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Recently I saw a comment made by an entrepreneur on social media that it was hard for this person to find good virtual assistants. My initial thought was, “How much is she paying them?”
Within days I saw this post on a Facebook VA group (edited):
“I need a self-starter, someone who thinks out of the box, smart marketing mindset, is extremely comfortable on the phone, trouble shoots, very organized and reliable.
- List Building
- Work with 1shoppingcart and how it interfaces with PayPal
- Recycling blog posts and publishing them
- Researching sites to publish my blog posts
- Organize, edit and put together transcriptions of mp3 product into e-books
- Website updates…WordPress
- Selling product on Amazon
- Create product pages
- Creating a podcast station and uploading podcasts
- Liaison with website designer to update my website
- Edit copy
- Facebook Promotion
- YouTube channel updates and help with the look”
And what did this entrepreneur want to pay?
$20 an hour.
I sat there shaking my head in disbelief. Now, that’s not to say that you can’t find a very good virtual assistant for $20 an hour. But for them to have the experience and expertise that both of these entrepreneurs require will be very difficult to find.
This is your business; do you really want to trust it to a VA who only charges $20 an hour? From what I’ve seen, a VA charging that low needs many more clients to make a living. Before you know it, the VA is overwhelmed because she has too many clients and can’t give your business the focus and attention it should receive.
Along this same thread, a few weeks ago I was talking to a potential client (who is now a client, by the way). She was telling me about a previous company she had used and how she now realized that she was paying them a low rate, which in turn, meant their team was being paid an even lower rate and really had the “I don’t care” attitude. You get what you pay for.
There are some things in our business (and our life) that we go ahead and pay top dollar for because we want or need high quality. Like macaroni and cheese. I will never buy off-brand mac and cheese ever, ever, ever again!!
Hotels would be another example. The experience you get at an Econo Lodge is much different than the experience you receive at the Ritz Carlton. Both have beds to sleep on and a roof over your head, and that’s about where the similarities stop!
But we’re not talking about a side dish or a night’s sleep…we’re talking about your business and what you want in your business. Perhaps you want a task-oriented virtual assistant and can get by with the $20 an hour VA.
Or maybe you want a VA who is more of a partner in your business — one who understands online marketing, can make suggestions, be proactive, comprehends how updating one thing affects other things, and doesn’t have to be told every little task to do — then you’re going to have to pay for that expertise.
I have even been told that what my team and I do is really not virtual assistance, but online marketing strategy and implementation, but yet I still say we’re virtual assistants.
Bottom line: virtual assistants come in all shapes and sizes with different areas of expertise and experience — all at diverse pay levels. Be clear about what your expectations are and understand what those expectations will cost.