One of the best ways to stand out as a VA is to pick a niche and specialty. In the beginning of your career, you’ll probably take on as much business as you can get from anywhere in the world. However, as you get more and more booked up, it makes sense to start specializing.
By specializing, you’ll be able to better anticipate the needs of your client. For example, if you specialized in helping real estate brokers, you’ll be much better positioned to help your real estate broker clients than if you were a generic VA who just happened to have a real estate broker client.
Specializing also allows you to charge more. You’ll be able to be more efficient in your work, which brings more value to your clients. Your reputation can also spread faster, since you’re saturating one industry where people know one another rather than spreading out your reputation.
So how do you go about finding and selecting a niche or specialty?
==> What Skills Do You Have or Want to Learn?
Start by looking at what special skills you have or want to learn.
For example, if you’re highly proficient in Photoshop and web design, you might want to look into working with execs in ad agencies and design firms.
On the other hand, if you have experience in law, you might want to work in a legal firm or be a virtual assistant for a private lawyer.
If you don’t have any specific skills already, you can also choose based on skills you want to learn. This can add a real sense of challenge and growth to your new virtual job.
==> Select a Clearly Definable Group
The best way to select a niche is to select a clearly definable group of people.
For example, realtors. Or speakers. Or coaches. Or event planners. Or Chief Financial Officers (CFOs).
Whatever the case, if you can get it down to a specific kind of person, that’s better than if you have a more generic idea.
==> Reaching Out to Your Target Market
Ideally you won’t select a niche until you’ve actually had some experience working in the field. If you’re going into a certain field, you should already have some contacts and a decent understanding of what’s required to succeed there.
Go to networking events in the field. For example, if you’re working in the design field, go to design events so you can meet designers and ad execs. If you want to target realtors, go to real estate meetups wherever you can.
Call up people you know in the industry and ask for referrals. Explain what your new project is and see if there’s anyone you can help.
Setting yourself up in a specific industry is a great way to increase your fees, develop new skills and get more relevant contacts quickly.