A virtual assistant is usually a self-employed independent contractor that helps business owners with administrative, creative or technical tasks. Think personal assistant, but all virtual. You can work part-time or full time and you make your own hours and charge your own rates.
Creating your own hours and charging your own rates probably sounds glamorous but for most, they find it quite intimidating and as a result, I am constantly getting questions such as:
- How much should I charge as a beginner?
- What about if I have some intermediate skills or advanced skills?
- Do I charge hourly or use packages?
- How do I even go about getting paid?
In today’s post, I am breaking it all down for you. I am sharing how much you can earn as a virtual assistant, how to set up your pricing structure, and how to actually get paid.
How Much Can I Earn as a Virtual Assistant?
Let’s start off with the elephant in the room…how much can you make as a freelancer? I have a short and not so short answer to this one. The short answer, $25/hr. The long answer, the sky’s the limit.
There are several different factors that go into determining how much you can charge as a freelancer.
For most beginning virtual assistants, the industry standard is $25-$30/hour. When you are just getting started, you want to make sure that you are charging at least $25/hr. in order to account for taxes and other business expenses.
Once you get a few clients under your belt and gain more experience, you can increase your prices by $5 every few months, especially if you are investing in additional skills training. As a general VA, you can typically cap your rates at around $50/hour.
The big plot twist is freelancers make far more than $50/hour, but how??
How Much Can I Earn as a Freelancer Offering Premium Services?
Earlier, I said the sky was the limit on what you can earn and this is 100% true. As you gain more experience and begin to invest in your skills training, you will want to niche down to offer a more premium service.
Instead of advertising yourself as a general VA, you will want to market yourself as a premium service-provider based on the skills training you have received. Some specialized services include:
- Pinterest Manager
- Website Designer
- Social Media Manager
- Tech VA
- Director of Marketing
- Online Business Manager
And the list goes on. If you want to learn more about these specialized areas, be sure to check out this blog that goes into more detail about the 5 most in-demand freelancing services out there.
By becoming known as the expert in one of these premium services, you can begin to charge premium prices. We are talking $75, $100, $150/hour and then some! But for most of these types of service-providers they no longer charge hourly; instead, they charge using packages.
How to Setup Packages as a Freelancer?
As you step into more of those premium, expert level services, you are going to want to set up packages rather than charge clients hourly. Over time, you will get faster at the tasks you are performing and by having packages in place, you end up earning more per hour even though the package never changed.
For example, a social media manager might setup a package for $450/month that includes:
- 12 Instagram posts a month
- 12 graphics
- Copy for each post
- 1 hour of engagement/per week
- Hashtag research
At first it might take her 10 hours to complete all of the tasks above, so she is technically making $45/hour but in time, she might be able to do all of the above in 7 hours, so now she is making more like $64/hour.
Plus, she can increase her rates/packages with more experience and more training. A social media manager might have packages that start more around $1,000/month or even as high as $5,000/month depending on what is included.
How Do I Get Paid as a Virtual Assistant?
Now that you know what your earning potential is and how to setup your pricing structure, let’s talk about how you actually get paid.
For most freelancers, and what I recommend to all of my students inside The Prep 2.0, is to always get paid upfront. Send out your invoices before you even start a project or begin working with them on a monthly retainer.
At first, you can go the free route and send invoices through programs such as Wave. This free platform allows you to send invoices and get paid via PayPal or Stripe. Overtime though, I highly recommend that you invest in a more sophisticated CRM (customer relationship management) program like Dubsado or Honeybook which allows you to not only send invoices, but proposals, contracts, scheduling links, and more.
So there you have it, everything you need to know about your earning potential as a freelancer. If you are ready to work from home and start earning more than your 9-5, be sure to checkout my free training.
Rooting you on as always,