Busy professionals, entrepreneurs, and executives are overwhelmed. They just don’t have enough daily hours to accomplish their goals. That challenge creates an incredible opportunity for virtual assistants.
As a virtual assistant, you will deliver your services to help your clients save time and money in their business. Clients usually don’t mind if you are located in a different state, country, or time zone as long as you complete the work they give you.
In this blog we are going to look at eight steps that will help you get more clients as a virtual assistant. But before we get started, let’s take a look at some interesting statistics about virtual assistants.
Virtual Assistant Statistics: Demand Is Booming!
Since the virtual assistant trend has only been around since the 2000s, you might not know just how big this trend has become.
Many first learned about the power of working with virtual assistants from the bestselling book “The Four-Hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss. Since that book was published in 2007, virtual assistant companies and freelancers have boomed in popularity.
- How Many Virtual Assistants Are There?
Wikipedia estimates that there may be up to 25,000 virtual assistants working today. Many individuals work for larger assistant companies like Zirtual, Belay, and Wood Bows. Working for a large virtual assistant company will not be our focus in this guide. Instead, we will focus on establishing yourself as a self-employed virtual assistant freelancer where you have the freedom to set your rates and schedule.
- Need for Virtual Assistants
On LinkedIn alone, more than 1500 fully remote virtual assistant job postings in the United States as of August 2022. When you add in other countries like Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Australia, there are thousands more opportunities.
- Virtual Assistant Incomes Are Growing
ZipRecruiter, a job recruiting company, recently reported that the median income of virtual assistants is $58,000 per year. However, some virtual assistants can earn over $100,000. As you grow your skills and add even more value to your clients, there’s no reason a virtual assistant couldn’t earn over $100,000.
Now that we know the demand for virtual assistants is huge. What does it take to actually get clients? Let get to the exact steps.
8 Steps To Get Clients For Your Virtual Assistant Business
Starting a virtual assistant company is an exciting moment. To realize your goals of financial freedom and a flexible schedule, getting new clients must be your top priority. Follow these steps to get your first few clients in the next 90 days.
We assume you can dedicate at least five weekly hours to pursuing clients in these steps. If you have less time, you can still start, but the results may take longer.
Get clients for your Virtual assistant business in 8 steps:
- Research what your clients want
- Choose your virtual assistant services
- Price your services competitively
- Identify your “secret sauce” as a virtual assistant
- Contact people in your network
- Use freelance platforms to get clients
- Use cold email strategies to book sales meetings
- Get testimonials from your clients
1. Research What Your Clients Want
Taking the time to understand what potential clients want from their assistants is a great starting point. Reviewing job postings and virtual assistant company websites will help you discover more.
1.1. Standard virtual assistant services in demand include the following:
- Business administration: Virtual assistants can help their clients answer incoming calls and emails, and organize business records.
- Bookkeeping: A virtual assistant with knowledge of Quickbooks and other accounting software tools can use their knowledge to file receipts and follow up with clients about unpaid invoices and other financial tasks.
- Data Entry and Research: Internet research and data entry is one of the most common VA tasks. This service offering varies widely depending on the client’s needs. For example, you might be asked to research the best high-end cameras and then present a list of the top 3 options for the client. Alternatively, your research task might be more personal, like making a client’s hotel arrangements.
1.2. High-End Virtual Assistant Services
The following services are more complex to learn and provide to clients. Therefore, there is the potential to charge higher prices.
- Project management: Are you excellent at planning, monitoring and making business plans? If so, your VA work may involve project management. To offer this service, it helps to hold a recognized credential from an organization like the Project Management Institute.
- Sales and Marketing: Effective sales and marketing services can bring in more clients and revenue for your client. If you are skilled at making cold calls, for example, you might be able to charge higher fees. Other popular tasks include creating images, videos and marketing copy for social media updates to promote your client’s business.
- Technical Tasks: Virtual assistants with sophisticated technical skills like website development, WordPress management and related skills can help their clients earn even more money.
Generally speaking, more advanced and technical skills command higher rates. Your service package and rates will be higher if you have those skills.
2. Choose Your Virtual Assistant Services
Your next step is to decide which services to offer to your clients. Usually, starting with services you can easily provide is best. People with exceptional communication skills should focus on helping clients with phone calls, emails and video conferencing meetings. Choose two or three services from the first step and focus on those as a starting point.
3. Price Your Services Competitively
Pricing your services as a virtual assistant doesn’t have to be complicated. The three most common pricing options are to offer an hourly rate, package or task.
- Hourly Rate: U.S.based virtual assistants typically charge between $10 to $40 per hour.
- Package: Consider this pricing option as selling a monthly set amount of hours to your client. Zirtual has monthly packages starting from $549 (12 hours per month) and ranging up to $1699 (50 hours of work per month).
- Task Task-based pricing for services varies widely depending on the nature of the task. For further inspiration on what freelancers charge for individual tasks, visit the Gigs on Fiverr.com. You will find some services in the below $20 range and more advanced services with much higher prices.
