Virtual Assistants

Top 5 Sites Where You Can Learn How to Outsource Online in 2021

The world has changed and things run differently now since the pandemic broke out. People explore different ways to adapt and adjust to doing almost, if not everything at a distance. The academe, various businesses, and almost all industries are becoming innovative and are looking for alternative approaches to do whatever they need to do remotely.

Whether you are an entrepreneur or you have a small business, outsourcing is a great way to bounce back and embrace the new normal. There are different sites where you can learn how to outsource online. Be ready to face the coming year by going through your prospect VAs with the right outsourcing platforms.

In this article, we are going to share our top 5 sites when it comes to learning how to outsource online.

1. Outsource School

Outsource School is a platform that offers top training for outsourcing and scales your business to that of 8-digit entrepreneurs. This site is best whether you are a startup or a growing business, who is looking to hire virtual assistants. This can be for reasons like saving time and growing your business faster. 

Outsource School has several users at present, ranging from eCommerce companies, Amazon sellers, agencies, coaches, speakers, influencers, to software companies. The owners of this platform also had their fair share of experience on various platforms, but later on figured that they did not have the right systems to keep their operations running smoothly and efficiently. Because of this, they established Outsource School which is geared towards making hiring and managing virtual assistants easier and more systemized for all businesses. 

This platform is the best fit for those who do not have any experience in hiring a virtual assistant and are still searching it out and testing the waters. Outsource School is also the solution for those who are not new in the field of outsourcing but are having issues with their current platform or are currently struggling in handling their VAs. This platform has all the solutions for every situation a business considering or currently outsourcing might encounter.

2. Udemy

Udemy is also one of the platforms that we recommend for you to explore to learn more about outsourcing. It offers different courses for both students and professionals and currently has more than 35 million users and 57,000 instructors. What makes it even better is that its training is available in over 65 languages, so those who prefer to learn with their own language.

Discussion boards are also made available in Udemy so that you can interact and engage with your instructors. This is helpful especially if you need clarifications and have queries wanting to be answered by the lecturers. Specifically made for businesses, the platform offers Udemy for Businesses that are focused on topics such as office productivity, management, and outsourcing, among the many.

Udemy best fits entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking for platforms to help them learn about outsourcing, how it works, and how it is done. The platform has tailored its system to cater to the needs of those who want to know more about this field. However, it is crucial that you do your research prior to enrolling in a learning course for anybody to teach on this platform.

3. Skillshare

Skillshare is another platform designed to help students, professionals, and business owners alike in any field they want to expand their knowledge on. Like the previous sites, Skillshare offers high quality and well-structured processes that will make learning easier for you. You can learn about outsourcing easier with this platform because of its highly digestible content.

Topics are discussed in Skillshare through a pre-recorded video that usually ranges from 20 to 60 minutes. These videos are then divided into smaller time frames, often in a series of 2 to 5-minute videos. This is highly beneficial when compared to taking in a full 60-minute video because this way, the person learning the topic can be more focused and engaged throughout the entire learning process.

4. Coursera

Coursera believes that learning is the main source of human progress. This is what you should be looking for in a platform when looking for a site to learn about outsourcing. It currently partners with more than 200 universities and companies to offer different courses not only to individuals but to organizations as well. Coursera, of course, provides topics focused on outsourcing.

The site provides lessons about outsourcing and its importance especially in global supply chains. Coursera also gives insights and explains to its clients why outsourcing is a make-or-break deal maker in the global arena.

5. LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning is a new initiative established by LinkedIn with Lynda as their partner platform. You can discover lessons and courses on the platform by placing your general skills and interests upon registering. After which, LinkedIn Learning will provide various suggestions of courses according to your skills and interests.

The platform also helps you transition from learning outsourcing to transitioning towards the integration of outsourcing. This is with the help of one of their features they call the learning paths. After knowing about outsourcing, LinkedIn Learning can suggest various structured learning experiences to shift into discovering prospect VAs which can move as far as learning how you can hire these prospects.


Learning how to outsource online is highly vital especially during this time. As an entrepreneur or an owner of a small and starting business who is only starting to explore outsourcing, it is important that you become aware of what it is as an entirety. Knowing what it is and being mindful of your options will help you succeed in this matter.

There are more resources available on the internet that can aid you in learning about outsourcing. The ones that we have provided above are only our top picks to help you get started. Once you get to learn more about it, we are sure that things will be a whole lot easier for you and will help you save a lot of time.

Virtual Assistants

How To Effectively Hold Monthly Culture Meetings on Slack

During these times, everybody must be doing virtual meetings through online communication platforms. However, it is hard to communicate correctly and engage your audience because of the physical distance you have with your team.

At Outsource School, we have recently started to hold monthly culture and team meetings via Slack chat, and we’ve found some pain points and other challenges in conducting these meetings. Luckily, we found ways to address these issues, and we’re excited to share what we did. 

These monthly meetings are something new that Outsource School wanted to try out as we started hiring and scaling the team. After all, constant, engaging, and effective communication is essential to improve productivity.

We always had our weekly all-hands meeting, weekly team meetings, and quarterly 1 on 1s, but we hadn’t experimented with a meeting specifically about team and culture. With 3 of these in the books so far this year, we can honestly say that it’s been a massive improvement in building our remote culture.

This article will discuss points to remember when setting up a monthly culture and team meetings through Slack chat. Here’s what we’ve found to work so far:

Set the Right Precedent and Make it Mandatory

Give your team plenty of notice about the meeting and make sure that they’ve added it to their calendars, so they don’t forget. Letting them know about an upcoming meeting sets their minds and drives them to prepare for the activity. Set a specific date and time every month and do your best to stick by this schedule to develop a habit for everyone in the team.

Let them know that the meeting is going to be all about the team and culture. We are getting to know one another better, talking about the company’s vision and mission, and going over company values. 

