Looking for ways to propel your home-based virtual assistant business? Whether you are just starting out or have a full practice of clients, here are tips to help you get the word out and help you to become the go to virtual assistant for your specialty.
1. Attend networking events
Attend networking events regularly where your target audience might be. It works! For example, at a recent event the host and main speaker recommended attendees partner with a virtual assistant to help grow their business. You could almost hear gasps in the audience as many had heard of a virtual assistant before, but were surprised to hear it so highly recommended by this very successful speaker. The speaker then outlined the various tasks virtual assistants can do for their business. Over and over throughout the event the speaker shared how their own virtual assistant had been a godsend to them. Needless to say, at networking time, if you were a VA in the audience you got the full attention of attendees when you told them you were a virtual assistant and what the speaker outlined is exactly what you do—and then some!
That’s why we highly recommend attending networking events. And don’t be shy, be proud to say, “Yes I am a virtual assistant and I can be the partner you so desperately need.”
Be armed with business cards and on those cards use that critical back-side to include many of your services. Be especially mindful of the needs of that audience and before the event, know what services you feel would be most important to them. Yes, you can have multiple business cards with different specialties. (Cool, isn’t it?)
More importantly, collect cards from prospective clients who have a true interest in working with you. Take notes about your discussion, preferably on there, and as soon as you get back to the office send a follow up email with specifics. Ask for a meeting to discuss next steps.
2. Get known by your specialty
Trying to be all things to all people is one of the biggest hurdles for virtual assistants to get over. It can’t be done—at least, not effectively. The fear is you will miss out on that one magic client who might not know you do XYZ because you only say you do ABC. Right?
We’re here to tell you this is not entirely true. The way we see it, and have personally experienced it, is if you specialize in a particular industry or a few select types of services then your marketing efforts will be more focused on just the right target audience. What happens is, you will get more ideal clients who will ultimately need other types of services. It’s up to you to let your clients know what other services you can offer.
Conversely, if you’re all over the place knowing you can do 100 different things for just about any client who walks in the door, that’s great. However, it’s pretty difficult to focus your unique selling proposition and make yourself stand out in the crowd if you’re trying to reach every single business owner who might need any one of those 100 services. Make sense? Narrow the focus, narrow the target, and get to the right client. Simple.
Now, in your marketing efforts you’ll be able to hone in on better keywords and keyword phrases based on the needs of the potential clients. In your copywriting you’ll be able to speak directly to your audience and they will see how well you understand their business pains—and you offer a solution!
3. Know You’re Worth
You excel best in your business when you charge what you are worth. And don’t worry about what Susie in India is charging. You know what you offer and you know just how beneficial you can be to clients, so be proud, be confident, and charge accordingly.
But just as important as charging what you are worth, is realizing what that worth is. You need to be clear on the value you offer clients. It’s more than just saying, “I’m really good at this.” It helps to have examples. For instance, how much better does this sound? “I’m really good at this and here is just one of the things I accomplished for a client.” And then include an example of how you rocked it.
It’s also okay to test your rates. If you raised your rates substantially and all of a sudden you see everyone exiting the building, you might have gone too far. You can then adjust accordingly. Before adjusting downward though, be sure you have conveyed the value you bring to their business. Learn to sell yourself and your worth—and be confident! If you don’t believe you’re worth it, neither will the client.
These are just a few tips on how you can propel your business. It’s all a matter of knowing what you do, how you do it, and why you are so good at it.
Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant - The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant - The Series Workbook Edition. Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.vatheseries.com. Connect with them online at @learntobeava or facebook.com/becomeava