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 a Virtual Assistant looking for your first clients, how long would you expect to wait before one of your pitches gets you a yes? Would you be willing to take 100 Noes before you get to your first client signing on the dotted line?
In an interview, actor Dallas Bryce Howard once told Marie Forleo that she was pleasantly surprised to land her first role after 67 auditions. She’d expected it to take a while because a mentor told her it would take 100 rejections before she would be cast for a part.
It’s an old statistic that still holds true today.
When pitching your services to “cold” prospects (people you don’t have a connection or previous rapport with) it will take on average 100 noes before you get that first yes.
The opposite of cold pitching is networking.
Not that, “walk into a room filled with business owners handing business cards out like candy, collecting a mittfull and going home”, kind of networking.
We’re talking Relationship Building. Networking by fostering genuine connections with people that will help them get to know, like, and trust you.
Networking often feels like it takes more time than cold pitching, especially for shy and/or introverted people, because of the effort involved, but the rewards of making those connections actually tend to come much faster than cold pitching and they certainly multiply much faster too.
If you’re an introvert like me, the thought of networking might make your stomach turn a bit. Even so, it’s the best way to land dream clients doing the work you enjoy most.
It might be helpful to think of networking or building relationships as being of service or helping out. Helping is much easier than building, in my mind at least. 😉
My favourite place to build relationships and help people are paid Facebook groups.
Paid Facebook groups are usually accessible by customers in a paid program or membership such as a copywriting course or an online business mastermind. Because it requires an investment, the entrepreneurs you’ll find there are serious about growing their businesses, which almost always involves hiring and outsourcing.
It also means you’re more likely to be noticed when you’re in there showing off your expertise.
Most paid Facebook Groups don’t allow self promotion, or only allow it in response to certain posts posted at certain times. And that is totally fine.
Because building a relationship doesn’t happen by blasting your offers all over the place and hoping someone will take you up on it.
It’s about providing thoughtful answers to questions your fellow group members post. Giving valuable feedback and insights when someone asks for it. It’s about asking questions and thanking people when they help you. It’s about standing up and saying, “Oh, I know how to do that!” and then creating a little Loom video walking them through the process.
The more you contribute, the more relationships you’re likely to build. Other users will start to tag you when they see a question that you’ve shown knowledge in and yes, people will ask what you do at which point you can proudly tell them.
Pick a few groups to be in and be in them a couple times a day. If you’ve picked groups containing your ideal client you’re likely to find a client within a month or two of being in the group, so long as you’re actively contributing to the community.
And yes, it’s totally okay to give feedback or instruction and say something, “if you need more help feel free to DM me.” And, when they DM you, give what help you can but also let them know that you offer VA services so if they need help in the future please keep you in mind
Do not do work for them for free. If they ask if you can do it for them, provide your rates.
It’s possible to find clients by building relationships in free Facebook groups, but because the barrier to entry is lower than a paid Facebook group, the quality of conversation and/or frequency of posts may also be lacking, especially if it’s a business group.
Free Facebook groups about business that have decent activity are more like affinity spaces, where users discuss their challenges and wins, and are sensitive to self-promotion.
The same goes for Virtual Assistant Facebook groups. Unless the group specifically allows posts for job opportunities, the group will likely be a place for you to learn from and make friends with other VA’s, rather than finding VA’s who are looking to hire. Sincere activity in an affinity group may lead to client referrals, but don’t join one just for that.
Free or otherwise, don’t go into Facebook groups expecting to land clients. Go in expecting connections and building a network. After all, that’s what business has been about since the beginning of time. It’s all about your network, your connections, and building strong ties to people in your community.
Getting out there “face-to-face” might be hard, but it’s still an important part of growing your connections. I went through a few hard lessons about managing my energy along the way, but finding connections, getting to know some people, and being present and helpful were the best way I got my clients. The more you can do that, the better it’s going to be.