay connected wherever and whenever they are in the world.

This instant connectivity creates an internet ecosystem that brings value to organizations by allowing them to get their messages across to their target audiences in real-time. Because their audience is always online, the chance for them to engage their customers and achieve business goals is a lot easier.

As mentioned previously, social media is a value for money to all businesses whether big or small. For small businesses, it’s a matter of survival. Hopping aboard the social media hype train allows them to stay relevant and build a fanbase quicker than traditional means of marketing. Ultimately, social media is a golden opportunity to further one’s brand awareness and drive revenue. 

Large corporations understand the importance of social media within their marketing strategies, as they have dedicated teams, either in-house or offshore, dedicated to handling their social media accounts. These specialized teams are usually made up of  SEO specialists, marketing strategists, PPC experts, data analysts, social media assistants, etc. 

For the time being, social media giants continue to dominate and influence consumer perceptions and affect organizational strategies. It is unthinkable that something new will dethrone social media as the king of marketing promotions in the near future. The prominence of social media will remain unchallenged, and career opportunities are emerging in the virtual world of social media.

What Is A Social Media Assistant?

A social media assistant is a digital media marketing professional whose primary responsibility is the maintenance and development of an organization’s social media presence.

Their responsibilities include but are not limited to intensive market research on competing brands or markets, developing and executing social media campaigns that drive business, and creating an online voice or image for the client that reflects their values and goals, and reaches the company’s targeted demographic.

How Can Social Media Assistants Help Businesses 

Under the direction of the organization, with the right mixture of the social media assistant’s creativity and expertise, a company can establish a prevalent social media presence.

The struggle of not having a social media assistant could lead to disaster for any inexperienced company by missing out on opportunities to turn it into one of their biggest revenue-generating channels. Nowadays, if you’re not on social media, you don’t exist.

However, the importance of onboarding a social media assistant who understands your brand values and business goals, whether they work directly within the company or through third-party providers such as a business process outsourcing company, would be more than enough to get you started on navigating the landscape.

A social media assistant will hit the ground running and create social media profiles that match the organization’s mission and vision and comply with their market research ensuring that their efforts capture the attention of the target audience. 

Once different social media profiles have been created, they’ll interact with the audience regarding the product or service offerings of the company. This will help build credibility and trust between the company and its customers. Moreover, curating content  through social media posting and managing social media campaigns will maintain a constant stream of potential leads for the company to generate well-needed sales. 

What Are The Benefits Of Hiring Social Media Assistants?

Social media assistants cannot only help manage social media accounts but also provide several benefits that add value to organizations. 

Benefit Of Increased Business Efficiency

For small to mid-sized businesses, the proverbial wearing of many hats is a troubling commonality. Large businesses have more resources to spend than their counterparts in terms of ads and workforce. It’s easier for them to onboard social media assistants, and as a result, they dominate social media platforms. 

Ultimately, whether or not an organization is large enough, hiring a social media assistant eliminates the hurdles of having to start and manage your social media efforts. It’s much easier and makes more sense to hire a professional to do the work, so you and your existing teams can focus on its core activities that support your other business goals. 

A Cost-Effective Solution 

It is well known that social media is the most effective way to promote a brand, and it is also the cheapest option for businesses to undertake. Traditional marketing advertisements are slowly fading away in the annals of history and are still more expensive than social media marketing. 

Having a social media assistant that fully understands how algorithms and trends work in social media can minimize the company’s expenses while maximizing user reach. In addition, social media assistants can be sourced either onshore or offshore, with offshore being the more cost-effective way to hire. 

Conclusion

Ultimately, social media has become the dominant platform for promotional activities, with its contribution to the world that has greatly influenced 21st-century business leaders and strategists.

It is a tremendous waste for businesses to neglect their social media presence in a content-dependent society. One thing is for sure, social media assistants are an essential addition to organizations that are looking to expand or spread their reach throughout the world. 

 

 

 

 

Author: Kenneth is the author of his own life and prefers to keep it that way. He started writing in 2020 and dropped out of law school for being too smart. He is now a full-fledged content writer who is always looking for a spark of inspiration.

 

Read More

Super Virtuals

Super Virtuals is a virtual assistant provider that recruits, screens, and manages remote talent for businesses all over the world.

The company is headquartered in Louisville, KY. All of their virtual assistants are based in the Philippines.

About Super Virtuals

The company started operations in 2018 and is headed up by co-founders Andrew David and Bradley Cook.

