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Aube

Still Trying to Gain My First Client :(

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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.

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Hi Aube - what is the link to your web site?

 

Are you marketing only to offline/local businesses that need your services, or anyone worldwide, only in a specific country??

 

Are you on LinkedIn?

 

If not - join and fill out your profile and completely as possible. Use keyword phrases in "Headline" area of your profile; and make the "Summary" area of your profile more like a sales page, where you are outlining the problem/issue that small to medium sized business owners have that your services can solve.

 

If you are - make sure your profile is completed and join some LinkedIn Groups and start replying and contributing to conversations, offering advice/tips/help in reply to someone's post within the group - basic networking 101. :)

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And if you're NOT marketing to local/regional businesses, give that a try, as well.

 

There is a great resource available through most libraries (online if you have a library card) called "ResourceUSA." This is a national database of businesses that you can filter to find ones within your target market and market to them specifically. I used this database to send out a few rounds of postcards when I got started and obtained my first few clients that way. Once you get one or two clients, you can use them as references to help build up your base. :)

 

Also seek out YOUR TARGET MARKET'S networking groups and get involved with them, letting them get to know you and learn who you are, rather than trying to sell to them.

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Aube

 

Although you say that you have a target market, I think that you are being too broad -you may want to define the industry as well. You will also need to have patience. Your first client will not just appear within the first week, month or several. While a few VAs have gotten their first client within the first few months of starting their business, that is normally not the case. FYI -In the United States, the Small Business Administration defines small businesses differently. For my NACIS code, if I grossed $7 million over the past three years I am still considered a small business. So if the business owners that you meet hear "small - medium businesses" they may not think that you are talking about them. Just a thought.

 

Even the companies that I know that offer HR consulting to small and micro-businesses have had to develop relationships first before getting their first client. In addition, even they don't target every industry.

 

Both Traci and Lily have given you great advice on strategies for you to use.

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Hi Aube - what is the link to your web site?

 

Are you marketing only to offline/local businesses that need your services, or anyone worldwide, only in a specific country??

 

Are you on LinkedIn?

 

If not - join and fill out your profile and completely as possible. Use keyword phrases in "Headline" area of your profile; and make the "Summary" area of your profile more like a sales page, where you are outlining the problem/issue that small to medium sized business owners have that your services can solve.

 

If you are - make sure your profile is completed and join some LinkedIn Groups and start replying and contributing to conversations, offering advice/tips/help in reply to someone's post within the group - basic networking 101. :)

 

Hi Traci, yes, I'm on LinkedIn under my full name Dawntae Jackson, I joined here under teh business name, maybe I should have joined under my name.

 

I am marketing to local businesses right now, I need to attempt to market to a larger market cross country. I saw someone suggest ResourceUSA, I think tht will assist me in getting a larger market

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Oh, my website is www.AubeVirtual.com, I got some suggestions on my website recently and working to change some things

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Content on your website is crucial and you'll want to talk more about "whats in it for your clients by hiring you (the benefits)" more than what you can offer them as services. Think of your main page as a sales copy. We did a VASES program on Writing Website Copy to Attract Clients that you might want to check out. It will help you get your website in shipshape form to entice clients to hire you.

 

As for marketing, the social media sites can be a strong place to become an expert in a niche and start marketing your services there too. I use Hootsuite to keep track of all my social networks as this cuts down my social marketing time enormously.

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I'm just starting now, too but I'm not quite ready to hit the social media avenue full speed yet (I have a lot of training to do in this area). I only have a profile under my business name on LinkedIn (I also have to be very careful as it's a small world and I can't let my employer catch wind of this yet).

 

My plan of action is joining as many local business associations and in-person networking groups that I can, and planting the seeds so that exposure and word of mouth referrals will be the main leads. This is not to say that this method will be successful. Just sharing my near future strategy.

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Cheryl

Only pick two or three local business associations and/or in-person networking groups that you can actively participate in. Just joining will get you some (a little) visibility, but actively participating will let others get to see and know you better. Once you start getting clients, you will have less time to actively participate in these groups. Don't forget to pick groups that will help you be visible to those businesses that want, need and can AFFORD to pay you. Joining a group that has businesses that want and need your services, but can't afford to pay you, is a waste of your time (unless you want to wait for years until they can afford you). So make sure that you choose your groups carefully.

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Guest doberry

Oh, my website is www.AubeVirtual.com, I got some suggestions on my website recently and working to change some things

 

As Tawnya indicated above, you'll want to make sure and define the WIIFM for your market. If you haven't done so already, it would be a good idea for you to clearly define your market -- actual business size, revenues, etc.

 

The services you have defined on your site are angled more towards "bigger" small businesses rather than really small. Plus you'll want to make sure and use their language not yours. Many of them wouldn't understand some of those terms (e.g. HRIS assistance). It would be better if you told them what problem you can solve for them than to list out the items.

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