Part two of our interview with Scott Rammage is packed with information and tons of value about hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA). Know about the many ways a VA can help you in your personal life and business activities! Scott will also touch on the issue of trust, the hiring process, onboarding, project management tools, and the price of hiring a VA.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
If you’re an entrepreneur who’s still trying to do everything yourself, know that you’re paying a huge price! Hiring virtual assistants may cost you some dollars but always remember that the value of your time is much higher. And think about the impact you can make in the lives of your VAs! Listen now and take that first step to leverage your time and keep living in your zone of genius!
Key Points From This Episode:
- Why does Scott know a lot about leveraging Virtual Assistants (VAs)?
- How many VAs has Scott employed?
- How Scott got into the VA world.
- Why you need to hire a VA.
- Why Scott prefers Filipino VAs over South American VAs.
- Is the time difference a problem?
- What VAs can do to help with your personal and business needs.
- How much does it cost to hire a full-time VA?
- Scott’s hiring process for VAs.
- Scott’s onboarding process for VAs and the project management tools he uses.
- How to get top-notch VAs.
- The impact you can make in the VAs that you hire.
“Is it easier to do [everything] yourself? In this moment, yes, in the long run, you’re paying a very, very large price. To those people that say it (hiring VAs) didn’t work, I’m saying you’re in the crowd of about 99%.” [00:07:31]
“Before I knew it, I had three full-time VAs and I was leveraging myself, doing things that I needed to be doing and not doing the things that I didn’t need to be spending my time on but were absolutely necessary in earning income and moving my ideas and businesses and everything in the right direction.” [00:02:55]
“Can you really trust anybody even if they’re in your building? I mean, really, quite honestly, we have to put a little level of trust but the answer is you shouldn’t trust someone explicitly. It’s all about building a relationship and then keeping parameters in place.” [00:04:47]
“Depending on how much you’re wanting to pay, you can buy a certain level of expertise, where they’re actually teaching you things so that you can really just focus on the few things you need to focus on to build your portfolio.” [00:31:53]
Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:
Launch Your Podcast for Profit on Facebook
Brotherhood of Fatherhood on Facebook
Brotherhood of Fatherhood on Instagram
Podcast Media Machine on Instagram
It’s Not Rocket Science Show website
About Scott Rammage
Scott Rammage is the owner of multiple businesses including Media Machine, Podcast Media Machine, and Brotherhood of Fatherhood. Scott provides complete VA solutions for businesses, podcast coaching, and podcast post production services.
Scott has been a business owner and worked with business owners all over the world for the last 13 years and is passionate about helping business owners solve problems in their business.
In his free time Scott loves lifting weights , mountain biking, rucking, snowboarding and traveling with his wife and two boys. He also has a passion for podcasting and currently hosts 2 podcasts.
About Ann Tsung, MD
Ann Tsung, MD, MPH is a physician who is triple board-certified in emergency, critical care, and preventive/aerospace medicine. She is the podcast show host of It’s Not Rocket Science Show, and a real estate investor. Her mission is to help people create time, vitality, and deep relationships so people can achieve peak performance and fulfillment in life. Her passions include mind-body medicine, functional nutrition, longevity, productivity, and human optimization. She firmly believes that everything we need is within us now.
Please note the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed herein belong solely to the speaker, and not necessarily those of the speaker’s employer, organization, government institution, or medical program. This show is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute the practice of medicine, nursing, or other professional health care services, including the giving of medical advice, and no doctor/patient relationship is formed. The use of information on this show or materials linked from here is at the user’s own risk. The content of this show is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Users should not disregard, or delay in obtaining, medical advice for any medical condition they may have and should seek the assistance of their health care professionals for any such conditions. Please assume that any links leading you to products or services are affiliate links that I will receive compensation from. I only mention products or services that I have used and believe would add value for you. Please note that I have not been given any free products, services, or anything else by these companies in exchange for mentioning them on the site.
I am also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program through which I may earn compensation for advertising or linking to products on Amazon.
Scott Rammage (SR) 00:00
The first time that you have something and you’re trying to offload it to someone else, it would be easier for you to do it yourself. That’s absolute truth. But you’re always going to be doing it. And if you start to do the math, of 10 minutes a week, and start compounding that over a few years. And you’ve saved, you’re like, whoa, that is a massive amount of time, I probably could have done X in that time. And really, the value of your time is much higher. So, is it easier to do yourself? In this moment, yes, in the long run, you’re paying a very, very large price. To those people that say it didn’t work, I’m saying you’re in the crowd of about 99%.
If you’re struggling with your vitality, energy, mood, focus, or sleep, this podcast is for you. Your host, Dr. Ann Tsung, ER doctor, and aerospace flight surgeon, will help you reach for the stars and remove the barriers or blockades that have been holding you back from living your best life. If you’ve been challenged by your health, relationships, or productivity, then it’s time for a breakthrough. So, here’s your host, Dr. Ann Tsung.
Ann Tsung (AT): 01:21
Hello. Welcome to It’s not Rocket Science Show. And I am your host, Dr. Ann Tsung. And today we have part two with Scott Rammage, who is going to be talking to us on everything on virtual assistants, why you need a virtual assistant, and what a virtual assistant can do for you in terms of your personal life, your business, and what life actually looks like, what kind of tasks can you actually delegate to them. And also, the onboarding process, the price and the cost of hiring a VA either part-time or full-time. So, this is going to be information-packed, lots, tons of value. And if you miss part one, just go back to the prior episode. Scott talked a little bit more on social media and about his background. But here we’re going to be doing a very short introduction. And also, why are you so good at recruiting VAs and know so much about VAs, Scott?
