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LindaH

Marketing -New Concept?

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Hello

 

I am a new VA. I was wondering if anyone has tried this concept and if so, was it successful?

 

I have researched small businesses in my area --construction, dance studio, doctors' office, etc.

 

I researched their businesses on the internet, along with looking at their websites.

 

After I conducted my research, I looked at ways that I thought I could benefit their business. I found how long they had been in business, who the owner was, etc. I then composed a letter informing them of my business and why I thought I could benefit their business. Although I only sent letters to those businesses that I thought I would enjoy working with.

 

I will be following up with a phone call next week to see if I can schedule a time to talk with them, at their convenience, about how I could benefit their business.

 

Has anyone done this type of marketing? If so, any success?

 

Sincerely,

Linda

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Linda:

 

What you're describing is basically cold-calling, although you've definitely taken more steps toward finding those you feel you would enjoy working with.

 

The problem with cold-calling, in my experience, is that these people do not know you. People are much more inclined to do business with someone they know. That being said, what you may want to add to your plan, is to find out now where these people hang out - either online or in person, then join those groups. Introduce yourself and get to know them. As you begin to make relationships, a trust is built. It is much more likely that when they then go looking for assistance, they will turn to you as they now know you.

 

Don't go in to "sell" yourself. Go in to find out about them - what their interests are, what their needs are, etc. Again, build a relationship. Does it take a while to build a client base this way? Yes. But - they will be your ideal clients and they will stay with you for a long, long time! These are the types of clients you want.

 

Another marketing strategy I've used very successfully is referrals. And it's really nothing you have to physically "do." Once you have one great client, that client will begin telling their friends about you and the great work you do. There is nothing better than referrals. The friends come to you almost "sold" before you even have your first conversation. So be sure and make use of those you already have relationships with. Those will be great for you.

 

I hope this helps a bit.

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If you're going to start local, join the Chamber or other local networking group. Go to Meetup.com and see if there's groups meeting in your area you would enjoy & go there.

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Vickie

 

Thank you for your comments.

 

Yes, I realize that this is cold-calling, but I just wanted to know if anyone else had done this approach and if they had success with it. If so, what their success rate was (if any).

 

Most of my marketing involves networking. I have been to an orientation with New Visions, New Ventures. This is a local, non-profit organization for women who are thinking about, or starting, a new business along with the financial planning that they may need.

I will also attend a local "Network of Enterprising Women" meeting to see if I am interested in joining their organization. There is also a "Business to Business Trade Show" that will be in my area in September that I plan on attending.

 

So while most of my marketing will be focused on networking, listening to what other businesses need and seeing if I can assist them, I am also sending out limited "cold-calling" letters with follow up. I realize that mass mailings usually do not get you the results that you want and I just wanted to try a different type of approach to cold-calling.

 

Again, thanks for your comments.

 

Sincerely,

Linda

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Have you joined the Chamber, or other local networking groups? That works WONDERS. Get on www.meetup.com and see if there's anything local that appeals to you. Also, if there are other VAs in your area, see if they get together regularly.

 

Even though I hate BNI, it might do some good to attend 1 or 2 of their meetings.

 

Also try:

* Ladies who Launch

* Association of Business Women of America (or something like that - its ABWA)

* NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners)

* Toastmasters

* eWomen International

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Dana

 

Thanks for your input. I have looked at the local Chambers of Commerce and several of the National Organizations. At this time I am using their resources, just not joining their organizations. Although I may decide to join NEW, after I attend one of their meetings.

 

I have seen one or two VAs in my area, I am hoping that there are more, that I will probably contact to see if they are interested in getting together.

 

Sincerely,

Linda

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Linda,

 

Finding success with direct mail marketing will yield you approximately a 1-3% rate of return. The key is going to be in following up. Most people just send out the letter and do nothing more.

 

I have actually had success with a similar campaign. I sent out 45 letters and received 2 clients (4% rate of return). For the time I put into it, it was definitely worth it ... you just have to know the returns before you decide to utilize this. Not everyone will have this success, but I was persistent in the follow up and very direct with who I sent the letters do.

 

There are probably other marketing methods that will yield greater returns, but they take time too. No matter what marketing method you choose, being proactive is the key. Don't just sit back and wait for results - follow up, make appointments and be persistent.

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Hi

 

Several years ago I was part of a no fail work from home business. We could buy phone numbers to cold call with a no fail speech. I worked through the list and gave it up. It felt like a no win type of work. Many people who put their names onto a list to be called usually have second thoughts about being called after the fact. I did not have a good success rate at all. I hated doing this type of calling and it must have been reflected in my voice.

 

On Oct 19, I am going to a Chamber mixer where they are expecting between 200-300 people attending. I would rather talk to people face to face and then follow up with a call after I get their card and leave the function. You can gauge these people by talking to them, if they will be receptive to working with you in the future. This is a great opportunity because it makes that initial contact more personable.

 

Just my thoughts.

 

Warmly

 

Carol

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I'd love to hear your success with this marketing campaign. I feel it is worth a try and kudos to you for taking action at choosing the clients YOU want to work with ;) I firmly believe if you want something, you have to go after it which is exactly what you are doing. Let us know how it goes :)

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