How To Build Your Ideal Client Profile

How To Build Your Ideal Client Profile

Building Your Ideal Client Profile

 

You must know your client when creating your marketing content. Why? Because it’s important to know the exact type of person you want to work for.

Something I’ve noticed recently as I’ve been doing a lot of networking online in Facebook groups is that a lot of people are really putting the cart before the horse when it comes to their marketing plans.

Everyone is looking for advice, the next steps, what to do, and often miss one of the most crucial elements of marketing. Know Your Client.

Folks are creating content, courses, business plans and often forgetting the first step in all of it.

… which is a mistake.

Your marketing and networking will be so much easier when you have that clear picture of who it is you are speaking to as you create the content or post online or talk to people face to face.

Your marketing will be more effective when you create content that speaks to your ideal client.

 

Today, I want to give you a couple of steps to getting started creating your own Ideal Client Profile.

 

One of the best ways to create an Ideal Client Profile is to interview folks who you know are your ideal clients already. This way you can ask all sorts of questions to them and this will help you build a composite profile to put together.

 

Getting Started

 

Often people doubt this exercise, but here is a little background on how to make it happen… or you can view this next list as the reasons why you should do this versus avoiding my advice.

What exactly is an Ideal Client or Customer?

• Someone who wants what you’re selling and is able to pay for it.

Who should I interview?

• Choose three customers or clients who you LOVE to serve and work with.

What if I don’t have any customers or clients yet?

• Tap into your personal and professional network. Ask if they know anyone who would love what you’re selling.

Does it have to be three people?

• Yes! One interview is not enough to get a clear picture of what’s going on.

Can I interview them via email?

• You will reduce the effectiveness of this exercise if you conduct this interview via email. It’s important that you conduct this interview via recorded telephone or video call. Then you can review the answers.

Why do I need to create an ideal client profile?

• Your marketing message and your offer will be tailor-made for your ideal client. This will help you get laser-focused on your message and who you serve.

 

Now that you know what and why to do this…. here are the specific steps to take:

  1. Choose 3 people to interview that are your ideal
  2. Conduct the interview via recorded telephone call or video call so you can write their full answers down.
  3. Complete the ideal client profile exercise in Part 3.

 

PART 1: INTERVIEW and ANSWERS

Interview 3 clients to get these answers:

  1. What are you struggling with?
  2. Why do you REALLY believe you haven’t solved your problem yet?
  3. What have you previously tried to solve your problem?
  4. Why do you think it didn’t work?
  5. What are you afraid will happen if you don’t solve this problem?
  6. What would a breakthrough look like? (How would you feel? How would your life change? What would you have?)
  7. What beliefs about your current situation do you know you have to let go of in order to breakthrough?

PART 2: REVIEW ANSWERS FROM 3 CLIENTS

  1. What are the similarities between each of your interviewees?
  2. What are the main differences?
  3. What is your BIGGEST takeaway from this exercise?

PART 3: CREATE YOUR PROFILES

You can change the name from your actual client’s name, but make sure each profile includes concrete details from the interview. Make a profile of each one. (Make 3 of these)

PROFILE #___

DETAILS and PROFILE NAME:
Name:
Age:
Profession:

My #1 Struggle right now is …

The perfect example of how this problem shows up is…

I think the REAL reason I have not solved this problem is …

In the past, I have tried …
but it didn’t work.

I think it didn’t work because …

If I don’t solve this problem soon, I am afraid …

If I were to break through this particular problem, my life would be so different, I’d …

If I want to have that breakthrough, I’ve got to let go of the belief that I…

NOW… you have your ideal client profiles and can refer to these when you create your marketing content.  

Remember, these basics included in your ideal client profile are key to creating the right marketing messages and content.

Keep them in mind at all times when creating content for your marketing. SPEAK to these folks! They are the ones who need your services and programs the most!

If you can catch their attention with words and content that hits home with them, you will see more results.

Download Ideal Client Profile

 

Simple Process For Clients

Simple Process For Clients

A Simple Process for Consultations & Onboarding New Clients

 

 

As you work on creating your virtual assistant business, you will get to a point where you’re ready to start taking on clients.

 

And then you freeze. You can be sure of it.

 

Then you realize that you’re not sure of all the pieces involved in that process.

 

You think things like:

 

How do I let potential clients know I’m available to talk about their needs?

What should my client onboarding process look like?

Do I have a client welcome packet?

 

If any of those thoughts are spinning around in your head, I’m here to help. This post is going to break down each step for you.

 

Here is my successful process for consultations for new clients:

 

  1. Contact Page

Having a contact page on your site is important. This is often the first contact point between you and potential clients, and step one in the process.

