Does Your Virtual Assistant Actually Follow Instructions?

Sometimes… or more often than sometimes, there are things in our businesses that we’d rather outsource. For me, it’s really the offpage optimization that hurts a lot.

Doing repetitive actions like directory submissions isn’t anywhere close to my favorites, however, I’m very specific with the kind of links I attract (or build) to the websites I’m working on so I needed link builders or virtual assistant who can follow exactly what I wanted done.

I’m sure that it isn’t new to you that whenever we need to outsource anything, we go to places like Odesk or Elance but from my experience, people or most of the people on it, specially the “SEO experts” don’t seem to understand what it means to follow instructions.

Before you hire them, you’ll be promised that they will follow your instructions to the letter… BOOM… Click, click… hired!

All of a sudden you get all these types of shady links pointing to your website despite the fact that you’re giving exact instructions on bite size pieces.

So you check, it appears that your VA is building links his or her way… which in this time and day is dangerous to your website. So you confront the builder and he or she promises to follow your instructions “from now on”. But it’s funny that they will never do it, at least on my experience.

So what I did is stop the contract.

A little trick I learned to make sure that you get people who knows how to follow instructions is have them mention a word or two on their application. This means that you’ll get people who actually took the time to read through your job posting.

Lo and behold, no one seems to read job postings on Odesk anymore. I’ve got a lot of applicants who claim that they read the entire job posting but not one of them actually mention the words I asked to be mentioned on their application.

This just tells us that most of the outsources and VAs doesn’t really care about delivering real value to their employers. All they care is that they get paid for substandard performance.

With the type of business that we’re in, quality is really important and if you get these type of people working on your site; value diminishes.

As web publishers, it’s very important for us to be able to deliver value with our content and avoid bad quality links as they can hurt our sites more than they can help.