Does this sound familiar? You’re about ready to scream out of frustration, or cry (or both) because:
1. You’re a new virtual assistant and you’re working your butt off to get your first client and you’re feeling defeated
2. You’re a virtual assistant and you have a few clients but for months you’re sitting at this plateau and nothing is moving?
I’m about to get into the details that will change the course of your virtual assistant business. I’m going to show you exactly what I did to market my business and why these techniques work.
Now, I want to make something clear up front. When I started my virtual assistant business I didn’t have a website for an entire year. This turned out to be a good thing.
It proved that I could market my virtual assistant business and grow it from 1 client to 10 in 12 months with just my LinkedIn profile.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you don’t need a website. I’m simply saying that you don’t need to get your panties (or Jockeys for you guys) in a bunch if you don’t have one. You can still set up shop and market your business like a ninja without just your LinkedIn profile.
Set a goal to get your website online but don't let it become a bottleneck to start marketing yourself and networking as a virtual assistant.
So let's go over the way I network online and off. Since I am a huge fan of LinkedIn I’m going to start here and share how to use this social network to get a flood of leads.
First, your LinkedIn profile should be completed 100%. What makes your profile complete?
• Your industry and location
• An up-to-date current position (with a description)
• Two past positions
• Your education
• Your skills (minimum of 3)
• A profile photo
• At least 50 connections
I just wrote a blog post on how to find professional networking groups on Facebook. I am a member of a lot of groups on Facebook. Groups on Internet marketing, copy writing, coaching groups for professional coaches and more. The more I participate in discussions in the groups on Facebook, the more the members get to know me.
I always make sure to dig deeper with the people I communicate with in Facebook groups by sending them a friend request and then following up with a quick note saying hi. The key here is to build relationships. While I’m always thinking about ways to prospect clients, my first goal is to build relationships.
Of course you should have a Facebook fan page for your business so if you haven’t set one up do so now. Push to get people to have conversations with you on your Facebook page and just as I say above, engage your fans. Communicate with them and mix up your posts so it’s not just about your business.
Post about things you love, and things you hate. Show off who you are because people want to do business with someone they can relate to and like. Be yourself.
But where can you find groups on Facebook where your ideal clients are hanging out? No problem, I've covered that. Click here to learn where to go where your ideal clients are having conversations on Facebook.
I have got a love hate relationship with Twitter. The reason for that is that I loathe idle banter and Twitter is full of a lot of fluffy conversations.
Most businesses lack real connection between their followers. They are not having a conversation but rather standing on a soap box shouting out “buy my stuff/services”.
There are plenty of ways to build meaningful relationships with your prospects on Twitter. The key is to actually have a conversation, not to just promote your business. If you want to see results in your marketing with Twitter than it’s time to stop promoting, it’s time to start communicating.
Find out if your ideal clients have a Twitter account and start following them. Start conversations with your ideal clients and just be yourself. Provide value and show off your personality. Don’t try to sell. Give people the opportunity to know, like and trust you. Want some great examples of people doing it right on Twitter? Gary Vaynerchuk just authored a great book about how to use social media the right way to get more business.
He likens boxing to social media and his book is called Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World. He talks about why you must give, give, give and only after giving do you throw in your hook.
So go and find your ideal clients and start talking TO them, not at them. If you want to learn how I prospect my ideal clients on Twitter check out my quick how-to video here.
The magic of networking is always in face-to-face meetings and nothing is going to change that. I don’t care where you live, there is some kind of local networking group happening right now. Now is the time to find a professional networking group near you and get your butt over there and start building business relationships.
Get your business cards ready (if you don’t have any get some made at Moo)
Put on something sharp because people do judge you based on how you look (unfortunately) and plan on walking up to people and introducing yourself. NO WALLFLOWERS ALLOWED. You’re not in business to sit on the sidelines and wait for something to happen. Make things happen.
So here is a list of some great face-to-face networking groups that you can join.
LinkedIn – often times there are meet-ups organized within geo-specific networking groups so keep your eyes peeled.
When you meet someone at a face-to-face networking groups always ask for their business card. If they mentioned something personal about them make sure to note it. Jot down details about the person on the back of the card. The next day send an email to everyone you met and make it personal. Let them know how much you enjoyed meeting them, include any personal details you remember from the conversation and ask them how you can help them by saying something at the end of the email like this:
I look forward to keeping in touch with you and if there is anything I can help you with, just let me know.
So, now is the time to take action. Go out and find at least 5 relevant groups on LinkedIn and Twitter to join right now. Next go and find at least one networking group in your area and register to join it.
All while you’re doing this go and complete your LinkedIn profile and come back and let me know in the comments how you’ve done!
Get. To. Work.