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Are you wondering how much money you can make as a virtual assistant in the Philippines?

What if I told you this island nation has established itself as one of the top five countries for outsourcing virtual assistants?

This demand has been brought about by the solid reputation of Filipino workers.

They’re known for their impeccable English, which allows for effective communication with global clients. They’re also industrious and consistently produce high-quality work.

Venturing out into the virtual assistant business is the best career move you could make right now because freelancing may very well be the future model of employment.

Higher pay, a flexible work schedule and access to the global job market drive more 9-5 employees to consider freelancing.

Becoming a virtual assistant means you can work from anywhere, so long commutes and heavy traffic (Manilla is notorious) will be a thing of the past.

You’ll determine how much you want to get paid and you can take on as many clients as your schedule will allow.

You don’t even have to quit your day job. Find a virtual assistant role that complements your other work and you’ll soon find yourself making a tidy sum.

What Makes a Good Virtual Assistant in the Philippines?

Communication Skills

Filipino virtual assistants are renowned for their pleasant demeanour and proficiency in English.

If you’re unsure of your written English, Grammarly would be a great place to start. It’s trusted by virtual assistants everywhere to keep all written correspondence error-free.

Since you may never meet clients, customers, vendors or colleagues in person, you must know how to effectively express your ideas verbally.

This also applies to written communication such as emails, proposals, contracts, and social media.

Interpersonal and intrapersonal skills can’t be overemphasized.

You will, at least once in your career, have the misfortune of dealing with difficult clients or customers.

Friendly, professional comportment coupled with self-regulation will help you keep your cool and avoid an escalation cycle.

Proactivity

Having the initiative to learn new software and skills as well as maintaining a positive attitude will enable you to thrive as a virtual assistant.

Mia Ormillada has been a virtual assistant in the Philippines for over four years now.

“When I started I didn’t have the skills. Every time things got rough I’d take it positively because I knew I would excel at the task over time. As a virtual assistant, you must always steer clear of a negative attitude. Be mentally and emotionally ready to learn new things,” she says.

Do you think on your feet? Do you have problem solving and critical thinking skills that you’ve perfected over time?

Clients love that.

Computer Literacy

A lot of your tasks will be done on a computer. In addition to mastering specific programs required for your role, it’s important to know computer maintenance.

Working remotely means you won’t have an IT guy to diagnose problems on your computer during a task.

Computer malfunctions also put the client’s data at risk, and the interruptions they cause waste your time and money.

What Would Ruin a Promising Virtual Assistant Career?

Employers looking to hire Filipino virtual assistants have identified these actions as stumbling blocks to a successful career.

Ghosting: Some virtual assistants pull a Houdini when they’re overwhelmed by work while some prefer to suffer in silence instead of reaching out to the client for clarification.

A disappearing act is one way to sabotage yourself.

Clients won’t know how to help and may give you a bad review for burning bridges.

Make sure you’re responsive to a client’s emails and other forms of communication.

Renegotiate terms with the client when you feel snowed under, and if you decide to quit, leave on good terms.

Unreliability: Clients hire you so they can focus on core business functions.

Micromanaging you even after you’ve been well-trained and successfully onboard will make them reevaluate why they hired you.

Ensure you deliver high quality work consistently by understanding the client brief and minimizing distractions during work hours.

How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Charge in the Philippines?

A virtual assistant’s pay can be monthly or hourly based. Some prefer to charge after reaching every milestone in a project.

The virtual assistant hourly rate in the Philippines is PHP 202.94 – PHP 4013.87 according to Payscale.

Indeed also carried out a survey that puts the average virtual assistant salary in the Philippines to be PHP 20,478 per month.

As a general VA, expect to earn up to PHP 40,820 a month. If an employer is willing to pay this much for a generalist, how much should a specialist virtual assistant charge in the Philippines?

A specialist virtual assistant salary expectation ranges from PHP 38,268 to PHP 71,435 per month for a job well done.

What Determines a Virtual Assistant’s Salary in the Philippines?

Work Volume

A virtual assistant who takes on a range of tasks will earn more than one who does a single task.

For instance, if you design a webpage for the client, fill it with high quality content, optimize it for search engines and share it on social media, it will earn you more than if you just wrote an informative article.

Operational Costs

When you’re deciding how much you want to charge as a virtual assistant, consider your expenses and the cost of working at home.

Some virtual assistant roles, such as web design, require sophisticated equipment which would otherwise be provided at the office.

All freelancers need a laptop to allow them to work even when they’re traveling, as well as an ergonomic chair for good posture when working.

You’ll also have to factor in high-speed internet, rent and electricity as part of your recurring expenses.

Skills and Experience

Less skilled VAs are paid a lot less than competent workers because they have to undergo a lot of training initially.

The best thing about being a virtual assistant is that you can learn new skills and expand your earning potential over time.

There are plenty of online courses you can enroll in to upgrade your skills and start charging more.

A great example is Small Revolution’s Live Chat for Customer Service, which teaches virtual assistants how to professionally navigate unpleasant situations and to effectively communicate in real-time.

How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business in the Philippines

Perform a Skills Audit

Workers tend to enjoy the tasks they excel in, so identify yours. Take a good look at your qualifications, soft skills, and experience.

Do you have outstanding social skills, writing flair and an analytical mind? You could fit right into a marketing VA position.

Are you a planning guru with business administration experience? Provide administrative virtual assistants.

Starting with experience and a few skills under your belt screams ‘ready for hire’ to prospects. That means you can start earning immediately.

Alternatively, you could challenge yourself to change careers, learn new skills and start small.

With time, you’ll gain the experience and mastery required to charge higher rates.

Determine Your Rates

Based on your skills and experience, decide whether you’d want to be a specialist VA or take on a general role.

If you’re starting out, it’s advisable to be a general virtual assistant so you can acquire as much experience as possible.

This will give you the confidence boost you need to approach higher paying clients since you’ll have a proven track record.

Specializing too early pigeonholes you to a specific role and decreases your earning potential when the client has no work to assign you.

Generate an Online Presence

To ensure prospective clients find you, set up a Linkedin profile with all your qualifications and experience.

Joining a Facegroup such as The Online Filipino Freelancers will alert you of job opportunities and allow you to network with other virtual assistants.

Next, create a profile on sites like Online Jobs PH and Kazi Work to find legitimate virtual assistant jobs.

It might take time to get hired, so it would be great to polish up your virtual assistant skills in the meantime.

Most importantly, have confidence in your skills and stay optimistic. Before long, you will be hauling in cash from your virtual assistant business.

Photo by pressfoto / CC BY

Katrina McKinnon
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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