Sure, I paid somebody $9/hour they usually did my work for five entire days.
That assertion would have appeared ludicrous to me simply two years in the past. How might you probably pay somebody $9/hour to do your job for you? That may’t be authorized, proper?!?! One thing about it simply doesn’t appear proper.
At present, I’m going to disclose the outcomes of my two-year experiment with digital assistants. As well as, 5 fortunate readers will every get a process finished by certainly one of my digital assistants (extra on that later).
What Is A Digital Assistant?
Everyone knows what an (administrative or private) assistant is. It’s a person who comes into work on a regular basis and helps a president, CEO, or another person of significance get issues completed.
A digital assistant doesn’t come into your work. They do business from home, wherever on the planet that could be. They usually sometimes don’t work for CEOs. They often work for entrepreneurs or workplace slugs such as you or me.
I’ve been fascinated with the thought of digital assistants since I learn Tim Ferriss’s The 4 Hour Work Week. However at the moment, most of the digital assistants have been abroad. Often, they have been individuals from India or the Philippines. Despite the fact that these individuals spoke English, there have been some cultural and language hoops you needed to overcome. Definitely, it was doable…however I actually didn’t have the endurance for that.
They usually have been somewhat costly for a man like me. Sure, you would get a full-time digital assistant for one thing like $500/month. However there have been two issues with that. First, $500/month is some huge cash to check one thing out (at the least in my ebook). Second, I wasn’t positive I had sufficient non-sophisticated duties to maintain an individual busy full time. To not point out, it’s pure for most individuals to really feel like they don’t deserve or are usually not necessary sufficient for an assistant, particularly a full-time one.
The thought of bringing a digital assistant on to assist me was a bit of too daunting for me at the moment. However someplace deep inside, I dreamed of getting my very own digital assistant.
Enter Fancy Arms
One way or the other, I can’t keep in mind how, two years in the past I stumbled upon Fancy Palms. Fancy Palms makes use of solely US-based digital assistants. You can begin at $29/month (though I took the $49/month choice). And also you obtain a selected variety of duties to make use of per thirty days.
So, I made a decision to attempt it out. You’ll be able to learn my unique Fancy Arms assessment right here. I used to be fairly impressed after two weeks, however would I proceed to seek out the service helpful? Might I efficiently work with digital assistants?
I feel it’s formally sufficient time to name the experiment a hit. You’ll be able to take a look at the statistics your self.
During the last two years, Fancy Arms has spent over 129 hours doing stuff that I might have in any other case needed to have executed myself. That features spending 17 hours on the telephone on my behalf. Now, granted I’ve a full-time job, handle this web site, write books, and so forth. However nonetheless, they did my work in some capability. And fairly than relaxation on my laurels, I spend that point carrying out much more.
Two years of $49/month involves $1,176. Do the maths, and that’s $9 per hour. And what did I pay somebody about minimal wage to do for me?
- Handle my calendar
- Create a SF330 template
- Transcribe hours of video I had recorded
- Recreate charts and varieties
- Sort up my handwritten notes
- Enter contacts into my CRM
- Organize lodge and flight reservations
- Coordinate numerous conferences and telephone calls
- Arrange a photoshoot
- Create ebook covers and logos
- Manipulate pictures
- Analysis duties together with who had gained particular contracts
- Proofread minor paperwork
- Edit Microsoft Phrase information
- Recommend nice Christmas presents for my household
- Organize the return or alternative of merchandise I bought
- Recreate varieties in Microsoft Phrase
- Manipulate Excel spreadsheets
- Examine paperwork and determine variations
Now, these may sound like minor duties that wouldn’t take a lot time. However it’s a must to understand that the time you spend on minor duties actually provides up. The truth is, regardless of having this assist, I nonetheless didn’t full every thing I needed to get completed. So, not having to do these duties actually made an enormous distinction in my life.
Safety and Digital Assistants
I do know this query goes to return up. What about safety? Right here’s a rule of thumb you need to use. Don’t give assistants something you’d panic when you discovered on the road outdoors your workplace. For instance, in case you discovered your cowl letter or worth proposal on the road outdoors your workplace…time to panic. You don’t need to ask digital assistants that will help you do something with these.
However in the event you stroll out of your workplace and there’s the advert you have been drafting…no massive deal. For those who stroll out of your workplace, look down and there’s that competitor’s contract you have been on the lookout for….superior!!!
There are even steps you’ll be able to take to safe info inside your techniques. With my CRM, I arrange a particular account that may solely enter info and see what they entered. After a month, the contact data entered shift over to my account.
In terms of safety, actually always, you simply have to make use of your widespread sense. I don’t see any actual safety considerations with utilizing digital assistants.
The Good With The Dangerous
I might be mendacity to say that I didn’t have my hiccups with Fancy Palms. First, you by no means know who you’ll get. And my sense is that because the service grew, they needed to tackle much less adept digital assistants to satisfy their shopper’s wants. In 2013, I used to be routinely blown away with thier speedy work product. However in 2015, being blown away with their first attempt is just not the norm.
Typically their preliminary work is fairly dangerous. You must maintain sending it again till they do it proper. That’s often just one or two occasions. Within the worst case state of affairs, you may get “radio silence” for a day adopted by a brand new assistant apologizing after which doing it proper.
