Virtual Assistant Clients Are Unreliable

Dec 18, 2023
The VA Connection: Virtual Assistant Clients Are Unreliable

The number one thing I’ve learned in the 13 years I’ve been a Virtual Assistant is that clients aren’t reliable. One hundred percent not reliable.

But that’s only a problem if you don’t understand how the business of being a Virtual Assistant works. When we break it down, it goes like this: clients need help, they hire a Virtual Assistant, the VA assists the client, and gets paid based on their hourly rate. Pretty simple.

But there’s some confusion in how this plays out that causes disappointment and frustration for the Virtual Assistant. I discovered this confusion when a VA asked me how to convince clients to give them more work.

That question stopped me in my tracks because when I heard it, I realized that this VA (and I’ve discovered many other Virtual Assistants) is missing the point.

When a client hires you, they might say they’ll need you five hours a week. You’re thrilled to have regular hours you can count on. But here’s the truth. Depending on those hours is a mistake and rarely works out as expected.

When working with a client, you are in service to their needs (note: I said service, not a servant; there’s a difference). You’re there to support them and what’s good for their businesses, no matter how it affects the number of hours they provide you. One month might mean 10 hours, the next three might mean zero.

It’s a client’s prerogative to unpredictably change the amount of time they need or to stop a project in a heartbeat without giving it a second thought. Not because they’re not wonderful and friendly people, but because worrying about you is not their responsibility.

While this might sound terrible, it’s not. What’s terrible is assuming your clients are responsible for your success as a business owner. Please don’t put yourself in the position of having a business that’s limping along and then blame your clients because they’re not giving you enough to do.

When you make the important mindset shift that you’re responsible for having enough hours by consistently bringing in new clients, you’ll be focused on what matters to achieve your goals. Don’t make the mistake of focusing on the number of clients. That’s not a measure of success -  how many hours you’re billing is. (More here).

Approach every new client as a potential long-term relationship, but don’t depend on it. That way, you’ll always be on the lookout for new opportunities and won’t be surprised by shifting client needs and priorities. To be successful, you’ll need to embrace the in-the-moment nature of Virtual Assistance and roll with the flow.  


If you’re not already a member of our Facebook Group, The Virtual Assistant Connection, and would like to join, here’s the link: