Upwork Job Scams: Tips To Avoid Them

upwork job scams

I want to share you some tips to avoid Upwork Job Scams even the “smart ones” from revealing your personal information. Worst case scenario is not getting paid for what you work and the getting the value you deserve.

Tip 1:

Assess their profile. Obvious signs are they just join Upwork. Check Member Since information on the right corner of the invitation or job.

Tip 2:

Under the About the Client, it says Payment Method Not Verified. It’s a red flag not to have a payment method within Upwork. Upwork made it possible to have a verified payment method to get your money securely. Not a short cut method. It is never going to work with a client who does not follow Upwork policies when it comes to the freelancer’s earnings protection.

Tip 3:

No interviews or no hire rate on their profile. There might be 1 or 5 more proposals. 1 interviews might be appealing. Seriously, it does not have a proven track record that it ever hired someone from Upwork. It rings a lot of bells. Just trust your gut.

Tip 4:

Information provided is too general. There is no company name. The name provided by the Human Resources department sound too good to be true. Check for the company resources online. There are a lot of resources about scammers and companies. Sometimes, they have all the information right. Ask a few questions about the job, the company, how are you going to be paid and contact numbers. Some scammers are able to answer these questions. Always have the name of the person who interviews you.

Tip 5:

No company ever sends you a check without completing a job! Ever! These type of scammers prey on your personal information and they are identity thieves. Be careful not to divulge any SSS or Tax No. No employer asks for information up front before you sign contracts.

Tip 6:

They use Google Hangout for interviews and use chat as means of getting to know you. Most of my clients use Skype and Google Mail. Be careful doing conversations with them without knowing the person first and who they represent.

Tip 7:

They use fake email addresses for companies. An example would be like “info_transcomworldWide@qswitchdns.net”. I actually applied to Transcom Worldwide and their email address is nothing close to what I read.

Tip 8:

Looking for freelancers with the lowest rates. They target people who are badly looking for jobs.

Tip 9:

You receive an invitation. You never send a proposal about the job. That’s alarming.

Tip 10:

They cut you off when you ask questions. Drop you out of the project without any warning. Good riddance!

Take my word for it. It is never easy in any freelancing organization where everyone is trying to get jobs and be paid. Learn your value. Don’t waste your time. Be wise!

 

 

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5 Tips On How To Manage Momentum For Your Virtual Business

In virtual business, your company depends on consistent growth. With the increasing competition, you have to plan to carry through your business during its ups and downs. Taking it easy or slowing down is not the best way your business go. The challenge is to be resilient as possible because change is not constant even in the virtual world.

Whenever you face too many unexpected problems always come up with the best solutions to meet your objectives. Or you can plan them in advance when you want to. You cannot predict when it is going to happen. You cannot make your best laid plans go to waste for a problem that you could not solve.

What can you do to gain momentum for your virtual business.

  1. Know when to hit hard when sales are low and ease up when the momentum is fast enough to keep the company going.
  2. Do not hesitate. Make an assertive move or decision that makes a lasting impact for your business.
  3. Make specific goals relying on metrics and statistics. It helps you accelerate with momentum slowly.
  4. Do not step off the brakes even if you are going fast. It can be frightening. But hard work pays off once you truly see results.
  5. Maintain control on your goals and direction. Do not stop too soon or you will eventually get off track and you will feel lost amidst the pressure.

When you have the opportunity to keep going, use the momentum to your advantage. Enjoy the ride, focus and keep the determination going. Things may get scary for you especially if you are a beginner. Going along the flow and making decisions along the way will greatly help your business successful. Be creative and never succumb to traditional business practices. Always think out of the box and be ready to conquer whatever problem you will encounter.

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3 Ways To Make Long Term Planning As A Virtual Assistant

long term planning

Long term planning as a virtual assistant is the challenge that seems too hard to do. As a beginner like you, I started on a path without direction. Only to realize that I was wasting most of my time on short-term projects. I had a lot of excuses and reasons that I could come up with why I choose to accept low-end jobs.

After I gained experience working for a market research company for years. I realize that with my skills. I could start my own virtual business. Without guidance, I was scouring through jobs online looking for something that can help with my expenses. Sadly, I was not successful.

