Marketing Strategies to Help Virtual Assistant Businesses get Clients
Now that you have launched your virtual assistant website it is time to start thinking about your marketing strategy. If you don’t have a background in marketing you might be wondering where to start. You can begin marketing your virtual assistant business with free to low cost marketing strategies and start getting clients.
Local Business Expos
Networking with other business professionals is a great way to meet new people and to gain new clients. While vendors are there to promote their businesses you can be there to network with them and promote your services. Come prepared with your business cards and brochures, but refrain from arbitrarily passing out your information.There is no guarantee they will contact you. It is best to build a relationship with the vendors first before handing out our business cards. Here is how you can do that:
- Introduce yourself.
- Ask questions pertaining to their business and find out their needs.
- Get their business card.
- Follow up the next day with an email.
The day after meeting a vendor is an important day in your business. It is the day that you will follow up with a vendor by sending an email or making a brief phone call. In your follow up correspondence you should thank them for the opportunity to speak with them at the expo. Tell them something that you like about their business or talk about something light. This is your time to shine. Let the conversation flow naturally then briefly inform them that you have the ability to take care of their administrative needs and ask to schedule a free consultation. If the person says "no" continue to follow up with them every week or two to let them know about what is happening in your business in a newsletter form. This will keep your business fresh on their minds. If you happen to obtain a lot of emails it would be best to enter their information into an email service where you can email more than one person at a time or do a BCC from your regular email account.
Turn Your Blog Post into Articles
One of the tabs that should be on your website is a link to your blog. Your blog should contain pertinent information about what is happening in your business and why you should be hired. Although you may have been creating blog posts, articles give a more professional appearance and thorough in its approach to educate the reader. Imagine how frustrating it is finding a blog post on a subject that contains short commentary instead of detailed information. Here is the difference: a blog post is considered to have 500 words, an article contains 750 words or more. If you find that you have blog posts that are 500 words or less and contain similar content, you can combine them to create an article. Also, you can add more paragraphs to existing posts if applicable. Be sure to include a resource box that will lead to your virtual assistant services and a lead capture form that will help you stay in contact with interested, potential clients.
Introduction into Paid Advertisement with LinkedIn
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing should be included in your strategy to gain new clients. The potential to reach more people in a shorter amount of time is endless. Let’s take a look at the ways you can market your virtual assistant business through social media.
LinkedIn is the best platform for business to business marketing online. You will have access to companies that are networking and establishing relationships with other companies. You will find other professional members in discussion groups that are willing to give you resources that will assist you in your business.Here is some advice on how to market your business on LinkedIn.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Some groups are private and require you to show active participation by requesting to be in the group and by asking a relative question. Once you are accepted in the group, actively participate in discussions and give well informed answers to questions. Just don’t spam them with your links. When you offer insightful answers and thought provoking questions it encourages members to want to be a part of your network, and may help you find clients.
Status updates on LinkedIn should include what is happening in your business and the clients you are working for. Include insightful articles from your website and from other articles that can be resourceful for another business.
If you have a little extra money in your budget creating CPC ads on LinkedIn could be a faster avenue for getting leads and clients. You will be able to target a specific audience and memberships. Your ads will be shown profile pages, in search results, and even on the home page.
I have included a video on how paid advertisement works on LinkedIn.
If you can describe your content in 140 characters or less, with a link to a post, your services, or an infographic, then Twitter is the right platform for you. If you are familiar with using Twitter then this should be easy, if not here are some tips to get you started.
Fill out a profile completely. You will have limited characters so make use of the limitations by choosing descriptive words that represent your business. Add a link to your business as well. This gives interested subscribers (followers) the chance to find out more about you.
Subscribe to Pages in your Niche
To subscribe to pages, begin adding businesses to your list that are in your niche. For instance, if you have experience doing work for wellness coaches or small businesses seek out those Twitter accounts and subscribe to their Twitter page. Start off with adding 100-500 pages. More than likely you will get followers in return. Be sure to check to see if they are active before adding them. If the person hasn't sent a tweet in a long time then they may not be active, but have not shut their account down. Also, check to see if anyone has followed your page in return after a week. If they have not, delete them. This is to ensure that you have a good ratio of those you follow and those that are following you. Keep repeating this every week.
Retweet and Build a Relationship
Once you begin to follow other pages, watch for relevant information that you can share with your followers. Hit retweet or send a direct tweet commenting on their content. That will build a conversation and a relationship. In return you will be able to send them direct messages about your services once you soften them up. When you do this on a consistent bases, you will build a large following in no time.
If you prefer Facebook, you will have to set up a fanpage. Doing business on a regular page could result in getting your account suspended for up to 30 days. Fanpages are a way to be able to network with businesses and other virtual assistants. The drawback to using Facebook is that you could end up spending money to gain likes for your fanpage even after asking family and friends to like your fanpage. Your business is more likely to come from people that you don't personally know. Therefore, many businesses are turning to ads or sponsored posts to promote their services and connect with new businesses.
Engaging other pages for likes
One of the strategies you can do to gain new likes and leads for free is to like other pages under your fanpage account. When you do this you will have a newsfeed, just like a regular profile page. In this newsfeed you will see status updates from fanpages that you may view as potential clients. As you see their updates, leave meaningful comments on their posts. This will prompt the administrator and other subscribers to see your comments and come to your page to find out more about you. They may even like your page. The main goal is to establish yourself as an expert, which will draw others to want to work with you, or even learn from you.
Reaching out to businesses from your profile page
On occasions where you are not able to network in person, you can reach out to businesses on their fanpage through a message by introducing yourself and commenting on something they've posted in a private message. Be aware, some businesses have turned off the private messaging feature on their page, but you can still get their attention through commenting. Once you begin to establish a relationship, then you can ask about their company and tell them what you can do and offer. It is not recommended to begin selling your services right away. After you have informed them of your virtual assistant services, and they are not interested, still follow up when applicable to ask how things are going in their business. If you continue to keep your relationship going, they will remember your services and become a client when needed because you have gained their trust.
These marketing strategies that are mentioned have personally helped me gain new leads and customers in my direct sales business a couple of years ago. I knew nothing about marketing a business, however I read books and attended marketing webinars that assisted me in my marketing efforts.
These methods not only works for virtual assistant businesses, but can work for any small home based business. The more time you devote to these activities, the more people you can reach, and the more leads and clients you will gain. Always make marketing a part of your daily schedule. You will be working on projects and marketing simultaneously. Time management is extremely important in your business.