That’s awesome. Yeah, so like you said, I will. Go listen to that last episode, because it’ll tell you all my background and give you an idea of how you can leverage VAs that you might not really quite understand until you listen to that. But I find joy in matchmaking, I have a degree in psychology, I have a degree in education. So, I’ve done a lot of time training, I’ve done a lot of time, looking at human behavior, personality assessments. And I absolutely love getting to know individuals with just incredible skills in other countries. And I’ve hired hundreds and hundreds of virtual assistants for myself and for my own business, and then for other individuals like you. So, I’m very qualified to do this.
And how many VAs have you gone through or currently have or interviewed would you say?
So, personally, in my company, I have over 25 Filipino VAs myself that I employ almost exclusively full-time. And then I probably through the process of error, I’ve done a very good job, I have very high retention, but I probably hired a total of 60 for my business over the years. And then I’ve hired I don’t know, who knows how many for direct clients who just needed me to hire them, a VA for them to take on and manage. And I’ve trained, probably thousands of people on the process as well.
Wow. And what do your VAs do for you?
So, everything. I got my very first VA when I was doing contract work, and I started a podcast. So that’s where I started was like, oh, my gosh, I started this podcast. And now I don’t have time to do all the things and I can’t leverage it away. So that’s how I got into the VA world. And as I was contracting, like, wow, I have to do these reports every week and this report every month. And I have to do fill out this form. And I have to do this. All of that is repeatable. And I just started to stack these things. And it was incredibly powerful. And before I knew it, probably just a few months, I had three full-time VAs and I was leveraging myself doing things that I needed to be doing and not doing the things that I didn’t need to be spending my time on but were absolutely necessary in earning income and moving, you know, moving my ideas and businesses and everything in the right direction. And it evolved from there where I created an agency for small business owners kind of taking all of the management hiring work out of the VA and just offering the service and then found another niche in doing placement services for VAs, finding them positions with people like yourself who were ready to have a VA but didn’t want to learn, go through the learning process and the time it takes to really properly vet and go through that. So, I hope that answered your question.
Yeah, I didn’t tell the audience that yes, Scott actually helped me hire my first full-time VA, I’ve had other part-time VAs before, and did not have a very good experience, and especially during the recruiting process, it’s very time-consuming. And so, we’ll talk a little bit more about his process. But you know, thank you for doing all that for me. And so why do people need VAs? Because a lot of times when I talk to people, a lot of times, it’s like, it’s better, it’s easier if I just do it myself. I don’t know if I can trust them. I don’t know where to begin to hire a VA. They cost a lot. I don’t have any tasks to give them that’s full-time, etcetera, etcetera. So, what do you think is, you know, some of the whys to leverage a VA?
I want to do the trust thing first, because this is really interesting. It’s been a question that started to bombard me lately. And my mentor, who’s hired and placed thousands and thousands of VAs just wrote an article about this. And so, I was like, oh, thank goodness. And his whole thing was like, can you really trust anybody, even if they’re in your building? I mean, really, quite honestly, we have to put a little level of trust. But the answer is you shouldn’t trust someone implicitly. It’s all about building a relationship and then keeping parameters in place. So, I want to address that, first of all, like, there’s risk in anybody you bring into your world. It’s just, it’s inherent, however, where I source from, I’m absolutely minimizing the possibility of that through cultural reasons, religious kind of the religious, the laws in the area, there’s all sorts of reasons why I source where I sourced from, and where I really recommend everybody, too. And that’s the Philippines. We can get into that if we want to, but you basically hit most of the objections I’ve ever heard that like, it would just be easier for me to do it myself.
So, the first time that you have something and you’re trying to offload it to someone else, it would be easier for you to do it yourself. That’s absolute truth. But you’re always going to be doing it. And if you start to do the math, even if it’s like for me, like I have a Facebook, I have multiple Facebook groups, I don’t accept anybody in and keep track of their data. My team does that. And they welcome them. If I were to take that back on, it’s easy. It takes me 10 minutes a week, maybe. Well, start doing the math of 10 minutes a week, and start compounding that over a few years. And you’ve saved, I haven’t done the math, I should have done it ahead of time. But you’re like, whoa, that is a massive amount of time, I probably could have done X in that time. And really, the value of your time is much higher and we’ll talk more about that. So, when you start actually doing the math, sure, I had to go in and do it with excellence and show and record it and show how I do it. So that my team or my VA could make an SOP, and then maybe they messed it up the first few times I’ve got to correct or kind of massage it into the position I want. But then it’s hands-off, and it’s just getting done. So easier doing it yourself. If you do it wrong, yeah. Because there are systems and processes and techniques to use to get that your team or your VA to actually learn to do it, how you would do it. And what I found, Ann, is that over time, they will end up doing research and saying, hey, Scott, like this is how you showed me to do it. I did some research. And we could save time and have more effectiveness doing it this way. Do you mind if I add that to the SOP or change SOP? I’m like, yeah, please do. And so that’s been hugely pivotal because you have someone else who’s taking the time to actually research and do and change and modify because they want to keep their job. They want to be that superhero for you.
So, is it easier to do yourself? In this moment? Yes, in the long run, you’re paying a very, very large price. To those people who say it didn’t work. I’m saying you’re in the crowd of about 99%. I’m very lucky. My first three VAs, I think I still have them. One of them is like literally running my company. And well, part of my company. And then another one is like my main producer. So, I did it right the first few times. But I went down the rabbit holes. I went and took masterminds, I took classes that were online, I watched videos, I did all the research beforehand. And I nailed it. Why it doesn’t work is because really people just hire a VA, so they just find something online. They hire someone, maybe it’s Upwork or whatever. They’re trusting what they say they can do. And then they have no clue of actually what to do once they get on. It’s like, well, I don’t know what to give them. And the other thing is, Ann, they hire them hourly. Well, typically if you’re hiring a VA hourly, they’re going to find as many jobs as possible to meet their needs, which could be like 60 to 80 hours a week.
