Being a virtual assistant myself for over 20 years and then starting an agency has taught me a lot about the VA space. I’ve experienced it from the VA standpoint and the client standpoint. It’s helped me see where people need a little extra help to really excel, and play off of others strengths to help balance out weaknesses. But it also led me to create a new group just for virtual assistants who are serious about making it in this crowded space, and providing resources and support along the way.
One of the top questions I get from anyone looking to either enter the virtual assistant space, or have been working it for a while but they just aren’t where they want to be is “How do I find clients?”
Whether you’re looking online or doing in-person networking, getting clients can be a real struggle for those who aren’t clear on their target market. Consider how crowded this space is today: Upwork has something like 12 million registered freelancers and about 3 million jobs. How do you like those odds? If you’re out there saying, “I’m a virtual assistant who can help anyone do anything”… who do you think is going to call you? When people can’t see what you do right away, and you’re not speaking directly to them you know what happens? Right, nothing.
If you’re going to stand out, you need to be very clear on who you are and what you do. Do you know who your target market is? Do you have a specialty you want to share? Is the message you’re conveying to your audience clear?
If your answer is no to these questions…it’s time to dig in and define these areas. Defining your target market isn’t rocket science, but it is critical if you’re going to make it in this space. Wondering how you choose a target market? Try thinking about:
- Who do you resonate with the most? Is there a particular industry or group of people that really interests or fascinates you?
- Is there a group or industry that you already know, might have a client or two in already or have been associated with either now or in the past?
- Is there a group or industry that you have a lot of knowledge about already?
From here you can identify your target market. Don’t overthink it…and don’t get stuck trying to define it. This can and most likely will change at some point, but everyone needs to start somewhere. So pick one and focus on that.
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started” -Mark Twain
Now that you have your target market in mind, it’s time to define your specialty. Again, don’t overthink this because as you grow and find other areas of interest, this will change too. Start by:
- Writing down what you’re good at.
- Writing down what your strengths and weaknesses are-concentrate on your strengths, you can work on the weaknesses as you go.
Okay, we have our target market and our specialty. Now you’re ready to create your message. Your message should also address your target market’s pain points and how you will solve those for them.
- Tell people who you help (target market).
- Tell people what you do (your specialty).
- Tell people how you will solve their problem or pain points.
- Tell people the results you’ll deliver.
When I first started working as a VA I worked for an external annuity wholesaler. This is a pretty defined market…what I did for him was set his appointments, send emails on his behalf and set up his seminars, and other misc. admin things.
Back then, if I was looking to work with more wholesalers, my message would have been:
“I help annuity wholesalers increase sales by keeping their appointment calendar full and handling their admin tasks”.
If you were an annuity wholesaler, wouldn’t you want to increase sales? Heck yeah you would. That’s how you create a clear, concise message to a very targeted group of people. Eventually, your market will expand or change, and others will think “if she can do this for wholesalers, I’m sure she can do this for me”. As Michael Port would say: you’ll be a big fish in a small pond!
Set yourself up for success; define your target market, define your specialty and create your clear, concise message so your ideal clients can find you.
If you want more great info on becoming a virtual assistant, check out our new Elite VA Hub website for blog posts and free resources to help you on your journey.
If you want a community of like-minded virtual assistants who are in the same boat as you are and looking to make a break in this space, hop on over and join our new Elite VA Hub Facebook Group. We have an awesome group of women that we’ve put together to bring you the best information you need to help start, grow and excel as a virtual assistant.
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