VA tips

The Virtual Assistant Website - What You Must Know & Avoid

website dos and donts for virtual assistants
website dos and donts for virtual assistants

If you want to grow your client base and your earning potential you must have a great website.  If you're ashamed of your website it's time to change that.

As part of my blog post series about how to get new clients for your virtual assistant business I’d like to talk about why what you include on your website is just as important as what you should not include.

I will show you how to build a website that leaves little doubt about what you do, and how well you do it.

Let’s say I am on your website. Within 3 seconds do I know what you do and the clients you serve? If I can’t I'm going to bounce off your site.

To prevent this, make it easy to for your visitor to see within 3 seconds what you’re all about.   Include a clear message, whether it's a photo, logo or a well-written tagline. I would recommend doing all three.

What and how many pages should I have?

The golden standard for most websites is 5 pages. They are your home page, about page, contact page, testimonial page, and blog.  There is a lot of controversy about whether or not to post your rates to your website. If you want to create a page for rates, go for it! Alternatively, you can insert your rates in the about page.

Avoid adding additional pages that just clutter up your navigation bar. I've seen some virtual assistant websites include pages such as “why choose a VA” and even a page dedicated to highlighting a resume. Online resumes are good for LinkedIn, not for a website and you're about page should explain why you should choose working with a VA.

Make sure your page titles are easily understood. An about page is one of the most visited pages on your website so make sure your visitor knows where to find the about page. Stay away from kitschy terms like “Get The Scoop, or My Story”. The same goes with your testimonials page. Stay away from titles like “singing my praise”. It’s okay to be creative with the titles of your pages but make sure everyone can understand what each page is and why they would want to open it.

Call to action

When a visitor comes to your site do you have a place to capture their email address similar to my home page? If you don’t you’re leaving money on the table (stop that!). The idea is to grow your email list so you can market to this list at some point by offering special promotions or services. In order to entice people to subscribe to your email list consider offering a useful freebie. If you don’t have a freebie why not create a VA/Client checklist or a short video on how to work with a virtual assistant. Create something useful for any business owner or entrepreneur to use.

Social Media Icons

Is your website littered with social media icons, badges, links or categories? Talk about distracting! If a potential client lands on your site and you've got all this junk in the sidebar how are they going to know what to do next? The idea is to minimize the number of links that lead visitors away from your site. You want to keep people engaged on your site, not off your site.

Clear, well-written copy

We all make spelling and grammar mistakes from time to time but your website isn't the place to make these kinds of mistakes. Go through your website copy and read all the text backwards to see if you have made any mistakes in sentence structure. Run a spell check. Have a friend proofread the copy for you. Do all of this and make it a priority because your potential clients will choose another VA if they see spelling and grammar mistakes on your site.

Links working?

Go through your website from time to time to make sure all your links are working. You can do this by setting up Google Webmasters. Once you have Google Webmasters set up you can receive a weekly report that shows you if you have any errors on your website.

So come clean, are you happy with your website or are you embarrassed by it? Let me know in the comments below and feel free to ask me a question on how to make it better. I read every comment. 

Like what you're reading?  Click here to tweet it out!

Rock on,

Reese

7 Things I Wished I Knew When I Started My VA Business

From the start of my virtual assistant business, there’s a rap sheet filled with “things I wish I would have known”.  Had I known and accepted the things listed below from the beginning things would have been much easier for me as a virtual assistant.  Hopefully, this list will help you get your business in order so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.

 
 

1. Learn how to say no. When I was just getting my virtual assistant business started, I didn't feel I could say no to a prospect. There are several reasons to say no to a prospect. It may not feel right to you or you’re at full capacity and by taking on more work you’ll do a shit job. Another reason to say no is the budget just isn’t right. If a prospect wants to pay you less than you’re worth say no! Say no to the wrong prospects so you can make room for the right prospects!

2. You’re not a secretary. You’re a business owner! Start treating your virtual assistant business like one from day 1 because sooner, or later you wish you had.

3. Your target market is not “every small-business owner”.  You don’t “do” everything. Pick a list of services by honing in on what you’re really good at. If you really think that every single small business needs you, you’re wrong. You need to stand out, niche down and find your target market. By figuring what your skills are you can figure who your ideal clients are and you’ll have an easier time closing the deal with a prospect.

