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My first experience with a Virtual Assistant

I first learned about Virtual Assistants when reading the book “4 hour work week” by Tim Ferriss. The concept is simple, we all have things that don’t seem to get done, so you get online and find someone that can complete the task for a small amount of money. I’ve been pretty intrigued about this whole concept and so last Friday I visited IVAA.com and posted an RFP to provide me a press release about the recent changes in our company. I can write a press release, but I wanted to see how the process of hiring a “VA” worked.

Within a few days I received 3 responses. All were professional and one person even sent a PDF of a book she had written about how to be effective when using a “VA”. I told the first responder to call me at 5:32 EST. Why 5:32, it was a small test to see if she could follow directions. She did call me at 5:32 (Verizon time) and we had a very nice conversation. My approach was to tell her what I wanted which included the writing of a press release, the placing of that press release in our area newspapers, and finally generating some buzz with some national women’s magazine about our new female CEO.

After I explained the project, she stated her retainer was $350.00 and that she bill $85.00 an hour and her thought was that this “project” would take 12 hours. I then stated, “so we’re on the same page, you would like me to pay you $1200 or so dollars for a press release?” Yes was the response and thus I advised I was just kicking tires and I would let her know if I would like to proceed.

The second call came from email sender number two. This is the person that included an E-book about how to work effectively with a “VA”. She was very kind on the phone and explained that for $35.00, she would write the press release, but recommended that I place with the news papers in that it was usually more effective if it came from the owner of the business. In addition, she will be sending out the release to major women’s magazines around the country.

I got a third email, but based upon the conversation with email number 2, I feel comfortable that this task will be completed in an effective manner.

Once this task was started I began thinking about how else I could use a “VA”. Since we are a minority owned business, I want to apply to help our clients tap into a bevy of public and private sector programs. The message I posted to the IVAA web site read, “Our Company recently went through a transition and set up a new LLC that has our new CEO as the majority owner. We are an independent insurance agency located in Indiana and would like to file for minority owned business status. If you have completed a similar project before, that would be swell! Thank you!

I’ll get a few responses, pick my favorite and get this task accomplished. I will continually look for tasks that can be accomplished by a “VA” and have them helped me change the world.

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