TOP 5 WAYS I FOUND CLIENTS AS A NEW VIRTUAL ASSISTANT
If I had to pick the one question I get the very most often from new Virtual Assistants, it would most definitely be the good 'ole:
"How do I find clients"?
I thought it would be fun to share the EXACT things I did to get my very first few clients way back in 2011 (yes, I've been around that long). Of course, some things have definitely changed since then...but many of these ideas are still working for me today as I get inquiries from potential new clients every month.
1. Elance (now Upwork)
OK, I have to be FULLY HONEST here: I don't usually tell anyone I found my first client on Elance (which is now called Upwork). Why? Because the competition was FIERCE and the money I made was LOW. Like way low. Like way waaaaay low. It took a lot of time to apply for a handful of jobs AND I dropped my rate to a pitiful $10 per hour. Now that I've been a Virtual Assistant for 9+ years I know, without a doubt, that I cannot make a living with such a low rate. So while I don't actually recommend this as a 'great' way to find clients...I have to honestly tell you that one of my first clients came through Elance.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social Media Marketing (particularly Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) helped me score some of my very first clients. (Note: in recent months I'm much more active on Instagram and Pinterest also). Sometimes, it's so simple, that it hurts. For example, one of my earliest clients was looking for help to amp up his Twitter following...so he went searching on Twitter, for a Virtual Assistant who was an active user. Yep, that was me!
3. Speaking Gigs
You guys, I can't stress enough how helpful SPEAKING in public has been when it comes to finding new clients! Hold up...I know you're shaking your head right now and thinking...
"no, noppity, nope...public speaking is NOT for me"
But give it a chance. You can do a speaking gig either ONLINE (like a webinar, or guest speaker or even an Instagram Live) or IN PERSON (at your local library, chamber or commerce or even toastmasters). And the magical thing is, even if NO ONE shows up to listen to your talk...you can still get clients. Why? Because speaking gives you instant credibility. Once you start giving talks, you can add 'Speaker' to your bio and About page. Potential clients will see that you've been a featured speaker and automatically assume you are an expert. Just by promoting your talk, you are getting your name out there into the world AND showing people that you're a knowledgeable expert!
4. Taking Courses
This was HUGELY helpful in getting clients for the first few years and super simple: I took courses...and teachers referred me. That's it! To give you an example...I took a course on how to build a WordPress Website. The teacher was impressed with my work. So, when business owners came to her looking for someone to help build their website? She referred me. Taking training not only makes you a better Virtual Assistant...it can also get you referred to new clients!
I've said this before and I'll go ahead and say it again: Referrals are how I got, and continue to get most of my clients. If you can impress your very first client...they will happily refer you to others. If you can impress those next few clients? Then they too will continue to refer you. It doesn't take long until your Virtual Assistant Business is full (with amazing clients). If you are GOOD at what you do...if you over-deliver, keep your word and give 100%...then those referrals keep coming until your V.A. practice is busting at the seams!
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