Five Ways to Legally Protect Your Business

Five Ways to Legally Protect Your Business

Legally Protect Your Business

 

Article Credit: FreeU Blog

 

Have you legally protected your freelance business? It’s a question that can send shivers down the most seasoned freelancer’s spine. In a previous FreeU blog post, we discussed ways to help prevent late or missed payments from clients. We also provided strategies for dealing with clients who don’t pay on time or have not yet paid you.

And we talked about how New York City became the first city in the United States to protect independent contractors and freelancers from these types of nonpayment situations. A recent Freelancers Union article celebrates the second anniversary of the “Freelance Isn’t Free” Act and invites freelancers who have successfully filed a claim to share their stories.

But not all of us are protected by a law like this, and nonpayment situations are not the only things we need to guard against. The number of freelancers has grown by 3.7 million in the United States over the last five years, according to the 5th annual “Freelancing in America” study, but it’s still up to us to do as much as we can to safeguard our businesses.

With that in mind, here are five ways you can legally protect your freelance business:

*Please note that this blog post is not a substitute for professional legal advice. Consult the laws of your particular region and contact a lawyer for specific advice.

  1. INCLUDE THE APPROPRIATE ELEMENTS IN YOUR WEBSITE.

When you visit the Freelance University website, you’ll see two elements at the bottom: a Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. These may not be the first things a web visitor clicks on, but they’re there for an important reason. Nesha Woolery explains it this way in her article, “5 Legal Tips Every Freelancer Needs To Know,”

“If you use a website or blog to promote yourself and your work, you need to make sure that you have legal protections in place. This is often the first place where potential clients will stop, so you want to give them a solid first impression and show them that you are a professional who is on the up-and-up regarding the legal side.”

These elements protect your content and show how you run your business. As an example, the FreeU Privacy Policy provides information about the following:

Eligibility To Access Freelanceu.com Programs And Services
How We Collect Information
How To Receive Consent
How To Withdraw Consent
Payment Data Storage
Disclosure Practices
Security Of Personal Information
User Ability To Access, Update, And Correct Personal Information
Third-party Services
Changes To Privacy Policy
Questions And Contact Information

And the Terms of Service or Website Terms of Use include elements like this:

Agreement
Privacy Policy
Changes To Agreement And Privacy Policy
Eligibility
User Information/Password Protection
Billing And Membership
Intellectual Property
Disclaimers; Limitation Of Liability
Governing Law; Jurisdiction And Venue
And many other important elements

In addition, our FreeU Privacy Policy was updated to comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) guidelines, effective May 25, 2018. As Danny Palmer explains in his article, “What is GDPR? Everything you need to know about the new general data protection regulations,” any organization operating within the European Union (EU) and any organizations outside the EU that offer goods or services to businesses or customers within the EU must comply with the GDPR.

He says,

“At its core, GDPR is a new set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. It aims to simplify the regulatory environment for business so both citizens and businesses in the European Union can fully benefit from the digital economy.”

If you collect data from clients or customers operating within the EU, you’ll need to make sure your website is GDPR compliant.

  1. CHOOSE YOUR BUSINESS REGISTRATION WISELY.

In our Freelance 101 course, we discuss how to build your personal brand and set up your business structure. As FreeU co-founder and instructor Craig Cannings says, your personal brand “Determines the distinctive way you want to be perceived and remembered by others.” It also “sets you apart and makes you unique in the Freelance space.”

To protect this uniqueness, register your business name and consider trademarking it. As Nellie Akalp explains in an article titled “4 Key Tips for Legally Protecting Your Business,” it’s important to check whether the business name you’ve chosen is legally available to use. For example, in the United States, you can do a trademark search to see whether anyone else has trademarked a particular business name. You can also do a name search to make sure it isn’t already being used by another company in your state. She explains, “Registering your name allows you to operate your business under that name in the state legally, and it ensures no other business can use your name in your state.”

