A lot of people ask me “can you make money as a virtual assistant or freelancer?” And the answer is yes! I switched business gears in March and started focusing on my virtual assistant business full time and was immediately booked up (and have been every single month since!) and so can you!
Becoming a virtual assistant isn’t easy, but it is a very lucrative side or full-time income with a whole world of possibilities. One of the hardest parts about starting a new business is finding clients. How do you find clients and book out your services? Here are the top ways my clients find me!
1) Facebook Groups
My number 1 source to find clients and connections is through Facebook Groups. I’m an introvert so sometimes it can be a struggle to engage in these groups, but it is so worth the effort. Build relationships, build connections and clients will follow. Several groups post amazing job opportunities almost daily.
My one tip, if you are joining these groups and applying to job opportunities, make sure you read all the info. Don’t apply for any and every job that you see, that comes across as desperate (and trust me, I’ve seen it happen almost weekly in the groups). Genuinely apply to the positions that interest you, that you feel would be a good fit for both you and the business/person doing the hiring. Yes, it’s important to make money, but it’s even more important that you enjoy what you are doing. Isn’t that one of the main reasons why most of us have left a 9 to 5 job? To do what we love and work from home? It needs to be something you love, or that will also come across in your work, which isn’t good for anyone.
2) Organic Google Traffic
I’m lucky that I have a background in SEO (search engine optimization) which has helped my website come up very high in key google search phrases. So much so that it is the second way that clients find me, completely organically through search! Making sure your website is optimized correctly is very important, and if you need some help I am happy to offer this as a service.
Having customers find you organically through search engines on a weekly basis is a very easy and passive way to keep your client roster booked up.
When you do get your first few clients, make sure you are delivering results and with excellent communication. Build a relationship, deliver on time and make them happy to have hired you (not saying you need to go above and beyond and work for free, no!) Client referrals are the best and most authentic way to get some amazing future clients.
Even if your clients don’t end up referring your services to someone else, when you are at the end of a project, or a few months with hourly/monthly services, ask them for a testimonial. Testimonials can go a long way in letting future clients know that you have a good track record and will be able to deliver as well as you say you can. Add those testimonials to your website and share them proudly on social media!
4) Social Media
Speaking of social media, it is another amazing way to interact with your ideal clients and engage with them. Sharing posts on your expert topics shows them before they even think about hiring you that you know what you are talking about and are an expert in your field. This gives them additional confidence in taking the step to hire you!
Social media can be time-consuming though, so if it’s not your forte, I strongly recommend using a social media scheduler like Later (my favorite!) or hiring a social media manager to help you post consistently and grow your audience. Even hiring someone to do an hour of engagement on Instagram per day can make a huge difference!
Pinterest is a gold mine for service providers. To maximize Pinterest effectively though, you can’t just be pinning links to your services page, you need to have some content to direct your audience to. What does that mean? Blogging! You don’t need to blog 3 times a week, you can find clients via Pinterest just by adding fresh blog content once or twice a month. Share some info about you, your process, the services you provide and share a little bit of your knowledge through blogging.
6) Cold Pitch Emails
Cold-pitching can be difficult and if you are an introvert like me, it can be even scarier to send an email out to a business you’d love to work with without ever having spoken to them yet. The important thing to focus on in your cold pitch emails is, “how can I help this business/business owner?” If your goal is to help them, whether it’s to help them grow their social media following, increase sales, or update their branding, then that will come across in your email as being authentic and helpful, not sale-sy and spammy. Show them how hiring you as a virtual assistant will provide needed VALUE for their business.
I’ve gained many new clients through cold pitching my services, and I send out very few of them. If I send out a cold pitch it means that I truly want to work with this business and it would be a dream client of mine. If you are just starting though, sending out 5 pitches a day is probably a good place to start to find your first few clients.