Communicate to your team the agenda of your meeting. We found that being 100% transparent about the discussion prepared the team to contribute when it came time to run it. Through open communication, you’ll have a more productive and efficient meeting. Everyone comes equipped with possible questions, suggestions, and other items they’d want to discuss with the group.

Don’t stress yourself out with unnecessarily long, tiring, and time-consuming meetings. As the lead, it’s your task to make these group activities as fruitful as possible. Remember, this is a culture meeting, not your usual updates or performance reviews. It doesn’t have to be as formal and all about work.

Spend the First 20 Minutes on a Team Building Activity

With a 100% remote company, it can be harder to get to know your colleagues than if you were in an office with them every day. There is a negative impact on engagement and participation when colleagues don’t physically see each other during meetings – these team and culture meetings can help solve those issues.

In our most recent meeting, we all went around and shared where we were from and where we were currently living. As everyone shared, we Googled the locations on a map and shared the image to get a good sense of where we all were.

It was a fun exercise that brought us all together and taught us a bit more about each other’s upbringing and culture.

Ideally, it would be best if you did activities that would get everyone to talk about something emotional and personal, but not too intrusive. Another example of these activities would be asking them about their favorite movies/songs and asking them to share why.

Relationship-building is vital to a productive, collaborative, and high-performing team.

Spend the Next 10 Minutes on Any Team or Culture-Specific Updates

You don’t want these topics to rule the meeting and take too much of your time. Keep updates short, concise, and easily remembered. Through Slack, you can also easily prepare notes beforehand that you can easily copy and paste during your meeting. Doing so will help you maintain structure in your meetings, avoid going overtime, and ensuring that you don’t forget any important updates.

However, when you have any necessary updates, make sure to mention them, so the team is on the same page. These critical updates could include new hires, the main focus for the week, new internal processes, etc. As long as the update involves and affects almost everyone, make sure you communicate with your team.

Teams work better if they have the same idea and mindset in the activities that they do. Any miscommunicated updates well will most likely confuse and disrupt performance.  

Spend the Last 20-30 Minutes Going Through a Company Value

The part of the meetings where we discuss how a company value has had a very impactful effect on our team. At Outsource School, we have a culture guide that outlines our mission, vision, and values. We make sure that our culture guide is defined to have a clear direction where we want to go.

Each meeting, we pick one company value, and we discuss it as a team. We make sure that everyone has had the opportunity to share what it means to them. It is also essential to let the team mention how it impacts them in their personal and work life.

This part of the monthly meetings led to some fantastic conversations, showing that we all have a lot of the same values and beliefs in life. It also creates a bond between the team members knowing that they share the same points of view.

Bringing people together around their beliefs can create real bonds and make them work harder towards building the company.


Holding meetings through chat might be unconventional for some. The norm has always been to use video or voice calls during meetings. But as discussed, these meetings have been extraordinary for us so far, and we look forward to developing them even more. 

Outsource School hopes that you have learned something from our experiences and how we approach our monthly culture meetings.

Virtual Assistants

30 Outsourcing Tips for More Effective Hiring and Managing Remotely

Outsourcing is one practice that is widely used by businesses of today. It is done by hiring someone outside of the company to provide services to complete specific tasks. Businesses outsource so a third-party can create goods and perform jobs previously done by an in-house employee.

Companies, businesses, and even startup entrepreneurs outsource their virtual assistants because of the enormous help they bring for them. Virtual assistants are those who can perform and offer services in a remote location. These people are not required to report to the office, and you can even hire virtual assistants from all over the world.

To effectively hire the right people and manage them remotely, we have prepared 30 outsourcing tips you must consider, from the interview process to managing your virtual assistants.

1. Determine the Tasks to Outsource

The first thing you should do when you have finally decided is to determine the tasks that you will outsource. This can be done by providing yourself with a list of tasks that are vital for your operations. You can then rank these and decide which ones are the most important and call for the need for outsourcing.

2. Know the Traits to Look For and to Avoid

When outsourcing people outside of your business, you must look at their traits. Have a list of those you would want your VA to have and those that are less appealing for you and the company. When you have these on hand, match them to that of the prospects you are interviewing to narrow down your options.

3. Consider Outsourcing from the Philippines

Outsourcing TipsIn our experience, outsourcing from the Philippines is a move that worked best for us. Aside from their work ethics, the price you need to pay for VA’s from this country is relatively lower than when you hire from the U.S. Some of our best VA’s came from this country, and we can say that they have delivered beyond our expectations.

4. Know the Applicant’s Experience

When interviewing a potential virtual assistant, you must learn about their experience. This can either be within the same job as a virtual assistant or other experiences that they had before in their previous workplace. This will provide you with a brief idea of who they are and what they are at work.

5. Look into the Red Flags

Most people who are looking to hire often shrug off the red flags during the initial stage. This is because these red flags are only minimal concerns that can be addressed along the way. However, we suggest that you take these seriously and take note of them as soon as you notice them. You will never realize how much magnitude it can bring only until it is too late for you to make damage control.

6. Learn About their Attitude

Another tip when interviewing prospective applicants is to look into their attitude. This speaks more of who they are both personally and in the workplace. You will learn more about them and whether they are fit for your business or not upon checking on their traits and character as an individual.

7. Check on their Cultural Fit

You must hire people that match the culture of your organization. Going into the interview process, you should check on their cultural fit to know if they are suited for the job and whether or not their beliefs and outlook are similar to your organization.

8. Set Up a Good Working Schedule

Set up a good working schedule that will work best for all of your virtual assistants and as well as your business. You must build a perfect and seamless working schedule considering all of your VA’s so they can deliver their tasks on time while looking into unforeseen circumstances that may cause a delay.

9. Establish Backup Plans for Internet and Power Issues

Especially in the Philippines, where the internet connection is not that good, and power issues are often encountered, having a backup plan is crucial. You may need to consider hiring VA’s from the urban areas where these concerns are less likely to happen so you can avoid such problems from happening often. Nonetheless, these are unavoidable matters, and finding a way around it is not impossible.

