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Author Topic: Getting Clients  (Read 12493 times)
reddrogue
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« on: August 18, 2005, 03:33:32 pm »

I have read several articles about how to acquire clients.  Do any of you practicing VA's out there have any particular methods that have worked best for you?  I am not a person who is good at sales/marketing, but I understand that I will have to market myself and my services in order to get business.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a semi-shy gal like me?

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virtuallysorted
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2005, 03:07:19 pm »

I'm supposed to be really good at this, as I worked as an Advertising Account Exec for about 3 years!!!  Having said that, I too find it quite difficult!

I think that being a VA is such a personal service, people are reluctant to buy on the basis of an advert - what works is promoting YOURSELF to people i.e. personal contact!  

Do you have a Chamber of Commerce in your area?  Or a networking group like Women into Business? (these are UK organisations, but there must be a US equivalent!).




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susans
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2005, 08:52:57 am »

I don't know if this will help, but I did a survey of VAs and one question was, "What was their best marketing or promotional tip"

http://us.deskdemon.com/pages/us/va/marketing

Actively be engaged in local company tele-market research  
Advertise honestly  
Advertise on search engines  
Advertising in small magazines  
Always have business cards ready to hand out  
Always look the part whenever you step out your door.  
Ask for referrals from the clients  
Attend local business networking events  
Be a great communicator, especially with e-mails. Nothing looks more unprofessional than bad grammar and bad spelling. Your e-mails represent you so you want them to look great.  

Be a great VA, and you will get dozens of referrals from satisfied customers.  
Be consistent  
Be enthusiastic. It draws people like a magnet.  
Be Frequent  
Be sure to include those that have confirmed prospect on a regular newsletter  
Before you advertise, make sure you're ready for anything.  
Biz Cards  
Brochures  
Business card magnets  
Business Cards  
Carry brochures when you are out shopping or visiting or other places.  
Check your purse for business cards every day.  
Create a website  
Create an attractive website that relays your message and services, and make sure you place it with the right search engines.  
Create different types of marketing/collateral pieces  
Direct mail to a specific segment of the market such as realtors, lawyers, medical practice  
Distribute brochures, business cards, post cards to targeted audience (customers)  
Distributing fliers at various local businesses  
Don't be shy.:-)  
Don't over look who you know, have cards or pens handy to give or drop off, don't be afraid to make a suggestion (which in our old lives, meant if we had the idea...we'd volunteered!)  
Don't splatter your marketing copy with buzzwords.  
Existing web host (i.e. Yahoo.com) for better exposure  
Flyers  
Follow-up calls to number one that say they are open to the idea or currently engaged in an exclusive contract with another VA by sending e-mail or fax or postal mail letter of introduction, business card (2), and either a web-card or tri-fold brochure;  
Follow-up the correspondence to number 2 with a call to confirm receipt of sent literature  
Get a coach.  
Get invoked in Community projects - Its amazing how many potential customers you can meet  
Great Web site.  
Have a good name, have a competitive advantage to promote your business, and be creative in your approach to potential clients - think about what their needs are and tell them how you can fulfill them.  
Have a specific market in mind before you begin.  
Have extra marketing "tools" with you at all times.  
Hit those yellow pages and market yourself!  
I have been sending small mailings each week, and a week after each mailing, I call the prospects to follow up with them. I've gotten some bites this way.  
Join a chamber of commerce or BNI group so that you can meet people face-to-face. Virtual Assistance is best described in person.  
Join your local chamber of commerce and other network groups.  
Join your local Chamber of Commerce    
Know how to promote your Web site.  
Leave business cards everywhere. Be ready with your "Mini Commercial" at any given moment. Never miss the opportunity to promote yourself.  
let everyone know what you are doing, and give your business cards out to all who you know might know someone that could use your services.  
Listen to what people say and if an opportunity to promote yourself comes up - take it!!  
Look and be professional with yourself and materials.  
Lots of networking, old contacts, anyone  
Mailing lists  
Make magnets with your business information on them so that people will have it readily available when they need administrative support  
Make sure you provide good service by being courteous and listen to your prospects thoroughly.  
Market without paying (e.g. supermarket bulletin boards etc.)  
Mass mailing  
Network with other professionals that could use your services.  
Networking  
Offer the same tips you use successfully as a service.  
Place an ad in the newspaper  
Professional brochures and business cards  
Publish on the web  
Signs on your car  
Small newspapers  
Stay abreast of new situations  
Swap link programs.  
Talk to everyone about what you do and how it can help them with their business. Always strive to tell them what is in it for them.  
Talk to everyone you know about what you do.  
Tell everyone you talk to about what it is you do  
Use every opportunity to tell people what you do,  
Use networking as a marketing tool  
Use the yellow pages  
Volunteer work  
Web site post cards  
Website  
Word-of-mouth.  
Write Press Releases about interesting things about your business for (hopefully) free editorial in the newspapers  
You never know whom you might run into.  


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reddrogue
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2005, 03:40:21 pm »

Wow!  Thanks susans!  That is a pretty exhaustive list.  Anything in print I think I will be ok with-- its the face-to-face contact where I know I will struggle.  But I know I will just have to do it.  Anybody know of any self-help books or videos to help someone like me overcome shyness and develop networking skills?

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virtuallysorted
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« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2005, 02:00:28 pm »

I'm scribbling lots of ideas down!!!!  Thanks!

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kellypoelker_mva
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2005, 03:12:26 pm »

Excellent list Susan. Thanks for sharing!

Before embarking on any of these marketing techniques you have to first believe in yourself and the services you offer--be confident! When you're confident about what you do the words just flow when you're talking to someone about your business.

The other most important thing to remember is to be a good listener. When attending networking events or other opportunities to meet with business owners let them talk about their business first. In doing so you can hone in on specific areas where your business might be a fit. If it sounds as though they might fit within your guidelines as an "ideal client" then start asking more specific questions to further qualify them. You can interview them on the spot and they won't even know you're doing it. Should you find that they really don't sound like a fit for you then graciously move on to the next business contact.

If you're planning to attend a networking event try to find out if there is someone you know that is familiar with the businesses that attend. For example, if you're attending your first Chamber event talk to the person in charge about the kinds of businesses you're looking to network with. Then ask them if they could be sure to introduce you to a couple of those key people.

I can't stress how important word of mouth is in this business. My clients are my best advocates. Joe Stumpf of By Referral Only (R) says it all in one simple statement, "A referral is sending someone you care about to someone you respect." I just love that!



Kelly Poelker, MVA
Moderator
http://www.Another8Hours.com
http://www.VA-TheSeries.com
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reem
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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2007, 05:09:09 am »

u can email me so i can give my # to call .may be you are the person who can do the job for me .
reem

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Ilustre
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« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2011, 06:26:28 am »

Hi Everyone,

My name is Clarizze and I am a virtual personal assistant (VPA) for . As a virtual personal assistant I work with a variety of organisations as their outsourced admin and PA support.

I'm looking forward to getting to know everyone and to participating on these forums. If someone needs service please pm me.
Thank you.

Clarizze

Edited for content - COS breach.
Clarizze - Welcome to Deskdemon.  However, having signed up to agree to abide by the COS (home page) you have immediately breached these and I would suggest you re-read them.  Please also don't post a personal email address in these forums.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2011, 05:36:58 pm by Jackie G » Logged

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