However for me, it’s a lot simpler to hound somebody till they do it proper if they’re working for a service. I wouldn’t stroll right into a coworker’s workplace and say, “That is horrible. Learn my instructions intently and do it once more.” That might solely trigger issues for me. However when coping with a digital assistant, being forthright and trustworthy (in my expertise) doesn’t trigger issues.
There’s additionally a minor drawback with the interface, which basically is fairly good. It’s my understanding that assistants receives a commission extra if you give them a thumbs up. However what about when the primary assistant screws up royally after which one other swoops in and does a tremendous job. Do you give them thumbs up or thumbs down?
You Know That Shopper Or CoWorker You Hate, For Scott…That’s Me
Then there’s Scott, Fancy Palms’s Buyer Expertise Supervisor. He’s the man who’s charged with ensuring the assistants can do your request and that the request complies with Fancy Arms’s phrases of service. Truly, Scott is a reasonably good man…however I’m positive he hates me.
With Scott’s assist, I’ve grow to be very accustomed to their phrases of service. For instance, all duties ought to be fairly completable inside 15 minutes. This implies it’s a must to break up giant duties into smaller 15-minute chunks. I do know there’s a drawback once I ship a process in and don’t hear something for a few hours. This implies I’m going to get an e-mail from Scott.
Scott goes to say this process will take longer than 15 minutes and recommend that the assistant cease after 15 or 20 minutes. I often reply with very detailed step-by-step instructions that may clearly be executed inside the time restrict. I can’t recall ever having to make use of a further activity to get considered one of these full.
One other concern Scott had was with getting into information into my CRM. Fancy Palms phrases of service is fairly clear that they don’t need to do something for you that may be thought-about spammy. Particularly, their phrases of service prohibits assistants from gathering or amassing contact info for you. That’s as a result of chances are you’ll use that info to spam individuals.
However I wasn’t asking for the “assortment” or “gathering” of contact info. Individuals had handed me their playing cards. I had photocopied their card with a word about who they have been and the way I met them. I requested assistants to enter that knowledge into my database. There was no gathering or amassing concerned. It was strictly a knowledge entry process. Not solely that, however Fancy Arms had carried out this process for me many occasions earlier than. Now, I all the time determine these duties as knowledge entry and I haven’t had an issue since.
Fancy Palms assistants are additionally not graphic designers. At one level, I assumed that particular duties have been despatched to assistants who had sure talent units. I despatched a small graphic-related process to Fancy Palms simply to see what would occur. And this assistant, Dionne B, knocked it out of the park. In truth, it was the creation of the Assist Everyone On a regular basis emblem displayed on this website. I instantly despatched in different graphic-related duties and the identical assistant stored knocking them out of the park. It was an excellent day to say the least.
I continued to ship in graphic-related duties, however Scott stepped in and defined to me the issue. His assistants don’t have the software program instruments or the skillset of a graphic designer. So, I all the time ship ideas for what generally obtainable instruments might be used to perform the duty (like Powerpoint or Canva). And I all the time present no matter instructions I can and let the assistant know I’m simply in search of them to attempt their greatest. Lately, they took the background out of a photograph for me. The primary attempt was somewhat tough, however they went again and did a commendable job the second time round.
In my expertise, graphic manipulation duties are OK, however you must watch out earlier than you ship in a “graphic design” process.
Then there was the time I requested for a number of movies I recorded to be transcribed. I received one other e mail from Scott. He was puzzled why I might ask the assistants to try this. Why not simply use a transcription service? Properly, the web site states that assistants will transcribe as much as 5 minutes of monologue per process.
Let’s do the maths. I pay $49 for 15 duties. That’s 75 minutes of transcription at 65 cents per minute. It’s truly the most cost effective transcription service on the market.
You possibly can study extra about what Fancy Arms will and gained’t do at http://www.fancyhands.com/not/good/for.
The Greatest Function
For me, one of the best function is the power to create a brand new e-mail account and join it to Fancy Palms. By doing that you simply create what could be described as a constant id that might be used with these you work together with. Once you e mail somebody and replica this account, the assistant will work together with the individual you emailed because the id you outlined.
For instance, the assistant I created is Pat. A few of you could have even interacted with Pat. And since I by no means knew whether or not Pat can be a boy or a woman, I assumed the identify was applicable.
How Fancy Palms Has Modified Since My Unique Evaluate
The main modifications since my unique assessment are that they:
- Not organize conferences without spending a dime. Sure, they used to rearrange conferences and handle your calendar for free of charge.
- Now permit unused duties to “roll over” like your cellphone minutes.
- Cost a small payment when making purchases in your behalf.
Within the final two years, I’ve opened and closed accounts with many providers. However I haven’t closed my Fancy Arms account as a result of I’ve to confess it’s actually helpful. In my expertise, the maths simply works in favor of utilizing Fancy Palms. As well as, I feel the service will solely proceed to enhance over time.
I don’t care who you’re or how low on the company ladder you’re, I urge you to provide a service like Fancy Arms a attempt… if nothing else, for the expertise of getting an assistant.
Put My Assistants To Work For You
I’m making it straightforward for five fortunate readers to get one thing accomplished. Simply depart a remark and inform us what you’d have my assistants do for you. Maintain it underneath 15 minutes. 5 fortunate readers will probably be randomly chosen to have my assistants full their process. So, don’t overlook to remark!