Sharing my Business Journey
I started my work-at-home business journey when I was laid off from my corporate job back in 2010. I’ve been through so much since being my own boss and working online. There have been highs and lows, times when I was ready to just give up.
I’ve always been a hard worker, giving 110% at any job, but working for myself; I work twice as hard. And it’s definitely worth it!
So, I’ve been thinking about the lessons I’ve learned along the way since then. I’ve decided to share them with you, so you understand my why and a little bit about my decision to start the VA to the ResQ Academy.
Maybe something I say in these lessons will resonate with you. It would be awesome if you said, “Me too”!
Maybe it will help you avoid a pitfall or see something in a different light. Or maybe something in these lessons will inspire you to really go for it and make your business what you want it to be.
Whatever it sparks in you, I hope you’ll enjoy the following lessons from my business journey.
My History in the Business World
First, a little background history. Before I even started thinking about a business of my own, I had been researching on the internet about how to be a better assistant at work. There was always talk about layoffs, but I never thought it would ever hit our department.
When it did happen, I had been with the company for 10 years. I was, of course, devastated, I worked with my co-workers for most of those years together, and they were like family to me.
After trying for months to find another job with no success, I decided that I needed something to do to keep from going stir-crazy. So, after thinking long and hard with no job in sight, I made the decision to start my own business. My husband had his own business for our entire married life, so I was no stranger to what it was like to be self-employed.
When I was a stay-at-home mom with my 2 kids, I was the one to answer the phone and take messages from the many people that called to hire or discuss business with him. I was really good at it, too; I guess that’s where my natural customer service skills came from. It wasn’t long before I was doing his customer billing, scheduling appointments for him, doing our taxes, and all the many things that business owners do.
My skills also came from what I learned in high school because I always thought I wanted to be a secretary. But, my life turned directions, and that’s a whole nother story.
Now, let’s get on to the lessons:
Overnight success just doesn’t happen
When I started my online business journey, I spent three to four months researching and hoping to find a real work-at-home opportunity. I spent another few months figuring out that the virtual assistant industry was the way to go for me.
I ended up purchasing a course to teach me how to set up a successful virtual assistant business. After the course came setting up a website and getting it up and running. And of course, it was a DIY website, and I had NO CLUE what I was doing.
Once I had my website “live,” it took about another six months to get my first client. Even with that first client, it’s not like the floodgates opened and a never-ending stream of clients flowed in. I had to work hard to make connections and market my business.
I took a ton of “expert advice” on what to do and how to do it. I downloaded every freebie I could get my hands on. When you see other people online doing what you want to do, and you think they’re successful, know that they probably worked really hard to get there and that it didn’t happen overnight.
Stay in Your Own Lane
Speaking of other people, let me tell you something important–please don’t worry about how other people run their businesses. Run yours how it works for YOU!
Yes, find people that look like YOU’D like to be. But know that your circumstances aren’t identical. You are your own person with your own story, your own set of challenges, weaknesses, and strengths.
So, learn from people who are further along the path than you, but take what you know and make it your own. That’s what will attract clients to you.
They will want to work with you for your particular skill set and the way that YOU do things.
If you’re still feeling afraid of putting yourself out there, read this article.
At some point, you have to stop learning all.the.things, researching all.the.things and buying all.the.things, and you have to start DOING something.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, done is better than perfect. Get the website up. Talk to that potential client. Slap a price on your services.
You can always tweak things later. Just get yourself out there. You’re going to make mistakes–but that’s part of learning and growing. The right mindset, planning, and taking action will propel you forward.
We learn A LOT in the doing of things.
Choose services and clients that you love
Otherwise, you will come to resent them and your business. This is YOUR business—so do what makes you happy! I know when you’re first starting out, the temptation is there just to get a client. Any client. Just one person who will pay you some money.
But if you put yourself out there and say you will do just about anything for anyone, you aren’t going to attract ANYONE. People need to “see” themselves in your marketing. They need to resonate with you. They need to know that YOU specifically can help them with exactly what they need.
