10 Places to Find Virtual Assistant Clients

10 Places to Find Virtual Assistant Clients

Are you still struggling to find clients for your VA business?

When we start our Virtual Assistant business, we all have the same vision – working on our own schedule, clients calling with work they need done, and money coming in easily.

After a while that shine goes away and we realize that it’s much harder than we thought it was going to be to find those wonderful clients.

But it doesn’t have to be!

If you are struggling, you need to look at what you are doing to find and sign clients.

The first thing you need to identify is where you are looking for clients.

Here are 10 places you can find potential clients to connect with:

1. Facebook

You can find clients in Facebook groups (go and join the entrepreneur groups, not the VA groups!). Start or join conversations with people who are talking about what kind of support they need.

2. LinkedIn

Use the search function in LinkedIn to find people who might be able to use your services. Choose an industry to target and do some outreach to active LinkedIn users.

3. Your phone or email address book

You know more people than you think you do. Go through your phone or email address book (or your Facebook friends!) and look for people who could potentially be your clients, or who might know someone who could use your services.

4. Bulletin boards

Local small business owners use bulletin boards in public places to post their business card. Find and connect with these people on social media and start to build a relationship to see if they need your support.

5. Referrals

Ask your family and friends if they know anyone that might need your services. You have to be very clear on what you offer and who you can best support, but once you know that, it’s easy to ask for referrals.

6. Former employers or clients

Reach out to people you have worked with before to see if they need any help, or if they know anyone who does. Also see if you can get a testimonial from them if you haven’t yet, to put on your LinkedIn profile or website.

7. Email list

If you aren’t building an email list yet, you need to start. These are people who are interested in what you have to offer – and they will be your warmest audience for prospects.

8. Networking event

Attend a local or virtual networking event to connect with people who are looking to connect with other business owners. Remember every small business owner needs support – get out there so they can see you are there to help!

9. Professional associations or organizations

Join your local chamber of commerce or business group where entrepreneurs are connecting. Surrounding yourself with people who are looking to grow their business is an excellent way to find people who will need to outsource work to a VA.

10. Job boards

Of course job boards are a great place to look for clients. These are people who are looking for help right now. It is important to be able to respond quickly, so be sure to have a draft proposal ready to fill in with their requirements to increase your chances of getting an interview.

Clients are everywhere. These are just 10 places to look.

The key is to be looking every day, and to not just be asking people if they need your help, but to be building relationships with communities of people so that they see your expertise.

Once you get talking to people daily about what they need help with and how you might be able to help them, it’s time to invite them to a sales conversation (don’t do this in your first interaction, please!). I’ve recorded a video on my Youtube channel to talk about how to handle that sales conversation. Watch it here! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocij3Z8AX3w

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. Tracey owns CAVA VA association and teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

How to Decide If You Should Respond to a Virtual Assistant RFP

Do you read job postings for Virtual Assistants and don’t submit a proposal, even if you think you could do the work?

We post a good number of RFPs here at CAVA, and sometimes the clients tell us that they did not get a lot of responses.

Sometimes they don’t get any responses at all – like a recent screened RFP we posted.

If you read them and don’t respond, why is that?

An RFP (Request for Proposal) is a job posting from a client who needs help. Now.

Like, they are looking to pay someone to do work for them. Now.

If you see one that you think you could do, and you don’t respond to it, you are essentially turning down the client.

If you do respond, your odds of getting the work are VERY high. Yes, okay, some RFPs get a lot of responses – depending on the work the client is looking to get done. You definitely can’t get the work if you don’t submit a proposal.

And if you do respond and you don’t get the work, you can get feedback from the client as to why they went with someone else, so you can improve your proposal for the next client.

So how do you know if you should respond?

Here is my biggest tip to help you decide:

If you think you could help them … like, at all … Send. Them. A. Proposal.

There are many details in most RFPs, but if you find one that you have some experience and/or training with, and you think you might be able to do it, put a proposal together.

