Hiring a Virtual Assistant – Looking Beyond the Rate

August 13, 2016

You’ve seen the ads on Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.


Get a Virtual Assistant for $ 7 an hour!


You may have taken it a step further and looked at a few VA websites or even talked to a few virtual assistants. Did it leave you a little confused when you found pricing from the $ 7 you saw in an ad to $ 70 and everything in between? So what’s the difference?


The first, and obvious, difference is the location of the VA offering services. Many, if not most, of the ads for $ 7 to $ 10 ranges are from offshore services. (Learn more about offshore outsourcing.) Countries like the Philippines’, India, China, etc. Because the cost of living is lower there than in the U.S. the price of VA services can be lower. There are a few things you need to be careful of when looking for one of these cut-rate virtual services.


The $ 7 an hour Virtual Assistant:


Hiring a Virtual Assistant -  virtual assistant

$ 7/hr VA’s are usually based overseas.



  • If you plan to use them for social media posting or customer support, do they have excellent English skills? Most do speak English but unless it’s their first language, it will be obvious in any written services. This is not the public image of your business that you want to promote.
  • Are they available by phone (or Skype), and, if so, in what time zone? Will the time be convenient to your schedule? If you are a night owl or early bird, it may work fine.
  • I have found two services where an overseas contractor works well – web design and graphic design. A word of caution, you need to make sure there are no communication issues.

The $ 20-$ 35 an hour Virtual Assistant


Hiring a Virtual Assistant – Looking Beyond the Rate - virtual assistant

VA’s just starting out will have mid-range pricing


This VA is typically just starting out in the business. She/he may have years of experience as an employee but not working as a contractor. If you have typical entry level tasks you want to delegate, this VA may be an excellent fit. It will also work well if you want to manage her/him closely. The working relationship is typically task driven. For example:


Ms. VA, I would like you to post this newsletter to my Constant Contact account using this template. Send a test to me and when I approve it, send it to XYZ list on Tuesday at 10 am.


If you have the right entry level VA, he/she will complete this task and then wait for further tasks from you.


If you know exactly what tasks you need and the steps to make that happen, an entry level VA may be a perfect fit for you.


The $ 35-$ 65 an hour Virtual Assistant


Hiring a Virtual Assistant – Looking Beyond the Rate Multi-VA business

Do need a VA team?


Typically, this is an experienced virtual assistant with extensive industry knowledge. You will often find they specialize in a specific service or niche. Also many will have a multi-VA company. This means they have other professionals that work with them, usually as subcontractors. In this way, they can offer a variety of services.


Are you a successful entrepreneur who loves the work at the heart of your business? What you don’t like and don’t want to do is all the administrative tasks necessary in running a business – email management, webinar set up and the technology around it, bookkeeping, etc. Maybe you know what you want to do, but don’t know how to make it happen. This is when you should look for an experienced, professional virtual assistant.


Is this you?


Entrepreneur: I want to offer a webinar on September 1st at 7 pm.


VA: Great. I will get everything set up and contact you if I need more details.


Entrepreneur: I want to create a presence on social media with the intent to become a thought leader in my industry.


VA: Wonderful goal! Here’s what we need to do……..


See the difference? With the experienced VA, you are paying for her knowledge and skill. She is not just task driven. Because of this, she is able to take more off your plate.


For the entrepreneur who doesn’t like or simply doesn’t understand the technical tasks necessary to be an online business, the right experienced virtual assistant will be able to recommend the software and systems that best fit for your needs. These might be – best shopping cart service, CRM, social media platforms, bookkeeping system, etc.


Before you go shopping for a virtual assistant, evaluate your needs, work style, budget, and personality. Decide what level of VA you need and then make a move to find him/her.

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Author: Karen Repoli


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