Super Virtuals doesn’t operate like typical virtual assistant companies. They do not have a pool of talent that they’ll match you with. Instead, Super Virtuals will go out and find a virtual assistant to match your requirements.

The benefit of this is twofold. You save time and money on recruitment costs, and Super Virtuals will find an assistant with a skill set and experience to carry out your tasks.

Sourcing from the Philippines also means that you’re paying a much lower hourly rate than you would in the US or any other developed country.

Another good thing about using Super Virtuals to recruit talent is that they are screened and put through a number of tests.

Super Virtuals puts all of their hires through a language test to ensure their English is excellent. They also have their own critical thinking and aptitude tests and will test them on tasks specific to your needs.

This is what separates Super Virtuals from a lot of other virtual assistant companies. You’re going to end up with a VA that was selected based on what your requirements are and the end result is going to be a better working relationship.

How Super Virtuals Works

To get started working with Super Virtuals you can either choose one of their monthly plans or click the “let’s talk” button on their site.

This will take you to a form to fill out so a member of Super Virtuals’ team can get an idea of what you’re looking for. They’ll then give you a call to discuss your requirements in more detail.

Once Super Virtuals have a good idea of how your business works and what you require from a VA, they will start their recruitment process.

When they have a VA for you, they’ll introduce you and help with the onboarding process. You then pay for the hours your assistant works and you also have a point of contact if you run into any issues.

Super Virtuals Services

Because Super Virtuals are recruiting virtual assistants to meet your requirements, they’re able to find assistants that can do just about any remote task you can think of.

Some of the common tasks and support roles they fill include:

  • Sales support
  • Customer support
  • Media editing
  • Social media management
  • Graphic design
  • Data entry
  • Marketing campaigns

See their sales deck presentation here!

Super Virtuals Plans and Pricing

Super Virtuals have four monthly pricing plans ranging from 10 to 40 hours per week. There are no discounted rates for larger plans, each plan works out at $10.30 per hour.

  1. Bronze – $412/mo for 10 hours per week ($10.30/hr)
  2. Silver – $824/mo for 20 hours per week ($10.30/hr)
  3. Gold – $1,236/mo for 30 hours per week ($10.30/hr)
  4. Diamond – $1,648/mo for 40 hours per week ($10.30/hr)

If you’re on the fence about giving Super Virtuals a try they offer a 1-hour free trial.

Super Virtuals Alternatives

The Philippines is the home of virtual assistant companies, so there is no shortage of alternative companies to choose from.

OnlineJobs.ph and FreeUp are two of the highest-rated companies, so I recommend checking those out first.

You’ll notice they offer more competitive rates than Super Virtuals. But both of these companies already have virtual assistants to choose from, they do not recruit assistants based on your requirements.

Your Turn

Have you worked with Super Virtuals? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Omnisend

Omnisend is an email and SMS marketing automation platform designed to help e-commerce stores better communicate with their customers.

The company is headquartered in Lithuania and also has an office in the states.

About Omnisend

The company started operations in 2014 and was co-founded by current CEO Rytis Lauris and Chief Product Officer Justas Kriukas.

Omnisend started out under the name Sondest. It later changed its name to Omnisend in 2017 when it refocused as an omnichannel marketing automation platform.

In 2018, SMS support was added for campaigns and automation, and in 2020 Omnisend opened its first US office.

Omnisend says its mission is, “to help e-commerce businesses make their marketing relevant by sending personalized messages to the right person, at the right time, using the right channel.”
For users, this means the ability to quickly, and easily send messages to customers. For customers, this means receiving targeted, personalized messages.

Omnisend is free to send 500 emails/mo. That’s a generous plan and gives you the chance to try the software before committing, or 500 emails might even be enough for small businesses.

How Omnisend Works

Omnisend integrates with over 80 different apps and tools, so it’ll seamlessly connect with your current tech stack.

The dashboard is clean and intuitive to use. You can see all your KPIs and other important metrics at a glance, and can create and send communications within a few mouse clicks.

If you run into any problems, Omnisend’s support team is available 24/7 and you’ll also have a dedicated account manager as a point of contact.

Omnisend Services

Omnisend’s main services and features are:

  • The ability to create on-brand shoppable emails
  • Collect and leverage customer data enabling you to deliver a better customer experience and increase conversions
  • Capture and convert more subscribers using a wide range of email captures
  • Set KPIs and track data points of interest
  • Create an omnichannel customer experience by combining all of your customer channels

Omnisend Plans and Pricing

Omnisend has three pricing plans as follows:

Free – $0/mo limited to 250 contacts, 500 emails, 60 SMS, and 500 web push notifications per month.

