You're an aspiring or new virtual assistant and you're having trouble trying to figure out this whole rate thing. Let me help by making your life a little bit easier.
I just read a very interesting post by Leonie Dawson titled "how to work out pricing for what you sell". She talks about what it means to just start out and how she priced her products and services "back then" as compared to now.
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When I read Leonie's article I immediately resonated with her opinions because I remember what it was like just starting out in this industry. I remember charging $20/hour and feeling totally excited by it because it was a whole $2 more than I was making when I was working as a VA for a VA firm that paid me a mere $18/hour.
So, back to Leonie's article -- her opinion is to charge what you feel comfortable with and charge what will snag that client without hesitation. In other words, you want to make it worth your clients while so there is no chance they are going to say no to you (because your rates are so reasonable).
Leonie continues to write that you shouldn't even think about increasing your rates (or prices if you're selling products) until you have a steady stream of clients. Her advice is to work on getting as much experience all while asking for testimonials which are critical for your business. I can't stress this one enough.
I know this may not be what you wanted to hear, especially since so many of you are struggling with your price points and making ends meet but her advice is the same advice I would offer any one of my coaching clients.
When you are an aspiring or new virtual assistant you have got to make a name for yourself and build your credibility. The only way to do this is through experience and testimonials. The more you have of both, the higher the rate you can command.
The good news?
This doesn't have to take forever. I started charging $20/hour and within a year I had increased my rate to $35/hour. That's a 43% increase in less than a year!
Once you get one client it's a whole lot easier to get another. It's like that saying that my mom taught me, "don't go on an interview when you're out of a job, go on an interview while you're still employed so you don't appear desperate".
The same concept can be applied to building your virtual assistant business. Once you have your first client you're a little less desperate, a little more confident and that confidence oozes out of your skin and your prospective clients can hear that confidence in your voice and in your emails.
Trust me, I know how hard it is to land that first client. It can take months (although it doesn't have to).
A sure fire way to really seal the deal with a prospect is to really sweeten the pot and offer them something they can't refuse. Perhaps it's an insanely reasonable rate, perhaps it's 10 free hours upfront. Whatever the offer, if you have zero clients then you need to re-think your strategy and give up some moo-lah for the short term so you can make bundles of cash in the long term and finally live your dream of running your own business from the comfort of your home (like me!).
As Leonie said, figure out a price point that you're comfortable with and move onwards and upwards!
Need some help figuring out what your price point/rates should be?
Leave me a comment below and let me know what you're struggling with! While you're at it click here to tweet out today's tweetable.
I can't wait to see you in the comments.