If you’re a new virtual assistant or a seasoned virtual assistant this is a topic that gets a lot of traction. Figuring out what your rates are can be one of the hardest things for both the newcomer and experienced VA.
Instead of telling you what you should charge I’ll share my experience.
When I first became a virtual assistant I worked for a company called Secretary in Israel. It’s a wonderful virtual assistant company that matches clients with virtual assistants. At that time, Secretary in Israel was charging $35/hour for senior level virtual assistant services and my share of that was $18/hour.
When I decided to branch out on my own I began charging $20/hour. In my eyes, it was an increase in my hourly rate but it was still way below the $35/hour rate. I thought that because I offered my services at such a low rate I was sure I would be able to get several clients.
I did get several clients from referrals and they never batted an eye at my $20/hour rate. After working at this rate for several months, I realized that I was getting more and more referrals and I didn’t have the time to handle all the work coming in. It was time to re-think my hourly rate.
I increased my rate to $25/hour and again, no one batted an eye.
The next time another potential client approached me for my services I told her that my hourly rate was $30/hour. Within 24 hours, this client suggested we move forward and she has been a client of mine ever since.
Eventually, I started asking clients for $45/hour.
Keep in mind that I got clients and raised my rates because I was really good at what I did. I solved my client’s problems.
I was so busy that I needed to evaluate how I was charging my clients in terms of the retainer packages I was offering. I had 3 options in my retainer package. The idea was if you purchased more time I gave you a discount on the hourly rate.
Here is how it looked:
10 hours of VA services – $45/hour = $450
20 hours of VA services – $40/hour =$800
40 hours of VA services – $35/hour =$1,400
Over time, the above options stopped working for me. That’s because I had a large client roster (and more work than I know what to do with). I didn’t need to discount my rates –so I stopped.
I started offering 5-hour blocks of time for $45/hour. Period. If my clients want to purchase 10 hours then they paid $450. It’s was that simple.
Today, I charge $150/hour for my services. I’ve been working in this industry for over 10 years.
My pricing now goes through a VERY methodical process and I never guess at how much I should charge.
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I feel it’s important to say that when you offer your clients too many choices they often time choose nothing. Do yourself a favor and pick one price point and stick to it. Derek Halpern of Social Triggers wrote a great blog about offering too many choices. While Derek’s post is about selling stuff online it can easily be translated into creating rate sheets for virtual assistants.
If you offer basic administrative services, as well as advanced services don’t charge less for the more basic services. Your profit margin will be higher for those basic services and that’s totally fine!
Take a look at these posts to take things a step further.
So tell me, how much are you charging for your virtual assistant services and what information did you base this number off of?
Leave me a comment below.