Finding clients is hard. However, getting your first few clients for your online business is far from impossible, and setting up your own virtual assistant business should be easy if you follow our guide.
This article will help you lock down your ideal first client and make virtual assistance your full-time job. By going into these simple strategies, you'll learn how to get clients online, how to retain your ideal clients, and some secrets of working online.
1. Network with professionals in your field or industry
If you have a virtual assistant business specializing in administrative work, try connecting with other virtual assistants in your city or state who do the same thing.
Usually, if a particular industry has many people like you, then you could get clients for your own business.
You can also network online using a social media platform like LinkedIn or Meetup. Posting valuable content on your LinkedIn profile regularly (or even in relevant LinkedIn groups) and commenting on other people's posts can attract an audience that might even bring in high-paying clients if other business owners and potential clients like the way you think and work.
Another way to network is to join as many relevant Facebook groups dedicated to specific tasks you perform (or industry niches you’d like to specialize in) and be active on people's posts. You can share your opinions, see how other people get clients, and even learn how to attract high-paying clients.
2. Use social media to promote your services
Social media has become an essential marketing tool. With the right strategy and effort, you can expand your online presence by using social media to promote and engage with your target audience.
What you can do is frequently post interesting and relevant content and engage with your followers. Try using images, GIFs, and videos, and don't forget to answer the comments.
This not only shows potential clients that you’re active on social media but also that you’re human and interested in running an online business.
As you’re networking with other virtual assistants, look for virtual assistants who could refer clients. Try to befriend someone who is not a direct competitor but has slightly different expertise than you. That gives them an opportunity to send their own clients to you for help.
Social media is a great resource for finding freelance work and promoting your business. For example, if you follow an administrative assistant on Twitter, you can tweet about how you can help that person with their administrative work. Furthermore, you can create a Facebook ad, use hashtags and search engine optimization (SEO), and other digital marketing strategies to promote your services.
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3. Join virtual assistant organizations or communities
Virtual assistant organizations are great resources for meeting people who are similar to you and to make connections with high-paying clients.
By joining a VA community, you can even find events or webinars that will help you expand your network or learn new skills. You can join a mentor program to get guidance on growing your business.
Another way to connect with your peers and, thus, quality clients is to follow specific virtual assistant groups. This will help you stay connected with other entrepreneurs who have common interests and build a relationship with potential customers who may hire you down the road.
4. Create a professional website or online portfolio
As a virtual assistant, you could benefit from creating a professional website for yourself. This doesn’t have to be fancy, but make it clear to your potential client what you do and how you can help them.
For example, if you work for an education company, include images or videos of students and classes that show how you can help a client. If you specialize in administrative work, include samples of your past work to show what you have done with past clients.
If you also have expertise in marketing or any other services, include examples. Your own website is a great way to show your work and give potential clients visual examples of how you can help them.
5. Participate in online forums or discussion groups related to your field or industry
As a virtual assistant, you'd benefit from surrounding yourself with like-minded people, i.e., your colleagues. That way, there is a greater chance for you to land your next client.
You should definitely look for online forums or discussion groups relevant to your industry (to find more remote jobs) or city (if you detest remote work) and join them. Posting content and engaging with others in these groups is a great way to promote yourself and find more virtual assistants who could be clients.
6. Offer free consultations or trials to potential clients
While no one should be working completely free, a free consultation or trial can help potential clients figure out if they actually need your services. It also allows you to make sure that the client is a good fit for your services. If a business owner asks for a free consultation or trial, be sure to follow up with them after they have used your services to make sure they are happy with your work.
If you do not believe in free labor, you can create a survey or questionnaire that asks potential clients to identify their challenges or needs. You can then use the information to tailor your services to those needs.
7. Offer discounted rates to new clients or referral incentives to current clients
Offering discounts to new clients is an excellent way to expand your business. You can offer a free consultation or trial with a “free” or “try before you buy” type of pricing.
When the client buys your services, offer a discounted rate. Keep track of how many clients try your services before purchasing.
