4 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

4 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

4 Ways to scale your virtual assistant business to work less + earn more.

Have you reached that point in your business where you’re looking to do something new + different?

There may come a time in your business when you’ve grown bored with the same routine day in and day out.

I know this was me after being a Virtual Assistant for 5 years. I had grown restless and wanted a change. I enjoyed working with clients but somewhere along the way I stopped liking what I was doing.

Maybe you’re looking to:

  • gain back some of your freedom
  • earn more money
  • become a consultant
  • reach more people
  • change things up
  • or….

The beauty of having your own business is you can change anything at anytime!

My motto is Your Business – Your Choice.

You get to choose everything you do – so when it’s time for a change – change it!

That is perfect for me since I’m one of those types that needs constant challenge to keep me interested.

Here are 4 ideas for you to consider if you’re looking to do something different with your business. These aren’t the only options – just the most common.

#1 – Build a Team of Virtual Assistants.

Build yourself a team of virtual assistants that can either do overflow work for your clients or the work you don’t want to.

This is where I started. I wanted to get more time back in my day but still earn money.  Plus I was tired of turning business away for things my clients wanted but I didn’t do.

Just know that when you add more people to your business – it adds a layer of complexity to it.

More moving pieces to manage.

But.. it’s a great way to scale your business. Just be sure you’re clear on everything involved. I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#2 – Start a Virtual Assistant Agency.

First off, there’s a big difference between a VA Team and a VA Agency.

When you build a team for your business you’re still working with clients.

When you start an agency you take on the roll of CEO, which usually means you’re no longer working with clients. You’re in charge of going out and getting the clients for the business.

You become the sales and marketing department all by yourself.

I would recommend building a team first then moving into an agency so you have some experience and a general idea of what it’s like to manage a team and delegate the work.

Building an agency is a great way to earn lots of money without working one on one with clients.

#3 – Be a Matchmaker.

A Matchmaker is someone who refers or matches Virtual Assistants with clients.

You become a connector.

There are a couple different ways matchmaking works.

One is to help clients find qualified + vetted virtual assistants.  Your main focus here is creating a satisfied client base where you charge them a fee to match them with the right VA.

Two is helping qualified + vetted virtual assistants find clients. Your main focus here is creating a satisfied base of Virtual Assistants where you charge them a monthly fee to be part of your association or club.  These are what most of the VA associations do.

Either way is a great way to help both clients + virtual assistants.

#4 – Become a Consultant.

When you’re a consultant you are known for a specific expertise or speciality.

They do more strategic type work vs the day to day stuff.

AND… Consultants earn more money than assistants.

So… what do I mean by become a consultant.

I mean specialize in something.

Learn everything you can about a specific industry, techie tool or system.

I’m a Project Management Consultant. It’s something I brought with me from my cube farm days and it’s something I am passionate about.

What are you passionate about?

Where do you have existing expertise?

Is there something you want to learn?

I love all things strategic so, my newest passion is Sales Funnels. I’m learning everything I can about them + the tools they use.

I’ve recently started working with coaches to help them create group coaching or membership programs using content they already have. Another passion of mine.

If you want to be a consultant, take some time to figure out what are you passionate about and how you can offer it as a service to your clients.

There is so much potential in this industry. It’s there for the taking. It’s up to you to figure out what works best for you and your goals.

As I mentioned, these are not the only ways you can scale your business. These are the most common.

The sky is the limit!

So… do any of these peak your interest? 

Feel free to post below and let me know.

I’d love to here from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why You Need To Offer Audit Packages In Your VA Biz

Why you should be offering audit packages in your va biz.

they’re a great way to earn extra $$.

Do you offer them?

Audits are a great way to sell your expertise to help solve your client’s or prospective client’s problems.

Have you ever had someone want to “pick your brain” because they had a problem and thought maybe you could help them solve it?

Or… they’re having issues with (fill in the blank) and wondered if you could take a look at it for them. In other words, you’re troubleshooting the problem for them.

I know I have.

Now, I’m all for helping people but there should be a limit on how much time + expertise you give away for free.

Discovery Sessions are a great way to find out if you can help prospective clients but they should not turn into Solution or Troubleshooting Sessions.

When you’re either troubleshooting an issue or giving someone the solution to a problem, you should be paid for it.

And… that’s what Audit Packages are for.

An audit is where you sell your expertise as a consultant to either troubleshoot an issue or figure out the solution to a problem.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.

I had a prospective client reach out to me because they were having issues with their Infusionsoft and wanted to know if I could fix it.

So, during the Discovery Session, I asked as many questions as I could to try and diagnose the problem.

But… they didn’t know Infusionsoft well enough to answer my questions.

