#VAin30 - Day 6: How to Promote Your Virtual Assistant Business
A virtual assistant without clients is nothing more than a person with a computer. Make your goal of earning an income from home a reality by promoting your virtual assistant business in places that your potential clients will find you. Learning to market yourself and self-promote is the first step in becoming successful.
How to Promote Your Virtual Assistant Business
Even though you are behind a computer screen, you still need to be social with potential clients and get your presence known. This may be difficult if you are naturally an introvert, but the success of your business depends on it. Start networking with other virtual assistants and with businesses that you feel would benefit from your services. While this may not pay off immediately, building these relationships now might gain you referrals down the road.
I highly recommend that you “Like” the 1099Mom Facebook page, as we often give our community members an opportunity to tell about their services, ask questions, and socialize. It’s the perfect place to learn about how a Facebook page operates, and we’d be happy to help you out in any way that we can!
Create a Website
By creating a website, you are not only increasing your online presence, but you are also giving your future clients a landing page to learn more about you and to see some of your previous work or testimonials from former clients. Considering you will more than likely never meet your clients face to face, as with a typical boss and employee relationship, think of your website like your interview. Proudly showcase your previous work or testimonials from clients you’ve worked with, describe the services you are able to provide and build up your skills and talents.
Setting up a website isn’t as hard as it might seem and there are free options available. We we will be going in depth on setting up your first website, with examples, later in the series. For now, start doing your homework by Googling other virtual assistant websites and answering the following questions:
1. What do I love about this site?
2. What would I change?
3. What have they done that I can use as inspiration?
Things you might make note of include:
- design of site
- services offered
- contact page
Keep all of your notes handy for when we set up your site!
Not all forms of advertising have to cost you money. Think of places to put links to your social media accounts and websites (without being spammy, of course!) so that people become familiar with you. Places like email signatures, business cards, Facebook Ads, Google Adword campaigns, or even LinkedIn are great ways to get your name and presence seen. We'll take you through each of these individually later in the series. For now, start jotting down places that your future clients might want to see your ads showing. What places will you want to be sure to advertise on first?
If you’ve previously worked in the business field, ran your own blog, or were an avid blog reader, reach to your contacts and let them know that you now offer your services and skills to other businesses. Ask them if they know of anyone who might need your assistance. You might just end up getting a few clients that are also your friends!
(We'll be sharing some extra special networking tips for your new virtual assistant business. For now, start by making a list of 5 people you have worked with in the past. Make a goal to contact all of them in the next 2 weeks and inquire about their need for virtual assistant services. If you haven't decided on your exact menu of services yet, the feedback you get from them may help you in that process.)
Use Facebook Groups
I know that many have a love or hate relationship with Facebook, but believe it or not you can use it to your advantage when you’re trying to market your virtual assistant business. Currently there are over 1 billion active daily users on Facebook a day, use that to your benefit and meet your clients where they are.
By doing a quick search within Facebook, you will find many groups for virtual assistants to find work and advertise their services. These groups are also great for you to find other virtual assistants to network and build relationships with. Sometimes those contacts will refer work to you when their schedules are full or if they do not provide a service that one of their clients are seeking.
To get started using groups:
- Find your first group by searching Facebook for the "virtual assistant." Some suggestions will come up, and you'll also have the option to "find all groups named virtual assistant." Join the ones that interest you.
- If you get too many results, you can use the sidebar box that says "refine this search" to limit your search by membership type, privacy, name, and what the group is about.
- If a group is a closed group, you'll need to request entry. The moderator may contact you and ask you a few questions to make sure you legitimately work in this field. A closed group is often the best one to join because there are often fewer spammers than in an open group. When you ask questions and leave comments in a closed group, they do not show up on your regular Facebook stream.
- After you've joined a few groups, keep an eye on the ads in Facebook on your sidebar. Usually, Facebook will advertise similar groups, which is a great way to find new groups to join.
Once you find several groups, you'll be able to make connections and grow your business even further with the help of your Facebook peers. You can also share business strategies, tips, and success stories. Often, some members of the group will share jobs that they know of but can't personally take themselves. In addition, you can form friendships with some of the members and help promote one another's businesses.
(Note: There are some very popular virtual assistant groups that are invite-only or that require you to have had a business for some time before being allowed in. Don't be discouraged if you are told "no" when trying to join these groups as a newbie. Your time will come!)
Creating a Facebook Fan Page
In addition to those free groups, you can also create your own business page for clients to “Like”, which will give you additional exposure. Setting up a Facebook fan page is free, and doesn’t take more than an afternoon to do correctly. We'll be giving you the nitty gritty of this task later in the series. For now, look around at other pages of VA's and see what they are doing that you love. Ask yourself similar questions as you did for websites earlier.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to expand your business without spending a fortune. Even with a very small advertising budget, you can get your VA services out there for you to market and sell. What questions do you have at this point in the series? Be sure to message me on Facebook with your questions!
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