As a virtual assistant, you can find clients on your own or you can choose to subcontract under another virtual assistant or agency.
The process for subcontracting is simple:
- Find someone to subcontract with
- Discuss your rate
- Sign an agreement
- Get tasks and complete work
- Invoice and get paid
Find someone to subcontract with
A great place to start looking for subcontracting opportunities is Facebook. There are many great virtual assistant Facebook groups.
Some of my favorites include:
- Virtual Assistant Tribe Job Board
- Freelance to Freedom Project Community
- Inspired Bloggers Network
- If you’ve ever worked for Zirtual, consider joining the Former EmployZee’s group. (Message me for more information, this is a secret group).
Often someone in these groups will post that they need a subcontractor. You can apply and see if you’re a good fit for the company.
If you already know someone who has a virtual assistant or marketing business, you could reach out and ask if there are any opportunities for subcontract work.
Subcontract work is very low risk for the company or person participating. They are under no obligation to send you a set amount of work and can end the contract at any time.
That’s not to say that subcontracting work isn’t good for freelancers too!
It gives freelancers another income stream and helps diversify their client base. It ensures that one client cannot end your business by moving on. It gives you the opportunity to gather more positive testimonials/reviews for your website. It also allows you to peek inside someone’s else’s successful business to see how they run things, what their pricing structure is like, and how you can grow your business to their level in the future. Subcontracting can be a great learning experience as well as an income generator.
I currently have three subcontracting positions. One is with my former employer and two are opportunities I found in Facebook groups.
Discuss your rate
The person who needs a subcontractor must be making enough to pay your rate. If you want to earn $30 per hour, you’re not going to be able to subcontract with someone who consistently makes $20 per hour.
Don’t be afraid to suggest what you think you’re worth. Remember, on average VAs are making $15-30 per hour. When you’re first starting out, you may want to ask for $15 per hour, but don’t go too far below that. Keep in mind, there are VAs making six figures per year.
The average amount I’ve seen for subcontracting jobs falls between $18-25 per hour.
That said, I’ve had to turn down a few subcontracting opportunities because the pay was too low. In one instance, I was told that the person couldn’t afford me, but would circle back as soon as they could because they wanted me on their team.
There’s no harm in pursuing as many leads as you have time to follow up on. They can often plant seeds that grow into business opportunities, partnerships, or relationships in the future.
Sign an agreement
When you subcontract with someone, you should be asked to sign a subcontractor agreement. If the person does not ask you to sign one, I would question whether it was a legitimate opportunity.
Typically the subcontractor agreement includes information on your pay, hours, confidentiality and noncompete disclosure that prevents you from poaching clients.
Get tasks and complete work
You will be assigned tasks by either the owner of the agency/company or the client themselves. It depends on the agency/company’s policies whether you will have direct interaction with clients.
When you receive a task, complete it correctly and efficiently. You want to make sure that you are using your time wisely so you don’t bill the agency/company unnecessarily.
Be honest about your skills. If you don’t know how to do something, ask the VA for help or instruction. You can also offer to research the topic on your own time.
Invoice and get paid
The company/agency will have a schedule for submitting invoices and receiving payment. Most companies use Paypal, but you can ask if you’d like to use another method. I’ve worked with subcontractors that pay weekly and some that pay monthly. It’s more common to be paid monthly.
Becoming a virtual assistant subcontractor is a great way to learn about someone’s else’s best practices and procedures. The process will make you a stronger VA and give you an idea of what else you can be offering. I’ve been able to learn a variety of programs that my current clients don’t use that may come in handy with future clients one day. If you’re looking for more work, you should consider subcontracting.