The best way to do this is to specialize in either what you do (services) or who you do it for (target market). This will help you to make more money and be more successful.
But choose services and people that you enjoy.
And it’s perfectly okay to change your mind over time. Remember, this is YOUR business journey, and you should love what you do!
Build your business around your life–not the other way around
Being in business for yourself has so many benefits. A big one is an ability to leave time for the things that are important to you in life. Weave your business around and through what you want to do. If you’re just going to box yourself into a 9-5 schedule, and work every night and all through the weekend, then why bother leaving the “regular” job that you hate if that’s the case?
- Maybe you have a family and want to spend more time with them.
- Maybe you have kids, and you want to make it to more of their school functions.
- Maybe you enjoy volunteer work.
- Maybe you love to travel.
You can do all of that and run a successful virtual assistant business.
Remember the things that are important to you in life and build your business around those things.
Break it down
As you’re building your business, there will be times when you’re going to feel quite overwhelmed. There’s so much to do on the back end of setting up your business. You must think about a business name, a website, taxes, a client intake process, and marketing.
And then, when you get those clients, you must figure out how to juggle client work with continuing to build and market your business. It never ends! Make sure that you’re having the best business journey that you can possibly have.
When you feel overwhelmed, break things down.
Instead of having 50,000 thoughts swirling around in your brain, 3 lists, and 25 sticky notes, simplify it all and break it down.
Here is a process that will help:
- Think about your goals and what’s most important to accomplish.
- Look at your schedule in blocks of time. Mark off blocks for personal time, business building time, marketing time, client work, etc.
- Take those bigger goals that are overwhelming and write down all the things you need to do in order to achieve them.
- Use that list and turn them into to-do items that need to be accomplished in order to achieve that thing or goal.
- Then, take those to-do items and schedule them into your time blocks.
Doing it this way will really decrease the overwhelm.
Whenever there are too many things, or you have a goal so big you don’t know how you’re ever going to achieve it, keep breaking it down into smaller and simpler pieces. And then schedule those things on your calendar.
It takes a little while to get used to scheduling things if it’s not something that you’ve done before. But if you’re looking at a busy life with client work, marketing, and things you need to take care of on the back end of your business, plus everything else that’s going on in your life, having some type of schedule that works for you will save your sanity.
No person is an island
Doing this whole entrepreneur business owner thing by yourself is hard. And it can get lonely. You’ll have times when you second-guess yourself. And times when you might miss having co-workers and talking to other people, live and in person.
But just because you’re running a business by yourself doesn’t mean that you must be alone. Get out there and network with other business owners like yourself. This can be at in-person networking meetings where you live. It can be online virtually.
First, it makes you feel less lonely. But it also shows you that other people “get” it and go through the same things that you do. Sometimes you just need a sounding board. And sometimes you need advice on how to handle a particular situation. It can also help create some accountability.
Finding online or in-person networking groups of fellow VAs and business owners is a great way to get that help. You never know what you’ll get out of it. Maybe you’ll get a new referral partner. And perhaps you’ll get a new best friend. It’s the best way to have an awesome business journey.
Find yourself a Good Mentor
Also, if you’re looking for guidance or a way to stay on track and really move your business forward, consider getting a mentor.
When I first started out, I didn’t know anyone online at all. And I didn’t have much money to invest in myself or my business. (But I quickly learned the importance of doing so.)
Before that, I found some online forums where I could talk to other VAs. Then I became friendly with someone who became my mentor in a Facebook group. It made a huge difference in my business and how I went about things.
You can work with mentors one-on-one and in group settings. You can get something valuable out of each situation. Whatever way works best for you right now, connect with people who can support you, hold you accountable, and guide you.
And, in turn, be there for others. If you’re in a forum or a group and you can answer a question or help someone out, do it. Remember that you were just like them at one point, wishing someone would extend a hand and help you out. It feels good to pay it forward.
If you’re looking for some guidance and support, to be with a group of other people who “get it” and can help move you forward, I’d love you to consider joining my Facebook group.
