Be a VA Matchmaker + Scale Your Business

Be a VA Matchmaker + Scale Your Business

Be a VA Matchmaker + Scale Your VA Business

What you need to know + how to get started!

Let’s talk about VA Matchmaking!

VA Matchmaking is a great way to either scale your current VA business or add another revenue stream to it!

Today we are deep diving VA Matchmaking – the what, the why + the benefits!

This blog is part of the series I’m doing on 7 different ways to scale your business. Here is the link to the original blog in case you missed it.

7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

So let’s dive in!

First… what is a VA Matchmaker?

My definition is someone who matches qualified clients with qualified Virtual Assistants.

It could be the sole income source of their business (the business model) or a revenue stream that brings in extra income.

At it’s most basic – you’re someone who connects people.

If you’ve been in this industry for any amount of time, you know it’s a struggle for both Virtual Assistants to find clients AND for clients to find qualified Virtual Assistants.

This need – this problem is how the VA Matchmaker business was born.

It was created to solve a need.

This is a great alternative to building your own team! (You don’t have to manage a team and all the complexities that go with it!)

How does being a VA Matchmaker work?

You match qualified Virtual Assistants with qualified clients looking for their services.

There are a couple of different ways that you can approach this.

One is through an RFP System, which allows clients to complete a form/questionnaire that sends their details directly to qualified Virtual Assistants. (Similar to what IVAA does).

Another option is to be more hands-on and interview potential clients and then help them find the right Virtual Assistant.

There is no one size fits all formula to this.

Remember my motto, your business – your choice.

Do what works for you.

But… keep in mind if you are the middleman you can become the bottleneck in the entire process.

Being a matchmaker could be another revenue stream to your current business, or you could totally flip the script and have it be your business model.

That means that is how you make money – by matching clients to Virtual Assistants.

There are people who do just that.

One is the VA Collaborative and there is another one called the VA Matchmaker, so if you’re interested in what this whole thing looks like, feel free to check out their websites.

Things to consider…

Do you want to have a matchmaking business or just another revenue stream?

Your answer to this question determines everything else that follows. Be sure to take the time to decide what whats for you right now.

Then there is the question of the systems and tools you need to have in place to help automate the entire process.

Some people have a membership program where they charge monthly fees for anyone that wants access to their RFP’s or qualified clients.

Another option is to be more of a white glove service where you interview both the potential clients and Virtual Assistants and build a database of names to refer people to.

If you’re considering this option, stop and think how that fits into your dream business or lifestyle.

  • Do you really want to be in the middle?
  • Does it tie you down to “office hours”?
  • Does it restrict your freedom + flexibilty?

Really take the time to understand the systems you need to have in place and how much time you will be involved in the entire process of matchmaking.

Another more hands-off option is to focus on Referral Partners.

It works like this… you refer clients to qualified Virtual Assistants and get paid either a flat free or even a percentage of the work they do for say the first 6 months with the client you referred.

You’re referring people and getting paid for it.

There are several different ways you can approach being a matchmaker, it’s not one size fits all!

Let’s talk systems…

Now, one of the most important things need to figure out, is if this is going to be your entire business (business model) or another revenue stream for your existing business. If you’re really good at connecting people you might consider this as your business – if not then consider adding it as additional revenue. Once you make the decision you need to look at the systems you’ll need to support all the moving pieces you’re going to have.

For instance:

  • how do you find qualified people (clients or VAs)
  • who is your market
  • how do you get paid

It’s important that you get really clear on who your market is for this. Like I said, there are lots of people who have issues finding qualified VA’s, but not everyone’s your client. Are you going to go after creatives, course creators? You’re going to go after business coaches or finance coaches? You need to be very clear who your market is for this particular type of business.

A few more important things….

How you vet VAs to be sure that they are qualified? It’s your reputation so you want to make sure that you have qualified individuals to present to clients that are looking for them, and vice versa.

What services are you offering?

Are you going to be offering everything under the sun?  Or are you going to really specialize?

If I were you, I would specialize. I would move away from the admin-type skills, because the industry is saturated with admin-type skills, and really go for more specialists or consultants on the technology or strategic side of things. They are going to be a higher-paying services and they’re also more in-demand than anything in the admin space.

Are you location specific? In other words, you only have U.S. VAs or North American VAs, or are they from somewhere else?

How are you going to market this? Because you’re now a networker.

Whew… I know that I’ve given you a lot to think about here.

If you’re someone who is really good at connecting people or at networking being a matchmaker might be for you. You could add it as another revenue stream and test it out to see if it’s something you enjoy before diving into it full time.

