7 Tips to Market Your VA Business Better On Social Media

7 Tips to Market Your VA Business Better On Social Media

Are you using social media to market your virtual assistant business?

Social media is free, but if you aren’t using it correctly in your business, it could be costing you more in time than you are getting out of it.

The best way to grow your VA business is to create and nuture relationships with your audience of potential clients – and doing this online is both convenient and cost-effective, when you do it right.

Here are a few tips that might help you do social media better:

1. Understand the draw of each platform.

Not all social media platforms are the same. That’s why you should not post the same things to each of them and expect the same result. What are people looking for when they use each one? Does your content fit the platform? I like Twitter and Instagram but I don’t get clients from either platform, so I don’t market my business much there. Facebook and LinkedIn are a much better fit for who I am trying to reach.

2. Know who you are speaking to.

It’s important to get your messaging right, no matter which platform you are using to get your message out. When you understand who it is that you are trying to find, you will be able to find them congregating online more easily.

3. Get super clear on your messaging.

Look at your last week of social media posts. If you were your potential client, would your content stand out? Or does it blend in with what everyone else is posting? Clarity in messaging means the words and images you use will pop out to those who are looking for the kind of help you can provide.

4. Invite engagement and interact.

When you post on social media, you need to be aware of who is responding or reacting. Invite engagement by posting questions and asking for feedback or responses. And always make sure you respond to every person who does comment.

5. Schedule content and be spontaneous.

Using a social media scheduling software like ContentCal (affiliate link) is a great way to be able to plan your content and post it regularly. It helps you to plan ahead and not get stuck about ‘what to post today’. Your messaging becomes more cohesive with a plan. Don’t forget about being spontaneous too. Log in at least every couple of days to share something current and spark conversations.

6. Be consistent.

You will hear the word consistency often where social media is concerned. If you are using it as a marketing tool, don’t start and stop a plan. Your audience will grow over time, and making sure that you maintain a consistent schedule is important to keep your business top of mind for when clients need you.

7. Be recognizable.

Branding your social media is one of the best ways to share your business brand with any social media content you post. Choose consistent fonts and colors, and use your logo on your images so that people will begin to recognize your content when they see it. Repetition becomes familiarity, and familiar is good for your Know, Like and Trust factor!

Bonus tip: Talk to people.

Social media is not meant to be one-sided. You need to talk to people, not just sit and wait for them to talk to you. Be sure that you are reaching out to people often on social media. Not in a selling way, but in a support and help way. Answer questions in groups. Reach out to people if they are struggling.

Social media is a regular piece of our daily lives now – so that makes it a really great way to promote your business, but you have to make sure you are getting as much out of it as you are putting in.

For many more tips and information on how to use social media better to market your business, and what platforms you should be marketing on, I’ve recorded a video on my Youtube channel for you. Watch it here!

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

Calculating Your VA Rates Properly is Critical To Your Success

Do you know how much you need to charge to keep your VA business operational, profitable and sustainable? If you haven’t taken the time to do the math yet, it’s time!

If you are working with clients right now but you are still struggling with making money, you need to look at what you are charging clients.

I was extremely discouraged this week to witness a conversation taking place in a VA group.

A VA reached out for some advice around what she called logistics.

She has two clients that she is working for 20 hours a week each – a total of 40 billable hours a week. Great, eh? I think that’s wonderful to have a full VA business with just two clients!

Her concern was that she didn’t have time to add another 20 hour/week client, but she needs to because the 2 current clients are not earning her enough to pay her bills.

The logical answer for this response is that her rates are too low and she needs to raise them. If you are billing 40 hours a week and you can not pay your bills, it’s completely obvious (to me) that you are not charging what you need to charge.

She said that she was charging the going rate for VA work in her area, because her clients would not pay more (and yes, her rate is MUCH too low to operate a business).

Some VAs stated that perhaps her bills were too high (not that her rates are too low). Ummm … here’s the thing … if you know how much you need to earn in your business, then you must set your billable rate accordingly.

You can’t just pick a number out of the air.

You can’t just work for whatever a client says they will pay you.