And so, I learned very early on that if you want to not be successful, pay somebody hourly for 10 to 15 hours a week of work, because they’re going to, you’re not going to hear from them. If your job isn’t as fast as all the other jobs, they’re going to just stop doing it. And you’re gonna be like, what’s going on? And so yeah, it doesn’t work, because you didn’t set yourself up. You didn’t set your VA up for success out of the gates. So, I think I just addressed most of what you talked about.
Yeah, yeah. Thank you. My first two VAs were part-time. So, I think that’s part of the reason. What would you say to people about the timeframe difference between a Filipino VA and South America VA, because some people think that it’s better to hire a South American, Central American so that it could be in the same timezone.
So, because I’ve done I mean, I’ve done over 20 interviews this week alone, and it’s only Wednesday. So, in two days, I did 20 interviews with VAs, and I asked every single person I interviewed, what’s your preferred time of work? In the Philippines, their preferred time of work is working overnight. Most of the US is between 12 and 15 hours behind the Philippines. So, it’s almost like inverse. And they prefer working at night because it’s cooler, and it’s not so muggy. And then a lot of them have families, and they’re getting their kids to school, and then sleeping when their kids are in school is very, very typical. So, they actually prefer to work on our time zones, American time zones, and most of them come from the BPO industry. BPO is like customer service, phone and chat customer service. And most of them are working for like telco companies like Verizon, AT&T, Charter, those folks. And they’re actually talking with Americans, this is great to look for people from the BPO if you want them to actually be interacting, because they’ve really established their English. And so those telco companies hire them through the night, they get used to the graveyard, they fall in love with it.
And so South America, I’ve done it, and I have one great individual from South America, every single other one was an absolute bust. And I don’t want to like put blanket statements on people. But when the evidence is always the same, I’ll just tell you like you started a rate, it’s higher than in the Philippines, you started a rate and within days, they’re asking for raises. It is like across the board. And then there’s, I think there’s just a lot of knowledge, like if you tell them your phone breaks, they’ll buy you a phone. And if you tell them your X broke down, and you can’t do X, you need a new computer, they’ll buy you a computer. So, there’s these little things that have happened almost every single time. It’s crazy. It’s just proven over and over again. So, I am like exclusive to the Philippines for so many reasons. And it can work in South America. Absolutely. And Central, but it’s more of an outlier.
Yeah. So, regarding the timezone, they can work anytime you want. Really, if you hire the right one, they will work anytime you want. And I want to do want to touch on, you know, the reason why you want them is because you don’t want to work below your zone of genius. You want to be out there creating, you want to be out there spending time with your family, instead of like, for example, I work like as needed shifts in the ICU, and I need to, every shift, every month, I had to file these logs, the date, the hours, my position, calculate the hours, sign it, send it off. I mean, to task switch like that task. Yes, the actual task is like five minutes. But turning on the computer, like logging on, finding that email, where’s that document, I don’t know where it is. Let me go search in my email to that last document that was emailed to me. I mean, that could take like 15 to 30 minutes. And you have to do this every month instead of spending, cooking, or if you like cooking, or spending time with your kids, or you know, just like feeding my baby, I’d rather be doing that. So, I have outsourced to my VA to just do that document. Now I just like do an audio text, hey, can you log my hours, this time to this time these dates he already has my form with my signature on it, send it to that person and done. It was so simple.
Well, that is such a good example. And the beauty of it is is we don’t develop our own standard operating procedures, SOPs, we don’t develop it for ourselves. We just rely on memory and like you said, one, a task that make take five minutes, you forget, you have to search for the forms yet because you haven’t developed that system you haven’t like I have personal operating systems. So, I have everything categorized. That’s pretty unique. But you are forced into actually standardizing things when you bring someone else it’s like oh, well wow, if I arrange all the documents here and give them to them, and just record what I want them to do, and then say hey, create an SOP, tip number one everything you assign should be created into a formal SOP so that you can and the way I would send this to my new VA is like everything you do you have to create an SOP and here’s the, here’s what I want it to look like. But I’m not trying to replace you. What I might do though, is hire more VAs. And if you’re the right person, you could be leading them. And the last thing you want to do is retrain them on everything you already do. So, you can do even cooler things. So, create the SOP, so you can just hand it to him. And then we can grow as a company or as a business or as a team. And so that’s the one way to get them not to be fearful of recording everything they do. So, you now you’re like, you have a system, like now it’s systemized, but you know this, I know this, because I’m a productivity nerd, I’ve studied productivity, every time you switch a task, the minimum you lose in efficiency is 20%, the minimum and it can go up all the way up to 80% loss in productivity for every little thing. Oh, where is that? And your brain is switching? Right? And it’s just, it’s horrible. And what you think takes 10 minutes is probably really edging along 30 minutes of your day.
Yeah, yeah, exactly. And, like having a VA as well, we’re gonna get into, like the tasks that the VAs can do for you later, like, end vision, what kind of simple tasks they can do. So, I do want to, you know, make sure that people understand that having a VA, starting off, can accelerate your growth can give you more time for your family, those are your “whys”. You can, make you, allow you to do meaningful things instead of like, things that you hate because the life is too short for you to be doing things that give you resistance in life. And it shouldn’t be that way. And so those are kind of a “why” I hire a VA. And can you give some examples of different social media, personal life or business and you know, people in like coaching or you know, anything, like just some examples of tasks that VAs can help them do?
Yeah, maybe I have a list of things and it’s very long. So personal. Let’s start big. Maybe you’re going on a family vacation. And I did this with my wife, when I took her on our 25th anniversary, summer and a half go to Costa Rica. Like normally I just take her and kind of like figure out what we’re going to do. Like I have this VA, hey, here’s where we’re going. I want you to research everything we can do in the area, every place we can eat, do I need reservations? What am I supposed to dress like? What should I pack? What are some of the things I should stay away from? And I had like a guide packet. And so, I didn’t pack things I shouldn’t have packed, I knew to pack a certain kind of shirt and kind of pants. I didn’t spend time looking it up. So, I literally had a guide. And then I could say, hey, babe, we’re going to go eat on the beach, because I knew to reserve that and I could have my VA reserve it. So that’s just one of them. Like if you have kids, what can I do with my kids? Where should we go? Think of research, big project, planning travel, maybe you’re doing a company or a family get-together. And you want to have different activities that you’ve never done before, or, like where’s the best, what’s the best kind of food we should be doing. And I want it to be different.
