Find & book your dream VA clients with ease
Want to become the Epic VA with all the best clients, juicy word-of-mouth referrals, and the month-long waitlist? The secret to finding the right clients starts with you!
As I write this, the calendar’s just flipped to September. And while much conversation turns to fall and the Q4 of the year, I’m still intent on enjoying my favourite purchase of the summer, a barbecue grill.
We finally got one this year because we hadn’t been to a barbecue in two summers and we were finally over waiting to be invited to a post-pandemic backyard cookout. I found mine with a little research, that started with Caleb and I wandering through the seasonal section at Canadian Tire ogling the grills.
Window shopping is usually how I find cool things that aren’t business software.
How did you find your last favourite purchase? The one that you tell everyone about.
Statistics show that when it comes to marketing, word-of-mouth recommendations are the most effective referral out there. According to a Nielsen study, 84% of consumers trust referrals from friends and family more than advertising. Nielsen also found that consumers are four times more likely to make a purchase after being referred by a friend.
This may be intuitive when it comes to consumer purchases, but Social Media Today reports that 78% of B2B businesses find that referral marketing is the most effective in generating quality leads. (Hey, that’s us! Virtual Assistants are B2B businesses!)
The numbers say that people trust recommendations from their friends, family, and colleagues more than anything that comes from your brand. When a potential client hears about your business from someone they already know, it’s much more likely that their recommendation is seriously considered and leads to a conversion.
Personal referrals are a small but mighty key to growing an epic VA business. Instead of constantly chasing job opportunities in Facebook groups and online job boards, high quality clients come to YOU. Your email list grows every time a client mentions you on Forbes or Entrepreneur or their Instagram stories. Your waitlist grows. And because your demand increases, so do your rates.
If you’ve been focusing on growing your email list and posting on social media to gain exposure, don’t worry! The beauty of word-of-mouth referrals is that it folds perfectly into your existing marketing strategy. All those people need to find a place to learn more about you and your epic services, right?
Clients and colleagues who bring other high paying clients to your virtual doorstep are unofficial advocates. They actively promote you in conversations whenever the subject of your services comes up. They also vouch for you if asked. Finding this type of client might seem like magic, but it’s actually a result of some extra care and thought you can easily add into your client experience.
The better the relationship you develop with your clients, the higher the chance for referrals and long-term opportunities. Remember that they’re a whole human being, not just a contracted paycheck. Take the time to learn their likes, dislikes, work patterns, etc. Not only does it make working with them easier, it’s also a lot more interesting and fun when you like who you work with.
Providing consistent, stellar customer service is arguably the most important aspect in turning clients into advocates and growing a successful VA practice. And it’s about more than simply being polite and on time. It affects everything from how much someone is willing to pay for your service to how long they’ll be a client. Delivering stellar customer service greatly increases your chances of sticking in an advocate’s head when someone asks for a VA referral. If providing customer service in a heated moment is difficult or new to you, here’s an article on providing stellar service without the stress.
Make it easy for your client to be happy. This is why it’s so important to focus on the relationship. As you develop a rapport and learn your client’s habits and preferences, use that information to make their life easier…because that’s what #EpicVAs do!
When one of my first retainer clients hired me to manage her calendar, she got super stressed out whenever she looked at it. I quickly discovered she needed literal white space on her calendar to feel like she could relax. We took out all her lunch breaks and writing time blocks and she felt instantly better, even though she was using the white space for those exact activities most of the time.
What are some simple tweaks you can make to increase your client’s happiness even 1%?
Is your brand easy to find? Create an awesome website, use a simple email address and social media handles. Make it easier for new referrals to find you and book their discovery call.
Sometimes all a client needs to become an advocate for your business is for you to simply ask them. If you’ve built a good relationship, don’t be afraid to ask them specifically for what you need, whether it’s a testimonial, a referral, a social share on Facebook, or an introduction on LinkedIn. Happy customers want to help you succeed.
Thank them for helping you out, especially when they send a referral. Sending a card via snail mail or emailing them a gift card to their favourite coffee shop can even motivate them to help you out again in the future. The gift doesn’t have to be huge but the more personalized it is, the better.
Unfortunately, my OBM practice is booked up and we’re not taking on any new long-term clients. My loss is your gain because I share overflow job opportunities that I can’t handle with my network of Epic Virtual Assistants. Join my list to make great connections, get tried-and-true mentorship for growing your epic VA business, and receive high quality job opportunities right in your inbox.