Standard – $16/mo limited to 500 contacts, 6,000 emails, 60 SMS, and unlimited web push notifications per month.

Pro – $59/mo limited to 500 contacts, unlimited emails, 3,933 SMS, and unlimited web push notifications per month.

There are also some other features specific to each of the plans such as 24/7 chat support and advanced reporting.

If your plan doesn’t have enough contacts you can tweak your plan by adding more contacts and the price will change accordingly.

The best part is that you can request a demo of Omnisend with their sales team as well as get started for free and try the software before making a decision.

Omnisend Alternatives

Email providers like Mailchimp and Klaviyo offer a wide range of integrations, landing pages, and some of the email opt-in forms like Omnisend does.

Alternatively, you could work with a virtual assistant company to find a developer to custom build some of the features Omnisend offers.

Your Turn

Have you used Omnisend? If so, please leave a review below to help others with their decision.

Read More

​​Ultimate Remote Working Checklist 

​​Ultimate Remote Working Checklist 

Let’s face it, working from anywhere is becoming the new normal for employees around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic was an unforeseeable and unprecedented event that didn’t allow teams the time or ability to plan for remote work. Instead, businesses quickly implemented emergency procedures and protocols that were never meant to be permanent. 

Teams that ended up loving the flexibility of remote work have been in no rush to return to an office building. In fact, according to the Buffer 2022 State of Remote Work report, 72% of companies plan on allowing at least some amount of permanent remote work. That’s a massive increase from only 46% of companies in the 2021 State of Remote Work report. 

With 97% of remote employees saying that they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, employers and decision-makers now have the responsibility to ensure there are protocols in place to make remote working possible and productive. Here are Tools and processes to implement for successful remote working.

1. Onboard New AND Existing Employees

When you think of a typical onboarding process, you probably think of administrative tasks such as new hire paperwork, and HR presentations. However, another essential part of onboarding is making sure that your employees have important documents such as your employee handbook and company policies. They also will need access to the tools and software your team uses. 

Your existing employees should get all of that information and access, especially in regards to your remote working policies. As you go through the rest of this checklist, make sure it isn’t just your new employees who will get this information. 

2. Set Clear Scheduling Expectations

Remote working may be especially beneficial for employees who have other life obligations that they need to dedicate time as well. For example, school pick-up at 3:30 might mean an employee may want to check out from 3-4, and continue working afterwards. 

However, your team needs to decide what the scheduling expectations will be for your entire team. Whether you decide to allow flexible hours based on individual needs, require availability during normal business hours, or have other scheduling needs, you need to be clear with your entire team. 

If you aren’t sure what would work best for your team, we recommend having an open conversation with your existing remote workers to see what their preferences are and why remote working works well for their lifestyle. From there you can begin to develop policies that take their needs into consideration. 

Avoid internal frustrations with inconsistent scheduling policies, and instead, make sure that you have clear and consistent standards set in place. 

3. Invest in the Right Tools

Your team should be set up for success with the right equipment and software to work effectively while remote. We’ve listed a few of our top recommendations for you to consider: 

  • Team chat apps such as Slack or Monday.com so that everyone can stay in touch. 
  • Time tracking software such as Hubstaff, Workpuls, DeskTime or MyTimeIn.
  • Scheduling software such as SimplyBookMe, Appointy, x.ai or Toasty
  • Remote desktop software so that your remote workers can still access desktops back at your HQ.
  • Video conferencing apps, such as Zoom, help keep your remote workers in touch with your team and clients. 
  • A virtual phone system such as Yodel.io or Google Voice so that your remote workers can still communicate with customers, without having to use their personal phone numbers. 
  • Online office suites such as Microsoft Office Online so that you can offer web-based versions of tools your team will depend on such as Microsoft Excel. 
  • Project management software such as MyTimeIn or DeskTime so that everyone can stay up to date on the status of projects.
  • Security tools, including file encryption and secure VPNs so that your important information stays protected. We also recommend password managers, and two-factor authentication.
  • Virtual assistants can help you improve your call handling capabilities, and are perfect for remote teams. 

When your team has the right tools equipping them, they’ll be able to be more productive and effective. We especially recommend taking advantage of cloud-based technologies, so that your remote workers can access them from their home offices. 

4. Remove Productivity Barriers 

Check-in with your active remote workers to see if any of the common productivity barriers are an issue. A few of the most common issues include: self-motivation, task prioritization, distractions, poor communication, feelings of isolation, and more. 

