One of the most frequently asked questions by new VAs is:
‘How do I find clients?’
In this blog I’m going to show you a handful of ways that you can do this. Be consistent in your efforts and they will pay off!
Here are 5 things you can do to find clients
Online forums and groups allow you to connect with business owners from all over the world. Facebook groups in particular are a fantastic way to build professional relationships and many virtual assistants get clients this way.
There are a few things to keep in mind, however:
- Pick the right groups – When it comes to building professional relationships with the aim of increasing your client base make sure that you’re in groups where your ideal client hangs out.
- Be helpful – Don’t just promote your services, because people will tire of it. Aim to provide useful and valuable information that answers their questions. And if it is something you feel you can offer a bit more help with then suggest a quick chat.
- Abide by the rules – Facebook group admins enforce various rules and with good reason. Stick with them and stay in their good books!
- Answer postings – Often you will see someone looking for a VA for their business. If it sounds like something you would love to do then do two things: 1. Read the posting carefully, and 2. Follow their instructions when you answer it.
Action step: Go ahead and identify a handful of groups that you will engage with daily.
Just because you plan on working virtually doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be networking face-to-face. Local networking events will give you the chance to meet with other small business owners in your area.
Go to these events and build relationships with the other business owners there. But don’t just tell them what you do, ask questions and show them that you are interested in what they do! You should also get the business cards of other business owners so you can connect with them later on.
Action step: Identify upcoming networking events in your area and mark them in your diary.
Following on from my previous point, use LinkedIn to connect with business owners you meet at networking events. Send them a short and sweet message reminding them who you are.
Ensure that you’re regularly posting great content on LinkedIn, such as:
- Blog posts
This will help you position yourself as an expert!
Action step: Connect with others on LinkedIn and get a plan of action in place for the content you’ll post.
Get out your address book
If you haven’t already considered family, friends, old work colleagues and acquaintances to help you get more clients, then you really should!
Many VAs start out by doing tasks for people that they already know or who have connections to their family and friends. Whether you’ve worked with them in the past or you’re related, you never know just how many business owners your connections know.
Start off by letting your contacts know about your new business and ask them to keep you in mind if they or someone they know needs some support in their work.
Remember, if you get on well with someone then they should have no problem recommending you!
Action step: Draft a list of your contacts and write your email for them.
Approaching businesses you’d like to work with
This is a strategy that some people may feel a little nervous about doing because you’re essentially cold-emailing businesses you’d like to work with. However, if done right then this strategy can work very well.
Think about businesses that fit your criteria of an ideal client. Learn about them and then draft a personalised email.
Once you introduce yourself and your business, tell them about how you know their business and what you think you could help them with. You could even provide a couple of tips to demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about. Finally suggest setting up a consult or quick chat on Skype to discuss things further.
Action step: Research businesses and learn about them. Use the information you find to draft your email.
Using all these strategies will help you build your client base and grow as a virtual assistant!