5 Tips for Hiring Freelance Virtual Assistants in e-Commerce

5 Tips for Hiring Freelance Virtual Assistants in e-Commerce

This post was written by our friends at FreeUp for the TurnKey Playbook for Amazon Blog

So you’re ready to consider hiring freelance virtual assistants for your online business – Congratulations! Hiring remotely is one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. They will help you get unstuck and fuel the growth of your business.

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind as you begin the process of looking for and hiring freelance virtual assistants for eCommerce.

1.  Value Your Time

Delegate Simpler Tasks

When you find yourself spending too much time working on repetitive tasks, you are hurting your business. As the owner, you might want to spend some time systematizing those tasks by SOPs. You need these to keep things optimized as you aim to automate what you can — this is how eCommerce businesses like yours can get ahead.

Once you’ve created the different processes and systems to execute repetitive tasks, you are ready to outsource them to freelance virtual assistants.

Avoid Becoming Overwhelmed

Another sure sign you’re in need of a virtual assistant is that you find yourself completely overwhelmed by the number of tasks on your to-do list. You may hesitate about delegating these tasks because you’re good at them or you enjoy them, but you need to spend your time focus on what tasks that cannot be handled by anyone other than you. If you continue to perform these tasks you run the risk of getting burned out because there’s just not enough hours in the day. As a result, these delegatable tasks won’t get done properly anyway.

Hiring a virtual assistant will allow you to regain some freedom in your business and give you time to focus on growth and help you maintain the passion that you had for your business at the beginning.  Not only that but if your business is reliant solely on you to complete every day-to-day operational task, how will you ever take a break? You need to have the flexibility to get away when you need to and spend time with friends and family, or at the very least know that your business can function in case of an emergency.

2.  Know Your Weaknesses

As you look into different areas of your business, you will encounter different tasks that you continually performing, but aren’t necessarily good at. You can continue trying to develop the skills needed to perform these tasks, but that may not be the best way to tackle it. If you’re not an expert in these areas, you won’t be able to complete them with excellence or create the best processes for their completion.

Your business deserves the best! Hiring people who are experienced in the areas where you lack knowledge is a worthwhile investment. From creating the process or system to performing the actual work, you need freelance virtual assistants who have made careers out of doing these exact tasks. With the boom that eCommerce has experienced over the past decade, these professionals are easy to fins. Moreover, hiring them will save you the time and hassle of learning eCommerce tasks, which are usually highly technical.

3.  Prepare a Detailed Description

Before you even begin to look for freelance virtual assistants, you need to know exactly what you’re hiring for and exactly how to enumerate these tasks. The more attention you give to the task description you’re going to post online, the better your chances are of attracting the right candidates.

Since you usually do not speak to freelancers face to face, a proper description of the position you are hiring for will help both of you determine whether or not it’s a good fit.

If you’ve spent some time creating systems and processes within your business, then this shouldn’t be too much of a burden for you. Just make sure to be as clear as possible about what you want done and how you want it done. Be sure to add in any other requirements you have, like specific skills and experience, along with your personal preferences. Being clear from the outset will ensure that you are able to find the perfect match for your tasks and your business!

4.  Don’t Settle

If you’re busy – as most business owners are – you’ll be tempted to hire as fast as you can. For most people, this means picking up the first freelance virtual assistants who respond to your postings and seem “ok”. Don’t make this mistake! 

You need to be careful and patient throughout the hiring process if you want to find the right people for your business. The Internet is a wild world with a lot of scammers lurking around, and because you’re online, there’s a higher chance of attracting them. 

Consider utilizing a contractor marketplace like FreeeUp rather than an online hiring platform. FreeeUp pre-vets freelance virtual assistants with a focus on eCommerce so that you don’t have to wade through dozens of resumes, cover letters, profiles and portfolios (on top of trying to weed out the scammers and spot the true professionals). You submit your request and get introduced to the best match. This allows you to use your valuable time to focus on a final interview before you hire and do a test project to make sure you have the right fit.

5.  Properly Onboard Hires

Once you’ve found a few great freelance virtual assistants to work with, don’t just send them off to start working on tasks. You need to spend some time to properly acquaint them with your business. Even though it seems that there are thousands of stores just like yours, every eCommerce store is unique. 

Onboarding is a very important step when working with remote contractors. Freelance virtual assistants don’t have the benefit of a central office location where they can meet everyone they’re going to be working with on a daily basis. They won’t be able to get a feel for the company culture or the work environment unless you talk to them about it. They won’t know what you expect from them unless you tell them directly because there are no conversations to listen in on or water cooler talk to guide them during their transition.

Schedule a time to meet with new hires and introduce them to your business and the people they’ll be working with. Write down your personal preferences and your expectations regarding the tasks they’re going to take on. Then discuss these with them so everything is clearly laid out. Make sure that everyone is on the same page before they get started on whatever you’ve hired them to do. Also, be sure to build in periodic check-ins to state expectations and offer feedback.This will make everything go so much more smoothly and prevent costly misunderstandings.

Final Thoughts

Hiring freelance virtual assistants can be a truly rewarding experience if you go about it carefully. Make sure that you keep these 5 tips in mind as you prepare to search for the people you need for your eCommerce business, hire the right fit for each task, and integrate them into your business operations. 

