You’ve decided you wanted to work from home as a virtual assistant. Now what? Today’s discussion is about what to include in a welcome packet. What is it, and do you need it.
Ever since that big decision, you’ve been networking like a fool for your first client: hanging out in Facebook groups, going to networking events, telling your friends and fam to the point you’re starting to feel like you’re bugging people with your pitch.
But a virtual assistant without clients is – well, not busy and you really don’t have a business.
You need a client, and fast!
And then one day, you get that email – someone wants to chat about how you can help their business.
So, you have that discovery call and you’re feeling like you knocked it out the park. You said all the right things and shoot, you even sent a thank you email afterward.
Now, you wait.
You refresh your email countless times, waiting for a response.
But don’t celebrate too much because you’re not done.
There’s something you need to put together for your new client – and that’s a welcome packet.
What is a welcome packet?
The welcome packet is a PDF that contains important information about your business that may or may not already be in your contract.
Is a welcome packet required?
Well, no not really. I’ve just found that having all the necessary information in a separate PDF file is handy not only for you but the client as well. And we’re aiming for simplicity here, folks!
What’s in a welcome packet?
Glad you asked!
Here’s what your Welcome Packet can include:
A personal note from you, welcoming them on board. Start off on the right foot but including a note from you: how excited you are to work with them and how you plan to make a difference in their business, something along those lines. Keep in mind that some clients may be working with a virtual assistant for the first time so you may have to a bit of hand-holding to ease them into the water. It’s okay – a kick-butt virtual assistant doesn’t just do the work: they also educate their clients.
Work expectations. Spell out when you will return phone calls and emails. Do you have a 24-hour turnaround during business hours? Will you make recommendations and offer solutions? Tell your client what they can expect from working with you.
Your office hours. If you don’t spell out your office hours, I can bet my bottom dollar that at some point you’re going to have to talk to a client about working outside of your hours. I’ve seen it happen time and time again. This is where educating a client GENTLY about what a virtual assistant is (a business owner in partnership with the client) and what a virtual assistant isn’t (an administrative worker solely who is on-call and dedicated to their needs only). Make it clear what your hours are and stick to them. For example, my business hours are Monday – Friday, 6 pm-9 pm, Saturdays from 10 am-5 pm. I’m closed on Sundays and the last Saturday of each month. Period. This brings us to the next matter:
How will you handle “rush” jobs? OK, life happens sometimes and things pop up that need immediate attention. No problem. But if it’s happening over and over, then it’s time to put some processes in place to keep that from happening. Planning ahead will save you lots of time and headaches. Discuss and note how you will handle rush jobs. Let’s say the client gives you less than 24-hour notice to complete a project. It’s totally okay to charge a 25% surcharge. Again, make sure it’s clearly indicated in your welcome packet, as well as your contract, to avoid problems later.
How you will handle referrals and if you provide a referral incentive. In the virtual world, referrals are golden. Do a great job, your client will tell someone else and BOOM! You’ve got a new client. But you want to thank them, right? Maybe a gift card or a couple of complimentary hours.
Your business processes: how you will protect passwords and confidential information, etc. The online world can be a scary place with all this hacking foolishness. And your client is trusting you with the back-end of their business. That’s huge! You want to reassure them you’ve got systems in place to protect their confidential information – may be shredding confidential data, keeping passwords private, that kind of thing. Give your client some peace of mind.
Your subcontracting process, if applicable. You may get to the point where you become so busy with work that you’ll need to bring on a subcontractor. Or, maybe you don’t have the skill set to complete a project. Let your client know how you will handle this type of situation (the subcontractor will do the work, but you will check it over thoroughly to ensure it meets your approval). Remember, this is YOUR business on the line.
Invoicing process. This little nugget of information is probably in the contract you sent to the client, but it doesn’t hurt to share it in the welcome packet. Reiterate your hourly rate/retainer amount, when you will send an invoice and when payment is due.
Your contact information and how you prefer to be contacted. I’m cool with getting texts from my client so they have my cell phone number as well as my email. Maybe that won’t work for you so tell your client your preference.
