What is a Virtual
Assistant (VA)?

There is some confusion as to what a virtual assistant does!

Some people think virtual assistant refers to the artificial intelligence helpers, i.e. Google Assistant, or the operator of a ”live chat” session which pops up and asks 'Can I help you?' when you visit a website.

Virtual Assistants are very real and helpful people! While “live chat” might be a service that a VA offers to a client, you can be rest assured that when you are emailing a VA, that you are talking to a person not an automated chat bot.

Others think of Virtual Assistants as the offshore VAs who provide cheap labour.

A VA does more than basic admin

Gone are the days when VAs were only hired to manage tasks such as maintaining a diary, providing administration, or drafting correspondence from the comfort of their home office.

Nowadays, VAs can be anyone who provides an online service, for example:

  • Copywriters,

  • Web designers,

  • Graphic designers,

  • Accountants / Bookkeepers,

  • PA / EAs

  • Social Media Managers

  • Bloggers

  • SEO Experts

  • Paraplanners / Lawyers

  • Transcriptionists

  • Admin Assistant

  • Office Manager

  • Business Development Manager

  • Project Manager

    to name but a few!

You may find a Social Media Manager / Blogger / Graphic Designer / Web Manager wrapped into one little VA package, or a VA who provides a single niche service, such as Copywriting.

What is another
title for a VA?

Other titles that have been used instead of virtual assistant include,

  • Online Business Support Manager

  • Virtual Contractor,

  • Online Business Manager,

  • Virtual Business Assistant,

  • Freelancer,

  • Contractor,

  • Virtual Marketing Assistant,

  • Online Business Contractor...

  • Freelance PA/EA

  • Business Support Manager

  • Virtual Reception

  • Marketing Content Creator

  • Remote Executive Assistant

Along with various other titles….in the end they all do the same type of work which is to provide virtual support.

Is a VA an employee or a business owner?

No, in Australia VAs are usually sole traders who run their own business. They are not an employee of the client, meaning they are responsible for paying their own salary, superannuation, sick & annual leave, insurance, supplies, etc.

Operating as a sole trader, I choose the type of clients, tasks, and hours I want to work and that fits with my work/life balance, and business needs.

I have to purchase my own equipment, pay for subscriptions, insurance, superannuation, annual & sick leave, consumables, marketing/advertising, website hosting, mobile phone bills, travel expenses, conference fees etc.

Are Australian VAs expensive?

Most people have this idea that Australian VAs are expensive. VAs may charge by the hour, fixed fee or a set package, depending on the task you need completed.

I work for a client for a fixed price, hourly rate or pre-paid package.

Some people can be surprised when they receive a quote or invoice, as they don’t understand that a VA charges for their time.

For example, if your task is estimated to take 5 hours you will be charged for that amount of time, but they may also charge you for other things like: regular phone calls (longer than 5 minutes), reading & responding to emails requests, internet research, sourcing stock images, or travelling to your office to work on-site etc. It’s best to check how a VA works before signing any service level agreement.

Here at JAM, I charge an hourly rate for one-off jobs (with a minimum of 1 hour), I also provide packages, and can quote a fixed fee for a project or design work (e.g. website creation).

How can a VA benefit me?

If you are a small business owner, you may not have an Office Assistant to support you with admin or marketing.

Tasks like designing flyers, composing letters, formatting reports, updating websites, creating PowerPoint presentations or scheduling social media can add hours to your already busy schedule, and might mean you work late or go into the office on the weekend.

If you have a lot on your plate, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed or worried that you won't get all your important tasks completed.

That's where delegating tasks to someone like a VA can be of a benefit to you!

When I work with a client, not only do I deliver an outcome but I also take away any pressure and feelings of overwhelm off the business owners shoulders by carrying out the frustrating or time-consuming tasks.

If you have tasks that frustrate you or you’re unsure how to get something created, that’s where I can step in and help. What may seem a long and tedious job to you, may be something I enjoy, and get done within a couple of hours.

How much does a VA charge?

Depending on the type of service your after, you may be charged - by the hour, a fixed price for working on a project, or offered a prepaid package/retainer. 

For example, if you hire a VA to work 10 hours a week over a 2 month period, you may be offered a prepaid package where you sign an agreement that specifies the hours, agreed amount, details of the job and deadline that the job it is to be completed by.

Contact us about our Rates.

By having regular communication, and a clear understanding of the client's needs and timeframes, I ensure that tasks are completed in an efficient manner.

I provide regular updates so the client understands where I’m up to on a project or if I am waiting on something from them. Whether it’s by phone, email or a Zoom meeting.

I believe it’s important to have a good relationship with your virtual assistant and provide them with all the information they need so they can get the job done for you correctly and efficiently.

How do you communicate with clients?

How does a VA work?

Most VAs work remotely, which means they won’t come in to an office. They may work with numerous clients at any one time, and have hours scheduled in their diaries for different clients and the tasks they need to complete.

A reputable VA will keep their clients’ up-to-date on a job’s progress by phone, email or Skype.

I provide online business support from my home office, however if required I can provide an in-house service for local clients who require adhoc support. It may be that you have a hot desk with all the necessary equipment, but just need someone to come in for a few hours a week to help you out. Contact us for more information.

What hours does
a VA work?

VAs may not work traditional hours such 9am-5pm, it could be evenings, early mornings or in between the kids going to school, but be rest assured your work will be taken care of. By having a good relationship and addressing the best form of communication with your VA, you can make sure they keep you up-to-date with your job’s progress, and you can worry less about your work being done.

For further details download a copy of our business terms and conditions here.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate in contacting Julie on 0452 393094.