When choosing a business structure, you must determine whether you’d like to register as a sole proprietor or incorporated business. Our Freelance 101 course gives a comparison of the two structures. In a sole proprietorship, “YOU are the owner and personally
liable for the business,” but in an incorporated business, “shareholders in a corporation are
not liable for corporate debts.”

The article above puts it this way:

“An LLC and corporation, on the other hand, establishes your business as an entity separate from you the owner. Your personal assets and liabilities are independent of those of your business. So, in the event your business can’t pay its bills or gets sued by a client, your personal bank account, home, retirement funds, etc. will have some protection.”

But in an article titled “Branding Yourself: Why Freelancers Need a Personal Brand,“ Xavier Morales, Esq. warns that an LLC “doesn’t offer umbrella protection for your brand.” Consequently, he recommends trademarking both your logo and business name by registering them separately.

  1. DETERMINE WHETHER YOU NEED A BUSINESS LICENSE.

This section of our blog post will be shorter than the others because business licenses are not always needed. It depends on what type of service you provide. A Freshbooks article titled “Freelancing 101: 7 Legal Documents All Freelancers Need” recommends checking with your city, county, or state’s websites to determine what permits or licenses are required. It explains,

“Business permits and licenses come in many different forms. In some areas, you may be required to have a general business license from your city or county to run a company. In other cases, your profession may dictate your licensing requirements – plumbers, contractors, estheticians, and accountants are just a few of the freelance occupations that require a permit to demonstrate proficiency.”

In my home province, I’m able to go on the provincial website, indicate what city or municipality my business operates in, enter a keyword to describe my business, and then select from a number of permits or licenses that may apply to me. If you’re unsure of whether your business needs a license, check your local website for more information.

  1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TYPE OF INSURANCE FOR YOUR BUSINESS.

When it comes to insurance, there are many companies and many different options. I recommend doing research in your area and sitting down with an insurance expert to determine what’s best for your business.

If you’re renting an apartment, you may need to include terms in your tenant insurance giving you permission to conduct business on the premises. If so, the insurance agent could ask whether you’ll have clients on-site and whether you’ll have merchandise on site. For example, a guitar teacher may have clients come over to her apartment for lessons, but a freelancer or virtual assistant can conduct business through video chat or by meeting at a coffee shop. You may need to ask for special insurance if clients will be coming to your house to do business, or if you’re selling merchandise.

Some other terms to consider including in your insurance policy are

Professional Liability Insurance (a.k.a. Errors and Omissions insurance)
General Liability Insurance
Commercial Property Insurance
Cyber Liability Insurance

As an example of Professional Liability insurance, the Insureon website says a client could sue a web designer, claiming that a project was delayed by errors in technical plans and resulted in lost revenue. Professional Liability insurance could then pay for an attorney and judgments if the case is lost, even if the designer didn’t make an error.

Similarly, Cyber Liability insurance can protect you from a data breach lawsuit if you collect sensitive customer data and your electronic data is stolen. As the article says, the type of work you do will determine the type of coverage you need, and letting your potential clients know you are insured can give you an “edge over your competitors.”

  1. PROTECT YOURSELF THROUGH YOUR CLIENT AGREEMENT. 

In a moment of naivete, I once asked a client, “Would it be better for you if I have a contract?” To which she wisely replied, “Actually, the contract will benefit you.”

According to the article above,

“A contract is not a guarantee that nothing bad will happen or that you are absolutely guaranteed to get paid (always a big concern!) but they can certainly help you to avoid issues and resolve disputes. Worst case scenario: if either of you needs to take legal action, the contract can be good evidence of what you both agreed to at the outset.”

Consult a lawyer for more detailed advice on what to include in your contract. For the purposes of this blog post, we’ll highlight the following elements to consider including:

Payment schedule
Termination
Copyrights
Ownership of Ideas

Creating a payment schedule can help prevent nonpayment situations. For example, my contracts typically state my rates, when I’ll invoice the client, and when the client’s payment is expected.

