I am a VA, how do I get paid?

Virtual Assistant, VA, whatever you want to call them, up until a decade ago they hardly existed. These days, this is a burgeoning industry that is growing at a rapid rate, as business owners become more and more time poor. We love VAs and what they do- admin, accounts, cold calling, appointment setting, PA work, running errands, creating content, posting content, social media work. All incredibly important tasks that often allow the client to save tens of thousands of dollars in salary costs. Why employ someone full time when a VA can do the role at a fraction of the cost. Sadly though, because they are heard but not seen, the VA can be seen as easily dispensable, and many are cast aside at the first sign of a cashflow strain. Many a VA have been burnt by a non-paying client, who has taken it upon themselves to analyse every single task the VA has charged them for, in an effort to have the bill reduced, or waived entirely.


The good news though is that the VA has tricks up their sleeve in order to get themselves paid, so here are our top 5 ways for VAs to get their money:


  1. Set your expectations and explain your charges before you start work. We know this is easier said than done, and predicting how much work will be involved before you begin is nigh on impossible, however try to give an indicative price and scope and always over rather than under-estimate. Always have the client confirm in an email that they understand, as this can be used down the track to negate any disputes. Hourly rates in particular should be approved and always ask the client if they foresee any problem in paying that amount. Read into their tone of voice and how receptive they are and if they sound unsure, pull them up on it.


  1. Stop work immediately if you haven’t been paid. So often we see more invoices and more costs incurred before the VA has even been paid for the last lot, and this breaks our heart. We believe a “two strikes and you’re out” policy works best- explain to your client that you feel uneasy about incurring more debt whilst old debt is still outstanding, and ask them to pay you that day so you can continue with their work. If they don’t, down tools immediately, and if you feel like justifying your decision, tell them it is your policy and that you recommend they implement a similar policy in their own business. This way, you are seen to still have their best interests at heart.


  1. If they query your charges, turn it back around on them. Never feel the need to explain or apologise for your charges, however if the client is unhappy about how much they owe, go through the invoice with them and tell them that you are offended they are questioning you. Ask them to put themselves in your shoes and if you were a customer of theirs, how would they feel about being asked to justify their charges. The beauty of running one’s own business is that you can charge whatever you like, and provided they agreed beforehand to pay, they don’t have a leg to stand on.  You are not a charity so never let them make you feel like one.


  1. Use positive reinforcement and massage their ego. Explain to them that you are highly confident the future for their business is bright, and talk about the great progress you have made to date, even if this was minimal at best. Remind them that the reason they engaged a VA in the first place was a very pro-active step explain how much time you have saved them since they did.


  1. Always ask the golden question- “What is the absolute most you can pay today?”


Any money is always better than no money, in every single case. Do not let them off the phone without a commitment to pay you something. Aim for 50% and work done from there.

I am a VA, how do I get paid?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *