Why You Need a Niche Market

Why You Need a Niche Market

A niche market can be thought of as a narrowly defined group of potential customers - usually a portion of a larger target market. For example, a target market is working women, but a niche market is working women with kids at home, or working women in executive positions, or working women in the financial sector.

As a small business owner, you usually do not have the money, resources and time to market to a larger target market. You need to focus your marketing efforts on those people most likely to buy what you offer.

Think of narrowing your niche as simply positioning yourself more closely to the people or companies who could benefit most from your services.

Many of us like to believe that the number of people who want and need our product or service has no limit. Also, most of us truly want to help as many people as possible and so therefore believe we almost have an obligation to let everyone know about what we offer.

But the truth of the matter is if a small business tries to market to everyone, they'll eventually lose money and quite possibly go out of business.

I know it seems to go against common sense that we make more money and have more success when we limit the scope of who we market to. However, it is true and its been proven over and over again by very successful small businesses.

There are many reasons why it makes good business and marketing sense to have a niche market:

• you can focus your marketing efforts and not dilute them by trying to appeal to everyone

• it allows you to stand out as an expert in your niche which makes people come to you

• you attract significantly more business

• you have a natural competitive advantage because you can dominate your niche

• your marketing materials and communications are more targeted and therefore more effective

• people more easily refer business to you as they have a very clear idea of who you appeal to

• you can easily determine what opportunities to say yes to and which ones to pass on

• your creativity and strengths get to shine through

• makes it easy to find suitable strategic partners and joint ventures

• you spend less money on getting your message out there because you're not wasting time and resources on talking to people who aren't
interested in what you have

By taking the time (and the deep breath!) to narrow down your target group into a niche market that your company, products and services are best suited to serving, you'll be making a huge investment in a successful future.

You Need A Marketing Plan - Period!

All virtual assistants need a marketing plan! A marketing plan makes your marketing more effective which means your business is more successful.

Most VAs do not have marketing plans. This means that their marketing tends to be inconsistent, ineffective and inefficient.

Below are all the good reasons you need to have a marketing plan. As you read these reasons, you'll probably think to yourself, "I know this, this is common sense or I've heard this before".

And you're right, but I would like you to REALLY see yourself and your business enjoying these benefits and reaping these rewards of having a marketing plan – and implementing it.

1. Easy for you take action

A marketing plan makes it easier to do your marketing because it helps you market consistently. Anything we do on a regular basis becomes much simpler and faster to do. You also get into action because a plan will break your marketing tasks down into smaller steps or chunks. You feel less overwhelmed about tackling each task and therefore, can reduce your procrastination too!

2. Save you time and money

Taking the time to sit down and create a marketing plan will save you time and money in the long run. That's because you don't have to waste time scrambling around every time you try a new marketing activity – your marketing plan lays out the steps you need to take.

A plan also helps you be more focused which means you work smarter and faster. Being focused also means that you don't get distracted and waste time and money on tactics that seem like a good opportunity but don't really fit your marketing goals outlined in your marketing plan.

3. Help you keep customers

Because your plan keeps you focused and saves time, you don't have to sacrifice client relationships due to inability to make time to follow-up with customers or create new products and services that would appeal to your clients.

4. Bring in more prospects and clients

Having a marketing plan ensures that you constantly are attracting new leads and clients, because you're actually marketing your business! There is no way around it – marketing is how you grow your business.

5. Help you run a successful and profitable business

A marketing plan will give you time, money, freedom and focus – all necessary ingredients to a successful business. It will also save your sanity and reduce your stress – so you can enjoy your work and your business!

 

How to Find Legitimate VA Opportunities

So you’ve just started a VA business and you need clients. Not to worry. You’re in a high demand business. The clients are there. You just have to know where to look. True, there are some scams out there. However, the legitimate opportunities far outweigh the scams. Here are three great ways to find legitimate VA opportunities.

Ask

In the beginning there are a few key places to find legitimate VA opportunities. The first and often best resource is your connections. Ask your friends. Ask your family. And ask your business associates for referrals. Often, the best clients come from known sources.

Consider creating an email and sending it to the connections in your rolodex. Introduce your services. Stress the benefits you offer. And ask for referrals. You might even offer a referral bonus. For example, for each new client you receive the person earns a credit toward your services. You could really motivate people by offering cash. Just make sure that you can afford it!

Network

Another way to build your business and find legitimate VA opportunities is through networking. If you have a social networking profile, consider connecting with a few people you’d like to work with. Send them an email or a message introducing yourself. The worst thing that can happen is nothing. The best…you get a new client.

Don’t forget to promote yourself on social networking sites too. Offer promotions. Link to your blog and online content. Become a valuable contributor and help others as well. They’ll remember you and turn to you for assistance in the future.

Networking offline is great too. Join your local business organizations. Attend networking events. Bring business cards, confidence and a smile. You’re sure to meet a few new clients.

Job Sites

Finally, there are the freelance job sites and job boards. These are full of legitimate opportunities. They’re also full of scams. Use them wisely. Make sure you research each potential opportunity thoroughly. Speak to a live person if you can.

