Freelance virtual assistants are an alternative to going through one of the virtual assistant companies.

You can find freelance VAs in a number of locations, including Upwork, FreeeUp, and even Fiverr. These sites allow you to specify your exact requirements in advance, and are great for project-based tasks.

best freelance virtual assistants

Advantages of Hiring Freelance Virtual Assistants

Hiring a freelance VA comes with a host of benefits that can help improve different areas of your business.

Cost Efficiency

One of the benefits of hiring a freelance virtual assistant that easily stands out is the comparatively lower cost of hiring either an in-house employee or a virtual assistant company.

Unlike a full-time employee, you don’t need to pay for government-mandated benefits because they work on a per-project basis.

There’s also no need to pay for Internet, rent, or utilities because they use their own computers and Internet connection as part of their virtual assistance business.

Since most work as sole proprietors or traders, there’s no company overhead to pay for.

Increased Productivity

Productivity is also one of the major benefits freelance virtual assistants bring–which is essential for businesses that are looking to scale up.

For one, they are often experienced professionals who no longer require much training. (Though they still may need time to get comfortable with your specific systems and responsibilities.)

Delegating tasks to freelance virtual assistants allow you to focus on the more high-value tasks that require your authority and expertise.

Not only does this keep things organized, but it also helps the business get more things done instead of overwhelming yourself with tasks you can otherwise delegate to someone else.

Specialized Skills

Virtual assistants today are no longer just virtual secretaries who help you organize your schedule and reply to your emails.

The range of skills and expertise you can choose from has become much wider, with freelancers specializing in specific areas like marketing, accounting, and e-commerce.

This is a huge advantage if your business belongs to any one of these industries because you’ll be getting assistance from someone who actually has the skills, knowledge, and experience to help your business dominate in their area of expertise.

Plus, hiring virtually allows you to reach a nationwide or even global talent pool, instead of just hiring locally.

More Control Over Hiring

When you’re making a freelance hire, you can pore over applicants until you find the perfect fit. This can be very time-consuming, but if it’s for an ongoing role in your company, probably makes sense to do.

In contrast, if you hire through a virtual assistant company or agency, they’ll do their best to match you with a great fitting VA, but you won’t see as many options as you would doing it yourself.

Non-Office Hours Support

Some freelance virtual assistants reside halfway around the world, which means they belong to a different time zone.

While most business owners would typically look at this as a disadvantage, some would view this as a benefit because your businesses continue to operate even while you sleep.

Depending on your business requirements, this time difference can present several opportunities you can take advantage of, especially if your business caters to an international audience.

FreeeUp Upwork Fiverr OnlineJobs
Established 2015 1999 2010 2008
Location Worldwide, w/ concentration in USA and Philippines Worldwide Worldwide Philippines
Customer Rating
Size of Talent Pool Thousands 12 million 830,000 250,000
Hourly Rate $5-75+ $3-100+ $3-100+ $3-20+
Platform Fee 15% 5-20% 20% + processing fee $69 a month
Worker Tracking
(optional)
Pre-Screened Freelancers
(w/ Fiverr Pro)
Best For Quick hires, e-commerce One-off projects Smaller jobs Affordable full-time help
Learn More Learn More Learn More Learn More

Drawbacks to Hiring Freelance Virtual Assistants

While there are obviously lots of benefits to gain from hiring a freelance virtual assistant, it also has its share of disadvantages.

Potential Language Barrier

One of the biggest concerns to hiring freelance VAs is the potential language barrier. Of course you can avoid that by hiring a local freelancer.

The difference lies in the cultural and social nuances which have the potential to create differences in perception.

Once such example is when it comes to the way they communicate.

As we know, Americans are pretty straightforward and direct to the point, which is the exact opposite for Filipinos who were raised to be more formal and conservative with their approach.

Calamities/Catastrophic Events

Another possible drawback to hiring freelance virtual assistants is the possible work interruption brought about by typhoons and catastrophic events especially in the Philippines, a country sitting in what others refer to as the typhoon belt.

During such situations, certain areas may experience power failures and internet outages which can affect business continuity.

Internet speed may also present some issues but with current advances in local infrastructure, this may no longer be a pressing concern.

Commitment and Dedication

Virtual assistants usually do what they do because it is their main source of income. Working on a single project, however, won’t be enough to put food on their tables or pay the bills.

To continue to keep the lights on, they usually take on three to four more projects or clients since they are also usually paid by the hour.

With that being said, you can’t expect them to be fully dedicated to your project. Most of the time, they will allot a couple of hours for each project they handle so they can accommodate everyone.

