Is $10 Per Hour Too Much for A Virtual Assistant?

54 replies
There were occasions here where warriors said that those working for only $10 per hour would be better off flipping burgers.

So, what do you think is the affordable rate for Virtual Assistants if you were to hire one? How much would you charge if you were a VA?

Also, if you have a do-it-all VA what task would you have them do.

If possible, please list them down in order of importance.

ex.

1. Link Building
2. Niche Research (Finding niche terms and proper keyword research)
3. Blog Setup
4. etc..etc..

Thanks!

All the best,
#$10 #assistant #hour #virtual
  • Profile picture of the author Tasso Pepi
    There were occasions here where warriors said that those working for only $10 per hour would be better off flipping burgers.

    So, what do you think is the affordable rate for Virtual Assistants if you were to hire one? How much would you charge if you were a VA?

    Also, if you have a do-it-all VA what task would you have them do.

    If possible, please list them down in order of importance.

    ex.

    1. Link Building
    2. Niche Research (Finding niche terms and proper keyword research)
    3. Blog Setup
    4. etc..etc..


    Thats a good question...

    I guess it depends on the experience of the person and what they can offer.

    Also $10 per hour in some countries would be great money
    Where as others not so great.....

    So to me also, I think currency exchange can be an important factor also...

    But I do think if you have a great assistant $10/hour is a bargain price for someone who can take away the chores you may not have time to do....

    If I had someone who could do it all....

    The things i tend to focus on are

    Blog Setup
    Adding the artcles and video tutorials to the blog etc
    Link Building....
    Help Desk also....

    I tend to still do niche maket and keyword research myself as i like to have control of that...


    Take Care

    Tas
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  • Profile picture of the author GuerrillaIM
    Depends what your looking for. I know some UK based assistants that charge $70/hr but they are not doing link tradining etc...

    I was paying my VA $5/hr and was really happy with them but just lost them due to someone making a better offer. If you find someone good overseas and they do the business for you then paying a little over the standard price will ensure you dont lose them.
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  • Profile picture of the author pyles
    It depends on how much they will make you per hour.

    If you are paying someone $5 per hour, they should in theory, make you $10 per hour, or more.

    If they cost you $50 per hour, they should make you $100 per hour.

    As long as that person is bringing value to you more than you are paying them, it is worth you expense in the short run.

    Why not hire them for 10 hours work, wait a week and see how much business their work brought you from those ten hours, then decide if you want to keep them on.
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  • Profile picture of the author meph
    It helps to have one if your time is worth more than what you would be paying. That said, it's pretty hard to find someone trustworthy, and that has been the reason that's holding me back from hiring one thus far.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kieron
    I have not used this but I understand that using odesk you can see the VA screen from time to time to see that they are actually working when they are supposed to be.
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  • Profile picture of the author JayXtreme
    Is $10 per hour too much?

    No, but....

    It depends on the circumstances.

    Personally, in my own business, I have people writing content for me whenever I can. It's the worst part of this thing for me.

    I love writing blog posts of all kinds, shape and size within my niches... but the exterior content is a pain for me.

    Link building is another.. I've not built links to a site of mine for a long time, but they are still being built

    And the major one, is blog creation. I must do about 5 a week... the rest I get somebody else to do for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author George Tee
    hmm.. i think it's really too high. If I were to hire $10, they would be doing the tasks of project management - creating pdts, testing and tweaking copy, launching pdts, creating graphics etc.

    If you are talking about link buildings, you can get around $2-3 per hour.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Mobley
      My recommendation.

      Go to BestJobs.ph and do a resume' search for the skill set you are looking for. Go through some of the resume's to get an idea of what applicants are asking.

      I'm looking right now at a SEO consultant, Link Builder, Link Specialist, Article writer with a Bachelor's degree - Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering with 1 year experience who wants 10,000 PHP/month. About $217.00 a month. Less than $2.00 per hour.

      You may not be able to hire from BestJobs.ph if you are in the US.

      Go to oDesk.com. Go through the same process. This should give you an idea of what's available and for how much.

      I use oDesk.com. You can find dollar conversion rates at CoinMill.com.

      Hope this helps.

      Let us know how it goes.

      Joe
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      • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
        Originally Posted by Joe Mobley View Post


        You may not be able to hire from BestJobs.ph if you are in the US.
        True enough. I just wanted to add that last time I checked, there was one way only to access it from the US: to join replacemyself.com, and the same goes for a second excellent site he uses: olinejobs.ph though I'm not sure of the "ph".

