If you charge by the hour, at some point you’re going to reach an income plateau as there are only so many billable hours you can work in a day without losing your mind. You know you need to raise your rates as time goes on, but you’re also worried you might lose some of your clients if you do. Here’s how to up your prices like a professional business owner along with a customisable email template.
Posts Categorized Marketing & finding work
People often ask about Associate work in my VA Handbookers Facebook group, and although I’ve outsourced the occasional task, I didn’t feel experienced enough to write my own blog post on it. Because it’s a good way to take on more work both when starting out and as you become more successful, I asked the group to post up their questions on the subject and then I asked some volunteers to answer them. Here are the results:
If you’re a new Virtual Assistant or thinking of becoming one, I’m sure you’re worried about how you will get new clients. So to help you get an idea of who could be that elusive and exciting first client, I asked members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group a load of questions about their first one including how they got them and what tasks they needed help with. This is what they said:
There is often much discussion over on the VA Handbookers Facebook group as to whether it’s worth having a blog on your website or not. On one hand people hear that it’s good for search engine optimisation (SEO), but on the other hand they don’t want to write one if they don’t really need it – plus they’re not really too sure what to write about even if they do decide to start one.
If you want to have a satisfying and fulfilling freelance career it’s really important to have clients that you enjoy working with – because there’s no point in leaving a (horribly unfulfilling, tedious but secure) full-time job to still be miserable at work! A great client is a rare and wonderful thing but not as hard to find as you might think. Let me show you how:
LinkedIn is a massive part of all my Virtual Assistant training. In fact it’s so integral to getting work that many of the trainees on my DIY VA course have found clients solely through their LinkedIn profile even though they haven’t even got a website yet. Every professional knows it’s essential to be on LinkedIn but having a great LinkedIn profile is just half of it – knowing how to actually use it is vital.
Aside from analysing LinkedIn profiles and groups for my clients and using LinkedIn to identify, research and qualify potential clients for my own VA business, I also used to write loads of LinkedIn profiles as part of my CV writing business – so when it comes to LinkedIn, I’ve seen it all! There are good profiles and truly dreadful profiles – here’s what a good one looks like:
At the end of the day, the main thing every potential and new VA wants to know is “where do I get clients?”. Because this is the question on the lips of every freelancer and something I discuss in every single training session, I thought I’d share the three most successful methods I’ve found of how to fish for and land your first client.
Writing LinkedIn profiles isn’t just something I used to do as part of my CV writing business, social media is also my VA niche and I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn researching and assessing profiles and groups for social media consultants and marketers. LinkedIn is a massive subject, but one of the things I want to share with you is how to effectively connect and then start conversations with those new connections.
Simply put, an “elevator pitch” is how you would deliver a summary of your product, business or service to someone during a short elevator ride. It’s not a sales pitch, it basically explains who you are, what you do, who you do it for and why someone might want this – but delivered in a nutshell. It’s really useful to have an elevator pitch for speaking to people at networking meetings, so let me show you exactly how to write one.
Twitter was completely invaluable when it came to setting up my business. I used to dash home from my stressful job, sit on my bed and spend hours just soaking up information. Twitter took me to places I never knew existed and now I even get work from it. It’s a slow burner so don’t expect results straight away, but I’ve been hired through it a number of times so I must be doing something right!
When I first started out I had the most basic of websites (and in West Ham football colours I later discovered!) but I needed people to come to it so they could see how amazing I was and hire me. I had no clue about SEO or marketing, my old Developer had created the site in Dreamweaver which I think went out with the dinosaurs, I had no niche, no clue about what I was doing and nobody knew where to find me. So how did I get traffic to my website?
Every freelancer needs to find clients, but unless you come from a marketing background, you’ve probably never done any self-promotion before. In fact the thought probably fills you with complete horror. Well I’m sorry to tell you that you may not like putting yourself out there, but you’re just going to have to suck it up cos nobody hires someone they’ve never heard of! It isn’t as hard as you’d think though:
You might have seen some outsourcing websites where freelancers can register, bid, and apply for jobs posted up by companies and individuals around the world. People Per Hour, 3desk, Fiverr, Guru, oDesk and Elance are just a few of those sites but there are a ton out there if you look. But do these types of websites actually lead to paid work?
If you’ve decided to focus on working in your local area then it’s likely you’ll be networking at some point. However I can tell you from experience that you will be definitely be met with some blank stares when you tell people what you do! Although Virtual Assistance is becoming better known, to some people it’s like you just told them you were a quantum cat herder. But follow these tips and you’ll be networking like a pro in no time.