Thursday, June 26, 2008

How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Internet Marketing

From eZineArticles: How to Hire a Virtual Assistant for Internet Marketing

I think the idea of virtual assistants is great. The problem is in the term "Virtual Assistant."

Virtual - they work from another location.

Assistant - they help with something you are doing already.

This is very broad. If you try to hire a Virtual Assistant, you will find out just how broad.

Virtual Assistants can be everyone from low cost people that barely speak English to high end business consultants and coaches that offer to guide you as an assistant. Instead of selling "Virtual Assistant" services, there needs to have focus and clarity. For example, the Virtual Buzz Assistants or Virtual Marketing Assistants that focus exclusively on creating Internet visiblity.

By specializing, clients know what they are getting and they are less likely to request additional stuff like ordering flowers or booking a hotel. You do not want marketing professionals doing that for you and more than you want a travel agent doing your Internet Marketing - but many Virtual Assistants try to be all things to all people.

So if you are hiring a Virtual Assistant to help with your marketing, here are some tips.

1) English Fluency

Assuming you are marketing an English language site, be sure they are 100% fluent in English and familiar with the culture. It only takes one poorly chosen word to kill the message in marketing.

2) Ethical Practices

Make sure they are familiar with ethical practices in Internet Marketing. Doing stealth marketing or hiding your identity can get you in trouble. Visit the Word of Mouth Marketing Association for ethical guidelines.

3) Industry Experience

If you can find a virtual assistant that has worked with a client in your industry before, even if it was not completely successful, they still have a head start with that experience. I would always pay more for someone with industry knowledge.

4) Track Record

It is not hard to see if someone gets Internet Marketing. If they do, they are always developing resources that market their services and that they can use with clients. If you interview a Virtual Assistant that does not have a blog and/or eNewsletter, I would not have faith in their skills.

5) Clear Plan

To begin with, you need to have a clear goal in mind. Not something like increase sales, that is too broad. Something like increasing website traffic by x or increase search engine visibility for specific keywords. If you are specific with your goal, a good Virtual Assistant with Internet Marketing experience will be able to put together specific activities that will lead to accomplishing your goals.

6) Willing to Learn

A good Virtual Assistant is willing to take some time to get to know your business and do some research. That might happen before or after you hire them, but it should happen before they start telling you what you need to do.

When many people look for a Virtual Assistant, they are looking for a Virtual Expert at a Virtual Assistant price. Hiring a Virtual Assistant to do Internet Marketing can be a very cost effective option, especially with the constantly changing Internet landscape. You have to be willing to hire someone that has specialized and to be involved with them to clearly plan and execute your goals.

To find out more about what Virtual Buzz Assistants do, Visit the Virtual Buzz Assistant Network

Ron McDaniel is author of Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing and writes the Buzzoodle Buzz Marketing Blog - with over 900 Buzz Marketing articles available FREE.

Ron is a national speaker and frequently speaks to groups of non-technical business owners on how to make the most of the many free Internet tools that are available to them.

Ron also runs the Virtual Buzz Assistant Network, where he brings together Virtual Assistants trained in Internet Marketing with Business Owners that need Internet Marketing support.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Buzzoodle Wins JohnCow

If you want to see the right way to do a contest, look at - I won a 10 hour audio blog mastery set - I just wish my Buzzoodle blog would have gotten a back link. 

Since the audio series is from Yaro Starak - who is a master blogger - I am thrilled.  I am sure the first hour or two will be… what is a blog, how to set up a blog, blah, …..but I expect to learn a lot from this full time blogger that is currently traveling the world and making money while blogging.

John Cow did a great job of documenting the creation of a new blog through its sale - all in about a month.  I am interested to see how much it sells for, because many hours went into making it a fast success - and anything short of $10,000 I would consider a bad investment of my time.  It is part of a challenge they have with another web expert.

You can see the current bid for the next few weeks at the top of the Johncow blog.