Virtual assistant

A virtual assistant can make a world of difference in your ability to get things done — but it can seem like you need a virtual assistant just to hunt up someone to help you.

Thankfully, there are plenty of services that can automatically provide you with a VA, and while you may have a few more constraints than if you do a search on your own, sites like those listed below can dramatically speed up the process.

  1. AssistU: In addition to training virtual assistants, AssistU maintains a registry that allows them to refer you to a VA for free. For a fee, the founder of AssistU will guide you through the hiring process and match you with a VA with a specific skill set.
  2. Agents of Value: A staffing agency based in the Philippines, Agents of Value offers dedicated staffers trained in specific online tasks, such as link building. Jamie Kindler, who has used the service, does note that not all of the staff available through the company have great English skills.
  3. OnlineJobs.ph: Another Philippines-based company, OnlineJobs.ph primarily connects businesses with VAs through posted listings. For a higher fee, the company will vett and test prospective hires.
  4. AskSunday: You can work with a dedicated personal assistant or just get help as you need it through AskSunday. AskSunday user Ben Sargent says, “I’m busy during normal business hours, so it’s great because I can email in requests whenever I think of them and tasks get completed while I’m at work.”
  5. Rent A Smile: If you’d like a free trial before you start working with a VA, Rent A Smile provides a seven-day free trial. From there, the company’s plans are based by how many requests you make in a given month. Some services are available only in New York City at this time.
  6. International Virtual Assistants Association: Primarily a professional organizations for virtual assistants, IVAA maintains a directory of its members for businesses and individuals looking for a VA to work with.
  7. Virtual Staff Finder: Rather than leaving you to plow through a pile of applications on your own, Virtual Staff Finder acts as a matchmaking service for VAs based in the Philippines. In addition to the matchmaking service, you get an opportunity to consult with an outsourcing expert during the process.
  8. Team Double Click: Because Team Double Click works with tens of thousands of VAs, you can find professionals with a wide variety of skill sets through their site. Your VA will work through the company, making it easier to manage a transition, if need be.
  9. Tasks Every Day: You can get full business support through Tasks Every Day, including specialized help with tasks such as bookkeeping and sales. The company’s prices make it easy to hire multiple VAs with different skill sets.
  10. Assistant Match: Through Assistant Match, you can be paired with a VA who can handle specific tasks — in some cases as specific as setting up a piece of software like 1shoppingcart. There’s an upfront fee for the matching service, as well as an hourly rate for your VA’s services.

Image credit: hidesy / iStockphoto

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