I like to keep watch on various things posted online, as many of us do and it never ceases to amaze me to see someone seeking a ‘virtual assistant’ and then putting the price on what they want to pay. It frequently doesn’t match up – the rate the client wants to pay versus the work they want done. Do they think that VAs are monkeys? Because it seems all they want to pay is peanuts a lot of the time.
I recently saw a job post at DoMyStuff.com where someone was advertising for a VA to assist with projects which requested the following:
web research, authoring documents and presentations, sorting email, etc. There is a mix of personal and business tasks.
Requirements: excellent English skills, good computer and internet skills, fast turnaround, quick response times
Rates: at most $10 / hour, lower rates will receive preference
When I looked at the responses they got it was from a 16 year old (still at school), another who said they were willing to accept that task and a third saying that’s what she does for a living. All of them were quoting $10 or less.
No wonder people get the wrong idea about this role and think that anyone could set up at home. And no wonder new VAs get discouraged or wonder how they can build up a successful business if they’re going to have to bid so low for a client.
The answer is you don’t – at least not through sites like these. That’s where the Virtual Assistant Networks come in – many list Request for Proposals or Job Leads to their members and the networks are easily found on the web. VA members get listings on their websites and when participating in the VA forums, they get to mix and mingle with those already doing it and making a success of their VA businesses. Why go it alone when you can learn from others? There’s something to be said about mixing in the right company so if you’re looking to become a VA, or are already and going it alone, it’s time to start seeking out the VA networks and forums and get involved! KMT