10. Hold VA’s to their Word

You must hold your VA’s to their word so you can use it in situations that call for it. Set up agreements between them and remind them about these a few times when they forget about it and do not act accordingly. This way, you hold them accountable for their actions and remind them that they are liable for everything they do.

11. Learn Situations Upfront

Your VA’s might be going through personal matters that can affect their performance. As their employer, you must learn these situations upfront so you can understand them better. Reprimanding them might not be the best way to address their inability to provide the tasks that they are assigned to accomplish.

12. Set Up Communication Tactics

Set up ways of communicating with your people. When you handle and manage them remotely, it is crucial that you speak with them openly and through accessible means. Establish communication tactics like email, chat, and emergency channels for situations that call for it to be used.

13. Be Open to Feedback

Sometimes, the brightest ideas will come from your VA’s. This may surprise you, but it will bring you concepts and points of view that you have explored less before. These reasons combined make it crucial for you to be open to any feedback from your VA’s, whether it be good or bad.

14. Work Hard, Play Hard

We found it useful to build a fun environment in the workplace for our virtual assistants. You can show your VA’s excitement so they can also see another side of you. However, also show them how hard you work and how passionate you are about what you are doing to grasp your dedication to achieving your goals. This can also inspire them and eventually make them try to emulate your attitude towards work.

15. Set High Expectations

The higher the expectations you set for your VA’s, the more challenges they will feel. This will increase their motivation and even enable you to gain more respect from them as time passes by. Additionally, also have high expectations for yourself, so they can see that you are not taking things easy and that you are hustling equally than they do.

16. Build a Culture Surrounded by Family

Build a culture surrounded by family, especially if you hire VA’s from the Philippines. Filipinos have high regard for their families and value them a lot, making this working environment best for them. Establish a culture where everyone has each other’s backs in every circumstance.

17. Make Good SOPs

Not using SOPs will eat up a lot of your time. Thus. it is crucial that you create SOP’s that are comprehensive enough for your VA’s. If you integrate this, they will do things quicker and will save you a lot of time.

Doing this is quicker than needing to train each one individually. Give the SOP, orient your VA’s about it, and see how everything will be a whole lot easier for you and them as well.

18. Track and Improve

Learning and development in your employees are a continuous process. No virtual assistant remains static with their performance, so you must track them individually. This should work both ways, allowing them to improve as they progress and facilitating them if they slack off.

19. Take Screenshots

If there are steps that require added clarification, taking a screenshot will be necessary. Sending screenshots to your VA’s is useful in training them, especially that they are in a remote location. This will provide a more precise explanation of the things that you are trying to say.

20. Create a Video

Explaining how a specific task is done can be challenging, especially if you are not talking face to face with your employee. With virtual assistants, the best way to discuss the process with them is by creating a video. This way, you can walk them through the process and understand how particular tasks are done.

21. Find their Learning Style

How to OutsourceTo increase efficiency when training a newly hired VA, it will be best to learn what their learning style is. This can help you cut down to the chase and get straight to the point. As a result, you can save more time and make the training easier for both ends.

22. Make a Checklist

While videos and screenshots are useful in training your VA’s, it sometimes turns out not to be the most efficient way for them to get their tasks done. Making a checklist is the best way to go, so they can quickly go back and check on it whenever they search for a reference for the complete tasks expected from them.

23. Focus on Communication

No matter who your VA is and where they come from, focusing on communication is the most vital thing you must bear in mind. You must keep in touch with them during the entire duration of the training process. Doing so will enable you to quickly pinpoint problems, address their concerns, and give them feedback.

24. Lead by Example

The key to effectively manage your virtual assistants remotely is to lead by example. This is one of the best ways where one can be the most effective leader that they can be. You can do this by inspiring your VA’s in becoming the best version that they can be and push themselves to their fullest potentials.

25. Be Religious in Your Weekly Management

You must stay religious in managing the tasks of your organization weekly. Once you are organizing these and successfully delegate the tasks to your VA’s, you will be surprised by how easier things will be.

26. Make and Keep an Updated Job Description

Though organizations make a job description when looking for people to hire, they fail to update it as the qualifications for that particular job change. Keeping an updated job description for your VA’s is crucial as it provides both parties with a complete breakdown of the things that are expected for them to do.

27. Host Morning Meetings with your VA’s

Because you manage people from a remote location, you must ensure that they understand entirely what their tasks are for the day. This is why you should host daily meetings with them. Additionally, during this time, you can think of the tasks that you may delegate to them to free up your time to address other matters of the business.

28. Set Measurement Tools to Track Progress

It is challenging to keep track of your VA’s performance, especially that you cannot always check on them physically. Because of this, setting up measurement tools is vital to gauge their productivity. You will also be able to track those that are not entirely productive and those that spend the least amount of time so you can reorganize the tasks.

29. Integrate a Project Management System

Having a transparent project management system will keep the entire team on the same page despite the distance. Additionally, you can also check both their progress and that of the whole group without the hassle of continually sending an email to them to ask for updates.

30. Remain Emotionally Bonded

When we are working, we often forget that the people we interact with also have feelings and can also experience a full range of emotions. Especially for VA’s whom we do not get to work with physically, we expect to vent out our feelings towards them. Because they are not used to expressing their resentment, you will only be surprised when you wake up one day, and they are gone.

Remind yourself that these VA’s are only humans and that they also have their imperfections. Build a relationship with them so you can understand them better outside of who they are at work.


There are several factors you should consider when deciding to outsource tasks. These tips are a great way for you to get started and establish a remote working environment that will be best for your organization. If you want to learn more about effective hiring and remote management, Outsource School provides training to help you in the process.