Start Your Virtual Assistant Search Now on FreeeUp

TurnKey Tip: Pair our Inner Circle Coaching with a great hire from FreeeUp! Not only will you get the customized strategies you need to grow your business, but you’ll also get a quality team member to help you implement those strategies!

Motivation Monday: When to Hire an Expert

Motivation Monday: When to Hire an Expert

We hear from budget-strapped Amazon sellers every day, who feel like they are hemorrhaging money. They are desperate to get their sales up, and they don’t know how to do so on their own. They would love an Amazon Fairy to come and sprinkle some magic fairy dust on their listings and make their products sell! But they don’t have the time or experience with Amazon necessary to make that happen on their own. Sound familiar? 


The thing that many of these sellers don’t realize is that there is no shame in asking for help. In fact, behind every success story you’ve ever heard about, is a team of people supporting that successful person’s vision! The key is to recognize that you don’t know what you don’t know and seek out people who can help fill in the gaps on the road to success.


TurnKey’s founder, Jeff Lieber, saw the need in the market to offer sellers more support in growing their sales. He started by consulting for his friends who were struggling on Amazon, and sure enough… after a few months of his tips and tricks, sales started to turn around for them. In fact, those earliest consulting clients (William Painter and EcoQube) are STILL with Turnkey today. 


So, if you already feel like you aren’t making enough money, when do you bring in an expert to help? Well, just like anything in business, you have to be willing to invest in the long-term vision of a product. If you know your competitors are doing $100k+/month on Amazon and you’re at $10k/month, you can feel pretty confident that if you have a good product and you’re willing to do the work, there’s room for significant sales growth and it’s worth trying to make room in the budget to hire an expert to help you to become a key player in the niche.  


Hiring an expert will cost you money, but it will SAVE you in three areas:

  1. Time: The only thing we cannot buy more of is time and an expert can make your path to excellence so much more efficient by showing you exactly how things should be done the right way, versus you trying to figure things out the hard way. 
  2. Optimization: If you were to hop on a call with one of our TurnKey team members, we could probably suggest 3-5 things right off the bat that we would improve about your listing, and that’s without even going into the backend. When you hire an expert they will bring things to your attention you may never have even thought of, and those details can make the difference in thousands of dollars in sales per month. 
  3. Potential: You may not really know how your product will do on Amazon. The truth is some products crush it on Amazon while others fall flat.  You could waste years trying to get your product to the top of the leaderboard not knowing that you were already close to the ceiling in your niche. When you bring in an expert, we can help manage your expectations and understand your product’s full potential on Amazon in a much shorter time frame. This will help you decide how much you should invest in developing this platform. 


Now that you recognize you need an expert in your corner, the key is to be sure you are getting the level of involvement you need from that expert. At TurnKey, we offer options ranging from full-service Amazon management to one-on-one coaching, to accelerator courses, all the way down to monthly group coaching to ensure that we can meet any business where they are. We even offer PPC Management and done-for-you services.


If you’ll remember, earlier in the article I mentioned EcoQube, founded by Kevin Liang. Kevin was originally a full-service client who really valued the insights and growth we provided for his business. It allowed him to reach heights on Amazon that he always hoped were possible. Over time his needs changed, and when it made sense for him to launch an in-house Amazon management team he became a one-on-one coaching client. TurnKey is here to support sellers all along their journey. If you want to hear more about Kevin’s story and experience working with TurnKey in all our different services, tune into the Playbook for Amazon Podcast Episode 3


If you’re considering hiring an expert, I urge you to take the plunge. Don’t sit around wishing you knew how to crack the Amazon success code when there are people who have already cracked it for you! Want to know what level of Amazon support you need? Apply today and we’ll analyze your business and come up with a plan that will meet your needs. There’s no risk and you might just get the Amazon fairy you’ve been dreaming of!

Systematize Your Business with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Systematize Your Business with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

In any business, there are tasks which must be performed on a regular basis. Generally, these tasks are assigned to a member of the team who has been trained to perform them. But what happens when that team member is unavailable, or it is necessary to train additional employees on how to perform the task? Creating and maintaining standard operating procedures or SOPs are a great way to ensure that tasks can be performed and understood by any of your team members.

At TurnKey, we follow a simple six-step process when creating SOPs:

  1. Record a video of you completing the process (a screen share) explaining it as you go.
  2. Once you’ve recorded the video, write step-by-step directions based on the video.
  3. When the SOP has been created, have a separate team member proofread the SOP. It is helpful to have them walk through the SOP step-by-step to ensure you’ve captured all of the necessary points. 
  4. Send the SOP to a designer to polish it up and make it look professional.
  5. After the designer has formatted it, have your team double-check the SOP to ensure the designer didn’t make any mistakes.
  6. Create a task checklist in a project management system for your
    team to follow based on the SOP that was created.

Creating SOPs may seem like an unnecessary step in your business process, but having clear step-by-step instructions for all of the processes and tasks within your company will save time in the long run. It is the first step in ensuring that your business becomes as streamlined and automated as possible!

Want more in-depth instructions on creating SOPs and other topics that will help your business to function well and your sales to skyrocket? Apply now and find out what services you qualify for that can help you systematize your business!