How to be unpopular in the virtual assistant world - Heather Santo

How to be unpopular in the virtual assistant world

By Heather Santo | Business


You don't have to try and figure out this social media thing all on your own. I'll light the way!

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Frustrated woman sitting at her computer. Unpopularity in hiring online in the virtual assistant world

Frustrated woman sitting at her computer. Unpopularity in hiring online in the virtual assistant world

Adding a virtual assistant to your business is an exciting time! You have gone through and done all of the work that was necessary. You’ve defined your budget, figured out what you  need help with, listed all the tools that you used and even stalked your potential virtual assistant choices. Now, you just need to put it where people can see it or present it to them and see if they can do it. That should be it, right?


You can end up with the wrong virtual assistant based on what you say about the work that you need. After all of your hard work, you don’t want to deter ‘the one’, do you? Of course not! I’m going to teach you some buzz words and catch phrases to avoid when you are attempting to partner with a virtual assistant.

How to be Unpopular in the Virtual Assistant World

Using the word ‘hire‘ – Virtual assistants start their own business to stop becoming an employee. That word is associated with an employee so using it will deter a potential VA. They don’t want you to hire them, they want you to partner with them. Working with a virtual assistant is all about a partnership and bringing someone into the fold of your business to help make you and your business be more productive. If you want to hire someone, you need an employee and that is a totally different topic.

Setting the rates – If you want to partner with a virtual assistant you don’t choose what you will pay them. Each virtual assistant based on experience, expertise and type of work, will offer different rates. You should certainly have a budget in mind of what you can afford, but you don’t want to say that you will:

  • Only pay up to X amount of dollars per hour ( you don’t get to choose the rate)
  • Offer a commission (virtual assistants are business owners and don’t want paid on commission)
  • Offer a generous base pay (again, employee terminology)
  • Offer to pay more money based on performance (that is what you do with an employee, if you want to do that, send them a nice bonus or a lovely gift)

You can say that you will need approximately X amount of hours (if it is hourly) or, if it is a project, state your budget. The best thing to do is hash out what you need and ask the cost. From there you can adjust it up or down to fit your budget by adding/removing tasks.

No Job DescriptionsGive a Job Description: This is BIG TIME employee verbiage. Virtual assistants are service providers. Would you give your doctor a job description and see if he can do it? No, you would find out his expertise and how he can serve you. What you list are your NEEDS. What do you need done? What tools do you use? What does this person need to be proficient in or what would you be willing to train the right person to do?


List Qualities: You see this on job descriptions all the time. ” Must be hard-working, a Go-Getter, Great at deadlines, etc.”. Let’s be honest here, when those qualities are listed, EVERYONE thinks that it is them and they sure aren’t going to tell you if it isn’t when they apply for a job. I come from a human resources background, and believe me, plenty of people applied that were not even remotely close to the traits listed on a job description.

You will SEE these things in someone and how they have treated past clients. There is nothing wrong with listing traits that you like (because we do that on this end too. We all have a list of qualities that we are looking for in a client, but we don’t tell you that. We listen for it and watch it in what you say and do. Take a que from us! You are checking us out as much as we are checking you out! )

Write these traits down on a piece of paper. Go stalk your VA and watch them. Listen when they answer the phone or your emails. You can tell a lot about someone from these things. This won’t prevent all bad connections, but it lessens it.

Ask for a Resume: Virtual assistants are like any other business owner — they don’t keep a resume anymore (at least most). Do you ask your plumber or dentist for one? No, you go by word of mouth or research and make a choice. What you can ask for are client testimonials. Most VA’s will have them posted right on the website for you to see.

I want to see you make the right connections! I hope this has been helpful. If you would like to consider partnering with me, click here to get started to see how we can work together!


Head Shot Cropped VAHeather Santo is a certified Virtual Administrative Consultant with over 15 years of customer service experience. She also spent time in corporate America as a Human Resources Manager performing generalist duties and specializing in recruiting. She now enjoys using her talents to serve her clients and help them to operate their businesses efficiently. She specializes in Aweber, Pinterest, WordPress Thesis, Gratitude Concierge Work and social media content graphic creation.

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