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Pricing for Virtual Assistants: Value vs High Rates

Pricing for Virtual Assistants: Time and again we see people bemoaning the fact that they don’t get paid enough as a virtual assistant.  Or and this one annoys me if I’m honest) someone mentions their hourly rate, and another VA comes on to the forum and says “Well any REAL virtual assistant wouldn’t charge less than £30 an hour”.

minimum pricing for virtual assistants

The fact is, we all charge different rates because we all do different things for clients. We have different skillsets, different target markets, they have different levels of affordability… But there’s definitely enough room in the industry for everyone.

Pricing for Virtual Assistants:

It’s very much like the car industry:

Someone shopping for a luxury car isn’t going to want to buy from “Bob’s Secondhand Bangers”, so it doesn’t matter how cheap Bob sells that Mercedes, the client isn’t going to be interested. The client is interested in prestige, it’s interested in the warranty which comes from the Mercedes dealer, the approved servicing, the quality guarantee which comes from an approved dealer.

That’s what they are paying for: The VALUE.

The flipside of this is that sometimes the task doesn’t lend itself to high-value input – e.g. if your client only makes £45 profit from each job, you can’t charge £45 for doing the admin on it, because otherwise there would be no point in him working.  He might be open to you charging £35/hour if it freed his time for other higher value tasks within the business though… To continue the car analogy: This is Bob’s perfect customer who just wants a car which runs, and isn’t too bothered about what it looks like.

Want to know what other people charge? Don’t be sneaky, grab the latest copy of the UK VA Survey.

£35 – largest study of UK VAs

What is good value VA work?

Now to give you a few examples of where we’ve provided amazing value for clients:

  • 15 minutes spent following up on leads for a property client – £35,000 per annum for the client, from a £7 bill.
  • 1 hour creating a merging document to produce licences for a venue, saves 20 minutes every time the venue is rented in admin time – the venue is rented approximately 120 times a year, so nearly 40 hours saved on salaried staff time over a year… about £520 for £27.50 of investment.
  • Frazzled yoga teacher has a training course and needed materials printed and posted for it before the course started – total cost: £220, but the course could not have happened without these materials so she would have lost £7,500.

And some where we’ve not delivered monetary value but delighted the client all the same:

  • Solopreneur who was working 70-80 hour weeks, we worked with her to automate some of her systems, take repetitive tasks off her To Do List, and the value we provided to her was some sanity!
  • Client runs tech reports for his customers, the process is time consuming but not particularly difficult.  His offshore team do this and we check the results doing liaison with the UK based customers.  Working with his offshore team could have been a deal breaker for lots of VAs – we realised he couldn’t afford us to do all the work, but this was a good solution for the client and his customers.

Pricing for Virtual Assistants isn’t hard:

Provide VALUE to clients and you can name your price.

So having high rates doesn’t necessarily mean that you earn more. You only earn more if you sell those hours!


  1. Avril James on 15 May, 2020 at 9:59 am

    I think that if you make your service available at the affordable price to the value set by customers expectations on what they can afford, this allows you to start working with them. Giving them the space they need to be able to grow their business and then as they understand the value you bring they can begin to pay you more money. I believe it is prudent to review on a annual basis the fees that you are charging with the client.

  2. Sam on 15 May, 2020 at 7:45 pm

    Hi, you might like to correct a spelling error – Warranty… Not warrantee!

    • Caroline on 18 May, 2020 at 9:34 am

      Thanks for the heads up Sam! done!

  3. Hannah Collins on 14 September, 2020 at 9:46 am

    Very helpful and informative article.
    I didn’t have any idea about the pricing.
    Thanks for sharing the information.

  4. Virtual assistant Christchurch on 26 October, 2020 at 5:16 am

    I was looking for this information relating to value vs high rates . You have really eased my work by posting this article, loved your writing skill as well. Please keep sharing more, would love to read more from you! Well, I have visited another site Freelancetimaru.co.nz having some wonderful and similar information.

  5. Lorraine2 on 30 October, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Hi all, I’m new here but wanted to comment about this as most “mentors” tell you not to underprice as it makes it look like you will not provide decent service but I agree with both Caroline and Avril, people will not pay more than they can afford so you could have lost the business, as those who charge more would have, and also as Avril states, they need to grow their business which means they need to put more time into it to do that. I don’t think charging a little less and still making a profit is a bad thing.

    • Caroline on 30 October, 2020 at 12:18 pm

      Most of the mentors are trying to make money being a mentor, not being a VA. They will happily tell pie-in-the-sky stories about what VAs should charge, and make their trainees feel bad about themselves when they don’t reach these unrealistic fees as a new, solo, inexperienced VA.

      As a result, people don’t like admitting when they are “undercharging” and it all gets pretty cloak and dagger about what people actually charge.

  6. Vancouver bookkeeper on 28 December, 2020 at 6:17 am

    Thank you very much for sharing about the value vs high rates are explained over here. I really hope I can work on your tips and it works for me too, I am happy to come across your article. Great post I must admit, keep sharing more.

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