How is a Virtual Assistant different from a freelance worker?
Freelancer or real assistant
Many people get tired of working under the structure of a company, of meeting established schedules, of completing the objectives of a company. For these, and many other reasons, they decide to work independently in what they are professionals and passionate about. Thus, they become part of what is called a freelance worker or a real assistant.
You can use the other mind as an alternative to freelancer or assistants.
A real assistant is one who works independently, without belonging to a company, and is hired occasionally by different clients. They lack a business model, they have more than one source of income, and the lack of organizational structure prevents them from expanding their actions, so they are left running only these occasional projects.
While there are many people who feel comfortable working on this system, others aspire to more, so they decide to stop being freelancers and choose to become virtual assistants (VA).
When a person decides to work professionally as VA, he does it under an established business model, which is sustainable, profitable and scalable, because although he works independently, he does it as if it were a company. That is to say; the VA is a company in itself.
Breaking this definition a bit, we say that the structure of a VA is profitable, because it does not need other works to satisfy its economic needs; it is sustainable because it is part of an organizational structure; and it is scalable, since it can expand its business area to other tasks that do not depend on clients as such.
Also, the VAs are covered under the business model established by the International Association of Virtual Assistants (IVAA), which groups them together, puts them in contact with each other and provides them with tools and updates to execute more efficiently.
Both VA and freelancers share certain aspects in their ways of proceeding, as well as having notable differences.
Similarities between Virtual Assistants and freelance workers
Both VA and freelancers work independently. That is to say, they are not part of a company’s payroll, nor do they have a boss to whom to give an account.
Both models can work remotely and use technology to keep in touch with their clients and deliver their work.
The passion for a profession is another point in common. VA and freelancers usually work on what they are passionate about. There are several professions in which you can choose these models: accounting, design, administration, systems, technology, writers, digital marketing, and customer service, among others.
Differences between Virtual Assistants and Freelancers
As we said, the main difference between a VA and freelance is that the first one conceives its status within a business model, like that of any incorporated company. For this reason, it establishes guidelines that mark the limits of the service it will offer and how it will be offered to its clients. He also defines his ideal clients and based on that; he establishes a marketing plan with the intention of reaching those people with whom he is interested in working. As the VA conceives itself as a company, it establishes in a clear and definite way how it will generate its income. Thus, it will not depend on other jobs to meet your needs. On the contrary, it will look for ways to expand your company and branch your business into complementary areas.
In contrast, a freelance worker sees himself as a person fishing for clients to be hired for a specific project. He does not see his clients as a long-term collaboration, but as a punctual and occasional project in which, at the time of delivery, the employment relationship ends.
It lacks an organizational structure and with each new project decides how it will do it, in how much time, if it will work per hour or project and how it will charge for that specific service. It is common for a freelance to depend on another economic activity to cover their needs. This happens because it depends on that single activity that they know how to do and does not have the structure to scale their project. Some charge prices well below what would be considered fair in their industries, not to lose the customer or income.