Getting your Virtual Assistant business launched is a HUGE milestone! Now comes the hard part...finding clients to work with. As nice as it would be to just have clients land in your lap or come knocking at your door, it doesn't quite work that way.
You already put in the hard work of launching your business, don’t give up now. Unfortunately, it takes time and A LOT of it in some cases. But there is hope at the end of the tunnel. I’ve compiled some of the most important tips to help you land your first Virtual Assistant client!
1. Create a Stellar One Pager (I.e. Resume)
Believe it or not, an online resume is far different than your normal run of the mill resume you’re used to. The style and tone you used in high school and University will not cut it in the digital world! Bright, eager candidates are constantly looking for ways to one-up their competition through resumes.
You have to find a way to make yourself STAND OUT against everybody else. Showcase the projects you are proud of and worked hard on. Make your one-pager appealing and memorable. Use a professional photo so that your potential clients can put a face to a name.
Tip: ALWAYS have your digital resume readily available! You never know when an opportunity will come up to show off! Also, if you don't have Canva PRO then get it NOW! Do your one-pager in there - it's so easy!
2. Network, Network, Network
This is one word that you will never hear the end of throughout your virtual career. Networking is at the top of everyone’s priority board, because it is so important and valuable.
Think about how you got your last job position. Did you sit down with a newspaper (do those even exist anymore) and circle the positions that interested you? Did you hear about it from someone in your social or family group? If it was the latter, you’re already networking!
(Networking - great excuse to meet up for coffee! Coffee is life!)
There are a large amount of online resources out there nowadays for Virtual Assistants to turn to. Facebook has hundreds, if not thousands, of job boards for you to search through as well as groups specifically for Virtual Assistants to search job postings.
LinkedIn is another great place to network with past or future clients. One of my first clients was a connection I found on LinkedIn. I think of this platform as the “Professional Facebook” because so many professionals are using it to connect and share ideas and concepts, why not get in there too!?
I could go on, and on, and on about networking, but you get the picture. Tell everyone you know about your new business, talk with businesses in your hometown. The more people that know about you, the more your name will spread!
3. Starting getting your name out there!
This one should be a no-brainer, but it’s a hard concept for people to grasp when first starting out. Again, clients aren’t just going to fall in your lap or come knocking at your door, you have to put in the effort.
After you start networking and joining different social media groups, you will notice one thing. There are literally dozens of different ways to apply to job postings, there isn’t a one size fits all. You won’t be able to just send your virtual resume to an email address with your cover letter and call it good.
Each potential client is going to have specific needs to fulfil and their application process oftentimes part of the “first round” interview. They will have specific requirements and steps for you to follow when applying. If you don’t meet the application process requirements, chances are you won’t get an invitation to an interview/ discovery call.
Some you will go through an application process others you will comment on a post where someone has said "I am looking for a gun Virtual Assistant to help me because I am SNOWED UNDER". This doesn't mean that you comment "Oh that is me, I can do everything send it all over". No one believes that. You comment your business name, how you can help and ask them if you could send them through your one-pager with your details in a private message.
4. Research Your Potential Client
I remember the excitement I felt when I was invited for my first phone interview! I felt like I had “done” it, I made it into the digital world as a Virtual Assistant. Then another terrifying thought entered my head….I know nothing about the person interviewing me and little about the company.
Side note: another thing you will notice in online job postings is there typically is not much information about the company who is hiring or the person looking for a VA. Not because they are scandalous or anything, but they want to use the space allotted for the job description.
Ok, back to the terror! How can I work for a company or person if I know nothing about them? That’s where the wonderful world of the internet comes into play. I started by working backwards from the job posting, which led me to her Facebook page. I got some general ideas from there before moving on to the company (or companies) in this case that she worked with.
“Isn’t that like stalking”?......in a sense yes, but the key is to own up to it. When you have your interview/ discovery call, let them know that you did your research on them and their company. They will appreciate you taking the initiative!
5. Prepare Questions and Answers
So now you know what you’re applying for and who you have applied with, it’s time to prepare.
Again, you can scour the internet for common questions that get asked, but you need to think about one additional thing. You are interviewing them as well. Starting your own Virtual Assistant business means you wanted something more for yourself, not just a job and a pay check. YOU get to decide who you want to work with so make sure you have questions ready to ask them.
Ok, back to the questions and how to prepare your answers. Of course, you are going to have your same ‘ol interview questions:
1) Tell me about yourself.
2) What are your strengths and/or weaknesses?
3) Why do you think you would be a good fit for this position?
There will also be questions that deal specifically with your business and your skills. This is where it is important to have some answers prepared to build yourself up, make your business stand out, and showcase your unique skill set.
6. Have CONFIDENCE in Yourself and Your Skills
This tip takes the cake! If you don’t have confidence in yourself and your skills, no potential client will either. You need to make sure every answer is stated with a professional confidence that can be picked up on by your potential client.
Even if you get asked a question you weren’t prepared for, answer it with confidence. For example, “How do you deal with clients in different time zones?”. You probably have not run into this situation yet, but they don’t need to know that. Give yourself a moment to think by saying “That is a really great question”, then continue with your answer. Even better if you can spin it in a positive way!
When you have confidence in yourself and your skills, it will show through your answers and that’s what clients are looking for. They do not want to take on someone that they have to train and constantly keep on track. They want to know that they can hand you materials and you can make something meaningful out of it.
Now, you have the skills and you’ve launched your business. Use these tips and get out there and get your first client and when you do.. throw confetti EVERYWHERE and have a donut. Just because.
If you are stuck - feel free to reach out to me or check out my "Start Your Own Virtual Assistant Business Workbook"