I’d seen enough messes when it came to the set up of Infusionsoft that I knew it was not something I could diagnose without getting my hands on their system.

I explained to them that I would need to have access to their Infusionsoft to troubleshoot the issue and then offered my Audit Package.

You see, my business coach explained to me in no uncertain terms that if I didn’t value my time + expertise then how could I expect anyone else to OR how would I make living?

So… I created an Audit Package and stopped solving problems for FREE.

It’s the answer to the “can I pick your brain” questions.

This is the package I still offer today when I need to troubleshoot issues or solve problems.

  1. 2 hours of Consulting time
  2. A detailed report of the issue.
  3. A proposal to fix the problem.

I sell 2 hours of my time as a consultant so I have the time to diagnose the problem, create the report and put together the proposal for how I can fix it for them.

When it comes to Audit Packages you can get paid twice for the same problem.

  • Once to diagnose it!
  • Once to fix it!

I have one package that I use for all the services that I offer since it’s the same rinse + repeat process no matter the expertise.

By adding Audit Packages to your service offerings you’re creating another revenue stream that will earn you more money + help your clients.

So….

  • Stop giving away your time + expertise.
  • Stop letting people pick your brain for free.

Create an Audit Package and start selling your expertise as a valued consultant.

Are you ready to create your Audit Package?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to create yours.

I’d love to here from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Discovery Sessions
  2. Sales Funnels The What + The Why

Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Why You Need Referral Partners In Your Virtual Assistant Business

Why You Need Referral Partners In Your Virtual Assistant Business

Why You Need referral partners in your va business

Referral partners are a great way to help a fellow business owner + earn some extra money.

This blog post goes over what a Referral Partner is, why you need them, the systems you need + how to find them.

Read on if you want to learn how to add Referral Partners to your business to help you earn some extra income!

So… let’s get started.

#1 What are referral partners?

Well, a Referral Partner is a trusted colleague that you refer business to. It’s usually either a service you don’t like or want to do or it could be you can’t meet their deadline. There are a number of reasons to have Referral Partners, these are the most common.

Let me give you a quick example of how you can use a Referral Partner.

Let’s say you design + build WordPress websites as part of your business. But, you don’t offer graphics or copywriting. Well many of your clients will either need help with graphics or copy for their new and improved website.

So… instead of turning your clients away to find a graphics person or a copywriter (or both), you would refer them to one of your Referral Partners that specializes in either graphics or copywriting.

This way you’re not leaving it up to your clients to find the help they need – you’re helping them find what they need.

Plus… you get a referral fee for referring your clients to them + the Referral Partner gets the business.

It’s a Win-Win for everyone!

#2 Why you need them?

It’s simple – to be of service to your clients.

Instead of saying that you don’t offer a particular skill or service, send them to your Referral Partner instead.

Your clients will appreciate the higher level of service and to be referred to someone you know and trust. You’re saving them time, money and possible frustration too!

Plus… you’re not turning away business.

Referral Partners are a source of income. That’s right, they’re an additional revenue stream for your business.

When you refer business to one of your Referral Partners you earn a referral fee.

On a side note – if you’re considering starting a team or agency of your own, having Referral Partners will give you valuable experience when it comes to working with a team.

#3 What systems do you need?

Well… you’ll need to track:

  1. Referral Partners.
  2. The services they offer.
  3. Their rates.
  4. The referral fee.
  5. How you make client introductions.
  6. How + when you get paid the referral fee.
  7. Follow up with your client.
  8. Follow up with your Referral Partner.

Now, that’s a rough list of the things you’ll need to create a system for. Start by asking yourself each question and how you would like it handled – then write it down.

Each of the items listed above are important to you, your clients and your Referral Partners and need to be part of your overall Referral Partner process.

I would recommend adding the completed process to your Operations System, since it’s part of running your business.

Quick Note – be sure you and your Referral Partners are in agreement on the fee amount + when it’s paid to you. This is so important!

#4 How to find them?

Start with colleagues you already know.  People you’ve met in online groups or training programs. It could be someone you’ve worked with before.

One of my Referral Partners was a team member of a mutual client.

Reach out to them + find out more about them.

  • What services they offer?
  • Ask them if they’re interested in being a Referral Partner?
  • What type of fee do they want?
  • Do they already have a process for referrals?

Check out their website, look at samples of their work and do a test project together to see how you work together.

Since you’re trusting them to take care of your clients, it’s important that you trust them and the quality of their work.

That’s it!

Remember, it’s a relationship between you + your clients + your Referral Partners. Be sure it works for all of you.

Are you ready to add Referral Partners to your business?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action your taking today to start looking for Referral Partners.