Virtual Assistants

How to Outsource: A Proven Method for Interviewing, Onboarding, Training, and Managing Remotely

Having a virtual assistant is something that many companies are starting to apply in their operations today. Business owners, startup entrepreneurs, and established companies have begun to hire their VAs to help them with day-to-day tasks.

Virtual assistants are those who can provide services to your business in a remote location. They do not need to go to your office and therefore won’t be consuming any resources in your office. VAs can either be living within your country or halfway across the globe. The number of choices you have when hiring VAs is endless and can, therefore, be the reason why you’ll either fail or succeed in employing one.

At Outsource School, we also have our own VAs and have found great success in hiring them. They have become partners in our organization and have given innumerable contributions to our growth.

We’ve established a method for hiring a VA, the IOTM method, which has been successful in our experience. We’ll share with you through our course how the IOTM (Interviewing, Onboarding, Training, and Managing) method and other outsourcing tips have helped us and how you can use it to your advantage.


CARE Method

Interviewing VAs is the first step you have to take to start outsourcing some of your tasks. There several ways you can effectively screen applicants to get the best out of the bunch, but what worked for us is the CARE method.

Before we had the CARE method, we also had our failures in hiring. We used to spend hours of our day trying to interview potential VAs and yet still fail to screen them properly.

Believe it or not, we had had times when we hired individuals who did not perform as written on their paper. We even had a situation where we hired two VAs who were supposed to be identical twins but turned out to be one person.

Whatever stage you are in your journey in hiring VAs, following the CARE method will surely help you.

Where To Hire VAs?

How to OutsourceAs mentioned, VAs can be from anywhere globally as long as they have the right skills to execute tasks that you will assign them. However, VAs from the Philippines stood out the most from our experience.

Here are some of the reasons why:

  • High Value for Money
  • Reliable/Strong Work Ethic
  • Can Communicate English At A High Level
  • Tech and Media Savvy
  • Culture of Caring and Giving
  • Family-Oriented

All of these attributes of Filipino VAs have helped our company grow to what it is today.


The onboarding process is a very crucial step in hiring a virtual assistant. This process serves as a last line of defense for your business. You will have to dig deep during the onboarding process and ensure that you and your VA will have the same expectations from the other.

This step is also where most of the clients of Outsource School fall short. Some clients do not know how to deal with issues, especially when faced with red flags during the onboarding process.

SICC Method

To simplify things, we’ve developed the SICC method to make sure that the VA you want to hire can meet the expectations that go along with your offer. Our course will share some outsourcing tips for onboarding, which mainly focuses on four topics: schedule, internet, and issues that come with it, communication tactics, and culture.

At the last part of the onboarding process, we recommend that you give the VA a chance to back out from the offer. This step will ensure that both you and the VA agreed with the terms you set. You will save a lot of time and other resources if you do this last step.


Now comes the fun part – training! After all the screening and vetting VA candidates and discussing in-depth the details of the position during onboarding, you will have to spend time to train them.

What worked best for our team before starting training is to create an SOP for VAs to follow. SOPs are a great way to make your team more efficient, effective, and generally more productive. When businesses fail to establish SOPs, sometimes it gets growing and scaling due to irregularities and miscommunication.

What Is An SOP?

A standard operating procedure, at its core, is a document, video, or a mix of both that shows a step-by-step process of how a VA should do the task assigned. Its purpose is to clear up any possible confusions that might arise when your VA is doing the job. SOPs should be easily understandable and self-explanatory.

In our course, we will have an in-depth discussion on how to create SOPs. Our years of experience have taught us how to systematically and effectively create SOPs. Here the top three items you need to remember when creating SOPs:

  • Detailed Overview of the Task
  • Step-by-step Process (Text, Screenshots, Videos)
  • Do Not Do List

These items are what keeps our SOPs well-structured and simple. 


The last step in our IOTM method is managing. Excellent management of virtual assistants will help you keep them stay with you for the long haul. One of the issues that hinder a business from growing is high turnover rates.

You don’t want to have the time and resources you invested in your employees go to waste; that’s why we’ve developed a method that will help you manage your VAs. Part of the outsourcing tips that we’ll provide you are implementing the BARF method in managing VAs.

BARF Method

BARF method stands for buying in, appreciating, relationship, and family. These are the steps that helped us keep our VAs happy and engaged with Outsource School. A more detailed discussion of how you can apply the BARF method to your company is available in our course.


The methods discussed in this article result from years of experience working with our VAs. We share what worked best with our team and are optimistic that they could work for your business too!

Outsourcing VAs is not an easy task, but it can certainly be lighter and more approachable if you follow the methods tackled in our course. If you want to know more, check out Cracking the VA Code – our training that gives an in-depth discussion about the IOTM method.

Virtual Assistants

Reputation Management: What it is and Why it’s Important

No matter how big a business is in the industry where you belong, not seeing negative feedback from the public is almost impossible. Nonetheless, getting negative comments is okay because you will still be getting loads of positive feedback for sure. The question is this, how will you know the public’s insights towards your business if you do not have any form of social media reputation management?

We cannot emphasize just quite enough how critical reviews are when running a business. This is the primary reason why you will need reputation management. Having such will provide you access to a medium that can improve your name or standing in the market and further strengthen your brand.

If executed accordingly, reputation management will further re-establish the credibility of your brand to your customers. To help you know more about reputation management, we have broken down what it is and why it is essential, alongside some SOP’s you should remember.

What It Is

Reputation management generally pertains to influencing or controlling in one way or another, the organization’s reputation. Alongside the growth of social media and the Internet, search results play an integral role in an organization’s reputation. Online reputation management focuses on the management of products and services within the digital space.

On the other hand, offline reputation management focuses on the public’s perception outside the digital space. Today, we see how crucial reputation management is for all businesses across all industries. Taking reputation management seriously is a must if you wish for your organization to prosper.