Then work to address those issues. Some easy fixes can include having more open and consistent communication, including weekly check-ins with your team. These check-ins will allow managers to help direct task prioritization issues, determine internal deadlines, and can help address feelings of isolation. 

Other tips that we mentioned such as offering task management tools and internal communication platforms can help with communication and productivity issues. Take advantage of different free trials to find the tools that will work well for your team, while addressing the existing productivity barriers. 

5. Facilitate Social Interactions

Make sure that your employees aren’t being overlooked for opportunities, lacking in professional development, or not creating important bonds with their co-workers. When your team is connected on a personal level, it can lead to improved productivity, loyalty, and retention. 

Find ways to host virtual social events such as happy hours or other team bonding activities. There are tons of inexpensive kits that you can have shipped to your employees’ home offices, so that everyone can work on a fun social activity together. If that is out of the budget, you can simply offer standing “social hour” meetings that allow your employees to check in with each other. 

Conclusion

Being able to offer effective remote working policies and tools can help your business thrive. You can also compete for employees who are searching for flexible working opportunities, and take advantage of a global talent pool. 

Make sure that your remote workers are set up for success by implementing these 5 simple steps, and we know that you and your team will appreciate the difference. 

 

 

 

Author: Olivia is a content writer at Yodel.io. She is passionate about helping businesses of all sizes create effective phone communication strategies that will give them a competitive edge. 

 

Read More

How Your VA Can Source Music The Right Way

How Your VA Can Source Music The Right Way

Video has several advantages over other formats of communication. But most times, videos aren’t complete without music. You need music to bring your video to life. 

Good music may be the difference between people watching your video to the end or skipping it after a couple of seconds.

As you may or may not know, you can’t just use any music in your video. Most music is copyrighted making it illegal to use them without licensing. 

So, it’s important you have permission to use any music you want to include in your videos. 

If you are too busy to source music to use in your videos every time, you can get your virtual assistant (VA) to do it if you have one. 

Below, you’ll find simple steps to help you source music for your videos the right way. Both you and your VA can follow the steps below. 

1. Find The Right Type of Music For Your Marketing Campaign 

Music is not a standalone element. It should complement your video, else it will have the opposite effect you intend to achieve. 

So, it’s important you choose the right type of music for your marketing campaign. To choose the right music, you have to put two things into consideration and these are the type of video you are making and your audience. 

Type of Video You Are Making

The type of video you are making will heavily influence the type of music you’ll want to use.

What type of emotion do you intend to evoke in your music? The answer to this question will help you identify the genre of music to use. 

If it’s an educational video, you’ll want music that can maintain the interest of the audience.

 If you are trying to tell a story, music that can advance the plot and heighten the emotion of your audience will be more suitable. Promo videos, ads, and announcements will require attention-grabbing videos. 

Background music is as important as the characters and images in your video. Have this in mind as you explore several tracks. 

Your Audience

It’s easy to forget to consider the target audience when choosing a track for a video. 

But putting your target audience into consideration will help you select the right type of music. Different age groups tend to prefer different music. While a young audience may respond well to hip pop or electronic, it’s unlikely 60+ people will take well to it. 

2. Confirm The Music You Intend to Use is Royalty Free

Royalty free music is your best bet when it comes to legally using music for your videos. For those not familiar with royalty free music, it’s a type of music license that allows you to pay for a song ONCE and use the music for your intended purpose without additional payment. 

Check that the music you want to use for your videos is royalty free by checking if it’s available in the library of reputable royalty free music providers. 

You’ll also see the amount you have to pay to obtain permission to use the music in your videos.

The price of royalty free music is usually very affordable compared to dealing with record labels to obtain rights to use a track or song. You can also start your music searching journey on a royalty free music provider website. 

3. Find Something Similar If The Music You Like Isn’t Royalty Free

As a content creator, you may be inspired by a particular song or track only to search for it and find out it’s not royalty free. 

It can be a bit disheartening…or more than a bit. But don’t fret, chances are you’ll find royalty free music that is similar to it. You won’t find an exact match but you can always get something that can give the same vibe or invoke similar emotions in your target audience. 

4. IntegrateThe Music In Your Video

Unless it’s your first time adding music to a video, you are familiar with the process. There are different tools that can be used to add music to your videos on different devices. 

