Have you been looking for the secret to success in your business?
Because I may well have the answer!
In order to grow a successful business, it’s important you have all the foundations in place first.
In the next 7 steps, I’ll go over how to set up your VA business without driving yourself crazy.
Do your research and find your niche
People often talk about having a ‘niche’. This can be a niche in terms of who your clients are or in terms of the speciality that you offer. Remember not to be TOO specific when you’re choosing a niche. If you only offer Instagram Management to UK Dental Practices, yes you’ve got a specific niche you know how to help but you’re also rejecting every other form of business that looks your way.
I believe you need to try different tasks and work with different types of businesses before you can decide who you do and don’t like working with. After a few months, you’ll be able to narrow down your niche further because you will KNOW who you truly enjoy working with.
Make sure you sort the legal side of things
There are a few legal things that are important to make sure you have in place before you get started. This will depend on which country you live in but it’s fairly straight forward and affordable to do.
It’s vital that you have a contract in place first. I recommend getting a VA specific contract from KoffeeKlatch. Do not start working with a client until you have a signed contract in place! I also recommend getting insured (although it isn’t essential). Do a quick google search for VA specific insurance in your country. I’m registered with Policy Bee and would definitely recommend them if you’re based in the UK!
In the UK, you will need to register as self-employed and also with the ICO.
Decide how much you will charge
Have a look at the industry average in your country and look at a few websites of virtual assistants to see what they are charging for similar services. The average VA rate in the UK is around £25.
You may find that VAs who specialise in certain tasks or who work specifically with clients in London may charger a higher hourly rate. Ultimately, you can charge what you like, just be confident in your pricing! Hesitation can come across as uncertainty. As long as you believe you are worth that rate, you’ll have no problem finding clients to pay it.
If you do start off at a lower rate, it’s important that you increase your rate as soon as you are able to.
Create a ‘brand’
Start by figuring out what kind of ‘vibe’ you want to give off. This will depend on who you are and who it is you want to attract. If you want to work with introverted creatives, your brand should be calm and welcoming. If you’re offering bookkeeping specifically for construction companies, your brand would be completely different.
Once you have figured this out, pick some brand colours, a logo and a general ‘feeling’ that accompanies your brand that will suit your target audience. Having the colours and logos make it so much easier to show up consistently and it will also help people recognise you.
If you’re lost, search ‘branding’ on Pinterest and you’ll get an idea of what you’re looking for.
Set up your social media
I recommend picking two social media platforms to begin with and perfecting your use of them. If you try to target clients on every platform, it’s likely you will spread yourself too thin. I personally use Facebook and Instagram and have had major success finding clients through both.
Now that my social platforms are well established, I’m ready to learn a new platform and start mastering Linkedin.
Don’t just follow the crowd to LinkedIn – choose what works for you.
Get your name out there
Start networking. Tell your friends and family what you’re doing. Attend local business events or networking events. Join business groups on Facebook and introduce yourself. Change your job to Virtual Assistant on Facebook. Distribute leaflets and talk to anyone and everyone about what you do.
Word of mouth is such a powerful form of marketing. Referrals are a huge part of service-based businesses so start talking about what you do to everyone you meet and stop hiding this exciting new venture away.
Learn as you go
Learning daily is so important because you will need to grow alongside your business and adapt continuously. I really encourage taking courses and hiring a mentor because you won’t know everything and everything. Top up the areas you aren’t 100% in with an online course or an in-person event local to you. Ask for advice, and soak up any knowledge you can find.
If your mindset is stationary, your business will be too. Lets face it if you were still trying to market yourself on Bebo (I’m not sure it even still exists), chances are you would have no clients.
You have to go where the clients are. And if you’re not sure where they are, check out this post.
Looking for more support and advice?
Why not sign up to my ‘Becoming a Badass VA’ course?