Why It Is Important

We can go on and talk about several reasons why reputation management is essential. It has loads of value, but the most valuable one is that it provided you the opportunity to counter negative feedback from the public. Eliminating these negative comments will give you a successful corporate image, which will, in return, attract more customers.

Warming the hearts of your clients will make them remember you without even trying too much. Potential customers will also see this, which convinces them to use your products and services. With good reputation management, you can have a full digital image and a customer base that will continue supporting your business.

4 SOPs in Reputation Management

1. Produce Happy and Satisfied Customers

Above all of the procedures you should do to manage your business’s reputation is making sure that your customers are happy and satisfied with your product. Making sure that these two are met will enable you to have an excellent first impression of them. As a result of an excellent first impression, they will naturally come back to you, leave good feedback, share the product or service to other people they know, and even recommend for them to try it for themselves.

2. Uphold Quality Response Time

Aside from making sure that your customers are satisfied and happy, you must also ensure that your business upholds a high standard of response time to all customer inquiries. This means that you address their concerns and queries in the fastest possible time that you can. We like to aim for a high standard response time within a couple of hours, if not faster, and one business day at the absolute latest.

When your customers give you questions and complaints about your product or service, it will be best to respond to them quickly and fairly. We do not want them to feel neglected, as this can probably be the root cause of more problems. Some of these include them venting out their fury and negative sentiments on different social media platforms or review sites, which will be seen by the greater public.

3. Be Understanding and Empathetic

No matter how hard it may be, for some instances, be understanding and empathetic with your customer service. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” There will be times where your patience will get tested, but always try your best to handle angry customers with your heart and not your head, and remember that yelling at a customer is not an option. Empathy is the best way to show your customers that you understand where they are coming from and that you care.

Additionally, being angry when they also are just is not going to achieve anything for you or them. While it is not always possible that your employee assigned to answer their queries can solve all of their problems, showing empathy and understanding will make them feel that their concerns matter and are validated. Holding an onboarding meeting can also be valuable to train your employees in addressing these concerns, so they know how to approach each customer type.

4. Closely Manage Review Sites

Lastly, learn to closely manage your review sites and ask your biggest supporters to leave five-star reviews for you as it makes sense. Over time, you should have a library of hundreds of positive reviews online, further strengthening your company brand and trustworthiness.

These reviews will help you establish your image, especially to prospective clients. To put it simpler, when someone hears about a new product, service, or app from another person, their first move is to check it on Google. If you immediately see hundreds of five-star reviews, it should incline you to feel more confident in the suggestion. Whereas if you Google and see almost zero reviews or very mixed reviews online, you may think twice and look for other alternatives.

Why Reputation Management is a Must

Invest your money, time, and effort in establishing the reputation of your brand online. This may sound tedious and complicated, but the long-term results and benefits will surely be worth it as your business goes through its daily undertakings. In our digital age, you need to take your brand reputation online seriously, and these four things that we have broken down for you can help.

Establish a good reputation online, and it will bring you hundreds and eventually thousands of new customers even with you noticing it. Though some businesses often neglect this and do not consider reputation management something valuable, they will soon realize it when they compare themselves to those who take this matter seriously.

Virtual Assistants

4 Interview Questions You Should Always Ask Job Candidates

One of the most crucial steps in the hiring process is the interview stage. This stage is where you get the chance to determine if the virtual assistant you are interviewing would be a good fit for the role you need to fill and in your company’s culture. This is the reason why you must conduct a thorough analysis on the applicants that you engage with. 

Preliminary interviews are highly crucial especially when hiring a VA. The process will not only show you the capacities of the applicants but it will also verify whether they are truly the ones fit for the position or not. Choosing the wrong virtual assistant will not only be a source of headache, but will also produce a colossal waste of time. 

You might wonder what the super essential questions are that you must not forget to ask when conducting interviews. We got you covered because we have been interviewing and hiring for the past ten years. So we thought of sharing with you today the four questions we always ask in every interview.

1. What do you value more…money or growth?

We have found and realized that hiring people who care more about growth and learning over money always work out better. They tend to be more ambitious and they tend to want to learn more about the business. You will also realize that these applicants are those prospective VAs who will not disappear, and tend to want to stay with the company for longer if they are treated well and given growth opportunities.

Asking this question will help you see two kinds of prospective employees. You will eventually realize upon hearing their answers for this question the clear distinction among the applicants. There will be people who will only want money from you and those who will pour their dedication and heart into your business. 

However, it is also important to take note that there can be a tendency where applicants will try to please you. They will try by saying the things that you have been wanting to hear and become dishonest and untruthful with their words. While gauging their passion for the job, also scrutinize whether they truly mean what they say or not.

After all, everyone has bills to pay and every employer understands that. You need to look for answers that find the perfect balance between the two options. Exceptional responses will be those that are said with all honesty and those that portray high dedication for the job you are offering to them. 

2. Do you consider yourself to be entrepreneurial? Why or why not?

Aside from letting them choose between money and growth in terms of the option that they value more, it will also be useful if you discover whether they consider themselves entrepreneurial or not. We all value people who are entrepreneurial even if they never took the jump to be an entrepreneur themselves. Entrepreneurial people can bring an immense amount of value to your business. 

The courage and the right thinking of an applicant considering himself or herself as an entrepreneur is a good sign. Simply give them the ability to be an entrepreneur within your company and you will be amazed by the potential that they have. Surely, these virtual assistants will show you what they can create from that point moving forward.

3. What is your biggest motivator in life? Why do you wake up and work hard every day?

Though this may sound as a cliché question to ask, this is highly crucial to know. This will tell us the applicants’ “Why”. The “Why” signifies their reason for being and their purpose in life. This will also show us their major driving forces and will allow us to get to know them at a deeper level. 

Do they do it for their family? Do they do it for a dream of the future that they have within them? Do they do it for their own self-gratification? Based on their answers, we can get a good sense if our values and motivations align.

