What Do I Charge For My Services?

You Need To Know It Before You Get Your First Client

I get this question weekly from people either thinking of starting a Virtual Assistant business or someone who has landed their first client and has no idea what to charge.

Now, in my honest opinion, you should know what you are charging for your services before you get your first client.

The problem with waiting until after you’ve landed them is they can see you scrambling around trying to figure it out or they can sense that you don’t quite have it all together yet. Not a great way to start a relationship.

This is why I’m always saying you need to have your business foundation in place before you start taking on clients.

Sorry… getting off my soapbox <grin>.

Back to what do you charge for your services.

What services are you offering?

First, what you charge is directly related to your skills and the services you offer.

Regardless of what you may have been told, it takes more than administrative skills to be successful as a Virtual Assistant.

The more technology you know, the more you can charge and the easier it is to get clients.

The more experienced you are, the more you can charge!

Do You Know Your Numbers?

Second, you need to know your numbers.

What numbers, you ask?

How much you NEED to earn and how much you WANT to earn. (These numbers should be different, in some cases vastly different.)

This number is your baseline number – the amount you must earn in order to keep the lights on.

I create a YouTube video series on pricing and setting your rates. It goes into detail about how to find your baseline rate using my Rate Calculation Sheet Template.

I recommend watching at least the first two videos, as it goes through the exercise of figuring out how much you need to earn using my Rate Calculation sheet.

You can download the Rate Calculation sheet by clicking on the image below.

I’d hate to see you undercharging for your expertise and having a hard time paying your bills because you followed advice from someone saying if you’re confused or don’t know what to charge start at $25 an hour!

There are people teaching this CRAP. Don’t follow this BAD ADVICE.

Do the work to find out your baseline rate and start there. 

Also… stay away from asking people on Social Media how much you should charge. They don’t know your numbers – you are the best person to decide what you should charge.

Third, what services are you offering?

What is the market willing to pay for those skills?

Here are average rates by type of service in US Dollars. Please note these rates are NOT guaranteed and are to be used as a guideline. (The more experienced you are in an area, the more you can charge.)

  • Administrative Skills – $25+
    • Data Entry
    • Calendar Management
    • Email Management
  • Technical Skills – $35+
    • MailChimp
    • 1ShoppingCart
    • LeadPages
  • Specialized Skills – $50+
    • Email Marketing
    • Project Management
    • Operations

Once you’ve completed these exercises (how much you need to charge and your services), it’s time to create your Action Plan for getting clients and getting busy.

What do you think?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to figure out how much you need and want to earn. I’d love to hear from you. All comments and questions are welcome.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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Written by Susan Mershon

Susan Mershon started The Techie Mentor™ in 2013 to teach Virtual Assistants her no-fluff approach to the systems and skills they need to build and automate a successful business.

With a strong base in project management, Susan brings her love of systems and teaching to offer in-depth training and mentoring to new and experienced Virtual Assistants.

She’s taught over 5,000 students her unique systems and strategies that focus on offering high-end skills that give you the freedom to work when and where you want.

To learn more about The Techie Mentor™ and the systems and skills she teaches without all the fluff or hype go to The Techie Mentor website.

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20 Comments
  1. Sharm

    Wow Susan I love your work! I’m about to launch to VA website. My skills are little specialised and your info helped me lots! Thank you for info.

    • Susan Mershon

      Hi Sharm, thank you, much appreciated. So glad you’re launching, be sure to keep me posted on how it’s going.

  2. Sharon

    I love this article along with all of the other great advice you give. The biggest nugget I took away from this was having a business foundation in place before taking on clients. I started working with someone as an independent contractor and am handling social media management. I feel like she views me more of an employee and I should have negotiated for my services. I am in the process of creating a business foundation and will be specific about services and rates (with flexibility) as well as invoicing. Thanks Susan!

    • SE Mershon

      Awesome Sharon! So glad you found value from it. Please keep me posted on your success. And… if you are looking for a program to help you be sure to check out The Kick-Start System.

  3. Kellie Simmons

    Thank you! I follow your media to soak up as much as I can from you. I wanted to share that I never understood the “cross out the items you don’t enjoy.” Well after being at this full time for a little over a year, I SO understand now. Thank goodness for networking! Now I don’t even bother with the items that I don’t enjoy and have learned to outsource. There’s always someone who likes to do it! Thanks for all your efforts!

    • SE Mershon

      Awesome Kellie, thanks for sharing 😉

  4. Marion Wijnberg

    Great blog Susan, thank you! Great advice on what to charge plus being able to download a copy of your Skills and Expertise exercise helps a lot to narrow everything down.

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Marion 😉

  5. Vivian

    Thanks for the average rates! I know you’re focused on the techy side so you might not know, but where would you put creative skills?

    • SE Mershon

      Hi Vivian, thanks for your question. Creative skills such as graphic design would in my opinion be in line with technical skills. Hope that helps, if not feel free to let me know.

  6. Karina Bailey

    Excellent post Susan

    In addition I think you also have to include your IC (ideal client) in the equation. I am very successful as a local VA to Sole Traders and Small Businesses local to me.

    The businesses who don’t want or need full time admin staff. Plumbers, glaziers etc

    I therefore don’t do a great deal of highly priced or overly complex work for them. I deal with their back office tasks ~ bookkeeping, customer support, social media, marketing, invoicing, minuting etc. I know for a fact that they have come to me as many other VAs in the locality are asking far too high a price for them as small businesses.

    We have to therefore think of the big picture where getting and retaining clients’ is concerned. I have a happy band of 9 loyal clients’ who I invoice on a regular monthly basis plus I also deal with ad-hoc work. I’m pretty much flexible on my approach to pricing and each request is judged individually.

    I make enough to live a comfortable life and retain clients’ ~ what more can a VA ask 🙂

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Karina for your comment. The averages are just a guideline especially for newbies. I agree – it’s up to each person to decide what works best for them. As I always say “Your Business – Your Choice”. 😉

  7. Jodi

    Great post! Thanks for the info.

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Jodi!

  8. Kim

    Glad to see you back Susan! Looking forward to your Vlogs. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and expertise!

    • SE Mershon

      Thanks Kim!

  9. Neenah (Queen)

    Hello there to my Techie Mentor Susan, I just wanted to let you know that I thank God for you! I have been following you for years now. It is always an honor to be accepted into your circle…. I will always greatly appreciate YOU & YOUR Team’s support Susan just because…. Thanks for everything!! Happy, Happy 2016 to YOU & YOURS! Take care! 😉 <3

    • SE Mershon

      Aww, thank you Neenah for the kind words, much appreciated and it made my Friday! Blessing to you too and my 2016 be an awesome year for you!

  10. Sylvana

    Thanks Susan – always very valuable information!

    • SE Mershon

      Thank you Sylvana!

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