It’s another great way to scale your Virtual Assistant business.

I’d love to know what you think.

Feel free to post below and let me know if you’re considering becoming a VA Matchmaker!

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. Why You Need Referral Partners
  2. Passive Income With Affiliate Marketing
  3. Want More $$ – Become a Specialist

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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

Create Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing

Create Passive Income with Affiliate Marketing

Create Passive Income With Affiliate Marketing

What You Need To Know

Let’s talk about Affiliate Marketing.

If you remember a few weeks ago I did a blog post that was an overview of the different ways you can scale your business. Here is the link to the blog post in case you didn’t get a chance to read it.

7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

Anyway… one of the methods I mentioned was Affiliate Marketing, so today we’re going to go deeper on what it is and how to use it to create passive income.

First… Affiliate Marketing is simple.

It’s when you refer people to someone else’s products or service and you get paid when they purchase.

You’re sort of like a commissioned sales person.

When someone buys something that you referred, you get paid!

They use what are called “affiliate links” to track the sales that you refer so they know how to pay for a referral.

Now… what you get paid as an affiliate varies greatly. It depends on what it is and the rate the business owner is willing to pay.

We’ll get in to more of that in just a bit.

Let’s talk benefits!

The biggest benefit of being an affiliate is it’s a great way to bring in some extra income.

It’s actually another revenue stream for your business – one that you don’t have to create anything for!

A word of caution though…. I highly recommend only referring products or services you’ve used yourself.

Why?

It’s all about reputation.

For instance, what if someone purchases something on your recommendation using your affiliate link and it’s not good?

Do you really want to put your reputation on the line for a product or service you’ve never used just to get paid?

I know I don’t.

I only recommend products + services I’ve actually used and know the quality of before referring it to my tribe.

Do what works for you – but keep in mind it’s your reputation.

Also, there are people who teach Affiliate Marketing as a way to earn money as a VA.

As I said it’s a great way to earn EXTRA money but it should not be your main source of income.

That’s what your VA business is for.

If you are what is called an Affiliate Marketier, you’re relying on somebody else for your income.

You’re not in direct control – you rely on what they sell to make a living.

So… how can you get into affiliate marketing?

Well, first off, you can start by signing up for any of the tools that you use.

For example, I’m a Teamwork affiliate. It’s a task management tools I’ve used for the past 11 years and can highly recommend. It’s a great tool!

Take a look at the tools you use in your business and then check their website to see if they offer an affiliate or referral partner program (same thing – different name). Many times they’ll have a hyperlink at the bottom of their website for joining their affiliate program.

When you sign up they’ll provide the exact details on how their program works.

For instance:

  • Amount paid
  • When it’s paid
  • How it’s paid
  • Training on how to be an affiliate

Each program is different but be sure you can find the above information plus how to find your unique affiliate link.

Pay attention when you sign up to find out how to get your affiliate link and the tracking system they’re using to keep track of your referrals and commissions.

I’m an affiliate for SiteGround and get an email when someone signs up so I know I’ve got a commission coming.

Second, take a look at any products or services you’ve used and found valuable.

Many business owners offer an affiliate program for their training and coaching.

Some will have a menu option on their website for you to sign up.

If you don’t see one, you could always reach out and ask them if they have one.

Keep in mind, you’ll have to sign an affiliate agreement and if you’re US based you may even need to provide a W9 form for tax purposes.

Let’s talk affiliate commisions.

As I mentioned above there is NO one size fits all commission or affiliate fee structure.

It’s all up to the business owner.

When you sign up to become an affiliate you’ll see what the percentage or flat fee is you’ll get paid.

Now that you know what affiliate marketing is and how to get started, let’s talk about what to do AFTER you sign up as an affiliate.

How to start earning those commissions!

The most important thing is to have a plan for how you’re going to market your affiliate programs.

It’s important to have a plan if you want consistent income and a solid revenue stream.

So how can you let your clients + audience know about the products + services you recommend?

The easiest way is to add a “Resources” page to your website and include your affiliate links to each. Be sure to include a simple disclaimer that lets people know that you are a paid affiliate and are using affiliate links.

Then visitors to your website can find what they need, click on the affiliate link, purchase and you get paid!

Creating your own affiliate program.

If you’re somebody who sells digital products, you could create your own affiliate program.

It’s a great way to thank loyal customers + clients for referring others to you.

There are many programs that have a built in affiliate program like ClickFunnels or Kartra for instance.

