LinkedIn is another social media platform that can be essential for your business success, but one that also takes up a lot of your time! Handing it over to a VA, so they can support you is a great solution – but how can they manage it and what types of thing can they do on your LinkedIn account? Continue reading “How a VA can support clients by managing their LinkedIn pages”
Handing over an entire project to a VA can be hard for any business owner. You want to pass the job over, but may also want to have an input in it, to ensure it’s heading in the direction you want and is being managed effectively. If you have trust issues or struggle to let a project go, collaboration could be the answer you’re looking for.
Collaborating jointly with your VA on a project is an excellent idea. Not only does it allay the issues and struggles you may have over handing an entire project over, it also enables you to have a more hands-on role. But how can you effectively collaborate with your VA on projects? Continue reading “How to collaborate with your VA on projects”
Virtual Assistants (or VA’s) can manage a variety of tasks for you, however one of the most popular roles a Virtual Assistant is hired for is managing an online diary. This leads to one of the top questions asked by business owners – “HOW can a Virtual Assistant actually manage my diary for me?” Continue reading “How can a Virtual Assistant manage my diary remotely?”
Finding the right clients for your business, means that you will need to market yourself and your VA business. The businesses you ultimately work with need to know, like and trust you – in the same way, it is important for you as the VA to know, like and trust your clients.
Identifying your Ideal Client and Niche
Marketing your VA business is basically relationship building – getting businesses to get to know, like and trust you. As part of your brand awareness you are allowing businesses to witness what you are all about, what you can do, what you help businesses to achieve and where you add value. Marketing is also about ATTRACTING the IDEAL client who has a NEED and WANTS your services.
Who Needs And Wants Your Services?
Well, you may believe, as many do, that all businesses need a VA!!!! However, it’s important to close the net and start to focus on specific businesses so that you have more of an opportunity to stand out from other VAs. This is where having a niche comes in.
Have a Clear Message
It is better to communicate a very clear message direct to certain businesses which connects with what their particular needs or concerns are, so that you can actually provide the solutions for those particular needs and concerns. In addition, it can cost you a lot of money trying to market yourself to every business, however, by having a niche, it means your marketing efforts can be much more cost effective, more targeted and consistent and achieve better results.
The majority of VAs launch after working with a particular industry and so choose this to be their niche, as they already have a working knowledge of the issues that clients in these areas face – BUT – I know this isn’t always relevant or right for you. Take me…. My background was over 22 years in the military, the military doesn’t use external admin support (apart from government contracts) and so I needed to think about the skills I had and niche that way.
You don’t have to niche on day one – it can help, but sometimes working with lots of people initially can help you determine the niches or the areas you want to work with (or not as the case may be).
Once you have a clearer idea, step into the shoes of your potential clients and think like them. What support would you find useful? What would you want your VA to know about you? What challenges and concerns do you have that a VA could create solutions and results to?
You could also do some research and find out from them what they actually want and need, because once you have identified these points you will then create the service that fits as well as a marketing campaign that creates awareness that you are the solution to those needs.
Don’t worry, identifying your niche can be a pretty hard thing to do, personally it took me nearly 12 months. So don’t let it stop you launching your VA business!
Next week – we talk about Mastering the Art of Sales.
Amanda Johnson of Your Executive Secretary Limited is a licensed Trainer of the VACT. If you would like to book yourself on the next Taster Session in your area then please click here or if you would like to book a free 30 minute breakthrough call then click here.
Do you know what the 80/20 rule is? Broadly speaking this means that 20% of your activities will produce 80% of your results. This is a very important rule of thumb to remember when you’re a Virtual Assistant and you’re worried about your time management. But what does it really mean?
Time management can be a major issue for the Virtual Assistant, whose very business is built around the concept of productivity at the end of the day. Often, the VA will face the same types of distractions that their client may face. Remember that the Virtual Assistant is supposed to alleviate some of the time management problems for a given client, but often they are far from being a time management expert to begin with.
Back to the 80/20 rule. What are the activities that bring you the most results? Once you have been able to determine what these processes or activities are then you should focus on more of the same, even if it means that you have to refuse or reject requests for work, conversations or other activities that are not fruitful in this way. (If you don’t know how you spend your time, I suggest you read our When it comes to Time Management – Analyse First post.)
Don’t be afraid to take one step backwards if it means that you can take several steps forward in the medium term. This can be a frightening prospect, especially if it comes to refusal of work or even the rejection of a client. Yet it’s at the heart of time management and productivity. Unless and until you identify what is essentially wasting your time and money then you’re not going to be able to achieve fulfilment and happiness in your business endeavours.
Remember that even though you are receiving a certain amount of revenue for a given block of time this does not necessarily mean that you should accept this without questioning. Are you being productive enough when tackling this particular task, or would you be better off delegating it to someone who is much more astute, has more experience or has more of a “flair” for this style of work? Don’t bury your head in the sand any more when you know deep down inside that this is the case. Look for the activities that come easily to you, look for the conversations that seem to be productive and developmental. Focus on these “20%” situations so that they begin to generate exponential results across the board.
Far too often time management is approached from a very mechanised perspective. It’s all about productivity, eliminating distractions and simply keeping your head down for a working day. Be very careful to ensure that you’re engaged in the “right” type of work first, before you become too obsessed with the mechanics of time management by itself.
The 80/20 rule is a crucial consideration for any virtual assistant. Don’t fall into the trap of looking at your Virtual Assistant business as a way for others to offload their mundane tasks. You need to be able to ensure that you’re being efficient, productive and “savvy” as well. This can often be a hard lesson to learn, but by learning it early on, you can concentrate your efforts and grow your business quicker and get the better work/life balance so many Virtual Assistants crave.