Warning: Uncomfortable Salary Requirement Discussion Ahead

Virtual Assistants! Time to talk salary requirements.

Do you know how much you’re worth? How much to ask for? What’s the salary range for virtual assistants?

Some of you who have HR experience might have an idea, but I have a feeling the rest of you are very puzzled right now.

It’s not surprising. Discussing salary requirements isn’t easy for most people.

I’ve talked about this before; for virtual assistants, networking is essential to develop a client base. You never know when a contact will become a client. But before they do, they’re going to ask you about salary requirements.

At this point, you can throw out a number that’s way off base, not know how to answer, or lowball yourself into another underpaid gig. Or you can have a productive salary discussion based on your skills and work experience.

This is why researching trends, virtual salary ranges and updating your skills is so important. If you understand how your skills translate into compensation you’re more likely to negotiate for a salary you can live with.

Know Your Worth

Before you negotiate anything salary related, do your research. What you’re going to come up with is a salary range that you’ll use when you negotiate with clients.

Here’s a list below of tools to use to determine what your salary range is for your skill set.

HorkeyHandbook
PayScale
Indeed
Glassdoor

Another method to research salary range is to join virtual assistant groups. You’ll be able to chat with other virtual assistants in your community to determine what an average hourly or annual wage looks like. This is also a lucrative way to build your network.

Research is vital for determining your salary because as you can see by these links, the numbers are all over the place. When you have hourly and annual ranges you’ll have more to work with to establish your wages for short or long-term projects.

No Guessing

I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 10…

And you’ll probably guess wrong before I tell you.

If you’re making up numbers when it comes to your salary, you’re essentially playing a guessing game with your livelihood. Guess too high and you’re booted out of the game, guess too low and you’re cheating yourself.

Whether you are currently working or building a network, establish an hourly and annual salary range for your projects. Notice that I said “range”. What most clients will do will make an offer in the middle of that range. You can then negotiate up, but you’re still starting from the middle if they won’t budge. Everybody wins.

Back Up Your Hype

Now that you’ve determined what you’re worth, you want to have the tools to back up your numbers.

Here’s where you want to make sure your resume, portfolio and websites are up to date and clearly present your skill set.

Are you a marketing whiz? Then make sure you have concrete examples of how your magic has increased followers, traffic or sales to companies you’ve worked with. Online applications, networking emails or cover letters are effective methods to discuss what you can do for a client.

This functions as mental Kung Fu for virtual assistants that struggle with salary discussions. When you have all your achievements available for the client to see, it makes it easier for them to know what you can do, and easier for you to go for the money that you want.

Double Check Your Numbers

There’s no point in negotiating a salary that you can’t live on. Make sure you are considering the 30% reduction in taxes and be realistic about your personal expenses. Download a few bank statements to determine what your base income level needs to be on monthly basis.

Some organizations will offer a non-negotiable rate. If you’ve already established how low you can go, you’ll be able to immediately respond to their offer. This goes back to knowing your worth. Unless a company or client offers specific benefits in exchange for the rate, if you can’t live on it, don’t accept it.

Summary

It’s not easy to discuss salary requirements. This is why it’s important to develop the tools to have productive and successful discussions with potential clients. When you clearly understand what you’re worth you can present your true value to a client. Do your research and you’ll be making a salary that works for both you and your client.


To learn more about becoming a Virtual Assistant today, please contact us!

Cynda Pike is a content creator for Virtual Gurus. Her likes are literature, neo-classical art, screenwriting and cats.

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