If you’re not using one of those programs you can find stand alone products for creating and tracking affiliates like LeadDyno.

They do all the heavy lifing for you!

And.. that my friends is it!

It’s not difficult to find products or services that you have used and would happily recommend to others.

The first thing you need to do is see if they have an affiliate program and sign up and then start using your links.

Oh… and one quick thing.

Before you go wild and start sharing your affiliate links all over social media – especially in groups – read the group guidelines to see if it’s allowed.

I know in my own groups – it’s not permitted.

By becoming an affiliate for multiple products or services and sharing them with your audience you can create some extra income fairly easily.

So… what action can you take right now to start creating passive income by being an affiliate?

I’d love to know! Please comment below and share.

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.

Exciting news for me!

I’m re-launching my own affiliate program – woot!

I took it down last year as I was reorganizing my products but I’m excited to share that it’s coming back!

It’s my way of saying thank you for recommending my stuff.

So, if you’re interested in joining my affiliate program go to https://www.techiementortraining.com/affiliate-sign-up to sign up and find out more.

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

  1. Want More $$ + Clients? Become a Specialist
  2. The Things That Keep You Stuck

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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

Want More Money + Clients? Become a Specialist or Consultant

Want More Money + Clients? Become a Specialist or Consultant

Virtual Assistant Consultants + Specialists
Get More Clients + Earn More $$

What you need to know to make the switch from generalist or admin to specialist!

The VA Industry is changing!

Clients are looking for skilled professionals who are specialists not generalists.

What’s the difference?

Well to me a generalist is someone who does a lot of different things well but is not great at anything.

Now, that may sound harsh but it’s the perception many people have, including potential clients.

When you offer everything under the sun + the kitchen sink it’s hard to understand what you’re really good at.

People look at your website or LinkedIn profile and are confused.

They don’t know what you do because of the number of different skills or services listed.

I know when I first started my VA business almost 11 years ago, I offered absolutely everything I was capable of doing because I thought that is what I was supposed to do.

I didn’t fully grasp that I got to choose what I wanted to offer.

That I didn’t have to offer services I didn’t like or want to.

I remember I had potential clients ask me what I was really good at and I couldn’t quite understand why they were asking.

That was until I had one that said they wanted a “WordPress Specialist” and not someone who dabbled in it from time to time.

The thing is I really was a WordPress Specialist, I just wasn’t presenting myself that way to the world.

To this person I was a generalist because of the sheer number of services I offered.

Needless to say, that conversation was an eye opener for me. I went back to the drawing board and removed ALL the services I didn’t enjoy or was just “dabbling” in.

I dwindled my list down to only 4 services. The ones that I was great at and loved doing.

Those 4 services were:

  1. WordPress
  2. Infusionsoft
  3. 1ShoppingCart
  4. Project Management

You don’t have to specialize in just one thing – you can specialize in as many as want.

Just as long as it’s clear you’re a “specialist”.

If you’re offering a ton of admin services, such as:

  • Data entry
  • Research
  • Inbox Management
  • Calendar Management
  • Customer Service
  • Resume Writing

Then you’re considered a “generalist”.

Right or wrong, that is the perception.

Now… if you were to specialize in one or two of the above listed services, you would be a specialist.

If you’re looking to build a long term successful business you need to specialize – simple as that.

You can choose what you specialize in – like I did.

There are several benefits to becoming a specialist including:

  1. earning more money.
  2. multiple revenue streams.
  3.  being the go to person in your market.

The first one is simple.

Specialists make more money than generalists or assistants.

People believe right or wrong that generalists or assistants are paid less than a specialist or consultant. It’s all in their perception.

The second one is my absolute favorite benefit!

Let me explain what I mean.

Let’s say you’re a WordPress Specialist (I was and still am). You can take your WordPress expertise and offer it in a variety of different ways to create multiple offerings.

Here are the different WordPress services I offered in my VA business:

  • Website Design
  • Website Audits
  • Monthly Management
  • Migrations

For website design packages I offered a one page website, a full professional website, a membership site and an e-commerce site.  Four different website design packages – four different revenue streams.

I took one skill set (WordPress) and divided it in multiple different ways to appeal to multiple different customers and created multiple revenue streams.

With my WordPress knowledge I’m able to demand a higher rate, create multiple revenue streams and set myself up for recurring revenue!

Woot! I love that!

So… what expertise can you specialize in to create multiple revenue streams in your business? I’d love to know – please comment and share!

The third benefit is all about being the “go to” person in your market.

