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Should I Hire a VA or Train Family & Friends?

I've heard several different teacherpreneurs ask whether they should hire a virtual assistant or train a family member or friend to work as a VA for them. Today I want to focus on the pros and cons to each of these options.

If you're a teacher blogger (or teacherpreneur), you've probably heard about virtual assistants at one point or another. Now the question is - should you hire a VA or are you better off training a family member or friend? This post goes into the pros and cons of both options, but you'll see a resource that can help you navigate the virtual assistant world. (There's even a FREE preview.) Click through now to see if a VA would help take your Teachers Pay Teachers business to the next level.

Should I hire a VA or train family and friends?

Pros to Hiring Family or Friends

  • You can train the person to do exactly what you want. You can even train them in person!
  • You'll be able to meet up to chat with the person about how things are going. This allows you to do more training or simply check in.
  • Your friend or family member may cost less per hour than the virtual assistant you find. 

Cons to Hiring a Family or Friends

  • Sometimes friends and family don't work as hard as we had hoped. You may need to do more checking in or even fire the person. #awkwardfamilygettogethers
  • You will spend time training the person.
  • The person you choose to train isn't going to bring anything new to the table. They'll be able to do what you want after training, but that will most likely be it. (Unless you're fortunate enough to have a social media marketing person in your circle. Then that's an entirely different story!) 

Pros to Hiring a Virtual Assistant

  • A virtual assistant is typically an expert in some area or another. Your business can grow because of this expertise without you actually having to learn the platform yourself. 
  • Many times you can find a virtual assistant who is also experienced in the teacherpreneur world. This VA just "gets" what's going on, and you won't have to train her on various platforms to help your business grow. 
  • A great VA is also someone you can bounce ideas off of to help your business grow. 
  • While a VA may cost more per hour than your family member or friend, this is their business and they may very well be more efficient. Therefore you may spend the same amount (or potentially less) than you're paying your family member or friend due to inefficiency.
  • A virtual assistant is treating this as their business. Therefore you can expect business-like interactions. If this is not the case, you can look at your contract (even before you sign it!) to make sure you know your "esccape route" - should it be needed. 

Cons to Hiring a Virtual Assistant

  • You and the VA may not be a good fit. A good virtual assistant will give you a "trial period" to ensure that both parties are happy with the way things are going. (We do a month here at The Academic VA.) 
  • Communication may not be as easy. Unlike the person you know well, your virtual assistant could be on the other side of the country or world. Getting in touch via e-mail, phone, or online chat isn't as easy as sending a quick text message. (This being said, a good VA will have in their contract exactly how long you should expect - at a maximum - before hearing back from them. Always make sure to check references and do your homework before hiring someone!) 
Regardless of the option you choose, know that hiring a virtual assistant can be a GREAT thing. It frees you up to do more of what you love. There are many reasons to hire a virtual assistant, so I hope you can choose the option that is the best for you. 

If you're new to the world of virtual assistants, I highly recommend purchasing the TpT Virtual Assistant eBook I have written. This will help you get started - whether you want to train a VA yourself or hire a VA. While the book itself is helpful, you'll also be granted access to a Facebook group where you can talk to other virtual assistants and teacherpreneurs about your virtual assistant journey and what steps to take.

Here is some of the feedback received about this ebook:
Are you a teacherpreneur who is looking for a virtual assistant? This book will help you out! Are you a virtual assistant who wants to work with a TpT seller? Then this book is also for you! Click through to see how this amazing resource can help you find OR become a virtual assistant! Plus you'll gain access to a secret Facebook group for collaboration! {There's a FREE preview when you click through.}
  • This resource was very helpful! I have worked with virtual assistants before but I still found this book to be useful and helpful. Thanks for creating this, Heather!
  • So much helpful info! This is all a new world for me, and I appreciate you breaking it down specifically for teacherpreneurs! Thank you! 
  • I learned so much reading all of this great information! I haven't found a VA yet but I know exactly what to arrange and decide on together! Thanks for all your guidance and support! This is an amazing resource and a must buy for anyone who needs a VA!
Interested in seeing even more feedback and checking out more details about the TpT Virtual Assistant eBook? Click here to see it all! Or check out the FREE preview here.

If you're a teacher blogger (or teacherpreneur), you've probably heard about virtual assistants at one point or another. Now the question is - should you hire a VA or are you better off training a family member or friend? This post goes into the pros and cons of both options, but you'll see a resource that can help you navigate the virtual assistant world. (There's even a FREE preview.) Click through now to see if a VA would help take your Teachers Pay Teachers business to the next level.

How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger

Congratulations! You've hired a Virtual Assistant (or VA) to help you out with your blog and Teachers Pay Teachers store. When that first invoice comes around, it's easy to send them money. But there are several options. Do you know which one to choose? Today we're going to discuss how to pay through PayPal as a teacher blogger so you know exactly what you should be doing.

