How to Get Clients for Virtual Assistant Business
A common problem with many aspiring virtual assistants is how to find clients. One of the most common concerns, in fact, is to be able to find customers, when one does not yet have much experience in this sector and are taking their first steps.
Do not seek but be found
Before looking for clients, it is important to take stock of your skills and to know what services you can offer. It is also important to have identified the market niche in which you want to operate and traced the profile of your ideal client.
There are many ways to find your clients, even if you are just starting out and don't have a lot of experience in the world of virtual assistance.
You could start by word of mouth among your acquaintances, friends and relatives or send presentations via email to your potential clients, or try telephone contact.
However I think that the best way to find customers is to be found. No, it's not a play on words. It means getting the people you want to become your customers to contact you directly, without having to knock on their door.
But how to do that? First of all you have to put people in a position to be able to find you. You will have to choose a virtual place that becomes the meeting point between you and other people, a place that represents you, that communicates who you are and what you do.
By virtual place I mean a site and / or blog, a Facebook page, an Instagram account, a YouTube channel, a podcast or a Linkedin profile (or a combination of these) to let the world know that you exist and that you solve a problem through what you can do.
Start from the website and the blog
It is not essential, but as a virtual assistant I recommend that you have a website to which you can combine an active blog and at least one social network. An easy way to start might be WordPress. Other than that you could have a LinkedIn profile and a Facebook page. Your blog should be updated quite frequently and you should try to publish articles in line with your business, articles useful for those who read them.
However, you may also decide to use other media such as video or audio (podcasts). At first, choose the medium you feel most comfortable with and try to publish content with some consistency (this is very important).
Beyond the tool you choose to promote yourself (social networks, blogs, videos, etc.), the most important thing will be the content you create and the value you give thanks to it.
What to publish online
There is a rule that always applies, beyond the tool you will use to make yourself known and that is: write something that gives value to the reader. The same concept obviously applies if you are going to publish videos or podcasts and for any other means of communication.
There are several ways to post something that is useful. First of all, create content that arouses the interest of your ideal customer and that gives a concrete answer to his problem. For example, you could create a guide or tutorial or tell your experience. Or you can recommend books or videos that you think may also be useful to your client.
If you don't know what your audience might like, you might as well ask them, perhaps by creating a poll via email or on Facebook.
Create your presence on social networks
Be present on social networks; choose one or two at most where you can find your audience and above all where you can cultivate relationships with your potential customers. Social networks will also become a powerful way to share your blog articles.
It's not essential to be everywhere - think about the social networks your ideal customer might be hanging out with. A life coach for women, for example, might be active on Facebook and LinkedIn and never even opened a Twitter account. In this case, if the life coach is your ideal client, I would recommend that you use the same social channels.
Be Social on Social networks
When you enter the bar and you meet a person what do you do? Usually you introduce yourself, you tell about your work, you have a chat. It is difficult to try to sell something to someone you have just met, even if it can happen.
The same should happen on social networks. Think of places, albeit virtual, similar to a bar. Social networks are places where you can build relationships with other people. Use them to talk, share, get to know others. In this way you will get in touch with those people who could become your customers or who will be able to recommend you to others (the good old word of mouth in 2.0 mode)
Even on social media, as far as content is concerned, try to post something that is useful to others. Avoid self-promotional and uninteresting content. Take care of your online image and make sure that everything is consistent with your business; also remember that you are a professional and that you are using social networks as a virtual assistant and that, even if you have a page dedicated to your business on Facebook, it is bad for your reputation to post unpleasant comments or images that portray you drunk on your profile.
Another way to meet your potential customers is to join groups and be very active. In this way you will not only have the opportunity to understand what your audience wants and what their problems are, but you will have the opportunity to have your say and to be recognized as the authoritative person for a given topic thus increasing the chances that someone will request yours services.
There is another way you can take to find customers, especially if you are just starting out and have not yet had the opportunity to make yourself known through the means we mentioned earlier.
There are sites that communicate supply and demand for certain types of services. These types of sites are called marketplaces. Just register and browse the various freelance search ads.
Among the most famous sites there are Upwork, Addlance and Twago but there are many others. In these platforms competition is fierce. I advise you to be very careful and evaluate each offer well before applying and to do it only with the aim of gaining experience, but never selling out. I do not recommend accepting jobs that pay few dollars an hour, it's not really worth it unless you need that type of work to learn and practice. From experience I can also tell you that it is not difficult to find professionals and companies ready to pay you the right amount.
In addition, each marketplace has its own conditions, so I advise you to read them carefully to avoid unpleasant surprises.
In summary, there are ways to find customers without having to look for them one by one. What you need are perseverance and the determination not to give up in the face of the first obstacle and to have a clear idea of the direction in which you want to go. If you think you have the right spirit and getting out of the comfort zone doesn't scare you, then go for it, because you have a whole world (digital and otherwise) to discover.