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Found 30 results

  1. For those of you that wonder if in person networking has any value, let me share what has happened this week. On Tuesday I went to Motor City Connect in Royal Oak. Usually, when I go to Motor City Connect, I go to the West Side meeting since its closer to me (5 miles, as opposed to 22 miles). Motor City Connect is a casual networking group that was created here about 5 years ago because the guys that founded it were sick of BNI and Chamber events. There were 36 people there, and I only knew 4 of them, so the other 32 were completely unknown to me. Since Terry (one of the guys that founded the group) is one of my clients, whenever I show up, I'm the unofficial "secretary" and take notes, take "attendance" and then I send that information to the group that was there. I got the info together and sent it out yesterday. I've received 7 emails from those 32 wanting to talk about my services. I've got appointments with 2 today and 2 tomorrow. The others, I haven't heard back from yet. What makes this group so different is that when you introduce yourself, you give your name, your company, what you do or what your company does and your "Ask" - the one thing you're looking to do in your business or person you would like to meet. For instance, one of the guys there wants to be introduced to the CFO of JAX Car Wash. Lo and behold - one of the people there (and this was HIS first meeting, too) is related to the CFO of JAX Car Wash. My Ask on Tuesday was, "I am looking to transition my business from DOING virtual support work to CONSULTING with CEOs, Business Owners and Executives on virtual team transition and virtual and in-office staff integration." So, moral of the story: if you find a networking group and you're unsure if you should go. GO! You never know until you show up, and what can it hurt? You might end up with a new client.
  2. My start up is a Human Resources Virtual Assistance Agency. I had someone look at my website and they told me that my website should be more specific in telling my potential customers what they need, instead of me listing the services I provide. I am working on revising my website. In the meantime, I have yet to get my first client, though I know that my services are needed. I am planning to market myself to small to medium businesses. Places that employ people, but may not have someone there to do dedicated Human Resources functions. I can offer those at a cheaper rate than hiring an HR person, or ownership spending time receiving training attempting to learn HR ins and out themselves. Does anyone have any suggestions on gaining new clients? I try to go to networking events once every two weeks.
  3. On July 4th I attended the local American International Women's Club networking morning here in Switzerland. The organizer had a "speed networking" session planned. Some of you might be familiar with "speed dating", at least the expression :-) Well, "speed networking" works the same way, except that instead of dating, well... you network. You basically get 2 minutes to tell the other person who you are and what you do. It was fun and we all learned something important: that we all need to work on our elevator speech some more. So, what's your elevator speech ? When someone asks: "so, what do you do?", what do you say? I hope something better than "I'm a Virtual Assistant". That's too vague and people might not know exactly what that is. Try to tell them instead what it is you really do and who you're working with. For example: "I help small business owners free up time for their core business by taking over their administrative tasks." This way they know who you work with and what you do. So, what's your elevators speech ?
  4. Hi all, quick tip about LinkedIn invitations: never ever use the default message that LinkedIn gives you "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn." It's too impersonal and basically says: "I just invited 200 people to join my network and you were number 56". No, but seriously. Don't you prefer to get an invitation that says something like "Hi Sarah, Just read your blog post and would love to connect here on LinkedIn". I would connect with a person who sent me that invitation for sure, but would not connect with the same person who just sent me the default message. I know many people think that LinkedIn is boring and too impersonal. I disagree and really think that you can personalize it. I would be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn (if you send me a personalized invite :-)
  5. I wanted to write to offer some encouragement to you new VA's trying to land your first client, or those of you just trying to get more clients via networking and social media. But let me state up front - it is not always a speedy process. This week, I signed three new clients. I have been in business for 14+ years, and usually get a steady stream of potential clients (PC) calling about my services - not every client that calls converts to a paying client (at least not right away!). This is important for you to understand!! It doesn't always happen right away - I consider these calls as "planting seeds". Some come to fruition and grow - others do not. That's ok! How I NetworK I go to live, offline networking events and conferences. Meeting people face-to-face really solidifies relationships. I visit online forums (such as this one) and reply to posts and offer help within post threads on topics that I am knowledgeable. I follow certain #hashtags on Twitter and reply and answer basic questions there too. I join Facebook and LinkedIn groups - again, replying and offering to answer questions or solve issues on which I am knowledgeable. I am part of a couple paid masterminds/groups - I join in on their mastermind calls. I offer my advice and help. At my discretion, I will also mentor people, and offer more one-on-one specific help - often at no cost. Generally, I try to be helpful, encouraging and engaging - letting others get to know me, like me and trust me. I offer value. All of the above is done on my own time schedule, at my own choosing, but it helps get my name out there, and brand me at as expert in what I do! I'm going to share real life examples with you, so you can see how these PC's become paying clients. True scenario example #1: PC #1 calls and was referred by someone I know online. I had met the referrer at a live event, so we've met face-to-face. I do NOT chat with this referrer ongoing, but we network in similar circles. She knows who I am - I know who she is. This PC had an issue, and the referrer knew I was an expert in this field and sent the PC to me. The PC called me last Friday and Monday she paid me and by last night, all the work was done and the PC (now a paying client!) was a happy camper and is going to be doing another project with me, possibly as soon as next week. Networking that first occurred TWO YEARS ago, paid off this week! True scenario example #2: PC #2. I get a call Tuesday evening from a former client who I worked with on a big project that lasted for more than a year. They loved my work! They have referred a few people to me, but in this case, the client was referring a relative to me that owns a project management company that manages several neighborhood associations. They needed someone to design neighborhood web sites - several of them, plus, provide ongoing monthly maintenance. Yesterday (Wednesday) the PC called, we chatted by phone and I will now be designing all their web sites going forward and providing maintenance! True scenario example #3: PC #3 and I first "met" on the Warrior Forum (which is the #1 internet marketing forum). I often visit that forum, again, offering help and advice. This PC posted in one of the forums I frequent, seeking help. I replied (as did several others) last week. We chatted by phone on Monday and late last night, I got the email that I am hired! This will be ongoing work, as this person is an offline consultant selling to others the services I provide. True scenario example #4: I have one client now, who originally contacted me one year ago to discuss my services. She was referred by another client of mine. It took her almost an entire year to finally sign up and become a paying client. So not every PC you talk to, will sign up immediately. Sometimes they aren't ready - and it's not always you, or your prices or anything at all to do with you as to why they do not sign up. Sometimes it really is them. True scenario example #5: I saw on Facebook someone needed help with a Wordpress issue. I knew it wouldn't take me but a few minutes to do, so I offered to do this for free! I did, she was thrilled. Then several WEEKS later, she sent me a message, she is wanting her blog re-designed, and she is now hiring me to do this work. So in this case, free help - turned into a paying client. I hope all this helped and encouraged you. It can take time, but if you are consistently putting yourself out there, networking and making those connections - it really will help build your business.
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