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Guest faiths13

Frustrated

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Guest faiths13

I am really frustrated right now. I have been working on starting my VA business for a few months now, and during that time I have been responding to some of the RFP's here at VANA. It seems like most of the clients are looking for someone with some sort of website experience, which I have none of. I have alot of experience as an admin, but mostly with things like general admin, bookkeeping and accounts payable, and desktop publishing. I am worried that my skills are too basic to get a client because I havent gotten one yet. I have applied at AssitU in hopes that I will gain more insight into starting my business and getting clients etc., but I am still worried that my skills are too basic to be a VA. I see alot of other VA's that have so much experience already as a VA or have experience doing websites or other things that I have never done. I would like some input please.

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Don't get discouraged. I went through the same thing. You are anything but basic. You provide Admin Svc's and that is highly needed out there. I think you are advertising in the wrong places. You have to network!! This has helped me big time. Look up MeetUp.com check out meetings in your area - targeting solo entreprenuers. Go to meetings, hand out your card, talk to people....this is what I did. I did not have any clients, now signed on 2 clients from one meeting. Next month I am going to another meeting. You must take yourself out of your comfort zone and get out there.

 

Good Luck!!

 

 

I am really frustrated right now. I have been working on starting my VA business for a few months now, and during that time I have been responding to some of the RFP's here at VANA. It seems like most of the clients are looking for someone with some sort of website experience, which I have none of. I have alot of experience as an admin, but mostly with things like general admin, bookkeeping and accounts payable, and desktop publishing. I am worried that my skills are too basic to get a client because I havent gotten one yet. I have applied at AssitU in hopes that I will gain more insight into starting my business and getting clients etc., but I am still worried that my skills are too basic to be a VA. I see alot of other VA's that have so much experience already as a VA or have experience doing websites or other things that I have never done. I would like some input please.

 

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Guest Arnie

It will come. Every business whether virtual or physical was built one brick at a time.

 

It will come, but as was already said, network, network, network.

 

If you are looking at building your skills, VANA will be offering an internship as of next month that will be offered at no cost to interns.

 

Arnie

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Guest faiths13

Internship? That sounds perfect! How do I find out more about that?

Edited by faiths13

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Guest Nanner

Just remember, we've all been there. I have not found many clients from going global or through my website. Almost all of my clients come from local networking events. When I first started (waaaaay back in July) I joined everything! If someone was looking for a volunteer, I offered. If there was a group, a forum or an event I could join, I did it. After I got my name out there I was able to back off a little and decide on which groups I was really interested in and I respectfully declined on the rest.

 

Luckily, I live in a smaller area and people know me from previous work and school things. Really look at what you are doing to promote the business. Can you afford to join the Chamber of Commerce (my greatest achievement!), or a local womens group? If you are looking for other VA forums, I highly recommend IVAA. They are a great source of information and there are lots of RFP's to apply for.

 

Take a look at how you submit your RFP's. Are they professional, grammatically correct with all spelling errors erased? Maybe highlight the areas you really want to promote and that you love doing.

 

It will happen. Just make sure people know you are out there. Referrals and mouth-to-mouth are your best sources for clients. While you are marketing your skills, look at online classes or classes offered through your local college. You can even hone your skills at some free websites. I typed in "free 10-key test" or something like that and got a number of sites that offer practice on your 10-key skills.

 

Lastly...keep busy! Fill your day with reading, learning, talking, etc. If you go to your local grocery store, hand out your business card to the manager. You just never know when they might need some help. Sometimes if I'm bored or depressed I take a handful of cards and my simple flyer and go door-to-door. I only go to places that have a staff (since my field is HR) and that seem approachable. It's a great ego-booster to strike up a conversation with a receptive audience. I don't push anything. I let them know I'm a new business in town, I mention my referral program, shake their hand and leave. No pressure!

 

Oh, have you contacted your local newspaper yet? Let them know you are a new business and would like them to write an article about you. They are always looking for articles to write so they are eager to talk to new businesses.

 

Good luck! Sorry about the long-winded response. When I get on a roll, it's hard to stop me.

 

Nancy

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Nancy,

 

Great post! Hey, you can get on a roll any day. Get that soap box out. You're great.

 

It's easy to get down sometimes when work is slow or nonexistent. Staying busy really is the key. The main thing is to network. It's also a lot more cost effective than other forms of advertising, and you can usually get a better client too. Also, stay around like-minded people. Avoid naysayers and other negative types.

 

I needed to hear this message today, and I thank you for so powerfully delivering it.

