Hiring a freelance VA comes with a host of benefits that can help improve different areas of your business.
One of the benefits of hiring a freelance virtual assistant that easily stands out is the comparatively lower cost of hiring either an in-house employee or a virtual assistant company.
Unlike a full-time employee, you don’t need to pay for government-mandated benefits because they work on a per-project basis.
There’s also no need to pay for Internet, rent, or utilities because they use their own computers and Internet connection as part of their virtual assistance business.
Since most work as sole proprietors or traders, there’s no company overhead to pay for.
Productivity is also one of the major benefits freelance virtual assistants bring–which is essential for businesses that are looking to scale up.
For one, they are often experienced professionals who no longer require much training. (Though they still may need time to get comfortable with your specific systems and responsibilities.)
Delegating tasks to freelance virtual assistants allow you to focus on the more high-value tasks that require your authority and expertise.
Not only does this keep things organized, but it also helps the business get more things done instead of overwhelming yourself with tasks you can otherwise delegate to someone else.
Virtual assistants today are no longer just virtual secretaries who help you organize your schedule and reply to your emails.
The range of skills and expertise you can choose from has become much wider, with freelancers specializing in specific areas like marketing, accounting, and e-commerce.
This is a huge advantage if your business belongs to any one of these industries because you’ll be getting assistance from someone who actually has the skills, knowledge, and experience to help your business dominate in their area of expertise.
Plus, hiring virtually allows you to reach a nationwide or even global talent pool, instead of just hiring locally.
More Control Over Hiring
When you’re making a freelance hire, you can pore over applicants until you find the perfect fit. This can be very time-consuming, but if it’s for an ongoing role in your company, probably makes sense to do.
In contrast, if you hire through a virtual assistant company or agency, they’ll do their best to match you with a great fitting VA, but you won’t see as many options as you would doing it yourself.
Non-Office Hours Support
Some freelance virtual assistants reside halfway around the world, which means they belong to a different time zone.
While most business owners would typically look at this as a disadvantage, some would view this as a benefit because your businesses continue to operate even while you sleep.
Depending on your business requirements, this time difference can present several opportunities you can take advantage of, especially if your business caters to an international audience.
FreeeUp Upwork Fiverr OnlineJobs
Established 2015 1999 2010 2008
Location Worldwide, w/ concentration in USA and Philippines Worldwide Worldwide Philippines
Size of Talent Pool Thousands 12 million 830,000 250,000
Hourly Rate $5-75+ $3-100+ $3-100+ $3-20+
Platform Fee 15% 5-20% 20% + processing fee $69 a month
(w/ Fiverr Pro)
Best For Quick hires, e-commerce One-off projects Smaller jobs Affordable full-time help
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Drawbacks to Hiring Freelance Virtual Assistants
While there are obviously lots of benefits to gain from hiring a freelance virtual assistant, it also has its share of disadvantages.
Potential Language Barrier
One of the biggest concerns to hiring freelance VAs is the potential language barrier. Of course you can avoid that by hiring a local freelancer.
The difference lies in the cultural and social nuances which have the potential to create differences in perception.
Once such example is when it comes to the way they communicate.
As we know, Americans are pretty straightforward and direct to the point, which is the exact opposite for Filipinos who were raised to be more formal and conservative with their approach.
Another possible drawback to hiring freelance virtual assistants is the possible work interruption brought about by typhoons and catastrophic events especially in the Philippines, a country sitting in what others refer to as the typhoon belt.
During such situations, certain areas may experience power failures and internet outages which can affect business continuity.
Internet speed may also present some issues but with current advances in local infrastructure, this may no longer be a pressing concern.
Commitment and Dedication
Virtual assistants usually do what they do because it is their main source of income. Working on a single project, however, won’t be enough to put food on their tables or pay the bills.
To continue to keep the lights on, they usually take on three to four more projects or clients since they are also usually paid by the hour.
With that being said, you can’t expect them to be fully dedicated to your project. Most of the time, they will allot a couple of hours for each project they handle so they can accommodate everyone.
If you need someone dedicated, you need to make this clear right from the very beginning so the freelancer can organize his schedule.
Backups and Replacements
One of the biggest advantages of hiring through a third-party VA service is the backup and replacement. Should your freelance assistant move on to another opportunity, it will be your responsibility to replace them from scratch.
How Much do Freelance Virtual Assistants Cost?
You can usually hire a freelance virtual assistant for as little as $400 and as high as $1500 per month if you’re hiring from the Philippines or India.
Due to differences in standard of living, virtual assistants located in the US or in the UK will cost more. You’ll find hourly rates starting around $15 and going up to as high as $150 for highly-skilled, expert-level professionals.
Fees being charged by outsourcing services are usually already included in a virtual assistant’s hourly rate. Considering how easy they make things for you, you’re still getting a great deal for your money.
My Experience with Freelance Virtual Assistants
Some of my best virtual hires have been freelancers! I’ve worked with dozens over the years, on everything including:
Content writing and editing
Data entry and normalization
My go-to services for connecting with freelancers, outside my own network and community, are:
Fiverr – great a la carte platform for one-off tasks and projects.
Upwork – great to find specialized skills and longer-term hires.
FreeeUp – great to quickly connect with pre-vetted professionals.
OnlineJobs – best for filling ongoing part-time or full-time roles.
Which Freelance Virtual Assistant Service Should You Choose?
Freelance virtual assistant services usually provide the same kind of services from the hiring down to management.
While most of them will simply send you a bunch of names to choose from, there are others that do all the dirty work for you by providing you, pre-vetted candidates.
In the end, it all depends on how much time you can spare and how involved you want to be in the hiring process.
The Best Freelance Hiring Platforms
Check out the reviews we provided for you below to help you decide which service works best for you.
Those will help you navigate the various options for finding a freelance virtual assistant, and include advice on what to look for, what questions to ask, and warning signs.
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