Virtual Assistant Rates: How do I Charge?

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The big question is not how much to charge but how to charge clients for your virtual assistant jobs or services.  What is important to consider in determining how much to charge a client are the underlying principles you have to take to heart.

In an article by Chris Ducker, you can easily find an average salary guideline for full-time work of VAs.  The said article was updated last September 2014.  Of course, it is very possible that there are changes considering two (2) years had passed as of this writing but as the author implied,  it is only a guideline that will give any new or experienced VA hindsight on how much to charge clients.

Nobody can actually tell about a fixed amount considering that every virtual assistant job or service is uniquely different from each other.  It is important to take into account, however, the basic rules in charging your clients:

Be Honest

Before making a commitment doing a particular VA job, and pitching your rate subsequently, be honest with yourself first.  How much of the work being asked by the client can you actually do?  Do you have the skills or the expertise to do it?  Can you guarantee client satisfaction to be able to bill accordingly?

Do the math

You are not an exclusive employee in a company where you are being given a regular salary and some benefits.  Know that this is not the case with VAs. Calculate your rate considering all the things that tally – monthly bills, VA job requirements (accessories and paraphernalia), business expenses, etc.   You have to give considerations though in situations where some perks are provided by the client, or where your extra unpaid service is inherent.

Do not Undercharge nor Overcharge

There is a quote telling ‘anything in excess is a poison’ or to that effect.  If you undercharge there is this risk of getting an impression that you lack skills, or you treat your work as VA carelessly.  There is a risk of not being able to raise your rate because of this impression.  If you overcharge, on the other hand, it is an indication of greed.  Remember that clients also do their research and it can be easy for them to know the current trend in rates for VA jobs or services.  There is a chance clients will not be considering your services anymore.

Strategize

As you endeavor in becoming a better VA, you will manage to become faster and skilled in what you do.  There are ways to bill clients namely, service tiers, projects, hourly rates, prepaid hours, and retainer hours.  All these methods of payment cater to specific tasks or activities.  You can combine, for example, project-based billing and hourly rates.   This depends, however, on your agreement with your client.

You can offer your service at a lesser price if, in your area, your expertise is available to only a few in your area.  Or you can take chances of billing higher rates to another client who asks for a particular task but similar with the first client’s assigned task.

Research Regularly

Aside from your own experience dealing with clients that includes your VA rates, it is important that you research trends on rates.  Learn about rates from clients and from fellow VAs.  It pays to use your congeniality skills.

Your capability, or skills, or experience, is your tool of the trade.  You can confidently negotiate any VA rate as long as you do your part of honing your skills and being trustworthy to the point of giving your honest and willing support.  It is in your hands.

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Maria Narissa Aranzanso is a content writer and blogger who can produce a wide variety of content for the web and for online consumption. She delivers work with integrity, objectivity, confidentiality, and competency.

Maria Narissa has a day job as internal quality audit head, and document control in-charge, too, for the QMS of a manufacturing company in the Philippines. As IQA head, she is in charge of the internal audit program and audits, which is one of the organization’s tool for quality control. The job as document control in-charge, on the other hand, entails a lot of writing and includes creation of system procedures, work instructions, guidelines, and other related documents.

She has a passion for new technologies, too, which she believes can help a lot in the digital nature of the work. She researches, writes, and edits web content from scratch; writes web content based on material supplied by a client; and/or edit web pages for on-screen readability.

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