I see this phrase all the time on Virtual Assistant websites:
“…A Virtual Assistant costs much less than a traditional employee…”
It makes me cringe. It makes my blood boil. In fact, (even though my mom taught me never to use this word)…I ‘HATE‘ that phrase.
First of all because it’s waaaay over-used and BO-RING! But mostly because it doesn’t make sense to sell yourself short.
Why does the Virtual Assistance industry always choose to market themselves as the ‘low-cost alternative‘? We have become the bargain-bin bunch. We brag about how little clients will have to pay us! We pride ourselves on the fact that we don’t make a dime when we’re sick or on vacation. We boast about having to buy our own equipment – and HEY! Nobody has to pay us benefits either. Woo-hoo! But wait a sec…who IS paying for all that stuff? Virtual Assistants do get sick and take vacays and need a new laptop now and then…so where does the money for that come from?
When we tell clients we are a cheap alternative, what we are really doing is setting ourselves up to make minimum wage.
When we tell clients that we ‘cost less’ than a traditional employee they believe that we are of less value than a traditional employee.
When we tell clients they can pay us peanuts they do pay us peanuts.
Do you catch my drift?
Here’s the truth from my perspective: Today, I charge MORE than I was making as a ‘traditional employee’. I believe that’s my right as a business owner, because I DO have to cover my own vacation, sick days, equipment and benefits. I expect to find clients who are willing to pay for a highly skilled assistant – not clients just searching for a sweet bargain. And I am living proof that this way of thinking works. I have had a waiting-list-only practice for the last 4 years.
Granted, there ARE clients out there who are enticed by the idea of paying waaaaay less for a Virtual Assistant. But, seriously, why would you want to work for a client like that?
If you are struggling to find high-paying clients who respect your work and treat you as an equal, then perhaps it’s time to ‘Tweak the way you Speak‘ on your website and in your marketing materials.