Chapter Two

Seeing Green: How Much Does A Virtual Assistant Make?

How much you make as a virtual assistant really depends upon several factors: The services you offer, your skill level, and your client. You will be able to charge far more money when you work for clients like lawyers than you will when working with small business owners.

According to some statistics, virtual assistants working exclusively for such upscale clients as attorneys are able to charge up to and more than $100 an hour while other virtual assistants tend to earn somewhere between $20 and $45 per hour.

If you will be working for a virtual assistant company that assigns you specific projects, you will likely be told what pay rate is being offered, and you will have the choice of whether or not you want to accept the assignment. However, if you have your own virtual assistant company or you are working as a freelance virtual assistant, you will set your own rates.

How you charge really depends upon your own preferences: Some virtual assistants charge per hour while others prefer to charge per project, if they do not have a set amount of hours per week. There are still other virtual assistants who prefer having the client pay a retainer for a set amount of hours each week or month. For example, you may require that your client pays a retainer that guarantees you will work at least 20 hours per month.

Those virtual assistants who require a retainer also tend to offer their clients a discount for agreeing to the retainer.

Let's now look at how you will determine how much to charge clients. First, you must determine what services you will offer. We already discussed the many tasks that virtual assistants can offer. Now you must sit down and make a list of the services you will offer your clients: Will you offer both professional and personal services? Will you offer specialized services, such as writing or editing? Will you market only to a specific target market, such as internet marketers or those in the real estate field?

Many experts recommend catering to only a few target markets. For example, you may want to work only for lawyers and accountants. Or, you may prefer just to work for those clients who have online businesses. As we just mentioned, the type of client you work for will also have an impact on how much you can charge.

Once you have determined what services you will offer, you must decide how you want to be paid: Hourly? Per project? On a retainer? If you are not sure what to charge clients, take a look at what other virtual assistants are charging (this will be part of your market research, which we will discuss later on). Those virtual assistants with specialized skills and significant experience can often charge far more than those who are new to the industry and who have little experience.

Setting your prices can be a nerve-wracking experience: You do not want to undersell yourself and you do not want to price yourself out of the market. Consider what the competition is charging then set your own rates. Your rates are not set in stone, and you can adjust them as and when needed.

Next: Chapter Three: The Cost Of Becoming A Virtual Assistant

Previous: Chapter Two: Education: What You Need To Succeed

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