Also, if you’re considering a mentor, join me in one on one mentoring or my group mentoring program.
Thank you so much for reading. I’m sure you’ll get there with your business too! Just relax and do what’s most important for you.
Happy Business Journey! And GOOD LUCK!
What is a Virtual Assistant?
So, what is a virtual assistant, and where did the title originate? Does it mean the same thing as a secretary or personal assistant? Let’s delve into the subject of virtual assistant and see where this modern word originated.
The term originated in the 1990s as the ability to work remotely due to the internet and the ability to share documents made it a reality. You can read more about the history in this article.
A virtual assistant is a person who provides various services to entrepreneurs or businesses from a remote location. There are a host of things that virtual assistants can do, including:
- Social media management
- Event management
- Managing calendars, appointments, and emails
- Preparing reports
- Personal tasks like booking hotels and restaurants
- Simple digital marketing tasks
And it can be a never-ending list!
Some business owners who hire a virtual assistant can be confused about what a VA is. Often, VA/Client relationships turn sour because of misconceptions about what a VA does for a client and how they do it.
Whether you are a VA or a client looking for a VA, this article will tell you all you need to know about the dos & don’ts and the expectations a business owner can expect.
What a VA is…
- an independent contractor, remote worker, freelancer, or business owner
- skilled at what they do, they don’t need micro-managing
- reliable and hardworking
- able to work well on their own, they don’t need constant supervision
- a home-based business owner, although some VAs prefer to be location independent, they don’t work with clients in their offices
- VAs helps other business owners in their business with tasks they don’t have time for or with skilled services they don’t know how to do
- business owners who are committed to helping other business owners make a success of their business
- a person who deserves respect
What a VA isn’t…
- an employee of the person who contracts them
- a miracle worker, they can’t fix a broken business
- not mind readers; they need guidance from the person who hired them
- a punching bag when things go wrong
A Virtual Assistant (VA) is a business owner and understands how important it is to protect and nurture the reputation of the business owner who hires them. VAs help and assist business owners with their daily, weekly, and monthly tasks and can be a great asset.
Although VAs often meet with their clients on a video call or in person, they don’t physically work in the client’s office. They are not personal assistants, secretaries, or assistants. Sometimes their duties might overlap with these but being a virtual assistant is a different profession entirely.
A Virtual Assistant deserves respectful treatment. Business owners that incorporate saying “please” and “thank you” goes a long way.
Why do people decide to become VAs?
It all starts with this question. WHY! WHY is the pivotal point of any decision. Here are some of the most common reasons people decide to become VAs:
● Most likely, they want to stay at home with their children while being able to earn a living
● They want to be able to work flexible hours
● They always wanted a business they can call their own
● Maybe they like to help people and earn money
● And, because they want to make their own choices, be their own boss, and have freedom in their work environment
We will discuss mindset issues in the next article, but if you want a head start, you can check it out now.
For some of us, the idea of asking for a referral conjures up the same feelings as networking. Feelings like “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10-foot pole” or “Please let there be another way to find clients.” Asking for a referral is scary as heck for an introvert like me. Sometimes you just have to put your big girl panties on and just do it!
But never fear. Just as there are many different types of personalities and business niches, there are many different ways to ask for a referral. You can tailor your referral system to match you and your unique business.
In the Referral Marketing Success Course, co-founder and instructor Craig Cannings discusses two types of referrals. Indirect and Direct. Indirect referrals include Facebook Page & LinkedIn Recommendations, Website Testimonials, and Video Case Studies. Direct referrals involve someone directly passing your name on to another relevant contact, either in person or through an email, phone call, or social media message.
THE VALUE OF A REFERRAL
Now, the question is, what is the reason? When broken down, the referral happens because of several things:
- The desire for a flexible lifestyle
- A strong work ethic
That sounds like a lot for someone to know about! But in the course of time, our existing clients can learn similar things about us. And our inner circle of friends and family (and even our acquaintances and colleagues) can know enough about us to recommend our services to wonderful clients.