 

Leisa

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I second faith13! I feel same as you worrying that what I offer is too basic! Intership sounds like a great opportunity!! How do I find out more information on it? I would like to join!! :0)

 

Nanner - a simple flyer?? Here I am working on creating complicated fliers!! Maybe I should just stick to creating simple fliers and pass those around along with my coming business cards?

 

SavvyAssociate - hmm, I'll go and check out that link you posted...is that where you found your two clients?? What kind of meetings have you been going to - that is, if you don't mind me asking...?

 

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

 

Yvonne

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Hello Faith13,

I have another possibility/suggestion for you. Perhaps you wouldn't mind partnering with another VA. When you look at the requests coming to you and you have a potential client looking for website or logo help, perhaps you could farm that portion out. Seems to me after your client has that accomplished perhaps they have OTHER VA type work they need help with, in which you would be perfect for. You've save the client AND gotten work for yourself. (ahem.. BTW, I do logo's and can build most types of websites too) {wink::: wink} ;) Thanks ~gary

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Guest Nanner

Yvonne,

 

I use a simple flier because I ain't smert enuff to do a reel one, like y'all do! Remember I'm just an HR VA, not one with any abilities like web design or flier-making. So stick with your really good one. Just a suggestion!

 

Leisa,

 

Thanks. We all need a boost sometimes. You were mine for the day!

 

 

Nancy

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Yvonne,

 

It doesn't matter if the flyer is simple. What is important is what does it SAY? I've started out designing simple then went to fancier then realized as long as there is a good, clean message without typos and poor grammar--it will get READ. I didn't want the client to frame the flyer in his/her living room.

 

I started out in the world of virtual assistance without any web design, blogging or anything like that. I felt very "inferior" to many of my fellow VAs, but I asked questions and learned. I joined in February 2006, and I learn something new every day on this forum. You will too.

 

You said you had basic skills. So did I. I went to the more established VAs and was able to get subcontract work with some of my basic skills. Many times they were glad to have me help with the overflow. Do you see how valuable you really are? Do you see how you can still offer something of value to a client or even a fellow VA?

 

You'll be fine, really.

 

Leisa

 

 

 

Nancy,

 

You sure lifted my spirits today too.

 

 

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Thank you, thank you!

 

I needed to hear all that stuff today.

 

Faith13, that's exactly how I'm feeling today, too.

 

Nancy and Leisa, your answers are priceless.

 

Thanks for taking the time to post them.

 

Gladys

 

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Ah Nanner! Don't think that - I can't do a fancy flier either - notice how I said "I'm working on creating..." - it doesn't come easy to me either. I don't have any abilities for web design either although I had down turn an awesome opportunity for web development courses (all paid for!) thinking I was going away for a year only to have it all cancelled!! :0(

 

Leisa - you are right - I'll focus on what it says. I tend to be WORDY! So it doesn't come easy to get the point across with little words as possible! :0)

 

Thank you for your kind words - you hit the mark about feeling "inferior" to other VA's...I sure hope I will be able to get subcontract work for established VA's. Did you offer your time for free or little pay at first or what? How did you work out the arrangements between you and other VA's?

 

~ Yvonne ~

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Yvonne and Gladys,

 

You are very welcome. Please remember this: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. The worse thing possible is to think that you are all alone or the only VA who has ever had a problem. Trust me--been there, done that! I used the worse one about asking for help on this forum. Then I realized it was dumb for me NOT to ask questions and take advantage of all of this expertise.

 

As far as designing flyers, MS Publisher has some not so bad templates that you can start to use. That's what I did for one in the beginning. Also go to www.vistaprint.com and use their templates. They are very professionally done and you write your own text in there. You can adjust the color schemes, and you can also upload your own pictures or logo. There are also matching sets: business card, brochures, letterhead, and envelopes. Keeping everything consistent is key. Excellent prices too for mass printing. It's much cheaper than trying to print them from your jet printer.

 

It's no disgrace to use templates. No one VA specializes in everything.

 

Once you get your flyers written, why not post them on the forum and get feedback? If you are "wordy" then having an extra set of eyes--or several sets--look at your work and offer constructive feedback should help you.

 

Tip: For "wordy" writing, ask yourself what you could take out to make the message "tighter." Try taking out words like "that" or phrases like "as well as" and see if the sentence still reads well. Experiment a little to see how it reads.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Leisa

 

 

 

 

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Arnie,

 

Where can I go for more information about the internship and where can I sign up for it? :0)

 

Thank you!

Yvonne

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Guest Nanner

Leisa,

 

That's a great tip about brochures through VistaPrint. I've used them for other things with varying degrees of success but I will look into that.

 

I agree, it's hard for me to ask questions. I can search for hours looking for answers rather than admit I don't know. Nice to know there are others out there.

 

Very interested to hear about the intern program, when that happens!

 

Nancy

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