So, there’s so many things that they can do to research, they can order your groceries for you, especially if you’re pretty consistent. They can do Amazon orders. I mean, think about how much time you’re like I need to buy batteries. Instead of going into Amazon and looking at batteries, finding the right type, comparing prices, just do a voice record like you said, or drop a note, hey, I need triple-A batteries. I don’t want off-brand, but I want the best price I can get on Duracell’s or whatever it is. Or read all the reviews and give me the best-priced, fastest delivered, whatever your criteria is, that stuff robs you of very valuable time. And unless it’s like a hobby, I love shopping on Amazon, like hand it over where you give up the control of it. And sure there’s going to be some misses, like there’s going to be some things that you’re like, oh my gosh, that was not, but like I say, I was alluding to earlier, those are opportunities to correct so that the person really gets to understand you those are opportunities for growth because the more you can catch those things and correct them, the more and more like you that person is going to start acting. And so, you know a lot of research-based, ordering things, personal finances, bookkeeping, like if you trust, build some trust first but offload the bookkeeping, offload the receipts, I had mine, just like every day every morning, today, you have five appointments, it’s going to be a really jam-packed day. You have lunch blocked out, make sure you stick to your schedule, you’re not going to have time to eat. Literally those things made a huge difference for me like a daily report. Because otherwise I’m going in and I’m reading my calendar and I’m trying to assimilate all this information and form it into some have someone else send that to you the night before. It’s really powerful. It really is. Or like, can you kind of look at the weather for the next 10 days so, I have an idea of what I’m up against instead of you spending time scrolling through the Weather app. It’s crazy. It’s crazy.
And once you kind of get the hit, like get the hang of it, you lift the lid on what, like, you start to think this way. And one tool I’m going to tell everybody to do if you’re considering a VA, or if you have one, or if you’re gonna step right into one, start doing a self-audit every single day, at the end of the day, what did I do today that I don’t need to do tomorrow, or I only need to do one more time. Because if I can record myself doing it or explain to my VA, how to do it, that’s the last time I ever have to do it. And so that audit, literally, I’ll go through my calendar, I’ll go through my to-do list and like, why am I doing that, and sometimes it takes me months to identify, sometimes it’s something I want to nail down the exact way I want it before I pass it on. But I know at that point I’m passing on and it’s gone. It’s done. And so, you know, start big, like those big things and kind of start to understand the process and help your VA understand kind of feedback or the style of what you want is and that’s one of the most important thing, is starting a little slow. Kind of this get to know you and then really understanding how you operate.
Yeah, I think it’s been a few months now. And the more I work with him, the more stuff I have for him. Like, for example, some of the personal things, like my son is five and a half months old, hey, can you research the top five swimming lessons for five-month-olds around the area that’s within five miles, the price, the start date, the duration of the classes, and etcetera. Those take forever to Google. Number two, I had him go look for buying, you know, a primary home, hey, I want all the Black Friday sales on Samsung, LG, Kitchen Aide washer, dryer, fridge. In Costco Best Buy, what else you know, those big furniture stores? And I want you to find scratch and dent you know, furniture stores, appliance stores in Houston, give me the links and the price. And those can take hours to do. And the next you know, same day or next day. I already have links ready. I don’t have, right now it’s like waiting for me to review. I need to spend the time to review them and decide what I want to buy, essentially.
Yeah. And even then, when they come back with a huge list, say okay, do the reviews, look at the reviews and whittle it down to half. Like you can start really fine-tuning it. But we spend so much time researching and making decisions that someone else can actually give us the data for. And you’re this is not a skill that you hold unique to yourself. Now there are skills that you hold unique to yourself, your voice, your message. Those things are what you really need to be spending your time on. So, we’ll talk more about that later.
Yes, yes, yes. And you gave me an idea. Yes, I need to give them Instacart. So, for all those people saying what I don’t want to give them like Amazon account, password. There’s a program called LastPass. You can share the password anonymously. And you can take back the permission whenever you’re ready. So as another example, I needed like bilingual, children’s book, or encyclopedia, can you send me all of the top-rated ones. And then he sent me the list. And I was like, well, just go into Amazon, add them to my cart, so I don’t have to do it. That was really amazing. That was clutch. So, we talked about personal help. And now let’s talk about, briefly on business help and social media, what can the VA do for you?
Wow, this is almost limitless. So, it can be for, you know, like coaching or building your own brand. But I want to also lift the lid off some of the referrals you sent me, I hired them a billing specialist for their practice, they actually took and replaced, they had a need for a billing specialist. I think they’re probably saving about $50,000 a year, I found someone with extensive Healthcare Billing experience who just stepped in and was like, top-notch. And I mean, I don’t think it was more than a thousand bucks a month without payroll taxes and everything else. So, lift the lid on what you think can be done, because there’s people who already have skills, very high-level skills in here who can come into your practice or your business and really kind of help. But as far as business, holy moly, it’s off the charts, updating your website, doing backend SEO, updating your Google My Business every week, like three times a week. But places to start. Like if you’re trying to build a social media presence or your website. Let me just give you a really awesome starting place because your person needs to know what you do.
First, have them go listen to your podcasts like literally pay for them to listen to your podcasts. What better way for them to understand your voice and your message? Pay for it. Just do it. Just suck it up and do it. Then pay for them to audit everything you do. I want you to audit my Facebook page. My group. I want you to audit my Instagram, my LinkedIn, go research best practices, best things now and tell me where it needs improvement. Now you have a whole list of things for them to do, they come back and hey, your banner needs should really say this. And the colors right here aren’t working here. This is real. I’m giving you real examples of what’s worked for me. And then they, can I have permission to change these? Yeah, make four versions and share them with me. And then, you know, again, you go through that process, oh, there’s the four. I love this one, I like this one, I would like the combination of them, boom, it’s done. And you’re like, wow, my Facebook looks a lot better. My LinkedIn banner actually fits the right size, or whatever it may be.
So, spend that first upfront, especially in business stuff, letting them look at your website, looking at best new things, and then telling you what they’re finding. So, you can have massive improvements in your content that’s out there already, in that manner alone. And then there’s weekly reports, bookkeeping, answering emails, organizing and prioritizing emails for you, which is a major time suck. I have one client that’s like, just by having a VA do my email management. Like there’s million-dollar deals that I actually have missed, because my email is so, this is a big business. But there’s so many frequent comms, I miss these deals, these opportunities, like hiring a VA could literally make me like 5 million extra dollars a year. So, you got to think of like, what kind of things are overwhelming you and you’re like, oh, I got to do that. Well, stop it, put a system in place, managing your calendar, like you do this, and you’re great. Hey, Kelmar, set up an appointment for Scott to be on a podcast. He’s doing all of this stuff. And then I’m like, hey Kelmar, that hour doesn’t work. I’m so sorry. And then he rearranged. He’s looking at your calendar. So, there’s, it just goes on and on and on.
Now, social media, we talked about that on the last podcast, go listen to that. But they can be doing interactions for you. And definitely start with a modeling technique where you’re, they’re saying, what should I say here, and then you know, this modeling thing, so they can get to know your voice, they can be doing those interactions. If you’re a podcaster, or do videos, they can be making micro content out of that, and posting it out, and then studying the algorithms and continuing to improve. You know, we’ve talked about all this stuff, the list goes on and on. And it’s insane, like, build a course for me, like, right now I have my VA building a course, I have done all the videos, and they’re just sitting there, and I can monetize this thing. It’s a how-to-start-your-podcast course, like, prop it up for me, I don’t have to figure it out. Just do it. And so, like I said, once you kind of get the hang of it, and even things that you wouldn’t do, that you really should be doing. If you’re spending money on ads, have them calculate ad spend or clicks sales per dollar or whatever, you know, lead acquisition costs, whatever it is, data is power in business, and knowing where every dollar is going and having a report on that.
Yeah, yeah. Like if you don’t have time to follow up on how your posts are doing I have my VA do a monthly report of all the follows. Or, you know, which posts did well, what content did well. And you know, it’s very important that you can leverage them to go research and teach you, you don’t need to teach them. So, as an example, with TubeBuddy, it helps optimize the SEO, optimize your title and your content of your YouTube shorts. So, YouTube videos, and he went in, I didn’t know anything about it, you were the one who introduced me to it. So, he grew my channel from 17 followers to now over 100, almost 200 now just by using that method, and he recorded on loom. Yeah, he recorded an instructional video to show me how it’s done. So.
And that’s another thing. Don’t learn something to implement it. Like literally, when I hire somebody, a VA for somebody, do you have a project management system you use? No, you don’t. Okay, your VA might actually already have experience in this. If they don’t have them, go sign up for free trials, try them out, decide which one they like. And then give you a report, give you the cost analysis, give you a report, and then have them set it up, shoot SOP, shoot videos for you on how to do it or teach you how to do it. Stop thinking you have to be the one to make a decision. And for me, like SEO, I don’t even know where to start, hey, find a course, tell me how much it costs that is really effective. Take the course and start doing the work.
And VAs, love, love, love being paid to learn. Because if your job ever goes away, they now have that on their resume, they now have that and say I can actually do SEO. So, it adds value for them. But it adds a lot of value for you. So, you can pay them to learn to improve everything you’re doing or to implement new things for sure.
Yeah, and another category I’ve leveraged VAs is like in real estate. So we talked about social media, personal, business growth. But, in real estate, a lot of times where there’s so many deals that are coming through, sometimes you get a list of 50, 60 deals, and I’ve actually shared with my VA how to screen them by a very basic calculation, it used to be the 1% rule that I cut off at .6% rule, just by doing that, for them to go on Rentometer doing that screening out the best deals for you that meet their criteria. And then I taught him how to do the cash-on-cash calculator. In the beginning, of course, there were some guidance to how to do it, there was a course that, some videos I actually share with him to go, tell him to go learn this. And we walked through a few deals together. And you know, just the act of putting numbers that are already in the listing into an excel sheet, it’s not something that you need to do, what you need to do is actually look at the Excel and analyze it and making sure all the assumptions are correct. And then, you know, see if you’re going to make an offer. And also just yesterday, I said go find, email, top five property management companies in Asheville, in Colorado, in Austin, and agent’s too. And at first, I told them, to go find me the listing and the number and I was like, well, no, actually just go email them for me. And just because I’m not gonna do it.
And so you’re in a really great example of taking somebody who has a little bit of experience and really helping them expand and really guiding them through. Just this week, I hired a VA for a couple who’s in real estate. And this VA had years and years of real estate knowledge. And like when we got on and in the introduction, their eyes just went like this, because she’s like, oh, I know how to make offers. I know how to change offers, I know how to do this research. She’s using all the real estate lingo out way over my head. And you can just see them, like, we just hit a goldmine, like our learning can go way down, we can learn from them. Like no, oh, yeah. And I’ve actually negotiated deals, I mean, like the lead, depending on how much you’re wanting to pay, you can buy a certain level of expertise, where they’re actually teaching you things so that you can really just focus on the few things you need to focus on to build your portfolio. So those two approaches, right, and they’re both incredibly effective.
