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I got my first client before I opened my doors, actually my second one too. This was before the Internet as I started my business before we were online and it was 1994. I simply just told everyone I knew what I was planning to do and before I knew it, I had 2 referrals. One client was short-term, the other stayed with me 2 or 3 years. I've been in business 16 years now.

 

The important thing is to keep connecting with people - prospective clients that is. Your peers (like here) are great as you will learn from them and be able to share with others eventually. But it's important to be mixing and mingling, both online and offline, with those who could be potential clients or could lead you to potential clients.

 

Networking is something that should be continuously ongoing, even when you have got a client base because you never know when a client might move on, change direction, stop working, have a baby, shift away, die or anything else - I've had all those things happen to me and sometimes all at once. Not good when you lose 3 clients all at once, but it can happen, so you need to keep contacting people and chatting to them and just be available.

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Tawyna, I am going to post the words "Snap, Crack & Pop" on my bulletin board. Genius!!! I feel so inspired right now!!! Just knowing that I'm not the only one who is afraid to admit they're afraid is refreshing and freeing. Thank you to everyone for their wonderful posts. :thumbup:

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Tawyna, I am going to post the words "Snap, Crack & Pop" on my bulletin board. Genius!!! I feel so inspired right now!!! Just knowing that I'm not the only one who is afraid to admit they're afraid is refreshing and freeing. Thank you to everyone for their wonderful posts. :thumbup:

 

Very cool! And yes, it is liberating to know you are not alone ;)

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Networking is something that should be continuously ongoing, even when you have got a client base because you never know when a client might move on, change direction, stop working, have a baby, shift away, die or anything else - I've had all those things happen to me and sometimes all at once. Not good when you lose 3 clients all at once, but it can happen, so you need to keep contacting people and chatting to them and just be available.

 

Kathie,

 

Thanks for sharing this nugget of wisdom with us. For some reason, I had it in my mind that my marketing/networking efforts would be critical only during the "ramp up" stage. Once I had a full compliment of clients, I planned on backing off. But your post drove home the need to keep visible, both physically and virtually, even during those times when I may not be taking on any additional clients.

 

THANKS!!

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You're welcome Kristi. I think almost everyone thinks that (me included) and then they learn the hard way or just give up thinking they're a failure. The key is to keep doing what is needed and to be persistent and consistent. Even veterans in this industry need to keep networking and connecting with their database on a regular basis. It's paramount to keep the business alive.

Edited by kathiemt

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You're welcome Kristi. I think almost everyone thinks that (me included) and then they learn the hard way or just give up thinking they're a failure. The key is to keep doing what is needed and to be persistent and consistent. Even veterans in this industry need to keep networking and connecting with their database on a regular basis. It's paramount to keep the business alive.

 

I concur with Kathie. Marketing is an ongoing part of business that includes networking and connecting with others. It's a continual process to keep the business flowing. I know that when I slow down in my marketing, my business slows down as well. Taking even one small step in marketing each and every day has been very helpful in keeping my business afloat and growing.

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Hi all,

I'm just starting out myself being a VA is something I've thought about for a few years off and on however I didn't realize there was a name for it lol. Then a few weeks ago I came across it again on a christian site and thought well maybe God is pointing me in this direction so I spent a good week researching, signing up for forums and finally starting my site!!! I'm very impulsive lol. Then I read a post someone made on another board and I loved her ethics so much I asked if I could subcontract for her and got my first job!!!! I'm soooo excited I can't believe I'm actually doing it but I know I can.

Roxie

Virtual Assistance by Roxie

Roxie@virtualassistancebyroxie.com

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Congratulations Roxie. Well, I can certainly tell you that God guided me in this direction and it's allowed me to be home for my family for over 16 years. I do so love this industry!

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I just got my first client recently and it was through a strange turn of events that I feel must have been divine intervention. I have a lot of different business ideas going around in my head all the time, and a VA business was one of them, so I decided to step out of my comfort zone and start doing something. I thought it might be best to try and go through one of the freelance sites, so I signed up with eLance and oDesk. I applied to a internet research position on oDesk, it was just a short, cheap, and easy project that I could use to get some positive feedback. Over a week went by and I never heard anything on it, but about 2 weeks ago I got an email saying I'd been accepted to do the job. However, he already had someone else working on it and he ended up not being able to switch her to another project. Bummer for me, until he hired me on as his VA! He said something gave him a feeling that I'd make a great VA and I have. He's been more than happy with my work so far, and he's even trying to get me a position with one of his clients. There is no way I can attribute this to just plain "good luck."

 

I'll be using the money from this position to bootstrap my business. I started my business plan last night using an article from Entrepreneur. It's kind of nice to know that a business plan doesn't have to be as in-depth when you are funding your own business. It's still a lot of information to gather and put down, but sort of fun in a way.

 

My plan is to launch my business on September 7th. Isn't "launch" such a great word? We aim our businesses for the stars and then shoot them off into the great unknown for an adventure of discovery!

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