5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business

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One of the biggest challenges for Virtual Assistants is consistently attracting enough clients for their business. In this whitepaper, we share 5 simple marketing strategies that will help you expand your ideas about promoting and marketing your virtual assistant practice. Don't get overwhelmed or throw in the towel. If you have the skill set and determination, there is nothing stopping you.

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5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business

  1. 1. One of the biggest challenges for Virtual Assistant business owners is consistently attracting enough clients. The following list contains 5 marketing strategies to expand your ideas about promoting and marketing your virtual assistant practice. Don’t get overwhelmed and throw in the towel. If you have the skill set and determination, there is no reason why your business can’t flourish. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy
  2. 2. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 1 Copyright © 2011 Apex Virtual Academy All rights reserved worldwide. No part of this e-book may be copied, shared or sold with the permission of Apex Virtual Academy The use of our information, products and services should be based on your own due diligence and you agree that Apex Virtual Academy is not liable for any success or failure of your business that is directly or indirectly related to the purchase and use of our information, products and services.
  3. 3. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 2 Attracting the right clients seems to be the toughest challenge among service based entrepreneurs. This list contains 5 marketing strategies that you can start using immediately to build your virtual assistant client base. How to Use this Guide To receive the best possible results, it is recommended to read the list in its entirety, making notes where you see fit. Once you are done reading, select at least two strategies to focus on. Once your strategies have been selected, it is then time to start taking some consistent action and be sure to track your results. If you are not tracking your results, it is impossible to get maximum results from your efforts. Tracking allows you to see what is working and what needs to be tweaked.
  4. 4. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 3 Tip #1: Small Business Networking Why this is Important Small business networking is one of the fastest ways to change your financial circumstances as a virtual assistant. Running a virtual business means that most of your clients will probably never get the chance to speak with you face to face. Networking removes the mystery and doubt. Even though you’ll still be working virtually, your prospects have met you face to face and they now feel as if they know you. Your Action Plan a. Challenge yourself to hand out at least 5-10 business cards every day. It may be uncomfortable at first but it will eventually become effortless. Often times to get in a comfortable place financially, it is necessary to get uncomfortable. Get out of your comfort zone and do something different. b. Attend at least 1 networking event related to your niche or area of specialty each week. The goal is to make connections and show people your knowledge in the area. Don’t go in selling, you want to make connections, build trust and establish credibility. Be sure to stay in touch with the people you connect with. c. Everyone you know should know the type of business you are running. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family for referrals. It’s only harassment if you keep bugging them after they’ve given you the back off signal. I always recommend being as discreet and as innocent as possible. A good way to do this is to just throw it in an everyday conversation. Real friends and family at some point will ask you how’s business or how’s work going. This is the perfect time to say, “Things are going great, I actually just launched this really cool referral program for my virtual assistant business. It allows people to make money just by telling people what I do. If I am able to convert people that come to me on their behalf, I will send them a check for $____ or a gift card for/to _______________. And before I forget, it works for family and friends to so if you know someone that could use my services feel free to send them over. By the way, how are things with you?” Helpful Notes It is important to keep a record of what type of events are the most successful for you. You can do this with a simple spreadsheet that tracks the following:  Approximately how many people attended the event  How many people did you really connect with? (This is not the number of business cards you collected; it’s the number of people that you saw as real prospects.)  Total number of business cards you collected?  Number of connections that turned into real clients
  5. 5. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 4 Tip#2: Newsletters, Blogs and Articles Why this is important Writing newsletters, blogs and articles requires consistency if you want to be effective. You can’t write one or two pieces and expect to build a following. If your work is good, people will start subscribing to your feeds or newsletters and before you know it, they’ll start buying stuff. This is an awesome way to let them get a sample of how GREAT you are. Your Action Plan a. Start a free newsletter or blog. Promote it online; a good place to start is by adding it to online directories and submitting your link to various search engines. b. Send your articles to magazines and industry or association journals in hopes of getting something published c. Submit articles to online directories. Here is a short list of some good article directories.  www.ezinearticles.com  www.goarticles.com  www.ideamarketers.com  www.articlebase.com Helpful Notes Below are some of the items you should be tracking.  How many times each article was read?  Your click conversion rate; how many times did your article entice a reader to click on the link that directs them to your website?  How many readers of your blog, article or newsletter actually bought something?  What types of articles are getting the most traffic? (Find out what topics work best for you and find creative ways to stick to those particular topics. There’s no point in writing on topics that no one cares to read.)