If you need someone dedicated, you need to make this clear right from the very beginning so the freelancer can organize his schedule.

Backups and Replacements

One of the biggest advantages of hiring through a third-party VA service is the backup and replacement. Should your freelance assistant move on to another opportunity, it will be your responsibility to replace them from scratch.

How Much do Freelance Virtual Assistants Cost?

You can usually hire a freelance virtual assistant for as little as $400 and as high as $1500 per month if you’re hiring from the Philippines or India.

Due to differences in standard of living, virtual assistants located in the US or in the UK will cost more. You’ll find hourly rates starting around $15 and going up to as high as $150 for highly-skilled, expert-level professionals.

Fees being charged by outsourcing services are usually already included in a virtual assistant’s hourly rate. Considering how easy they make things for you, you’re still getting a great deal for your money.

My Experience with Freelance Virtual Assistants

Some of my best virtual hires have been freelancers! I’ve worked with dozens over the years, on everything including:

  • Social media
  • Graphics
  • Content writing and editing
  • Customer service
  • Advertising management
  • Data entry and normalization
  • Accounting
  • Web development
  • and more

My go-to services for connecting with freelancers, outside my own network and community, are:

  • Fiverr – great a la carte platform for one-off tasks and projects.
  • Upwork – great to find specialized skills and longer-term hires.
  • FreeeUp – great to quickly connect with pre-vetted professionals.
  • OnlineJobs – best for filling ongoing part-time or full-time roles.

Which Freelance Virtual Assistant Service Should You Choose?

Freelance virtual assistant services usually provide the same kind of services from the hiring down to management.

While most of them will simply send you a bunch of names to choose from, there are others that do all the dirty work for you by providing you, pre-vetted candidates.

In the end, it all depends on how much time you can spare and how involved you want to be in the hiring process.

The Best Freelance Hiring Platforms

Check out the reviews we provided for you below to help you decide which service works best for you.

Those will help you navigate the various options for finding a freelance virtual assistant, and include advice on what to look for, what questions to ask, and warning signs.

Overall Rating55555
Quality of Work55555
Communication4.964.964.964.964.96
Value4.984.984.984.984.98
FreeUp

FreeUp is a marketplace connecting pre-vetted virtual assistants, freelancers, and agencies in Amazon, eCommerce, and marketing. While their core customer base is within eCommerce and marketing, they work with many businesses outside of those spaces as well. Since launching in […]

Overall Rating4.494.494.494.494.49
Quality of Work4.484.484.484.484.48
Communication4.494.494.494.494.49
Value4.624.624.624.624.62
Uassist.ME

Uassist.ME is a virtual assistant company and business process outsourcing company (BPO) with offices in Miami and El Salvador. The company was founded in 2009 with the idea of providing remote administrative services to clients in the US and around […]

Overall Rating4.434.434.434.434.43
Quality of Work4.524.524.524.524.52
Communication4.714.714.714.714.71
Value4.434.434.434.434.43
Insolvo

Insolvo is an online marketplace connecting freelancers with clients all over the world. Their headquarters is based in Seychelles, and the freelancers using their platform are based all over the globe. About Insolvo Insolvo is a freelance marketplace that provides […]

Overall Rating4.464.464.464.464.46
Quality of Work4.674.674.674.674.67
Communication4.674.674.674.674.67
Value4.544.544.544.544.54
GoLance

GoLance is an online workforce platform that connects employers with freelancers based all over the globe. Based in Delaware, US, GoLance has been in business since 2015. Their mission is to, “Make life better for all online workers with a […]

Overall Rating55555
Quality of Work55555
Communication55555
Value55555
Virtually Yours

Virtually Yours is an Australian-based virtual assistant network providing training and support for virtual assistants and business owners in Australia. The owner, Rosie Shilo is located in Melbourne, AU. Most of the VAs and businesses joining the membership program are […]

Overall Rating4.214.214.214.214.21
Quality of Work4.084.084.084.084.08
Communication4.044.044.044.044.04
Value4.24.24.24.24.2
OnlineJobs.ph

OnlineJobs.ph is a Filipino job board that caters exclusively to remote online work opportunities. It was created in 2009 by Utah-based entrepreneur John Jonas as a way to connect the affordable Filipino workforce with business owners in North America and […]

Overall Rating3.613.613.613.613.61
Quality of Work3.453.453.453.453.45
Communication3.453.453.453.453.45
Value3.683.683.683.683.68
Upwork

Upwork (formerly oDesk) is a community that brings together contract workers and employers. The company has been in business since 2003, and now serves hundreds of thousands of clients all around the world. They boast more than 12 million freelancers […]