A termination clause can prevent you from being left high and dry by a client, or give you an escape hatch if you’re in an unhealthy client relationship. You can decide how much notice will be given for the contract to be canceled by either party.

Copyrights and ownership of ideas are especially important for freelancers who do creative work. An article titled “The Complete Guide to Freelancing” stresses that it’s important to specify who owns the work once it’s finished. Do you own it? Does your client own it? Can you display examples of the work in your portfolio? Consult the copyright laws of your region for more information.

In his article, “Essential Clauses All Freelancers Must Remember About Copyrights,” Abdullahi Muhammed warns that unfortunately, it’s impossible to protect ideas with copyright. For example, if you talk about an idea for an article with a potential client, you can’t prevent them from using your idea with a different writer. So, the key is to be careful about pitching your ideas before securing the project.

And there you have it – five ways to legally protect your freelance business. This is not an exhaustive list, but a guide to inspire your research so you can determine whether you’re doing all you can to protect yourself.

Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments below. What tips or strategies have you used to legally protect your business as a freelancer or virtual assistant?

 

How to Name your Virtual Assistant Business

How to Name your Virtual Assistant Business

Naming your Virtual Assistant Business

 

 

Coming up with a name for your virtual assistant business can be stressful and agonizing for some people. You brainstorm and come up with ideas, but nothing seems right to you.

 

You want something that reflects you personally as well as your business and what you do. It’s this big, important thing. It will be the name of your website and social media profiles. You’ll write it on tax forms, business plans and your email signature. So you want it to feel and sound good.

 

And, for most virtual assistants, this will be the beginning of it all for you, the way that people will come to know you and your business.

 

So, it’s only natural that it’s a place where many VA’s become stalled when it comes to setting up their virtual assistant business.

 

Don’t make it so hard and here are some great tips for you:

 

 

  1. Know the rules and laws

 

Your business structure and where you are located may affect what you use for a business name, such as using part or all of your own name or certain terms. Make sure to check first. Better safe than sorry.

 

  1. Don’t make it too hard

 

Don’t use something that’s too hard to spell. People will find it difficult to find you and your website. Just because you know how to spell it, if it’s not a common word or phrase, others may type it wrong when searching for you.

 

  1. Play with words that relate to your services

 

Consider using a name that relates to the services you provide for your clients. Use a thesaurus to come up with different words that have the same meaning.

 

Here’s what Caroline Davidson, Owner at The Functioning Executive had to say about her experience with this:

I didn’t want to use my name so I took the term, “Executive Functioning,” and put a spin on the words. Executive Functions, simply put, is a term used for the cognitive skills a person needs in order to plan, organize and complete tasks. My business name is “The Functioning Executive”. I function in a support role to busy executives!

 

  1. Don’t pigeonhole yourself with a name

 

While I do encourage you to brand your business based on your services, don’t niche the name down too much. For example, maybe right now you offer social media services. That’s your main focus. So you call your business Susan’s Social Media Boutique.

Six months into working with clients, you decide that you are really much better at—and love—project management. But your business name says “Social Media.” Now you need to start a full rebrand, purchase a new domain name, and possibly pay to change some business paperwork.

It’s not that you CAN’T change your name. It’s certainly not impossible. But it’s best to think ahead about your business plans and goals, and create a name that encompasses that.

 

  1. Focus on the outcome of what you do for clients

 

What kinds of results do your clients get from working with you? Think about physical as well as emotional outcomes. If they can relate, they’ll want to know more about you and be interested in working with you.

 

Here’s how Kat Salonga, Owner of Virtual, At Last! decided on hers:

My business name is Virtual, At last! As in “my business is goin’ virtual, at last!” I decided on it since it has the word “Virtual” and I figured it might be good for SEO. I also wanted my clients to feel relieved and thankful that their business is finally launched online; my customers are usually non-tech savvy female entrepreneurs. It represents the feeling of triumph after all the hard work.