 

To make it easier for potential clients, I suggest having a contact form that they can fill out, as well as a link to schedule a call with you.

 

  1. Initial Consultation Call

Once the potential client schedules with you, you’ll want to have an idea of what to say on the call. You want to ask the right questions so that you understand what they’re looking for, and make sure you’re both a good fit for each other.

 

 

  1. Estimate

I don’t usually recommend giving someone a final price over the phone. Rather, explain that you’ll use the info from your call together to create a solution that’s best for them, and you’ll get back to them with an estimate. You can create a simple estimate document or send one with online options like Freshbooks.

 

 

  1. Contract

Once a client agrees to get started, both of you need to sign a contract before work begins. You can keep the contract simple and cover things like scope of work, time frame, how you’ll communicate with each other, confidentiality, and how you’ll handle things if either of you chooses not to work together and terminate the contract.

 

  1. Invoice

I highly recommend sending an initial invoice after the contract is signed so that you receive payment upfront. You can do so with online programs such as PayPal or Freshbooks.

 

  1. Welcome Email

Now it’s time to email your new client, welcoming them and letting them know how you will start the process of working together. Send them a copy of your signed contract, and talk about the next steps. Make sure that you’re clear on how and when you will communicate with each other.

 

  1. Client Form

This is a place for you to keep all the important information about your client and their accounts. You can create a Word or Google Drive doc, an Excel spreadsheet, or keep the info in Evernote—whatever works best for you. You’ll want to note things like their name, business name, website, email, phone, social media profile links, and the services you’re providing for them.

 

  1. Thank You

Add a special touch by sending your new client a small thank you gift or card. This is a completely optional step, but something that will set you apart from others.

 

 

Check out Your First Call with a Potential Client Guide for all the steps to take.

 

In it, I give you a very detailed step-by-step process that I’ve used to onboard clients. I didn’t leave anything out!

 

Grab yours today.

 

Pitfalls You Should Avoid

Pitfalls You Should Avoid

3 Client Pitfalls Virtual Assistants Should Avoid 

Not every virtual assistant job is easy or simple. Some projects start well but as you work, you encounter problems that feel overwhelming. The good news is that while it may seem like a big deal now, many of these problems can be solved quickly and efficiently once you know what to do. Today’s topic is all about the 3 Client Pitfalls Virtual Assistants Should Avoid. Goodness, you mean there are things we should avoid? Absolutely!

Pitfall #1: Scope Creep

A big pain point for VAs is scope creep. This is when the client asks you to do more work than the original amount you agreed upon. For example, you’re designing a book cover for a client. She wants you to design bookmarks with the cover on them, too. 

You may be tempted to accept this extra work without saying a word. But what you should do is renegotiate with your client.  Scope Creep

Keep in mind that most clients aren’t trying to get extra work out of you when they make a request.

They just don’t understand how much additional time and effort these extra tasks will cause you.  

One of the best ways to handle scope creep is to talk with your client.

Tell your client that once the cover is completed, you’ll be happy to begin a new project for the bookmarks. 

Pitfall #2: Not Getting Materials

A common pitfall that VAs encounter is not getting needed materials from a client. It might be that they haven’t sent you their logo, copy, or login information. The way to handle this issue is to send a short message to your client and let them know that you’ll have to charge an extra fee because you don’t have the resources you need.  

Give them a clear deadline in your email. Say something like, “If I don’t receive XYZ from you within the next week, then you’ll be charged an additional $25” 

Most clients will quickly find the files you need when they get this message. 

 

Pitfall #3: Extensive Revision RequestsSet Limits to Revisions

Your client might love your work on Tuesday but ask for several large revisions on Wednesday. This is a common problem when you’re working on a project that requires approval from several people. 

For example, the marketing manager may love your graphics. But the sales team leader wants to change the colors or suggest different fonts. 

You can handle revision requests by communicating clearly. Tell the client that the first round of revisions is covered but after that, you’ll be charging $XX for each hour of work.

When clients understand that they could be charged extra, they tend to limit revisions.  

 

New to all this stuff, we get it!

If you’re a new VA, you might think you should offer free, unlimited revisions. But you don’t want to make this mistake. Otherwise, you risk working on the same project for months or even years to come. Meanwhile, you keep waiting for the end of the project so you can get paid. 

If a client feels strongly about a revision, then they’ll pay your additional rate without complaint. A good client understands that your time is valuable and never wants to take advantage of you or your skills. 

Most virtual assistant problems can be easily solved with a simple conversation, whether by email or phone. You can stand up for yourself calmly and professionally now that you know what to do. 

Now that’s what we call WINNING !!

