Virtual assistants (VA) have quickly replaced administrative and executive assistants in the corporate workspace. They offer the same services as regular assistants, but in a virtual fashion. What makes virtual assistants appealing to many people is the ease they bring to work. You can hire a VA to do almost any task you can’t do yourself.
Virtual assistants are significantly more affordable to work with than personal assistants. Additionally, since virtual assistants work remotely, most of them are freelancers who do not commit to a single organization.
While this system may be disadvantageous, the main benefit is that the flexibility allows you to hire a VA for the few hours you need them for. In return, you only pay for the hours worked. This is different from working with a full-time employee, who gets the same monthly payment, no matter the work done.
Let’s look at how much it costs to hire a virtual assistant.
How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Cost?
Now that you have an idea of why people hire virtual assistants, you can settle fully into knowing how much it will cost you to get one. Hiring VAs doesn’t come at a fixed rate.
The cost of hiring one can be anywhere between $3 to $100 per hour. Many factors determine how much you pay. Check out a few of those factors below.
The Type of Work
How much does a virtual assistant cost exactly? The type of work you want is the first and most important factor when determining this amount. Virtual assistant fees are dependent on the work entailed.
Simple administrative tasks, like email management, bookkeeping, and data entry cost little. However, it does become expensive when seeking executive functions, like project management, social media management, and copywriting.
If you have a complete task that will take several hours or days to complete, prepare to pay a lot out of pocket. Additionally, projects that require specialized skills cost more than regular tasks, like calendar management and cold mailing.
Remember that other factors contribute to how much a VA costs apart from the type of work. Let’s check out some of the others and how they relate to this.
The second determinant of a virtual assistant’s cost is their experience level. Highly experienced VAs tend to charge more than newbies. Their rates are usually higher, but they compensate for it with quality work.
Even when these virtual assistants do regular jobs, the output quality is better overall. For this reason, they may charge $20 an hour per task. A new VA will charge $10 an hour or less.
Usually, you can categorize virtual assistant experience levels using years. Newbies are those with less than a year of experience in the field. Meanwhile, experienced VAs have spent years perfecting their skills and providing optimal value to their clients.
However, you should not always use the rate a VA charges to determine their experience. Some people charge high rates to parade themselves as better than they are.
Another important determinant of a virtual assistant’s cost is their location. In fact, this is one of the major causes of disparities in virtual assistants package rates. VAs in countries like the US, UK, and Canada tend to charge more than their counterparts in countries like India and the Philippines.
US-Based virtual assistants and others in a similar region typically charge a minimum of $15 for simple VA tasks. The minimum pay for VAs from developing countries can be as little as $5. Fortunately, some price uniformity exists among highly skilled VAs across different locations.
VAs charge high rates, especially when they specialize in a technical area. You can expect to pay anything from $40 upwards for VAs specializing in challenging niches.
When hiring a freelance virtual assistant, location can sometimes determine the quality of work. The difference is not very noticeable in everyday tasks, like managing social media accounts, writing blog posts, and basic repetitive tasks.
However, some jobs require workers to be familiar with the local culture. When you find yourself needing an assistant for customer support or email marketing, you may want to hire someone familiar with your target audience.
Most virtual assistants are freelancers offering an array of services to different clients. Because of this, they only work regular business hours and set their time depending on the tasks before them. If you want a virtual assistant to work on an urgent task, you may incur extra costs.
An effective way to reduce the average cost of your VA is to give them enough time to complete the project. If it is a repetitive task, and you have been working with the same VA for some time, they may not charge you much. However, it would always help to give your VA enough time to work on their tasks.
Specific Project Details
After reading your job description on a popular freelance marketplace, VAs may decide to go higher or lower than their average. Experienced VAs possess multiple skills that allow them to offer a wide range of services. However, they may sometimes have to outsource some parts of the project, which costs more.
Project details affecting virtual assistance costs include advanced skill requirements, paid tools, a high level of expertise, time zone differences, and the number of revisions.
Also, if your reviews indicate you’re difficult to work with, this may impact how VAs charge you. You can prevent this by communicating and giving clear instructions while posting on job boards.
How to Pay Virtual Assistants
The mode in which you pay your virtual assistant will end up affecting your total cost. The difference is mostly negligible, but you should be aware of it. There are three main ways to pay virtuals assistants:
Paying per hour is one of the most common ways to pay virtual assistants. Whether you are working with virtual assistant companies, or an independent contractor, this method allows you to pay for the number of billable hours. However, dealing fairly with this payment structure requires you to know how many hours it will take to complete your work.
When using an hourly payment structure, you can use time tracking tools to ensure the virtual assistant is not logging in idle time as hours worked. Some software programs also allow you to monitor the sites your VA visits while logging in time for your project. This is to ensure they are working on only one project during the time they bill you for.
You can agree with the VA to pay per task if you both find the method comfortable. The benefit of this payment system is that you do not have to monitor your VA regarding time use. All you need is to get your work within a stipulated time. This can be an ideal method if you’re looking to delegate a fixed task, like writing a press release.
This system lets you know how much a project costs, especially if you work with multiple assistants. Additionally, you don’t have to deal with how long any assistant takes to complete the task. Instead, you can focus on other, more urgent things.
It’s also common to pay virtual assistants per project. Many virtual assistant marketplaces give options of paying per project. This method may be ideal if you work with a specialized VA on a technical task. Projects like web development and digital marketing are easier to accomplish with a per-project payment system.
You may also pay per project when working with virtual assistant companies. This way, you will be on solid ground if they change the person working on your job at any time. Project-based pricing is also ideal for tasks with predictable pricing.
Once your VA possesses essential skills and delivers quality results, you need not worry about how long it took them to complete the task.
Is a Virtual Assistant Worth Having?
Yes, having a virtual assistant is worth every penny that you spend. You can easily assign repetitive tasks to a VA, allowing your full-time team to focus on building your brand.
You can hire an executive virtual assistant to manage your entire day and maximize productivity. This affords you more time and freedom to complete tasks you cannot delegate.
Some virtual assistants offer specialized knowledge in certain areas. Those VAs charge premium fees for their expertise, but their work is usually worth every dollar you spend on them. It’s also worth hiring virtual assistants, since they typically cost less than full-time assistants.
How much does a virtual assistant cost exactly? There is a virtual assistant for almost any task you could want to accomplish. People usually contact VAs with customer support requests, email delegations, and repetitive administrative tasks.
However, you can find a virtual assistant ready to help create a travel itinerary, manage a product, organize your marketing campaign, and do other technical tasks. The cost of these virtual assistants is understandably higher than those who do simple tasks, but it’s all worth the price.