Policies and Procedures

Discuss the importance of policies and procedures in your virtual assistance business.

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Old 09-22-2013
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Default Elance or Odesk Clients
I'm still in the planning stages but I have been doing small jobs on Elance and odesk, I was wondering if any of you that work with these sites so you treat these clients like "real" clients? Like do you send welcome packets, contracts ect?
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Old 09-22-2013
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I'm pretty new hear so I'm not sure if my input would be correct at all. To me it seems that it couldn't hurt to send your clients through Elance and Odesk a welcome packet. If you treat them like real clients from the get go, they might decide to come back to you for other projects and become steady clients anyway! I might be wrong about this though and I'll definitly be checking back on this thread to see if anyone with more experience has better information.
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Old 09-25-2013
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I treat every job and every client the same. Highest quality and respect. Even when I give up a client, no matter how I might really feel, I do it nice and professional. My mom always said if you're cleaning toilets or running a multi-dollar company- you always do your best and treat everyone with respect. You never know where your next big job comes from. So yes, everyone should get the royal treatment :-)
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Old 09-25-2013
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I'm glad you posted about this. I didn't think about that, but I think it's a great idea. I agree with Virtual Reinforcements. I think it would be a great way to retain clients on Elance or Odesk.

And I love your mom's saying, Francesca - "If you're cleaning toilets or running a multi-dollar company - you always do your best and treat everyone with respect." I believe that can get you far (on both sides of the toilet or company)!
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Old 11-30-2013
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I recently signed up for Elance and I am intrigued by the job opportunities available on the site.
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Old 01-04-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I agree with the previous posts and think that it is a great idea to stay consistent regardless of the traffic source of your new client. These sites are great places to get busy but the caveat is --in my opinion anyway--that you are competing in a global marketplace and may have to settle for lower rates to increase your portfolio. Also, with the recent merger of oDesk and KellyOutsourcing the competition is growing.

In terms of developing steady clients, performing well is key but it is also important to do your homework to determine whether the client is a good fit. Your performance on each contract is rated by the client for all to see so it is important/critical to be proactive and analyze and manage the relationship well.

One more thing, the TOS are very strict so be sure to adhere to those.

Best wishes,
Carone
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Old 01-08-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I started my VA business only recently, in mid-December and looked at both Elance and Odesk as a source of possible clients. I was surprised by the prices they were looking to pay, are these potential clients genuinely looking to pay $1 an hour for a professional, high quality VA?? Perhaps I'm not seeing the real opportunities, happy to be corrected!
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Old 01-08-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I have bid on some jobs through Elance and I was contacted by one person only via text. I responded and she asked for an Yahoo IM meeting. Then she txted me a half hour before and said something came up. I contacted her a few days later to set another time, she didn't respond. Now I am sitll getting random texts saying " Hi how are you doing" it seems like one of those craigslist scams.. Then the other jobs I bid on back in November, still have the status of still considering canidates. Has anyone else had this? I thought the whole thing was a joke, but I see that some of you have actually gotten jobs this way.
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Old 01-08-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
There is so much written about Elance and Odesk on this site that I would suggest that you use the Search feature in the upper right hand corner to keyword that in.

Most of the responses state that the pay rate is so low that it is really not worth the time to create the bid. However, there are a few who have had some good luck with jobs there but only as starter jobs to gain some experience.

I suggest investing the time in marketing your business on social media, your blog, on forums and consider volunteering your time to gain experience and testimonials.

Good luck!

Janine
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Old 01-08-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
Originally Posted by Jacqueline Campbell View Post
I started my VA business only recently, in mid-December and looked at both Elance and Odesk as a source of possible clients. I was surprised by the prices they were looking to pay, are these potential clients genuinely looking to pay $1 an hour for a professional, high quality VA?? Perhaps I'm not seeing the real opportunities, happy to be corrected!
I have been in Odesk/Elance for almost 3 years now. Yes, many potential clients are shopping for VA for $1 or even less. They are usually targeting us Filipinos and those from India. This is also the reason why it's difficult to request for a higher rate because there's lots of VAs who are willing to be paid for $1 or less. I have asked some of them why they agree and the answer they gave me is that they do this in exchange for a good feedback. I also realized that these potential clients who pays $1 or less are looking for those newbies. Many of them also doesn't pay properly if the contract is within fixed price. It sucks but that's the way it is. I would love to know other VAs opinions since I am still new in this business.
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Old 01-22-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I've gotten a couple of very small jobs through Elance. The good clients are there - it just takes A LOT of effort to find them. I still think it's worthwhile to gain some contacts. This is an interesting article regarding finding the good, high-paying clients and the effort it takes to reach them: http://under30ceo.com/hacking-elance...00-in-4-weeks/.

If you are going to make a go of it, make sure to complete your profile thoroughly and put as much effort into it as you expect to get out of it. You can't expect to spend 5 minutes creating a bare-bones profile, placing a quick bid for a job and getting it. It just doesn't work like that.

Best of luck!
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Old 01-23-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I have read so much about Elance, I decided to try it. I guess I probably fall into that, "5 minute profile" thing but it is complete at any rate. But it still seems like a LOT of work when many of the jobs offered clearly state "less than $10 per hour" I won't work for that sort of money.

Also I tried bidding on one job. It stated that they needed a VA for email and typing. So I wrote out what I thought was a good proposal and it got turned down because "I didn't supply samples" of my work. How the heck do you supply samples of typing and answering emails? I can't give them my URL for my real website where I have testimonials that link back to my clients (therefore they could contact them).

I don't know the entire thing seems confusing and very time consuming to me. Right now I'm not getting it?!
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Old 01-23-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I've bid on a bunch of jobs at Elance, and so far my bids have been rejected for being priced too high and I bid at the absolute lowest I would accept as pay. One client on there did contact me separately because I have advertising sales experience, and offered me a position for sales. I declined it, I hated sales and have absolutely no desire to try to talk people into buying someone else's product or service. And I refuse to accept too low of an amount for my VA pay.

I'll keep bidding as I see stuff, but I don't plan on it being my bread and butter.

Liz
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Old 01-23-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
Thanks for posting this. I've tried these sites in the past with no luck but was thinking of giving it another shot. I hadn't really thought about sending out welcome packet, etc to these clients but I agree with frane413. Now if I could just find something on these sites that pays more than $5 hr LOL!
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Old 01-23-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I have bid for jobs on Elance, however many of those clients are looking for cheap labor. I would rather use my time to find clients who are willing to pay a fair price.
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Old 01-23-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I think I'm going to give them a miss and concentrate on other avenues for clients.

I'd rather build my portfolio by working for a local charity than allow some vulture to benefit from cheap labour. It's a shame these people are able to exploit the less fortunate.
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Old 01-24-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
I do understand how frustrating it must be when you can not get land clients on such platforms as Elance and oDesk. I personally do not use oDesk anymore because of the rates being ridiculously low however I started on Elance in January of last year and then built a team of VA's on that platform in order to provide more services to our client.

I think you have to create a proposal that stands out a little bit more. Take some of the skills test, create a short introduction video of yourself so clients can see who you are. I made my proposal very clean and precise. Not too much and nothing less. I wanted them to see the benefits of hiring my team.

Do what works for you but never give up. Hope this provides you with some encouragement!
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Old 01-24-2014
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Default Re: Elance or Odesk Clients
With Elance your proposal is key. I recently finished a research project for an international client. You will have to search a little in order to find a client that is willing to pay a respectable amount in terms of a fee. Good luck
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