Become a VA: Step 7 – Social Media and Your VA Business

For the past 6 weeks, I have shared 6 tips that I hope are helping you to launch, grow and boost your VA business.

Are you putting them into action?  Which has been your favourite?  Which have you found the easiest or the hardest to apply?

This week I want to talk about ‘How to use social media to boost interest in your VA services’.

Regularly when I ask VAs or Business Owners in general why they are on social media, they tell me its because someone else told them to be on it.  A lot of them think Social Media is a waste of time, or they say “I don’t have time to get round to doing it”. But are just doing it for the sake of it.

Well the reality is, if you think about how many people you could get exposed to, online, it’s actually far greater than what you would be able to achieve in terms of the number of people you would meet if you were going to your local networking meeting.  As an example, when I look at my 576 LinkedIn connections, I could be connected to over 11,411,482 business connections world wide and that doesn’t take into consideration Twitter or Facebook.  The potential is far reaching.

Although I say, you rule social media and social media doesn’t rule you.  It is imperative that you are consistent in your approach and have a strategy of what you are trying to achieve with your interaction.  I always recommend having a social media strategy and a social media plan, so that you know what you are writing about every week.

There are literally hundreds of social media platforms available but you don’t need a presence on all of them.  Think about where your ideal client is and the platforms they are using and then use those platforms. 


Facebook is an ideal platform for Business to Consumer type businesses – it’s a great way to showcase your expertise, link to helpful articles and build relationships with potential clients.  Your posts have great longitivtiy and visual content works well on Facebook.  However, it can be a slow process to build your likes and gain traction, so remember this is part of the long game and not a short term social media platform.


Twitter is great for Business to Business interactions and Business to Consumer.  It can be fast, fun and addictive and a great tool for signposting individuals to your other platforms.  You can ask advice, give advice and share articles.  Business colleagues of mine, recently described Twitter as “going to the pub and being able to ask the silly questions”.


Someone new joins LinkedIn every second.  It is seen as the number one  social media tool for Business.  Often regarded as the more formal social media networks, it is used by professionals in all fields. It encompasses the ability to give and receive recommendations. LinkedIn works really well for relationship building.  I recently wrote a guest blog for the Virtual Assistant Coaching and Training Company on the subject of 15 steps to creating a professional LinkedIn profile. I also posted a post about why you need a company LinkedIn page which I thoroughly recommend.

So feel free to connect with me on the Social Media Platforms mentioned by clicking on the name of the platform below (it turns into a hyperlink) and if you connect after reading this blog please do tell me:




Have you enjoyed the Blog series?  Has it left you thinking that you need more information about setting up as a Virtual Assistant before you make the transition?

Learn the Key Strategies of What You Need to Know When Becoming a VA &

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Is this you?…

  • Are you a PA who’s a mother, soon to retire or being made redundant and now interested in becoming a Virtual Assistant and yet you are not quite ready to go ahead?
  • Have you conducted lots of research yet still not sure if becoming a VA is for you, perhaps you are a little scared of setting up your own VA business or are nervous about taking a leap of faith?
  • Is this a venture you are looking to start in a few months’ time yet want to get a full understanding before you are ready to get going?
  • Do you need to know the basics first before you fully commit to any full training or business building?
  • Do you want someone who is an experienced expert to guide you towards what is essential for you to know, prior to getting started, so that you start on the right footing avoiding the costly mistakes many makes?  Hindsight is a wonderful thing!

Join us in London for a Taster Session on Thu 4 Dec at 1330, Premier Inn Meeting Rooms, Euston.  To learn more or to book click here.

Become a VA: Step 6 – Become a Networking Success Story

Do you worry about Networking? Even seasoned Business Owners occasionally worry about networking, so don’t worry if you have that feeling of dread right now. But get networking right it can make a massive difference to your positioning in the business market!