And I think that’s like the perfect segue into how, the processes, right? So, number one, like, okay, usually we’re saying that this VA, the VAs can be amazing, they can do so many things for us. But really, how much does it cost for a full-time, VA? Eight hours a day, 40 hours a week? How much does it actually cost? What are the ranges? And what exactly is the recruiting process? Are we talking about here that, at least for you, that you provide?
So, the ranges I talked to someone today, they said their hourly was $2.18. And so, I was like, whoa, I told her, I’m like, hey, look, I know you’re new into this, but you need to start at three. But so, I would say $3 is usually a beginner VA, if you are the type of person like Ann, who’s willing to take on that challenge and walk somebody through and be patient, and you have that kind of that mindset, that teacher mindset, then go that route. Because if you’re hiring, someone like me, I’m not looking for somebody who has all the experience, I’m looking for somebody who has the ability to learn, the mindset to learn, you know, and just the basic skill sets that shows yes, they probably can get to this point. Now, like I said, I did a billing expert, I’ve also done a real estate expert, and I’m doing an executive assistant, like a real CEO-level executive assistant. Those range from like 800 a month, full-time to about 1600 a month. And then I’ve talked to people that charge three to 5000 a month. But those are programmers, those are really high-level people that if you hired in the US would cost you 10 to $20,000 per month to contract. And so, it really depends on the skill, the magic place right now, there seems to be a shift, it’s going a little higher. I don’t know if all the freelancers are kind of collaborating or what. But I’m not seeing much under $4 an hour anymore. But if you do full-time, you say hey, look, at first, I might not have 40 hours a week for you. But I want you to be only focused on me, what will that take, they’ll come back with a $4 or $3 an hour if they’re beginning because it’s consistent income, they don’t have to find five jobs to fill the gaps. That’s very highly desirable. And then I would say your sweet spot for somebody who’s been in the BPO industry where they know how to talk very fluently. They know how to type very fluently, then you’re looking at six, $7 an hour. But again, guys, this is don’t be thinking in the terms of America, you’re thinking in terms of a 1099 it’s not 1099, it’s a little different form for overseas, but it’s a tax write-off for you. And the exchange rate is very highly in your favor still.
And so, the other thing I want to talk about you didn’t ask this. The other thing I want to talk about is the fact that what you’re paying him so low this is like slave labor. No, no, what we’re paying them is so much higher than what they would be getting. And most of my VAs have professional degrees and professional licensure. I have like four licensed physical therapists, two of them are licensed in the US, they traveled to the US got licensed, and they still make more money, doing work for me. So, you’re actually really, really leveraging that American dollar, and it’s really in their favor. Also, traffic in the Philippines, especially, just to get to work is usually an hour to three hours one way, because the traffic is so intense, and so they really want to work from home and they get to be with their family and family is, culturally it’s very, very tight-knit very important. So that your impact in people’s lives is massive. It’s really cool. Actually, I’ve really gotten to know my, my team really well, and been able to influence them for health, like hit to the gym, take a day off, you eat to positively influence because we’re all people that really look at, like personal development and stretching our mindset, you know, like improving your mindset, I’m sure yours, Ann, is growing so much just by working at you like what I actually can do, and what I can achieve. And so, the impact is massive.
Now the hiring process, I’m gonna tell you guys what I do, because I’m happy to tell you, because you won’t want to do it. I go on to the online listings that have specifically Filipino individuals who want to do freelance work or contract work, I put out an ad and I have worked time and time again on these ads, and they’re rather long. But through them, they’re laced, very explicit on the requirements, the pay, the requirements, the mindset, the mentality, the type of scope of work, but I don’t go like you need to be an SEO expert, because then I’m only going to get the $13 an hour people. But I say hey, like maybe interested in SEO or some experience in SEO. But in that long listing, I have so many specific, very specific instructions, I need a screenshot of your internet speed. Send me X do not, one thing, do not send me your resume. And then I at the very end, I’m like, do not reply through this service, send your application directly to me at my email. And here’s the subject. So, what I’ve done now is I get emails, hundreds that just start coming in. If that subject line isn’t the exact way I asked, like I’ll do it all caps sometimes just to see if they do it. It’s not the exact way I asked I throw it away, I don’t even look at it. Because I’m looking for somebody who can follow instructions. And once I get through that I go in and I look at and make sure okay, did they do X? Yes, throw those away, they didn’t do it, then I go and do this. They look at that. Okay, we get it out to another half, they miss one thing on that application. They’re just rushing. And I want people who are paying attention. And so, I throw all those away.
Now I’m down to about 20 applications. And then I go read them. And I read them carefully. And then I email them all back with very specific questions and indicating consistency. And that they actually still can follow directions. And I have them shoot me a video of themselves. Sell me yourself in a one-minute video. So, we’re trying, we’re getting over that super shy, because I’ve had really amazing VAs that are super, super shy, but they don’t communicate with me. And it’s like you’re working with a ghost. Things just show up and you’re like, Ann, but it’s a nightmare. They’re amazing workers, but they’re so shy, they won’t talk. So, I do a video. Once they get past that I usually ask them another question. So, I’m interacting to the email, I’m looking for consistency and language, because I’ve had people have other people write their emails, I’ve had interviews, where someone, they were cut off right at their cheek, on their video, and I could hear their mother whispering the answers in their ear. And so, once I get down to about 10 for one application, I’ll interview them all. And they have to have video on I tell them not to dress up, just be yourself, be in your regular location. And I’m looking for a lot of different things. I’m looking for their behavior, I’m looking for how nervous they are. And I put them at ease in the beginning. I try, I asked one thing I do and anybody who wants to take this can the very first thing I do is I say, do not tell me about your work. You’re not telling me about your qualities I want to know about you personally. And about 30% will say I graduated last… they’ll start reading a script. And I’m like, hey, that’s not what I asked you. So, they don’t understand English good enough to not be scripted out. And then I’m like, nope, I don’t say right there. I’m really nice. I let them kind of go through their thing. I’m like, okay, thank you. But that means they’re not prepared to do what I’m asking you to do. Someone comes in is like, oh, I love dogs. I have a daughter and then I find out where they live. And in the Philippines, it’s incredibly important to find out where they live, because that will say, how consistent their power and their internet is going to be. And then I have questions about backup power, backup Internet, what kind of internet, I know all these things, I know where they should live where the best workers come from, as far as consistency of those resources. So, it’s a very in-depth process.
