Elance + Skype=my virtual assistant in the Philippines

As a small business owner, I am always looking for ways to work smarter. I have written about Elance in the past and how I used this freelance site to find a terrific graphic designer who helps me with all my client’s logos. And Skype is useful for anyone making calls overseas, or for video conferencing with groups for free. 

I recently decided that I needed some professional help in getting more readers to my blog. I have read a bit about best practices and that I should list my blog on websites such as blogcatalog, but I also knew that in order for me to be really successful in finding more readers, I needed someone who already had experience navigating this world. Enter Elance again. I posted a job for a virtual assistant that could help me leverage my blog and gave some specific goals I had in mind. I received several proposals and went with a company based in California called SmartPartners. I chose this firm because their response to me was well written and it seemed to be a woman-owned company. What I didn’t realize right away was that my assistant Regina, was located in the Philippines. It has worked well so far. She sends me requests for information and I answer by the end of my day. The next morning I will have a response from her.  We used Skype to speak at 7:30 one day last week – a.m for me, p.m for her.  She has submitted my blog to additional directories and has found a group of tourism marketing blogs that she wants me to start commenting on, in order to drive more readers to my blog. These are all activities that I could have figured out, but she is quicker and more experienced than me in this arena, which allows me to do what I do best.

I was thinking how easy this whole process has been and I marvel at how many tools are available to us through the internet. It has never been easier to start a small business. There are all kinds of people all over the world waiting to help you. And thanks to Regina, my blog has gone from a grade of 17 to a grade of 94 on bloggrader.com. And that’s a success in any language!

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