        For me the sites were so good, it was worth the monthly member fee, when I was looking to hire. I think I paid about $67 a month.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketingva
    Pricing depends on what the VA can do for you and their location. I know many excellent VA's who do administrative work for $10 who live in a rural area of the US. That $10 allows them to make more than flipping burgers and stay home with their kids.

    On the other hand, I charge much more an hour and I only do internet marketing.

    Bonnie
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    • Profile picture of the author Rikki_Fawkes
      It depends on a lot of variables.... including how well the virtual assistant speaks English. If you have to do more explaining and outlining for a cheaper VA that speaks poor English than a proficient VA, I'd take the latter option.

      That being said, I've had success with outsourcing (non-VA) in the Philippines and was able to communicate with the guy pretty well.
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  • Profile picture of the author MisterMunch
    My time is currently sold for $100 - $200 an hour. I do not think $10 is very expencive.
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Wow, so far the replies give me good intel on price range.

    It's cool. So far we have the following:

    High end rate for VA's (all around service) - Higher than $10 per hour
    Mid range rate for VA's (all around service) - $5 to $10 per hour
    Low end rate for VA's (SEO, Link Building) - $2 to $3 per hour

    Outsourcing sites:

    oDesk.Com
    BestJobs.Ph
    OnlineJobs.Ph

    Common Task Assignments:

    Link Building
    Article Writing
    Blog Setup
    Help Desk

    Thanks and keep it coming.
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  • Profile picture of the author kyhell
    10$ an hour doing what you listed is fine by me
    ive got loads of time on my hands and would definitely work for 10$ an hour seems like a fair price to
    PM me if your still looking
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  • Profile picture of the author rapidscc
    Hi Chris,

    PM sent.
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  • Profile picture of the author shaggard
    Along with many other things, I do VA work too. I get paid $15. So no I don't think $10 an hour is too much.

    What I usually do for clients (really whatever they ask)
    Blog commenting
    Setting up accounts: Mixx, Facebook, Digg, etc
    Blog moderation
    Product reviews
    Article posting
    Bookmarking
    Pinging
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  • Profile picture of the author MassiveMarketer
    it depends on what you're looking for and what you need the VA to get done. The rate depends on where the VA is located. You'll know if you're paying your VA enough if the job gets done right and provides quality work. You could maybe try to go a lower rate and your VA has proven the skills they have, then go for an increase.
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  • Profile picture of the author maclustig
    IMHO, $10.00 per hour fair enough for VA, especially if you're going to hire from the sites mentioned (oDesk.Com, BestJobs.Ph and OnlineJobs.Ph)

    I had my fair share of working as a freelancer on those sites and based on my experience people who charge $2-$8 /hour are just starting on with their craft or inexperienced hence making your projects their guinea pigs. So as much as possible stay away from freelancers who charge so low to avoid wasting time and money. Just as what they say you get what you pay for.

    Hope that helps. Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author Mktrilogy
      Originally Posted by maclustig View Post

      IMHO, $10.00 per hour fair enough for VA, especially if you're going to hire from the sites mentioned (oDesk.Com, BestJobs.Ph and OnlineJobs.Ph)

      I had my fair share of working as a freelancer on those sites and based on my experience people who charge $2-$8 /hour are just starting on with their craft or inexperienced hence making your projects their guinea pigs. So as much as possible stay away from freelancers who charge so low to avoid wasting time and money. Just as what they say you get what you pay for.

      Hope that helps. Thanks!

      You got a point but charging Va for around 1-2$ per hour does not mean they are less skilled.

      I have 30 VA in that price range and we are world class and our clients started 1 with us and in months hired more VA as the business grows. Charging around 2-3 $ is being competitive. I cannot think of a project that a 10$ Va where our 2$ cant do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vic Chan
    In this case..

    If I would to hire a VA.. $10 is considered quite good already especially if the person I'm hiring comes from oDesk.com or BestJobs.ph..

    What if I want to pay them monthly instead of hourly.

    I've been thinking.. there's always this possibility where we hire them for 5 hours.. and give them a task which can be completed in one hour. So they could do 5 of the same task for 5 hours.

    What if they slack off.. for example.. one task took them about 2 hours.

    How do we counter this?
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  • Profile picture of the author colio
    Vic,

    oDesk & I think other outsource sites require that the contractors use a special desktop software when they do their work. The software basically takes snapshots of the work they are doing & you can view this in their "work diary". This way you can see exactly what they are doing pretty much all the time. It also tracks how much they interact with their computer (i.e. keystrokes or mouse clicks) & thus you also get a feeling if they are doing work & whether or not they are slacking. It's quite a good system. I had caught one of my telemarketers talking to friends on Skype when they were meant to be calling..

