Running a solo business or ministry is tough. So many things to do, and they all fall on you. It is exhausting, lonely and means you spend less time doing the work of your heart.
How would it feel to have some help? If someone else could support you on the behind the scenes work, could you spend more time serving people, writing messages that transform or creating products that solve problems?
We would all say yes to that, but when you are running on a tight budget, it may be hard to fit that kind of support into your spending plan. How do you find affordable help that is going to make a difference? Here are my two favorite ways to stretch my dollars and my time.
A Good Virtual Assistant
The single best place I’ve invested in my business is in a good virtual assistant. We’ve worked together more than a year now, and my business couldn’t run without her. Just 2 – 3 hours per week make a huge difference in where I am able to focus my time.
The types of things you can have an assistant do depend on your needs and their skills. Before you start looking, you need to think through the specific things you would have someone do, and then build your search around the skills you need.
Often, we start by looking for the least expensive person we can find, only to discover they don’t really have the skills to do the work we need done. So we may be paying a low rate per hour, but the VA is spending more hours than expected.
To find the right VA for your needs, I highly recommend the Christian Business Advantage Matchmaking Service. Run by rock star Christian VA Alyssa Avant, the virtual assistants are trained and/or vetted by Alyssa before they are included in her directory.
As the client, you complete a proposal outlining the tasks you need done then Alyssa matches you with a qualified VA. The hourly rate is not the lowest you could find, but a trained assistant will get more done in less time with less instruction from you.
Freelancers on Fiverr
Fiverr.com is one of the largest freelance websites. Service providers list “gigs” that they are willing to do (many of them have a $5 listing). You can get almost any type of freelance work done through Fiverr, but it can be hit or miss. Some freelancers are very good and a great value, others are …. not so much.
I’ve had good experience with the freelancers I’ve used on Fiverr by following these four tips:
1. Use someone who has been recommended by a friend – When I was self-publishing my book last year, I needed to get it formatted for publishing and Kindle, which can cost hundreds of dollars. In a Facebook group, I noticed a post where someone recommended a formatter they had used on Fiverr with good results.
I reached out to Eswari and agreed on a price and timing for my project. I was amazed at the results! She really knows what she is doing when it comes to getting a book ready for publishing on KDP or other platforms. She made suggestions that improved the layout and made sure everything was ready to go. If you have a self-publishing project coming up, I highly recomment Eswari!
2. Read the listing and reviews carefully and communicate before your purchase a gig – Many of the freelancers on Fiverr are outside of the US and not native English speakers. That means you’ll need to be extra attentive to your communication with them, and aware of the time zone difference. Read the reviews to see what others have said about working with them. Also, Fiverr allows you to communicate with the freelancer before you place your order. So reach out to them to describe your product and ask if they are able to do it. Direct communication will give you a good idea of what it will be like to work with them.
3. Look at samples of their work – I recently needed a simple illustration done quickly. After review profiles of several illustrators, I selected one that had done something similar. Isabel did a great job, exactly following the description I gave her and I was delighted with the finished product.
4. Do one small gig as a trial – When working on the Move Forward Journal, I needed some data entry and research work done, and the information needed to be entered in Trello. I searched Fiverr for profiles with Trello experience and found several.
I gave Vasunil a try with one small task. She did a great job! So I purchased a package of more hours and asked her to do the rest of the work. She did it quickly and accurately and saved me a ton of time. But if that one small task had not worked out, I could move on to try someone else and only lost $5.
With affordable options available, hiring help as you grow your ministry or business is an easy decision to make. It allows you to focus on what you do best, what letting someone else also do what they love!
Where have you found affordable help for your blog, business or ministry?