Starting a VA business is a huge step! It’s exciting, and you’re taking a step at working for yourself.The excitement usually starts winding down once the realization hits. How do I find clients for my virtual assistant business??
No worries! This isn’t as hard as it sounds. It does take work, perseverance, and the ability to handle rejection though. (Sometimes a lot of rejection. But this is normal, and expected in the beginning.)
Here are a few ways to grow your virtual assistant business quickly with real live clients!
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Table of Contents
Get Clients for your VA Business With Cold Pitching
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to figure out your ideal client. If you early on in your virtual assisting career it may be tempting to go along with whoever is actually willing to hire you now. This isn’t a good idea though. Finding the right type of client is essential to running a successful business.
By thinking about what skills you have and what type of work you want to do as an assistant, then you can decide what clients would best fit your profile. For example, if you’re skilled at creating great pins for Pinterest and know Pinterest well, you can figure out who your best type of clients would be.
Let’s say you are a Pinterest pro. You already know that many of the users on Pinterest are likely women (or a client who appeals to women.) Things that do well on Pinterest would be food blogs, a business selling products to moms, or a fashion business. (Obviously, this is a generalization, as there ARE other interests and users on Pinterest. This is just an example.)
From there you can do a Google search of a particular category and see if there are potential brands that are lacking in the Pinterest department.
This type of method can be applied to whatever skills you have and would like to offer. Just figure out who best could use those services.
Then it’s time to start pitching
Once you’ve really narrowed down who you want as a client, then you can focus on pitching to them. This part is usually where so many people start wavering. The idea of sending emails to people out of the blue feels awkward and weird at first. I assure you it’s no big deal though.
Once you start emailing a few people you will become a natural in no time.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you are feeling frustrated cold pitching to business and brands:
- Cold pitching is an art form and takes practice
- You’ll receive a lot of no’s (and get straight up ignored) a ton before you ever get a yes
- The more you do it, the better you’ll get
Join a membership & Get Clients Brought to You
The easiest way to find clients is to have someone else do it for you! I originally thought the only way to get VA clients was through cold pitching. Then I took Gina Horkeys VA course. She offers the students who take her course an affordable membership called VA leads Community.
This is a phenomenal way to find high-quality clients. (Because they bring the clients to you!)
This works because when someone needs a VA they pay for the service too. They know that they will be getting a well educated VA who is qualified and well trained. Bottom line, this means that they will VALUE you. This is important because there is a very big misperception about what a virtual assistant is worth.
Unfortunately, many people still operate with the misconception that VAs are low paid task performers. They honestly have no idea that virtual assistants have expertise and skills that can help them run their business better.
When potential clients sign up through Gina’s service, they understand the value of a good VA. Gina makes it very clear that you offer a special service that they need help with. They are willing to pay more, because they respect your abilities and expertise. (And after going through her course, you will have expertise.)
If you are intrested, you can read my full review of the Fullybooked VA Course.
Showcase Your Work
What says professional better than a great looking website with a showcase of your skills and raving fans of your work. Creating a website isn’t as hard as it sounds, and it’s relatively inexpensive.
Even if you are just starting out, you can have it be a one page site with a photo of yourself and a list of the services you provide, plus a way to contact you. What better way to attract new clients than to direct them to a site that shows them why they need you!
Even if you don’t have the confidence yet to know why they need you, I assure you, there are people out there who would go so much further in their business if you were there to help them! You just have to figure out what those skills are and how to show your potential clients why they need your expertise.
With your own website, you are open to so many possibilities to market yourself. Things such as
- Cold pitching clients and directing them to your site in your email, and showing them packages and pricing
- Show off your skills by writing a few how-to guides and drive traffic to those posts, bringing potential clients who are not proficient in those skills to you
- This is where you can really brag about yourself, and when done well people will be contacting YOU about working for them
Setting up Referrals
Another great way to find better clients for your VA business quickly is to let others promote it. You can create a referral program in which your current clients get a discount for referring new clients to you.
This works because most people in business run in similar social networks. This means your ideal client, knows other potential clients just like them, with the same needs.
So email your clients telling them you have a referral program, and if a new client mentions their name, they’ll get a 10% discount for 3 months, or something along those lines.
You could also start an affiliate program. An affiliate program pays a commission to each new client a person refers. You could have a hundred affiliates working for you. Each time they send you a new client, you pay them a commission. The commission is usually a set fee. For example, $25. Or a percentage of the sale.
Referral programs tend to be a bit easier to manage. But, you’re a Virtual Assistant, you can handle managing affiliates no problem!
Create Partnerships with Other Virtual Assistants
Finally, consider partnering and networking with others like you to grow your business.
For example, if you provide transcription you might partner with someone who moderates teleconferences and web conferences. Together you could provide a complete interview package. If you manage article submissions for website owners you could partner with an article writer to offer a complete package.
Partnerships can be simple too. You can swap advertisements with a complementary company. You can work to cross promote each other. You can also guest blog for each other. There are many opportunities to partner with others. As you network and meet new people stay open to the possibilities.
Growing your VA business takes three things. It takes a planning, a positive mindset, and lots of persistence! Get creative, embrace the opportunities around you. And have fun.
If you are still learning the basics of becoming a VA and want to figure out how to gain skills that clients want, I highly suggest taking a look at the Fullybooked VA course. It’s what helped me get some actual traction in my business and start getting (and keeping) clients.