Whether you consider yourself a Virtual Assistant, a Content Writer, a Graphic Designer or what have you, if you work online from your home office (or a coffee shop) using technology to connect with and conduct your work with your clients, you are a virtual professional business owner. As such, you need clients to earn money, so you need to know where to find them, and how to land them.
Participation is Key to Filling Your Client List
If you want to be known for what you do and your expertise in your niche, one of the best way is to join and participate in online and offline social networks. Notice that the keyword here is “participate”. You cannot just join a group and never participate whether it’s online or offline and expect to get referrals from it.
If you join a local networking group and never go to the meetings or only talk about yourself when you do, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to find and land clients. Clients want to know what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. If you can find a way to show them what you can do by demonstrating your expertise and problem solving skills freely, you’ll attract clients to you naturally.
Network With Other Virtual Professional Business Owners
Joining a group that offers education and information to you about your profession that also has a job board is another way to find clients. Not only can you become a resource to your group, but you can usually apply for any jobs that come your way via their job board.
Be cautious about joining too many groups that consist of other service providers though unless you’re interested in only subcontracting work. A lot of virtual professional business owners get too tied up in networking with others who do exactly what they do and this can be a mistake. Don’t spend all your time here.
Be Where Your Clients Are
Online there are a myriad of groups that consist of your target audience. For instance, if you want to work with writers, join a writing group. It’s okay that you’re not a writer, but be cautious about soliciting work. Let your signature line speak for itself while you freely and publically offer help to the members. If someone emails you off the list it’s okay to give them your price sheet. But, on the list, be free with your advice and solutions to their problems.
The trick to finding the clients is to be where your clients are. The trick to landing them is to be a resource to them whether or not they will hire you. You never know if they will refer you to someone to you in the future even if they don’t hire you.
Network Online and Offline
A common misconception about finding clients for your virtual professional business is that all your clients necessarily must come from online. Nothing could be further from the truth. Local business owners need you too. In fact they need you a lot. The problem is, they don’t know about you. Find ways to introduce yourself and your work to your local small business population.
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