That is very detailed. And I can see why I didn’t get top-notch VAs the first two times because I did not do that. And that’s why this one is working out so much better. So, thank you so much. Were you gonna say something else about the process?
It’s long, there’s more to it.
As you can tell, Scott has a ton of experience, from prior hiring process, screening VAs, to know what to look for, attention to detail, following instructions. And I will say that, you know, my recent interview test to the VA that he was interviewing, and he definitely, follow directions, even better than some of the other US-based contractors from Fiverr or Upwork. And, you know, what, there was a social media video that needed to be posted. And he actually did all the captions manually. And it actually worked. All the spelling was correct. I think there was maybe like, I think all the spelling was correct, I was very, I was very impressed. And he went above and beyond for that task. So, you can tell a lot about you know, just by how they respond, and how, you know, sounds like Filipino VAs, also, they want to do well, they’re very, they want to be honorable, and they’re honest. So those are some of the traits that I’ve seen as well.
And what would you say, and the other thing I want to point out to touch on you have mentioned regarding the price, you know, so at the lower-level VAs, you’re talking, you know, say $3 an hour, $24 a day to $32 a day. Now, I’ve hired people on TaskRabbit. And it’s like minimum one hour like 20 to $25. And they have a two-hour minimum for your job. So not just one hour. So, would spending $24 a day be worthwhile to you, if they just get, you know, one or two tasks done or one research task done that you could be spending like it could save you like a few hours, would that be worthwhile to do it? That’s what I want to ask.
So, we talked about the cost of the process and recruiting VAs. And now would you be able to touch a little bit on the onboarding process? What should people be using, the software, we talked about SOPs, and for those people who don’t know those standard operating procedures, manuals. And so, if you could talk a little bit about that as well.
Yeah, so your work is just, you know, that’s a massive, hiring and finding and getting through the contract, laying that out, because that’s something I do as well, negotiating. That’s something I do for my clients. It’s very time-consuming. And then, now you got this person, you’re like, now what? So, it’s incredibly important to have a set of tools in place. And this is something I provide for everybody I hire, too, or that I work for, too, is, how are you going to pay him? Because Pay Pal is not going to cut it, you’re cutting way into their pockets? If you’re using PayPal, it’s you’re not going to keep up? How are you going to offload work to them? How are you going to manage that work? So, I recommend a system called Wise, and Wise is like, it’s crushing on conversion, your VA is actually getting paid what they’re supposed to be getting paid, and you pay, I think a 1% fee or something of that nature it’s very low.
And then there’s Loom is probably my best friend. Loom is a screen recording tool, you can use it on your phone, you can use it on your computer, it’s an extension, and it literally will record your face, the screen and your voice or just the screen or just your face. I like my face, I like to show my emotion, I like to remind them that I’m a real person. So, I have my little face in the little corner. And then it’s recording the screen and I’m talking and I’m teaching them whether I need to have the screen or not. I always use Loom because they can speed it up, slow it down, replay it. And I talk to them and I’ll say, I need a logo done. And here’s some that I found. I go through and I show him pictures. And here’s the program and here’s kind of what I’ve gotten started. And so basically, you’re laying a foundation. And then if it’s a repeated task, you’re like, okay, here’s what I do. First, I open this link, I type in and I add my password, and you’re walking it through like you’re teaching someone to do it. So, then what you do is your expectation is every time you do this, they create an SOP, and that SOP should be so good that someone can come off the street and follow it and do the exact steps to have success, including a link to the video that you originally posted. So, steps, screenshots, arrows, explanations, enter password here with an arrow and like literally step by step. So, while they’ve been learning it, they’re actually solidifying it because you’re creating a document. So, Loom is a beautiful tool to use. There’s other ones out there other names, other brands, it’s just the one that I use. So, Loom is recording, some way of recording what you’re doing.
At project management, and I touched about this earlier, I think in the first one, but you may not have ever used a project management tool like Monday, or Trello, or Asana or Jira, or I mean, they’re just there’s so many, my recommendation to use, keep it super easy. Trello is super easy. It’s what’s called a Kanban board where you just move things from one stage to another very visual, what this is doing is it’s you can drop an assignment in there, and I even create a card on the far left that says future ideas. So, I capture my ideas and put them there, and hey, you don’t need to worry about them. Then when I want to move it, I move it into assignment. And then they move it into in-progress. And then I have another board if they get stuck, I’m stuck, like and write me a message and tag me and then I can look at or I need a review. So, I have a review slot. So, you can watch the whole process. You’re not micromanaging them, you’re not. Where are you at? What are you doing? How was it going? You can see on there. If it’s saying in progress for too long, hey, you need to move this to I’m hung up or I have trouble, like then you know how to kind of ask.
So, project management tool is really wel, really, really important. Trello is super easy to use, it’s actually free until you grow the team big. But the best thing you can do is ask your VA. Have you ever used anything? Is there something you love? Because a lot of them have these like five or six different ones? Which one do you recommend? Which one do you think would be best for us and why? Let them do that part. Let them set it up and then teach you how to use it. So, project management, payment, Loom, I’m trying to think of some other things there.
Slack, WhatsApp, depends on you. Slack, and you can separate into, your conversation to different channels and topic. So that in WhatsApp, sometimes your response to something it’s jumbled everywhere. And you kind of have to scroll to a certain place if you have a lot of feedback. And you could do that in Trello as well.