How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger --- Are you a teacher blogger or teacherpreneur? Then you HAVE to read this post! Make sure you are paying for items through PayPal in the correct manner. This could include paying for website design, sending money to another seller for a giveaway, paying your virtual assistant for work completed, and more. Click through for all the details and to ensure your PayPal account is NOT going to get shut down.

I'm not entirely sure what you've heard, but I'll be the first to admit that I was misinformed. Also - I'm afraid I shared this misinformation with some others - so I'm trying to rectify that today!

Let's start with PayPal's Terms of Use, or the User Agreement you agreed to when you signed up to use their services. It clearly states:

"You may not use the "send money to a friend of family member" feature in your PayPal account when you are paying for goods and services."


Here's that chunk taken directly from their website:

How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger --- Are you a teacher blogger or teacherpreneur? Then you HAVE to read this post! Make sure you are paying for items through PayPal in the correct manner. This could include paying for website design, sending money to another seller for a giveaway, paying your virtual assistant for work completed, and more. Click through for all the details and to ensure your PayPal account is NOT going to get shut down.

Please do not pay in this manner! 

Your virtual assistant may ask you to pay them in this way, but do not! I know people who have pre-paid for website design work to be completed via the "Friends and Family" option, only to have the designer never do the work or only complete half of it. And you know what - PayPal would NOT refund their money. :( They said the money was sent to "friends and family", so there was no way to get it back.

PayPal actually protects the buyer! If you prepay for work, that's perfectly acceptable. BUT PayPal will refund your money (or at least part of it) in most instances if you can prove via some method (screenshots, email, etc) that the promised work was not completed. But you must be using the "Pay for Goods or Services" feature.

What does that option look like? Oh, I'm so glad you asked!


How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger --- Are you a teacher blogger or teacherpreneur? Then you HAVE to read this post! Make sure you are paying for items through PayPal in the correct manner. This could include paying for website design, sending money to another seller for a giveaway, paying your virtual assistant for work completed, and more. Click through for all the details and to ensure your PayPal account is NOT going to get shut down.

As of the date of this blog post, you hover over "Tools", then go down to "Send Money". These are the options presented to you. 

If you are paying for work that's already been completed, simply click on "Pay for goods or services", and you'll be on your way!

Does your VA have to pay a fee if you pay this way? Yes, they do. However, they should know this when they set up business. This is one of those (sometimes annoying) operating costs that they should take into consideration when they set their prices.

Now - one area where I'm extra cautious is when I'm sending money for a giveaway or for another blogger for a get-together or some other event or situation.

For example, I am part of a group of teacher blogger sellers who hosts a giveaway several times a year. Each time we need to send money to the gal organizing the event. No problem, right? But - how do I pay?

I still use the "Pay for goods and services" option because it's part of my business. But it can be a hassle to figure out exactly how much to pay the person when I don't know what fees PayPal is going to take out on their end.

That's where this handy little website calculator comes into play! Let's say I need to send $25.00 over to the person in charge of the giveaway. How much do I send them to ensure they get the correct amount?

First I head over to this website (which I have booked just for such occasions!). Then I simply type in my dollar amount and click "Calculate".

Look at what it shows me!

How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger --- Are you a teacher blogger or teacherpreneur? Then you HAVE to read this post! Make sure you are paying for items through PayPal in the correct manner. This could include paying for website design, sending money to another seller for a giveaway, paying your virtual assistant for work completed, and more. Click through for all the details and to ensure your PayPal account is NOT going to get shut down.

Now I know that I need to send the giveaway organizer $26.06 via the "goods and services" option in order for her to receive $25.

Is this annoying? Yes, a bit. BUT - I'd rather pay the extra $1.06 (which I can use as a tax write-off as part of the giveaway anyway) than have my PayPal account shut down due to using it incorrectly.

Please make sure you realize how to use PayPal correctly! I'm sure I still have plenty more to learn, but I wanted to share these tips so you also knew how to pay through PayPal as a teacher blogger. After all, no one wants to see their PayPal account shut down - especially if that's the way you've chosen to be paid each month by Teachers Pay Teachers!

Do you have another PayPal tip I need to know? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below!

How to Pay Through PayPal as a Teacher Blogger --- Are you a teacher blogger or teacherpreneur? Then you HAVE to read this post! Make sure you are paying for items through PayPal in the correct manner. This could include paying for website design, sending money to another seller for a giveaway, paying your virtual assistant for work completed, and more. Click through for all the details and to ensure your PayPal account is NOT going to get shut down.

Seven Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your TpT Store

Are you looking for ways to grow your Teachers Pay Teachers store, but you're not sure how? Here are the seven reasons we believe you should hire a virtual assistant for your TpT store

This blog post will explain seven reasons you should hire a virtual assistant for your TpT store. Whether it's increased productivity, more profits, expertise in various areas,  saving you time, letting you be more creative, or one of the other reasons - you should REALLY read this post! You'll learn how to grow your Teachers Pay Teachers store and how to be successful, find more profits, & help more teachers worldwide. If you've been considering hiring a VA, what are you waiting for?

