Friday, February 01, 2013

5 Tips for Applying for a job as a Virtual Assistant

I posted a position on oDesk for a Virtual Assistant a few days ago.  After reviewing 30-something applicants, I have the following suggestions:

  1. First, I asked people to answer a specific question in their application.  Only a handful of people answered the question.  If you don't care enough to do a careful job on your application, why should I believe you'll do a careful job once you're hired?
  2. When I hire on oDesk I want you to have experience and feedback on oDesk.  In fact, I usually sort by the total number of hours completed on oDesk.  If you have no hours / feedback, you absolutely have to nail the application letter.
  3. Don't charge $1 an hour.  There are very few places in the world where you can get reliable access to the internet and still live on $1 an hour.  If you charge that little, I assume that (a) you aren't in much demand and (b) if I hire you you will work 10 minutes of each hour, and bill me for an hour.
  4. I pay a lot of attention to the little icon that has your picture in it.  I probably shouldn't, but I do.  Try to project a professional appearance in that icon.  Look trustworthy.  Show me your eyes.
  5. If my job posting is for part-time work, don't tell me you're looking for full-time work, or that you have 40 hours per week available.  I want to hire someone that is in high demand.  And if you're actively looking for full-time work, what's going to happen when you find it?  You're going to drop me like a hot potato, and I'm going to have to go through this entire annoying process again.
Bonus suggestion:

Once you're hired and you get your first task -- absolutely rock that task.  Do a fantastic job, do it quickly, and communicate regularly.

There's nothing more annoying than hiring someone, assigning them a task, and then not hearing from them quickly, having them drag their feet on the task, and then bill you for waaaay more time than you think it should have taken.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Readings on Programmatic Ad Buying

I've been putting a lot of time into PPC traffic generation in the past three months.  It has opened my eyes to a whole world of programatic advertising, and I'm going to mention a few of the blogs / posts that I have found most interesting.

Update: This article by Eric Picard gives a great overview of how online publishers segment and sell their inventory.

How Ad Platforms Work -- I thought this was a very interesting piece about the future of programmatic ad buying.

MikeOnAds -- Good look at programmatic ad buying from Mike Nolet, CTO at AppNexus (although he hasn't posted since 2011).  I transitioned from being a programmer to being an entrepreneur, and over the years I have realized how business development and sales ads to the bottom line faster than technical innovations, and I found it interesting the Mike makes this point several times as well.  In particular, I found the article Top 5 Media Startup Mistakes to be a very useful read.

I would love to see someone write an article on the "Top 5 Lead Generation Startup Mistakes" -- some of which are probably identical to Mike's 5 media startup mistakes.

Moving from the land of theory to the land of practical applications, this is an interesting review of early results from Facebook's Ad Exchange.

For general affiliate marketing trends, I've been reading: MarketingLand's Affiliate Marketing channel.