 

Getting Clients from Online Groups

Getting Clients from Online Groups

The Big Secret About Getting Clients from Online Groups

 

As a virtual assistant, one of your marketing strategies to get new clients might be searching for them in online groups. The Big Secret About Getting Clients from Online Groups is NOT really that big of a secret.

 

So, places like Facebook and LinkedIn make it so easy for us to find groups to socialize in.

And this marketing strategy can be very effective—IF you know how to work it.

 

Here’s a secret:

 

Join groups that include YOUR specific target market! And then make real connections and relationships with those in the group.

 

I’ll explain below:

 

First, joining virtual assistant groups is a great idea. But not necessarily a place to find clients.

 

Remember—everyone else in there is looking for clients and building their business as well. Other virtual assistants are NOT your potential clients. (Unless that’s exactly who you’re targeting—that’s a different story—and a completely different conversation!)

 

So, should you bother to join virtual assistant groups?

 

Absolutely yes!

 

VA groups can be a great resource for you. You can get answersto questions so that you don’t stay stuck. Here are a couple of examples: needing a quick tech answer or wondering if other VAs has used a certain kind of software, and if they like it. Groups are great for that type of information.

 

And don’t forget about the search feature in groups. You can often find a quick answer by typing your keyword(s) in to the search box and find threads that answer your question.

 

They’re also useful in making sure that you don’t feel so lonely in this industry. Many virtual assistants feel isolated when they no longer have co-workers or any face-to-face contact with others. You might have family and friends who don’t really “get” what it is that you do and aren’t very supportive. This is where you can come in to a VA group and find other like-minded people to support you.

 

If you visit a VA group enough, participate and help others out, it’s also a great place to network and make connections with other virtual assistants. You just might end up with a referral partner or two. Connect with VAs who offer different services and you can outsource work to them, start building a team or refer clients to them.

So, being active in VA groups is also a way to get some free mentoring. The groups are often run by VAs or VA mentors who have been in the industry for quite some time. There are also active veteran VA group members who will jump in, answer questions and offer advice. Think of it as a way to shorten your learning curve and move forward just a little faster in your business.

 

If you’re thinking of working with a VA mentor to advance your business, getting involved in their group is a great way to get a sense of their style and see if you’d be a good fit to work together.

 

What doesn’t really work in these VA groups?

 

  • Only stopping in when you need more clients and asking the group if they have anyone to refer to you.
  • Creating posts in the groups and/or linking to articles on your blog that explain the importance of hiring a VA. (This is a group that’s already filled with VAs, remember?)
  • Posting about your MLM or direct sales opportunity that you do on the side of your VA business.

 

Now, let’s talk about joining groups that include your target market

 

If you’re looking for new potential clients online, joining groups where THEY hang out is a smart marketing strategy.

 

I do understand that this can be a little out of your comfort zone. But you CAN do this!

 

First, you want to check the group rules/profile and make sure that they also accept people in the group that support their industry. (That would be you.)

 

Make sure to read all group rules and follow them. You want to be respectful of the group owner.

 

Start going through the posts in the group and getting a feel for the conversations and style. You don’t necessarily have to jump in and post something right away.

 

If the group owner asks new members to make a new post and talk about yourself, take advantage of that. Make sure you let them get to know you as a business owner—but also you on a personal level. People do business with those that they know, like and trust.

 

Do you see any questions being asked in the group that you can help with? Then go ahead and post your answer.

Be helpful!

Do NOT constantly spam the group with posts all about what you do and links to your site. That’s a quick way to get kicked out.

Think about what value you can add to the group. Maybe you can create a post that solves an issue you see mentioned in the group repeatedly. Perhaps there is a tool or software you use that saves you tons of time and money that you could share with the group.

 

All in all, remember that these are real people and your goal is to develop real relationships. Be genuine, not spammy. Realize that it takes time and consistency to build these relationships.

You don’t meet someone on the street and immediately ask them to marry you, right? It’s the same thing here. You need to give this marketing strategy time and establish relationships. If done right, it can be very effective for connecting with new clients.

 

Next steps:

 

  1. If you want to learn more about relationship marketing and how it works, click here.
  2. I also invite you to join my own FB group, filled with really awesome VAs that help and support one another, the VA to the ResQ Facebook group.

 

Setting Client Expectations

Setting Client Expectations

Client Expectations

 

You’ve heard about it, right? Setting client expectations, what they want, what they need, how you can help them? Ok, here’s the thing, you must do your due diligence in setting up expectations or else, it could turn into a real train wreck!

Here are 5 simple steps to get a handle on it before it ALL COMES CRASHING AROUND YOU!

