Being self-employed can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be a challenge. Often the difference is the type of client you have. The better your clients, the more rewarding your business feels and the happier you are. So, it makes sense to create a strategy to find great clients. Here are a few tactics to consider.
GHVA Group members report that the majority of their business comes from word-of-mouth recommendations. Referrals often come from past and current clients, former colleagues, networking associations, and even through volunteer work.
When you find clients that you enjoy working with, ask them for referrals. People tend to be attracted to like-minded individuals and clients referred from existing clients tend to be of the same calibre. In short, good clients refer good clients!
Some VAs reward their customers for referrals by giving them a discount or credit towards future services.
Networking, both online and in person, is a fantastic way to find great clients. Sometimes you click with another business owner, and a simple, “I’d love to see how we can work together” may end up producing profitable results for years to come. Even those who are not a good fit for your business may know of someone who is. In fact, you may find that networking is the best source of ideal clients for your VA business.
Even though virtual assistants can support clients anywhere in the world, when you participate in local networking activities, you’re able to form relationships with people on a different level than is usually possible through social media. Our members have benefitted from involvement with many different networking groups throughout the Golden Horseshoe area, including:
- Burlington Chamber of Commerce
- Company of Women
- Connect Us
- Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
- Mississauga Board of Trade
- Oakville Chamber of Commerce
- People in Connection
- Women Who Excel
Many GHVA Group members call upon other members to assist when they don’t have the time and/or skills to complete a client request or to provide coverage when they are away for a conference or vacation, but partnerships can be made with business owners in other industries as well. For example, a virtual assistant who specializes in social media management might partner with a graphic designer to offer a complete marketing package.
Put the word out there. Let your friends, family and associates know that you’re looking to add two or three quality clients to your schedule. You might be surprised at what you find. You might even end up with more quality clients than you have time for!
Before You Begin Searching For More Great Clients
There are a few steps to take before you begin searching for more VA clients. Taking these steps will ensure that you’re attracting the type of client you want and that you can accommodate their needs.
- Identify exactly what you want in a client. Who is your ideal client? What makes a client great to work with? Are they easy to communicate with? Do they provide minimum instruction? Do they pay well?
- Make sure you have room in your schedule for new clients. If not, consider eliminating some of your current clients or tasks from your calendar to free up time for clients who fit your ideal client profile.
- Take steps to show your clients how much you appreciate them. A good VA client can stick with you for years. It’s worth the time and effort to show your appreciation.
Where do you get most of YOUR clients? Where did you get your first client? Your biggest client? Your most recent client?
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