During the first year to 2 years of business, and maybe even beyond, you may have to work actively in filling your online service business with new paying clients. After a period of time you can find that through consistent effort your client intake happens almost naturally from past efforts such as putting yourself out there in social media, blog posts, forums, groups etc... But what if you need those clients, and you don't quite have the groundwork done yet? - In this week's post I'll provide you with a plan of action.
Attracting clients requires you to put yourself out there with confidence. Sitting behind the computer screen is all very well, but staring at it waiting for something to come from your website or the latest blog post you wrote, or that tweet you did simply won't fly. We need a collective effort to attract those clients to you in a speedy fashion, and that means 2 things:
1 - Be Less Subtle Getting Yourself Seen.
2 - Tell People You're Open For New Clients.
For the next 7 days carry out these steps of putting them into action in your business and see where it takes you...
Day 1: Use Your Twitter DMTwitter has a direct message facility that allows you to send your followers a message after they follow you. Use a system such as Social Oomph to automate that direct message or send it manually if you like, it could read something like this... Or whatever you feel comfortable with, just make sure it prompts people to get in touch.
"Hi! We have an opening for a client at [biz name], so do schedule a call with me to see how this can benefit you [enter calendar link]"
Day 2: SWAYY People
"Facebook unveils tool to target video ads to the people most likely to watch them" - you could post this through your social media via Swayy, but also include a comment, "Contact me for support with your FB video ads! [enter link to your contact page].
Check how many clicks it got in the system to find out what's popular with your followers and which services attract the most attention.
Day 3: Utilise your connections
a - Potential Clients
b - Colleagues
c - Other
Then contact them.
a - For all your potential clients send them a message directly asking if they would like to have a chat with you to discuss how you can improve a certain aspect of their business, or if they need any help with anything. Explain you have a vacancy open for a new client, and they are just the type of person you'd love to work with.
b - For colleagues, contact them and get a feel for if they have a team, or might be looking for a collaborative partner to refer overspill clients to. It's not uncommon for VA's to turn clients away, and it would benefit them to say, "I can't help you, but a colleague of mine could and these are her details." It's a win-win for both parties.
c - The others would be great for a survey - so do a little market research, for example send them 3 questions and offer them something in return for their time, maybe a free eBook or report of some sort. The questions I think would be useful include:
Q1) What does the term "Virtual Assistant" mean to you? Please share your thoughts.
Q2) Have you, or would you ever consider hiring a Virtual Assistant?
Q3) Do you know anyone who could benefit from additional business support right now?
If they answer C - you might want to jump in and see if they would be willing to hand that person your details.
Day 4: More dinners from the chicken
Day 5: Email ALL your contacts
Day 6: VA Reach out
Day 7: Set up a Facebook Tab
a) We're looking for a new client!
b) This is how you can enquire/ask a question (no obligation).
c) This is where you can read up on what we offer/how we can help you.
d) Feel free to leave a message in our FB message box expressing an interest and we'll contact you within 24 hours.
e) We look forward to hearing from you!
Keep At It
If you're creative I'm sure you can come up with a lot more ideas... How about submitting a press release telling the world specifically about your client vacancy, make a blog post asking people to get in touch if they have been considering hiring a VA or simply would like to learn more about what it's all about. Create your own 7 day action plans for attracting clients, switching up your activities.
The key is to take action, using those 2 points I mentioned earlier on in this post: