Why VAs should NOT use Upwork or Freelancer.com
If you are looking for online work through freelance websites or contractor agencies,
STOP RIGHT NOW!
Even though all your Google searches of how to work from home take you directly to these sites, here are 5 reasons why Virtual Assistants should NOT be looking for remote work on Indeed, Upwork, or Freelancer.com
Reason #1 THEY TAKE A CUT OF YOUR PAY!
These sites or agencies normally work one of two ways because they also need to make money! They either take a percentage of your pay OR they charge a membership fee to use their platform.
As a remote work contractor, you want to work for yourself and find clients on your own who work with you 100% (not through a middleman website or agency)!
Reason #2 Low-quality clients use them!
Clients who are less interested in investing in their Virtual Assistant and their VA’s growth are more likely to go through an agency or website like Indeed.com. These clients normally want to hire someone for one-off projects or for really boring, mundane tasks (think: transcription). They are most likely clients who are NOT looking to build their team or create a relationship with their Virtual Assistant.
Reason #3 These sites are very global!
Virtual Assistants can work from anywhere in the world and offer a wide variety of online services. That means you can have VAs from lower-income economies offering quick tasks for less than $10/hour. However, you may be a Virtual Assistant who boasts higher tech services and needs more income to maintain your standard of living. Remote work platforms and agencies mix you all together and it can be discouraging to sift through all the online work postings that offer less than minimum wage.
Reason #4 They restrict your client relationship!
When you search online jobs on sites like Upwork, you never fully work with your clients in a way that works best for both of you. Your work progress and communication happens through Upwork, which puts a lot of restrictions on your relationship and ability to branch off and grow. As a Virtual Assistant, you want the opportunity to really connect with clients and their businesses to explore all the ways you can offer your services.
Reason #5 They are riddled with SCAMS!
Platforms like Freelancer.com or Indeed.com are too big to monitor (almost like Craigslist) so they are full of scams or insincere remote job opportunities. Here are…
5 Red Flags to Look Out For In Virtual Assistant Job Postings
Red Flag 1: They ask for your personal info (banking or SSN)!
You never want to hand over your personal banking information to people you don’t know. The only time your Virtual Assistant clients may need your social security number is around tax time. You may be asked to fill out a W-9 form or to send a 1099, which is for the revenue agency. Check out your government’s website on what forms you need to have as an online contractor.
Red Flag 2: If they won't get on a phone call or video call!
Now that you are working from home or as a Digital Nomad, you have to depend on video meetings to interact with clients. To properly onboard a new Virtual Assistant client you want to start with a video interview where you can both discuss the opportunity and get to know each other. If a suspicious freelance client never wants to show their face, you should skip and move on.
Red Flag 3: They have a spoof website!
This is an easy way to check if a client is a potential scam. Always research your clients! Google their name, look for their website, and find them on Facebook. If their website is an “Error: 404” or looks cheap and full of grammar mistakes, then they may not be legitimate.
Red Flag 4: Super low pay!
You will see freelance job posts for $5 or $8 an hour. Although there are some countries that accept this level of pay, it’s rarely an honest opportunity. Some of these posts are hooks to potentially steal your personal information. Stay clear of job opps that are way below your budget.
Red Flag 5: They accept you too quickly!
There may be times when you apply to a remote job opportunity and you get an email back very quickly saying they liked your application and want you to start right away! There is a process that must be gone through when onboarding new clients. When something feels too sudden like they barely know you, it may be a scam.
SO WHERE ARE THE BEST PLACE TO FIND CLIENTS?
You want to work with clients you TRUST and who value the services of a Virtual Assistant! Once you have your first few clients, your business will shift more into gaining clients through referrals. To get started, look for clients in your own network and community. Find Facebook groups with genuine online work opportunities, and reach out to your dream clients via social media or warm outreach!