Why Every VA Needs An Online Presence

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.

I don’t need a website, do I?

by Janice Byer

Once upon a time, in a small home office, a busy entrepreneur wondered why he wasn’t quite as busy as he would like to be. I market my business as much as possible, said the entrepreneur, who has implemented many marketing procedures while running his business.

Our entrepreneur, well call him Bob, runs a computer repair business. His services allow him to provide his clients with his expert advice, either in their offices, by email, or on the phone. Because of this, Bob has a large potential market, both locally and internationally.

Bob has a great brochure, filled with all his features and benefits; he attends as many networking events as he can; he advertises in the local newspapers; and he has a huge ad in the yellow pages. But, Bob doesn’t have a website. Why?

I don’t need a website, do I? Asks Bob. I do everything else possible to market my business and I also get many customers by referrals. Why would I need a website?

Glad you asked Bob! Let’s see if we can’t outline some of the benefits of having a website both locally and internationally:

Your website is a live brochure that is available for anyone to see from anywhere, no matter if they are 5 miles away or 5000 miles away.

For potential local clients, they may first find your company in the Yellow Pages but, if they are looking for more information about you and the services you offer, the internet is one of the first places they will look to do their research.

Many potential long distance clients may be in different time zones or would rather not make a long distance call. Because of these factors, the internet is where they would go for more information. Having a website enables your information to be available anytime and, by including your email address on your site, they have a cheaper and more convenient way of contacting you.

Your website allows you to create and show much more of your information than a print ad or brochure. The more information you provide, the more likely a potential client will be to buy from you as they can see everything they need to know. You can even include a little something extra, such as tips and resources, to help your clients see your dedication to providing topnotch customer service.

Your website also allows you to be more creative in how you present your information than with something that is in print. You can add bells and whistles (but not too many) that show that can be creative in your efforts.

Many people use the internet to find out more information about products or services that they are in need of. Your website is a means of offering information to those who may be researching online before buying. If you don’t have a website, how are they going to even get a chance to see what you have to offer?

In the same respect, if a potential client has heard about you but can’t find your business card, they may turn to the internet to try and locate your contact information or to learn more about you.

Your website opens the door to a larger market of prospective clients. Even if your service is normally only preformed locally, there is always the potential to expand. and, you are more likely to increase your local client base if your website is available for them to research your service.

Even if you cater to only a specific clientele, your website can be a place for them to visit or where they can point others to who they are referring to you.

Your website is the one piece of marketing material that is easy to change without a huge cost. So, if you have a special event coming up or you want to include more information on a certain service, you simply have your web designer make the change. And, almost instantly, your information is fresh and visible, without the costs of re-printing new marketing material.

We could go on and on about the benefits of having a website. In short, having a website is the way to go these days and, if your company does not have a website, are you losing customers? Are they finding your competition when using the internet but not you? Are they wondering why you do not have a website when all of your competition does?

Your website is your company’s 24 hour advertising medium. Why wouldn’t you consider having one? Bob?

Janice Byer, owner of Docu-Type Administrative & Web Design Services (http://www.docutype.net) provides professional, creative and affordable virtual office assistance and small business website design. She is a Certified Canadian Virtual Assistant (CCVA), Master Virtual Assistant (MVA) and co-founder of the Canadian Virtual Assistant Connection. She is also the author of Surfin’ The Net – Docu-Type’s Virtual Collection of Links, (http://www.docutype.net/SurfinTheNet/linksebook.htm) which is filled with the secrets of her success. Visit her website for more information and to get your copy.