    Hope this helps..
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  • Profile picture of the author enwereuzo
    Now, if you able to pay a VA $50 p/hour. What do you expect from him irrespective of he is doing for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gail Grannum
    If you decide to use one of the outsourcing and pay $10/hr, make sure to limit the number of hours per week. Odesk makes it easy to set your project criteria.

    Have you thought about paying per project? If you set a flat fee of $35 or $50 and list what you need accomplished, you may be surprised at the number of applicants for your job. Several of my friends have found that a successful tactic.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lex87
    It entirely depends on the skills the person needs. $10/hr for most SEO tasks is a decent amount if not overpaid from what I've been reading. I just forwarded some of the warriors for hire deals to my boss and lots of those work out to $2/hr for what it would take a normal person to do!

    So unless they are doing something brilliant $10/hr is a lot!
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  • Profile picture of the author JustinDupre
    I think $10/hour is fair. Unless you outsourcing to oversea countries, but i think paying monthly and get all the stuff done might work out better. Say 10,000 a month and you have to finish this and that. Good luck!
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    • Profile picture of the author kiopa
      Banned
      As stated several times above, $10/hour is quite a good salary in many areas of the world. That's would be a doctor's salary around here.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sarah Harvey
    I guess it really depends. $10.00 an hour is decent enough money to some people but when you compare it to a normal job, it almost the same for a basic hourly wage.

    In the hotel industry a typical receptionist can earn anything from £6.50 upwards per hour. The normal average is between £7 and £10 per hour. So if I take it at the normal basic of £6.50 and hour, I would expect to get paid $11.00 and hour. I would say it's worth it.

    To be honest I envy VA's... I wish I could work from home for $11.00 an hour or more.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    It's all a matter of perspective - it depends on how much work your willing to do, how much skill this work is and the quality of it. I probably wouldn't pay that high unless your really really good.
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    • Profile picture of the author chinmokuyuuki
      I think that you should compare wages on 2 different factors.
      1. The work they will be doing
      2. The country they are from
      To elaborate, here in the Netherlands for example $10,- is around €8,-. That is around the amount a 18 year old earns with a part time job in the spare time.
      Whereas the same $10,- will be more then average in other countries.

      I myself (21 years old) am doing a little freelancing(SEO, Linkbuilding) on the side to cope with university costs. But the money I bring in this way is usually pretty low for dutch standards, I only employ this method because of the working from home while studying advantage.

      But I also have basic market knowledge for supply and demand. I am just to 'expensive' to hire when compared to a 2nd or 3rd world country for the basic tasks that I offer. In general you need to become either cheaper or offer specialized services with less competition.

      That was my little rant, but I hope this information from my dutch freelancing point of view will prove helpful/insightful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Worner
    I personally would not work for anything less than $15 USD an hour.

    Chris
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    • Profile picture of the author lumpy212
      hi. i think $10 is just fair. in some countries, esp US, hardly anyone will work for a $10/hr even $15/hr. however, it is already reasonable in some other countries. so i agree that you have to consider locations. i further agree that you have to clearly set a time limit per week to avoid pushing up your expenses. by the way, if you still need a virtual assistant, just pm me.. lots of luck
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  • Profile picture of the author jasonthewebmaster
    Banned
    yes it's too much.. i can get you one for half that price.
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  • Profile picture of the author jahangir87
    So for the same jobs a freelancer from USA ask more than $20 or $30 per hour whereas for the same jobs a Filipino ask for $5 to $10.So its all about skills and quality you have.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chirpature
    I think it all depends on how much you're making as well as the value of the assistant. If the assistant costs $x.xx/hour, I think they should be at least helping you make that much back per hour if not more.
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  • Profile picture of the author kodyabbott
    Personally..... Pay by project.

    1. Outline what needs to be done - be specific.
    2. Find references or a portfolio depending on what needs to be done.
    3. Be loyal to who you hire. If they do good work go back to them time after time. Then when you get into a bind they will set aside a project they are working on and focus on YOU!

    I love it. I have a list of 15 coders, graphic designers, etc that I can call on if I get in over my head and I know that they will do good work. Oh btw, freelancer.com is what I use.
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  • Profile picture of the author MikesWebShow
    More people should look at sites live Fiverr for these kinds of resources. (You can get work done there for as little as $5 bucks).

