Most if not all VAs own for profit businesses which means we are in business to make $$$$. In order to do that we must have clients right? How do you find them without putting a message all over social media that basically says ‘Hire me!’?
We all have had to find our way on the marketing path that works for us so please know I am not poking fun at anyone. Marketing can be a challenge whether you’ve owned your biz for a day or 10 years. As you know I am a huge fan of in person networking but what does all that running around really do for your biz and why does Sue and many VAs do it? Resources. Yes that is the end goal and how I encourage you to market your biz. The truth is not every business owner needs a VA. That is a-okay because not every business owner is a fit to partner with a VA. Some need an employee or an intern.
In 10 + years of business I have the reputation of being a trusted resource provider. That essentially means I’m known as a go to for folks who need quality and trusted service providers. Why do I want to waste my time referring colleagues (And clients) to a CPA, attorney, telemarketing firm or window professional? First, it’s not a waste of my time. Second they will remember that I helped them and perhaps one day they’ll need one of my team members or someone they know will. However that is not my agenda when I help them. As I’ve said in previous posts don’t see everyone, especially your clients, as a cash register. See them as people who have value AND a need. Treating people as valuable and investing time to fill their needs is priceless – they will see you as priceless.
Begin networking on social media and in person locally. You’ll quickly learn who could care less about getting to know you and is instead only in it for themselves. Being the opposite will make you stand out. Share posts from colleagues you know – give them a shout out on social media. Believe it or not you will stand out as not many folks take the time to do that in today’s hurry hurry world. Being a giver pays off in the long run. I believe there is a quote somewhere that says ‘80% of success is showing up’ AND ‘paying attention’ (That last portion is my two cents – you have to pay attention to be successful).
Refer those people you know who will make someone else’s life and business better. Get to know coaches, small business advisors, training firms, sales development pros, printers, bookkeepers, professional organizers, writers, promotional products pros, local restaurant owners, movers, florists, charitable organizations, community leaders, etc. If you ever need something it’s likely those folks will remember you and may go out of their way to help you. I rarely like to ask for favors but when I do it’s easier to ask when my reputation isn’t ‘Gimme gimme my name is Jimmie’. Food for thought on this lovely Thursday morning.