And you can’t work 60 hours a week just to make ends meet.

If you are running a business, you get to make the decision about how much you charge.

I was not discouraged by her request for advice. I was discouraged by the fact that she thought that the answer was to add another client.

And don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing this VA at all. She is absolutely not the only one with this mindset. I am so happy that she reached out to get advice, because many VAs just never do.

I was also annoyed by the absolutely awful advice she was getting from the other VAs in the group – to get subcontractors. When you can not pay your own bills, you NEVER bring someone else in to your business.

And if your rate is too low to begin with, you can NOT pay someone else even less per hour to do the same work.

The only logical solution in this situation is to raise your rates.

Yes, that might mean that you lose clients. But you will burn out and lose your business entirely if you don’t.

Clients are everywhere. We are virtual – we do not have to settle for clients who do not see our value, or who tell us what they will pay us.

Clients are allowed to have a budget, of course, but it is NOT their right to tell us what we can charge. They can only tell us if they agree to pay it.

Calculating what you need to charge to make your business sustainable is your right as a business owner.

In fact, it’s your responsibility as a business owner.

Do it properly, and then craft service offerings that provide value and support for your clients.

Then go out and find those clients. I promise you they are out there, and you and your business will be in better shape because of the math you do!

If you need to figure out how much your billable rate should be, download my free Rate Calculation Package and figure it out! It will show you the variety of ways you can bring revenue into your VA business so you can make sure you are charging the right amount starting now!

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in a many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here.

Where Do I Find Clients for my Virtual Assistant Business?

Are you struggling to find clients for your Virtual Assistant business?

Many VAs struggle with this, not only at the beginning of their business, but all the way through it.

Why? Because they don't have a plan or a strategy to get clients.

Some of us start our business with our old boss as our first client (I did!). Or a husband, a neighbour, a friend.

So we don't get used to doing any marketing.

For marketing to work properly, you need to have a plan and do it consistently.

Getting clients is not difficult if you use a system that works for you.

But how do you figure out what works for you?

Think about the clients you have now.

If it's your old boss/friend/husband/neighbour, what made them hire you? How did that conversation go?

Who else do you know who has a business like theirs that you might be able to offer support for?

That's the beginning of your plan, and it's a great way to start thinking about who you can support.

Ask yourself these questions:

What services do I offer?

When you are trying to get clients, you need to be crystal clear on what you offer people. If you offer a laundry list of services, you aren't speaking specifically enough to anyone - and your message will fall flat on (almost) everyone you tell it to - whether that's in person, in your social media, or on your website.

Your message needs to talk about the services you provide - so that your client will know you can help them.

Do you provide general admin services? Awesome. Every single business owner out there needs admin help. 

But, if you target real estate agents, for example, you can tell them you will update their online listings, you can help schedule appointments with clients, do their follow up after open houses, and so on.

It's far more specific and it speaks to the client in language that could move them into action to work with you.

How do I help my clients?

What is that you allow your clients to be, do or have, by doing the work you do for them?

For instance if you do social media work - how does that help them in their business?

It gives them more exposure (so more people can learn about their business).

It can help them bring in new prospects (who can become their clients).

It showcases their expertise (when you post about what they do, their clients get to know them better).

It gives them back time (if they are doing the social media creation & posting themselves now).

and so on...

Knowing how your services help your clients on a tangible level will help you with your own marketing message, and in your networking situations.

Where are my clients hanging out?

When you are seeking out places to get clients, go where they already are.

That might be on Linked In, it might be in a Facebook group, it might be at a local event, or you might have to travel to an event.

The key is to go and seek them out where they already are. Why? Because chances are they are hanging out with their colleagues (like we do in the VA groups). And wherever they are, they are probably talking about their business - what they love about it, what they are struggling with, and what they need help with.

Professionals usually spend more time on Linked In for their business. Creatives might be in Facebook groups. Small business owners might be at local business event gatherings. Business coaches or speakers might gather at larger events.

The point is, think about who they are and where there are a large group of them. After all, we don't just ever want one client. We want lots of clients!

Then you just have to put it all together.

To find clients, you just need the answers to these three questions.