If your videos include a lot of speaking, using music with vocals will clash with the original video audio and make it difficult for your audience to understand or hear the dialogue. Some of the song’s lyrics may even send the wrong message. This is why most videos use music without vocals. 

Teaching your VA how to edit videos can free up a big slice of your time.

Remember to pay attention to the pacing of the background music. Ideally, the tempo of the music should match that of the video. So, this is something to have in mind when editing your videos.

Conclusion

Once your VA understands how to properly add music to your videos for your marketing campaigns, course or internal SOPs, you’ll be able to bring the exact vibe you’re wanting to portray without encountering any financial or legal issues.

Just as photos must be sourced from royalty-free stock providers, music is the same. Start on the right foot as music companies are using automation to crack down on people using their tunes without the proper licensing.

 

Author: Idan Santhaus is a co-founder of TuneReel, a composer, and an avid video editor.

Read More

5 Signs You Need A Social Media Manager – STAT

social media manager

In her LinkedIn article, BELAY’s CEO, board member, co-host of the One Next Step podcast, and author Tricia Sciortino addresses a relatively new need and demand for businesses everywhere: social media.

Relatively.

Sure, social media is nothing new, per se, but for businesses who want to remain competitive, communicative and connected to their audience, prospects and targets, it’s become much more than a Tweet here and there and some icons in the footer of our websites and emails.

In fact, that doesn’t even qualify as ‘having a social media presence’ now. Because what was once satisfied with some scraps every once in a while has become a full-time job. Even a cursory Google search yields an exhaustive list of social media marketing companies, departments, careers, and even degrees and certifications.

Simply put: It’s not a hobby or a pastime anymore.

But if you’re a small-to-medium business, the thought of hiring someone to manage your social presence seems lofty at best, and decadently impossible at worst.

But consider the findings of a 2019 study on the state of small business marketing:

  • The most common platform for building brand awareness was social media marketing, which consistently outranked all other mediums
  • The foremost opportunity for gaining new customers is – again – social media marketing
  • 73% of respondents reported they would increase spending on social media

What really stood out from the study, though?

“… while social media continues to be a challenge for many small businesses, it can also help small businesses grow their audience and push customers to their site—but only when executed well.”

“But only when executed well.”

So while SMB owners worry that they can’t afford to have someone dedicated solely to social media, they really can’t afford not to. Why?

Because when you think about how social media has – at least in part – leveled the exposure playing field, its opportunities are endless for SMBs to increase brand awareness and new customer gains, and all without paying-to-play like in the traditional advertising and marketing media days of yore.

Have you noticed that you …

  1. … need help managing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms?
  2. … need help producing and scheduling content?
  3. … need help responding to online inquiries, getting feedback from clients, and sharing customer success stories?

Sure, many business owners would likely answer ‘yes’ to those questions and still manage just fine. But what if a social media manager could take you from managing ‘fine’ to managing ‘great?’

5 Signs You Need Social Media Manager – STAT

social media manager can help you manage all of your unique social media needs – which can be varied, extensive and exhaustive – and build a strong online presence to get you back to what you love most: running and growing your business.

  1. You’re not social-media savvy.

To do something well – not ‘good’ not ‘OK’ but great – you have to understand it. But, admittedly, you don’t so it’s not top-of-mind.

  1. You miss messages. 

Whether it’s a Facebook message about one of your products or a Twitter mention you missed from a week ago, you know it should have been addressed sooner – as in ‘within-five-minutes’ sooner to earn the new ‘very responsive to messages’ Facebook badge.

  1. Social media is an afterthought. 

As with most things on your to-do list, those you don’t enjoy or understand are often relegated to the way bottom. However, it’s virtually impossible to gain traction in your social presence without proactive execution of a well-thought-out strategy.

  1. You already work 40+ hours. 

We know – if you’re a business owner, 40 hours probably seems like a light week. Being an owner is time-consuming – and there just aren’t an extra 30 hours a week left to manage social media.

  1. You’re not reaching your targets.

You’re just not converting enough people, gaining enough new followers, or advancing your campaigns.

You need help.

A BELAY Social Media Manager Can Help

You know those menacing red-number notifications and deafening cacophony of ‘pings,’ ‘dings’ and buzzes from your phone, tablet, and computer as prospects and customers alike all engage with your social media?

Their Social Media Manager can handle that.

Or what about when you see no new notifications and are instead met with the deafening silence on all your social media accounts?

Yup, you guessed it: Their Social Media Manager can handle that, too.

This new service line will help you take their social media presence to the next level by managing your social channels, engaging with your audience, and tackling your scheduling to help them stay ahead of your competition and make lasting connections with your community and target audience.