4. Why are you interested in this role?

While it may seem like a simple question, asking them the reasons behind their interest in the role at hand can tell you a lot of things. Aside from knowing both their soft and hard skills, the ones that show passion and those that prove that they have done their research about the company tend to be the better hires. If you get someone who knows nothing about you or your company, chances are they are not that excited about it.

It is also important to hear answers that do not only show their interest but also their optimism about getting hired. Applicants that tell you about their future plans in their stay on your company signify that they are highly interested and dedicated about getting hired and eventually staying for them to grow with you. 

There are other questions you want to be asking about like their experience and skills. However, questions that let you know about their interest in the said role will make us get to the heart of the candidate. Doing so will make us avoid creating the mistake of hiring the wrong character.

Choosing the wrong VA will give you more problems than you think and will require you to go back to square one. Therefore, it only makes perfect sense that you ask the right interview questions. This will help you identify the person that can fulfill your specific needs and job requirements while making sure that they match the ideals and principles of your organization. 

Interviews are a vital aspect of the entire hiring process, whether it be for VAs or for other job positions. This stage lets you know what an applicant is like, what values they hold, what motivates them to perform, and what makes them tick. Do not go straight into the process of hiring your VAs without asking them these crucial questions. Place these on your list so the virtual assistant of your choice will fit the job like a glove. 

Virtual Assistants

A Proven System to Get Your Time Back Consistently

Do you ever find yourself with too many tasks on your plate?

Or maybe you have reached the point where your daily tasks are stopping you from doing things you want to do. This situation tends to happen more often to entrepreneurs than they realize. That’s why making it a habit to consistently take tasks off your plate by delegating them to your team is very important.

It can be tough to let go at the beginning, but if you want to grow and scale, you have to learn to trust your team.

In this article, we talk about an effective process you can follow so you can start getting things done:

Step 1: List down everything on your plate every month

It is important to have an overview of how the next 30 days would look like. This step will only take around one hour of your time per month, but you’ll thank yourself later for creating this list. Doing this task will not only make sure you don’t miss out on anything important but will also help you gauge which tasks take the most time off your plate, which ones are more important, and which tasks to delegate.

If you’re old school, sit down with a notebook and pen and bullet point out every single thing on your plate. You can also use the Notes app on your phone or computer or any one of those To-Do List apps available.

If you want to take it a step further, there are several project management software that can help you plot tasks and milestones you need to accomplish for a given period of time. In Outsource School, we use Trello. Topics for our blog content, for example, are listed beforehand and assigned a certain publish schedule. This way, we can see which posts need to be written within the next month so we can release them on time. We do the same for SEO tasks, newsletters, graphic design, and more.

Step 2: Go through your list and write out how you can delegate or hire

Go through your list from top to bottom and think: “Who could I pass this off to someone that’s already on the team?” Often, you don’t have to look far. There are time-consuming tasks on your plate you can pass on to someone in your team. You might have to do a little training here and there. But once they get the hang of it, you won’t have to worry about this task anymore. If you have part time virtual assistants, one option is to increase the hours they work with you by making them handle some of these tasks. This way, you don’t have to go through the process of posting a job ad and screening to look for someone who can fit well in your team. You also already know how this person works and training them for a new task would be easier given that they already have an idea of how things work in your business.

But if there isn’t anyone on the team yet who could take it, think: “Who do I need to hire that would be able to take this off my plate?” Hiring is a skill every entrepreneur must learn at some point. No matter how bad you want to take control of everything, you just can’t. Knowing how to hire the right people will propel your business forward and not bound your life into work alone.

By the end of this step, you would already have a good game plan on how to get certain tasks off your plate.

Step 3: Delegate and/or hire to get it off your plate

This is probably the most important step.

All the listing down and planning would mean nothing if you don’t delegate or hire. If you allow them to remain as lists and plans, these tasks won’t ever go away. You wake up the next day to the same mountain of tasks that overwhelm you and use up your time.

Unfortunately, it’s common to see a lot of entrepreneurs and business owners fall apart in this step and stop.

Here, you need to set up meetings with people in your team who will be taking some things off your plate. Discuss with them why you think they will do well in this area, talk about pay and work hour adjustments if needed, and start their training. You may need to constantly check on their work at the beginning. But once you see that they’re handling things well, let go and do checkups less frequently.

If you need to hire new people, start creating job posts for roles you don’t have yet on the team. Write a good job description so you don’t intimidate potential good candidates. Some job ads use a lot of jargon and require knowledge on a lot of different tools. Note that some of those skills can be taught and there’s no person who would be 100% fit for what you’re looking for. It’s okay to compromise on some aspects. What’s important is you hire people who can get things done and are willing to learn.

This step in total may take two to four weeks depending on the work that needs to be delegated, the interview/hiring process, and the training process.

But once you’re done, you’ve successfully removed tasks off your plate.

Step 4: Go back to the drawing board

And you’re done with steps one through three, go back to the drawing board. Take inventory of what you have on your plate so you can repeat the process.

It really never stops! But having that attitude allows you to focus on getting things off your plate rather than adding them.

As a business owner, tasks and projects will always come onto your plate no matter how hard you think about it.

The hard part is making sure that you’re balancing how much is going off your plate as well so that you don’t become overwhelmed and stuck in your situation.

How about you, how do you make sure that you’re consistently delegating work?

Virtual Assistants

4 Tips on How to Write a Kick Ass Job Post for a VA

Most employers often disregard the importance of having a good job post. They put in a few details of the people that they are looking for and dive into the process right away. This produces inaccurate results and gives you applicants that are not as tailored fit for the job as what you are eyeing to have.

This is where a good job posting creates the difference. It does not only provide an outline of the duties and responsibilities of the job. It also shows how the role works within the organization and any history relevant to the said position. The more you exhaust all the information that you can give in the job post, the better applicants you will get, and the more likely they will match the goals of the organization.

