When I first started my virtual assistant business, I had no website, no clients, and no prospective clients I could count on. I needed money immediately, and I really didn’t know about how to setup funnels, so I used the only tool I knew I could get results in: social media.
I didn’t question whether I could get clients there, because it was the only option I knew of that could get me immediate results. So, spoiler alert: yes, you can get clients on social media. I want to walk you through some of the things that got me clients really quickly, and some others that kinda sucked, and shot me in the foot.
2 Ways Newbies Scare off Potential Clients on Social Media
There are a few things I did that I noticed worked like a charm for getting more clients – but before I talk about the nitty gritty of those, I want to talk about how easy it is to do the opposite and to scare off potential clients.
1. Share about your business on all the time on your personal page
If you’re a business, don’t spam your friends 24/7 with how excited you are about your new business, and how wonderful it is to live the laptop lifestyle, etc, etc. Some posts are fine, but seriously, don’t do it all the time. It’s annoying, and it’s probably going to get you unfollowed. Create a business page, or group, and start sharing stuff there.
The other problem with sharing on your personal page is that if you’re new to your area of business, most of your friends probably aren’t your ideal customers anyway! So why would you waste time marketing to people who don’t want to hire you because you aren’t a good fit? That’s just silliness right there.
2. Promoting your services in groups where that isn’t allowed
Facebook groups are a great place to find clients! I know because when I was getting started, I got all of my clients from them. The problem is – some people see Facebook groups for the goldmine they are, and they forget that some groups have rules against it.
For example, I have a Facebook group where we are always talking about entrepreneur-related things. I don’t allow people to promote in my group, because I want to foster a spirit of helpfulness in the group. I want it to be more about helping one another, and creating a community for my students where everyone supports one another.
There are a lot of groups where you can promote your services and offers, but don’t do it if you aren’t allowed. When in doubt, it’s a good idea to ask a moderator. I don’t make a habit of kicking people out of my group, but I know a lot of people who have no problems removing rule breakers without warning.
The other issue is that promoting when it isn’t allowed makes you look kind of desperate, which is exactly the vibe you don’t want to give to new clients! If you’re a professional VA, it’s your job to fix things, handle things, etc. Most clients want someone who is professional and capable, not desperate and clingy! Even if you are financially desperate, there’s never a time when you’ll regret acting professionally when trying to attract clients.
How to attract new clients on social media
Now that we’ve covered what not to do, let’s get to the fun stuff of how to go from being not booked at all, to attracting as much business as you can handle!
1. Help first, go for the sell second
When you’re just starting out, one of the best ways to position yourself as an expert with future clients is to be helpful in the same places they hang out. Get into their Facebook groups and answer questions related to your specialty – it’s okay to mention what you do (or will do) for clients in this situation.
Here’s the cool thing that happens when you help people in groups. Either the person you’re helping will go, “Oh wow, that’s great, but I could never do that!” and they’ll consider hiring you, or you might be impressing other people. Several of the clients I got as a brand new VA were because I was helping a person, and someone else saw the thread and wanted to know if I could solve a similar problem for them.
A lot of times, clients are capable of doing what you do, but don’t want to take the time and energy to learn how to do it. Hiring an assistant is often a matter of convenience, not intelligence. (Although I did have some clients who were technologically illiterate and really couldn’t do what I helped them achieve, those were few and far between.)
Sometimes you’ll share something and then receive no immediate return, and that shouldn’t surprise you or make you feel discouraged. But the more you’re used to serving and providing value to people, the better off you’ll be when you have paying clients!
2. Always be you
When you’re first starting out, it’s easy to look at other virtual assistants with successful businesses and try to emulate them because obviously what they’re doing works. Well, here’s the problem with that. I’ve seen VA’s with really nice websites who were flat broke but put up a prosperous front and talked a good game, I’ve also seen virtual assistants who had no websites for their business, but had more clients than they could handle.
So, ignore the temptation to emulate others too much, because what works for them may only work because it’s an area where they’re gifted in. For example, I know virtual assistants who thrive on simple, daily tasks that are repetitive and fairly consistent. I know, because I’ve hired people onto my team who have that gift handle my tech support over email and social media. I am not that kind of person, and so as a virtual assistant I didn’t offer those kinds of services. I thrive on starting projects, building frameworks, or jumping in to fix problems. So I offered services like support for WordPress website owners with technical issues, website design and other design-based projects. Daily tasks weren’t my thing, so even though I could have probably gotten a lot of clients who paid a lot more money, I stuck with what I was good at, and what worked for me.
When you stick to the areas where you’re gifted, and a business model that works with your personality, it’s easy to make your clients happy because you’re working in your strengths.
I know that getting clients when you’re first starting out can be a scary thing – because really, without clients, it can be really hard. So I’ve created something for you that can help you!