Clients May Not Know What They Need

Clients often don’t really know what they are looking for. Look to any discovery call you do with a client and you know how much conversation you have to have about the client’s needs to see if you can help them.

Sometimes filling in an RFP form makes it hard for the client to concisely communicate their needs.

Sometimes the client puts in a lot of tasks – some you can do, some you can’t.

Sometimes they don’t put in enough details for you. (We do try to make sure to clarify vague RFP postings with the clients before we post them).

The Client is Not a VA

You must remember that the client is NOT a VA. They might never have worked with a VA before. They aren’t sure what they should be asking of you.

But if you think that you can help the client with the most important pieces of their needs, send in a proposal.

Explain in your cover letter what you can do and what you might need training or procedures for.

Send a Cover Letter and PDF Proposal

And yes, we do suggest that you send both a cover letter and a proposal (PDF).

The cover letter can be the email you send letting the client know that you are submitting a proposal (it serves the same purpose). But the proposal definitely should be a downloadable document for the client – not an email, not a shared file.

Why? The client is probably collecting a lot of proposals and it is easiest if they can download them all and then look through them at the same time. When you make a client go from email, to Google or Dropbox, to their download folder, it can get really difficult to keep track of the proposals sent in. Yours might get missed if it’s not an actual document. (Hot tip: put your own name in the filename!)

Use a Proposal Template

Also, when you use a proposal template, it makes it SUPER simple (and quick) to send a proposal to a client. Imagine you see an RFP posted, you go into your template – add in the client details, their scope of work, and send it off. You are the first to respond. Do you know how impressive that is to a client? I’ll tell you, VERY. We provide a proposal template in the CAVA member area and our members have told us that they were not successful in getting clients until they started using this template – and now they are winning RFPs.

Make Your Proposal About The Client

Last point, and it’s absolutely essential – make your proposal all about the client. What do they need? That’s what your proposal should showcase. If you want to put a short blurb about yourself or your company in it, do so after you have covered all of their information. The proposal is in response to their job posting. That’s what our proposal template does – puts the client front and center.

Clients Only Want to Know Two Things

I say this all the time. Clients only want to know two things: what you can do for them, and how much it will cost them. Do not leave these things out of your proposal. Tell them what you can do, the related experience and/or training you have, and how much it will cost them.

Leave Out Stuff They Don’t Need

Do not put anything in your proposal about services they are not asking about. This is not your website, it’s a direct response to their job posting. It needs to be specific enough so that they can see what they asked for, and how you are proposing to look after that for them. That’s all.

At CAVA we have an RFP training that is also invaluable. If you are submitting proposals and not hearing back from the client, your membership fee is worth its weight in gold to get the template and the training. Because they work.

When you do everything above, you will find yourself responding to more proposals than ever before. And the clients WILL call you, because you put their needs at the forefront, which is what it’s all about.

And when you are honest about what you can and can’t do, the client can make an informed decision about whether you are the right person to invest in – and you will start your VA-client relationship off on such a good foot. Try it with the next RFP you see!

If you need help with responding to proposals, look no further than your VA community! An annual membership in CAVA is the answer. CAVA is a professional association for Virtual Assistants in Canada. We provide community, visibility, resources, connections, training, client opportunities and so much more. Check out our full list of benefits here: https://canadianava.org/join-cava/

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. Tracey owns CAVA VA association and teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

4 Numbers to Track To Build Your VA Business

Do you track any analytics or other numbers in your business? A lot of Virtual Assistants do this for their clients, but not for themselves.

It is important to look at what is happening in your VA business so you can make adjustments to what you are doing.

Basically, you want to do more of what IS working, and less of what is NOT working.

How do you know what’s working? You track it and analyze it!

Here are some important things to keep an eye on in your business.

Website Numbers

It is important to know what is happening when people are visiting your website. You should be looking at how many visitors you get each month (is it increasing?), where they are coming from, and what they are looking at. Google Analytics is very easy to set up and attach to your website, and it gives you the answers to all of these things and more. Look at which of your blog posts is the most popular so you can create more content that your audience will enjoy.

