Virtual Assistants are becoming more and more widely used on the internet, and the type of tasks and scope of work is as varied as the types of clients that are looking online for an assistant, either for regular and steady work, or possibly a specific project.
This is the first in a series of articles providing tips and ways to market yourself as a virtual assistant, with the ultimate goal of having a roster of clients who will provide you with as much work as you are looking for, who have tasks that are suited to your skills and interests, and the ability to earn an income doing work that you find satisfying and hopefully – enjoyable.
Of note: This particular series of articles is written from a perspective of someone who is currently a virtual assistant or has the specific skills to become one, and would like to add or obtain new or additional clients. If you are interested in being a virtual assistant but would like training or instruction, we will be adding additional resources and sites where training can be obtained, as well as sites where you can register yourself as a virtual assistant available for hire.
#1 – Giving Away Virtual Assistant Services to Win Clients
The first challenge to getting new clients is getting them to trust you with their business and their money. It’s not an easy challenge to overcome. That’s why the technique I’m going to share with you in this article WORKS, and works well. What I’m suggesting is…. working for FREE (cue big gasp of horror from the audience).
Why work for free? Well it makes sense. Many virtual assistant companies offer a free consultation where the client can ask questions and you can explain your process. You need to stand out from the crowd and win the business.
Here are two reasons why offering a free sample of your services works:
It eliminates the risk factor. Business is risky from all sides of the fence. It’ risky for you and it’s risky for the person doing the hiring. They’ll be trusting you to work for them and get results. They’ll be taking their valuable time and money to invest in your services and they want to choose wisely. You help them not waste their time by proving yourself before they ever pay a penny.
It builds the relationship. Working well together is all about having a good relationship. It’s really hard to do great work for someone who doesn’t like you and vice-versa. If you offer a little sample of your work you create an instant relationship positive and they like you already! That’s a great start.
Before I get the fifth degree and emails and comments from some die-hard virtual assistants I’ll admit that this technique of getting new clients has some risk involved. You just need to be smart about what you’re doing and you’ll eliminate a large part of the risk.
You’ve probably heard the saying “Why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free?”. Yes some unscrupulous marketers may go around getting freebies and never be willing to pay, it’s true. That’s why it’s your responsibility to do your research and hand-pick the clients you want to work with.
That’s right. Don’t just take any ol’ Billy-Bob who comes to hire your services. Make sure they are the kind of person you want to work with, the kind of person you’ll love to work with and who you can create a rewarding relationship with. When a friend of mine used this technique for her own business, she went to online marketers who she already had a relationship with and whose business models she admired. This allowed her to know exactly who she was going to be working for. And as she also shared with me, “It also gave me the added bonus of learning what they did in their own businesses to make them a great success!” If you don’t have any business relationships currently, that’s okay, too. You can still do some research with them, any sites they are associated with, etc., to see the type of business model that they have.
If you’re thinking giving a sample of your work away for free might be a good idea for you, here’s a bit of a game plan:
- Offer a small sample of your work, one to three hours would be good.
- Offer the work no-strings attached, they’ll hire you if you’re needed.
- Only offer to people who are interested in hiring and who need the help (research).
- Do an amazing job.
- Ask for referrals and/or testimonials in exchange for your free work. (Don’t be bashful about that either!)
Finally, this isn’t a technique to do all the time. It’s one you will use for a hand-picked group of highly sought after employers, those that you would really like to establish a relationship with, and you can also let the potential client know that this is not something you offer to everyone, but because you respect their work, and feel they would be a valuable client for you, you are more than happy to offer this free trial to them. Try it once and see what happens! You really only need one good high-profile client who loves your work to get great referrals for a long time coming.
All the best in your client-getting goals.