For example, one of your client’s colleagues could say “I need a WordPress website.”  And, your client will say “Oh, you’ve got to go see Susan. She built my website and it’s great. She even manages it for me.”

You got a referral from a client just like that!

This also works if you share value with your market on a consistent basis.

What do I mean by share value?

Show up in Facebook or LinkedIn groups full of your dream clients and answer their questions. Share your expertise.

People will remember how you helped them and reach out when they need your help.

How exciting is that!

You start attracting clients instead of chasing after them.

If you need help creating “value” to share, check out my Content Creation Workbook. That’s what it’s all about – walking you through how to create value that showcases your expertise and then sharing it.

You can find out more about it at https://www.techiementortraining.com/content-workbook-sales.

And… one more benefit for those of you that specialize in back-end skills such as systems + techie tools.

You gain the freedom and flexibility you wanted when you left your soul sucking job. You’re no longer tied to your computer during so called business hours.

Back-end skills let you work when and where you want!

So… bottom line is you need to specialize if you want to earn more $$ and attract your dream clients.

The first step is deciding what you want to specialize in.

Is it something you already know?

Or… maybe it’s something you want to learn.

Either work, just make a decision and start letting the world know you’re a specialist.

Remove all the things you don’t enjoy or don’t want to do from your services.

Keep it simple and trust me things will start to shift in your business.

Once you have clarity everything seems to fall into place.

Now… if you’re someone who is interested in specializing in back-end skills I invite you to take a look at my Techie VA Training Vault. It’s an affordable alternative to those monster courses that costs hundreds of dollars and leave you hanging after a few months to figure things out on your own. You can try it for 7 days for only $1. When you join you get access to all the Techie Training programs including WordPress + Mail Chimp.

I teach you not only the skills but what to do with them. Many courses teach you the how of the program but not the next step. In other words how to implement what you’ve learned and start working with clients. I focus on the skills + the implementation of them.

Give the Techie VA Training Vault a try if you want to specialize in the skills that give you the freedom to work when + where you want.

You can find out more at https://www.technicalvirtualassistant.com/join.

Specialization is the way to go to earn more $$ and attract clients.

What are you waiting for?

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to become a specialist.

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. The Difference Between Front End + Back End Services
  2. 7 Ways to Scale Your VA Busines
  3. Skills to be a Professional VA
  4. What’s in Your Success Jar?

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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

7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

7 Ways To Scale Your Virtual Assistant Business

Ideas 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?

It might be time to scale your Virtual Assistant business if you’ve grown bored with the same routine day in and day out. Or… maybe you just want to work less and earn more.

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.

I wanted more freedom and flexibility in my day and my business.

It was time for me to scale my Virtual Assistant business!

Is it time for you?

Maybe you’re looking to:

  • have more time and  freedom
  • earn more money
  • become a consultant or specialist
  • stop working 1:1 with clients
  • reach more people
  • change things up
  • or… whatever works for you

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

My motto is Your Business – Your Choice.

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

This is ideal for me since I’m one of those types that needs a constant challenge to keep me interested.

You don’t have to keep doing what you’re doing now – especially if you no longer enjoy it!

So… if you’re ready for a change read on!

In this blog post I’m sharing 7 different ways you can scale your VA business. These aren’t the only options – just the most common.

I’ll be creating separate blog posts for each of these to deep dive into them and include details around how to get started, key systems you need, how to market your new business model and so much more. Stay tuned!

#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 not take a hit on my income. 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 role 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.

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#3 – Be a Matchmaker.

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

You become a connector.

There are a couple of 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.

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#4 – Affiliate Marketing.

This is a great way to make some extra income and it’s becoming more and more popular.

Especially with techie tools.

What is it?

It’s where you refer products + services to your audience and get paid a commission or referral fee.

You get what’s called an affiliate link that tracks the sales you refer and you get paid!

Most people create a Resources page on their website and add their affiliate links to it.

Check back in the coming weeks for more details on how to add Affiliate Marketing to your business!

#5 – Become a Consultant + Specialize.

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 can earn up to 3x more money than assistants.

So… what do I mean by becoming a consultant.

I mean to 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.

I wrote a blog specifically around becoming a specialist or consultant – you can read it at https://www.thetechiementor.com/virtualassistantconsultant/. It covers the benefits of specializing as well as how to get started.

#6 – Create Digital Products.

If you’re looking for a way to earn more money and work less you can create digital products to sell.

There are so many different things you can create based on your experience and expertise.

Products can be simple or complex, pricey or affordable.