What do you do, how does it help them, and how you can get in front of them?

When you go where they are and build relationships with them, you learn more about what they need and you are in a better position to build service packages that are easy to sell and make sense to them.

If you are struggling, ask yourself these questions.

If you don't know the answers, that's the problem.

But with the answers, you are already more than halfway to new clients!

About the Author: Tracey D’Aviero is a Virtual Assistant Coach, Trainer, Speaker and Author. After operating a busy VA business of her own since 1996, Tracey began teaching others to run their VA businesses in 2010 through Your VA Mentor. In 2016 she purchased the CAVA and GAVA VA associations and now teaches and coaches VAs exclusively. She has a vast amount of experience working in a many different industries which helps her to offer her students and coaching clients a unique perspective and sound advice. She is a proud advocate of the Virtual Assistant industry. Learn more about Tracey’s journey in the VA industry here

How to Stay Committed To Your Business

YES!When starting your own business it’s often easy to get yourself started, but a lot harder to keep yourself going when things get a bit more tough.  Here are ten tips to help you stay committed.

Set goals.  Without goals, there’s really not much reason for you to be in business.  If you want to stay connected to your business, it helps to make yourself realize why you’re in business to begin with.

Keep goals in mind.  You started your business for a reason.  You need to keep that in mind so you don’t get weighed down by the day-to-day of your work.  Keep little pictures or other memorabilia around that remind you of why you’re doing this is the first place.

Be flexible.  There’s not a one-size-fits-all method to success; you might have to try a lot of things before you find what’s right for you.  The key is to be flexible and willing to try new things when things aren’t working for you.

Be persistent. While you may want to change when things aren’t working, you can’t give up on everything so quickly.  You have to be willing to keep trying and keep going even if things don’t go well.

Make it fun.  We all want to do things that are fun, and shy away from things that aren’t.  Make sure the avenues you pursue are not only profitable, but enjoyable to you.  If you have stuff you need to do that isn’t as fun, try turning it into a game, just like you probably do with your kids to get their chores done.

Find supportive people.  It’s a lot easier to stay committed to something if there are people on the sidelines cheering you on.  Take time to talk to people who are supportive of your business.  If you don’t have many, try finding people like you online and at local classes so you can encourage each other.

Get help.  If you’re like most people, you probably think you can get your business going on your own.  And if you’re like most people, you probably can’t.  Starting your own business is a big job, and it’s perfectly normal to need a little help or guidance.  Try to find a mentor who has already been successful in your area to guide you and give suggestions.  They will also be a constant reminder that what you’re

trying to do is achievable.

Review what you’ve done.  If you’re feeling like you want to give up or just feel beaten down, take out a pen and paper and write down what you’ve accomplished since you started your business.  Even if it’s just little stuff, write it down.  By the time you’re finished you’ll probably feel better realizing how much you’ve accomplished.  Then keep the list and review it and update it every so often to keep yourself going.

Expand yourself.  You’ve probably found that when you have a new idea or project, you get very excited about it.  Try to constantly expand yourself by going to seminars, reading ebooks, getting newsletters, and doing other things to keep yourself coming up with new ideas and getting new projects.  The more new things you do, the more excited you’ll be about just doing your work.

Stay positive.  A positive attitude goes a long way in keeping you motivated.  Take steps to keep yourself looking on the bright side of life and work and it will be easier to keep yourself going.

Ten Ways To Balance Work and Family

balanceBalancing a work life and a home life can be difficult, but with a little knowledge and planning, you can make it work for you.  Here are ten tips that will help you balance your work life and home life.

1.  Set realistic goals.  It's pretty much a given fact that if you want to achieve something big, you have to make some sacrifices.  While the select few can manage, most people can't become a CEO and run a successful household.  When setting your goals, be realistic and don't stretch yourself too thin.

2.  Make schedules.  Keeping track of work and your family can be difficult to plan.  Try to keep a set schedule from day to day and week to week if you can.  Always remember to make a written schedule and give everyone a copy.