Ready to reclaim countless hours a week? Contact them today to get started!

Read More

DotYeti

DotYeti is an on-demand graphic design platform. Users can request unlimited designs for a flat monthly fee.

The company is headquartered in Singapore. DotYeti’s team of designers work remotely from several countries across the world.

About DotYeti

The company started operations in 2020 and is headed up by current CEO Roy Selbach.

DotYeti told me that they’ve already worked with more than 250 clients since they’ve been in business, and serve clients all over the world.

Most of their clients are SMEs in marketing and advertising, blockchain, and IT. That being said, with a deep pool of talent, they can serve any industry.

There are already a number of on-demand design platforms in the space. However, DotYeti told me they’re doing something different, saying:

“We’ve made it cheaper and faster to transform any concept into high-quality designs, for every business, from any industry.”

There are a number of benefits of using DotYeti over hiring a graphic designer in-house or even working with one dedicated designer.

Most notably, when submitting projects to DotYeti you get access to their entire team of designers. This means the designer with the experience or best-suited skills will pick up your task.

The other benefit is that it’s less expensive to use an on-demand service like DotYeti than it is to hire a dedicated graphic designer.

You can request an “unlimited” number of designs per month. The caveat is that you can only have one or two projects worked on at one time, however.

How DotYeti Works

Once you’ve signed up for one of DotYeti’s monthly plans, there is a simple 4-step process from start to finish.

Step 1 – Submit a request via their online portal. Here you can provide their designers with all the information they need to complete the task.

Step 2 – Your request will be picked up by one of their designers and they’ll start working on it.

Step 3 – You’ll be notified when your projects have been completed. You can either request revisions or accept the project.

Step 4 – Whether you requested revisions or not, once you’re happy with the designs you’re free to use them and request another.

DotYeti Services

DotYeti told me they “offer any kind of creative work that you can think of, from social media posts to animations and landing page design.”

Looking through examples of work in their portfolio, it looks like the most commonly requested projects are:

Essentially, DotYeti’s designers are capable of taking on any kind of design work that can be completed remotely.

DotYeti Plans and Pricing

DotYeti has three different pricing plans based on how many projects you want to be completed a month and some other features.

You can get started with a monthly plan for just $449. Or, you can use their pay-as-you-go plan and pay $125 per project.

A complete list of DotYeti’s monthly plans at the time of publishing are:

  1. Basic – $449/mo, you can request 1 project at a time.
  2. Premium – $1,145/mo, you can request 2 projects at a time and request a wider range of file types.
  3. Royal – $2,395/mo, you can request 2 projects at a time and also create a backlog of jobs to be picked up as soon as a project is completed.

DotYeti also offers 5% off if you pay per three months, and 10% off if you pay per six months.

DotYeti also offers a 14-day money-back guarantee. In addition to this, they’re so confident you’ll be impressed with their work they also say they’ll give you an extra $350 if you’re not satisfied!

DotYeti Alternatives

If you want to check out alternative design on-demand platforms, a couple of the most well-known companies are Design Pickle and Penji.

DotYeti said that what separates them from its competitors is a stricter onboarding process for designers, and a state-of-the-art platform.

Your Turn

Have you worked with DotYeti? If so, please be sure to leave a brief review of your experience below to help others with their decision.

Read More

Pros and Cons of Hiring a VA from the US

Pros and Cons of Hiring a VA from the US

Pros and Cons of Hiring a VA from the US

You can find virtual assistants or VAs working from different corners of the world. And of course,  there are VAs from one of the pre-eminent developed nations – the USA. Virtual assistants specialize in a wide range of abilities. They can take care of personal tasks, small business-related work, medium business management work, or full-time dedicated services. 

There are individuals or teams of VAs who usually remotely handle different types of tasks for the brands and clients that hire them. However, it is crucial to forecast the benefits of employing a US-based VA compared to VAs with English as their non-native language. 

US-based virtual assistants offer professional assistance and the benefits of outsourcing compared to lower-cost VA options. 

Tasks Performed by VAs 

The most common types of work outsourced to VAs include: 

In-Demand Locations for VAs Around the World 

Let us check the most demanding locations around the world in ascending order that requires assistance from VAs: 

USA 

The US is one of the topmost countries that facilitated virtual assistance services in the mid-1990s. Forbes magazine statistics revealed that a large number of US civilians are self-employed. These people need to handle a hefty amount of workload regularly. Outsourcing their work to VAs is their easiest option to get high-quality and accurate output. For example, VAs can track the highest volumes of work in major US cities like New York. 

