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Operating a successful virtual assistant business takes a lot of hard work. Done right, your hard work can prove extremely beneficial to build your business on a solid foundation as well as add to your bottom line. These tips are sure to help.
• Don’t work for free. More and more new virtual assistants are working for free as interns to get the experience, and hopefully land the client long-term. Yes, you can learn from the pros and get experience. However, bottom line, you need to make money. What happens many times is that you end up working for extended periods of time, get very comfortable, but without the income, you end up back at square one with no clients, no money—and very discouraged. Therefore, be sure to charge.
• Be clear about what you are and what you do. Whether you call yourself a virtual assistant, virtual professional or any number of titles out there, it doesn’t matter. Be clear and directly state to clients how you can help and where you bring value. Your marketing message on your website, in social media, emails, and direct conversation all need to clearly reflect who you are and what you do. Clients need to feel confident you can help with the tasks they need and this is one of the main ways to let them know. What matters most is that you are passionate about the skills you offer and know that you can make a difference. Which leads to our next point, be confident.
• Be confident. Clients and prospects can feel your energy and your passion when you truly believe in what you say and do. So portray that confidence throughout. Keep in mind this is important not only in those initial calls, but also after you close the deal. Your best source of new clients can be referrals from existing clients. Also, be mindful of what you say and do online. If you are on Facebook continually asking how to do something (which is a skill you say you possess), or you are constantly complaining about the work and it being hard, clients will see that and run the other way. The more you exude confidence, the more clients will come your way—and stay with you.
• Solve a problem. Be the solution. Listen intently to what are the needs of your current clients and potential new clients. Be aggressive in pointing out how your services can fix their problems. Continually provide updates and tips to prove your expertise in your given areas. Clients will take notice. It won’t take long before they are coming to you for everything first.
• Be great at what you do. One of the best ways to grow your business is through referrals. You get those referrals by always going over and above with the work you do. Clients need to feel that you always have their back and can trust you. Make this your number one priority and clients will reward you by passing along your name when they have the opportunity.
• Plan for business success. Write down where you want to be in your business and then capture the steps on how you are going to get there. A business and marketing plan can be so valuable to your business. Business planning needs to be something you do in the initial start-up phase of your business as well as annually, at minimum. Take this a step further by sharing your plan with a trusted advisor. When we share the plan it helps to validate and make us more accountable.
Implement these tips into your business today and you’re sure to see what a difference they can make.
Diana Ennen and Kelly Poelker are the co-authors of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and accompanying Virtual Assistant – The Series Workbook Edition. Stop by their site for complete information on starting your own VA business http://www.vatheseries.com. Connect with them online at @learntobeava or facebook.com/becomeava