Before conducting an interview in Slack, there are a few things you must consider. Especially for a virtual assistant where you will need a competitive set of applicants, a good job post is definitely necessary. You may not fully realize it now, but you surely will after reading this article.

Below are four tips on how to create a kick-ass job post for a virtual assistant:

1. Use keywords in your job name.

Make sure to put 2-3 keywords in your job name. These keywords will be the first thing that potential applicants see. This is the primary reason why you need to make sure it clearly catches their attention and pushes others away.

Here is an example of us trying to hire someone to help me do social media management. With the social media manager position, we use the format below:

Social Media Manager | FB, Tw, LI, IG | Automation & Strong English.

Instead of just a Social Media Manager, I specify a bit more.

Notice the change the keywords made instead of just merely presenting the job name. You can also do this so that you can get someone who has experience in specific channels, like some automation experience with social, and strong English writing. 

2. Be as detailed as possible in the description.

Writing a job postAfter seeing the job name, the next thing potential applicants are going to see is your job description. A job description is a written narrative that describes the general tasks, or other related duties, and responsibilities of a position. You want to be detailed in writing this section, but still ensuring you do not use any fluff.

Include more details of the job name that gives them a better idea of what they are expected to do when they enter your organization. Also, include what your requirements for the role are in this section of the job post. The job description can follow the format of firstly mentioning the position that the organization is looking for.

After stating the job role, you can display the number of years of job experience that you are setting as a standard. You can say that you are eyeing someone who has 5+ years of experience with handling social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Additionally, you may point out that the applicant must know about different techniques that are supplemental for the execution of their role.

This is crucial, so you will cut a significant amount of time for training and orientation with the said technology that you are using within your organization. These can be in the form of social automation programs or even their previous employer’s social accounts. Finally, it is equally important to include in the job description that you need someone who can create social content with strong English grammar. Such qualification is crucial, especially for a position like a social media manager.

3. Give the specific hourly rate that you want to pay.

Following the importance of having a detailed job description is this tip that everyone should consider and observe when creating a job post. The magnitude of being specific in the hourly rate that you are willing to pay for the job is enormous enough to affect the applicant’s response if you do not consider it earlier.

Figure out the amount you want and are willing to pay for the role that you are hiring. You need to be specific with the details of this rate as much as you can. If you do not know or are not quite sure how to do it, do your homework by doing some research and talking to other entrepreneurs if you feel the need for it. The more specific you are in stating these hourly rates, the better you will attract candidates that will be open to the rate. 

4. Specify a location if you prefer one

We have grown comfortable with hiring most of our virtual assistants from the Philippines. This is because we have had excellent experiences working with people from there over the past ten years. You can also do this for yourself. 

Depending on where you prefer to hire from, be specific, and indicate this in your job post. This will help you narrow down your applicants and eventually help you avoid getting applicants from places outside the ones you have targeted.


When you focus on these four factors, you should see much better applicants who actually fit what you are looking to hire. You will also eliminate the risk of hiring the wrong people, which are more likely to make you incur more costs than usual. Additionally, it can help decrease your employee turnover rate, which is an added advantage. 

We have been doing this for years, and we can say that it continues to work magic for us. It continually amazes us how small tweaks to a job post can get us better and better applicants. In the end, the more information you provide in the job post, the more productive the hiring process will turn out to be. 

And as a result of this efficient process, applicants will see how honest and open you are. In return, this will eventually cultivate the same values in your virtual assistants.

Virtual Assistants

3 Steps to Writing a Kick Ass SOP

We see a lot of business owners struggle to scale after a certain point, and a lot of it comes down to systemization. Everything starts to go well and you may have been able to figure out how to do everything yourself.

But, how do you successfully hire other people to do it at the same level? That’s the golden question.

We’re sure you know that if you want to grow your business, you have to start hiring people and delegating tasks. Now doing so can be stressful at first. You’re just not ready to let other people do what you do best and you worry that they might mess up and you lose customers in the process.

But, what we’ve discovered is that it really comes down to having a proper system for Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and training with anyone that you hire.

You can’t just hire and expect people to blow your expectations out of the water. That just doesn’t happen most of the time, unless you’re willing to pay the big bucks.

So, how do you do it then?

Check out these three steps we follow in Outsource School to create kick ass SOPs.

1. Define the purpose of the task.

Start by asking yourself these two questions: 

  • Why is this task important to the company?

Take a step back and ask yourself why you were doing this task in the first place. What purpose does it serve in the company? What need does it address?

  • How does it help the company grow faster?

Does this task contribute directly to sales? Does it help existing customers love the business more? Will this task give you more leads?

Providing this context in your SOP gives the person you hire a better understanding of how they’re connected to the overall goals of the company. It not only will further motivate them, but it will give them a better insight into the work that they’re doing for you.

Sometimes, VAs may look at their tasks as small and menial. But in truth, everything everyone is doing on a daily basis contributes to a bigger goal. They should know that they play an important role in helping the business achieve its goals.

Starting your onboarding or training by explaining to them the value of the work they are about to do will definitely play a crucial role in helping them start off on the right foot.

2. Create a killer, step-by-step SOP in both video and text.

We recommend that you use these two channels to document your SOPs.

Recording videos is a very effective way of giving instructions and demonstrating how a task should be done. When you show VAs how exactly to do a task, they’re highly likely to understand and remember that process better and clearer than if they were just to read it in a document. Thus, training time would be shorter and potential errors would be lesser. Use a screen recording tool such as SimplySOP, record your screen, and upload the recordings so whoever you hire can easily access them. Here’s a quick video that talks more about SimplySOP.

With text SOPs, on the other hand, you or your VA can easily share and edit SOPs over time. Eventually you want your VAs to take ownership of certain processes. Whatever changes or improvements may arise, they should be responsible in keeping these SOPs updated at all times. So write out the step by step process in a Google Doc and share the link to relevant members in your team.