If you're like most other TpT sellers, you're constantly bombarded by offers for the newest, latest, and best ideas to grow your blog, social media, and store. It seems like there is always a new webinar, class, or handbook on marketing, branding, or selling. And you MUST HAVE these to grow your store and increase your profits, right?

While I'm sure the majority of these resources are valid and will help you grow your store, let me tell you about another option you may not have considered - hiring a virtual assistant (or VA). 

Here's how a VA can help make all the difference in your TpT store's growth and help boost your profits this year. 

Before we get into how a VA can help you, let's focus on exactly what a VA can do for you. Honestly - there is no right answer! Any of number of services may be completed by your VA. 

For example:
  • product proofreading and editing
  • researching & implementing SEO for your TpT resource pins
  • using SEO to help your blog posts gain traction on Pinterest and with search engines
  • scheduling your pins on Tailwind
  • adding your evergreen pins to BoardBooster so they loop indefinitely
  • live pinning your TpT resource pins to ensure you meet the needs of each collaborative board you're on
  • scheduling social media
  • and much more! 
(You can see a more extensive list of VA duties on page 5 - marked p. 3 - in this FREE resource.)

Now that you know what a VA can do for you, let's take a look at why you should hire one and how a VA (or VA team) can help boost the growth of your TpT store. 

Seven Reasons You Should Hire a Virtual Assistant for Your TpT Store

1. Expertise

Even though we'd like to think we can be an expert at everything related to TpT and online marketing, we just can't. There are not enough hours in the day to keep up with all the info that's out there - especially when it's growing all the time! 

Your Virtual Assistant is a specialist who can focus on any or all of those areas for you! Contact the VA you're considering to see what area/s they specialize in. 

2. SEO 

Do you have the time to learn all the secrets of SEO? Probably not, but your VA does! (In case you're really confused, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization - that means the keywords and terms you need to rank higher in search engines like Google and on Pinterest, among other things.) Plus - Google and Pinterest (two of the biggest platforms where SEO matters) are constantly changing! Quit trying to keep up with all the changes! Let your VA do that!

Your VA can learn all about those all-important search engine keywords, phrases, and ranking. They can even take that knowledge and all of the SEO best practices to help you get more Google pageviews and referrals - as well as help your Pinterest traffic!

3. Time

Do you always feel as though your to-do list for both life and TpT is out of control? Hiring a VA to do many of the time-consuming (and often monotonous) tasks related to your business will free up your time for TpT product creation. Or use that new-found time to devote to your children, family, friends, exercise, pets, and life in general!

4. Creativity

As mentioned above, when you hire a VA to do the tasks you don't enjoy or are not an expert in - you can spend your time on the TpT related tasks that you do enjoy and find worthwhile! You'll no longer feel weighed down by other tasks, and - as a result - your creative energy will start to flow more readily! You'll find yourself inspired to create more useful and helpful resources for teachers across the world. 

5. Rules

Have you looked at all of the rules for your Tailwind tribes and collaborative Pinterest groups lately? WOW! There are soooo many! Your virtual assistant will take the time to get to know the rules, ensuring you don't get kicked out of anywhere. They can even analyze which boards are proving worthwhile for your business and help you decide which ones it may be time to leave. 

6. Cost

By now you may be thinking, "But I can't afford a VA!" However, have you taken into account all of the growth your store will experience as a result of your time being freed up to do more of what you love? The growth of your store will turn into profits for you!

7. Profits

After you've hired a virtual assistant for your TpT store, your store will prosper! Even if you choose a VA to do one small thing (and it's ok to start small!), your store will grow! Buyers will have an easier path to finding you and the wonderful resources you create.

While Heather and her team here at The Academic VA, LLC provide virtual assistant services for others, Heather also often hires out help. Ghost writing, Wordpress blog design, some product photography, and even editing are all services Heather has hired out in the past. She started small by hiring out just one little thing - but each month she finds herself getting more and more help with her blogs and store. 

And guess what? It continues to pay off each month! Heather is able to spend more time with her family, create more resources to help students across the globe, and continue to grow her VA team and business to be able to help more educators reach teachers worldwide. 
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It only makes good sense to hire a virtual assistant for your TpT store. Let your VA take over an aspect of the business that you're not strong in or a part that you don't enjoy. This way you can focus on the parts that bring you joy!

Whether you're convinced you should hire a virtual assistant for your TpT store or not, it's certainly worth your time to give it some serious consideration. 

If you still have virtual assistant related questions, feel free to contact Heather right here at The Academic VA, LLC. Or check out the Virtual Assistant ebook she wrote specifically for teacherpreneurs and aspiring virtual assistants.  

This blog post will explain seven reasons you should hire a virtual assistant for your TpT store. Whether it's increased productivity, more profits, expertise in various areas,  saving you time, letting you be more creative, or one of the other reasons - you should REALLY read this post! You'll learn how to grow your Teachers Pay Teachers store and how to be successful, find more profits, & help more teachers worldwide. If you've been considering hiring a VA, what are you waiting for?
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