- Clients first knowing about you
- Then liking you enough to work with you and also
- Trusting that you will be able to do the work.
This is what I call the “know, like and trust” factor.
Building a Virtual Assistant business and getting clients to fill your business has a lot to do with building solid business relationships. When you “sell” a service it usually brings a more personal dimension into your business (since you work more closely with a client) than when you purely sell a product. Thus relationships with people become a key aspect of your success.
Building a business relationships based on the “know, like and trust” factor follows a similar path than building a social relationship – e.g. you meet new people and as the relationship progress, you get to know them better, like them more and eventually trust them with your friendship or your business.
It works the same for your clients as well. They first want to get to know you and the more they know you, they will start to like you and eventually trust you enough to send you their business.
Therefore building relationships with potential clients should form an important part of your total marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, when many VAs want more clients, they do marketing only on the surface. They set-up a website, hand out lots of business cards, send out flyers or pin advertisements on a bulletin board and then hope somebody will react. In the process they unfortunately miss some of these key elements.
Apart from getting the word out there through all their marketing efforts and letting people know who you are and what you do (the “know” factor), it is also important to work on the “like and trust factors” and deepen the business relationship with potential clients.
The thing is: it is unlikely that people will start working with you on the first occasion they hear about you or see an advertisement in a newspaper. It is just human and it is not your fault. Most people need to be re-assured on more than one occasion that you are indeed the person they want to work with.
Be in front of potential clients all the time in order for them to get to know you. When they know you, they will seek to learn more about your services.
This is where the “like factor” starts to kick in. When you keep in contact with potential clients on a regular basis, share information with them that they would find helpful, touch base, check in, and refer them, the relationship will grow, the like factor will grow and people will start to trust that you might be the solution to their problems.
Once a client trusts you – i.e. trust that you can indeed solve their problems, they will be more willing to work with you and become a long-term paying client.
So don’t focus all you marketing efforts solely on the “know” factor, but also incorporate and develop some “stay-in-touch” marketing vehicles to strengthen the “like and trust” factors as well.