As a VA, your biggest start-up hurdle is getting your first client. Before you get your first client, the whole idea of being a VA can seem very abstract. However, once you’re actually getting paid to do the work, you’ll quickly develop new skills and become more proficient at your new profession.
So how do you go about getting your first client?
==> The Set-Up Process
Before you go out looking for clients, there are a few things you should set up.
First, you need a website. If you’re getting clients from the internet, it’s your most important business card. Your website should be professional, easy to navigate and small. It should be no more than five to ten pages – just enough information to answer anyone’s questions about you.
Create a compelling personal profile page with details about where you’ve worked in the past and what kind of skills you have. Think of it as an online resume.
Finally, make sure you have your LinkedIn profile in order. A lot of people will check you out on LinkedIn before hiring you. Also, if they Google your name, there’s a good chance your LinkedIn profile will come up.
Delete any obsolete material, update everything on your profile and ask as many people as you can to leave you references.
==> Getting Clients
Getting clients is largely a matter of trying a lot of different things until you find one that works for you. Some people find that they’re able to get all the clients they need through their personal networks, while others find that their best clients come from internet job bidding websites.
Here are a few places to look for clients:
* Personal network – Ask people you know whether or not they know people who could benefit from your services. Make sure you have a clear and concise explanation of what a VA is for people who don’t know.
* LinkedIn – Use LinkedIn to make contact with people who might be interested in your services.
* Traditional advertising – Take out an ad in an industry specific publication. For example, if you want to work with realtors, take out an ad in a publication that’s targeted towards realtors.
* ELance / oDesk – These are two top-notch sites for getting new clients. You’ll need to take a few tests to get your rankings up at first. Make sure to start your bids on the lower end of the spectrum until you have a strong reputation.
* Craigslist – Craigslist is a versatile free website where you can find all kinds of job postings. Make sure to check multiple different cities; your job can be done from anywhere but Craigslist posts are city specific.
Getting your first client could take a lot of work in the beginning. Your second client will be easier, and your third will be even easier than that. Eventually, you’ll get to the point where the vast majority of your clients come from word of mouth. But first, you have to land that first client.