What is a virtual assistant and what can they do? What is a typical virtual assistant salary? How well do Filipino virtual assistants speak English?

What Is a Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant is someone who helps you do whatever you need done, whether it be for your business or for your personal life, remotely. A virtual assistant by definition is not located in the same physical location or office space as you. Typically, a virtual assistant will be someone who works from home, either in the same country as you or more commonly in a developing country like the Philippines or India.

What is a Virtual Assistant?

What Is a Virtual Assistant Salary?

The typical virtual assistant salary for a US based virtual assistant will range from $15 to $25 per hour, and can be higher for more experienced virtual assistants. There are proposals from Congress as of late 2018 to raise the federal minimum wage level to $15 per hour, in which case that would be the absolute floor for any US based virtual assistant.

However, rates are much lower for a virtual assistant based in a developing country such as the Philippines or India. Jobstob offers pre-vetted candidates who speak fluent English from countries such as the Philippines for 70% to 80% off US rates. For example, let’s assume that the average US virtual assistant rate is $20 per hour. In that case, it’d be possible to hire a competent, fluent, virtual assistant with a fast internet connection through Jobstob for only $6 per hour, which is exactly 30% of the cost for a US virtual assistant!

Please note that these are just estimates as of this writing, and rates are subject to change with inflation and economic conditions. Furthermore, specific candidates can cost more or less depending on a variety of factors such as skills, experience and technical knowhow.

Can Virtual Assistants Speak English Well?

Absolutely! English is one of the official languages of the Philippines, which ranks as one of the largest English speaking countries with a significant majority of the population having some degree of fluency in the language. English is also recognized as a primary language in India, which is another country that is well known for having many English speakers.

Furthermore, Filipinos are known for having a neutral English accent, so much so that fluent English speakers from the Philippines are often indistinguishable over the phone from an American. India also possess a high degree of English speakers within its population; however, in our experience the Indian English accent is more noticeable and harder to escape.

Pro Tip: Not convinced? Check out any of the videos on Jobstob.com or our YouTube channel and see for yourself. Our large collection of video resumes of virtual assistants and remote workers from the Philippines, India and other countries will show you just how fluent an overseas based virtual assistant can be.

What Can Virtual Assistants Do?

Virtual assistants can help you with any task that can be done on a computer or by phone. In fact, the only things a virtual assistant can’t help you with is a task which requires a physical, in-person presence such as a meeting.

If you require a physical front desk receptionist or a salesperson to visit clients in person, then a virtual assistant isn’t right for you. However, if you need someone to help set appointments, manage your email inbox, create infographics, arrange for document e-signatures and the like, then a virtual assistant can help.

What can virtual assistants do?

Answering the Phone – One of the most important tasks a virtual assistant can do for you is to be your in-house call center and to answer your main office phone line. This represents significant cost savings for companies that have a US based secretary employed at the office whose only role is to answer the phone. This function can be easily and effectively outsourced with minimal impact, especially considering the degree of English fluency of Jobstob’s candidates.

Managing Emails – It’s entirely possible for a virtual assistant to handle your email inbox, regardless of how complex you think your email inquiries can be. You can train your virtual assistant to use stock responses and templates for certain situations, and eventually develop the ability to answer with custom responses. It’s absolutely possible to train your virtual assistant to step into your shoes and answer emails like you would. Just remember, Email is one of the biggest time sinks for working professionals. Wouldn’t it be nice if someone could manage it for you?

Customer Service – Most virtual assistants will be familiar with customer support ticketing software such as ZenDesk or FreshDesk. Alternatively, you can keep it simple and just have them manage a dedicated customer support email account. Once you’ve trained your virtual assistant to be able to handle the most common customer requests, you can lay back and relax. How good will it feel to be able to only periodically spot check to make sure your customers are taken care of?

Website Management – Virtual assistants are generally familiar with how to operate WordPress websites and other websites which have a user friendly content management system. This means they’ll be able to upload blog articles for you and make time consuming changes or edits across your website. For example, did you want to format your articles a certain way across your website but you have 200 of them? If there’s no way around it, why not hire a competent virtual assistant from Jobstob who is already familiar and tested with WordPress who can do this for you?

Graphic Design – Many general virtual assistants will also come with graphic design skills, so you can get the benefit of a virtual assistant and a graphic designer all in one package. This is extremely helpful if you need brochures, infographics, banner ads etc. designed regularly. Many virtual assistants who come with this skill set already have their own subscriptions to software such as Photoshop and Illustrator. You’ll find that having someone in-house will be much more convenient, especially if you have an eye to detail and want revisions made quickly. Someone who’s working full-time for you will be able to make your edits in real-time, vs a freelancer who may take days to respond.

Video Animation and Editing – Video animators and editors are usually distinct from general personal assistants as familiarity with software such as Adobe After Effects CC is a specialized knowledge. However, many virtual assistants will have some knowledge of basic video editing, especially with free software found online which enables you to merge and crop videos.

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