finding clients

Virtual Assistant Client Pipeline: How To Keep It Filled

diagram.sales_funnel
diagram.sales_funnel

I haven't written a blog post in a few weeks and this really bugs me.  A colleague of mine gave me some advice recently.   He said to treat your business the same as you would your client's business.  This is easier said than done.  I have more client's than I know what to do with and I have a continuous flow of prospects contacting me on a regular basis.  All of this combined makes it so I just don't have the time to update my blog.   That's a HUGE problem.

Here's why.

Let's say you are in my shoes, you have a successful virtual assistant business and you're busy working on your client's work.  The good news is that you're busy and you're making money.  But let me let you in on a little secret with regards to clients.   They are FICKLE.   Their business needs are ever-changing.  This means one month you are slammed with work and the next you have more time on your hands that you anticipated.  You need to prepare for the lean months by having some hot leads in your back pocket at all times.

So this begs the question, how can you ensure that you are feeding your sales pipeline so that you'll have a steady stream of income each month?

Write a weekly or bi-monthly blog

Blogging is proven to increase your search engine optimization and gets you in front of the people who are looking for your services.   The reason I have more work than I know what to do with is because I am constantly producing content for the net   My name is out there all over the place and when someone is searching for a virtual assistant, often times my name is the first to pop up.

My advice to you is to consider writing a how-to blog post.  A post about how you might help your clients with a problem they are having in their business   Give this blog post a useful and catchy title and than post it on all of your social media networks.   Make sure you get that post up into all the groups you are a member of on LinkedIn for the highest visibility possible.

The more content you put out onto the Internet the more you are going to be seen as the go-to person for that area of expertise.  Let me give you an example. If you Google "muffler repair" for your local area, let's say one of the websites within the results has a ton of online information about mufflers, how-to videos, a blog  with a ton of blog posts and some FAQ's, wouldn't you visit their website?

I don't know about you but I definitely would.  This local muffler shop just "looks" like they know what they are talking about because they have the most content available online at your fingertips.  The more content, the more you are going to be seen as an expert.

So going back to my point, if you want to create a steady stream of relevant prospects make sure you are actively marketing your business by writing a weekly blog and being an active participant in online networking groups.   I make sure to post each of my blog posts into all relevant groups on LinkedIn that I am a member of.   This produces a reach in the thousands.   Not bad.

Need help coming up with blog post topics?   Leave your question below in the comments and let me know how I can help you come up with some relevant blog posts.

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Thanks for reading and as always, ROCK ON!

xoxo,

Reese

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. 

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Rock on,

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.

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

Rock on,

Reese