  6. 6. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 5 Tip #3: Become an Expert Salesperson Why is this important Knowing how to sell your services or products is one of the most important aspects of running a business. In order to actually get to the doing part, you have to master the selling part. Many business owners are afraid to ask for the sale or they treat sales like some dirty little disease. There is nothing wrong with asking for business. Every company has to do it in order to survive. Your Action Plan a. Read books and takes courses on sales and marketing techniques and strategies b. Develop a strong self-introduction; you should be able to say who you are and how you help your clients in less than 5 minutes c. Don’t be afraid to ask for the business. GO BIG OR GO HOME. There’s nothing wrong with rejection, everyone has to face it at some point. Instead of burying your head in the sand, use it as a learning lesson. Figure out what you did wrong and correct the problem. You can even call or email the prospect back and ask them if they could assist you by completing a survey to help you improve your presentations in the future. d. Learn how to manage and handle prospect objections during your sales conversation. In many cases there’s an objection when  The person you’re talking to is not your ideal client  You haven’t sold them on the actual benefits you bring to the table  They don’t like your personality (people generally buy from people they like) e. Get a clear sense of your business purpose.  Believe in your service  Get clarity on the benefits and focus less on your features  Know why your service stands above the competition Helpful Notes You may want to create a few different sales presentations. Try each presentation multiple times and track your results. You may see that one doesn’t work at all or that one in particular works on prospects that have certain personality types.
  7. 7. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 6 Tip #4: Speaking and Seminars Why this is important Speaking and teaching are the easiest ways to build credibility. The key is to ensure that the information you are sharing is accurate and will be helpful to your potential client. Your Action Plan a. Offer to speak for free to groups, associations and service clubs related to your area of expertise b. Offer a workshop or training at no cost to the public c. Teach a class at your local community college in your area of expertise Helpful Notes Whenever you are teaching or speaking at an event, it’s always good to have some type of giveaway or a freebie item that your audience can take home with them. Many group organizers will also allow speakers to set up display tables. If you are able to do this, here are some things you don’t want to overlook.  Capture contact details. This can be done by having a place set up for people to subscribe to your newsletter.  Another idea is a free giveaway. Your prize could be a sample package of your services or product. You can use a fish bowl or jar to collect business cards for your drawing. At the end of your session, you can pull a name or card. Once you get back to your office, contact the people who submitted cards and let them know you appreciated their attendance. Also tell them that you are sorry they didn’t win the free giveaway but that if they’d like you can sign them up for your newsletter and they’ll get some great information and a chance to win other great cool stuff. DO NOT ADD THESE PEOPLE TO YOUR LIST WITHOUT THEIR PERMISSION!
  8. 8. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 7 Tip #5: The World Wide Web Why is this important The world wide web is the second best way to reach potential clients for your service based business. Your online presence speaks volumes about who you are as a business owner and because most of your clients will never get a chance to have coffee with you, this is all they have to form an opinion, SO MAKE IT GOOD! Your Action Plan a. Create a website with useful content for your ideal clients b. Research and incorporate associated keywords for greater search engine ranking in all of your online content c. Participate in online discussion groups d. Link building with other websites that share your target audience e. Create a professional online profile Helpful Notes It important to be careful online because it is one of the quickest ways to lose credibility. So many small business owners get caught in very uncomfortable situations online with the misusage of social media. It is okay to use social media for work and play but you have to be very careful when you’re interacting on your personal pages. I always advise people to stay clear of things like politics, dirty or inappropriate jokes and uncomfortable pictures. You should keep a record of how much of your business comes from your online vs. your offline marketing efforts.
  9. 9. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 8 Want More? The tips in this guide are a great starting point. If you’ve used the information above and had great success, it may be time to take it a step further. Below is a list of programs that Apex Virtual Academy offers to the small business owner or busy professional in the areas of marketing and revenue building. If you see something that piques your interest, use promo code: GOTTAHAVEIT and get a one-time discount of 25% from your total purchase.  Online Marketing  Proposal Writing  SEO Expert Training  Prospect Follow-up  Classified Advertising Looking for something else? Visit us online at www.apexbusinessacademy.com
  10. 10. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 9 Who is Apex Virtual Academy? Apex Virtual Academy is an online training facility. We support small business owners and business professionals by providing expert training in the areas of small business startup, marketing and various forms of modern day technology. Our Instructors come from a host of professional backgrounds with training that includes but are not limited to: Project Management, Bookkeeping, Virtual Assistance, Social Networking, Online/Offline Marketing, Photoshop, HTML and Dreamweaver. Our Mission Apex Virtual Academy’s mission is to help Virtual Assistants and entrepreneurs gain a better competitive advantage by providing the most current tried and tested methods available. By teaching industry values, marketing and niche specialties, Apex shows students how to create or increase revenue. Our Beliefs Education equals power. With an open mind, creativity and the ability to learn, success is unlimited. Our Purpose To equip our students with the skills and training necessary to build and develop successful careers or businesses.
  11. 11. 5 Ways to Grow Your Virtual Assistant Business By: Apex Virtual Academy ©All Rights Reserved www.thevirtualassistantschool.com 10 The Founder of Apex Virtual Academy Founder Trena Stubbs is a successful entrepreneur and author. After years of providing solutions in sales and marketing solutions in the corporate world, Trena decided to start Apex Virtual Solutions, a virtual assistant practice. Within six months of starting Apex, Trena was able to bring in 3 additional virtual assistants to assist her in servicing her clients. Now with a practice of 34 VAs, she has used her combined experiences in corporate sales and virtual assistance to create a dynamic coaching program for small business owners and solo entrepreneurs providing a professional service. Dedicated to helping small businesses, she recently had her first book published, The Secrets to Email List Building; a guide that teaches small business owners how to create income through email marketing. The Road to Going Virtual is Trena's latest publication. This guide teaches entrepreneurs how to setup, systemize and market a Virtual Assistant business. As an active member of The Southern Crescent Habitat for Humanity and Hands on Atlanta, Trena is dedicated to giving back to the community. One of her favorite quotes by Albert Einstein states, “It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it”. Some places you can connect with Trena……  Author of The Road to Going Virtual  Author of The Secrets to Email List Building  Founder of The Marketing Booth  President of Apex Virtual Solutions  Founder of Apex Virtual Academy

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