When you make the decision to work as a virtual assistant, one of the most important attributes you can have is knowing how to market yourself. Millions of people sell the same products and services that you do, so it’s essential that you learn marketing strategies that will make you stand apart from the competition. When you take the time to learn to do this properly, potential customers will come to you for what they need rather than a competing business owner.
There are some personality traits that it’s essential a virtual assistant possess in order to be successful and competitive in the marketplace. One quality that is an absolute must for any successful virtual assistant is that you have to be determined to succeed. You will face a lot of challenges when your business is in the start-up phase and you must have the skills to face every situation as it arises. Determination is a big asset for a new business owner. If you give up the first time something goes wrong, you’ll never be successful. If something unexpected happens, try again or try a different approach. Being a small business owner is a learning experience and if you don’t possess a positive attitude, your customers will be put off.
One of the most important tools you should take advantage of is a variety of marketing materials. If you have the skill to do it yourself, there are software programs that you can use to design your own business cards. However, you can order business cards, signs, postcards, and promotional items that are professionally designed to your specifications and are inexpensive. A good company to order marketing materials for your business from is Vistaprint. You can order customized business cards and marketing materials that get noticed.
Marketing isn’t just something for big businesses. Any small business owner who wants to be successful has to market themselves whenever they have the opportunity. One way to market yourself effectively is to talk to people about your business without being too pushy. You don’t have to give everyone a big sales pitch, but when you have the chance to talk casually to people in a social situation about what it is you do, take advantage of it. Some virtual assistants market themselves by offering a special promotion for their product or service for new clients. Satisfied clients will spread the word to friends and business colleagues and will bring you more business.
Other great marketing tips:
1. Leave a business card everywhere you go (doctors, dentist, etc.). You never know who might need your services. Be sure your card mentions the services you offer and contact info.
2. Create a flyer about your services. Tack this up on your neighborhood store or any place you frequent that has a place for you to do this.
3. Fax your flyer to local businesses from your local newspaper’s employment section. On most ads, the fax number is listed.
4. Create a business Facebook page and invite all your friend and colleagues to connect with you.
5. Create a LinkedIn profile about you and your business. List all your skills that you offer.
6. Set up a Twitter business profile, and promote your services with little tweets. Be sure to follow others that you are targeting your services towards.
7. Create a website with a free service or an inexpensive one like godaddy.com – put up a page about the services you offer and a contact form.
8. Include your website, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn website links on your email signature for every email you send out. Also use a catch phrase right under your name like, ‘Virtual Office Assistant’ or put in the services you are offering.
9. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce and find out how to get listed in their directory.
10. List your business in any online industry specific directories that cater to Virtual Assistants and people looking for Virtual Assistants.