Finding That Very First Client
Does the thought of sending out a pitch to a potential client fill you with dread? Do you wonder how or why the heck anyone would hire you? A ton of VAs feel this way at first. You started all fired up only for your enthusiasm to wane as you realize you have to put yourself out there! But, once you’ve set up your website (if you decide to), you’re ready to start looking for clients, y’all!
Starting new, many virtual assistants don’t know where to even begin looking for clients or how to begin marketing their services.
If that’s you, don’t panic. Here are a few ways to land that first client!
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The first and most organic place to look for your first client is via referrals from friends or family. Let your peeps know you’ve started this excellent service business. Tell everyone that will listen that you’re a virtual assistant and you’re in search of work.
Many VAs started their careers solely from referrals that came from people they know. Ask your contacts about the struggles they face in their business and share how you can help.
Remember to be enthusiastic when describing what you do. It’ll be difficult to find good clients if you don’t believe in what you do. Your enthusiasm can attract clients who are eager to work with you.
Get Onboard with LinkedIn
Another place to look for clients is on LinkedIn. If you don’t yet have a LinkedIn profile yet, here’s a handy guide to get you set up. If you have a profile that looks like it’s from the dark ages, then it’s time to update!
When it comes to your job title, be sure to use the phrase ‘Virtual Assistant’ unless you plan on working in a specialized area only such as social media management. If so, it’s perfectly alright to list your title as ‘Social Media Manager’ or something else that fits.
Project managers, recruiters, and potential clients do search on LinkedIn when they’re ready to bring someone new on board so your title must be such that it comes up in the search engines.
After you’ve set up a LinkedIn profile or updated your existing one, start connecting with friends and co-workers, both past and present. Sometimes, an invitation to connect can remind an old co-worker or friend that they know someone that will benefit from your VA services.
Look in Facebook Groups
Facebook Groups can turn up a goldmine of potential clients. Think about the type of clients you want. Maybe you want to help bloggers handle their social media or non-profits get through endless emails.
If that’s your goal, search for Facebook groups where bloggers or non-profits hang out and request to join.
Depending on the group’s rules, you may be allowed to share your VA services in a post. Some groups don’t let service providers post about their businesses, but they do encourage members to ask for referrals when needed.
If they allow it, you can then comment and tell other members about the services you offer if they’re looking for a VA.
Here are a few dynamic Facebook groups to get you started:
Related post: How To Locate Your Ideal Client
Check Job Boards
Some virtual assistants have gotten their first clients through job boards. Typically on a job board, a client posts about the project they want done. This project can be big like designing their website, or it might be small like scheduling a few social media posts each month.
Members of the job board can then reply to the client, answering questions and explaining why they’re the right person for the job. If the job poster feels the same, then you get the job.
Usually, the job board owners take a percentage of your earnings as a fee for letting you use the service (5-20% generally depending on the board and the size of the job). What’s good about this is that you don’t have to pay any money up front to use the board; you only pay if you’re successfully matched with a client.
Stay the Course
Keep in mind that finding your first clients as a virtual assistant can take some time. Don’t give up if it takes several weeks to start seeing results from all your marketing. Keep right on networking and sending those pitches, and you’ll land that first client.
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