    There are people on these micro sites who have developed the discipline of delivering quality work on time.

    More importantly, they usually have a main site where you can get a phone number and actually speak to them!

    Don't overlook these resources.

    Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author snowcloud
    Yah that seems fair to me
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  • Profile picture of the author ankur sharma
    well, those who charge more, they set up a definite price and get the work done. Like, why would i pay someone per hour for copy writing?

    Its like, some copywriter come here and say "I wrote good copy and i charge $30 per hour. I normally take 10 hours to finish copy, but i am charging per hour coz, i might take more time".

    You wont hire him. Instead you will say "Dude, give me a fixed price". Thats why, those who have better skills end up getting per month salary or fixed price for specific jobs.
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  • Profile picture of the author AllyChurch
    Banned
    I think you have to consider how much profit they bring to your company, like most positions really. However it is important to adhere to the financial standards, although the standards can differ greatly between nations. exporting work for cheaper labour is unfortunately common and not just for online businesses. It is important to have a fixed price for all people doing the same work. $10 and hour is below the minimum wage for an adult where I am from. Consider the quality of the work, and as a general rule, ask yourself would you work for someone else's business for that much per hour.
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  • Profile picture of the author Toby.T
    I love Odesk.. seriously less than 4 an hour and you can get amazing workers, just trial everyone first and you will see that there are some amazingly hard working people out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author pennington33
    $10 buck is very cheap. i have friends that are making least $100 buck a hour
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    • Profile picture of the author johndetlefs
      Originally Posted by pennington33 View Post

      $10 buck is very cheap. i have friends that are making least $100 buck a hour
      Are you serious? As a VA? Unless they are a VA to a Saudi prince I can't see that being a realistic rate!

      The most i've paid, and continue to pay for a great VA is $US20 per hour. But she can do custom work in Adobe Captivate and some other slick stuff.

      The only thing that I can think of that i'd pay $100p/h for is a top copywriter. A top sales page that converts is worth a lot of money!
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  • Profile picture of the author George Curtis
    rapidscc,

    You may also wish to check out EasyOutsource.com.
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  • Profile picture of the author spoiledkid01
    Where do they pay that much do tell me ... (:
    I have worked as a VA for only $2 per hour and even less.
    HIRE ME IF YOU WANT TO HIRE A CHEAP VIRTUAL ASSISTANT FOR ALL YOUR NEEDS (:
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I had to say, if I am looking for a virtual assistance, I can get them for much less. I know where some offer numbers between $1 and $2.

    It depends on the business and their abilities. Virtual Assistant are not getting paid much better than $15 at top specially as the competition goes overseas
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    • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
      Originally Posted by onegoodman View Post

      Virtual Assistant are not getting paid much better than $15 at top specially as the competition goes overseas
      I think top dollar varies widely depending what corners of the internet you stumble across. I think this forum is a fantastic place for reduced rates on all kinds of things, from custom graphics, to custom sites, to business courses, to online laborers. I found out about John Jonas' site, replacemyself.com, from the forum, and it's enabled me to hire some decent people that were a pleasure to work with, for $2 an hour, which blows my mind still.

      But it seems that "outworlders" (I'm hoping my term for non-Warriors will catch on), are often used to paying more in every area, and this is no exception. When I told a friend of mine who was looking to hire a few workers, about the prices and available skills I was looking at on replacemyself, she couldn't believe it. She asked me if I was aware that many VAs make $35, or even up to $50 per hour, and I said no, but she had seen these prices before, and had no idea about the under $10 market. The internet is a big "place".
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    • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
      pay peanuts you get monkeys

      i employ 5 full time computer operators in manila and until i found a reasonable pay rate, turnover was a real problem.

      i bought in a chinese manager, who i trust in every respect and now i have stable happy workforce who consider themselves well paid

      i would add i hired all by face to face interviews, which proved to be the best way

      now i have a business running on automatic and i am now on six months holiday with detailed weekly reports
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      • Profile picture of the author spoiledkid01
        Originally Posted by oncewerewarriors View Post

        pay peanuts you get monkeys

        i employ 5 full time computer operators in manila and until i found a reasonable pay rate, turnover was a real problem.

        i bought in a chinese manager, who i trust in every respect and now i have stable happy workforce who consider themselves well paid

        i would add i hired all by face to face interviews, which proved to be the best way

        now i have a business running on automatic and i am now on six months holiday with detailed weekly reports
        Can you please tell me what exactly did you look in your VA's so i would put that in my resume and add a bright star towards getting hired ... (:
        I'll be wholeheartedly thankful to you for this act of kindness ...
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  • Profile picture of the author Greg guitar
    Deciding how much to pay for what work can be tricky. I agree that it needs to take into account the area of the world, and what the cost of living is, what you can afford, the type of work they do, the speed and quality of it, but the most important consideration for the person doing the hiring, is what is my ROI?

