In this video, you'll learn how to explain what you do to people who don't know what a virtual assistant is. Plus, you'll learn simple persuasion hacks to get leads interested to learn more about what you do!
I grew my virtual assistant business from 1 client to 10 in 12 months flat using nothing more than my LinkedIn profile. That's right, I didn't have a website. LinkedIn is a powerful social media network if you know how to use it.
Your blog is a marketing tool for your business and I will even say that your blog is your most important inbound marketing tool you've got. By writing a blog, you are able to start conversations on timely subjects that will engage your prospects and increase website traffic.
Let's talk about what happens when a visitor lands on your site. They will read your home page, services and read some of your (hopefully not yawn-inducing) testimonials.
Your blog allows prospects to learn more about you than those static web pages mentioned above. They will see that you are filled with a wealth of information about a variety of subjects like social media, online marketing, transcriptions, etc. They also get a better understanding of what you're about and who you are.
Below I've recorded an audio for you to listen to about why blogging is so important and my secrets for finding great blog topics at your fingertips!
Do you have a blog for your virtual assistant website? What do you blog about? If you don't have a blog are you going to start one after reading/listening to this blog post?
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.
I joined an online social media summit recently called Social Media Superhero Summit and I was blown away by the branding of the summit and the technology the summit host used to produce the summit.
This online summit was run entirely using Google Hangouts. The first of it kind to run an online video summit using Google Hangouts and not the usual online webinar software like GoToWebinar or similar. It used to be that if you wanted to have a video conference with multiple participants you had to purchase a paid plan.
GoToWebinar costs $99/month for up to 100 participants and that's the "cheap" plan (gasp!) So how does Google Hangout stack up to GoToWebinar and why is this a game changer? Let's talk a moment about Google Hangouts are and how it works.
Let's say that you have a client and this client has multiple team members that he/she has asked you to train on a particular service you offer. Perhaps this services is updating your clients WordPress website. Your client has asked that you teach the entire team how to update the site.
Using Google Hangouts you can video conference with up to 10 people simultaneously. You can easily share your screen with all the participants of the call with the click of a button without having to download anything. Each time someone speaks Google Hangouts automatically pushes their video to the center of the screen and maximizes the video. So you have a more face-to-face experience as you know who is doing the talking and when.
So now let's move on to something remarkable and really powerful that Google Hangouts offers.
Google Hangouts on Air
A Google Hangout On Air is simply a standard Google Hangout (remember, we have have up to 10 people actively participating in the Hangout) but you have the ability of inviting people from all over the world to watch your Hangout Live as it's happening.
You have the ability to broadcast your Hangout with a few clicks. When I say that you can share your Hangout with the world I mean just that. All you have to do is click "Start broadcast" to go On Air and then you're Hangout On Air will start broadcasting on your Google + profile, your YouTube channel and on any website that you have embedded it.
This means that you can lead anyone to your website to watch you live streaming a training video, an interview, or any other video you can think of. Anyone can watch your Google Hangout on Air as it's happening and what's even better is that when your Google Hangout on Air is over you don't need any special software to record your Hangout.
Every Hangout is automatically saved to your YouTube account. Once your Hangout On Air is over, you can get share your content on Google +, YouTube, your Facebook page or profile, embed it into your blog, etc. The possibilities are endless. Because Google owns YouTube and YouTube is the worlds 5th biggest search engine your content gets preference for it's keywords.
The reason Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air is a game changer is because you used to have to spend a lot of money on a webinar software to host your online meeting using video to hundreds or thousands of participants. With Google Hangouts On Air - it's now free. This is going to kill the business model of some companies once people really start understanding the power of Google Hangouts On Air. Businesses aren't there yet but mark my words, people will starting using Hangouts to host their online conferences. If you can be first in line you'll beat out the crowd.
So how can you use Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air to market your virtual assistant business?
Here's an idea for you! Host a Google Hangout On Air with one other person. You could train this person on one specific thing that you are a master at. Perhaps it's building out a PowerPoint presentation with all the bells and whistles, perhaps you are a social media whiz and you want to show this one person exactly how you vet out content and post this content across social media channels using a social media dashboard like Hootsuite.
Perhaps you could walk the person through how to use DropBox or Gimp or Google documents. The point is that if you are using Google Hangouts on Air to train someone on one specific skill set you have. What you're doing is marketing your virtual assistant business using video. Create one of these a week and within a couple of months you'll have almost 10 videos on YouTube that will bring your leads for your business. Bam!
This training video doesn't even need to be with an actual client. It could be your best friend, your mom or your neighbor. The key is to set up a training session with someone. You need one person to start a Google Hangout and once you have that one person you can broadcast the session to the world using Google Hangouts On Air.
Now how can you increase your billable hours using Google Hangouts?
Propose all the above to your clients and get excited about it. Get them excited about the idea of using Google Hangouts for business and getting a stream of new leads from video marketing.
I have plenty more ideas but I'd love to hear from you! Let's keep the conversation going in the comments. Let me know how you are using Google Hangouts and Google Hangouts On Air?
I can't wait to hear from you. See you in the comments!