I recently received a “call for help” in the Be Virtual Assistant Wise forum where a VA explained she invested a lot of money in marketing materials such as business cards, brochures and advertising and while she’s using it to market her services for the past 4 months, nobody reacted or contacted her and she asked advice on where to find clients.
In my years of doing business and working with many VAs in the process, this is one of the most frequently asked questions:
“Where do I find clients?”
…and it is such a valid question, because without clients, you don’t have a business.
The problem is, throughout our careers, we only learn the skills applicable to our job, i.e. performing our services, working with technology, having good interpersonal skills for people to like us, but nowhere in our careers, had people taught us how to get clients!
Off course, you can find multiple suggestions on the internet on how to do marketing via networking, social media, article marketing, business cards, sending out brochures, advertising your services and hundreds of other marketing related materials and methods.
But the thing is: you will never get any good results from these marketing methods if you do not get the basics of marketing right! In fact, only relying on all these different marketing methods to bring you clients, without implementing the basics first, is the same as doing “hope marketing”. In other words you do a whole lot of marketing activities and then hope some of it will hit the target. Unfortunately, ‘hope marketing’ is not the best way to do it.
The best way to make your marketing effective and to get clients is to think through and implement the following basic steps. This is the starting point for any marketing activity or campaign you want to undertake.
First, you need to know who you want to work with and what problems they want you to solve. With this knowledge you will know how to fine-tune your services to give your clients what they want and also be able to develop a marketing message that tells you prospects exactly how you can help them.
One of the common themes I see that stops Virtual Assistants from marketing effectively is the idea of working with everyone. They don’t want to identify a niche because they don’t want to exclude anyone in the fear that they will lose clients and eventually money. But the problem is, if you are not clear who you want to work with, you cannot have a clear message of how you can help your clients and you will only confuse them. If clients can’t find the “what is in it for me” in your marketing message and if they are confused on how exactly you can help them, they won’t make use of your services.
Second, when you know who you want to work with, you will have a pretty good idea where to find them. And that is the trick. When you can find your ideal clients in places where they are gathered in large numbers, you can also be present. Then you can start using the best possible marketing methods and materials to start building relationships with them so they can take notice of you.
Third, you need to be where your clients are. People often have a great idea of: “I’m going to start my own business”, so they open up business and then…they wait! And they think “Oh, the clients are gonna come to me”
The problem is, people tend to hide behind their computers and after a while they go on a hope and a prayer and then they start wondering why this is not working for them? What eventually happens is their confidence starts to get chipped away and they start having self-doubt and worry that maybe they’re not cut-out to be a virtual assistant. The bottom line is, if you want clients, you need to get out there in a really big way and go where your ideal clients are.
Do you agree, that getting these basics in place will make your marketing efforts much more focused and effective than just firing away and giving out brochures randomly or sending emails to everyone you know and then waiting at home, hoping that somebody will contact you.
What are your thoughts about this? Tell us in the comment box below.