Once you’ve set up your website, you’re ready to start looking for your first clients. Many new virtual assistants don’t know where to look for clients or how to start marketing their new business. If that describes you, don’t panic. Here are a few ways to land your first client:
Ask for Referrals
The first and most obvious place to look for your first client is for a referral from friends or family. Tell everyone who will listen that you’re a virtual assistant and you’re looking for work.
Many VAs have started their careers just through referrals that came from their social circles. Share how you can help clients, and be enthusiastic when describing what you do. Your enthusiasm can attract clients who are eager to work with you.
Another place to look for clients is on LinkedIn. If you don’t have a profile on this social media network, set one up. If you have a profile you haven’t used in a long time, then dust it off.
When it comes to your job title, be sure to use the phrase ‘virtual assistant’. Project managers and potential clients do searches on LinkedIn when they’re ready to hire someone, and this is a term they’re likely to use.
After you’ve set up a LinkedIn profile or updated your existing one, start connecting with friends and colleagues. Sometimes, an invitation to connect can remind an old co-worker or friend that they know someone who needs your services.
Look in Facebook Groups
Think about the type of clients you want to serve. Maybe you want to help authors handle their social media. If that’s the case, look for Facebook groups where authors are gathered and request to join.
Depending on the group’s rules, you may be allowed to share your VA services in a post. Some groups don’t allow service providers to post about their businesses, but they do let members ask for referrals. You can comment and tell other members about the services you offer if they’re looking for a VA.
Check Job Boards
Some virtual assistants have gotten their first clients through various job boards. Typically, job boards work like this: a client posts about the project they need done on the board. This project can be big, like redesigning their entire website, or it might be small, like scheduling a few social media updates each month.
Then virtual assistants who are members of the job board can reply to the client, answering questions and sharing why they’re right for the job. If the poster decides to work with you, then you get the assignment.
Usually, the job board gets a percentage of your earnings as a fee for letting you use the service. The advantage of this is that you don’t have to pay any money up front to use the board. In fact, you only pay if you’re successfully matched with a client.
Keep in mind that finding your first clients as a virtual assistant can take some time. Don’t give up if it takes a few weeks to start seeing results from your marketing efforts. If you preserve and keep networking, you will land that first client.