Overall Rating3.883.883.883.883.88
Quality of Work44444
Communication3.753.753.753.753.75
Value3.753.753.753.753.75
Acadium (formerly GenM)

Acadium is a unique and growing platform to connect businesses with free digital marketing apprentices. The company’s stated mission is to “to enable anyone, anywhere to acquire the skills, experience and relationships they need to succeed in the job market.” […]

Overall Rating3.53.53.53.53.5
Quality of Work3.633.633.633.633.63
Communication3.53.53.53.53.5
Value3.53.53.53.53.5
HireMyMom

HireMyMom.com is an online employment outsourcing service that specializes in working-from-home moms. The company was founded in 2007 by entrepreneur Lesley Spencer Pyle, a mother who had formerly worked in public relations and as a desktop publisher. About Hire My […]

Overall Rating3.43.43.43.43.4
Quality of Work3.333.333.333.333.33
Communication3.443.443.443.443.44
Value3.63.63.63.63.6
Fiverr

Fiverr.com is one of the most popular outsourcing destinations online. Built around a very simple concept – what people will do for $5 – Fiverr has grown into a large global community of freelance workers and people who hire them. […]

Overall Rating55555
Quality of Work55555
Communication55555
Value55555
Horkey HandBook Virtual Assistant Finder

The Virtual Assistant Finder is a free service by Gina Horkey of HorkeyHandBook.com to help entrepreneurs and small business owners get in touch with qualified VA help – folks that she has trained personally through her online education system. A […]

Overall Rating55555
Quality of Work55555
Communication55555
Value55555
Outsource School

Outsource School is a hands-on platform that gives you access to top training courses and resources created by successful 8-figure entrepreneurs. For a monthly or annual fee, you can access dozens of training courses. These courses outline all the processes […]

Overall Rating3.43.43.43.43.4
Quality of Work3.43.43.43.43.4
Communication3.43.43.43.43.4
Value4.54.54.54.54.5
Myaa

UPDATE: It appears Myaa is out of business. Please consider one of these alternatives. Myaa is a global virtual assistant talent pool, based out of their Las Vegas headquarters. The company has been in existence in one form or another […]

Overall Rating3.833.833.833.833.83
Quality of Work3.53.53.53.53.5
Communication33333
Value3.833.833.833.833.83
Elance

Update: Elance has merged with oDesk to form Upwork, the world’s largest freelance marketplace. Be sure to check out our full Upwork review or this post for a big list of Upwork alternatives. Elance.com is one of the world’s largest […]

Overall Rating3.143.143.143.143.14
Quality of Work3.293.293.293.293.29
Communication3.573.573.573.573.57
Value3.143.143.143.143.14
Speedlancer

Speedlancer is the first freelancing platform to harness the power of the crowd for speed. The Melbourne, Australia based company opens its doors in 2014, but uses a unique crowdsourcing methodology to quickly deliver tasks for clients. Speedlancer targets business owners who […]

Overall Rating3.333.333.333.333.33
Quality of Work3.173.173.173.173.17
Communication3.673.673.673.673.67
Value3.173.173.173.173.17
Hubstaff

Hubstaff is a time tracking software built for remote teams. The company was founded in 2012 and their fully remote team is “based” out of Indianapolis, Indiana. Hubstaff offers several productivity monitoring features like an app and URL tracking, optional […]

Overall Rating33333
Quality of Work33333
Communication33333
Value33333
Codeable

Codeable (codeable.io) is the only WordPress exclusive freelancer marketplace. The Denmark-based company was founded in 2013 and employs more than 530 WordPress experts from around the world to solve WordPress problems for customers. Their community only deals with WordPress-related projects […]

Overall Rating3.53.53.53.53.5
Quality of Work3.53.53.53.53.5
Communication33333
Value33333
Rev

Rev is a professional transcription, caption, subtitle, and translation service. The company is a venture-backed internet startup and was founded in 2010. One of the missions behind starting Rev was to give more people the freedom to work from home. […]

Overall Rating44444
Quality of Work55555
Communication44444
Value33333
MarketerHire

MarketerHire is a US-based company specializing in connecting clients with marketers. Their headquarters is based in San Francisco, CA, and they work with marketers based remotely all over the world. The company has been in business since October 2018. Since […]

Overall Rating33333
Quality of Work44444
Communication44444
Value33333
Workaholics4Hire

Workaholics4Hire is a private outsourcing marketplace, “staffed” by more than 25,000 work-from-home freelancers. The Ottawa, Canada company was founded by Sylvie Fortin in 1999. Any business that’s been around that long must be doing something right. Fortin explains that the […]