Canada 

People who live in Canada speak innumerable languages. This has boosted the need for translation services. It also heightened the requirement for corporate and commercial interaction assistance. Most US companies outsource their work to VAs from Canada to avoid delays and get the best services at lower rates. 

Australia 

Australia is a large continent with a limited population. Transport is an irksome factor here. Nevertheless, this boosts the demand for outsourcing tasks for quick and professional output. Since English is the native language of the people in Australia, they prefer to use native English VAs as well. Research and marketing-related tasks preoccupy VAs in Australia. 

Top US VA Companies 

ClearDesk

Clear Desk is a US-based virtual assistant company that provides virtual assistants to entrepreneurs and small to medium-sized businesses all over the world. their pricing packages start at 80 hours per month for $1,250 (approx. $15.60/hr). The reason that hey have a lower hourly rate than most US based VA companies, is that they outsource their services to the Philippines. They also offer VA services in English, French and Spanish!

They offer a 7-day free trial and a free consultation call is offered.

Boldly 

Boldly was founded in 2012 and has team members in North America and Europe. They have a 4.5 customer rating with a minimum hourly rate of $51. Boldly has full-time employees who work as professional VAs and offer dedicated assistance. You can get full team access with Boldly and their minimum subscription package is $1530 for 30 hours. Due to its immense success, Boldly does not offer a free trial. 

Time Etc

This is the second-best US-based virtual assistance company. Time Etc subscription difference compared to Boldly is massive. They offer 10 hours’ worth of work for $290. The company was established in 2007. What makes them special is how they keep track on their website of the number of actual hours they have saved for clients. Time Etc is a great VA services option with full team access, rollover hours, and a free trial. They also have a 4.5 rating for their services and customer support.  

Pros of Hiring a US-Based VA

Communication Flexibility 

Language barriers are eliminated if the VA speaks native US English. It is easier to understand compared to a VA from developing nations. Repetitive explanations can be driven out of the equation with US-based VAs. This helps to save time and money, collaterally. Also, you do not have to sacrifice the quality of work. 

Culturally Accurate 

US-based VAs have a better understanding of the cultural norms that can otherwise be taken for granted. Often, cultural problems can take place when you hire a VA from the global South. However,  US culture plays an integral role in the US-based business climate and market. VAs from the US are culturally better equipped to interact with customers on specific US-related occasions and events. For example, a US-based VA has better insight into the US Real Estate business than a VA from elsewhere. 

Cons of Hiring a US-Based VA

High Subscription Costs 

US-based VA companies have high subscription rates compared to VA services from Canada, Australia, the Philippines, and India. For example, the subscription rate for Boldly, a US-based VA company is more than $1500. This can be the monthly wage of many in developing countries. 

Time Zones May Not Match

Depending on your location and your VA’s location, your time zones may not match. This can be inconvenient for you. Not all US-based VAs will be flexible working odd timings to sync with your time. However, this is where VAs in Asia can go the extra mile and adjust their work schedule to suit your waking hours.  

Find Out the Right US-Based VA for You

The average cost to hire a US-based VA can vary between $25 and $75/hour. This depends on the specialty or complexity of the task at hand. Also, it is important to note that hiring an individual VA will cost less than the services of a virtual assistant company in the US. Nevertheless, a VA company can offer team access that is not possible for an individual alone. ClearDesk, Fiverr, Fancy Hands, and FreeeUp are some of the US-based virtual assistance services to help your small business grow or complete your personal work. Budget, schedule, and communication are the top factors that help to determine the right US-based VA company to meet your unique requirements.  

*Prices accurate at date of publication

Read More

IVA vs. IVR: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better To Use?

iva vs ivr

Intelligent Virtual Agent vs. Interactive Voice Response: What’s the Difference and Which Is Better To Use?

Today, every contact center knows what IVR is, and many companies employ this technology successfully. However, since it became commercially available, AI has come a long way and can do much more than provide just a simple voicebox or chatbot.

Customers can become wary of lengthy calls to customer support or long menus on websites, and businesses must enhance their user experience as much as possible. As a result, many companies are dipping their toes into voice recognition self-service to keep up with demand for the first time. These businesses usually come in two types: those that still utilize IVRs and those that opt for a more sophisticated solution – virtual agents.