Add in a get-to-know-you sheet: the client’s address (so you can surprise them a gift from time to time), birthday, spouse/children info, if applicable.
Isn’t some of this information already in my contract?
It’s highly possible. But let’s think about this for a second: most people don’t thoroughly read contracts. We should but we don’t. We read the most important part – how much we’re making/paying and kinda skim over the rest. The welcome packet outlines IN A SEPARATE DOCUMENT a lot of what’s in your contract. The difference is that your client will probably read your welcome packet.
You don’t want any excuses (“I didn’t know that was in there because it’s so buried in the contract!”) Nope, we don’t want that!
What else do you need to bring on a new client? Well, I’ve got that all outlined in a Trello board. If you don’t know I compare Trello to Post-Its on steroids! Seriously, I can’t get enough of Trello because it will keep you super organized. If you don’t have a Trello account, you can get a free account here.
Here’s one of my Trello boards and you can see that it’s all about tracking everything for your client. Just go ahead and purchase this board when you’ve got a minute because it will save you so much time in the future. You just copy the board for each client and you’re set to get busy!
This Trello board is dedicated to onboarding or bringing on your first client. It outlines, step-by-step, what you need to do for your client. Just remember to copy the board for each client using their name.
How to market your business is critical to your business success. That’s our topic for today’s post. I’ve added some steps for you to work on that are pretty easy.
Here’s what you should be doing to stay top of mind and current with your network:
Send two emails a day to people you know to stay in touch. You’re not selling to them, just checking in to say hello.
Try to get together every week with either one new person that you’ve been introduced to, or one close business friend you haven’t seen in a while.
Offer free, 15-minute discovery calls, by phone or Zoom, to anyone who’s interested in working with you.
Once a month, write an email newsletter with relevant content and send it out to everyone you know.
Regularly post excerpts of your newsletters to social media.
Once a month, you should attend a networking event to meet new people.
Keep your LinkedIn profile current, including adding every new person you meet.
You may think this is a lot of work, and way too time-consuming to fit into your day. But, it’s not really!
Once you have the system set up, it takes far less time to run than the time you spend worrying about generating business! Getting clients is always on top of your mind, but you need to do these steps to create a steady flow of clients.
Another Way to Market
Try using Facebook and Instagram to post content on a regular basis. You need to get noticed on social media, but you don’t have to be on every platform to get noticed. Also, don’t consider this selling, it’s just marketing to do the work for you.
Just make sure that you are consistent with what you create and post valuable content, not just fluff. Anyone can do that and it might get you followers but not clients. Also remember that even when you have a steady flow of clients, you’re always going to need to market yourself.
Today’s topic of discussion is all about clients – the time I didn’t have any. Yes, we all have to start somewhere when we first create our virtual assistant businesses. You will need to have a steady flow of clients (buyers) to actually make money. I started off with very few contacts and zero leads. But with some hard work, I successfully landed my first two clients!
I was doing the happy dance every day. This is when I realized that I really could do this thing! It really increased my confidence level and I was on a roll.
Then The Axe Fell
But soon I got a bit caught up in focusing on just working for just those two clients. And then it happened…one of those clients closed up their business and moved on to something else.
Suddenly I was worried about everything! Where was I going to get another client?
Freak Out Time Ahead
I was flat freaking out, not sure how to get more clients into my business. Was it over for me? And that’s when I knew I had to do something about it – and fast! And that’s when I also decided I’d never ever be in that position again! Never…ever!
So I made a plan with my options and here’s what I did.
I started marketing myself in Facebook groups. I started writing more blog posts, doing more videos, and helping others.
And before I knew it, I had several clients lined up to work with. All it took was the determination to not quit. To move forward and look for other clients. So that’s the solution when you need clients.
Put yourself out there, don’t quit, and be determined. If I can do it, I know you can too!
Your Solution to Finding Clients
I would love to help you become more confident in your business. That’s why I offer 1×1 mentoring to other business owners. You don’t have to do it all alone, I will help with whatever you need help with.
