If you’re a new or potential Virtual Assistant it can be really difficult to imagine what types of business owners would hire you and how that relationship would begin. I already have a blog post on how VAs landed their first client, but I was interested in finding out whether the same methods applied when it came to signing up subsequent clients.
In order to find out if the methods were the same or whether subsequent clients were obtained in a different way, I often ask members of my VA Handbookers Facebook group to tell me (without breaking their confidentiality clause, obvs!) who the last client they signed up was and how they found them.
These are their replies:
“My most recent client was for a one-off job. She’s an author and she wanted me to design a basic sales analysis tool which she could use to see which customers had bought some of a series but not others, (so she could suggest purchasing options for them), and a combined stock management tool so that she knew when to reorder stock prior to visiting shows and schools. I met her through networking.”
“A marketing specialist who has only been going for about six months. I met her at a Chamber of Commerce networking event a couple of weeks ago, emailed her afterwards to arrange a coffee and follow up chat and then I signed her up a couple of days later.”
“A massage therapist with 3 clinics. Lots of different jobs, from appointments and email management to website updating, scheduling videos on Facebook and YouTube and lots more.”
“An Independent Financial Adviser approached me on LinkedIn at the end of last month and I started working for him last week. In the initial chat, he said that he wanted someone to arrange his review meetings and that it would be a mix of phone and email. He’s now looking at other things he wants me involved in.
It’s an initial month trial but he said that if all goes well he would be happy to sign up to a six-month retainer based on a minimum of 10 hours.”
“A reflexologist. I met them through networking well over a year ago. I’ve stayed in contact on and off through networking and they follow my Facebook page interacting with posts now and then. Anyway – client obtained through building a relationship over time and by consistently marketing and demonstrating what I can do on my Facebook page.”
“My last client is a property developer. Lots to sort out and get him organised so great project for me for three months or so. He said he might want ongoing support too so we will wait and see how it goes. He was referred by another client who I met via LinkedIn.”
“The last client I landed is a freelance learning and development consultant focusing on enhancing company culture within large organisations. Honestly, the way I signed her was being in the right place at the right time. She’s a friend of a friend, we got chatting, I told her what I do (still working on moving into VA more on a full-time basis) and it all went from there.”
“A property developer. I do admin, minutes, help with the marketing of the properties and a lot more. His business partner was an old MD I worked for. So never leave somewhere on bad terms – you never know when you may be called on.”
“Yesterday I signed a new social media content client on a retainer basis. They came via their business coach who I know well through local networking. By the end of yesterday’s meeting, the client had introduced me to a guy in the next unit down and so I have a meeting with him next week too!
The new client is a curtain and blind retailer and the meeting next week is with a bathroom and tile specialist. I also have an insurance broker, a hospice and a management trainer as clients. Very diverse!”
“The last signed client was an author about to publish her debut novel. She contacted me directly but had been let down by previous VAs so was a little hesitant to try again. I’m also currently waiting to hear back from a boutique publishing house in London.”
“I signed my latest client last week, after bumping into her at a network meeting. She’s a recruitment consultant. At the moment I’m just sorting out her emails and calendar and checking her expenses are entered correctly on her accounting system. She already has someone looking after her social media which is great because that’s not a service I offer.”
“My last client was a GDPR practitioner who I worked with years ago. I saw that he had started a new company so I contacted him to see if he needed any help.”
“I signed a lovely lady setting up a parent/baby services website who needed help designing various marketing materials. I put a post out on a local mum group and she responded saying it was perfect timing and I was exactly what she needed!”
“My last client made an appointment with me via my website. She’d heard about me through Facebook somehow (must have been a coaching group I’m in because I don’t do ads). I had a little over an hour to Google her and get a feel for her before our call.
We spoke for about 20 minutes, I sent her my T&Cs and contract and she signed the same day.”
“One of my best friends who lives in Australia was visiting a couple of weeks ago. She told me she was setting up in business and needed my help with admin, social media and blogging stuff that she doesn’t know how to do. In fact, a couple of weeks previous to that my acupuncturist told me he is expanding his business and asked for exactly the same thing.”