You could create something as simple as an ebook.

Or… you could create an entire course or membership program.

If your looking to move away from working 1:1 with clients and want to reach a larger audience, products might be the way to go!

I’ll be doing a blog post to expand on this topic in the coming weeks – so stay tuned if you want more details.

#5 – Coaching + Training.

I hesitated to add this one based on what I’ve noticed happening in the industry these past few years.

First… I believe that you need to have more than a year or two of experience before moving into coaching or training.

You need to know what you’re doing before you start teaching or coaching others… period.

In my opinion you should have at least 5 years experience.

Why?

Because you need to know what you’re teaching actually works.

That you’ve used your “system” successfully in your own business not just took training and decided to turn around and teach it to others.

That you’ve experienced the highs and the lows of running a business and know how to work through them.

That you’ve actually been successful at marketing, getting clients and making money running a full time VA business.

Too many new Virtual Assistants jump over to coaching and training before they’ve even completed their first year in business.

My question is – what are they teaching and is it ethical – does it really work?

Look at these statistics for small businesses and what does it tell you?

  1. 20% of small businesses fail in their first year
  2. 30% of small businesses fail in their second year
  3. 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business
  4. 70% of small business owners fail in their 10th year in business

Experience + success is key if you’re going to coach or mentor others.

Obviously this is a passionate topic for me and I’ll be creating a blog post to talk more about this topic. So stay tuned!

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 virtual assistant 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 hear from you.

All comments + questions are welcome.

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

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

Thanks for reading – Susan

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

You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

You Need a Trusted Parter in Your VA Business To Keep From Losing Clients

If you are a solo Virtual Assistant, having a trusted partner or partners is a must.

First… a little bit of background on what they are and why you need one (Trusted Partners).

If you’re a service provider and you’re a solopreneur… you are the business.

You’re a one-person shop so to speak.

Nobody else in your business does what you do or can do what you do.

Now, maybe you have a team that supports you, but they’re not the ones that go out and make the money for the business.

If you’re a Virtual Assistant, chances are you’re a solopreneur.

You’re the one that does the work and delivers the services.

If you have a team of Virtual Assistants or Freelancers that work with your clients – you’re not a solopreneur!

Even coaches are considered solopreneurs!

So… What’s a Trusted Partner?

A Trusted Partner is someone who can step into your business and essentially be you when you want or need to take time away from your business.

Why do you need one?

To help your clients when you are unavailable.

What happens when you get sick or have an emergency and need to be out of the office for more than a day or two?

Your clients business doesn’t stop because you do.

They have tasks that need to be done + delivered even when you’re out of the office.

Do you currently have someone who can step in and assist your clients while your away?

I didn’t… and this is what happened to me and how the Trusted Partner was born.

I had all these wonderful clients.

I was always busy, always had a lot on my plate, always had a lot of to-dos.

Then… I got sick.

In fact, I got pneumonia, and I wasn’t able to complete my daily to-dos or meet my deadlines.

And… you probably can guess what happened next.

Because I didn’t have anyone who I trusted and had similar skills as myself to do the work, I lost a few clients.

They had to go elsewhere to get their stuff done. And, I totally get it!

(Some of my other clients could wait until I got back to work but several of them were in the midst of a launch and couldn’t afford to wait).

I couldn’t work… I was just that sick.

And… on another note I don’t advocate for working when you’re sick or on vacation or need to be present for a family member.

You need time OFF – it’s that simple.

I didn’t take a vacation for the first three years of my business, which is not healthy.

I realized that I needed to have somebody who could back me up when I was unavailable and that is how the Trusted Partner was born.

Essentially a Trusted Partner becomes you when you’re unavailable for any reason.

So… what if you have a family emergency or you just need a mental health day, or, you get really sick?

How will you provide coverage for your clients?

A quick side note for those of you that are brand new to the VA Industry, this is something that you should start looking into as soon as possible. You want to take care of your clients, even when you’re out of the office.

It gives them a sense of comfort, plus this is something that not everybody does – have a Trusted Partner.

How do you find one?

In order for them to become you while you’re away, they need to have similar skill sets as you so they can do the work that needs to get done.

That way you can truly relax or get healthy while your business is in good hands.

They should be someone you know and trust.

You can find them through colleagues and even Facebook groups.

Facebook groups are a great place to start, but you have to build a relationship with someone, because you are trusting these people to run your business while you’re unavailable.

So you want to make sure that they’re a good fit for you and understand how your business works.

Bottom line is it takes TIME to find the right person.