And sites like Upwork that control the payment, communication and delivery process are good. They can help you if there’s ever a dispute. And they require providers and employers to leave feedback. If the employer doesn’t have good feedback, don’t work with them.

There are legitimate VA opportunities everywhere. Market your services. Get out and meet people. And don’t be afraid to use the job boards. They do provide excellent experience, connections and profit potential. To your success!

 

How to Find Great Clients

Being self employed can be extremely rewarding. It can also be a challenge. Often the difference is the type of client you have. The better your clients, the more rewarding your business feels and the happier you are. So, it makes sense to create a strategy to find great clients. Here are a few tactics to consider.

Referrals

When you find clients that you enjoy working with, ask them for referrals. People tend to be attracted to likeminded individuals and clients referred from existing clients tend to be of the same caliber. In short, good clients refer good clients.

Consider offering a referral program for your business. Reward customers for their referrals by giving them a credit towards your virtual administrative services or a discount. Even just sending a small gift to your client when they send you a referral goes very far in your relationship-building.

Network

One of the best ways to find people you enjoy working with is to meet them via networking. Sometimes you click with another business owner. A simple, “I’d love to see how we can work together” may end up producing profitable results for years to come.

Networking both online and off is a fantastic way to find great clients. In fact, you may find that networking is the best source of ideal clients for your VA business.

Partnerships

Consider forging partnerships with other business owners that you enjoy working with. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant who provides social networking management you might partner with someone who creates social networking graphics. Together you could refer business to each other easily.

Ask

Put the word out there. Let your friends, family and associates know that you’re looking to add two or three quality clients to your schedule. You might be surprised at what you find. You may end up with more quality clients than you have time for.

Before You Begin Searching For More Great Clients

There are a few steps to take before you begin searching for more VA clients. Taking these steps will ensure you’re attracting the type of client you want. It’ll also make sure you can accommodate their needs.

  1. Make sure you have room in your schedule for them. If not, consider eliminating some of clients or tasks from your calendar. You want to make sure you can meet the needs of your new clients.
  2. Identify exactly what you want in a client. What makes a client great to work with? What are you looking for? Are they easy to communicate with? Do they provide minimum instruction? Do they pay well? Define what makes a good client.
  3. Take steps to make sure that your existing clients and any new clients know how much you appreciate them. Create a customer appreciation strategy. Finding those great clients is only the first step. You want to make sure to keep them too.

Finding great clients isn’t difficult. Know what you’re looking for. Don’t hesitate to ask for new clients. Pay attention to the service you provide. A good VA client can stick with you for years. It’s worth the time and effort to show your appreciation.

 

Advantages of Webcasting (Video)

Webcasting

With social networking being at a high point and increasing steadily, the drive for interactive websites is on the increase.

A lot of people want a website that’s not simply static and they’re looking for interaction when they log onto the net – from Twitter to Facebook to YouTube – we want to connect.

As an online business owner this means that adding a webcast to your online business is a great move.

First, what is a webcast?

In simple terms it’s a video recording placed on the web. Just like a TV offers traditional viewing, a webcast does something similar - but the video is streamed on the internet rather than the TV network.

A webcast can be anything from a video of you explaining how to do something to your viewers, to a two (or more) people interview, to an interactive online class.

The point is that you’re adding an interactive feature to your website and making it easier for visitors to give their feedback and get involved.

Anyone can start a webcast with a simple video recorder. One of the easiest methods is the Flipcam. It makes getting your videos on the internet drop dead easy. You can also use more sophisticated equipment to create news programs on a very high-end level.

There’s a lot of different equipment you can use and a little research will help you find the best. Once you’re set up with your video recording mode you can take things a step further and use a video editing service to add features to your recording which will really make the video stand out. There are many services online and a simple Google search will help you find the right one for you.

Webcasting is a great addition to your website. You’re making it easy for your visitors to interact with you while offering valuable information. This will keep them coming back to your site over and over again.

Why Every VA Needs an Online Presence

Building a VA business? Great! Congratulations! Being self-employed is a fulfilling and rewarding lifestyle. Before you get too far into that business plan, are you planning on having a website? If you’re going to be a virtual assistant, you need one. Here’s why:

Your Clients are Online

You’re a virtual assistant. Emphasis on virtual. That means your business operates online. Via the internet, email and perhaps instant messaging and conferencing. If you’re without an online presence, you’re missing out on clients. The majority of your clients will be online business owners. That means they’re very Internet focused. They’ll turn to the internet first to search for a provider.

Now that’s not to say that you won’t have local clients. You might. However, they’ll still likely search for you online. It’s how our society buys products and services.

Your Website Establishes Your Credibility

Many VA tasks are focused on the Internet. You might be managing a blog or forum. You might be proofreading and uploading articles into article directories. You might be managing affiliates for a business. All of those tasks require a good degree of comfort using online technology. Your website helps demonstrate your ability to use the internet. It demonstrates that you’re comfortable online and skilled with using technology.

If you don’t have a website, many of your clients may wonder why not. They may simply disregard you because you’re not online.

Your Website Markets Your Services

Your website accomplishes a number of marketing tactics. It communicates your services and fees. It answers any questions a prospect might have about your services, practices and policies. It also showcases your personality. You’ll likely have an “About Me” page. This is useful for telling your story. However, the word choice, design and feel of your site also helps communicate your personality and brand your business.

Your website can also broadcast your successes. You can list your testimonials. You can cite awards you’ve earned. You can communicate organizations you’re a part of. You can also list the companies you’ve worked with. All of this helps establish you as a credible service provider. Your website can be used to build trust with your prospects.

Finally, you can use your website to facilitate many of your business functions. Communications, payments and even inquiries can be managed through your website. You can also use your website to generate more income by affiliating with products or services and by selling advertisement space.

In short, if you’re going to be a Virtual Assistant, do it the right way. Create a website that helps you build and grow your dream business.

The Psychology Behind Choosing the Right Colors For Your Website

pantone coloursDid you know that simply changing the color of your copy can change your conversions and sales? It’s true. Color has the power to affect our emotions. This means choosing the colors for your website is not a black-and-white decision.

Matching Your Niche to the Right Color

You want your website to fit your niche and audience, right? Some topics lend themselves to certain colors. For example, if it’s a website about love and romance you might use red or purple colors on the site. Take a look at these popular colors and the emotions they evoke:

Here is a list of some of the common colors and what type of psychological emotion they invoke in people:

* RED – Red colors are generally associated with love, passion, romance, danger, excitement, action, and adventure. Red is also a great color if you want to grab someone’s attention. It’s often used in the headline on a sales page. Studies have shown it generated a higher conversion rate than other colors.

* BLUE – Blue often represents calmness. It is often used to exhibit a professional image. It’s associated with trustworthiness and success. It’s a symbol of water, purity, and cleanliness.

* GREEN – Green often represents money. It also represents sustainable living, health, and nature. Green is another calming color that symbolizes life.

* ORANGE – Orange often represents or evokes creativity, celebration and fun.

* PURPLE - Purple stands for passion. It’s also commonly used to represent royalty, luxury and fantasy.

* WHITE – White is clean. It is simple and it is innocent.

* YELLOW – Yellow isn’t a color commonly used on websites. Yellow can cause people to feel irritated or anxious. However, it can also represent playfulness and fun. Many people associate pale yellow with youth.

* PINK – Pink is a soft color. It’s also a very feminine color. It’s great for love, baby girls, women’s health and even young girls’ fashion and interests.

* BROWN – Brown is an earthy color. It represents simplicity, matter-of-fact attitudes and nature.

* BLACK – Black, while it can be dark and mysterious, is also solid. It’s a color that leaves no room for doubt.

Do the colors on your website presently support the image you want to portray? Do they have the desired effect on your prospects and visitors? If you’re unsure, consider making minor changes and testing and tracking results. Test the color of your headline. Test the color of your background. Test the color of your forms too.

Color has a dramatic effect on emotions. It can motivate, inspire, and touch. Take advantage of the effect color has and use it on your site to help you achieve your goals.

Three Ideas and Strategies to Give Your Visitors a Reason to Return

mouseA website generates two main types of visitors. There are the visitors that stop by and leave. They never return again. Then there are the visitors that stop by. They bookmark your site. They sign up for your opt-in list. They subscribe to your blog. These are the visitors you want. When you can motivate more new visitors to come back, you’re on your way to converting them to customers.

The majority of people do not make a purchase the first time they visit a website. A website has to earn their trust. It has to establish credibility, liking and authority. These are all buying triggers, and for most websites they’re earned over time. They key is to give them a reason to come back. Here are three ideas and strategies to give your visitors a reason to return.

#1 Valuable content is definitely required. If you provide a consistent flow of great content, visitors will come back for more. However, there’s more you can do to ensure their loyalty.

#2 Provide a free membership. Take a look at your website. Why do people visit your site? What benefit can you offer on a regular basis? Now instead of offering that information to random visitors, consider creating a membership site. Membership implies exclusivity. It also implies extra value.

When people sign up for your membership program they will receive “extra” content, products or services. For example, you might create a “Report of the Month” club. The information is free for members who have signed up. Each month you deliver a quality report. You can use the report to promote affiliate products and/or your own products/services too.

#3 Include user generated content. Enable visitors to provide their own content for your website. Blogging is one way to accomplish this. You can include a “blog for us” form on your site. You can also turn the “Commenting” feature on and allow visitors to respond to your content. However, if you don’t have a blog site, then consider adding a plug-in or feature that enables them to add content.

For example, you might include a “Best Tips” category. You can then enable visitors to post or submit their best tips. You publish their information and you now have an interactive audience.

Finally, take a look at your usability features. What can you add to your site or blog to make it friendlier? For example, are other commenters notified when a comment is published to a post they also commented on? Can they forward your content to a friend? Can they print it?

The easier you make it to interact on your site, the better. Provide great content. Enable visitors to receive more via memberships and let them share information. The more repeat traffic you have, the faster you’ll build a loyal customer base.