Setting Your Rates as a New Virtual Assistant 

Setting your rates as a new virtual assistant can feel scary. Many new Virtual Assistants price their rates very low in the hopes that this will attract more clients.  

While you may get more interest initially, this method usually backfires because bad clients tend to hire based on your price alone. You’ll end up thinking that being a VA doesn’t pay enough and is too much of a headache to deal with. 

Here’s how to set better rates that attract quality clients… 

See What Others Are Charging

It can be helpful to look at what other Virtual Assistants charge to help you set your prices. Some virtual assistants do post their rates on their websites.  

But make sure your price comparing with VA’s who do your type of work. Comparing rates between a VA who specializes in web design and a VA who specializes in social media videos won’t help you set your rates. 

Hourly Rates vs Fixed Price

Next, you need to understand how other VA’s set their rates. There are two common ways to do this. Some virtual assistants charge a fixed price per project while others charge an hourly rate.

Hourly Rate

The amount of money that is charged, paid, or earned for every hour worked: You pay a fixed or hourly rate for the advisers’ time rather than paying for the products they sell you.
 

The hourly rate is helpful when you’re new and inexperienced. It gives you the space to learn how long it takes you to do certain tasks, which projects your clients’ value, and what a fair wage for your time is.  

However, the hourly rate is not helpful if you have advanced skills. For example, when Trisha started out as a VA, she set up mailing lists for her clients. The process took her about 4 hours and she charged $25 per hour. This means her clients were paying her an average of $100. 

But as Trisha developed her skills, it only took her 2 hours to handle the mailing list set up. Since she was still charging by the hour, she earned $50 instead of $100. This means she was losing money because of her experience. 

The way to overcome a problem like this is to offer a fixed price. That’s what Trisha began doing. She charged a flat-rate fee of $100 for every mailing list set up that she did. She was still offering the exact same service; the only difference was the new price reflected Trisha’s years of expertise and knowledge. 

Flat Rate

Example: Technicians working under flat-rate or incentive pay systems usually earn more than employees in shops with hourly rates — provided they are confident and work reasonably quickly. Most companies use one system. … Tasks that place a premium on fine craftsmanship are also often done at an hourly rate.

Ask for a Deposit

Make sure you ask for a deposit from your clients at the start of each project. This protects you if you start working on a project, but your client must cancel it for some reason. You’ll still have the deposit which should cover the time you’ve already invested. 

But a deposit also protects your client, too. It assures them that they’ve booked time on your busy schedule and makes their project a top priority.  

Most clients understand this and will happily pay the deposit. But if a client balks when you bring this up, they may be more interested in test driving your services than making an actual purchase. 

Setting your rates when you’re first starting your virtual assistant business might make you feel nervous. This is natural and you’ll become comfortable discussing your prices as time goes on. 

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