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.

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

FreeeUp

FreeeUp is a virtual assistant service that offers virtual assistant services to customers all over the globe and specializes in the eCommerce industry. They are a relatively new company to join the virtual assistant space, starting operations in October 2015. […]

Overall Rating4.184.184.184.184.18
Quality of Work4.044.044.044.044.04
Communication3.963.963.963.963.96
Value4.134.134.134.134.13

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 Rating3.673.673.673.673.67
Quality of Work3.633.633.633.633.63
Communication3.753.753.753.753.75
Value3.893.893.893.893.89

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 Horkey HandBook Virtual Assistant Finder is a VA recruiting service by Gina Horkey. A professional VA and freelancer writer herself, she began training others to become virtual assistants as well. The VA Finder tool came about as a way […]

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. Elance.com is one of the world’s largest communities of freelance employees and people looking to hire them. Since their beginning in 1999, Elance has grown to […]

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 Rating33333
Quality of Work33333
Communication33333
Value33333

Codeable

Codeable (codeable.io) is an on-demand service for WordPress tasks. The Denmark-based company was founded in 2013 and employs more than 100 WordPress experts in the US and Europe to solve WordPress problems for customers. Think of them as a hyper-specialized […]

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 Rating2.62.62.62.62.6
Quality of Work2.82.82.82.82.8
Communication2.62.62.62.62.6
Value2.62.62.62.62.6

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 Rating33333
Quality of Work33333
Communication33333
Value33333

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 Rating2.332.332.332.332.33
Quality of Work2.52.52.52.52.5
Communication2.332.332.332.332.33
Value2.332.332.332.332.33

Truelancer

Truelancer is an online marketplace connecting clients with freelancer workers all over the globe. Their platform is quick, safe, and you have the flexibility to submit single jobs or build up an ongoing working relationship with a freelancer. If you […]

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 […]

Overall Rating33333
Quality of Work33333
Communication33333
Value33333

XPlace

XPlace is a large freelance marketplace. The company is based in Los Angeles, US, and they have development offices in the Ukraine and Israel. Their freelancers are based all over the world. Their focus is to provide a marketplace for […]

Overall Rating22222
Quality of Work2.252.252.252.252.25
Communication22222
Value22222

Guru.com

Guru.com is a marketplace to find freelance talent in whatever specialty you’re looking for. The Pittsburgh-based company is one of the original freelance sites, having been founded way back in 1997. They claim to be the world’s largest online marketplace […]

Overall Rating22222
Quality of Work22222
Communication22222
Value11111

vWorker

UPDATE: vWorker has been acquired by Freelancer.com. vWorker.com is a company designed to bring employers and virtual workers together so that everyone can find the work and workers they need. Based in Tampa, Florida, vWorker has been in business since […]

Overall Rating11111
Quality of Work11111
Communication22222
Value11111

Crew.co

Crew.co is a marketplace that provides a platform for freelancers, or “members” as they refer to them, to connect with business owners and entrepreneurs. They specialize in providing professional services of web designers and developers. The company was founded in […]

Overall Rating11111
Quality of Work11111
Communication11111
Value11111

Toptal

Toptal is a US-based company specializing in connecting clients with the services of remote engineers and developers. The company was founded in 2010 and is headed up by CEO Taso Du Val. Toptal has been expanding their network of talented […]

Overall Rating11111
Quality of Work11111
Communication11111
Value11111

Twago

Twago is one of the largest platforms in Europe helping businesses all over the world find freelancers to help them with tasks and projects. The company has been in operation since 2009 and has grown a large marketplace for clients […]

Overall Rating11111
Quality of Work11111
Communication11111
Value11111

Remote.com

Remote.com (formerly Outsource.com, a platform that generated less-than-positive feedback from freelancers) is a virtual assistant company based in Burlingame, CA. They have been in operation since January 2017 and match business owners with virtual assistants from all over the globe. […]