In his article, “How to get more freelance clients by becoming ‘referable,’” Benek Lisefski says that the deeper reason to encourage referrals is that “referral clients trust you more.”
He describes the value of referrals this way:
“When that referral client comes to you, they come pre-loaded with trust. They already know you’re the person they want for the job before you’ve even tried to sell your virtues. Half of your trust-building has been done for you. Now all you have to do is meet or exceed that expectation.”
And when the referral client respects the person who referred you, even more of that trust will come pre-loaded. The quality of your referrals begins with the quality of the people you associate with. The clients you work with should be a reflection of the referrals you want to work with. The boundaries or lack of boundaries you have with them are likely the same sorts of limitations or lack of limits their referrals will expect.
WHEN TO START ASKING FOR A REFERRAL
Now comes the part that makes some of us break into a cold sweat. When do we start asking for a referral, and how do we do it?
- DON’T ASK. JUST BE.
You may like the first answer. In the article above, Benek Lisefski says he takes a more indirect approach by making himself as “referable as possible” so his clients use their own initiative to refer him when it best suits them, rather than him having to ask for a referral.
So, one method is to begin by making yourself someone people want to refer to! In a FreeU blog post, “How to Find Ideal Clients (in Your Own Backyard),” they describe their local network as a series of circles. The inner circle is the people you know best (family and friends). The middle circles are colleagues and acquaintances. Whether or not these people need your services, they can refer you to potential clients if they think favorably of you. You can boost their opinion of you by maintaining healthy relationships with past and present colleagues and lovingly supporting your family and friends in their own endeavors.
In the same way, you can encourage referrals from existing clients by doing the best work you can and maintaining a healthy client relationship with them. Remember the quality of the referral will reflect on them too.
- CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME TO ASK.
Sometimes you need to take a deep breath, swallow your pride if necessary, and simply ask for a referral. Even if you’re delivering stellar work to your clients, they may not know you’d like to be referred until you ask them.
Megan Taylor’s article “5 tips to asking for referrals (and a sample referral email)” provides some helpful guidelines for timing your request. This depends on whether you’re doing one-off projects or long-term projects and retainer agreements. She advises waiting to ask for a referral until after the client has given their final sign-off if you’re doing a one-off project like a brand redesign or content for an eBook.
And if you’re doing ongoing work as part of a retainer agreement or long-term project, she suggests using your gut feeling and checking in with your client for feedback. Then “ask once you know you’ve provided unparalleled value.” At the same time, she warns against asking for a referral in your freelance invoice.
HOW TO ASK FOR A REFERRAL
As mentioned above, you can choose the referral request method that works best for you, your clients, and your local network.
Here are some options:
- CONTACT PAST OR PRESENT CLIENTS DIRECTLY
Here’s where we could use the Nike slogan “Just do it.” Once you’ve decided on the correct time to ask, contact your existing or former clients in a way that most resonates with them:
- Personalized email
- Phone call
- Zoom or Skype video call
- Social media message
- Whatever is most appropriate for your relationship
Susan Ward recommends asking face-to-face in her article, “How to Ask for Referrals and Get More Clients.” She says, “People will always be more likely to do something for someone else if the person is standing right in front of them.” But she adds, “It is acceptable to ask for referrals by email or phone if you work under conditions where face-to-face meetings are uncommon or very difficult.” In this case, a Zoom or Skype video call could serve as an in-person meeting.
- ASK FOR A TESTIMONIAL OR VIDEO CASE STUDY
An indirect way of asking for a referral is to ask for testimonials or video case studies that you can post on your website and share on social media. This article has some wise advice if you don’t want to directly ask for a referral:
“Ask for a testimonial instead. That way you still have something you can use on your website or in your marketing materials… plus you’ll get your client thinking about what a great job you did.”
They might even offer a referral on their own!”
How To Guide People
- OFFER INCENTIVES.