4. Identify Your “Secret Sauce” As A Virtual Assistant
Before contacting potential clients, consider your secret sauce or unique advantage as a virtual assistant. Usually, reflecting on your past work experience will help. If you have previously worked with bankers or real estate agents, consider specializing in serving those industries.
5. Contact People In Your Network
As a new virtual assistant, it is best to focus your efforts on people who already know you. Make a list of 50-100 people you know from past jobs, family, friends, and connections on social media.
Once you have your list, separate your list into two categories: potential leads and referral sources. For example, you might have gone to school with someone who has become a successful entrepreneur: that person is a potential lead. On the other hand, other people in your network may not be able to hire a virtual assistant (e.g., students and retired people). These people are potential referrals.
Adapt the following template and send it to your potential leads. Take your time and only send out a few messages per day at first. It’s important to write correct, compelling messages.
Subject: Starting a new business
I’m starting a new business – offering virtual assistant services to entrepreneurs. My service is based on my experience working at a COMPANY NAME for the past two years. I can save you 5-10 hours per week so you can focus your time on higher-value work like getting customers and improving your product.
Can we set up a time to talk about this further this week?
Use the following template to contact potential referrals. Your goal with this message is to seek an introduction to a potential lead.
Subject: Quick question
I’m starting a new business – offering virtual assistant services to entrepreneurs.
My service is based on my experience working at a COMPANY NAME for the past two years.
By saving entrepreneurs 5-10 hours per week, they’ll have more time to get customers and improve their products. My best prospects are founders of startup tech companies with 10-100 employees.
Do you know anybody who is a founder or manager at a tech company? If so, I would love an introduction to offer my services.
6. Use Freelance Platforms To Get Clients
Using your network to get clients isn’t always an option. You may not be connected with people who are a good fit for your services. In that case, freelance platforms offer another excellent starting point.
Sign up for the following platforms, create a profile, and set up alerts for virtual assistant job postings.
Note that freelancer platforms have their limitations. The platform provides a service – they bring together clients and freelancers. As a result, these platforms usually take a cut of your pay. If you are uncomfortable with that fact, use the other strategies in this guide to get your first virtual assistant clients.
7. Use Cold Email Strategies To Book Sales Meetings
Another approach is to send cold emails to potential clients. To learn more about this strategy, there are two inexpensive books on Amazon that provide further details:
- The Cold Email Manifesto: How to fill your sales pipeline, convert like crazy, and level up your business in 90 days or less by Alex Berman and Robert Indries
- Grow your business with cold emails by Jeremy Chatelaine.
These books explain how to create a list of potential clients, write cold emails and send them to book sales meetings.
8. Get Testimonials From Your Clients
After you have landed your first 2-3 clients, it is time to overdeliver! Do whatever you can to please the client. Once you are sure the client is pleased with your services, ask them for a testimonial quote that you can use in your marketing.
Typically, testimonial quotes are a few sentences long, and they describe the results the client experienced. Here are some examples to show you what’s possible:
- Time Savings Testimonial
“Jane has been my virtual assistant for the past four months. I cut 6-10 hours from my work week by sending tasks to her during that time. As a result, I’ve been able to make more sales and have time to spend with my family on weekends.”
- Better Communication Testimonial
“In my business, promptly responding to emails and phone calls is essential. Jane has taken the lead in managing my inbox and voicemail. As a result, my clients are delighted, and I have earned more referrals.”
Virtual Assistant Website Examples To Inspire You
As your virtual assistant business grows, you may decide to set up your website. To help you save time on the website design process, look at the following websites.
We’ve included a combination of individual virtual assistant freelancer websites and some from larger virtual assistant companies.
Freelance Virtual Assistant Websites
Kajsa’s website makes life easy for potential clients: a testimonials page where you can read about her experience and work with me page.
Based in Michigan, Andrea’s website includes a list of services provided, rates, testimonials from past clients, and a frequently asked questions page.
She’s A Given is a virtual assistant company based in Washington State. This company is notable because it combines virtual assistant services with event planning.
Located in Australia, Karen’s website is excellent because it directs website visitors to take action – by clicking the “request a consultation” button. In addition, the website has a list of services offered and testimonials.
Large Virtual Assistant Companies
In the long run, you might be interested in growing your virtual assistant company by hiring a team of virtual assistants. To see what is possible in larger virtual assistant companies, look at the following websites.
Zirtual sets itself apart by offering US-based virtual assistants with a college education.
The company provides several different monthly plan options depending on how many virtual assistant hours the client wants.
Similar to Zirtual, Delegated offers educated US-based virtual assistants. The company also offers an enterprise plan for larger companies that want to empower their employees with assistants.
Make It Easy For Clients To Pay You
As a virtual assistant, your role is to make life easier for your clients. Asking them to write a check and mail it to you is a hassle. Instead, CheckYa makes it easy to send digital invoices to an unlimited number of clients. CheckYa also saves you time as a virtual assistant because we now offer automatic follow-up messages on unpaid invoices. Sign up for CheckYa today!