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) actually to 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, unsure 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 not to quit. To move forward and look for other clients. So what’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.
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.
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.
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 thisversus 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:
Choose 3 people to interview that are your ideal
Conduct the interview via recorded telephone call or video call so you can write their full answers down.
Complete the ideal client profile exercise in Part 3.
PART 1: INTERVIEW and ANSWERS
Interview 3 clients to get these answers:
What are you struggling with?
Why do you REALLY believe you haven’t solved your problem yet?
What have you previously tried to solve your problem?
Why do you think it didn’t work?
What are you afraid will happen if you don’t solve this problem?
What would a breakthrough look like? (How would you feel? How would your life change? What would you have?)
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
What are the similarities between each of your interviewees?
What are the main differences?
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)
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. SPEAKto 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.