While a major portion of the U.S.’ working class prefers to freelance over the traditional 9–5 office, working as a virtual assistant can be stressful for some people.
Yes, virtual assistants or independent contractors (ICs) reap benefits such as working from their home office’s comfort, cutting out their commute, and spending more time doing what they love before and after work. But they need a steady client base, income, and project flow to make ends meet.
While establishing a constant work stream from reliable clients may seem challenging, consider it an exciting opportunity to meet new people, acquire relationship-building skills, and grow a business.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to gain clients as a virtual assistant and excel in your career.
Before you start marketing, know your brand
The first step to attracting new clients is understanding your brand, services, and products. Here’s how to get your start:
- Draft a business plan: Define your mission and goals in your virtual assistant business plan. Identify your target audience and what sets you apart from the competition. Finally, set a marketing budget, including start-up and overhead fees (if any).
- Create a brand: Transform your mission and personality into a company brand. Design a logo or seek help from a graphic designer, decide on a catchy business name and slogan, and establish the brand’s fonts, colors, and voice. Remember to use these visual elements everywhere –– website, social media accounts, marketing materials, and more. This helps potential customers identify your brand as you stay fresh in their memories.
- Establish a presence: Foster trust among potential clients by creating a digital presence, answering people’s queries about ICs, and how you can help them. Create social media accounts, a LinkedIn profile, and a website. If you have testimonials from past clients, feature those across the board to build credibility. And don’t forget to implement your branding everywhere you market your company.
8 ways to get clients as a virtual assistant
Marketing your virtual assistant business from home can feel like casting a net in an enormous sea. But while the internet is vast, people find ways to connect without meeting in person. Here are eight ways to link with potential clients when working virtually:
- Position yourself as an authority: As expertise inspires faith among potential clients, we recommend publishing content that helps them learn about you, your business and industry, and how you can help. Join virtual assistant groups on platforms such as LinkedIn, and create native content about your role in these spaces. Add a blog page to your business website and write articles about relevant topics, like the importance of customer relationship management (CRM) tools or how to ace remote scheduling. If you prefer speaking to scribing, you could launch a podcast on similar subjects.
- Reach out to potential clients: Use your LinkedIn profile to approach executives needing your services. No one likes spam, so learn about the people you’re contacting and describe why you’d be a good fit and what you can offer. You can also email acquaintances interested in support from a virtual assistant.
- Ask friends and family for a hand: Create a PDF brochure about your services and email friends and family members asking them to recommend you in their circles. They can use the attachment to support their messages and cover all the key points of your services. Remember to include your direct contact information in the document.
- Team up with a virtual assistant agency: Virtual assistant agencies are platforms dedicated to finding clients for professionals. They pair virtual assistants with businesses seeking these services. Here are some:
- Belay: Belay focuses on optimizing busy executives’ time by streamlining administrative work with the help of talented virtual assistants like you.
- Virtudesk: Virtudesk seeks to help professionals boost productivity with the support of niche assistants specializing in everything from real estate to telehealth.
- Use job boards for freelancers. One smart way to get a virtual assistant job is to post on online freelancer platforms, which help connect virtual professionals and businesses seeking remote or contract work. Before discussing your services on these platforms, prepare a cover letter and resume for interested potential clients. Here are a few job boards to consider:
- Upwork: Upwork is a massive talent platform connecting all types of freelancers with businesses in need. It has an entire category for administrative and support professionals, where executives can find your profile.
- Fiverr: This freelance marketplace caters to businesses’ needs by pairing them with seasoned professionals. Join their talent pool and get your credentials in front of ideal clients.
- Flexjobs: Flexjobs offers thousands of freelance opportunities to work-from-home professionals worldwide. It provides career coaching and hosts virtual job fairs.
- Leverage your network: Check in with virtual assistants in your personal network or wider ones, such as Facebook groups, and offer to help balance their workload. If no one can shift work to you now, remind your colleagues you’d be happy to provide your services in the future or receive referrals.
- Create a Google My Business card: If you have a business address, you can promote your services locally with a Google My Business card. Just because you’re marketing close to home doesn’t mean you can’t work from home. Plus, establishing rapport with local businesses can lead to referrals outside your geographic area as satisfied clients recommend you among colleagues.
- Post on social media: Make helpful content, such as infographics about productivity, to share on social media. When followers reshare these posts, your business may reach someone seeking virtual assistant services. Remember to keep your social media accounts optimized at all times, with consistent branding, solid bios, and a link in your profile to your webpage.
Become a more successful virtual assistant with Practice
As you market your virtual assistant services and start pulling in new leads, stay organized by using a CRM tool.
Practice’s platform –– made with coaches, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in mind –– allows you to securely store client data, receive payment, and send messages and documents –– all in one place.
While you’re at it, check out The Practice Blog and learn how to run a better business. Read more about how to put your virtual assistant services in motion, what skills you need for the job, and how to create a contract. Learn how to onboard new clients and build a larger audience as you grow your business. Try Practice today.