Are You Charging Too Much without Enough Value as a Virtual Assistant?
This week's video presents the question "Are you charging too much for your virtual assistant services?" As controversial as the question is - this really is about pricing yourself to the value that you offer your clients and consciously communicating that value in terms of outcomes instead of services rendered. The acceptable price point on an entry-level administrative role, for example, would be very different to a role that generates revenue and ideas which have a direct impact on your client's bottom line.
Are you ready for something slightly controversial? In this video, I want to help you figure out whether you're charging too much for your virtual assistant services.
I'm one of the biggest advocates out there for virtual assistants to make a living wage and to get paid well for what they do. However, lately, I've seen a variety of people who are offering really high hourly rates or retainer packages, but they're not necessarily communicating the value of that.
One of my original mentors in the online business space told me something several years ago that really stuck with me. She said she had never met a virtual assistant who was charged more than $50 an hour who also brought along $50 an hour or more in value to her team. Now that's a major disconnect, right? This is somebody who owned a seven-figure business, very successful in the online space. But if you can't communicate and bring that value to charge $40, $45, $50, or $60 an hour, then your client is not going to stick with you. For this reason, you’d actually be better off slightly lowering your hourly rate, thus having clients who feel as though you're right on target in asking for that.
Consider Lowering Your hourly rate
I'm not advocating that you charge $5 or $10 an hour and make no money as a virtual assistant, but if you're going to be charging these really high rates, you need to be bringing a lot of value to the table – high end strategy, Infusionsoft experience, other knowledge managing teams of other people, or being a project manager and helping a project move from the initial idea stages all the way to completion. If you're charging $45 and $50 an hour to input an email newsletter, a lot of people aren't going to see that as worthwhile because that's something they could easily do themselves or outsource to another competent professional for $20 or $25 an hour.
I know this is a really controversial topic, but it's become really popular lately with a lot of virtual assistants for transitioning to an online business manager role. An online business manager does more than your typical virtual assistant. The online business manager, in some cases, is like the right-hand person to the entrepreneur, helping to create strategy ideas and plans for bringing things to execution. In some cases, for a seven-figure entrepreneur, paying $40 or $50 an hour may be worth it because that person is helping generate revenue, contribute ideas, and increase profits. But if you're pitching yourself as scheduling social media posts and sending email newsletters, or proofreading for $40, $50 and $60 an hour, it's going to be harder for you to land clients because they don't really see all of the value in that.
Services vs. value
This is another mistake I see VAs and OBMs in this situation making. They're positioning themselves as providing services and not value. You have to think about your client when you're pitching an offering to them. You have to be able to communicate value versus services. A lot of times, I see virtual assistants talking about services. They say, "I can create 20 social media posts per week." Great! But what does that actually do for the client? Are those posts going to increase engagement? Free up time? Provide more opportunities for generating revenue because they'll be heavily researched and focused on conversion? By focusing on value rather than services, you can increase your hourly rate, but always be mindful of the value you're bringing to the table. Don't just charge a high hourly rate for the sake of saying that's your hourly rate and hoping that's what you're going to get. You must be able to communicate why you're asking for that and how the client will benefit from paying that amount. Just something to keep in mind as you grow your virtual assistant business.
If you're curious and want to learn more about launching a career as a virtual assistant and making $1000 a month or more in your off time, or growing it into a full-time business, check out my resource library all about becoming a VA and my free course on why being a VA right now is a great opportunity for you to add some income and amazing skillsets to your bottom line.