Perhaps you’ve heard the term “virtual assistant” tossed around while browsing Pinterest, or maybe you’ve heard the term for the first time while browsing my site.
“Virtual assistant?” you say? “Like Siri and Alexa?”
Well, not exactly.
So what is a virtual assistant, anyway?
What is a virtual assistant?
Long story short, a virtual assistant (VA) is someone who you contract to do the administrative work for your business that you just don’t have the time or the manpower to take care of.
What does a virtual assistant do?
I’m glad you asked! The answer varies from VA to VA.
Some virtual assistants specialize in daily organizational tasks like sorting emails, data entry, or bookkeeping. Other virtual assistants (like myself!) specialize in the tech side of business, be that social media management, website development, or email campaigns. Some virtual assistants go the “jack of all trades” route and cover a wide variety of services for their clients.
What services an assistant offers is totally up to them and their experience, but many VA’s will try and connect you with an assistant who provides the services you need if they’re not the right fit for you.
How much does a virtual assistant cost?
Just like the types of services offered, the price of virtual assistant work varies from VA to VA based on their experience, specialization, and region. However, virtual assistants usually structure their pricing to fit one of three models:
This model is pretty self-explanatory. In an hourly pricing model, a virtual assistant tracks how many hours they spend completing a client project, and bills the client according to their hourly rate. Again, the price varies from assistant to assistant, but typically, hourly rates start around $25 for basic work and go up from there depending on the qualifications of the assistant and the type of work being done.
This model is also fairly straightforward. A client may contract a virtual assistant to complete a certain project, at which point, the client and VA will agree upon what work will be done and what the deadline is to finish it by. The VA will charge the client according to how intensive the project is and how much time they estimate it taking.
Often, virtual assistants will sell their services in the form of packages. Some packages cover one-time services for a client, while others keep the VA on retainer for recurring tasks.
For example, I offer a social media set-up package where I create and optimize social media profiles, publish 5 posts on each platform, and create a branding and marketing strategy to start business owners out in the social media world. I charge a flat rate for this package, and a client will typically only need this service one time.
I also offer a continuing monthly package in which I manage up to three social media accounts at a time for a client, posting to each platform regularly and engaging with their community.
As you can see, both the services and prices that virtual assistants offer are as diverse as the assistants themselves. Finding the right virtual assistant for you really depends on what services your business needs.
So why hire a VA?
Excellent question! In my opinion, the flat-out hands-down best reason to hire a VA is time. If you’re like every other entrepreneur out there, you have way too many things on your to-do list and not nearly enough time to get it all done! A virtual assistant saves you time by taking care of the everyday chores of owning a business and frees up your time to do whatever it is you got into your business to do.
Less time spent on the bleh = more time spent doing what you love! That’s a good enough reason as any to hire a VA in my book.
But in case you still need convincing…
- Contracting out work gets you back to a healthier work-life balance.
- Hiring a VA is soooo much cheaper than paying a salaried employee to do the same work.
- Whatever job you need to be done, there is a qualified VA out there who specializes in that area!
So where can I find a VA?
Independent virtual assistants (like me!) as well as private agencies advertise their services through Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, and word of mouth. You might also have luck searching for a virtual assistant through Facebook groups geared towards entrepreneurs. If you really can’t find a virtual assistant that’s right for you, reach out to another VA and see if they can recommend someone that will meet your unique needs.
If you just need a few smaller tasks done and don’t want to go through the hassle of contracting out an independent assistant, consider posting your desired job to larger VA sites like Lifebushido.com, or even posting on Taskrabbit and to find someone willing to complete these simpler tasks.
If you have any other questions regarding virtual assistants or where to find them, please shoot me an email and I will answer to the best of my ability!
Ready to go?
If you’re ready to see how a virtual assistant can work for you, check out my list of services. If we’re not a perfect match, I promise to do my best to refer you to another top-notch VA who can make your business dreams come true.