The Ruby Freelancers Show 048 – Outsourcing to ODesk with Jonathan Shank


Jonathan Shank (twitter Your First Virtual Assistant)
Eric Davis (twitter github blog)
Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Ramp Up)

01:03 – Jonathan Shank Introduction

Your First Virtual Assistant

02:13 – Odesk


03:45 – Types of jobs you can outsource


08:35 – Picking the right people

11:18 – Figuring out what to outsource

13:39 – Hiring domestic vs overseas workers

16:52 – Sampling groups vs hiring regulars

21:05 – Improving delegation skills

23:27 – Mistakes people make when getting started outsourcing

Be Specific

26:11 – Letting strangers into your business


31:19 – Fiverr

99 Designs

34:29 – U.S.-based VA firms

36:38 - Outsourcing technical things


Bidsketch: Freelance Marketing 101: Creating a “Magnetic” Freelance Business (Eric)
Presto 04213 Electronic Timer (Chuck)
David J. Soler (Chuck)
Work the System (Jonathan)

Next Week
Contracts with Attorney Jared Richards
CHUCK: Yeah it's all fun and games until you put a nail through your foot.

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CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 48 of the Ruby Freelancer Show! This week on our panel, we have Eric Davis.

ERIC: Hello!

CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from And we have a special guest, Jonathan Shank.


CHUCK: So Jonathan, do you want to introduce yourself really quickly?

JONATHAN: Sure! My name is Jonathan Shank, I've been working with Virtual Assistance for a couple of years, which I guess the reason that I'm up (here). I represent [inaudible], by that kindly to be on your podcast. I guess I started a couple of years ago as working on my own business on the side and I found that when the whole world of virtual assistant is open to me, I realized there's so many people out there that can help me with my business that it really was something that really helped me out quite a lot. So as a result, I've been working with them for a couple of years, and I've had so much success personally that I kind of decided that I just want to share that with others. So I started the website "", and a podcast, and there is other thing.

Basically, (I'm) just trying (to) show people just from square one how easy it is to take a lot and find your first virtual assistant. So that's kind of how it started. Now whenever I have a chance, I kind of spread the news of how you can use them on various businesses.

CHUCK: I went to your talk at New Media Expo and it seem like you were mostly talking about oDesk. Is that the way you usually go? Or are there other avenues you take to find people?

JONATHAN: Yeah. I would say that the vast majority of what I use has been oDesk. I've tried a lot of the other sites as well, and for me, how I work it seems to be the best, at least as really conducive to how I like to do things. For instance, if you have a fixed-price job, it's very easy to quickly have a small [inaudible] avenue to get a lot of people that do inexpensive work. You go to some of the other sites,