How Do I Get New Business? – It’s something I’m often asked as a Virtual Assistant.
As a small business or sole trader, it’s hard to make yourself heard isn’t it, or to get your face seen above the heads bobbing up and down in that sea that is competing for business that is out there.
But there is a way to be heard, there is a way to be seen, you just have to work at it. You have to be determined. You have to have that fire in your belly! You have to have that passion and that desire. You have to want to succeed. Well, you have to pay the bills, don’t you?
How do you do it?
What you do NOT want to do, is offer free trials. Why? Well, it lowers your business-worth. You may offer a free initial 1-hour telephone consultation to obtain the brief from your client to obtain information to enable you to do the job in the first place – this is good practice. You are a business, a freelancer and are offering a good service/product that is in demand. If a trial is required, then it should be a paid trial with a contract and terms of business provided.
You need to show your presence. Have you got yourself a logo or brand to identify yourself? Has this been replicated in business cards to leave with people at networking meetings? When you network with others, you will want to leave them with something to remember you by.
Whether this is a business card, a pack of mints or some other form of promotional material, or you simply develop a document detailing your services whilst you get yourself up and running, it is a start.
Ensure that you have a website. This is the first place your clients are going to look once you have given out your business card and the place they will go and check you out! You need to have some credibility. Even if you at least have a simple landing page with your contact details on – it is somewhere for someone to go and look at what you say you can offer them to reinforce your message. Do not make your website homepage all about you, make sure you tell the reader what you can offer them. The reader needs to know how you can make things easier for them and how you can help them.
Are you Networking?
Another way of showing your presence is to network to meet your peers, colleagues and guess, what? Potential new clients. It’s something that we all ‘gulp’ at the first time around – but it DOES WORK. There are different options such as the BNI and 4N Networking. These are only a couple of options on offer, there are many, many networking groups on offer and you will need to find what works for you. They will offer different styles of meetings and payment plans too giving variations of a formal referring-style option and relaxed friendly alternatives.
Are you Good At What You Do?
When online or offline, can you show others that you speak authoritatively? Do you write about your endeavours such as blogs, articles, newsletters or written in groups or comment on other’s posts or articles on websites for example? Are you known in your industry for your product or service or have you created something that is renowned for what you do, are you certificated for it, these are all things that you need to be talking to people about or getting known for?
Have you undertaken any industry training that makes you a specialist at what you do? This is something that again, can make you an authoritative speaker in groups or blogs and you can make an impact on this through communication with others and helping beginners in your field.
The next thing is to get yourself across all of the social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for example. Your clients will be on some of these, not all but they will be browsing some of them and you will not know which ones, so it is a good idea to be on them at some point. If you can post on them at some point, preferably consistently, then you will reach them at some point or other. If you would like to know the best times to post then you can read about it on this blog.
Should I respond to advertised job postings on Social Media?
There are, occasionally, job adverts posted on social media groups that can prove quite lucrative, but you need to know how to choose them and where to find them and how to source them. This comes from knowing your niche and your target audience. If you do not know how to start to help a potential client, you can read about that here.
If a position has been advertised publicly on a Facebook group, for example, you can believe that the ‘world and his wife’ (or husband), will have seen it and there will be hundreds of applications for it with plenty of skills and expertise going.
Not to say, that you don’t have the skill and expertise to fly to the moon. So, apply for it anyway! So, if you feel you have Nasa experience then go for it, by all means but, it is better for you to develop your own way of ‘job-sourcing’ by searching for your ideal client by either looking in your Twitter lists, your LinkedIn Client groups or by your own targeted sales network links from your own networking. Or, contact your colleagues, tell everyone you are looking for new clients, contact your own list, your ex-employees. Be proactive!
So, having undertaken the tasks of finding your niche and your target market or audience, you should be in a better position of knowing where to locate your search for who is your ideal client. Yes – your IDEAL CLIENT. What a fab position to now be in!
If you need a Virtual Assistant for your New Business to undertake your administration now that you have too many clients,