In the Referral Marketing Success Course, Craig Cannings suggests five types of incentives you can offer in exchange for referrals:
- Referral fee (e.g. $50 – $100 value)
- Service credit (e.g. a specific number of hours or monetary value credited toward future services)
- Service discount (e.g. 5-10% discount off existing or future services)
- E-Gift card or other Gifts (e.g. $50 – $100 online Amazon gift card)
- Free training or resources (e.g. courses, training, or eBooks provided at no charge)
At the same time, he outlines the pros and cons. On one hand, incentives offer both clients and non-clients a tangible motivator and make it easier to ask for referrals. On the other hand, they can make the referral seem less natural and authentic. They can also devalue the referral if the potential client finds out that the referrer received an incentive. So, be sure that incentives are right for your business before using them.
- ASK FOR LINKEDIN RECOMMENDATIONS
LinkedIn provides an option to ask connections whether they’re willing to write a recommendation for your work. Simply navigate to the profile of a 1st-degree connection, click the “More” button, and select “Request a recommendation.” Once the connection has been written, you can display this recommendation on your LinkedIn profile.
In an article titled “How to Ask For The All Important LinkedIn Recommendation,” JoAnne Funch suggests requesting a recommendation immediately after you complete a service for your client.
She also advises personalizing the request:
“It is important that you NEVER send the default request for a recommendation. This doesn’t help you, and you are not helping the person you are asking to take their time to recommend you. Your goal is to make it easy for the person you are asking to respond in a timely manner. In your request write a sentence or two about the service they purchased, the results they gained from your service, and the benefits of working with you.”
Robin Ryan suggests another strategy in her article “How To Get Valuable LinkedIn Recommendations And Endorsements.” Instead of requesting the recommendation, she suggests first writing a recommendation for your connection. The LinkedIn system will notify them and ask if they’d like to write a recommendation for you in return. She then suggests writing your connection a personalized email and letting them know what you’d like them to discuss in their recommendation for you.
- ACTIVATE FACEBOOK RECOMMENDATIONS (FORMERLY FACEBOOK REVIEWS)
Another effective way of indirectly asking for a referral is to turn Recommendations on for your Facebook Page. By doing so, anyone who’s logged into Facebook can see your Page’s rating, see other Recommendations that were shared with a Public privacy setting, and publish their own Recommendations to your Page.
According to the Facebook for Business site, these Recommendations are also discoverable across the Facebook platform when people are searching for your business or talking about it. It’s easy for people to leave a recommendation by answering “Yes” or “No” and choosing text, photos, or tags to explain why they’re recommending it.
In her article, “Creating an online review management strategy,” Jenn Chen stresses the need to identify which social networks you’re going to focus on and then respond to both negative and positive reviews.
“To find the most opportune networks for your reviews, it may be best to set up a social media listening strategy that will bring up online chatter about your business. If you start seeing more reviews from one network, maybe it’ll be time to join it. Plus, with listening, you’ll be able to find other sources of valuable feedback about your business across social networks.”
WHAT IF YOU RECEIVE A REFERRAL THAT DOESN’T FEEL RIGHT?
Referrals are like blind dates. Sometimes you meet the person and know that despite everyone’s good intentions, this client relationship is not going to work. Although you don’t want to miss valuable opportunities, it’s important to steer away from accepting referrals that are not good for your business. Focus on developing your intuition to determine whether a certain referral is a good fit and have a clear picture of your ideal client.
Here are some ways you can accept the best referrals for you and your business:
- DEFINE YOURSELF AND YOUR SERVICES CLEARLY
Word-of-mouth referrals for business owners are sometimes like the game of telephone. This is where the information gets confused and changed along the way. People can become frustrated if they find out you don’t do what the referrer said you did. And if you change your niche, be clear about what your new niche is, so you don’t disappoint people. They might think you still do the previous work.
- LISTEN TO YOUR GUT
Learn how to say no gracefully, and don’t say yes to something that doesn’t feel right. Keep a list of other quality business owners you can refer to if the task is too far outside your niche. If I receive a referral that isn’t right for me, I often recommend one of my colleagues, LinkedIn connections, or freelancers listed in the Freelance University professional directory.
