HOW TO BECOME A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT-PART 2



Market Yourself as a Virtual Assistant

This guest article is written by Manette Aquino, virtual assistant.

In this 3 part series learn how to become a virtual assistant:

Part 1: The job description of a virtual assistant
Part 2: How to market yourself as a virtual assistant
Part 3: The Pitfalls of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

virtual assistant job

Do you want to work as a virtual assistant (VA)? Do you have the knowledge, skills, and competence to be a virtual assistant? Have you prepared the necessary tools and equipment to start working as a virtual assistant?

If your answer to the questions above is “Yes”, then put on your entrepreneurial mindset and begin marketing yourself as a virtual assistant. This step brings us to the next question, “How do you market yourself as a virtual assistant?” It is important that you know how to market yourself, promote your services, and attract clients.

Here are some ways to market yourself as a virtual assistant and draw clients who will hire you.

Marketing Yourself as a Virtual Assistant

1. Create a website

If you would like to work as a virtual assistant, you need to promote yourself to prospective clients. It is highly recommended that you create a professional website to attract more clients. You also need to make sure that it is optimized for search engines, is inviting, and clearly lists your services. You do not need to spend a lot of money to set up your website. A domain name costs from $10 to $12 and a reliable webhosting provider starts from $4, depending on the package.

You also need to create an email address that sounds more professional. You cannot use your personal email address hotandsexy69 at yahoo dot com for your communication with your clients. Keep your image business-like.

2. Increase your online presence

Join forums, Facebook groups, and other online communities to build your public profile. Get yourself involved by answering questions and inquiries or posting comments. Be sure to include your email address and website on your signature in forums.

Another effective way to build your online presence and create a network with clients and virtual assistants is to submit guest articles to blogs and other websites. This will serve as your portfolio and demonstrate your skills as a virtual assistant.

3. Take advantage of social media

Build a pleasant and professional profile on various social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and SkillPages. Invite both current and prospective clients to visit your page or follow you. Include your skills, VA-related work experiences, and contact information, such as email address, blog URL, contact phone, Skype ID, and GTalk, MSN, or Yahoo Messenger, ID. Ask clients to write recommendations and testimonials for you and publish these on your website. (Barb’s comment; Check out my sign-up form at the top. It includes a testimonial from a satisfied subscriber)

4. Network with other virtual assistants

Interact with other virtual assistants with different skills than yours. Attend meetings, workshops, and conferences to create  connections. These relationships grow your referrals. You can also invite your contacts to create a team for big projects.

5. Print business cards

Print business cards and always bring them with you. Be prepared and don’t be afraid to promote your services. Your business card is your offline advertising tool. When you attend meetings, workshops, or conferences, do not hesitate to pass out your cards to speakers, organizers, and other attendees. You never know who might be a future client. Likewise, when you go on a date with your friends, hand them your business card. They may help you find your future clients.

6. Maintain good relationship with your clients

To continue having a good relationship with your clients, make sure that you do your task properly and finish on time. Bear in mind that keeping a good relationship with your clients is one of the most effective techniques in marketing yourself as a virtual assistant. They will either keep you as their virtual assistant or recommend you to other business owners. Either way, your good relationship with your clients will bring you more jobs and earn more income for the family.

7. Look for Clients

Being a virtual assistant also means that you are becoming a professional marketing expert. You should learn how to market yourself and your services. Some of the marketing techniques that work have been discussed above.

If you are starting out as a virtual assistant, you can look for prospective clients through websites that advertise for job posts, such as oDesk, eLance, and Freelancer. Submit a persuasive cover letter and attach an impressive portfolio so that the client will notice you and invite you for an interview. During the interview, look and sound confident. Discuss your skills and strengths and how they can be advantageous to his business. Before concluding the interview, ask the client her expectations and requirements for the job.

Marketing yourself is an important life skill for success as a Virtual Assistant or in any field.

Check out the Entire How to Become a Virtual Assistant Series:

Part 1: The job description of a virtual assistant
Part 2: How to market yourself as a virtual assistant
Part 3: The Pitfalls of Becoming a Virtual Assistant

What other marketing tips do you have?

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18 Responses to HOW TO BECOME A VIRTUAL ASSISTANT-PART 2
  1. Kim@Eyesonthedollar
    October 7, 2012 | 10:48 am

    While I would make the world’s worst virtual assistant, I would be someone who might hire one to fill in for my lack of skills. I think building a relationship first would be a very important step.

  2. Barb
    October 7, 2012 | 7:47 pm

    @Kim, You make me smile. It’s good to know your own strengths and limitations.

  3. Hellena Fenty
    October 8, 2012 | 4:02 am

    I just got these tips at the right time. I am looking forward to be a virtual assistant and I hope I can make it. I already have my own computer will internet connection setup, and I am available online for many hours.

  4. Barb
    October 8, 2012 | 11:22 am

    @Hellena-Good luck. Stay tuned for part 3. Let us know how your plans progress.

  5. AverageJoe
    October 8, 2012 | 12:54 pm

    “You cannot use your personal email address hotandsexy69 at yahoo dot com” -> best line I’ve read today. Why did you quote my personal email in your piece?

  6. Barb
    October 8, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    @Joe- I love that one too. I wish I could take credit for it. Manette came up with that one :)

  7. Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter
    October 8, 2012 | 8:59 pm

    These are such great tips. I would really like to get around to starting a business like this but I just don’t have the time right now. I think once I have kids and change how I generate income this might be more of a reality.

  8. Barb
    October 9, 2012 | 11:02 am

    @Miss T- Life’s all about priorities and timing-right? It’s helpful to collect info to use when the “time is right.”

  9. Michelle
    October 10, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    These are great tips! I’ve been thinking about hiring an assistant because I know that I would personally stink as one and I know I need help.

  10. @Joe, I know you are hot and sexy. LOL. I am sorry. I just came up with the email address. I never knew it was existing.

  11. Barb
    October 11, 2012 | 2:04 pm

    @Michelle, My experience using a VA has been q uite positive. It is well worth the money to outsource some activities.

  12. Thomas S. Moore
    October 11, 2012 | 2:34 pm

    VA are in a booming business at this point I believe. My problem as been finding one. I have had problems finding good help and even when you think you found what you are looking for disaster seems to strike.

    VA can be very helpful and can save you a lot of time and effort.

  13. Daniel
    October 12, 2012 | 12:09 pm

    Being a virtual assistant, it is important that our employers know how and what we are working on every time we are logged into work. We are actually using a time tracking software that lets us monitor our remote employees activity and billable hours.

  14. Dominique Brown
    October 12, 2012 | 11:52 pm

    Great tips! Virtual assistants must also have patience at work. When starting out, some might take on assignments that pay very little. There will also be times that they will have to work for more than 8 hours per day and work through the weekend. As their credentials and skills build up, clients will start to notice and eventually they can start to increase their rates.

  15. Barb
    October 13, 2012 | 10:20 am

    @Daniel, Communication, as you stated is very important between employers and employees.
    @Dominique-You stated the rule of thumb of almost any endeavor, work hard and slowly build your business. Thanks for the important reminder.

  16. Steryn
    February 22, 2013 | 2:41 am

    VA are really useful for up and coming entrepreneur mums like myself. It is very important as well to send explicit instructions towards our VA as to save our precious time.

  17. Barb
    February 22, 2013 | 12:55 pm

    @Steryn,
    VA’s can really lighten the load. As you mentioned, you need to be very clear in your instructions to your VA.

  18. […] 1: The job description of a virtual assistant Part 2: How to market yourself as a virtual assistant Part 3: Is working as a virtual assistant for you? […]

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