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