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How to build trust with a Virtual Assistant

Upwork Staff
Ryan J Upwork Staff Member Since: Nov 4, 2014
1 of 7

I think we can all agree that just about every business owner and professional could benefit from having a Virtual Assistant. When I speak to long-term VA hiring clients it's clear that their VA(s) are critical to the success of their business or career - their secret weapon. Hiring a VA for the first time or hiring a new VA can be challenging for employers, because in many cases employers need to provide access to personal information and accounts as well as share their business secrets to their VA.


This thread is for both employers and experienced VAs. Please share your advice/tips for establishing trust between an employer and VA.

Ace Contributor
Sk Arif H Member Since: Oct 31, 2014
2 of 7

Dear Ryan,


Thanks for sharing your opinion about building trust with a Virtual Assistant. From my experience I would like to share followings:


1. Since trust is a most important thing when working with the clients (especially, who are new to this platform), therefore, when my work is done, I handed over all of the information (which is shared with me at first place so that he can change the sensitive information like changing account credentials and others) and summarized the outcome of the task in a word file or google docs.


2. Also, I always tend to follow up with the clients if I am unable to meet either their expectations or deadlines specified for certain tasks that they have provided on a given week.


These are the tips I would like to share with the members here on this platform.


Thanks for taking time to read my post and hope you and all the members working on this platform have a great weekend.


With Best Regards,



Upwork Staff
Ryan J Upwork Staff Member Since: Nov 4, 2014
3 of 7

Thanks for contributing!

Community Guru
Suzanne N Member Since: Aug 15, 2012
4 of 7



Screen your Virtual Assistant carefully. Ask for references or check their profile and don't be afraid to contact previous jobs they have listed.


Include a confidentiality clause


Review the time sheets carefully.


I know some will not agree with me on this, but if you are not comfortable with someone interviewing don't hire them. Same goes for a freelancer, if you are not comfortable with the interview don't take the job. Go with your gut feeling.


Virtual Assistant

Go out of your way to provide the extra mile for the client.


Get jobs done in a timely manner.


Keep track of your hours


For both client and freelancer .. I can't emphasis more about communication, commuication, communication...


Have a weekly meeting on Skype of Google hangouts to go over projects. Discuss with one another anything you think might improve productivity. 

Trust is a two way street. It comes with time.

If you have sensitive material you need someone to work on such as Paypal payments, you can limit what they can access. Same goes for projects like bookkeeping, many programs have options to limit access to certain areas of the program.



View solution in original post

Community Guru
Gillian Michele N Member Since: Mar 15, 2012
5 of 7




You're right about the gut feeling. I've walked away from many a job because something just didn't sit right with me. The client was rather aggressive in their approach, they seemed highly unprofessional or their job description just wasn't clear. Sometimes they advertise one thing and then when you get to the interview stage, it's something completely unrelated to the original ad.


Go with your gut. It's there for a reason.



Clients, yelling at potential freelancers in your job ad is not going to help. Write a respectful ad and you'll attract the right kind of person. Maintain good manners throughout the duration of the contract.


Check references (even those outside of the site).


Keep an eye on the work diary. I've seen many clients complain because their freelancer has billed many hours without producing the work. It's your responsibility to keep an eye on things.


If you set an appointment time for an interview, please stick to it. I've wasted many hours waiting for a potential client to show up. Please have respect for the freelancer's time. It's just as precious as yours.


Take time to read through the Help section of the site. I've seen many questions asked within the forum that have already been answered within the FAQs.


If you're not happy with something, express this to the freelancer and give them a chance to make changes. Don't wait until the end of the contract and then write a negative review. I find that really spiteful.


Keep in constant contact.



Freelancers, be respectful in return, respond to messages within a timely manner. If you can't realistically fulfil a task be honest about it. You'll get caught out in the end.


Keep your client's business affairs confidential. You wouldn't want someone to mis treat you, so don't do it to others.


Be punctual, respectful and reliable.


Take time to read through the FAQs before starting that first contract. It has some good stuff.


Keep in constant contact. Ask questions rather than just making assumptions.


Really go above and beyond to complete the work to a high, professional standard. Give the client what they want. Chances are they'll keep calling you for future work.


There's probably a lot more, but that's all for now.

Upwork Staff
Ryan J Upwork Staff Member Since: Nov 4, 2014
6 of 7

Thanks for contributing Gillian!

Active Member
Eiriz Kimberley R Member Since: Jun 23, 2015
7 of 7

Hi Ryan, I am a VA and have worked on long term contracts with all my clients. In fact, one current client is a client from way back when I started in Upwork (oDesk) seven years ago. I build my client's trust by providing feedback on my work on a weekly basis (daily for some, if requested).


I've even had clients give their credit card info to me so I can buy whatever they need for their business! I don't take advantage of this at all and all my clients can attest to that.