Hi and welcome to The Business of Being a Virtual Assistant. I’m your host Tiffany Parson, and you’re watching and listening to episode number 158. Today, I am answering a question that came through on the Facebook page.
And I am so happy to answer because I know this is a question that a lot of you have, especially if you’re just getting started. This is Jade’s question.
Her question is, where is the best place to go to get clients? Now is the time to grab a pen and paper. You’re gonna want to write this down.
If you’re on the treadmill, you’re riding in the car, come back to the episode to take your notes.
Now, I want you to imagine you’re opening a physical store. You actually have a brick and mortar store. Your sign is going up.
You’ve got inventory all hung up or on the shelves. You have an area to check out customers. You are ready to go.
How are you gonna let people know? So they know where your store is and they know how to get to you so they can walk through your door.
If you’re gonna open up a brick and mortar store, most likely you’re going to create fliers, you’re gonna hand out flyers.
Maybe you’re going to do some ads. Maybe it’s gonna be somewhere if there’s, like, a local paper in your town. Or maybe you’re going to go around canvassing the neighborhood. Maybe you’re going to do direct mail.
Maybe you’re going to do some radio advertising. Maybe you’ve done networking in the community and you’ve let people know.
You might also be a part of some local groups on Facebook or LinkedIn or somewhere for your city. And you’re gonna let them know that your doors are open.
There may be some other things you’re gonna do. You’re gonna let your friends and family know. “Hey, my store opens this weekend. Be sure to come out. Tell your friends, bring your friends.” Right? You’re gonna want them to help you get the word out.
If you’ve got a Facebook page for your store, guess what? You’re going to let everyone on your page know you’re opening soon. And maybe you’ve done some videos, to show them the store. And to let them know it’s coming to build anticipation.
Now let’s go inside your virtual assistant business. We have virtual doors. We have a virtual store. Instead of inventory, jewelry, clothes, what do have you on the walls?
We have our services ready to go. We have an invoice system to check our customers out. We know exactly what we want to do when they come, but we’ve got to get them to come.
How is it different with everything being online in comparison to what we’d do if we were gonna open an actual store? Is it different?
A little? Not that much.
A little different. And here’s how. Instead of advertising in your local paper, you’re gonna focus on maybe you have a local group for your area. Or not even a local group, maybe you have a group of moms or a group of business owners or a group of whoever.
And maybe in that group they have a special time where you can promote. I’m in several groups and they have certain days where you can promote a service to the group. They’ll have a special thread where you can promote.
Facebook Business Page
If you’re gonna have. If you were gonna have a brick and mortar store, you have a Facebook business page for your virtual assistant business. Guess what?
You need a Facebook business page. Take everyone along in your journey as you began to open your doors. Take us along the journey just like you would build anticipation.
If you’re opening that brick and mortar store, you could do the same thing.
Let me give you a picture of what that could look like.
Let’s say you are still working your full time job, but you’re gonna open your virtual doors to your virtual assistant business this weekend. You’re gonna open up the doors.
So on your Facebook page, you could go live on Facebook.
If your service is connected to what you do on your job in some way, you can tie that together. Because now you’re able to share your experience to show that you’re knowledgeable, that you have expertise, and now you’re offering it to everyone in a certain niche.
Maybe it’s coaches. Maybe it’s boutique owners. Maybe it’s crafters. Whoever your key people are, talk to them in your video, let them know you are coming.
Let them know that your doors are open. You’ve got room for them on your client roster. It is limited, and it will fill up fast. You want to get in on this!
I have been working with banks and doing their social media. They’re digital marketing for the last 15 years. And now I’m gonna open up that service to boutique owners. And I cannot wait to help you do the same thing that I helped the bank do.
I’m gonna help you with your social media content. I’m gonna help you with your Facebook ads. I’m gonna help you do some editing and proofing, (you get the feel).
That was the example that was in my experience. That’s just an example so that you can see how you could do this in a practical way. How you could apply this to your Facebook page.
You could do the same thing on Instagram. The same thing on LinkedIn. Do a different version for each one. Because Instagram has a limit of one minute. LinkedIn doesn’t have the limit, but you can focus in on LinkedIn specifically. “Hey, thanks for following my page on LinkedIn” or something in reference to the LinkedIn audience so they know this was specifically created for them and then go into your same spill.