 

And another great explanation to get your wheels turning from Sencery Clemente, Owner at Tailor-Made Virtual Design:

I started by writing down all the words that I wanted to be associated with my business. When I think back on it now, it was really a list of values that I wanted my business to be founded on.

Then I started thinking of experiences I had in the past when dealing with service providers and wrote down the good and the bad about those experiences – those were mostly emotions of how the experiences made me feel.

After that, I looked at the lists and started to think about how I wanted my future clients to feel when they interacted with me and worked with me. I want them to have a unique and specialized experience, because we are all different in what we need/want/desire for our businesses.

 

  1. Keep it simple- Use your name or initials

 

If you’re really struggling and nothing sounds right to you, then keep it simple and use your name, initials or some variation of that. Again, just keep in mind the rules and regulations for where you live. In Georgia where I live, if you’re a sole proprietor, you don’t need to register the name if using your own name in your business name. In other states, however, if you brand your business with your name, you can’t sell it in the future.

Here’s what Jessica Scotten, Owner at Pineapple Relations, had to say about this when she was coming up with her business name:

I have no idea if I want to sell in the future, but future me can’t make decisions like that today, so I’ll plan on being prepared.

 

  1. Never underestimate the power of a great tagline

 

If you decide to use a simpler name or your own name, use a tagline to explain more about what you do. Sometimes coming up with the tagline makes figuring out the business name easier.

And, if you change up your services or your market over time, you can tweak the tagline to match while keeping your business name the same.

 

  1. Make sure the name is available

 

When you come up with something, Google it and perform a business name search to make sure it’s not already being used. Then search to see if the domain is available.

Here is how Julie Hoflin, Owner at Your Versatile VA, handled it when setting up her business:

I checked the free trademark search websites to ensure it wasn’t already trademarked in either the US or Canada, and once that was done, I officially registered the name in my province. In my jurisdiction, by registering the name legally, a deeper trademark search is completed and I felt so much better knowing if/when granted, I could rest assured I wouldn’t suddenly be told to stop using this name after investing time, money and effort into branding and establishing my biz under this name.

 

So there you have it. My best tips for coming up with your virtual assistant business name. If you’re working on your name, or if you’ve already established your business, comment below and share your process!

 

I want to give you one more reminder to always check the laws for your area—depending on your business structure and location, different rules may apply when it comes to naming your VA business.

 

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

 

So maybe you’ve been thinking about starting your virtual assistant business, but things keep getting in the way. Or, more accurately, you keep LETTING things get in your way. Today’s let’s talk about just What Have you Done for YOU Lately?

I’d be interested in what you have to say so answer this question in the comments below.

Ask yourself this question:

Is it something you really want for yourself?

Then, please stop putting yourself last. YES…LAST!!

 

If you’re ready to do something for YOU then I invite you to join me in my private Facebook group.

 

In the group, you can find out things like:

 

  • How to go from employee to a confident entrepreneur
  • Deciding on your services
  • Narrowing down your target market
  • Figuring out your rates

 

You’ll step away from the group with confidence and clarity for your business. And you’ll be ready to rock it!

 

So, if you’re ready to do something for YOU, let’s get started!

 

Click here to get access: Facebook Group You’ll want to go to the Units section to access all the great information that’s located there.

 

Come on, what do you have to lose?

 

 

Virtual Assistance – The History

Virtual Assistance – The History

The History Behind The Virtual Assistance Industry

 

So, what is the Virtual Assistance Industry? Let me explain a bit about the history behind this term. Being a secretary was the very beginning of The Birth of Virtual Assistance. Since the 40’s the profession has evolved to include a wide variety of different services.  Today it is referred to as administrative, but this is not the only category of services that belong to this new & exciting profession. 

The Virtual Assistance Industry has a rich but little-known history of individuals and organizations that saw an opportunity. The opportunity in the work-at-home arena to develop and grow businesses that could support and sustain families. Many women and men walked the walk and talked the talk that propelled the industry to become the small business resource it is today.  

