Just wanted to do a quick followup:
I’ve been working with my VA for about 6 weeks now, and overall I’m really happy with him. I think that VA is a bit of a misnomer. We’re really using him like we would use an entry-level marketing coordinator in the US.
For a long time I struggled to find tasks I could delegate. I think my problem was that I was thinking in chunks that were too large. Now, I’ve started to chunk things down, and it’s much easier to delegate. For example before I may have had a task to “talk with prospective advertisers.” Now I might break that into two tasks. “Identify & create a list of advertisers” and “contact advertisers.” I can delegate the first one, so that I’m spending a greater % of time on the things I’m specifically good at.
It took a while to find someone I liked. At first, I investigated the different VA services. However I wanted someone answerable to me, not an agency. Also, I’m not convinced that they add much value. Next I tried Odesk. It took a lot of work to screen people and in the end I wasn’t very happy with any of my options. Finally, I coughed up $400 to VirtualAssistantFinder, which is a kind of matchmaker between employers and VAs in the Philippines. They’re definitely worth it because they do all of the pre-screening and give you several qualified applicants to choose from.
All I needed to do at that point was email everybody’s references and have a skype chat with the applicants. In my case, we had one candidate who was the obvious choice.
If anyone has any questions I’ll be happy to answer them.