As I mentioned they need to have similar skills, but they also need to understand how your business is run since this is NOT a cookie cutter industry.

Every business is different.

I reached out to a few colleagues that I had worked with in the past and asked them if they would be interested in being each others Trusted Partner.

These were Virtual Assistants that I had worked with on a team or who had done sub-contractor work for me.

The most important thing is to find someone you know and trust who has similar skills to you.

That way they can handle any of the tasks that may come their way.

Look at your friends, at colleagues, at people that are in groups with you, whether it’s a paid group or a free one.

Reach out to people and say, “Hey, I need a Trusted Partner and I need somebody that does X,Y, Z.”

You have to make sure you’re really zoned in on what type of skills you want. They may not have the depth of knowledge, but they should be able to do the work that needs to get done while you’re away.

How do you use them?

Once you’ve found your partner(s), be sure to let your clients know about them and how they work.

This should be part of your Business Policies and Client Kick Off call process – to introduce the concept and how they work with your Trusted Partner.

I introduced my Trusted Partners to my clients and explained that they were only available when I was unavailable for extended periods of time (3 days or more) and not for any other reason.

They’re not for emergencies when they can’t reach you for some reason.

Unavailable means you’re out of the office, on vacation, you have a family emergency, you’re sick.

That’s when the Trusted Partner would step in.

You would let your clients know the situation – that you’re on vacation, sick or otherwise unavailable and remind them about your Trusted Partners and how to connect with them.

Be sure to add the exact process for working with your Trusted Partners to your business policies document and discuss it with your clients. This way they are clear on how and when to use them. Also, add your Trusted Partners contact information and skills to your business policies document.

How do you pay them (Trusted Partner)?

That’s something that you have to figure out – but they should be paid for any work they do for you.

Remember, they are providing a valuable service for you and your clients.

It gives you peace of mind and time to unplug while you’re unavailable AND it gives your clients peace of mind knowing they have help.

My Trusted Partners and I kept it simple.

We decided to be subcontractors for each other and charge a lesser rate for the work that we did while acting as a Trusted Partner.

Since we were each others, this kept the whole thing simple.

One more quick thing…

I would set up a business email for them at your company.

For instance, [email protected].

That will keep it simple for them and your clients when reaching out to them.

So by having a trusted partner in your business, you have somebody that can step in and help them do what they need to do while you’re unavailable. It’s going to give you peace of mind while you’re out of the office, and give your clients peace of mind that they know if you’re unavailable, they have someone they can go to that can help them. And so that’s a trusted partner.

Having a Trusted Partner gives you and your clients peace of mind.

Your clients have someone they can reach out to if they need anything while you are unavailable.

And you can unplug, recharge, get healthy or tend to whatever you need while you’re away.

It makes a huge difference between keeping and losing clients.

Here is a quick checklist to help you get started finding your Trusted Partners!

Trusted Partner™ Checklist

  1. Reach out to people you trust. These can be people you have worked with on a team, met on social media or were in a course together. I recommend finding two or more.
  2. Be sure they have similar skills as you. Remember, they are going to be stepping into your business and acting as you while you are unavailable. This means that they need to understand how you run your business.
  3. Decide on whether or not you are going to pay your partners. Sometimes we paid each other, other times we just bartered for each other’s services. This is something you need to work out together. And, be sure to get it all in writing!
  4. Work with your trusted partners to create the process you use when an emergency happens and you have to be out of the office.
  5. Train your trusted partners in how you work with clients and the tools that you use (great time to have an operations manual). 
  6. Add the trusted partner process to your business policies document and share it with your clients.
  7. Make an introduction to your clients and make sure they understand the process for working with your trusted partners.
  8. Create an email for them at your company to help keep it easy for everyone involved.
  9. Decide how much and when to pay your Trusted Partners for providing this invaluable service to you and your clients.

When was the last time you truly unplugged from your business without panicking or worrying about everything that wasn’t getting done? I’d love to know.

Do you have a Trusted Partner?

I’d love to know!

All comments + questions are welcome.

Feel free to post below and let me know what action you’re taking today to find a Trusted Partner for your business.

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. Getting Organized
  2. Changing Your Employee Mindset
  3. Start Working With Clients

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

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 is 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 do 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 you’re taking today to start looking for Referral Partners.

I’d love to hear 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

If you’re looking for more details on how to start or scale your VA business including how to specialize by learning in-demand skills, join my FREE VA Training Vault. You’ll get instant access to how-to video training for Virtual Assistants that want to create a successful business.

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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