4. You don’t put in face time. If your client expects you to sit in front of your computer and answer their email immediately as it comes in, then it’s time to get your act in order! Have a well laid-out business plan that states exactly what you do, when you do it, and how you’ll do it. Period.

5. Bartering is bad business. You cannot and should not trade your services for another service. If you’re trying to build your business it’s better to work for less in the beginning and slowly raise your rates than give your services away for something unequal in value.

6. Focus on your strengths and hire your weaknesses. Stop trying to do everything. I get that you don’t have a budget to create your website but let’s face it unless you know WordPress inside and out, or you know how to code websites you’re going to need to hire a web designer. If you don’t it’s going to take you months to get your site even close to where you think you need it. This is time you’re spending away from building your business and brand. Time is money baby.

7. Your time is worth a lot!  Put a time limit on your prospective client conference calls. I allot 30 minutes for introductory conference calls. This makes both parties cut the social niceties and get straight to business discussing the important stuff. If I choose to speak longer, that’s totally up to me but I let my prospects know ahead of time that they have me for a set amount of time. If a prospect is serious about working together they’ll move forward with you and pay you for the next call.

Like what you've read?  Make sure to tweet it out by clicking here!

So what are some of the things you would have done differently had you known when you first got started as a virtual assistant?   What can you teach our community of readers so they don't make the same mistakes as you?   Please leave a comment below and let us learn from one another!

Warmest regards,

Reese

Finding Virtual Assistant Jobs

FINDING VIRTUAL ASSISTANT JOBS

If you're reading this it's because you're looking for a job.

Let me jump on my soapbox.

Becoming a virtual assistant is NOT another "job".  When you work as a VA (virtual assistant) you're working with clients and the last time I checked, when you have clients you've got yourself your own little biz-ness.

In any case here are a few places you can look to find your next client.

Virtual Assistant Forums

If you’re looking to become a virtual assistant this should be your first stop. Sign up for free to the Virtual Assistant Forums and you’ll be able to search for open virtual assistant jobs, post a question in the forums, or run a search in the shops for learning tools on how to get started in the VA business. Once you’ve created a website for your virtual assistant business you can submit your site to the forums and get seen by prospects looking to hire.

Hire My Mom

HireMyMom.com helps stay-at-home moms  with at home work positions.  HireMyMom.com has a yearly membership fee of $99 and a membership criteria that you must meet.  They will do all the marketing for you.

eaHelp

eaHelp is one of the leading virtual assistant staffing firms in the United States.  They source high quality executive virtual assistants and place them with clients in the U.S. and globally.  Check out their careers page to see if they're hiring. Be ready for a grueling interview process.

Zirtual

Zirtual is another great option to work for a well known virtual assistant staffing firm that finds clients for you.  They work solely with U.S. based virtual assistants so if you live outside of the U.S. this company isn't for you.  Be ready for a grueling interview process.

LinkedIn

There is an option to search for jobs on LinkedIn. I recommend going into the advanced search area and type in virtual assistant. In general there isn’t a lot of traction for the term “virtual assistant” in the search query but sometimes you can find some great opportunities. Before you apply for the job make sure your LinkedIn profile is completely filled out. In addition make sure you've read my blog post on how to find clients using LinkedIn by clicking here.

Virtual Assistantville

Virtual Assistantville is a premium virtual assistant directory. You do not need to have a website to be listed directly. All you need to do is sign up, select a package and finally create your listing. You can upload a logo if you have one and a tagline and you’ve got a mini-website. The purpose of this directory is to help potential clients find you.

Twitter

I've covered this one on a previous blog post so check that out by clicking here and go and open up a Twitter account today so you can find your first or your next client.

If you’re loving this article, share it on Twitter by clicking here

How do you find clients?  Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Rock on,

Reese

Overcome The Overwhelm Of Starting Your VA Biz

Hi everyone! This week I decided to record a video and read off an email that I got from one of my readers.   She has some very good questions about what software and payment gateways she needs in place in order to get started as a virtual assistant.

So many of my readers have the very same questions.   In today's world of technology everything you need to have a successful VA business can give you choice overload!   Stick with what works, don't complicate things!

I hope you find this week's video useful!  But before you click play check out the AWFUL video thumbnail of me below.   Could I possibly look any worse?  Gotta love video.

 
 

As always leave me a comment below.  I LOVE hearing from you and read every single comment.

Did you find this week's video helpful?  If yes please let others know about it by clicking here to Tweet it out!

xoxo, Reese