Earning Six Figures: How to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant

Build a Highly Profitable Freelance Business and Make More Money

Are you a virtual assistant who’s tired of the hourly hustle? Do dreams of a six-figure income dance in your head, only to be squashed by the reality of low-paying, penny-pinching clients and endless to-do lists? You’re not alone. 

Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of virtual assistants brag about their six-figure income – it sounds amazing – but I’m here to tell you the $75/hour VA is a myth. Virtual assistants don’t make six figures. The coaches who brag about being VAs who make over 100k aren’t being completely transparent about how they’re making that money. They’re not doing hourly VA work and most are not even focused on client work anymore. Instead, they have a mix of outsourcing, coaching calls, courses, memberships, or masterminds that make them six figures.

If you want to know how to make money as a virtual assistant – as in six figure money – the secret is to build a thriving freelance career as a digital marketing specialist and not as an hourly virtual assistant. They are different things.

In case you don’t know me, I’m Emily Reagan, and I’ve been in the freelance digital marketing space since 2007. With a background in journalism, PR, and marketing, I mastered the art of quiz funnels, email marketing, Facebook ads, podcast pitching, conversion copywriting, and more! Now I share my secrets and teach others how to do the same in my Unicorn Digital Marketing School and in the Digital Marketer’s Workgroup, an exclusive membership group for experienced digital marketers that gives training, support and job opportunities to help you level up your marketing game. Oh yeah, and I also host the Unicorns Unite Podcast, so I know a thing or two: I know how to make money as a virtual assistant.

Over the years, I worked with a lot of cool clients, been behind the scenes of some big businesses and gotten really good results. Somewhere along that journey, I realized I wasn’t a VA and that I had never actually been a VA. It’s a term that everyone uses – but one that I don’t like – because if you’re helping your clients grow and nurture their audiences, sell to their audiences, and monetize their creative ideas into paid products then what you’re doing goes well beyond virtual assistance.

I wrote this blog post to offer some guidance on how to make money as a virtual assistant and dismantle those too-good-to-be-true money making myths that may be holding you back so that you can build a profitable freelance business that you love. I want that for you!

Why the $75/hour VA is a Myth

Many new VAs start by offering admin-related services based on an hourly rate. It’s so straightforward. You can become that reliable person in someone’s business and have consistent work. And if you’re valued and you do good work, you’ve been told you can charge $75/hour. Sounds like a dream come true, especially if you’re new. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here but it’s unrealistic; administrative tasks have a price ceiling. They’re a low-value service that people won’t pay a lot of money for.

Think of it this way: You’re an hourly service provider and you spend hours meticulously managing a client’s inbox. The client is happy, things are taken care of. The client knows your work is valuable but it’s unlikely to significantly impact their bottom line. 

Now, consider what it would look like if you did something outside of admin and in the realm of marketing: You crafted a targeted marketing campaign for your client that directly boosted their sales. The value proposition is clear to them – your efforts translated directly into their profits.

This shift in focus from generic admin VA tasks to high-value digital marketing services is how to make more money as a virtual assistant. Clients won’t pay high rates for someone to manage their inbox or schedule appointments.

How to Make Money as a Virtual Assistant

Specialize to Charge Premium Rates

Not all digital marketing work is created equal. Specializing in marketing services closer to the sale, like building sales funnels or crafting compelling copywriting that converts, positions you as a revenue generator, not just a task completer. Clients will readily pay more for expertise that directly impacts their income.

Think about it: a business owner wouldn’t hesitate to invest in a marketing campaign that promises a 20% increase in sales. By specializing in a niche like email marketing automation or social media advertising, you become the go-to person for clients seeking those results. This allows you to charge premium rates that reflect the value you deliver.

Transition from Hourly Rates to Project-Based Packages

If you want to make more money as a virtual assistant you need to move away from hourly billing and embrace project-based pricing. Focusing on hours worked limits your earning potential because you can only bill so many hours in a day.

Package your services into clear, well-defined projects with specific deliverables and outcomes. And remember if it’s closer to the money you can charge more! Instead of offering “social media management” at an hourly rate, create a package for “building and launching a targeted Facebook ad campaign.” This not only simplifies your pricing structure, it also sets clear expectations for the scope of work. Showcase these virtual assistant packages in a premium Services and Pricing Guide.

Offer VIP Days and High-Touch Services

Once you’ve established your expertise, consider offering VIP days. These intensive, one-on-one sessions allow you to focus on delivering a specific, high-impact outcome for a client. This could involve anything from crafting a strategic marketing plan to setting up automated email sequences.