I had successful short-term jobs. I always question myself, why can’t I find a better and long-term job? My short-term jobs were not challenging enough for me. I thought there is got to be a way. After one year, I landed on my first long-term job as a virtual assistant. I secretly wanted this job a lot. I planned to improve my confidence on the phone. Through several tests and examination, I got the job.

It was my first step to learning about becoming a true virtual assistant. I was very happy. It’s been 1 year and five months celebrating my life and career as a virtual assistant. My journey was not easy. I made mistakes and improve myself throughout the year. I created a short-term plan for you to realize your potential. Be able to pursue your interests and niche as a virtual assistant. You can do this in three ways.

1.) Develop a self-analysis report. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Get a sheet of paper, divide it into two. Label the first column, strengths and the second column as weaknesses. Be honest with yourself. You need to take into account what you know about yourself. Write everything down. Do not assume about your abilities, experiences, and skills. A good example is knowing how technical you are. Follow these guide questions.

  • Do you have basic knowledge in computers?
  • Do you speak good English?
  • Do you know how to use computer programs like Microsoft Word and Excel?
  • Do you like working alone?
  • Do you like routine tasks?
  • Are you self-motivated?

You need to take into account why you are investing your time and effort in becoming a virtual assistant. Always remember that no one is going to do it for you. Exert effort, give more time to learning and self-development.

2.) Identify the opportunity. The virtual assistant industry is growing. Endless of virtual assistants in different niche often excel with the right given skills and experience. The opportunities are endless. You can tap different market segments. Emerging virtual assistant niches like real estate, law, small business, corporate business, e-commerce, retail, accounting, programming, administrative and more.

  • What skills do you have the most experience?
  • Are you inclined to find a job that suits your experiences?
  • What are your dream job and niche?
  • How can you find your dream job?
  • What ways can you improve yourself to find your choice of niche? List them.
  • Where can I find the opportunity that will help me succeed in my business.? Search them online.

I present those questions to guide you in weighing your options on what niche you should focus. It will decide the type of job you will do. For you to have a clear path in starting your own virtual assistant business. Your niche will help you acquire skills to prepare you for long-term goals. All you need to do is learn and apply.

3.) Constantly evolve yourself on your niche. The reality of virtual assistant jobs can have a lot of threats. With the entry of the low price virtual assistants, the competition to win jobs can be difficult. You need to update your skills. You need to research your prospective clients. Learn the ropes of the business. Improve your quality of work. Here is a guide to help you.

  • What skill do you need to improve?
  • Did you check your competitor’s in the same niche?
  • What do they lack that you can improve?
  • What are your strategies to improve yourself and your business?
  • How can you give value to your clients?
  • How can you motivate yourself to do good work?

Take action even thought how uncomfortable it is. Rise up to the challenge and think about how you can improve every day by just learning. Everything in your life is a constant state of growth and commitment. Bad experiences happen only you let them. Learn from your mistakes as you go. Do not rely too much on what you know. Sometimes your mistakes can be an eye-opener to what you should do next. Pay attention. Write your mistakes down. So you can develop a plan and strategy to make it big. You have all the time in the world to make a name for yourself. Do not delay. Persist and learn to forgive yourself too.   

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Quick Solutions: Ways to Deal With Stress

ways to deal with stress

Panicking? Struggling? Tired? Bored? Feeling lazy?Need to Find Solutions?

Do those words familiar to you? You are not the only one trying to manage your life, work and personal at the same time. Finding ways to deal with stress. You may own a company, an employee or a freelancer still there are times you ask yourself, why can’t you complete tasks in time. Or you question your ability whether you are doing everything in your power. You cannot figure out a solution to push yourself more. Yet you get burn out.

