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Update on My Starting With a Virtual Assistant

Posted by on February 17, 2010

A few weeks ago I wrote that I was starting off with a virtual assistant.  I’ve received many questions from all of you so I thought I’d give you an update on how things are going.  It’s been around 2 weeks since I have bee working with my new VA (his name is DJ) and so far I’m pretty happy.  For DJ’s services we (Chess Media Group) pay around $400/month and he works 6 days a week for 4 hours each day, basically between $4-5 an hour.  Our VA is always on skype during work hours and we’ve even gone on a few skype calls together when certain things need to be clarified.  He’s extremely friendly and says good morning and good night whenever he signs off and/or on.  Sure that might seem trivial but sometimes starting off your day with a happy good morning can make a big difference in the rest of the day.

I can’t tell you how many hours DJ has saved me just from scheduling meetings for me.  DJ has full access to my calendar so he knows when I am free to have a meeting.  He also handles all of the coordinating to set up a time that works for both me and for the person I’m meeting with.  I used to have to go through several back and forth emails to get this done, now I just forward the request to DJ and watch it appear in the calendar.  Here are a few other tasks that DJ is also helping out with:

  • Submitting my website to relevant directories and syndication sites
  • Adding tasks into my Basecamp account
  • Searching for potential speaking opportunities and reaching out to them
  • Looking for marketing/advertising agencies with specific criteria that I can then later reach out to
  • Basic research and information gathering

DJ keeps his own task list so I always know what he’s working on and what he has completed.  We use Google Docs to make this process pretty simple.  I also created specific instructions and tasks for him to do which I can edit/add to whenever I want (but usually I just tell DJ on skype what I need done and when).

We are currently working with DJ on a part time basis but I’m hoping that we will move to more a full time relationship in the near future.  So far DJ has been handling some of the basic things for us but as he gets more comfortable I’m going to have him get a bit more involved with certain projects.  The only real issues that I have come across was some of the grammar in emails.  Nothing too major but just a few minor things here and there.  Of course, all of those are quickly corrected after a brief skype chat.  Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with DJ and the work that he is doing.  It’s great that he even works on Saturday when both my business partner and I are not online.  It’s great to know that DJ can pretty much do any tasks that can be done online or searched for.

Have any other questions regarding working with a VA?  Now is the time to ask.

  • Michael

    I am just curious. Where is DJ located? And is $4 to $5 an hour a good equal exchange for his time and energy? I am not judging you or him in anyway, just curious.



    • jacobmorgan

      Hi Michael,

      No worries, I understand the question.

      The rate is actually set by the company not by us. DJ is located overseas and I haven't heard any complaints from their end regarding fees. As far as I can tell, everyone is happy.

  • Lori Johnsson

    Hi Jacob,

    Real thorough assessment of what it is like to work with a virtual assistant. My question for you is: what drove your decision to go overseas to find a VA? Were there no qualified VAs in the US that you liked?

    I'm asking because often when I hear someone talk about overseas VAs they mention the the grammar may be a hinderance since the person first language is not English. Also, do you think that once you start really giving more high level task to DJ that his services will go up drastically in price.

    Sorry if you talked about this in your first post but the link to it was broken.


    Lori Johnson, Marketing and Social Media Consultant

    • jacobmorgan

      There were several great VA based in the US however cost was definitely an issue. Most VAs in the states charge between 20-40/hr. I'm just looking for help with basic tasks at this point so for me it wasn't worth paying that rate. There are plenty of great overseas VAs that are fine with grammar. DJs price is fixed as per the company we are working with.

  • Yoana

    Just a tip, you can use TimeBridge ( and eliminate the back and forth e-mails when scheduling meetings with anyone. We use it to schedule meetings with our clients and find a time that works for everyone.

    Good luck with DJ :-)

  • Yoana

    Just a tip, you can use TimeBridge ( and eliminate the back and forth e-mails when scheduling meetings with anyone. We use it to schedule meetings with our clients and find a time that works for everyone.

    Good luck with DJ :-)