Virtual Assistant Marketing 101 – Face-To-Face Networking

By January 22, 2009 Marketing 2 Comments

The Internet has made marketing a business much easier through online networking. While online networking is very powerful, there is no doubt that face-to-face networking can also attract a valuable stream of clients. The reason for this is quite simple. Meeting someone in person is very effective for establishing trust and conveying information about what you do.

Of course, it is possible to build a Virtual Assistant business purely through online networking, however, you can’t beat the combination of both online and offline networking. Using both will give you a distinct competitive advantage.

There are still businesses working strictly with office-based employees who may not have previously considered using a Virtual Assistant. You can take the role of an educator by explaining exactly what you do for your clients. There are many business owners who want to cut costs and outsource more of their work, rather than take on a full time employee.

If you are able to meet such people, then you have a huge advantage over your competition. The fact is that most Virtual Assistants only ever look for clients online, via forums, message boards and their own website. If you go one step further then you can break into a new market that many people are unaware of.

You are highly recommended to attend as many local business-networking events as you can. You should introduce yourself and explain exactly what you do. Make it as clear as possible and focus on the benefits to people who are unfamiliar with the online world.

Always make sure you exchange business cards so you can follow up after the first contact. Here’s a tip: as soon as you leave the networking event, write a quick note about each person you’ve met. This will help you remember them more easily. Then look out for information that they would be interested in, and send it to them.

Look to build long-term relationships through networking, rather than going along with a ‘quick-fix’ attitude of getting business straight away. And remember, even if the person you’re talking to isn’t interested in using a VA, you never know who they might know!

You can really move ahead in your Virtual Assistant business if you become active in offline networking.

Do you have any questions or comments about this Virtual Assistant marketing strategy?If so, please post them below!

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P.S. Here are the links to the other Virtual Assistant marketing articles in this series:

Virtual Assistant Marketing – Blogging

Virtual Assistant Marketing – Articles

Virtual Assistant Marketing – Social Networking

Virtual Assistant Marketing – Newsletters

2 Comments

  • Jane Hill says:

    Hi Lisa

    I couldn’t agree more with you on this point – and I suspect the lack of responses on this topic probably indicates just how right you are! I’ve been a VA in the UK for the past 6 years (recently moved to Perth, WA – more about that later) and the best quality clients have always come as a result of face-to-face networking. In fact, if I’m honest that was really the only networking I ever did in the UK other than with VA groups.

    Having recently emigrated to Perth, WA with my partner and our small son I am in the throes of relaunching as an Australian VA (hence my rather amateur website! which will be improved on soon!). The first thing I looked into was local face-to-face networking groups. I am, however, also having to learn about social networking and blogging because I am so out of touch with this form of marketing. So big thanks to you Lisa for your very useful blogs!

    But I would say that Lisa is right – most VAs don’t network face-to-face and therefore you automatically give yourself an extra opportunity to boost your clientele … and you just might find yourself some new friends in the process!

    All the best
    Jane

  • Lisa Taliga says:

    Hi Jane

    I’d go as far as to say: if you have the right skills, experience, attitude, professionalism etc, you’re virtually guaranteed to get clients with face-to-face networking. It happened really quickly for me when I got out there and stopped hiding behind my computer!

    There’s often a tendency to make things bigger and more frightening than they actually are. It’s only when you start doing face-to-face networking for yourself that you realise it’s not scary at all – it’s actually fun and brings real results.

    All the best to you too

    Lisa

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