You’re opening the doors. Take them along the journey, take them with you. Let them know you’re opening your doors.
How else could we do this?
Word of mouth. Let everyone, you know, know that your doors are open.
If you find yourself getting mixed up between well, it’s a virtual business. It’s not, oh you know, a brick and mortar. Then just imagine it is a brick and mortar. And instead of having an address, you’ve got a website address. You got a Facebook business page address. Same thing.
“Hey, I’m opening up a virtual assistant business. I’m gonna be providing transcription services. If there’s anyone you know who could use transcription services please let them know about me. My page is, you know, Facebook.com/tiffanyparsonbiz. Please send them my way.”
And, you know, that would be great. If you want to offer something as an incentive for referrals, you can. Whatever you want to do in regards to that, it’s your business.
But it’s not that huge a difference between advertising for or promoting for your virtual business versus a brick and mortar. We’re less focused on local and more focused in our niche.
That, I would say, would be the bigger difference more focused on niche, as opposed to focused on the city.
If I were gonna open a brick and mortar store in Charlotte, then I will focus not on the city at large, it’s a huge city. I would focus on a particular side of town within a certain mile radius.
For example, if I were gonna open a private gym in my area then I would target homes within 25 miles of my gym because I know people don’t want to drive too far to go to their gym.
People don’t like to drive far to go to the doctor’s office. All that stuff so within 25 mile radius.
The beauty of having a virtual businesses is we’re not limited by miles. We’re not limited by city or country. We can service everyone in our niche.
And everyone in the entire world is not our customer. This is why we need to niche down. Because some businesses you’re gonna be bored working with so you want to work with people that you’re excited and can’t wait to get to their project.
That’s who you want to work with. And preferably a niche that you’re already active in. Let’s say you’re huge in crocheting. You love to crochet. You follow along with crochet-a-thons and different workshops and things like that.
That may be a good group to service, crafters.
People of that type of business, they have to post on social media. They have email to do. They have a client services. They have all kinds of things that they need, and they could use your help.
So we have word of mouth, telling everybody we know our doors are open, what we provide, who we provided it for.
We’ve got our social media pages, business pages, to let everybody know what’s going on, what we do.
You may decide you’re gonna offer something special for those who refer your business. That’s completely up to you.
Now here’s something that we have that a brick and mortar store doesn’t and that is Upwork.
Yes, it’s a marketplace where there’s different people that are promoting their services, but it’s a great starting point in addition to all the other ones that we’ve talked about, in addition to all the other ones that we’ve talked about.
The reason why I push Upwork is because you only need one client on Upwork. One client who you do an excellent job for and they refer their friends if they refer their friends, their peers, other business owners, people in other groups.
If they referred them to you then you wouldn’t have to submit so many projects looking for a 1,000,000 clients. You’re looking for the one client. And those friends, those peers, those people that in their groups that they’ve referred to you, they do not have to be on Upwork.
It only takes one Upwork client to get you many clients outside of Upwork.
Checking my little cheatsheet, Upwork, social media, word of mouth. Let’s talk about networking.
Networking can be done offline and online as well. Take advantage of different opportunities where you’re able to talk about what you do and talk about it quickly.
I don’t know how many of you got a chance to hang out with us a couple of Mondays ago. I was sharing about how we’re able to quickly tell people what we do, because a lot of times people still don’t know what virtual assistants are.
And it’s sometimes if you just say virtual assistant, they may not know. You’ll be able to gauge the room, especially if it’s an in person networking event. 9 times out of 10 the people in the room will not know what a virtual assistant is. So you wanna have your quick spill without saying I’m a virtual assistant?
Here’s what I mean: If someone asked, “Oh, hi, Tiffany, how are you? Nice to meet you. What do you do?”
Well, I provide online technical support and strategy for coaches, churches and nonprofit organizations.
They’re going to say, “Oh, that’s great.”
It’s clear and it lets them know, online technical support and strategy for who coaches, churches and nonprofit organizations.
Now they’re gonna be thinking in their mind, “who can utilize online technical support and strategy? Who needs that?”
Is it them? Is it someone that they know? And I didn’t say “virtual assistant.” I’m focused on the service and who it’s for. That same thing can be utilized in a group online.