I’d love to here from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. VA Systems: The Key Systems You Need
  2. Why Have Trusted Partners

Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

What To Watch Out For When Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

What To Watch Out For When Starting a Virtual Assistant Business

What to watch out for if you’re starting a virtual assistant business.

What I call Bad Advice!

Seems like I’ve been on my soapbox a lot lately… and I guess I have because I’ve seen such a change in the VA Industry in the last year.

I’ve seen so many pieces of what I call “bad advice” given to new Virtual Assistants; I wanted to write a blog post that covers them all!

It’s the good, bad + ugly things you need to watch out for when you’re starting your VA business.

Oh… some of this stuff is actually taught by so-called experts in their training + coaching programs and used in their marketing.

This will be one of those posts that grows – as I find more bad advice I’ll be sure to add it to the list.

So… let’s dive in.

#1 The Fake It Until You Make It Strategy – I wrote an entire blog post on this one but I’m going to summarize it here. (You can read the full post here).

I understand taking an opportunity to learn something new but you need to be honest with your clients. Let them know you’re willing to learn – don’t fake it.

Faking means you’re not really sure what you’re doing. Like saying you know Infusionsoft but you’ve never seen it before.

Lack of confidence means you have the skills and know what you’re doing, you’ve just not done it enough to be confident yet. For example, you’ve taken classes to learn WordPress but you’ve not offered it as a service yet. Do you really want to fake it with your clients? You’re working in their business – their baby.

They trust you can do what you say. Remember, it’s your business and reputation on the line.

#2 Work For Free – Why would you work for free? Your knowledge, skills + expertise are valuable and you should be paid for them. When you work for free you’re not valuing the work you do or yourself. Not to mention, people who want things for free can turn out to be nightmare clients.

I see lots of people saying work for free for a testimonial, but you’re still giving away your time + knowledge. And… they’re worth something right? Yes they are!

Instead of working for free, offer a discounted rate and then ask them for a testimonial after you’ve completed the work. They get a break on the rate and you get paid for your time, expertise and knowledge.

#3 It’s Easy Anyone Can Do It (Be a Virtual Assistant). Nope, not true. It’s not easy and not everyone is cut out to be a VA. Take the time to really understand what it takes to be successful.

Learn all you can about the day in the life of a Virtual Assistant so you can make the right decision for you. Just know that it’s a lot of work when starting out but it’s worth it for the freedom and flexibility you get.

Remember… it’s a Business NOT a JOB. 

It’s a tremendous amount of work to set up a business and learn all you need to know about being a business owner + a Virtual Assistant. If it’s not for you – that’s OK. Just realize it’s not easy.

#4 You Can Make $5k In Your First 30 Days. No one can guarantee how much you’ll make in any timeframe… period.

There are so many factors that go into being successful as a VA. Is it possible, sure but it’s the exception NOT the rule.

Don’t fall for this marketing ploy.

#5 Get A VA Certification. I wrote a blog post on this one too! I’ll summarize it here but if you want to read the whole thing click here.

There are no true “Virtual Assistant Certifications”. There is no Industry wide approved certification.

Now, I know there are a few organizations that offer certifications, just be aware of what they mean by certified.

Ask questions like “What do you need to do to obtain the certification and what do you get from it?“

There’s a big difference between completion and certification.

Bottom line is you don’t need to be certified to be a successful Virtual Assistant and be sure you understand what you’re getting for your investment of both time and money.

#6 Get Your First Client Then Figure Out What To Do Next. Not a good way to start a successful business. A business is a system. You need to set up your business systems BEFORE you work with clients.

I’ve seen people who followed this advice and ended up posting for help on what to do next in a Facebook Group and guess what? The client that just hired them was in the group and saw the post. Not a good way to start a relationship.

If you’re looking to build a successful business and give your clients a first class experience, do yourself and them a favor, don’t follow this bad piece of advice.

Take the time to have your business set up before you land your first client.

#7 How To Start Your VA Business With NO Money. You can definitely boot strap starting a VA business BUT you will need some money. You have to register your business and the fees vary based on where you live.

Just realize that there is an investment in starting any business – it’s not free.

#8 How To Start a VA Business With NO Experience. You don’t need experience as a VA to start a VA business. But… you need to have experience working with clients. If you don’t, it will be a much harder journey.

Whew… ok that’s it for now. I hope you found these of value.

As I find more, I’ll be sure to add them to the list.

If you’ve got one to share, please do!

I’d love to here from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

Interviewing Potential Clients: Why You Need A System

What’s your system for interviewing potential clients and then closing the deal?

Do you have one?

It’s SO important to have your systems in place BEFORE you start working with clients.  A system that includes interviewing potential clients and closing the sale.