Before I share some tips for getting your networking established, here are some of my favourite quotes about networking:

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know, who knows you, and what you do for a living.  – Bob Burg

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

Networking – What to Consider

Would you do business with someone you don’t know, or didn’t like or trust? NO! So in turn how can you expect people to do business with you if they don’t know you?

Building relationships with people is important because, not only do you see whether your first judgements were correct, you grow to like, trust and respect that person and want to support them as well as the fact that you want that person to get to know you – so they can support you also. It all goes hand-in-hand doesn’t it?

People do business with those they know, like and trust.

Be clear on who your want to connect with

1404-businessAs part of your networking strategy become clear about the type of contacts you want to connect with.

If you have a niche, start to investigate where your niche do their networking. There could be industry related organisations, which hold events such as exhibitions or conferences. There could be meet-ups around the country. Source them and then attend as a visitor to get a feel for them.

Not Making the Time to Network – Big Mistake!

Working for yourself, time is of the essence, however, sparing the time to go to networking meetings every month will help to put your business on the map, help you develop your presentation skills; build your confidence in presenting your business to prospective clients and in yourself.

Ring-fence the time in your diary and respect your own business – it will only continue to grow if you continue to lay the foundations and grow your connections.

Your clients should respect that you are a business and are a growing one; any client who values their business should understand this.   Have updates with your clients and plan ahead with them when you are out of the office, even better, organise your associates to support your clients when you are out for the day.

On a slightly sour note, you need to go networking as what happens if you lose a client and need to fill that space with another; if you haven’t taken the time to network – its much harder to fill that slot.

social-network_110002551-012814-intNetworking Online

Networking online should not replace networking in person, although many VAs take on clients having only ever met via social media.

However, there still has been the process of building the trust. Get clear about the outcomes you want to achieve as a result of attending networking meetings over a period of time, perhaps work over a three month period at a time and ensure that online networking forms part of your strategy.

What Do You DO? – Get Clear About What You’re Offering!

I don’t think I know a single VA who has not been stumped by this question as some point in their networking. When promoting your expertise at a networking meeting you need to be clear about the benefits of using your VA services not the features so that you are answering the question “What’s in it for me?”.

When at a networking event and someone asks you what you do, be careful that you are not going into sales mode with them and start telling them what they could need…what they want to know is, who you work with, what services you provide and how your clients benefit from all of this.

Follow Up and One to Ones

The key to any good networking is in the follow up and in getting to know each of the other person in more in-depth. If someone has shown an interest, offered you a referral or you have offered to send them a piece of information, make sure you follow up. Otherwise it doesn’t create the best impression and you could end up losing business to another VA.

You can also follow up with them by connecting and conversing via social media. The more the two of you understand about one another’s businesses, the more likely the trust builds and referrals are generated.

You might also like to read my 3 Tips for Successful Business Networking blog.

Next week, we will start to look at Social Media and how you can use it in your VA business.

VACT-Logo-Green_png-250pxAmanda 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

What we can learn from National Blog Posting Month

Whether you’re a VA or small business owner, you can’t have failed to notice an increase in both blog post links and novel word counts being shared on social media this month.

Thanks to the start of National Blog Posting Month (otherwise known as NaBloPoMo) and the slightly older National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), November is fast becoming the busiest month of the year for bloggers and writers.

National Blog Posting MonthAs bloggers work on creating a blog post a day and writers work on their minimum of 50,000 words during November, those of us that aren’t in a writing-related business may look on in amusement, but National Blog Posting Month and National Novel Writing Month can also teach small business owners, VAs and other businesses some really valuable lessons too… lessons that can help you improve and grow your business.


The success of both of these challenges depends on how disciplined participants to are. A huge amount of them will fall at this first hurdle and drop out over the first few weeks. Now take a look at how many businesses start up, and fail, in their first year of trading.

Discipline is about being self-motivated; ensuring your behaviour and actions are moving you forward and in the right direction – regardless of what’s going on around you. It really is the cornerstone of any successful business… so how can you improve yours and ensure you get over this first hurdle?