Absolutely, yeah. So, project management. And then just like I said, start with big projects where they can kind of learn about you. And just set your expectations and realize like, look, if they take eight hours to do a flyer, don’t get mad, just ask, hey, I see that it took eight hours to create a flyer, what could I have done better to help you or they might be learning a brand new, a brand-new process. And the next time it may take 30 minutes. So, you have to understand that micromanaging is probably not going to work in your best interest, you do need to keep an eye on it. Because you know, maybe they’re stretching hours if you’re paying them hourly. That’s why I don’t like paying hourly. But you do need to keep an eye on it because you want to reward them for efficiency and learning new things rather than other things. And then you want to get positive feedback really incredible. It’s great to be very forward, hey, like, or very honest, this isn’t quite what I was experiencing. This isn’t what I was wanting. Give that feedback, but also edify. Like, lift them up, give them don’t, don’t just go with negative because we’re running low on time here. But I do want to say VAs will disappear if they feel like they’re failing you. A very high honor level, they want to honor you, they want to serve you. And they will just disappear if they think they’ve let you down. So, if somebody disappears, there’s one or few things happening. One, they’re having a massive weather system come through. And that does happen. Typically, they have data on their phone. So, they still should be able to let you know. Two, someone died. And you didn’t set the standard. Hey, if you have an emergency, just shoot me a really quick message. Their instinct is just to go do and then let you know afterwards. For some reason I don’t get it. I think it’s accepted there. Like if someone dies or you have an emergency, you just leave you don’t. You don’t need to follow through with anything else. I’ve had to train them. No, you need to tell me. So, I know what’s going on. I’m going to grant you that time, but just let me know. And so that’s one of them. And then the other one is they feel like they’ve let you down and they can’t perform the task. So, if you give them a task that they don’t feel like they can succeed at, they’re either going to dig their heels in and be like, no, no, we can’t do it this way. Like they’re going to try and redirect you or they’re gonna disappear. Because I don’t want to let that person down. And for them, it’s more honorable just to give up and you’ll get a resignation email. And I turned people back from resignation emails while I was learning that like, whoa, let’s hop on a zoom, let’s face-to-face. And let me hear what’s going on. And then you’re like, oh, like they’re feeling like they’re failing me. I need to be better at responding to them and lifting them up and guiding them and coaching them. This is a human and this job means so much to them that they would rather stop and find someone else than continue on and let you down. Even though now I tell my team, if you walk away, you’re letting me down much more than if you tell me I can’t do this project. So just knowing and communicating those things is incredibly important.
Yeah, there are so many pieces in there, you know, the first thing I want to talk about is recording on Loom. And you can record a video on Loom and tell him to go into Loom and organize them into manuals for you of the Loom videos and rename them for you. So, you don’t have to do it. Number two is really empowering them instead of picking. You know, like you said, like, for example, a social media video was taking four hours, and I talked to him and it turned out, we were doing manual captioning. So, we started experimenting with some auto-captioning. So always find out hey, the question to ask is, what is taking the longest? Or what is making this task more difficult for you? And how can we make it easier? Number three, yes. Like empowering them. Letting them make decisions. What would you like? What would you prefer to use? What project management tools? Or would you like me to show it this in a different way that’s clear for you. Video is better than audio, and audio is better than just text because you could give way better instructions on audio and video, essentially. And that, to always empower them to bring them up to look back, like the gain and not the gap. Like hey, you grew my channel from 17 followers to over almost 200 thank you so much. Now, let’s see how we can up-level it and let’s set another goal to 300 to 400. So that’s kind of like a very quick summary. Did I miss anything?
No, it was phenomenal. I love that quick summary.
Okay, and so where can people find you if they want to learn more about you or for you to help them to find the right VAs to you know, let them shine in their excellence, to leverage, you know, their zone of excellence.
Yeah, I love face-to-face like I love Zoom, because I want to see somebody I want to, it’s just one of my kind of like, core values is real interaction. So, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and the first thing I’m gonna do is like, let’s get on some sort of calendar so that we can talk face to face or on the phone, something a lot more personal than sending you a video or to a website. So, email@example.com or you can contact Ann, probably shouldn’t have said that. But yeah, Ann, you should put my contact in your show notes.
Yes, yes, actually. So a call to action really after this is think about what in your life right now that you don’t want to do or you have resistance in doing that you really wish that somebody can just help you, you know my “why” is so that I can spend time more time with my baby after I had my first son. So, take a look at that then go on to itsnotrocketscienceshow.com go on the show notes. And it will have you know the summary of what we talked about. You can go on YouTube, we have the video replay and also Scott’s contact. Contact Scott, just get on a Zoom call with him, and how you can figure out how he can help you to give you back your time, essentially.
So yeah, thank you so much. I really appreciate your time Scott, where you know, you’re so valuable in terms of like social media and VAs and also your podcasts. What’s your podcast and Facebook group?
Yeah, Stories that Sell Podcast is entrepreneurs, business owners sharing their stories, how they got started, what their journey has been a lot of like leaving nuggets and value for, you know, for the listeners. And then I have, if you’re a family person, The Brotherhood of Fatherhood, that’s my passion project. And Facebook, Scott Rammage, R-A-M-M-A-G-E. Instagram same, then I have groups so I talked about those in my Facebook and Instagram. So.
All right, so lots of ways you can find Scott. And again, just remember that everything is within you now. Thank you. Thank you, Scott.
That’s it for today’s episode. Head on over to iTunes and subscribe to the show. One lucky listener every single week that posts a review on iTunes will win a chance in the grand prize drawing to win a private VIP Day for a health and life makeover with Dr. Ann Tsung, herself. Then, be sure to head on over to itsnotrocketscienceshow.com and pick up your free gift from Dr. Tsung. Then, join us on the next episode.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!