This is probably the #1 question I get from new virtual assistants.
How do you find your first client for your virtual assistant business?
I have to say the possibilities of clients are endless, there is no shortage, and even though you might be feeling like, eek there is so much competition.
That is, False…
The fact is, in the digital age we live in and the uprising of new small business owners.
The need of quality virtual assistants is HUGE….
There is a BIG market…
And then when you factor in the fact that not all virtual assistants offer the same services or quality…What that needs is even bigger…
So, let’s focus today on getting you some new clients, ok?
If your focus is getting clients, you should be spending 80% of your time doing just that. I hate when someone complains that they could have a great virtual assistant business if they could just get clients.
Well, guess what clients are not going to fall from the sky when you are starting out
And guess what…all businesses want/need clients..
To get clients, you need to do the work!
So, 80% of your time should be looking for clients, networking on social media sites with your idea clients, and bidding on freelance sites.
Yep, I am saying it…. instead of playing Candy Crush and watching NetFlix, get out there and do the work.
“There is no substitute for hard work.”
When I first started out, I did not land my first client, by only placing 1 bid….
I placed 100s of bids,
I daily placed bids,
I spent hours daily improving my RFPs,
I spent hours daily improving my profiles,
And finally after what seemed forever …but really it was only 2 weeks I landed my first client.
And from there…things have spiraled…
Now, today things have changed a bit… with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn (which are great places to find clients too)…. But, contrary to many Virtual Assistant Trainers and Mentors I believe that Freelance Sites are still a VERY good place to get started.
My favorite freelance sites to get started on are:
And there is a lot more then that out there now…depending on the services you are offering. Just do a “google search”
A matter of fact of the virtual assistants I have mentored have started there…and have been able to build substantial businesses within a short period of time. Eventually leaving those sites like I did. It is a great starting place!
The reason I prefer these sites is because there are people actively looking for your services on a daily basis. They are established freelance-sites, and lots of GREAT opportunities.
Will you make as much money using Freelance sites as you will without them?
Well, no, the fact is most freelance sites will collect a fee…But think of it as a safety net to get you out there… It helps many business owners feel more comfortable about hiring you for your services. I do not think you should view freelance sites as a long term option. But it helps you get established.
Will you be competing with others on these sites?
Yep that is what its all about. And you might be a little uneasy as you might see bids as low as $1 an hour, and wonder how you might compete with that. They are out there…and I laugh every time I see one. But if you place your bid based on your experience and your skills and sell yourself properly that will not a be a problem =-)
I always explain that even though others are bidding $1 an hour they are actually going to save money by working with me because I will be able to do the work in a more timely matter because of my skill level…and guess what it works
Do not give up after one bid, keep bidding and keep improving your proposals eventually something will come up that works for you.
Are Freelance sites just for project work?
True freelance sites tend to have a lot of project work. I have picked up a lot of clients from freelance sites, and some we worked together for years. Bid on the projects if within your skillset. This will help you build your skills and your online reputation.
What to watch out for on Freelance Sites…
Even though sites like Guru and Upwork are normally pretty good about making sure scams do not slip through…it does happen from time to time.
So, be leery when things don’t feel right, guess what they are probably not.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Always research a company before agreeing to work with them, Google is your best friend in this case. Google their website, google their business name and the word “scam”. Check out the Better Business Bureau. I even go as far as checking their phone numbers they have listed as well.
Then, of course, there are common sense things, like if someone asks you for a bank account number….RUN….. LiterallyRun and … Actually, I just block them from ever contacting me again
When you are starting your virtual assistant business out by using freelance sites you need to remember the following things:
- Do an amazing job, so they will hire you again and again, eventually developing a long term relationship.
- Ask for a Review!!!! This will help you build credibility in the industry
- Ask for Referrals! When you do a stellar job, let them know you enjoyed working with them and if they know anyone who could benefit from your services you would love a connection.
If you follow these 3 things, within a short period of time, you will have established your business, and your funnel will be full of prospective clients.
Now, I would love to hear from you, have you used freelance job sites for finding clients?
What has been your experience? What has worked for you? What has not?