Where do I find clients?
The best way to find clients for your new Virtual Assistant business is to promote your business in a variety of ways online and offline.
Since your business is virtual, you will be advertising your services on the internet, but don’t forget the importance of traditional offline business promotion methods. Most VAs use both to get their businesses started.
Your business website is an excellent marketing tool and can help you find new clients. There are many ways to promote your business online, both free and paid services. There are fee based websites for virtual assistants to post their websites where potential clients can find them, however there are many free options as well.
Join some Virtual Assistant Associations that have job boards or allow you to post your website. Join the VA forums and network with other Virtual Assistants. They may have more work than they can handle and can pass a job to you. Create a blog on your website to bring in search engine traffic. You can also advertise your business services on large internet job boards or free sites like Craigslist.
One very common way new Virtual Assistants find their first clients is through their own employer: current and former. If you are currently working and are ready to take the financial leap to resigning and starting your own business, your current employer may be an excellent place to start. If they have been pleased with your work and you are leaving under good terms, they may be glad to have the chance to still benefit from your knowledge and experience. You can also contact any former employers and let them know what you are doing. You never know what their situation is and whether your services are just what they need. Keep in touch as situations change often and you already have creditability with these potential clients. Most VAs get their first clients through a business contact they already know.
Word of Mouth
Businesses have always relied on “word of mouth” and referrals to grow and prosper. Just because your business and much of its advertising is done on the internet does not mean your offline networking is not also important. Get a good set of professional looking business cards and carry them everywhere. While you are shopping or going to a salon, you may be able to leave a card. Going to business networking events and promoting your business among other business owners is a great way to find clients.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners are great potential clients for Virtual Assistants. Try to put yourself in places to meet as many of them as possible and be prepared to promote your business with a card or brochure. Have a good referral incentive program for any clients you do find. If they are pleased with your services they will want to tell their friends and an incentive from you will motivate them even more.
It will take some money, planning and tremendous effort in the beginning, but you will reap the rewards once your business is thriving and has built an excellent reputation.