The Story:

The Birth of Virtual Assistance began its early beginnings with secretarial services during the forties. In fact, it would be safe to call secretarial services as the mother of virtual assistance. However, throughout the course of its own history, the virtual assistance industry strived to create a distinction from its “mother”. By making it a separate profession yet belonging to the same type of industry.

Collectively they are called administrative professionals. From their separation, virtual assistance has grown. It’s advanced until it has become the global preference of business owners. This is the birth of a profession that became a worldwide phenomenon.  It has permanently changed the world’s view on business outsourcing. 


The Early Beginnings: Secretarial Services

It all began with shorthand when Sir Isaac Pitman in the early 1800s invented the shorthand method. He founded the first school for secretarial services. Only men were admitted to the school and they were the only ones who could perform the said tasks given the political climate during those days.

Well, during that time period, women were confined to only doing household chores. Not until a decade later when typewriters were invented were women finally joining the industry. And around 1930, the number of men in the secretarial services started to wind down. Can you imagine what women of the past would say about the Virtual Assistance Industry today?

The Next Steps

In 1942, the National Secretaries Association was born. It was founded in order to foster professionalism among secretaries in the US. And less than a decade later the first exam called Certified Professional Secretaries was administered. The CPS Examination was a three-part exam, covering the areas of office technology, management, office systems & administration. More than 66,000 people have achieved this rating since 1951. 

It was in 1952 that a special day called “Secretaries Day” was created which later in the year 2000 changed to “Administrative Professionals Day”. The move was made in order to recognize all individuals working in the field with different title names. 

Nearly three decades later, the National Secretaries Association was renamed Professional Secretaries International. Six years after, the Professional Secretaries International was then renamed as International Association of Administrative Professionals, IAAP.  

The Birth of Virtual Assistance

Anastacia “Stacy” Brice began working virtual as a full-time home-based contractor with an international client. She provided administrative support, arranged travel plans, and personal assistance. Back then the most prevalent medium through which people did administrative assistance from a remote location, was by using the telephone and fax machines. It was only in 1994 that the internet was utilized in assisting business owners from another location. 

The term “virtual assistant” was born in 1996. It commenced from a simple conversation between Anastacia Brice and life coach Thomas Leonard when the latter coined the term. This took place during a phone conversation they had together. With the idea already in Brice’s mind, she borrowed the term to name the new emerging profession. And in the next year, she witnessed how the profession was formalized.  

It was in 1998 that Anastacia Brice opened the first organization for virtual assistants called the AssistU. The years have had many more developments in this industry. In 1999, The International Virtual Assistants Association was formed in order to respond to the growing number of people involved in the business. And just like any organization it helped represent the profession to the world. 


The Growth Phase of Virtual Assistance

Virtual assistance has grown and has created a unique distinction that has marked its identity to the world. From being simply a sub-category of secretarial services, it equaled the profession.  Later it surpassed it in measures beyond its beginning. Today, the work of a virtual assistant is getting more in demand in the business world.

More and more business owners prefer the services of virtual assistants than hiring a personal secretary. Here are the two economic reasons why: 1) Hiring a virtual assistant is cost-effective, and 2) efficiency of work is achieved by the many different types of virtual assistants on the market today. 

Your Growth, Your Future

Knowing your history helps you understand your foundation. Where you come from, and most importantly WHY you can build a long-term, sustainable business. It’s because of those that came before you, 10, 15, 20, 25 years ago – people who walked the walk and talked the talk. The people that spent many hours answering questions and overcoming obstacles. These are the people that have paved the way for you to be in the Virtual Assistance Industry you’re in today. 

Please don’t forget where you came from.

Your History is Your Future! 

Virtual Assistant Business – How to Name Yours

Virtual Assistant Business – How to Name Yours

How to Name your Virtual Assistant Business

 

 

Coming up with a name for your virtual assistant business can be stressful and agonizing for some people. You brainstorm and come up with ideas, but nothing seems right to you.

