- 21 Day Upwork Challenge
- 21 Day Webinar Challenge
- 15 Known Secrets To Getting Started As A Virtual Assistant
You can’t just sit back and wait for money to roll in. You have to go out and market yourself.
#vatip Gotta Tweet!
Your blog is a way to show what you know. #vatipGotta Tweet!
The trust factor is so important in working with clients. #vatip Gotta Tweet!
Hi, fellow virtual assistant business owner. It is a groggy morning here in Queen City. We have ice, snow, slushy. Everybody’s been ordered to stay in, and I am here talking to you on the podcast. My voice, I’m not really liking how I’m sounding this morning, but I’m just going to go with the flow so we can get our episode going.
I want to talk to you about something I saw recently. I don’t even know if this ever occurred to you. But a brand new virtual assistant, or someone who was exploring being a virtual assistant, wondered if she should start with a company or if she should start as an independent virtual assistant.
It’s funny the terminology she used, “independent virtual assistant.” I never thought about it that way. I looked at it more as just being a virtual assistant. Then later down the road after I started and got more clients, felt like, oh, now it’s a virtual assistant business.
If that’s you – and I can’t assume that everybody listening to the podcast is a virtual business owner. You may have found this podcast because you’re searching for virtual assistants and you stumbled upon it. It’s something that you’re looking into. So I’m speaking to someone who’s brand new today. It might be morning, afternoon, or night that you’re listening. But I’m speaking to you. You’re just getting started. You’re a beginner and maybe you’ve seen some companies out there that hire virtual assistants. When Elance was up, I can remember some of them would slide in there and put their job descriptions up, and then you learn later they’re actually a company.
When you’re a virtual a virtual assistant with a company, the only difference between you and someone else working in a corporate job is you don’t have to leave your house. That’s the only difference. They’re going to give you the hours for you to work. They’re going to give you the projects. They’ve going to give you the clients. They’re going to set the rules for you just like a corporate job would.
When you own your own virtual assistant business and you go out and market yourself and you go get the clients, everything is based on you. You’re flexible in that way, you and your client. There’s no one over you telling you, “Oh, this person is going to be your client. You’ve got to do this, this, and this.” It’s all up to you.
Now, there’s a great responsibility in having your own virtual assistant business and being totally independent of a company.
Because now you can’t just sit back and wait for money to roll in. It doesn’t happen like that. You have to do everything. You have to go out and market yourself. That’s 80 percent of what we do is letting people know who we are, what we do, what we know, and that we can help them. There are lots of different ways that that can be done. The job boards are a direct way of doing that because we know there are people there looking for us. So submitting your information, that is a direct way of marketing yourself.
The other way to market yourself is through having your own website where you’re blogging and sharing information based on your experience, or being on social media and showing that you’re a real person.
Clients have a lot of fears about working with someone they are not in the same physical space with. At the beginning you’re establishing a relationship and a trust. The more we can show and demonstrate that we’re people on the other end, the better.
I have clients that I’ve never spoken with on the phone, where we’ve just communicated through email. Then I have clients who had to speak with me before we could even get started. They needed that comfort. Then some clients had to even go so far as not only did they need to hear a voice on the other end, but they needed to see me.
From those different experiences, this is what I drew from it and how I create content and information.
Your blog is like – you know how we send out proposals on Upwork, your blog is a way to show what you know. It’s not necessarily a teaching platform, but there are different things you’ve learned. If you’ve answered questions about your business, how people work with you, the service you provide, and if you find yourself repeating the same things over and over, that is a great opportunity for a blog post.
With social media, those clients that want to hear from you or see you, social media allows us to do that by showing who we are as people. You can take pictures. You can do videos. You can record audio. All kinds of different things and share it that way so that by the time they get to your website they feel like they already know who you are. They’ve seen you. They’ve seen you talk about what you do. They’ve watched you with your friends. They’ve watched you with your family, and different things like that.
That trust factor is SO important in working with clients. But just like any relationship, it develops over time.