Now you’ll find in your groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, they’re gonna know what a virtual assistant is. However, I want you to start focusing on what you provide and who you provide it for. Using “virtual assistant”, saying “virtual assistant” is great for Google, Youtube, whatever other search engine you use, so people can find us. It’s great for that search.
But as far as conversation, and if you, you know, having to label yourself and put that on, I want you to put on the service you provide and put on who you provided for. And stand tall in that.
We don’t have time to explain to people what a virtual assistant is, because your explanation and my explanation are going to be totally different…because it’s gonna be based on what?
The service we provide, right? So don’t even lead with that, lead with the service you provide and who you provide it for.
And it may take you, a while to get the feel for that where it just rolls off your tongue. And you do want to practice it so it rolls off your tongue.
If you’re stumbling over your services and who you provide it for, simplify it. Say it in a way that’s easy for you to flow with it.
For me, I was getting stumbled up on the order of who I serviced. And I had to say it in a way that it flowed and rolled off my tongue easier.
At first I was saying for coaches, nonprofits and churches, but I was pausing every time. But it’s easier, I guess, maybe because of the C’s, I don’t know. But it’s easier for me to say coaches, churches and nonprofit organizations. Just rolls off my tongue.
And at one point, I had online strategy in front of the technical support and I was getting stumbled over that. And then I was like, okay, let me rework the words so I can have it flow. It has to make sense in my mind. So it comes out quickly out of my mouth.
Online technical support and strategy for coaches, churches and nonprofit organizations. And I’m thinking it probably is related to the letters because, support and strategy versus strategy and support, I don’t know. It just makes more sense. The flow and then the whole, you know, coaches and churches.
Do what works for you and how yours flow. I have want it to roll off your tongue. I want it to roll off your fingers when you’re typing so you can clearly communicate what you do.
Put it in words that communicate to someone who is not online.
I’m gonna say that again because I want to make sure that you understand because we can use a lot of different words. For example, I was going to use the word “digital strategy”. And in fact, I did have that for a while on my website, digital strategy.
But I was talking to someone who’s not online, who would be new to the whole getting online thing and they didn’t understand why we’re saying ‘digital’.
And no, all my clients would not be as uninformed, but I want to make it so that whether I’m talking to the informed or the uninformed, both understand the same thing because they might be in the same…
Say we’re in the same circle, they might all be hearing it at the same time. And I want to be able to communicate with everyone that I’m standing with what I’m saying. Because I don’t know who needs what at the time and I don’t know who knows who at the time.
So leading with your service and who you provide it for. We’ve got four different ways in regards to where to go to get clients. And she wanted to know the best place and there’s four ways.
I can’t tell you what’s best for you. What I can say is they all work and you wanna utilize them all Upwork, social media, word of mouth, referrals.
And there was one more. Where’s my paper?…Networking!
The one that I don’t, the one that I like the least is networking and that’s what y’all know. That’s the introvert in me that’s when I wanna, shrink back.
But knowing what you’re gonna say ahead of time helps tremendously in that you can’t wait to tell somebody because you work so hard on what you’re gonna say when they ask you what you do. What do you do?
I provide online technical support and strategy for coaches, churches and nonprofit organizations.
What do you do?
Now it’s your turn. It’s your turn to put yourself out there so people can tell someone about you. Make it easy for them to find you on social media.
Use your name. Facebook business page, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, pick somewhere to start. Make it your name. They’re not going to remember your business name. They are not.
I have a company that I love. I order their skincare. It’s a young lady, she hand makes skincare, shea butter, face cream, all this wonderful stuff.
I promise you, every time I get ready to order, I can’t remember the name. I know it’s three words, but I get it all mixed up as to what…
But guess what? I know her first and last name. And I look up her name. And then from there I find the business and go so I can order.
That’s just me. That may be somebody else as well on the other end of your service.
So you’ve got some actions to take and you’ve got some steps. Jump out there and let people know how they can find you, where you are. Continually promoting and marketing yourself. Four ways Upwork, social media, networking. Get it in there. Word of mouth.
And we also added a 6th one, I mean a 5th one, referrals. So hopefully you got it all down. If you didn’t rewind.
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You have a wonderful and fabulous day!