 

You want something that reflects you personally as well as your business and what you do. It’s this big, important thing. It will be the name of your website and social media profiles. You’ll write it on tax forms, business plans, and your email signature. So you want it to feel and sound good.

 

And, for most virtual assistants, this will be the beginning of it all for you, the way that people will come to know you and your business.

 

So, it’s only natural that it’s a place where many VA’s become stalled when it comes to setting up their virtual assistant business.

 

So What’s In A Name?

 

Don’t make it so hard and here are some great tips for you:

 

  1. Know the rules and laws

Your business structure and where you are located may affect what you use for a business name, such as using part or all of your name or certain terms. Make sure to check first. Better safe than sorry.

 

  1. Don’t make it too hard

Don’t use something too hard to spell. People will find it difficult to find you and your website. Just because you know how to spell it, if it’s not a common word or phrase, others may type it wrong when searching for you.

Do a Brain Dump on Names

 

  1. Play with words that relate to your services

Consider using a name that relates to the services you provide for your clients. Use a thesaurus to come up with different words that have the same meaning.

Here’s what Caroline Davidson, Owner at The Functioning Executive had to say about her experience with this:

I didn’t want to use my name so I took the term, “Executive Functioning,” and put a spin on the words. Executive Functions, simply put, is a term used for the cognitive skills a person needs to plan, organize and complete tasks. My business name is “The Functioning Executive”. I function in a support role for busy executives!

 

  1. Don’t pigeonhole yourself with a name

While I do encourage you to brand your business based on your services, don’t niche the name down too much. For example, maybe right now you offer social media services. That’s your main focus. So you call your business Susan’s Social Media Boutique.

Six months into working with clients, you decide that you are much better at—and love—project management. But your business name says “Social Media.” Now you need to start a full re-brand, purchase a new domain name, and possibly pay to change some business paperwork.

It’s not that you CAN’T change your name. It’s certainly not impossible. But it’s best to think ahead about your business plans and goals and create a name that encompasses that.

 

Naming your Virtual Assistant Business Should be Relatable

 

  1. Focus on the outcome of what you do for clients

What kinds of results do your clients get from working with you? Think about physical as well as emotional outcomes. If they can relate, they’ll want to know more about you and be interested in working with you.

 

Here’s how Kat Salonga, Owner of Virtual, At Last! decided on hers:

My business name is Virtual, At last! As in “my business is goin’ virtual, at last!” I decided on it since it has the word “Virtual” and I figured it might be good for SEO. I also wanted my clients to feel relieved and thankful that their business is finally launched online; my customers are usually non-tech savvy female entrepreneurs. It represents the feeling of triumph after all the hard work.

Check Out Different Names Using a Google Search

 

Here’s another great explanation to get your wheels turning from Sencery Clemente, Owner at Tailor-Made Virtual Design:

I started by writing down all the words that I wanted to be associated with my business. When I think back on it now, it was a list of values that I wanted my business to be founded on.

Then I started thinking of experiences I had in the past when dealing with service providers and wrote down the good and the bad about those experiences – those were mostly emotions of how the experiences made me feel.

After that, I looked at the lists and started to think about how I wanted my future clients to feel when they interacted with me and worked with me. I want them to have a unique and specialized experience because we are all different in what we need/want/desire for our businesses.

 

  1. Keep it simple- Use your name or initials

If you’re struggling and nothing sounds right to you, then keep it simple and use your name, initials or some variation of that. Again, just keep in mind the rules and regulations for where you live. In Georgia where I live, if you’re a sole proprietor, you don’t need to register the name if using your name in your business name. In other states, however, if you brand your business with your name, you can’t sell it in the future.

Here’s what Jessica Scotten, Owner at Pineapple Relations, had to say about this when she was coming up with her business name:

I have no idea if I want to sell in the future, but future me can’t make decisions like that today, so I’ll plan on being prepared.