I’m forever grateful for the referral I received that launched my small business journey. Although it can be nerve-wracking to ask for them, referrals are a crucial part of building a business with high-quality clients. Choose the method that works best for you, and wholeheartedly thank your referrers.
As Leah Kalamakis says in her article “10 Ways To Get More Referrals,”
“Tell them how much you enjoyed the client they sent your way and how much you appreciate them for making it happen. When they feel appreciated, they will likely want to continue sending more.”
And now we’d love to hear from you! Have you received business as a result of referrals? Which method of asking for referrals works best for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Things to Know About Onboarding Clients
There are a few things many online business owners struggle with and onboarding is one of them. So, we are going to discuss things to know about onboarding clients so YOU don’t struggle.
Just like the word “funnel,” this can mean different things depending on where someone is in the process. Onboarding new customers? Or long-term clients? Onboarding potential clients or prospects?
It can be confusing, but here are just a few ways to sharpen up your onboarding processes:
* Keep Your Promises – If you say something, not only should you do it and stick to it but you should also do it a little better than they expected. Don’t promise an easy refund and then make it hard. Don’t promise a “complete” anything that is not really complete. You want your new customers to trust you at your word, and the only way they can do that is by example.
* Respond Quickly – When a customer has a question, you need to answer them as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have an answer to the question, you can let them know that you’re researching it and you’ll get back to them in a defined time.
* Show That You Care – Whenever you can do just a little thing extra to let your customers know you care, you should. For example, why not collect phone numbers and call everyone who purchases your biggest product or package? You should do this within the first couple of weeks to ask them how it’s going?
* Price Your Products or Services Simply – Don’t confuse your audience by giving too many choices on prices and services or projects. Stick to a few simple ideas and steps. Your customers will be more likely to convert. Have only 3 to 5 package choices. Too many and it gets confusing.
* Make the Sign-Up Process Simple – The fewer steps you have in your onboarding process, the better. You don’t want your audience to get upset about what you’re putting them through to become your customer. Make it as easy as possible.
Relationships are the MOST important thing in this business. If you follow these best practices, you’ll be able to maintain your relationships with your customer and learn more about them so that you can create even more solutions for them. After all, as we all know, it’s a lot easier to keep a client or customer than to get a new one.
Check out our course on Relationship Marketing. It will help you make decisions for your business growth for your future.
3 Strategies to Help Reach Your Goals
Are you where you want to be in your virtual assistant business right now? Did you set goals at the beginning of this year, only to tuck them away and never look at them again? Below I’m going to show you the 3 strategies to help reach your goals.
If that’s you, don’t beat yourself up about it. Today is a new day, so course correct and start working on what you really want your business and life to look like.
Here are 3 ways you can start working on your goals right now:
- Set Goals that are Measurable
I don’t believe it’s ever too late to create goals and a plan to achieve them. Yes, some people like to take time at the end or the beginning of the year to work on their goals (I’m one of those people.). If that’s you—or you want it to be—continue to read this article to help you with your own plan.
There is really no “right” time to work on this kind of thing. I think it’s less important when you do it and more important that you just do it. Get started and keep checking in with yourself along the way.
That’s how I like to tackle it. Yes, I create goals for myself at the end of the year, but then I keep them somewhere I can see them every day. I work on tasks that will make those goals happen. And then I regularly check-in to see if I’m making progress.
- Start the Day with Intention
I have a quick and easy way that I start my day so that I’m in the right mindset and stick with tasks that will help me reach my goals. I’ve always wanted to be that person who starts their day out with meditation and then takes 20 minutes to journal, sitting in a quiet space with a cup of coffee. Is that you?
But let’s face it—that’s not my life. First of all, I’m NOT a morning person. As much as I’d like to be, I’m just not and that’s ok.
