Hiring a Virtual Assistant for Your Self-Publishing Business

When is a good time to hire out when you find you’re in over your head in your self-publishing business? And, what is a good metric to determine when you should delegate duties to a trained virtual assistant? 

Find out my thoughts on hiring a virtual assistant for your self-publishing business in today’s post.

Welcome to Self-Publishing with Dale.  

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Recently, long-time viewer of the channel New Book Creations dropped a suggestion… 

I was wondering if you have a video on how you handle hiring.  

As a newbie who eventually wants to grow without running myself ragged, this info would be so helpful to know how to begin the process. 

First of all, thanks for the continued support and the great question. I’m going to summarize this as best as possible.  

Hiring out comes down to time versus money and strengths versus weaknesses. 

Identify where you are strongest in your business. Are you a great writer? Then, find ways to free up your time to write more.  

Meaning, if you’re not good at cover design, then you shouldn’t bother with designing your upcoming book.  

You should be writing the follow-up book while you have a hired professional handle your cover design. 

You’ll have to then measure what you have more of – time or money. If you don’t have much cashflow, then you’ll have to rely on what my old pal Rob Archangel calls sweat equity. 

So, if you’re an aspiring author whose strength lies in writing yet can’t afford to hire out, then you need to be prepared to learn how to do it yourself and painfully work through the process of making a cover. 

Where there’s a will there’s a way. When given the choice, try to find a way to afford it.  

Whether you freelance your skills on a platform like Upwork or Fiverr or you start a Kickstarter campaign for your project, find a way to bootstrap the cash to hire out. 

When looking for the right professional, don’t settle based on their price point. Hire high-quality professionals, even if it comes at greater expense.  

I look for professionals who have a history in their chosen profession, a portfolio of example work, and testimonials or reviews. 

To start, you can look into freelance platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. My preferred methods are…. 

word of mouthWord of Mouth 

Networking with other peers in my industry serves me in more ways than one. The biggest benefit is to get recommendations on quality freelancers and trained virtual assistants. 

In fact, a lot of you may have heard me brag about my assistant Ava Fails.  

She and I were loosely associated in some Facebook groups, but never really connected until our mutual friend in Mary Thibodeau recommended we connect. 

I was sick of hiring cheaply outsourced virtual assistants who I had to interview, train, and struggle with communication (since English was their second language). So, Mary suggested I try Ava Fails. 

It only took one gig before I KNEW Ava was a fully trained professional who could handle the tasks I’m weakest at like website development. 

Web Searches 

Yeah, I know, this isn’t the most scientific method, but you can find exactly what you’re looking for by simply using Google to search for the exact skills you need covered. 

You shouldn’t waste your time and money in training up your virtual assistant. It should be a simple process of web searchsetting expectations and your VA fulfilling those expectations. 

Early in my self-publishing career, I was led to believe hiring cheaply outsourced virtual assistants was the way to go. 

All I had to do was shoot a video that trained up the assistant and done. But, that was NEVER the end of it.  

I always had to correct mistakes, answer tons of questions, and reshoot the training video to accommodate those previous issues. 

Hire slow, fire fast doesn’t just mean to hire someone who’s grossly underqualified and priced then slowly train them up. 

It means to research your options, interview candidates, take them for a test drive and then hire them. If it doesn’t work out, then fire fast. 

As a newbie who eventually wants to grow your self-publishing business without running yourself ragged, I feel your pain. 

If you don’t have the cash to afford it, then you’ll have to sweat it out and build it slowly by yourself.  

If you want a specific metric to know when to hire out, I’d say wait to hire out until you’ve broken at least $1,000 per month on a consistent basis.  

And, even then, you’ll have to limit your budget to about ten percent of your monthly earnings and wait until the earnings hit your bank account. 

If you hold out until you’ve consistently earned $1,000 per month for three months straight and save about 10% of the earnings, then you’ll have about $300 to budget towards various tasks. 

Don’t blow your budget all at once, spend wisely and save even wiser still.  

I hope that helps you out, New Book Creations, and remember if you enjoyed today’s content, then share it with others who’ll like it too.  

Till later, this has been Self-Publishing with Dale and I’ll catch you soon.