Whether you’re a new Virtual Assistant getting started with your marketing efforts, or an established VA looking to do it better, this guide is for you.
For the purposes of this article, we’re going to assume you already have a website set up. That’s key for running any Virtual Assistant business successfully.
After all – you’re virtual aren’t you?
First up, before doing anything, what’s your main objective?
For new VA’s this is most probably getting your first few clients. But for established Virtual Assistant’s, it may be to build an email list.
Decide what yours is before continuing as that will determine your marketing methods.
Next, identify who your target market – who do you want to reach? Is it a niche industry type? Are they gender-specific? Are they local?
Once you’ve got the target market identified, don’t stop there. Describe them. Thoroughly research them.
What are their business problems? What do they care about most? Where do they hang out?
By discovering this, you’ll know how to reach them more easily. Some business owners spend no time on social media channels, so there’s no point spending much of your time marketing on Twitter or Facebook.
Some local business owners are regular business event attendees – if they’re your target market, get yourself to the next Chamber of Commerce event being held.
Some business owners get so many emails each day that they can’t get round to opening them all. Stand out by sending your marketing communication by snail mail instead.
Adapt your marketing tactic to match those of your target audience.
Now you’re ready to start marketing.
Here are 9 ways to reach your target market to grow your client base, or your email list, or whatever else you want to do, depending on where the best opportunities lie.
1. Google My Business
If you’re targeting local business owners, and why wouldn’t you, it’s a good idea to list your business – assuming you’re happy to have your address registered online.
Adding your VA business to Google My Business means it will appear in search results, map results and Google+ results. Multiplying your chance of appearing in high in relevant search engine results.
Have you carried out your own thorough keyword research?
If not, you’re probably missing out on a well optimised website that will work even harder for your business.
Spend some time using Google’s free keyword planner tool, to find keywords and phrases that still have a good amount of searches per month but with less competition.
Then populate your website with them, and crucially, update the SEO section of your website management system – meta description, page titles and meta tags.
3. Blog / Guest Blogging
Content creation is one of the best ways to increase the likelihood of getting in front of your target market.
Start blogging about what your ideal client would want to read on your own website and share it via multiple channels.
Create a blog schedule looking at business owner’s pain points and give your expert advice.
Of course, ultimately you want them to come to you rather than do it themselves, but by giving general tips and advice, you’ll showcase your authority and be forefront of mind when they finally decide to invest in business support.
Guest blogging is equally important.
This gets your business in front of many more people who wouldn’t ordinarily see your content.
Find blogs that have a high readership targeting business owners in your niche or in general, spend some time creating a high-value article and send a pitch email, or follow any guest blog submission processes they may have in place.
4. Create a Video
Stand out from the crowd by creating a short video on your website about you and your services.
Websites with videos are 53 times more likely to appear higher in search results and 1 minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words!
Don’t feel confident writing a video script, or not too sure how to go about it?
There are plenty of copywriters who specialise in Explainer Video scripts and plenty of freelancer animators who can produce the video to meet most budgets – so don’t let that stop you.
5. Social Media
Two things to consider here – 1) where your target market is, and 2) the channels you’re comfortable using.
Don’t be everywhere. You can’t be. It’s that simple.
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Reddit, Pinterest and Instagram, are the most popular social networks today.
Once decided, figure out the best time to post updates.
And finally, share content that’s valuable to your audience.
6. Email Marketing
Start your own email marketing campaign.
Find an email address for your target market – particularly easy if targeting a specific niche – craft a powerful yet succinct email, and send.
Send just one or two each day, remember to follow up, and even if you get just one response each week, that could potentially be a new client every week.
Stop when you’ve reached your maximum client-base, and start again when you want to up it, or when you lose a client.
Face-to-face networking is one of the strongest ways to gain new clients.
Your local Chamber of Commerce most likely holds regular business networking events. Get some business cards made up, perfect your elevator pitch, and start attending regularly.
Be yourself, know your purpose, pay attention, and follow up, and you could increase your client-base within the first few weeks.
For the extroverts among you, going door-to-door in your local area is not to be overlooked.
Dress professionally and again, perfect your elevator pitch, grab a handful of business cards – or even better, get your details printed on a handy pen – and get walking.
3. Mail-out campaign
Some business owners may react better to marketing material being sent in the post, rather than electronically.
As with an email marketing campaign, simply craft your message, find out the name of the person so it’s personalised, and send.
There’s plenty of work out there and plenty of ways to get your business in front of the right people – use the tactic that will work best for your target market and to meet your main objective.
And for any new Virtual Assistant’s reading this, you may also be interested in 6 Steps to getting Started.
Here’s to your success.