  1. Be clear
  2. Sometimes do them a tiny favor
  3. Establish boundaries 
  4. Don’t promise them everything
  5. Always under-promise and over-deliver

Read more in this guide Setting Client Expectations

 

4 Steps to New Clients

 

Here are four ideas to get a flow of clients coming your way:

 

  • Be clear about the work you do. If you can clearly explain your work, others will be able to spread the word. When someone asks what I do, I say, “I’m a Virtual Assistant. I work with solo-professionals – people who work on their own – like business coaches, marketing consultants, and financial planners. I help them with all their administrative work – like updating their websites, setting up their newsletters, and helping them set up online courses.”And then I stop talking. Too much information can be confusing! And by the way, I say the exact same thing every time someone asks me the question (I practiced saying it out loud until I could do it cold!).

 

  • Spread the word. Attend networking events in your area, participate in social media, and write a monthly email newsletter that you then send to everyone you know. If you’re in front of people on a regular basis, you won’t be top of mind when someone needs to hire a Virtual Assistant with your skills. People love to make referrals – make it easy for them.

 

Follow Through

 

  • Be clear about how much you charge. By being clear, clients can decide if they can afford you. It removes time spent negotiating and wringing your hands every time someone asks you how much working with you will cost. So pick an hourly rate and stick to it. Then raise it from time to time as your skills get sharper.

 

  • Be clear about how to get started.  have 15-minute free consultations with many prospective clients. When the call is wrapping up and I think they’re a good fit for me, I’m clear about the next steps. I say, “I’d like to work with you. I’ll send you a link to buy your first set of hours with me. When you’re ready and once you buy them, I’ll be in touch to schedule a meeting with you and we can get started.”

 

It may seem like getting good clients is a lot of work, but if you think about it as a part of what you do – and have a set approach you rely on every day – the work will flow your way!

 

 

 

Simple Process For Clients

A Simple Process to Onboard New Clients

A Simple Process to Onboard New Clients in your VA Business

 

Having a Simple Process to Onboard New Clients what we are exploring today. Below are some steps you can take to become a successful business.

 

As you work on creating your virtual assistant business, you will get to a point where you’re ready to start taking on clients. 

 

And then you freeze. Like really?

You realize that you’re not sure of all the pieces involved in that process.

 

You think things like:

How do I let potential clients know I’m available to talk about their needs?

What should my client onboarding process look like?

What should I put in my client welcome packet?

 

If any of those thoughts are spinning around in your head, I’m here to help. This is going to break down each step for you.

A Simple Process to Onboard New Clients

 

Here are all the deets:

 

  1. Contact Page

Having a contact page on your site is important. This is often the first contact point between you and potential clients, and step one in the process.

 

To make it easier for potential clients, I suggest having a contact form that they can fill out, as well as a link to schedule a call with you. You can set this up easily by using a CRM like Dubsado. Clicking this link will get you a discount, just sayin’.

 

  1. Initial Consultation Call

Once the potential client schedules with you, you’ll want to have an idea of what to say on the call. You want to ask the right questions so that you really understand what they’re looking for, and make sure you’re both a good fit for each other.

  1. Estimate

We don’t recommend giving someone a final price over the phone. Rather, explain that you’ll use the info from your call together to create a solution that’s best for them, and you’ll get back to them with an estimate. You can create a simple estimate document or send one with online options like Freshbooks or you can also do this in Dubsado. Make it part of your process.

 

Follow the Plan

 

  1. Contract

Once a client agrees to get started, both of you need to sign a contract before work begins. You can keep the contract simple and cover things like scope of work, time frame, how you’ll communicate with each other.  Add in things like confidentiality, and how you’ll handle things if either of you chooses not to work together and terminate the contract.

 

  1. Invoice

It is highly recommended that you send an initial invoice after the contract is signed so that you receive payment from the start of the project. You can do so with online programs such as PayPal or there are great options for doing this in Dubsado.

 

  1. Welcome Email

Now it’s time to email your new client, welcoming them and letting them know how you will start the process of working together. Send them a copy of your signed contract, and talk about next steps. Make sure that you’re clear on how and when you will communicate with each other.

A few more steps

 

  1. Client Form

This is a place for you to keep all important information pertaining to your client and their accounts. You can create a Word or Google doc, an Excel spreadsheet or keep the info in Evernote—whatever works best for you. You’ll want to note things like their name, business name, website, email, phone, social media profile links and the services you’re providing for them. If you use Dubsado, these things you can have set up automatically.

 

  1. Thank You

Add a special touch by sending your new client a small thank you gift or card. This is a completely optional step, but something that will set you apart from others.

 

Follow the plan step-by-step. One thing I know well is that with everything, taking each step will build your confidence level higher and higher.

Remember to reach out if you need help. 

 

 

 

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