Ep. 012: I Asked 50 Women Entrepreneurs Where They Look for VAs...Here's What I Found Out
A lot of virtual assistants have their go-to places to find new clients. I know VAs that swear by Instagram, I know VAs that love to attend local chamber of commerce meetings, or VAs that have found great clients on LinkedIn. But I’ve rarely seen the other side of this. Where do business owners turn to first when they need to find a virtual assistant?
I decided to poll a group of women business owners and ask them directly. And honestly, I was really surprised by some of the answers. It all seemed wayyy to juicy not to share, so I wanted to let you guys in on some of the trends that came up.
The most common trend that I saw come up was business owners that found their virtual assistants through personal referrals.
This one actually wasn’t surprising to me at all. After I started working as a virtual assistant for life coaches, all of my clients knew other life coaches that needed a V.A. And it totally makes sense that a person in one industry would ask for advice and referrals from another person in that same industry.
There are a couple of things we can take away from this information. 1) It is vitally important that you do your very best work for every single client (especially that first client.) You want to be that person that they are dying to tell all of their friends about. You want them to be thinking “Oh my gosh, what did I ever do without you!” Always make sure to pay attention to detail and go above and beyond whenever possible. Happy clients will write you powerful testimonials and refer you to their friends! And the second thing we can take away from this is that it can be incredibly beneficial to work in a specific industry. Business owners are much more likely to ask for referrals from people that are also in their industry. Knowing that you can do great work for a friend that is in the same space as they are will make them feel much more confident about hiring you.
Another trend that I saw come up a lot was Facebook groups. And the other side of that trend was FRUSTRATION with Facebook groups.
I am in a lot of Facebook groups, and I see this one thing ALL. OF. THE. TIME. And based on my conversations with other entrepreneurs, it is not something that you should be doing. Here’s what it looks like: a business owner will post in a Facebook group looking for some simple advice or feedback and will immediately get inundated with VAs asking if they can send a DM or saying email me or saying I’d love to be your virtual assistant. Here’s the problem with that: VAs that do this are already showing potential clients that they don’t listen and respond to simple directions or questions.
Facebook groups are social, supportive places, y’all! They are a great place to find out what your ideal client needs support with or to make connections with potential clients, but there is a right way to go about it.
So if a potential client posts an actual job opportunity, meaning they actually say, “I am looking for a virtual assistant, accepting applications”, it is totally appropriate at that time to read through their post, see if you are a good fit, and then let them know exactly how you can help. Make sure to pay very close attention to how they would like to be contacted. This is your first opportunity to show that you pay close attention to detail.
Now, if a potential client posts a question like “How do I create a Mailchimp campaign?” this is NOT a good place to start pitching your services. This is a great place to start relationship building. I know from experience how frustrating it is to ask a simple question in a Facebook group and get a bunch of pitches instead of actual advice. What would stand out to ME as a business owner (and this is also based off of my conversations with other business owners) is if a V.A. actually answered my question in a helpful way. Like what if you saw that question “How do I create a Mailchimp campaign” and you did a quick screenshare to show the beginning steps? This would show your potential client that you know your stuff and it will probably show them that it would be beneficial to outsource this particular task. And maybe you won’t get hired on the spot, but that potential client will definitely remember you!
This is where it’s important to mention that you should have your Facebook profile totally filled out. If someone sees your comment in a Facebook group they should be able to easily click over to your profile and see your website, your Facebook page, your email, and any other information that could be relevant about your business. Make sure they can find you again!!!
If you are looking for more info on how to find clients in Facebook groups, make sure to listen to Episode 5 of the podcast, I cover a TON of information there. I also have a downloadable guide about finding clients in Facebook groups in The Freebie Shop.
Another interesting trend that I saw from business owners is that they liked to use directories to find virtual assistants.
Usually these directories were associated with a brand or a person that they already knew and trusted. Motivatedmompreneurs.com was one that I saw come up a few times and Huntwisely.com was another. I got the sense that business owners liked to hire VAs from a curated group instead of a large pool. I’ll add links to some directories in the show notes and also take this opportunity to let you know that the Support Squad Membership Site, which I’m launching in May, will also include a directory. I am asked EVERYDAY if I know a good virtual assistant, so I’m excited to be able to feature my members in a directory so that I can send referrals their way.
So the main takeaway that I got from polling business owners about where they prefer to find virtual assistants? Relationships are everything.
People want to work with virtual assistants that they feel some kind of connection to, whether it’s from a personal referral from a friend or a friendly relationship from a Facebook group. And my advice to you is to spend dedicated time every day building connections with people online. Sometimes it takes a little bit of time and effort to build those relationships, but I’m telling you, it’s worth it.
Want to chat more about this week’s episode? Make sure to join us in The Support Squad Hangout on Facebook. I’m always happy to answer your questions and there are a ton of brilliant women who can also support you. I’ll see you in there. Until next time, boss babes.