IVA vs IVR: The Differences

Although these two technologies are similar in purpose and can complete similar tasks delegated to them, it is crucial to distinguish IVA (Intelligent Virtual Agent) from IVR (Interactive Voice Response) and know each system’s limitations.

What Is IVR?

An IVR conversion system — such as the one featured in Phonexa’s all-encompassing call distribution platform, Call Logic — is a type of interactive telephone system that is often used in call centers to route calls to the proper agent and, in some instances, to allow callers to execute self-service transactions. The key advantage of an IVR is that it enables businesses to optimize the customer experience and obtain vital information from the answers provided by individuals who call.

Nowadays, most IVR systems are far from conversational, depending instead on menu browsing via touch-tone user inputs. IVR system costs vary based on which services you use and the technology’s quality. As a rule, IVRs are less expensive than AI-based voice assistants.

What Is an IVA?

An IVA is a digital assistant that mimics the actions of a human agent. It delivers some of the services traditionally given by a contact center representative through human-to-human conversation with users via voice or text channels.

IVA is not a simple voicebot, however. Unlike IVR, IVA can handle more complicated issues and conduct extremely comprehensive exchanges without transferring callers to a live person. Even if the IVA system cannot address all client issues completely, it may nevertheless capture critical information and generate a thorough support ticket, which assists team members in expediting the customer care solution process.

 

The functionality of IVA products may vary depending on where you purchase your software. However, the essential functionality remains unchanged. Virtual agents employ AI, speech recognition, and interfaces with backend systems.

What Can an IVA Do?

Unlike IVR systems that can only redirect customer calls to contact center agents, virtual assistants can not only resolve queries but also enhance the user experience and all that is possible without any human involvement. But if you decide to opt for this technology, you would probably like to know just what IVA is capable of. So here are just a few things virtual assistance can help you with:

 

  • Automate tasks and support live agents: IVA’s primary purpose is to save time for your clients and agents. At the same time, a virtual agent reduces the workload of human agents and enables them to automate simple tasks and free up time for more important calls.
  • Recognize both speech and text: Modern IVAs can understand and recognize human voices in different languages and respond to your clients’ queries using text-to-speech technology.
  • Ability to make callbacks: IVA systems can allow customers to ask for a callback instead of waiting in line during the call. The virtual assistant then redirects the call to the appropriate human agent.
  • Biometrics: Similar to IVR, virtual assistants can be used to verify the caller’s identity based on their voice biometrics from previous calls. In addition, voice biometrics can also act as a security measure.
  • Sentiment analysis: Some virtual assistants can automatically identify if customers are frustrated and route the call to an agent.

Some of the high-tech IVA systems can sound almost indistinguishable from human agents in regard to simple queries. In addition, modern AI suites allow for a deep level of customization, which allows for designing your virtual assistant capable of doing virtually anything a human agent can.

Pros And Cons of IVA

IVA is one of the most effective tools available today for businesses to empower and improve self-service operations for their clients. Self-service is gradually gaining popularity, as technologically aware clients choose to address service demands on their own before contacting human agents.

If you were hiring a human agent, you would need to consider what languages they know and what type of system they need to work with. IVA agent is similar in terms of these specific skills. You pay them just like any human agent. However, IVA allows you to save money by only training one virtual agent instead of a whole department. It is important to point out that a virtual agent also needs to be prepared with that in mind. However, it takes less time, and AI can start working right off the bat, unlike regular agents.

Virtual agents learn from what they do, conversations, and experiences with clients. Furthermore, depending on their level of expertise, they can learn how to convey the information to live agents, saving your clients time in the long run.

Conclusion

Organizations realize the true potential of AI by going one step further with predictive capabilities to do tasks even faster. After covering what IVR and IVA can offer, let’s take a brief look at your options to determine which solution will work best for your business:

 

  • IVR systems are great for smaller businesses and are cheap, but they can lack certain functionality
  • IVRs take less time to install and don’t require maintenance often
  • IVA solutions offer better flexibility to companies with a more extensive client base but are more expensive
  • IVA is a complex solution that requires maintenance more often than traditional IVR systems

Consumers expect companies to have a self-service solution on their websites. So there is little doubt why the use of IVAs increased by 46% in 2020. This trend won’t stop anytime soon, and the IVA systems are becoming more accessible to small businesses and even startups. As a result, we can expect a significant surge in the popularity of virtual agents and IVA systems.

 

 

 




iva vs ivrAuthor: Stanislav Bilenkyi is a content writer at Phonexa. He is passionate about technology and AI which he has covered for over 7 years.

Read More