 

Use a Great Tagline

 

  1. Never underestimate the power of a great tagline

If you decide to use a simpler name or your name, use a tagline to explain more about what you do. Sometimes coming up with the tagline makes figuring out the business name easier.

And, if you change up your services or your market over time, you can tweak the tagline to match while keeping your business name the same.

 

  1. Make sure the name is available

When you come up with something, Google it and perform a business name search to make sure it’s not already being used. Then search to see if the domain is available.

Here is how Julie Hoflin, Owner at Your Versatile VA, handled it when setting up her business:

I checked the free trademark search websites to ensure it wasn’t already trademarked in either the US or Canada, and once that was done, I officially registered the name in my province. In my jurisdiction, by registering the name legally, a deeper trademark search is completed and I felt so much better knowing if/when granted, I could rest assured I wouldn’t suddenly be told to stop using this name after investing time, money and effort into branding and establishing my biz under this name.

 

So there you have it. My best tips for coming up with your virtual assistant business name. If you’re working on your name, or if you’ve already established your business, comment below and share your process!

 

I want to give you one more reminder to always check the laws for your area—depending on your business structure and location, different rules may apply when it comes to naming your VA business.

 

What to Put on Your Virtual Assistant Website

What to Put on Your Virtual Assistant Website

What to Put on Your Virtual Assistant Website 

Once you’ve decided to start your own business as a virtual assistant, you’ll want to create a website. Your website will function as your digital officeIts where potential clients will go to learn more about you and your services. What to put on your Virtual Assistant Website should be pretty easy, you can always make changes to it later.

The good news is that creating a website doesn’t have to be hard. There are four essential pages you’ll want to make sure you include… 

  1. The About Page

An about page is usually the second most popular page on a website. That’s because potential clients want to learn more about the person they’re considering working with. They want to know a bit about your personality and what projects you enjoy tackling.  

Try to write a brief biography about yourself. It doesn’t have to be lengthy. Just two or three paragraphs that cover the basics like your name, where you live, and any previous job experience that’s relevant. For example, if you plan to offer logo design services, then definitely mention that you got a degree in graphic design in college. That will impress potential clients. 

  1. The Services Page

This is the page where you tell clients what you can do for them. It doesn’t have to be a particularly long page. Write a paragraph that highlights why you’re awesome to work with such as your attention to detail or your ability to make tech topics simple. 

Then create a list of tasks you can do for your clients. You can use bullet points and cover some of the most important ones.

For example, if you plan to be a virtual assistant to authors, some of your tasks might include: 

  • Creating a Kindle cover 
  • Applying for an ISBN number for a book launch
  • Organizing a blog tour 
  • Hosting a Facebook party on launch day 

Remember, that your list of tasks is not set in stone. You’ll probably change it as you gain experience and learn more about what services are most enjoyable (and profitable) for your business. 

  1. The Contact Page

Next, you’ll need to add a contact page to your website. You can post your email address, but this tends to result in heavy spam, making it more likely that you’ll overlook a message from a potential client. 

So, you may want to try using a contact form. If your website is built on WordPress, you can use a free plugin like Contact Form 7. If you’re using website software, there may be an option for creating forms. You’ll need to check the help manual or reach out to the support team for assistance. 

  1. The Portfolio Page

If you’ve never worked with a client, you might think you don’t have a portfolio. But stop for a moment and consider who you may have helped with similar tasks. For example, if you redesigned a friend’s blog, then show off a “before” and “after” screenshot. If you offer content marketing, then create two or three short sample articles to post to your portfolio. 

It doesn’t matter that you weren’t paid for these portfolio pieces. When clients come to this page, they’re looking to see if you can do the tasks you promised and what your style looks like. If you show them you can do the work, they don’t care if you did that work just to help a friend. 

Tip for the Day:

When it comes to building your website, don’t drag out the process for weeks or months. Create your website and get busy looking for clients. You can always come back and change it once you have a steady stream of clients. Besides, your website will change as you add services and contemplate who your ideal clients are.

 

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