This process is the bulk of the SOP. You get this wrong, you’re not going to get the results you want. It is time consuming at first but really make sure that you go over every little thing that you do within that task that makes it so efficient for you. Your goal should be for them to be able to watch it, practice, and become just as good as you were at the task.

And once you have onboarded and train your VAs, you can finally take back some time and have them start doing things for you in the exact way you want.

3. Share your expectations and absolute no-nos.

Step 2 is where you write in detail everything you need your VAs to do. Here in step 3, write everything they should absolutely NOT do. Informing your VAs of the no-nos is just as important as teaching them the best practices.

You have to make it very clear what you don’t want them to do or what they must avoid doing. You may have some things here from your experience running the process. Make sure that they know and that it’s a part of the SOP so they don’t run into those things again like you. At the end of every SOP you make, be sure to include this list.

Put this all together and you’ve got a kick-ass SOP that you can train new hires with. Better yet, you can pass off ownership of the SOP to them once they perfect it so that they can be the one to update it in the future as they find better ways to improve the process.

And that’s it!

Those are the 3 steps we make sure to follow every time we create SOPs. It starts by defining the purpose of every task so you can let your VAs know the value they are about to bring to the table. Then, really take the time to do the work – document your SOPs in video and text. Aside from using these to train your VAs, you are also future-proofing. With SOPs at hand, training and turnovers are easy if ever you need to hire more VAs or replace one. Lastly, don’t forget to also clearly state the no-nos. It is safer to completely lay down the dos and don’ts than assume that they know exactly what to do or what not to do at any given scenario.

We hope these tips can help you as you start building an SOP library for your company. If you want to learn more about how to create and implement SOPs plus get access to pre-made SOPs for marketing, customer service, bookkeeping, and more, join us in Outsource School today!

Virtual Assistants

Quick Outsourcing Tip for the Day: Learn About Your VA’s Culture

One of the first and most meaningful hires you can make as an entrepreneur is recruiting a virtual assistant. You will have to spend precious time and resources on things that do not directly contribute to the success of the organization not until you have someone on your staff that you can assign unique duties to. If you are planning to hire outside of your own country, make sure to study up on the country’s culture. 

Learning about a prospective hire’s culture that resides in another country is a highly crucial and vital thing to do. Nathan Hirsch and I made the mistake of not doing this before starting to outsource and hire from different countries with our first business, and it surely hurt our hiring process. Without proper knowledge and understanding of the people we were trying to hire and manage, we could not adjust our methods to their culture.

Doing this will help you know what life is like in their respective countries and how culture plays a role in their lives. We know that everything we are talking about may still sound vague and unclear to you at this point. To help you understand the value of learning about your VA’s culture more, we have listed down four areas you should look into when outsourcing:

1. Look Into How the Average Person Lives

Filipino VAKnowing how an average person lives in a particular country will enable you to gather a brief idea of how the country is at present. Additionally, it will also reflect the lifestyle and the level of living of that specific country’s citizens on average. The way an average citizen lives basically shows how a typical person is like in their nation.

This is important to know for you to gauge whether their way of living matches with what your company can potentially offer to them or not. This offer may vary depending on the task that you will outsource from these virtual assistants. Every country has a unique approach to living life, which makes knowing each one that belongs to your prospective hires all the more vital. 

2. Look Into the Average Wage for People in the Country

A country’s average wage often goes through constant monitoring and is used by the government and other organizations or companies. This is a tool that serves as a benchmark for the level of salary of individual workers in a specific industry, area, or country. The average wage for people in a specific country is the mean salary of either a particular group of laborers or all workers.

Similar to learning the way of living of an average person in a specific country, knowing the average wage of its citizens is equally important. You can determine whether or not your company will be able to provide the same level of salary to the virtual assistant you are looking to outsource hire. It is highly essential to be wise in matching the ability of your business to pay with the level of wages that you will pay so you can still make a profit in outsourcing.

3. Look Into the Core Values They Believe in and Follow as a Culture

When looking for someone to outsource, we talk a lot about finding a cultural fit, but much less about finding the right fit for our values. Culture describes how work is done, but principles illustrate how organizations focus, make compromises, and reconcile disputes. A community may celebrate innovation, but ideals decide what is lost in the search for it.

If you can, talk to someone from the country and understand what life is like there and how their culture plays a role in their lives. Without proper knowledge and understanding of the people you are trying to hire and manage, you will be unable to adjust your methods to their culture. It took us years to figure out how to properly work with different cultures, and we ultimately ended up loving working with people from the Philippines.

We ended up establishing good relationships between those we outsourced from the Philippines because they had many qualities and cultural values similar to our own. Among these are their strong belief in family, hard work ethic, determination, ability to fight through tough times, and a commitment to high-quality customer service. Had we known all of this upfront, it would have been a lot easier to recruit, interview, hire, and manage people from the Philippines.

4. Look Into What the Government is Like and How it Impacts the Population

The government is the highest regulating body across all countries. Due to this fact, it will only be befitting that we learn what each one is for the country that you are planning to outsource your virtual assistants from. From its regulations, policies to its way of running the country, these collectively impact the country’s citizens or its entire population.

As a business planning to outsource from these countries, it is pertinent that you study each of their government systems. The first reason is knowing what their regulations are and how they handle their employed citizens. The second, enabling us to know how these regulations affect and impact the entirety of its population

Why Learning Your VA’s Culture is a Must

If you are looking to outsource in 2020, take the extra hour to do your research. Also, make sure that you know the culture of where you are looking to hire. It will go a long way in building trust and hiring the right people. 

This will not only enable you to hire the right employees but also save a lot of time, money, and effort. Additionally, it will help you in creating an internal company culture that aligns with the people you are hiring. Learn their culture and hire the right people so you can establish a pool of people that are headed towards the goal of your business, whether these goals be short term or long term.