The reason why we need to step back and try to see the big picture small. How many times have you felt you need a break? We all need a break. When you have a lot going on in your life. You need to do the following:

  1. Take a 5 to 15 minutes break before you start any task. The first two hours of the day is crucial. Focus on the two tasks you want to complete. Do not cram too many to-dos’  in two hours.
  2. Write all your responsibilities that you can do in a day on a piece of paper. One way to relieve yourself from the stress of thinking all of your activities. Look at your list and pick the important job you have to do. Do this every time you feel overwhelmed.
  3. Do not juggle too many works. Women are known to be great multitaskers. But it is not useful in getting things done immediately. You can do this for 5-15 mins then do another one. It is endless. Get one stuff done before doing another thing is not going to work. Give it your 100% attention.
  4. Get rid of distractions. The first thing you need to do is to stop checking your social media accounts like Facebook. Try to limit yourself from interruption. Ask help to redirect your calls and take messages for you. Do not to check your email for 30 minutes. Stick to a schedule and start to get things done. Once you have covered everything, allow yourself to be available.
  5. Take into account what you can and cannot do. Keep it real. You only have 8-hour day work. Do not stretch yourself out. Or you will get burn out. Notice how many minutes or hours you can finish work. If it takes longer schedule it. Some can be planned for the next days. Plan your activities wisely.
  6. Get a planner to manage your schedules. You always get to decide what you need to do on the day or the next day. The purpose of the planner is to write your to-dos and not keep it to memory. Sometimes when you try to remember so many things that you forget the essential stuff you want to do.
  7. Plan in advance. Try to plan your week before it starts. It gives you the control on your schedule and gives you that gratifying feeling. Be sure not to limit yourself on the schedule you set. Sometimes, things extend a few days. So watch out for changes.
  8. Get support. Get help from a colleague, a friend or a mentor who can guide your decision-making. You cannot do everything. Ask for a favor and ask someone to fill in for you. Especially if you are running behind the schedule.

We all worry about our schedules. When you get that control to handle your work schedule. It will give you more time on things that are important to you. You can give more time to family or for yourself. Discover what works for you. Apply it consistently and seek to improve your habits every day.

 

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The Power of Thank You

thank you

Real life situations can be selfish. People who deserve appreciation are sometimes neglected. In the workplace, we often not take notice of how we say “thank you” can make big changes to the way we work. Even in the virtual workforce, we do not seem to value the power of thank you. There are reasons we do not reciprocate everyone’s efforts. Maybe we do not care. Probably we do not say it much because it does not matter.  

The effect of saying thank you will help boost your mood and attitude. Letting them know if they do great on their tasks will make a difference on their productivity at work. It is one way of appreciating them and reciprocating their efforts. It gives you a boost of confidence. It makes you feel accepted. You must form a habit by thanking everyone whether you know them or not.  

The virtual workplace can be lonely and isolating. Being sensitive to their needs can make them happy. Do take the initiative if you are the employer, employee, supervisor or the virtual worker. It does not take much effort to make someone’s day good. Small efforts do count. Make it a habit to be grateful each day. You do not need to think too much. It is a simple act that makes you a better person. The bright side of working together will produce positive results in how you react to people who say thank you.

Have you said thank you to the first person who helps you today? You should start now. Tell them how they make a difference in your life. You should motivate yourself to take extra effort. This habit makes you sincere without expecting anything in return. Saying it allows other people to respond “You’re Welcome”. That is the power of thank you. 

 

Photo Credits: FreePik

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How To Run The Most Profitable Business

most profitable business

Every most profitable business you know has to sell things to earn money. Salesmanship, or the art of closing sales, therefore, is of greatest importance for any online business venture. After all, we can’t expect any earnings if we don’t make any sales. It is how businesses grow and make a profit.

Winning customers are essential for the success of your enterprise. This is absolutely true for online business too. In fact, winning customers online has its pros and cons. The good news is that the entire world is your market, and you could potentially reach more people through the World Wide Web. The disadvantage? The Internet offers a more impersonal channel in our dealings with people, making it more difficult to gain their trust and favor. It is not the end of the road for some who really wants to have an internet business.

What can you do then? Fear not. Everything else in life, you should try to stress the positives to compensate for the negatives. Thinking on the bright side always keeps that momentum and drive to keep you going. Here are 5 methods by which you could gain a good number of customers, and keep them for a long and profitable business for you and your family.