Going back to working with a company or whether you should be independent. I tell you, that thought, it never even crossed my mind. The companies are going to tell you what they’re going to pay you. I was going to say what your rate amount is, but it’s not even that because they’re just telling you how much you’re going to make. It’s just like when you get a new job and they tell you what the salary range for this position is. When it’s yours, there’s no one telling you what the salary range and position is. You’re the one determining that.
Another question came up. We’re going through the 21 Day Upwork Challenge, and on our Q&A day a question came up about what the range of the pay is. The range of pay is so vast. It goes from the lowest of lows to high. If you’re charging $75 an hour, you have got to prove and demonstrate your experience well before the clients says yes. Of course, it depends on what it is.
But when you’re working for a company, they are telling you because they’re getting a cut. They may be charging the client, say, $30 an hour, but you might only see $20 an hour because they’re getting their cut for doing the things that a virtual assistant business owner does for themselves: the marketing, the client management, the promotion. All these different things that they have to do to get the client in the door. Where your role is small. Your role is just that 20 percent when you work for a company. That’s just doing the project.
Having said all that, if that was something you were wondering, oh, should I go for it with the company or should I go it on my own? Go it on your own.
For those of you listening that have your virtual assistant business and you’re experiencing a slump, this question may have popped up because you’re experiencing a slump, hey, go out there and market yourself. There’s someone that doesn’t know you exist. There are plenty of projects waiting for you on Upwork if you just jump right in.
Recently, I introduced doing webinars as a way of promoting yourself and that has been going really well. By doing webinars, it eliminates people that just want to talk to you and schedule appointments out of curiosity. Have you ever had somebody call and they were just curious about a virtual assistant and just curious what a virtual assistant charges and just curious about what you could do, and you’re sitting on the other end like, look, this is serious. This is my life. This is my business. This is my livelihood. This is how I take care of my family.
You wouldn’t just call up an accountant and chit chat because you were curious about hiring a CPA. You just wouldn’t. You wouldn’t do that to a doctor. You just wouldn’t. You wouldn’t do it to a lawyer. You just wouldn’t.
We have to step it up for ourselves and webinars is one way to do that.
Soon we’ll be opening up the 21 Day Webinar Challenge. For those of you that want to learn more about promoting yourself through webinars, that will be coming out. Promotions will start for that pretty soon where you can registered for it and find out more information.
If you’re not on the email then you might totally miss it. I’m going to recommend you head to the website, TiffanyParson.com. Click on Free Training. Grab that free eBook, 15 Known Secrets To Getting Started As A Virtual Assistant. Grab that eBook. That puts you on the list. You’ve got some easy reading to do before we get started with that webinar challenge. It will totally make you look at your business and how you’re doing things completely different.
After listening to this and you’re like, Tiffany, I want guarantees. I want a guarantee I’ll have clients. I want a guarantee I’ll have money in the bank. Then you want to seek out a company that you can work with, and the odds are better having someone else be responsible for that if you want guarantees.
Because you don’t want to appear desperate, and there will be times you’ll want to say no, and you don’t want to be in a position where you can’t say no. Okay. That’s when we get taken advantage of is when we’re in a position where we can’t say no. At the very beginning it happens. You take on something that you know you shouldn’t have taken on, not because you can’t do the project, but because either they’re not paying enough or you and the client really aren’t a good match.
I don’t recommend you do that, but I’m realistic. I know that sometimes in the very beginning you do what you have to do. But once you do it, you get the project done, you get your money, you can then seek out other opportunities and stand strong and know that you’re awesome and capable of doing the services that you’re providing for your clients.
Thank you so much for listening. You are awesome. I hope you’re having a fabulous 2016. Until our next episode.
Thanks so much for tuning in. If you like what you heard, stay tuned. We’ll be back. Tell me what’s going on with you. Come on over the Facebook page: facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz, or if you prefer a little shorter message, come on over to Twitter: @tiffanydparson.
See you next time.