    Obviously you should try to be decent and fair, but you also have to make a profit and grow your biz. But do not just pay as little as the market will bear, since your best people will soon find better gigs, and it just isn't right anyway imo.

    Here is an illustration of how insane and short sighted I think it is to try to save money by paying your helpers as little as you can:

    Let's say I find a VA to help me handle SEO for clients that pay $500 a month. Let's also say I'm old school, and do a lot of manual link building, and spend say, 5 hours per month on each customer, and that I have only 5 hours a week to budget toward the work. So by myself, I can't make more than $2K per month with the SEO biz-4 clients is my limit.

    So I find a VA that is faster than me, can service each client in 3 hours, and is willing to work 30 hours per week. Let's say I also have a client acquisition strategy that allows me to gain about 10 new clients per month.

    Look what that does to my future earnings: 30 hours per week divided by 3 hours per client, times 4 weeks a month makes their capacity, 40 clients. Since I can add 10 new clients the first month, I increase my gross by $5000! And with their capacity, I can do the same each month for 3 more months, until I reach their limit: 40 clients they serve in addition to my current 4.

    If I hire someone from bestjobs.ph, for $2 per hour, because that is what they advertised, and they are doing this fantastic work for me, I would be crazy not to give them a fat raise as soon as they satisfactorily service the 10 new clients the first month. I mean, why would I not be delighted to go from paying $240 a month to $400 immediately, leaving me with an extra $4600 profit from their efforts!?

    Even if they were idle for 3 weeks, because all I have for them to do is the 10 added clients, I'd be smart to pay them the $400, just to keep them from looking too hard for another gig, and I could maybe find other things they could do until I fill up my roster, like relieve me of the 4 I'm servicing, and handle other tasks.

    Then, I could increase it each month until we are at capacity, where maybe it settles at $10 an hour, or $1200 per month for them, enabling me to service the extra 40 clients, which earn me a gross of $20K per month!

    How dumb would I have to be to keep paying them $2 an hour just because they are willing to take it? Why chance losing an extra person that allows me to keep working only 5 hours a week, while having increased my gross from $2K to $22K!? It would be an insanely good investment to raise them to the level where they would very likely never consider leaving for a better job, since there probably aren't any.

    The point is, you need to save money at the start, until you see how well they do, and their work starts paying for itself, but as soon as they are earning you substantially more than you pay them, make sure to give up some of that extra revenue to reward them, and keep rewarding them over time, as people do become more valuable the longer they do something.

    There are not many investments that pay off better than a good worker, as long as you apply them to a good profit model, and that is on you (and the people you bought your WSOs from-lol), not them.
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    • Profile picture of the author scepticmale1985
      I believe the rate will certainly depend on multiple factor, quality of work, budget, deadline etc..
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  • Profile picture of the author Mizzy Princess
    The rate of a Virtual Assistant varies on their experience and knowledge. If you think your VA works well at $10, then $10 is fair enough for your VA. Being a Virtual Assistant is not easy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Samangel
    Market and Society segmentation is basically what you guys are referring to.

    As a VA myself, since being a member of VAnetworks and forums in Australia, what has stood out to me is the awareness level of a person looking for a VA. If you are in Australia and basically an offline business, personal contact and local advertising will bring in the $ rate you are asking for.

    For most of us that have max internet exposure and experience, we are aware of overseas VA's working for much less.

    And then you get those Australian businesses that just want Australian VA's because we all know how hard the outsourced telecentre workers can be to understand on the phone.

    I think the question should not be is $10.00 too much for a VA, but rather, how much is my work worth and what am I happy to work for? My rates are $22.00 per hour upwards - that's for basic admin services, the rate then increases depending on which group of services my clients need, the next rate up being desktop publishing, bookkeeping etc with the higher rate being providing staff training.

    I wont even think about taking on an ongoing service or one off job for any less than that. Its not worth my time. But I expose my services to local business and family connected business owners. It helps that they know me and know my work so it comes back to target market and society segmentation.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    I think $10 is a reasonable amount, considering the virtual assistant is doing all the things a normal secretary/receptionist would be doing
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