VIP days are ideal for clients seeking concentrated expertise and accelerated results. They also allow you to command a premium fee for your focused time and effort.

Build Your Reputation: From Virtual Assistant to Go-To Marketing Expert

Becoming a high-value freelancer isn’t just about offering premium services. It also requires building a reputation as a trusted advisor. Here’s how:

Focus on Client Results: Don’t be shy about showcasing the positive outcomes you achieve for your clients. Track metrics, gather testimonials, and use them to demonstrate your value.

Take Credit for Your Wins: When a client’s sales soar after implementing your marketing strategy, own that success. Share it on your website or social media, positioning yourself as the architect of their growth.

Refine Your Brand: Ditch the “Virtual Assistant” title if it no longer reflects your expertise. Consider a more fitting term like “Marketing Strategist” or “Sales Funnel Specialist.” This shows potential clients that your services are high-level, and this is how to make money as a virtual assistant.

⚡️Related Podcast: Six Ways to Make Six Figures as a Virtual Assistant

Listen to my Unicorns Unite Podcast where I explain why the “six-figure VA” myth is holding you back. I want to help you make more money AND find fulfillment and purpose in your work.

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | iHeartRadioAmazon

Curious about starting your own service-based business from home?

This list is for you!

Grab my list of digital marketing-related tasks and services that online business owners are outsourcing and always need help with.

This is a goldmine of services you could be offering to your clients in your digital marketing VA business.

Further Reading:

>> How to Go from Hourly to Project Rates for Virtual Assistants

>> Create a Services Guide with Virtual Assistant Packages to Book Better Clients

>> Stay Close to the Money and Grow Your Virtual Marketing Assistant Business

>> Pricing and the Value of Creativity as a Freelancer

>> Preventing Burnout as a Work From Home VA

>> How to Land Your Next Client (and Get Paid What You’re Worth)

The Takeaway:

The secret to how to make money as a virtual assistant and earn six figures is to move beyond the limitations of hourly rates and traditional VA work. Do high-value work that’s closer to the money.

Building a successful freelance career requires dedication, strategic thinking, and a supportive network. If you’re an experienced virtual assistant or a freelance digital marketer consider joining the Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. We’re a close-knit community of seasoned freelance marketers who share experiences, learn from each other’s successes, and hold one another accountable as we move toward our goals. There’s also an arsenal of workgroup training and quality job leads. We only open a couple of times a year – apply today!

-Emily, Digital Marketing Consultant and Implementer

Emily Reagan is a mom of four, milspouse, freelance digital marketer and Virtual Assistant coach who has helped 400 go-getters, including military spouses, stay-at-home moms, and professional women learn in-demand skills and find flexible remote work as digital marketing assistants and specialists. She’s shared 2,000+ job leads with her freelance marketers & VA community.

Ask her any questions over on Insta @emilyreaganpr

“I help smart women learn the in-demand digital marketing strategies and profitable tech skills to get hired as a unicorn digital marketing assistant.“

3 ways we can work together:

Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School with Emily Reagan

1. Do you need to acquire digital marketing implementation skills and build your workflows so you can solidly put yourself out there for work? Check out the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School. (It only opens once a year so jump on the waitlist now!… I also share job leads with my students so it’s a gateway for anyone who wants to build a freelance business that gives them flexibility and meaningful work). You can also choose to go through the self-study program now. Enroll here.

2. Already doing the work and have clients? But need more clients and a better referral network? Apply for our Digital Marketer’s Workgroup. This is a tight-knit community of freelancers like you, supporting each other. Plus I’ve shared 2000+ job opportunities with this community.

3. Need to hire a Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant? Submit your job opportunity here. I’ll share with my workgroups totally free.

Yes, you really can work online.

Feeling overwhelmed and not sure how you can work from home and build your own online digital marketing business? Take a deep breath – you can do this. Start here with my list of 10 popular tasks that online businesses need help with the most!

These are the tasks that new clients are constantly asking for help with, and skills that they really need to find in a virtual assistant. Get access to this free download right now. Then make sure your own VA toolkit is up-to-date and relevant, and decide where you might need to invest in new growth and development for your biz.

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Meet Emily

Emily Reagan is a jill-of-all trades when it comes to digital marketing and techie skills. She’s worked as a behind-the-scenes digital marketing implementor and strategist for a decade for online biz owner clients.

She’s a mom of four, Air Force wife, and founder of the Unicorn Digital Marketing Assistant School, where she teaches smart women the in-demand, highly-coveted digital marketing skills to get flexible, online work.

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