You have set up your virtual business and are ready to find your first client. Applying for virtual assistant jobs as a new virtual assistant can seem quite nerve-racking. Let’s face it, it is something you haven’t done before so it’s natural to be nervous because you don’t know what to expect.
The most common fears when applying for jobs are:
Will they ask me a question I don’t know the answer to? I’ll seem unprofessional.
What if I quote too low a price? I might lose money.
What if I quote too high a price? I might not get the job.
Will I be able to do the work? I might be embarrassed if I have to go back and tell them I can’t do the work.
I hear these concerns all the time from new virtual assistants so to address their concerns, we go through each of their fears individually. We work out a plan B to give them more confidence in being able to handle these issues..
Plan B and overcoming these fears
If you get asked a question you don’t know the answer to, tell them that you will get back to them with an answer within an hour or two.
All potential clients will be happy with this answer and will see you as professional. Clients don’t want to hire anyone that seems unsure or worse makes up an answer – especially if its not the right answer. The client would rather that you were honest with them from the start.
In regards to the fear of not quoting enough.
When you quote add a rider that this price is for a set amount of time.
Tell the client that rather than over or under charge them too much that you are happy to review the price in x weeks time. At that time any adjustments can be made.
If you have a fear of quoting too high. Talk to the client about what their expectations are in regards to price.
Ask he or she if they have worked with a virtual assistant previously. If they have, ask them what they paid and how they found the experience.
This question often opens up a lot of information from the client that you can expand on to present a higher quality service.
If the client hasn’t worked with a virtual assistant previously, ask he or she what they can afford. The good thing about being a virtual assistant is that you can meet any budget – it just means that you work slower or faster depending on what they pay you.
In regards to the fear of not being able to do the work. It can be difficult to judge if the work will be beyond you by one phone call or meeting.
Yes, it would be foolhardy to make promises to the client that you won’t be able to keep. Fortunately we live in an online world where plenty of training and support is available.
Its a good idea to get the details of the work and what software or features the work entails before you speak to the client about what they need.
Take Matters Into Your Own Hands
Armed with more intelligence on what will be required, you can often sign up for a free trial of any software. View the help section or complete a training session before you speak to the client. This will give you the opportunity to test your skills and learn any new changes in advance.
Another option is, at the meeting tell the client that you haven’t used that particular software or feature before but you will have a look at it online and just brush up your skills.
Most clients will be happy that you were honest and that you are willing to invest some of your time in learning, before you make a commitment. This attitude is often the main reason for a client to hire you. Anyone can learn a software system or process, but having a “can do” attitude and demonstrating that you are willing to invest to ensure that you are a good fit is rare.
Now we have addressed the most common fears, its time to look at how you apply for virtual assistant jobs.
How to Find Virtual Assistant Jobs
The best way to find virtual assistants job are:
Tell your immediate circle of friends and family that you are open for business and looking for a client. Give them details on what services you will be providing.
Pin up Business Cards on the local community board
Attend Face to face networking events
Read the Local, regional, national newspapers for jobs advertising part-time secretarial, admin or your area of expertise. Apply for the work and let them know you are an independent contractor.
Buy a Magnet or sign for your car/s. You can get them printed quite cheaply on sites like these.
Sign outside your gate. Check your local council by-laws first.
Attend Expos or Trade Shows. You don’t need a stand initially. Attend those where your target market will be participating and just go around and talk to them about their business and needs. Its a great way to gather market intelligence.
Local TV shows. If your region has a local TV show that looks for stories of interest, pitch your business to them as a good story to tell.
Get listed on Google Maps and Google My Business. Let’s face it, if you don’t have a Google account at the moment you will need one, so you may as well set it up now.
Join specific Facebook Groups. There are so many Facebook Groups, just be sure to join those where our target market hang out.
Add an email signature asking for a word of mouth referral. Sample: I depend on word of mouth referrals to grow my business, if you know of anyone who needs [insert your flagship service] please pass on their details to me.
Search engine ranking or ads to get found for your keyphrase.
Offer to speak at local clubs and networks like Rotary,Chamber of Commerce, Business Hubs on the benefits of hiring a virtual assistant.
Create a freebie to give away. The freebie needs to match your markets needs or solve a problem for them.
Create a guarantee – to take the risk of purchase away from the client.
Gather as many testimonials as you can. Ask previous employers, colleagues, influential friends.
Have a simple onboarding process. Make it easy for the client to say yes.
Your Business Profile
When you were applying for a job as an employee you would have had a CV or Resume. As a virtual assistant applying for jobs is a different experience for you. As a virtual business owner it is more appropriate to have a business profile. One that presents your business is a very favourabe light.
The Difference Between A Resume and Business Profile
A resume provides your future employer with your personal details, your work history, the qualifications you have and skills you have. Usually you would also include personal interests or hobbies.
A business profile gives the client information about your business. The profile includes details like how long you have been in business and why you started the business. You should also include what your passions are and how much expertise you have; what you do, who you help and how you help them. The profile also provides information on payment terms and how you deliver your services, when you are available and any other relevant business information.