You see, it’s not enough to interview clients to find out if they’re a good fit, you need to know what kind of information you should ask plus how to overcome common sales objections to close the deal.

So… What kind of system do you need?

One that gets results, is simple and is rinse + repeat.

I call my system of interviewing potential clients “Discovery Sessions”.

I’m discovering what the client is all about and how I can help them. I’m also discovering if it’s a good fit for both of us. Because I’m not just selling a service, I’m starting a relationship with this person and it needs to be right for all involved.

Have you ever taken on a client that you know you shouldn’t have?

Maybe you saw the signs that they were not a good fit for you but chose to ignore it.

Yes, I have! I’m raising my hand here!

I did it a few times before I learned to trust myself and say NO to potential clients that weren’t a good fit.

Being the right fit for you and them is the most important thing no matter how long the relationship.

There are a few so-called “red-flags” that you should watch out for.

When it comes to red flags everyone is different (you’re likely to have your own list, I do). But there are a few common ones I recommend you watch out for.

  1. Too many Virtual Assistants in a short period of time. For instance, they’ve been through several Virtual Assistants in the last few months. This is usually an indication that the person may not be easiest to work with.
  2. They’re negotiators… They want to negotiate everything. You’re rate, the deadline, your boundaries, how you run your own business, etc. These can be the type of people that question everything and can be a drain on your energy.

Like me, you probably have your own list of Red Flags.

If you don’t, I suggest you create one that you can refer to when you’re interviewing clients. You’re looking for traits that you know you don’t work well with.

My main red flags are:

  • micro-managers
  • fire fighters (everything is always an emergency and on fire)
  • negotiators

If during the interview you find out they have something on your Red Flag list, then you know it’s a “no”. Trust yourself – you know what’s best for you.

Ok, now let’s discuss the “standard” questions you should ask during the interview.

For me it’s simple, I just ask a couple of simple questions to get the conversation started and then let it flow.

These are the questions I always ask:

  1. Have you worked with a VA before?
  2. How can I help you?

That’s it.

The questions I ask after these depend on the conversation.

It’s what works best for me.

Everyone is different and has specific needs, so I just let the conversation go where it needs to go. I don’t follow a specific script or questionnaire.

Why these specific questions?

Well, for one I want to know if they’ve worked with a Virtual Assistant for two reasons.

One, if they have, I want to know how it went. Have they been burned by a VA before. If they have, I know there is a potential for trust issues right up front and I know how to deal with it.

Two, I want to know what problems they have that I can solve for them. That is why they reached out to me.

I’m all about simplicity and it works for me.

Remember, my motto is Your Business – Your Choice. Do what works for you.

If you like more structure or want a list of questions to help you get started, feel free to download my sample questionnaire to give you some ideas of what to ask.

Your Discovery Session system can be simple and tailored to fit your exact needs.

It doesn’t need to be difficult or complex.

It just needs to work!

Ok… one last thing. That one thing most people dread about interviewing potential clients.

It’s that part of the conversation where you have to start the “close“.

You know, where you have to start talking about your rates and how you work with clients.

The sales conversation!

For so many people they dread having to talk about their rates… it can make them nervous or sick to their stomach (that was me).

But… in order to close the deal you have to talk about your rates.

You have to understand that you are the sales + marketing department.

It’s up to you to get more comfortable with talking about what you charge because you’re worth it.

Remember, they came to you for help and they know you’re a business owner and you don’t work for FREE!

Go into each sales conversation confident that you can help them and you are worth whatever you are charging.

Here’s a little mindset tip to help you if you’re nervous about quoting your rates.

Double your current rate and then recite it to yourself in the mirror for 7 days.

It really works!

For example, let’s say your current hourly rate is $25 an hour. So double it and then stand in front of the mirror and say “My hourly rate is $50 an hour”.

If you sell packages then do the same thing – double it and recite it to yourself in the mirror.

You many think I’m nuts but it works.

Next time you’re having that sales conversation and it’s time to talk rates, it will be easier!

Are you ready to create your own Discovery Session System?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action your taking today to create your own system for interviewing clients.

I’d love to here from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

If you know someone who might benefit from this information, please share. You can use the share buttons below the post.

HERE ARE A FEW RELATED BLOG POSTS THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST:

  1. Setting Your Rates
  2. Virtual Assistant Systems

Oh… and each week I host an Open Mic Session in my VA Tips & Tricks Facebook Group where I deep dive specific topics & answer your questions, be sure to join us for the next one – it’s FREE! Go to http://bit.ly/vatipstricks.

Thanks for reading – Susan

Don’t forget to leave a comment if you found this information useful – I’d love to hear from you!

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