The ideal situation for a virtual assistant is to have your clients come to you, rather than having to search for them yourself. However, to achieve this, you’ll need to build experience and reputation. You also need to promote your services in the right places.
Getting more clients often doesn’t happen overnight, and sometimes it can be hard to know if your efforts will even pay off. I went through the same problems myself when I wanted to expand my clientele, and it took a lot of trial and error before I found the methods that work.
From presenting yourself as a trustworthy professional to promoting yourself on social media, there are a lot of things you can work on to start bringing more clients in. I’ve made a list of the 9 ways that worked best for me, so you can start making changes and seeing results as soon as possible!
9 Ways to Get More Clients as a Virtual Assistant
To get more clients as a virtual assistant, presenting yourself the right way and marketing your services in the best places is key – even if you’re just starting out as a VA. Here are my tips to help you do just that.
1. Network with Other Virtual Assistants
If you’re looking for new clients, one of the simplest ways to start is by asking other virtual assistants. If you know other people that offer similar services to you, they might have suggestions on where to look, or give you some names of people and companies they’ve worked with in the past.
They may even have extra work they need to turn down that they can pass on to you, or clients that they’re thinking of dropping. Providing a referral to clients when it’s time to move on is a great way to make the process as smooth and amicable as possible, so there can be mutual benefit in this arrangement.
Virtual assistants that offer different services to you can also be worth reaching out to, as they may get approached by clients that they can’t help, but you could. In the future, you can always return the favor if something suitable comes your way.
2. Reach Out Locally
The benefits of a virtual assistant aren’t restricted to faraway companies and professionals – you can provide the exact same services to local clients as well. By reaching out and offering your help, you can raise awareness for your business in your local community and encourage people to come straight to you rather than searching for an assistant online.
You can also ask friends, acquaintances, or anyone else in your social circle for help with referrals. The more people that know about you, the more chances you have to make opportunities for new clients.
To make sure that word about you gets out there, it’s a good idea to prepare some business cards and hand them out at local events, to friends, and acquaintances. You never know where that card might end up – it could be in the hands of a potential client.
One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone knows exactly what a virtual assistant does. It can help to think about how you can pitch yourself and your business so everyone you talk to knows the benefits they can gain from hiring you.
3. Give Existing Clients Opportunities to Write Reviews
Knowing that you’re polite, efficient, easy to work with, and punctual will help potential clients feel more confident in hiring your services. A great way to demonstrate this is with reviews and referrals.
By requesting reviews from existing clients during or at the end of a project, you’ll have positive testimonies to your professionalism that you can advertise on your website or portfolio.
4. Keep Your LinkedIn Profile Updated
LinkedIn may not be the primary way you source your clients and it doesn’t have to be, but checking the LinkedIn profiles of potential hires is standard in many industries.
Whether you advertise your LinkedIn page or not, prospective clients can look you up and when they do, it’s better for them to see a robust and useful profile rather than an empty or outdated one.
To keep your LinkedIn page looking professional, you can add links to your website, add former clients to your employment history, post the reviews and referrals you collect, and list all of the skills and tools you use to do your job. You can also add to your network by offering clients the opportunity to connect with you on LinkedIn if they want to.
5. Reconnect with Past Clients
Any client you’ve worked well with in the past can be an opportunity to get more work. Sending out an email to tell them you have space in your schedule and offering your help is a simple and reliable way to get new jobs.
If they don’t have any work for you themselves, they may be able to refer you to someone else. One of the best parts of reaching out to old clients is that all you need to do is send a few emails, so there’s barely any investment of time or effort required.
6. Join Groups and Advertise Yourself
Aside from being a valuable platform to promote your business, Facebook can also double as a very active job board. By joining networking groups aimed at virtual assistants, you can gain access to a large number of opportunities. Some of these groups post jobs every week, or even every day, so it’s important to check them out regularly.
Reddit is another place that people often turn to when they’re in need of a virtual assistant. There are many Reddit communities for you to take advantage of, so spend some time researching the platform and advertising yourself in the right places.
Similarly, check those subreddits daily. If interesting opportunities arise, try to be one of the first few people to respond – it’ll help you get noticed.
7. Optimize Your Customer Service
When a client hires you, they’ll be looking for smooth service as well as quality work. The key here is to reduce the amount of effort your client has to exert in order to communicate with you and receive the work they’re paying for.
A great place to begin is to make your services and pricing plans as clear and flexible as possible. For instance, if you offer certain services for specific prices but are also open to requests, make sure to offer a consultation option alongside your basic services so potential clients can’t miss it.
Another good habit is making sure you respond to messages from clients as promptly and professionally as possible. Make sure to use friendly and respectful language, accept requests or edits gracefully, and always give useful and relevant answers to questions. It’s also important to be genuine and upfront about your work and any issues you run into, as problems are always better fixed sooner rather than later.
8. Improve Your Payment System
You can also improve your customer service by making it easier for your clients to pay you. Buggy website forms or limited payment methods can sour a client’s impression of your service, especially if the payment methods you require don’t match their preferences.
Offering payment options with multiple providers can be difficult to set up and manage, so I recommend checking out Pay.com instead.
It’s quick and easy to set up an account and start receiving payments, and you can offer your clients multiple payment methods. If you want to offer payment from your website, Pay.com can help you create a customized checkout page using your logo and brand colors, and you can choose the payment methods you want to accept with just a few clicks.
There are also additional payment options, including Pay Links and Virtual Terminal. With Pay Links, you can send clients links over email or text message that will take your client to a secure checkout page to pay. You can use Virtual Terminal to collect your client’s card details over the phone and input them into your Pay Dashboard to process a payment.
9. Check Freelance Marketplaces Often
As a virtual assistant, you can find work on marketplaces like Upwork, VAInsiders, and Flexjobs. However, job posts get a high number of responses in a short period of time, so landing jobs on these websites can be a bit of a first-come-first-served affair.
In order to increase your chances, checking these sites regularly can help you find and respond to new posts before the number of replies increases.
You can, and should, also be proactive about advertising your own services where you can. LinkedIn, Facebook, Reddit, and many other websites make for a good place to advertise yourself and let the clients reach out to you first.
What's the Best Way to Accept Payments as a Virtual Assistant?
There are many ways to get paid as a virtual assistant, from PayPal to bank transfers, or even cryptocurrency. However, my advice is to prioritize offering multiple payment options to your clients and keeping your fees as manageable as possible.
My best recommendation for achieving this at an affordable cost is Pay.com. The fees you pay from each type of transaction are displayed transparently on your Pay Dashboard, whether you’re using a checkout page, Pay Links, or Virtual Terminal.
In addition, your clients will be happy with the number of payment methods you provide and how easy they are all to use.
The Bottom Line: How Should You Market Yourself as a Virtual Assistant?
Every situation is unique and the niches you cater to will influence the kind of marketing that will work best for you, so my advice is to learn from successful virtual assistants in your industry. If you haven't chosen a specific industry to cater to, don't worry; simply emphasize what you can do for your potential clients in order to make their lives easier.
Using LinkedIn and freelance marketplaces, you’ll be able to check out the profiles of successful virtual assistants and see which of the above methods they rely on the most. Doing this will especially help when it comes to social media marketing, SEO, and blog content.
While you research what works for others, you can also improve your service in order to get ready for your future clients. Design a logo for your emails, refine your service list and pricing, and improve your payment system. Remember to check out Pay.com for an easy-to-use payment infrastructure with customized checkout pages and multiple payment methods! Click here to get started now.