virtual assistant marketing

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

How To Use LinkedIn To Find Clients

How to use LinkedIn to Find Clients
How to use LinkedIn to Find Clients

Do you want to know how I got started with zero clients to having more work than I could handle, in less than one year without a website? The answer is LinkedIn.

It's a fact that LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for lead generation for B2B business, beating out Facebook and Twitter. Click here for the research data.  When I first got started in the VA industry I learned the ins and outs of LinkedIn and successfully marketed my virtual assistance business without a website. With LinkedIn alone, I managed to keep my virtual client pipeline full.

Here’s the inside scoop on how I brought in lead after lead and brought in my a handful of clients.

LinkedIn Profile

First I banged out an awesome LinkedIn profile. I researched on Google for ways to stand out on LinkedIn, to be noticed by everyone. Google it yourself, you’ll see there is a lot of advice out there about how to get more leads, and more money for your business with LinkedIn. I followed the advice of Lewis Howes. He teaches you exactly how to build a LinkedIn profile that gets noticed and that will bring in lead after lead for your business. After following his advice, I created a really awesome profile on LinkedIn. I then optimized it, big time.

LinkedIn SEO

SEO on LinkedIn isn’t the same as it is on Internet search engines, but the basics are similar. In order for my profile to stand out and get high rankings in LinkedIn’s search engine, I had to optimize it for the terms “virtual assistant”. There are a few areas in your profile that you must plug in keywords and they are:

• Headline

• Description

• Summary

• Current and Past experience

• Skills

If you include keyword-rich phrases in these areas you are more than likely to appear in a search for that keyword or keyword phrase. Keep in mind, it’s not enough to pack your LinkedIn profile with keywords. Your LinkedIn profile should also contain all of your experience (the past and current) and should read like an interesting conversation, so steer clear of typical resume style writing. Click here for 30 Simple Steps To A Killer LinkedIn Profile That Converts

LinkedIn Networking

After you have created a great profile and you’ve optimized it with your keywords, go out and network! If you haven’t joined a group on LinkedIn, I want you to go and join a group that’s made up of your target audience.

Before joining, first, ask yourself -- what is my specialty and who needs my services? My answer would be - I am a WordPress and Email Marketing Virtual Assistant. My clients are Coaches or Consultants looking to start a website manage their e-mail marketing campaigns. There are so many groups on LinkedIn that cater to business coaches and solo-entrepreneurs in these fields; it wasn’t hard to find groups that matched my target audience.

Each day I spent up to 30 minutes in these groups answering questions and providing value.  But you might be asking yourself "but all the groups I join seem to be full of marketers promoting their business and there are no discussions of value happening".  This is unfortunately very true today regarding many groups on LinkedIn.  They have become a place for people to drop off their blog posts and don't add value to the groups by way of posting and answering questions.

The way I got around this was I kept my eyes peeled for actual discussions and questions that I could answer.   I filtered through the noise by setting my group settings to receive a daily email summary of the group's activity.   I scanned the headlines of the posts and see if there is something relevant to comment on.

The more I post in a group, the more my  name and profile start appearing  in front of all of the group members (this reach could be in the hundreds or thousands). Within a short period of time, I was discovered and started a conversation about virtual assistant services with someone who contacted me from one of the groups I was a member of.

This happened inside of a female entrepreneurs group. The subject of the conversation was about what type of pantyhose should female executives wear during summer months! That conversation is what brought me one of my key clients who I have been working with for almost 3 years. So you see, all I did on LinkedIn was network, I just joined in on a conversation.

You don’t even need to talk about virtual assistant services. Just join a conversation and put yourself out there.  People will notice you. The world is a social place at heart and the more you go out there and meet different people, the more opportunity you have to grow your professional network. More connections = more opportunity.

Don't forget to start your own conversations.   Pay attention to the things people are "stuck on".  Ask questions that are relevant for the group.  For example, if you're in a real estate group  you can ask what type of customer relationship management software they are using and why?  Another great question is, "are you using email marketing for your real estate business"?

Form questions backward.  Think of the things you are really good at and then craft questions around those services that you could provide.  One more example.

Of course, networking alone doesn’t guarantee success. I had to create a slam-dunk tagline or what some may call my elevator speech. That first year I practiced my spiel a lot! In addition to my slam-dunk client intro, I encouraged them to check out the positive recommendations I received on LinkedIn. This combo worked.

There is a lot more to learn about LinkedIn marketing for a virtual assistant business, but these are really the most important tips I can give you to get you started with LinkedIn marketing.

I cover all of these tactics and more in my Social Media Marketing Masterclass, where I literally walk you through step-by-step how to get clients for your virtual assistant using LinkedIn (and I also include Facebook and Twitter).

Do you use LinkedIn for your virtual assistant business? If you do please post a comment below, I read every comment and I look forward to hearing from you!

Warmly,

Reese