1. Always deliver quality goods or services.

There is no better vehicle for our business message than our products themselves. Consistently offering things that are more than worth our customers’ time and money will brand us as enterprises that are committed to quality products and services. This would only serve us well in future dealings with the same clients. Additionally, this would make our clients as advertising vehicles for our business as well, as they would spread the word about the excellence of our service to people belonging to their network.

2. Always try to over-deliver.

People love receiving more than what they paid for. If you consistently give them some extras, their minds would be conditioned to trust your online business for future transactions. It means going beyond customer expectations and making them happy for the product they purchase. Add freebies or a “buy one take one” offer. Maybe a discount for the bulk purchases. Make a point to bring value on what they paid for the product they bought.  

3. Provide bonuses.

In addition to the product you’re selling, add some more goods that would perk up the package. Do this in a way that you will make your customers aware of the value of the bonuses if they were otherwise purchased. This would definitely increase the worth of your product, and such would make it more favorable for a successful sale. Additionally, your bonuses would foster good will with your clients, and this could go a long, long way for future orders. An example of a good bonus, like 50% more. The consumer will know that the product they are about to purchase has 50% more inside. 

4. Build relationships.

The importance of building good relationships with your customers cannot be undermined. As we’ve discussed earlier, the Internet is a rather informal venue for personal dealings. So try to humanize your approach so that your customers can relate to you as someone who is more than just a business provider, but also as a friend. Be authentic on your online presence. Not all internet businesses are legitimate. Some might have profit motivation just to get your money. Be careful in signing up for offers that are too good to be true. Always do your research before you spend your money. 

Forums are a good way to build relationships with people who have the same interests as you. Sites like Reddit, Quora and even more are a good way to start building rapport, authenticity, trust, and respect from people you want to target for your business. Engage with them and be proactive communicating to them. Having a business online does not mean making money. It is also reaching to people who need your products and services.

Think about making a difference and how can your product or service improve their overall health and lifestyle. Developing a relationship with your brand is the path to long term success. People relate their experiences to the product they are using and how it improves their life. It is a win-win situation. The success of the online business not only relies upon how the company builds association on the product. It includes how the company gives attention to the needs of their customers.

5. Make use of a mailing list.

A mailing list is an Internet marketer number one weapon. By capturing the contact details of people who may not have been interested with their current offer, they will be able to condition the same people for future sales. And this could serve their businesses well for a long time, as one successful sale can beget another and another after that. So invest on an excellent autoresponder service and prepare those follow-up messages well. Take good care of your subscriber base, and they will take good care of your business in return.

Winning customers is more than just luck. It entails a lot of strategizing and good planning. Retaining customers involve the same level of commitment as well. In the highly competitive world of online marketing, trust plays an integral role in achieving our goals. Try your best to win your customers’ trust. Take care of it. And for sure, this trust would fuel the most profitable business for you for many years to come.

 Photo credit: by Vectorize Images

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Genuine Tips: 20 Rules to Business Success

business success

SFI President Gery Carson’s 20 Rules to Business Success and I want to share with you. Since it provides me the best insight that I need to focus and the ideas to help me succeed. Business Success is not just by reading and saying it. You have to take action. Get it done and start planning.

Here are his tips to success that you can follow:

1. Treat your business…like a business! 

2. DO something to grow your business every day. Do small goals everyday and keep the momentum going. 

3. Lead by example. 

4. Work with the workers. Listen to your workers and get to know about them.

5. YOU succeed only if THEY succeed. This is an employee and employer business relationship that if you help them succeed. They will help you succeed in your business. 

6. YOU make it happen, no one else. Just do it. 

7. Leaders are readers. Do not assume you know everything. An example is to read a book about marketing. If you do not how to market your business. Learn all you can about the applicable marketing strategies on your business. 

8. Open your eyes to your potential. A business opportunity, idea or strategy are good foundations for a successful business.

