I realized since the first time I became a virtual assistant that this job needs more than just, “Years of professional experiences in administration, secretary or personal assistant”. As a matter in fact, I think it needs a strong marketing and selling skill to market the services.
Working as an independent contractor makes you stand alone and your career fully depends on how well you attract projects to come up. Project means money, no project means end of the line. It’s as simple as that.
That’s something that sometimes most contractors forgot. We concentrate and focus on our skills but simply forget how to market the services. I understand not everybody has marketing sense, not everybody can sell. Yet, actually no one was born with the skill either which means it’s something we can learn.
As Einstein said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious”
It’s true. Marketing is not a talent, it’s a skill that anyone can learn and get it advanced.
You might have been very advanced with the special skills that you are going to offer to the clients.
But if you don’t know where to find and how to offer, then everything will become zero.
You might have been years working as multi talented designer, but if you don’t know how to approach new clients and gain more projects, then your business simply will become static then finally collaps.
So, learning marketing is very important when you enter the virtual assistant business.
I know many of us have been running social media marketing activities for clients, some are quite experts in SEO, many are great in writing sales copy. So, why don’t we run the strategy and prepare the battle plan for ourselves?
If you are joining outsourcing websites like Odesk, Elance, Guru and so on, create attractive profile, set up your specialization, send out different and killer proposal instead of the canned response ones. Be different, be unique. Price yourself wisely. Not always the cheapest that will get the project, and not always the most expensive is high quality. So, learn your lesson.
If you are non outsourcing websites member, research and identify who will be the most potential market for you, who will benefit the most by using your service. After you know who they are, find them and get a way to approach them in a favorable manner.
I always love to think in a systematic way based on the old scheme of 5W +1H.
That’s actually an old fashion method of doing marketing, but it really helps me on many way, including finding the most effective strategy to market my service. By doing this systematic questioning, it would be easier for me to identify and finalize what steps that I should take on next.
Virtual Assistant profession needs more than just years of professional experiences. You don’t have to be executive secretary, do not need official certifications, what you need is eagerness to learn, the capability to survive, the professionalism to accomplish project by project and many times, crazy ideas to market yourself and services 😀