Email Numbers

When you send an email to your audience, it is important to have a look at what happens with it – how many people open it, how many click on the links you provide, and how many unsubscribe. If you are going to use email marketing as a strategy in your business, these numbers will tell you what your people respond to - so you can do more of it. Most email programs will provide reporting that helps you easily track these numbers for each email you send.

Audience Numbers

How many people are you reaching every day? It’s true that the more connections you make, the more clients you will get. Tracking how many people are in your audience is important. Quantity is not always better than quality, but you can’t stay small and expect to get noticed. Keep track of your email list and your social media followers – and make sure those numbers are growing consistently each month. A simple spreadsheet can help you monitor these numbers in one place (pull the numbers from the social media platform reporting areas).

Consults and Conversion Numbers

How many people do you talk to every month about your VA business? Success is in the numbers, and the more conversations you have with people, the more clients you will get. If you aren’t doing at least 4 consultations a month, you have room for improvement. You never know where your next great client will come from! Use a simple tracking spreadsheet to track who you talked to and what the next follow up action should be.

Tracking your analytics is just one part of being a successful Virtual Assistant. As you start to get busier with client work, your own admin often falls by the wayside. But to keep your pipeline of potential clients full, managing your time doing these things is important so you can maximize the results.

If you are setting up your Virtual Assistant business and want more information about what you need to have in place to do it right, download our free Start Your VA Business checklist here. You will also get a complimentary Community membership in CAVA so you can see what we are all about.

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

Struggling to Find Virtual Assistant Clients? Look at Your Numbers!

This strategy will make getting Virtual Assistants easier.

Are you still having trouble getting Virtual Assistant clients through networking?

I hear this often from VAs in the online forums. They feel like they are always networking but not getting clients.

It can be very discouraging when you feel like you are doing ‘everything’ to find clients but you are still struggling.

We take it personally and the defeat can actually make many VAs throw in the towel on their business.

Look at your numbers.

How many clients are you actually looking for?

If you were looking for 100 clients, then you would have reason to be discouraged if every time you went to an event you came home with nothing. It would be an uphill battle to try to find 100 people to work with you.

Most VAs are looking for far fewer clients than that. You are probably only looking for one (or one at a time). To fill your practice you may only need 5 good clients. Five!

So specifically how many people you need to connect with to find 5 clients? Do you know that number?

Getting strategic about your numbers makes things easier to measure and to set goals that can help you get the clients.

How many you need to connect with depends a lot on where you are choosing to network.

If you are networking in the right place, you might only need to talk to 5 people. Most of the time it’s more like 15 or 20 good contacts that convert into 5 clients.

The point is, it’s a lot fewer people than you think it is.

If your networking is not working for you, you probably aren’t being strategic enough about it. 

Here are a few tips to help:

1.Go only where you know there are potential clients.

If you go to a lot of events and don’t get clients, identify why that is.

Who are you meeting there? Are the people attending 'your' kind of people?

What are your conversations about? What are you saying to them?

2. Know your services inside and out.

If you know who is attending the event, you can decide what you want to talk about, or present, in terms of your service offerings.

When you are in a networking situation, you need to have the answers to the questions the prospective client asks you. It expedites the process of ‘can you help me?’

3. Talk to people to gauge their interest.

Can you help them? If you think you can, ask them questions about their business and chat about how you can think you can help them.

If there is interest, invite them to a sales conversation after the event to explore the possibility of working together. It really can happen that quickly!

Networking strategically works for you much better than just ‘spending time’ networking.

You must have a good strategy to make it work for you.

Figure out where to find the people that you can help. And make the decision to spend your time there.

Focus your efforts on one good networking place, and make it work for you.

When you realize how easy it is to just work with your numbers, you can get clients much more easily.

Set up your strategy and when you find one client, then you simply rinse and repeat the process that got you that client.

For more great info about networking for your VA business, check out my free networking videos for Virtual Assistants on my Youtube channel.