8. Write articles or blog posts about your services and expertise
Writing articles or blog posts about your expertise, experience, and any relevant topic is a great way to grow your online presence. Guest posting content and social media channels are essential for establishing your online presence and attracting new clients.
You can even start your own blog post to share what you know and what sets you apart from other virtual assistants. You can also share your knowledge by creating tutorials or guides on how to do certain tasks that fall into your expertise in helping clients, like personal finance, marketing strategies, web development, project management, etc. This will help you stand out from other virtual assistants and potentially land new client work.
9. Create and share helpful resources, such as templates or guides, related to your services
One of the best ways to grow your client base is to create helpful resources related to your services. To make this more beneficial, you need to know what type of clients you are looking for and have a strategy for finding them.
Once you know who you are targeting, you can create helpful resources that are relevant to your services.
If you offer a specific service, you can create and share guides, templates, or other helpful resources related to that service. For example, if you offer virtual assistant services, you can create templates that help your clients with their work. This way, your clients will know exactly what to expect from your services and how to use your guide as a reference.
You can also create and share helpful guides for specific industries, such as virtual assistant guides for specific industries or web design guides for website development. This way, you can offer your clients resources related to your services without having to create them from scratch.
10. Use search engine optimization (SEO) to improve your online visibility
The first step to attracting potential clients is to improve your online visibility. SEO is the process of optimizing your website’s content to rank higher in search engine results for specific queries. You can use SEO to increase your website’s position in SERPs for keywords related to your business.
The more someone clicks on your website on Google or another search engine, the more likely that person is to click on your services. You can also optimize your website for other parameters, like your geographic location and language.
11. Participate in online job boards or freelance marketplaces
If you are looking to find more clients and expand your business, look for online job boards or freelance marketplaces in your local area.
For example, a virtual assistant who specializes in administrative work should try niche job boards related to that niche or niche freelance platforms. You can find many useful and relevant freelance and job board listings that are focused on your niche.
You can also create job boards for specific tasks you offer, like project management or marketing strategies or niche virtual assistant services. Additionally, you could post your job search on social media, networking sites, and websites that your target clients would typically visit. This includes subreddits, Twitter feeds, and your favorite Facebook group.
12. Create a newsletter or email list to stay in touch with potential clients
When you begin looking for clients, you should try to stay in touch with them. This will help you build a relationship with your prospective clients and make it easier for them to recommend you to others. You can use cold emailing, newsletters, and social media to stay in touch with your prospective clients.
Email marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies for freelancers. When you email your prospective clients, you are creating a relationship with them. It's important to send emails that are relevant, customer-focused, and timely.
This can be tricky for some freelancers because they may not know what to write about or when to send the email. You can use email marketing to offer whatever services you may offer and keep them in touch with you. Choose the right emails to send depending on the type of clients you are looking for.
13. Attend local networking events or workshops
If you are a smaller virtual assistant business or a solopreneur, it can be difficult to meet new clients and find leads. Thankfully, there are a variety of events and workshops that can help you meet new business associates and clients.
You can find meetups and online forums for related industries and professions. Attending these events can help you learn more about your potential clients and make connections with people who can help you grow your business.
You can also attend networking events and gatherings that are specific to your industry or profession. These events can help you meet other professionals and make connections with people who can help your business in various ways.
You can learn from these events and workshops how to attract new clients online, how to retain your current ones, and how to get referrals from your old clients.
14. Participate in local or online pitch events or competitions
If you are looking to meet new clients, you can participate in pitch events and competitions. These events are designed to help you meet new clients and pitch your services to a panel of judges or investors. Some pitch events and competitions are aimed at entrepreneurs—you can find these online or in your local community.
You can find these using Google or through networking forums and communities related to your industry or profession. There are a variety of these events available, including business-plan competitions, pitch-competition events, or startup-showcase events. This can help you meet new clients and potentially win investment or funding for your business idea.
15. Offer specialized services or packages to target specific clients or industries
Depending on your services, there may be an underserved niche market. For example, if you offer transcription services, you may be able to find clients online who need this service. If this is the case, offer transcription services as a part of a bundle deal.