3.  Take time for yourself.  It's a natural instinct of mothers to sacrifice themselves for the good of their family.  However, it's important to remember that if you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of anyone else.  Try to schedule in at least a few minutes of "you time", whether it be going for a run, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in a room by yourself to relax for a few minutes.   

4.  Work from home.  If you can do your work over the Internet or phone, you may be able to swing working at least part of the time from home, giving you more time to spend with your family.  Just remember that there are a lot more things at home to distract you from getting your work done.

5.  Get some exercise.  Working out is not only a great way to stay healthy and gain energy, it's also a great way to spend time with your kids.  Instead of hitting the gym, go play ball in the park or take them for a walk.

6.  Take advantage of leave.  Most jobs allow you a certain amount of leave, but a lot of us end up not using it.  Make sure you know how much time you have and take it, whether you go on a vacation with your family or just use it to take a well-deserved rest day every so often.  

7.  Prioritize.  When making your to-do lists, figure out the things that are most important for you to do and get them done first.  If there isn't enough time to do everything, you won't feel as bad about what you have to cut.

8.  Take classes.  As many people will tell you, there's no manual on how to be a good parent and have a successful career.  But if you search around your community, you can find classes and seminars from people that have been where you are and managed to do well.  They can give you inspiration along with helpful tips and tidbits to get through your day.

9.  Watch for burn out.  Even if you schedule everything, take breaks, and do everything else above, what you're doing may just be too much for you.  Watch yourself for changes in mood or physical problems.  They could be a sign that you're burnt out and need to make some changes to your plans.  Remember, your health is important too.

10.  Learn to say no.  If you want to have a successful career and family life, you will have to learn to say no occasionally.  If you try to do everything, you're going to burn yourself out and not be able to take care of anyone.  Being a good employee and a good parent doesn't mean you need to do everything you're asked.

Expanding Your VA Business

TeamAs a virtual assistant it’s very easy to fall into the trap of working around the clock and doing everything all on your own. If you’re getting lots of clients and repeat work, that’s fantastic and speaks dividends about your services. How about now using that to your advantage?

Expanding your VA business makes sense on all levels – you’ll have the ability to grow a client base, you’ll have a pool of other VAs to help you on a regular or as-needed basis, and you can slowly make the transition into being more of a manager rather than doing all the work yourself.

Here are a few tips to help you expand your business.

Don’t turn down clients.

If you’re getting so busy that you’re turning down clients, it’s time to expand. Find a VA or two to start which you know provide quality work. Contract work out to them on an as-needed basis. This means that you deal with your clients and they remain your clients at all times, but you sub-contract some of your work out to other virtual assistants. The VA’s deal with you (not the client) at all times and you pay them for their services.

The best way to do this efficiently is to systemize the process right from the start. Set up a simple yet efficient billing system so that you pay subcontractors on the same day each month. Ask your subcontractors to submit invoices to you to help make record keeping easier, and keep track of all assignments so that you can check the accuracy of all hours billed.

It’s also important you keep efficient records of all projects. You can use an online system like Basecamp to help you do this or a simple calendar – it’s really up to you – just make sure that you can easily track all projects.

Drum up new business. 

As you build up a database of VAs who are available to take on new work, start drumming up new business. Market your services online and offline to gain new clients. Use online forums to let business owners know that you’re available. Advertise your services strategically both online and offline. Write and distribute articles on topic with your business. And basically let potential clients know that you and your team can help them with their projects.

A professional, well-laid out website will play an important role in helping you build your business. Include a full FAQ about your business and services. Let clients know that you have a wide pool of assistants that can help with a large number of tasks. And give them a detailed list of all your services. And don’t forget to make contacting you easy – include an email address, postal address and telephone number where possible.

Build up a great team. 

The key to making your expansion a success will be a great team working in the background. To do this, ensure that you treat your subcontractors fairly – offer good rates for their services, be respectful and try to give them new projects as regularly as possible.

Communication is also extremely important. Set up a system so that there are no chances for miscommunication. Ask your subcontractors to confirm new projects. Set clear turnaround-times and ask them to notify you in case they can’t meet their deadlines as soon as possible.

Building up your VA business is possible. It’s just a matter of thinking “big” right from the start. Good luck!