Organisation and focus

Organised filesWhether you’re taking part in NaBloPoMo or running your own business, discipline will get you started, but you need to know what direction to go in and where you’re exactly you’re headed.

As both blogger and writer need to be organised to compete in their respective challenges, creating a plan and being able to focus on that end goal is crucial to your business success too. You need to be able to organise your business and home life, as well as your time and workload.


On the surface, both challenges appear to be about creating written content. But in reality, Interaction is truly at the heart of both NaBloPoMo and NaNoWriMo… and it should be with your business too. You can be the most disciplined and focused person in the world but, if you don’t know how to successfully interact with your potential clients, you won’t stay a business for long.

So, why not set yourself a personal challenge for the rest of November by focusing on improving your business in the three areas mentioned above? If you want to increase your motivation, why not share your intention to commit to this, by leaving a note in the comments section below?


Images courtesy of adamr & Stuart Miles /

Become a VA: Step 3 – Selling isn’t a dirty word

Many VAs when they launch their business, initially think that the sales will come because they have a website, they are on social media, they are advertising in the local paper etc. Then they have an “Aha” moment and realize that they need to “sell” themselves – and all of a sudden they are terrified. Often scared that they are not good at it.

Panic Or Calm Signpost Showing Chaos Relaxation And RestThe mistake here is thinking that you have to “sell” yourself all of the time, that every networking meeting, chance meeting at the school gate is a “must sell” opportunity.

Yes there is a sales element to your business and it is important you get that bit refined.  However, DO remember that you have to first get people to know, like and trust you first and that you’re creating awareness of what you do and for whom.  Remember to be confident too, as this helps people to connect with you and trust you.

When you’re selling you must first aim to understand the problem that needs resolving, so step into the mind of the prospect and imagine what they’re thinking. They may have some resistance or hesitation on their part, in fact this may not be the first contact you are having with them.

Online Marketing Pyramid Showing Blogs Websites Social Media And Email ListsGenerally it takes between 7 and 14 touches before someone buys from you. A touch could be a discussion, an email, a business card, a flyer, a newsletter, a tweet or Facebook post etc. Remember in the previous steps I mentioned the importance of building relationships with people. You may be feeling frustrated that this isn’t the first conversation with them, however, one of the areas many VAs fail, or indeed other industries too, is in the fact they forget to remember that the prospect may not be ready right now to buy or they may have objectives, concerns or an unclear understanding of how you can help solve their problems.

Therefore, think about the following…

  1. What objections could a potential client have. Remember that objections don’t necessarily mean No – they just need to understand the value. How you respond could determine the outcome. You could say things such as “I can see why you might think that.”, or “I understand why you would believe that.”, or “That’s a great question…”.
  2. They may have a number of problems that they need solving in their business and they want to understand how you can solve those problems or what solutions you may have to their challenges.
  3. They may be conscious about money and think you might be an expense they don’t need. Your aim is to help them understand the benefits to working with you and therefore the value you can add to their business, instead of being a drain on their financial resources.
  4. They want to know that working with you from the start will be easy. You will probably have a system for conducting your new client consultation, where you will implement a process to get started with them. They may be thinking that there is so much to get done and to teach you about their business and even feel overwhelmed by this, especially as they’re busy.

If you can prepare how you will handle these scenarios then your sales process will be much more effective.

Your prospective client wants to know that you can deliver amazing value, an excellent service with great support, that you have (in some cases) relevant experience or at least understand what their challenges in business are, that you’re forward thinking, proactive instead of reactive and at the end of the day, above all else, what will really sell it to them, is that you can help them to become more productive too, so that they can focus on achieving those very important goals. Those important goals will determine for them their business success and the impact on their personal life too.

Next week, we will start to look at how you market yourself and your VA business.

VACT-Logo-Green_png-250pxAmanda 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

Become a VA: Step 2 – Identifying your Niche

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.

Your Niche

IMG_1056The 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?

Research 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.

VACT-Logo-Green_png-250pxAmanda 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


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