9. Set goals…and publish them!

10. Have a plan (a realistic plan).

11. Winning starts with beginning.

12. Focus.

13. Send praise down (and criticism up).

14. Don’t quit.

15. Think BIG.

16.  Don’t major in minors.

17. Don’t be a negative thinker.

18. Some will, some won’t. So what?! Someone’s waiting! Next!

19. Persist until you win.

20. Treat your business like taking care of yourself. Take care of your health and love yourself. It is not good to only think about working to make money and do business.  (From me)

Credits to Strong Future International and © Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos




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Small Business Hacks: Learn How To Manage

small business

by Guest Blogger, Frank J. Aguirre

Small business tips on how to manage it the right way:

1) Lead with a purpose. Communicate the mission and the vision of your small business.  This is not only important for employees and partners, but it is important for you, as the small business owner. You need a clear mission and understanding of what you do. You need a clear vision describing where you want to go.
 
2) Have an exit plan. Where do you want to go with the small businesses? It could be retirement, pass to a family member or sibling. The answer could be to build the sales and sell it to an investor. Whatever the exit plan is, you have to know where you are going.
 
3) Don’t be afraid of the numbers. Use your financials as a way of understanding the health of your business and use the numbers to make decisions when running your business. You don’t have to be a financial expert or accountant but you can’t be afraid to use the numbers to manage.
 
4) Create systems to run your business. You need to create a way of doing things in a consistent and repeatable fashion. Your customers need to know what to expect every time and your and your employees need to know how to deliver every time. Treat your business like it is a franchise system.
 
5) Have a clear brand value. Create a pitch for your product or service. Learn to explain your product or service in 30 seconds or less. What makes your business unique. It’s a classic elevator pitch.
 
About the contributor: Frank J. Aguirre, is currently a business marketing professor at East Lost Angeles College.  To learn more about Frank J. Aguirre, check out his website: http://www.smallbizfrank.com/
 
 




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10 Things You Love And Hate About Virtual Assistants

virtual assistants

What do you love and hate as a virtual assistant? Would it be the working alone? The balance of work and family life? Working anywhere you like? Travelling? Not waking up too early in the morning? Getting extra rest? 

Admit it. Nobody wants to be confined to a cubicle office anymore. I face commute and traffic issues. I get to immerse myself in a knee high water that is flooding the entire parking garage where I worked after the big typhoon. How do I get away from all this?

My solution is training myself to work as a virtual assistant. I have previous admin experience and a financial background. Hey, I could do this full time. I push through despite what many people label VA’s as “The Lazy Job”.  Virtual assistants are the front runners of every small and large business. We operate individually or in a team, there are always reasons why we love and hate the job we do.

Lazy job? Nah! I get asked over and over again. Why should a girl like me want to be a virtual assistant? My reasons are endless. All I care about is being happy and have the balance I want.   are the front runners of every small and large business. We operate individually or in a team, there are always reasons why we love and hate the job we do.

So? Who are virtual assistants? VA’s are the front runners of every small and large business. They operate individually or in a team. They do jobs that no one wants to do. Like data entry, admin work, financial reports and more. You need to have the skills and the talent to get clients. there are always reasons why we love and hate the job we do.

There is always competition. That’s why it is not easy to become a virtual assistant when you don’t have direction. There are always reasons why we love and hate the job we do.

Here is a list of reasons you should love and hate about being a Virtual Assistant. Here are 5 reasons you should love being a virtual assistant and 5 reasons why you should hate it.

5 Reasons You Should Love Being a Virtual Assistant:

1. Love your working hours because it gives you time to do other tasks.

2. No dress code.

3. No office gossip, bickering, and politics. Working for yourself or a virtual has a lot of benefits from doing business as usual and not relying on emotions all the time.

4. Work anywhere you go when internet service is available.

5. Great pay. Virtual assistants are paid hourly, fixed and retainer’s fee.  You can command to get paid by projects too. 

Here are 5 reasons you should hate being a virtual assistant:

6. Working anytime can be misunderstood by family and friends. Virtual assistants are like 9-5 self-employed entrepreneurs. The idea of getting your attention anytime and anywhere gets abused.

7. Constant distractions from home and the environment wherever you go. You want to focus on your tasks. Sometimes you get distractions from noises and people all around you.

8. Balancing work, house work, dog and people duties. 

9. Not dressing up routinely. Sometimes I forget that I should treat my virtual tasks like an actual work.

10. No time limit. Learn to log in your hours honestly. You could lose money, focus and not being able to manage your time well.

IJJ2015

image source by Freepik

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