My Successful “Start my Day Plan”
Here’s what I do when I start my day. First, I grab a cup of coffee and then get on Facebook on my personal profile to welcome everyone to a new day. This has become a ritual that I started a few years ago and everyone knows that if I don’t do that morning post, something is definitely up with me. They get worried and ask me if everything is alright.
After breakfast and getting myself ready for the day I go to my office to really begin my day. One of the first things I do is open my personal email to look for my email from “Notes from the Universe”. I love my “Notes” because they are so perfect for my goals and intentions for my business.
If you need a little more help to switch your mindset around to that of a successful entrepreneur, you can try this:
Changing from the Employee Mindset
- Believe That You Can
If you want one more way to really tap into making things happen for you, I highly recommend you have a “Goal Journal”. Here is an excellent place where you can put your goals you can reference to keep you on track. I go through mine every quarter to make sure I’m doing what I need to do to get to where I want to go. This is a valuable tool you can use year after year.
So, here’s a quick recap. Set goals. Work on them daily. Start your day with intention. Believe that you CAN achieve your goals.
What are your thoughts? Have you tried any of the strategies above? Leave a comment and let me know what works for you.
How to Get Clients
How to get clients – let me show you the 3 easy ways you can do this. But first, get out your notebook and take notes on this process. Then you can do this for every prospective client in the future.
Do these three (3) things:
- Spend time researching
Let the potential client know that you will be sending them an email or private message, but then spend some time researching their business. Take time to read who they are and what they offer.
What have they posted about previously in this same Facebook group?
What do you like about their website or the programs they offer?
What do you see immediately that you can help with? You’ll only know this by taking the time to research them.
research [ˈrēˌsərCH, rəˈsərCH] VERB researching (present participle) investigate systematically. “she has spent the last five years researching her people’s history” · [more] synonyms: investigate · conduct investigations into · study · enquire into · make inquiries into · look into · probe · explore · analyze · examine · scrutinize · inspect · review · assess · read · read up on · pore over · delve into · dig into · sift through · check out discover facts by investigation for use in (a book, program, etc.). “I was in New York researching my novel” · “it’s a piece of work that’s carefully researched, strongly argued, and beautifully written”
- Make it personal
When you email the client – make sure to give them a compliment on what they are doing or tell them what you like about their products. Is there anything that connects the two of you? Maybe you grew up in the same state or have the same kind of dog in their profile picture.
Find a way to connect and make it personal.
- Give value first
What if you took an extra 30 minutes to SHOW your potential client what you could do for them? In addition to sending them a general portfolio of your work, is there a way that you could show off your skills for their business personally?
Here are some ideas of how this could play out:
- The client: Wants help with Pinterest
Give value: Go ahead and create an image that they can pin for their most recent blog post
- The client: Is looking for someone to help them with blogging
Give value: Write out a very detailed outline for a post you would like to write for them
- The client: Wants help with scheduling tweets
Give value: Make a list of 50 tweets that you have pre-created for them
- The client: Wants help growing their Instagram account
Give value: Layout a personalized plan of the exact steps you’ll do for them to increase their followers and engagement.
People aren’t doing this. It takes time. It takes you doing work without getting paid for it. However, if this is a client you really want to work with (which you’ll know since you’ve done your research), isn’t it worth it to take time to make sure your proposal actually gets noticed?
SO LET’S RECAP
Building a business isn’t easy. It will take work. It will take structure, planning and saying “no” to other things.
However, when you land your first client (and then another… and another… and another) it makes the hard work 1000% worth it.
Here are the steps you’ll need to land your first (and future) clients for your Virtual Assistant business:
1. Reserve at least an hour a day to market your business
2. Send out a friends and family email
3. Make Facebook groups your new best friend
5. Make your proposals stand out from the crowd
And remember, there are usually quite a few applicants trying to get the attention of the business owner that is looking for just the right person for their business needs.
Stand out from the others by going that extra mile. It will help you acquire those clients every time.
Need more information? Consider taking our Relationship Marketing Course.
Go here for all the details ➡ ➡ RELATIONSHIP COURSE