“I got my last client Monday and she was a referral from a friend. She designs and creates jewellery and needs a regular newsletter set up and sent out to showcase her products.”
“I actually signed up a new client yesterday. This was really exciting for me because other clients are all connections from my previous professional life. I answered a Facebook shout out and apparently of all those who responded that were most confident in my abilities and loved my professionalism.”
“My last client is a small business who headhunt film and TV production staff and they came to me via a referral from the other new client I signed up within the last month. I’m moving them over to GSuite, setting up a database for them, getting Google Drive all organised from the get-go (they currently just email documents between them), helping them with their GDPR documents and generally trying to narrow them down a bit.
They are also setting up another company and so I’ll help them with that as well.”
“A designer who makes clothes and sells them online. She wants me to answer customer queries on Facebook and Instagram. I was recommended by someone I met at a networking event just before lockdown.”
“My last signed client is a husband and wife landscape design and lawn-care company. I’m part of a women entrepreneur online group and I met the woman because I sent messages to everyone in my region asking if I could connect with them on social media and to see if they wouldn’t mind looking at my website. She sent a message back right away saying they needed help.
A call was scheduled and they paid me the next day to start a two-week trial!”
“My last signed client is an ex-colleague from a recruitment company we were both working for. She started her own recruitment firm and needs help with admin and candidate selection. So far it has been great working with her! She saw my update on my VA position on LinkedIn and contacted me.”
“My last client was a guy from my networking group. I was recommended by three different people in the group who hadn’t even used my services!”
“A landscape gardener. I already do some work for his wife and she was sick of watching him spend all his evenings on paperwork and because she was feeling the relief and benefits of taking on a VA herself, she forced him to let me help him too!”
“Signed a local agricultural company who I first got referred to through a Chamber of Commerce contact a year ago. They needed me to minute their strategy meeting. 9-hour on-site meeting + type up = enough to pay for a cheeky 48 hour trip to Kos with the girls!”
“My last client is a local charity who needed minutes of their quarterly trustee’s meeting taken. I was approached by one of the trustees who I knew from a breakfast networking group. He ran a dry cleaners and promoted that at networking, but he volunteered for the charity as well in his free time.
So you never know…. even though someone you meet may not have a need for your services straight away, there are often other possibilities!”
“A company that provides new business start-up support has contracted me to deliver coaching sessions via zoom.
Reputation and word of mouth secured the deal.”
“Completely out of the blue, I get an email entitled “VA help needed.” It turns out that one of my first clients had put my name down as a resource on her website. The new client has a daughter in the first client’s industry (book editing) and saw the recommendation and passed my information on to her Mom (the new client) who works in medical technology and needed a VA. It was one of the crazier ways I’ve gotten work because I’ve never had it come so easily!”
“A transcription service who have been in business since 1999 and I have worked for her as an Employee twice. She has been working remote with all her staff since then. I have done a large document 600 pages and now do her Facebook, Twitter and website updating which she hates.”
“A fine art photographer. I help grow her Pinterest account and to get more qualified traffic to her website and shop. Best thing: she found me online and contacted me.”
As you can see, it’s a wide range of different business owners who need support – even people with job descriptions you never knew existed!
Although bigger organisations will often have in-house administrators or PAs, smaller businesses and one-man bands are much more likely to need ad-hoc or part-time support and are therefore ripe for VA support.
Clients via networking and referrals were common in both blog posts because marketing is simply about getting your name out there.
So if you were wondering what types of businesses hire Virtual Assistants, the types of things they need a hand with and how they might find you in the first place, this post and the one on how VAs landed their first client, will give you some insight and inspiration on who to contact to propose your services.
You can’t just sit and wait for the phone to ring.
It’s really important to go out and shout about what you do. Your support will make a massive difference to someone’s business and therefore it’s your duty to find out what people need help with and then tell them how you can solve their admin headaches.