Here’s where you’ll find information on my mentoring service Get ALL The Deets Here. Then sign up for 1 session or multiple sessions, it’s up to you.
So, what is a mentor and why do you need one? This is the topic of discussion today. Read the article or go to the bottom of the article to listen to the audio recording. You cannot know everything there is to know about how to get where you want to be in life. Am I right?
While it’s possible to learn the needed skills, this will take time and likely a lot of money. Instead, what if you had someone (or a group of people) who can help guide you to success? Wouldn’t you like that opportunity?
So, What Is A Mentor?
A mentor is someone who currently is where you want to be in your business. The relationship you have with a mentor can be an official one, or it can be informal such as following in the footsteps of someone you admire. Mentors have experience and have gone through the growing pains towards business success. They will know what kinds of training you may need help with or skills to develop.
What Do They Actually Do?
A mentor can give you needed feedback on what you are doing right and wrong during your development. This kind of advice is invaluable. Likewise, you don’t want a mentor who will hold back.
Make sure you give them full permission to be completely honest with you. Most worthwhile mentors will have no problems doing this for you. It may be a hard pill to swallow, but you will be better off than having a mentor who sugarcoats your progress. That won’t help you in any way, I know this from experience.
How You Should Choose One
The mentors you choose should have the experience or skills you desire to learn. Be sure to ask lots of questions about what they expect from you and ask what you can expect from them. This expectation is extremely important. Otherwise, you won’t have any means of knowing whether the mentoring relationship is working.
If someone you are considering to mentor you take issue with you asking these questions, this is a sign they may not be right for you. It can also be more difficult to sever the relationship once it has begun so remember that.
Paid or Free – You Decide
Should you pay for mentors? It depends on what you currently have available at your disposal. Also, what you intend to receive from this kind of arrangement. If, as previously mentioned, there is someone who can act in a mentor capacity and they are willing to do this for free, then consider doing it.
On the other hand, paying for someone to help you lets you hold them accountable. This is a crucial aspect of mentoring. Without it, you could be spinning your wheels, going nowhere. You don’t want to waste time as the entire reason to take on a mentor is to save time in getting you further in your development.
If you are looking for a mentor, I offer 1×1 mentoring services. Go here to look at what I offer and how you can get started.
Listen to the audio version of this article below:
You’ll hear people refer to routine as being dull or boring. It implies that life is the same from one day to the next. However, routines are a great way to get your work done.
It’s also a great means for teams to work together towards a common goal. When everyone has an understanding of what needs to get done, i.e., what routines each team member needs to perform, projects tend to run smoother.
We also have routines in our society. In some ways, laws can be considered routines. You know that you aren’t supposed to run a red light and that can be thought of as a routine.
When you come to a red light, you stop as best as you can. There may be instances when you accidentally go through one here or there. But, most people will stop for red lights. And this is good to reduce accidents.
You set up routines for your kids in the form of chores. You know that certain tasks need to get done each week. Many parents tie their kids’ allowances to these chores. When the kids finish their chores, they receive their allowances. It teaches the kids a work ethic. They need to perform tasks, and when they complete those tasks, they receive money for them.
When you pay bills, you tend to have a routine for this. Some people like to get everything sorted on one day and pay all the bills on that day. Others will pay them whenever they receive them. Others, still, will set up their payments to be paid automatically by their bank or brokerage.
There isn’t a right answer for how to do this. Whatever works for you is the right answer. However, the method you choose will be routine.
Contrast this to people who don’t have routines to manage their lives. They tend to handle tasks when the mood strikes them. These people are usually late with their bills and have messy environments. Some of these people will say that this way of life works for them. However, for most people this is chaos. It’s something that can easily be avoided by setting up routines for the tasks you need to complete.
Of course, people are not robots. Hence, they do break up their routines on occasion. You may use weekends to do activities that you don’t get to do during the workweek. Also, many families use vacations to help break up their routines.
How do you create routines for yourself? Do you have them? If not, you should acquire some routines, especially for your business. It can be as easy as what days of the week you do your invoices and banking. Keep it simple but make them a routine. You will thank yourself for this later.