If you are only offering basic services, you may be limiting your potential customer base. Instead, you might want to offer a specialized set. If you have experience with a certain topic, you can offer specialized services in that area.
For example, if you offer website design and development, you can create a website for a client that helps them improve the way their customers are being treated. This can help them retain their customer base by offering more benefits or taking orders online.
You can also tailor your services to the specific needs of your potential clients. For example, if you work as a virtual assistant, you can offer specialty services that are related to specific clients. For example, if you are a virtual assistant for a doctor, you can offer services that help them with their patient records. You can do this by organizing their file system, scanning patient records into the computer, or creating electronic records.
16. Offer bundle deals or discounts to attract new clients
If you have a product or service that clients may be interested in purchasing as a bundle package, you may want to offer a discount. This can help you find clients quicker and make more money from those who may be interested in purchasing your services as a whole package.
For example, if you offer virtual assistant services, you can offer a bundle package that includes a virtual assistant and web developer. This way, you can offer a complete package that includes two separate services that may cost clients a lot more money if they were to buy them separately.
17. Collaborate with other freelancers or service providers
If you are looking to expand your client base, you may want to consider partnering with other freelancers or service providers. You can do this by offering a special collaboration package or pro-bono work in exchange for referrals.
This can help you earn extra money while bringing new business to your clients. You can also collaborate with other service providers in your area or on social media. This can help you meet new clients and expand your network.
You can also collaborate with other freelancers and service providers on online forums and communities related to your industry or profession.
18. Utilize word-of-mouth marketing by asking current clients to refer you to others
Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways for freelancers to get clients. So, when a new client hires you, ask them to recommend you to others who may need your services. This can also apply to your social media posts and online profiles—always include a pertinent section on how to get in touch with you, such as a contact form.
Not only can word-of-mouth marketing help you attract new clients, it can also get you recommendations from your existing ones. When you are working with existing clients, you can ask them to send referrals to their friends, family members, or co-workers for a discount.
This way, you can get a referral from someone who trusts you and knows that you can help them with their business.
When you are working with new clients, ask them to recommend you to others. This can be done in various ways, such as asking your new clients to write a review on Google or Yelp or asking them to post a referral on social media.
Try to make this as easy for your clients as possible so that they feel as though they are doing something for you and getting something in return. You can also offer to send them a report of their services and any recommendations on how they can use their data to attract new business.
19. Use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach potential clients
PPC advertising can be an extremely helpful marketing strategy for freelancers. When you’re looking to attract new clients, one way to find them is with targeted online ads.
With targeted ads, you’ll only show an ad to potential clients who are searching for similar types of services. You can show ads to people who are searching for services like transcription, writing, logo design, and marketing.
PPC ads let you advertise on search engine results and are especially beneficial for businesses looking to increase online visibility. You can use Google or other major search engines to create advertisements and price them accordingly depending on the volume of impressions or clicks your ad receives.
You can also create ads on other advertising networks, like Bing or Yahoo, to expand your reach and find new potential clients. Remember that you’ll have to sign up for these ad networks separately, and each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
20. Consider offering to do internships or apprenticeships to gain experience and build your client base
If you are just starting out, you may want to consider offering internships or apprenticeships with other companies or freelancers. This can help you build your client base while gaining valuable work experience.
You can find internships by searching online for relevant companies or by talking with current clients. You can also look for relevant events and networking events or local meetups that can help you meet new people and make connections.
Additionally, you can offer to provide free work through projects on freelancing sites, such as Upwork or Task Rabbit. This can help you gain experience in different areas of business and potentially attract new clients for future projects. You can use these projects to showcase your skills and offer your services to new clients.
Also, if you’re looking to make money outside of your current freelancing job, an internship or apprenticeship can be beneficial. Internships and apprenticeships are a great way for you to gain work experience outside of your current job and make money doing it.
With the right strategies and tactics, you can find clients who are a perfect fit for your services and expand your virtual assistant business. By networking with other virtual assistants, joining virtual assistant organizations and communities, creating a professional website, using social media to promote your services, offering free consultations, writing articles, and using SEO to improve your online visibility, you can find more clients than you ever thought possible.
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