Networking for business


#1

Hello fellow SVAs. Today was rather a momentous day for me as I have taken the plunge and today was my last day as an employee!! A big step after being in an EA role for 22+ years. However, I am now ready to focus entirely on my own VA business - Target Admin - that I set up whilst working part time in my employed role and my question to those of you who are experienced VAs is how have you got on with networking during Covid? I’m using LinkedIn a lot and I’ve just signed up to LinkedIn Local for my area but am I missing another forum? I wondered about Facebook but it’s a long time since I used that platform personally but is it good for B2B stuff?

All feedback gratefully received.

Many thanks
Sue


#2

Huge congratulations Sue - so a lot depends on who you want to work with. So personally when I was VA’ing I found some Facebook groups invaluable for getting clients. So do you have a particular niche / skillset - if yes - hang out in those types of groups on both LI and FB. Remember to think it’s not just where you ICA hangs out but maybe their partner etc… if you are looking to work with small businesses it can be where their partner that nags them into taking admins support etc. But you might find that being visible on Instagram or Twitter is more beneficial to your particular ICA.


#3

Thanks Amanda - that’s great advice. I don’t have a particular niche as such but my latter experience is in the legal training area. I am on Twitter and LinkedIn and need to drill down on the targetting in LI more. I think you might be right about FB and the nagging partner! I’ve not heard the term ICA before…please put me out of my misery - it’s Friday and I’m a bit brain dead :slightly_smiling_face:


#4

Apologies for the TLA (3 letter abbreviation) - ICA stands for Ideal Client Avatar - there’s a freebie on my website that will help you work out yours - but basically we are talking about who, you want to work with, are they male or female, how old are they, do they work for themselves or someone else, how much do they earn, what do they do, what do they read, what do they do at the weekend etc, what help do they need, can they afford you etc…

Having an avatar for your ideal client will help you prepare for your client consultations. Having a client avatar will help you improve your marketing efforts, and often VAs will say that they can work with anyone and that’s true but if know who we are trying to attract, and if we understand the person fully, it is easier to develop our content, and write in such a way that will appeal to that person. So that when they read it - they go shit she/he is talking to me - they are talking my language.

Your client avatar – this template needs you to be specific - the more specific you can be the greater value it will bring you. Don’t forget you can have more than one of these ideal clients for the various strands of your business. I generally recommend at least 3 of these for your business.

You can get a copy of the one I have on my site via here - https://www.vact.co.uk/va-free-resources/

I hope that helps.
Amanda


#5

Sue I would try and find some online networking groups to join as you will probably find some good contacts there. I don’t know where abouts you are based but you could certainly look for the FSB, Chamber of Commerce and any others in your area, plus of course the great thing about online networking is you don’t need to stick to your local area, you can network anywhere.

Jeannette


#6

This is valuable info, thanks Amanda. I will take a look at your free resources. Now that I am a full time freelance I feel I now have the headspace to think about these targeting methods to work out not only my niche but also my client persona. Thanks again. Sue


#7

Thanks Jeannette. I’m based on the Hants/West Sussex borders so will check out networking groups locally as you suggest. It will be nice when we can all meet F2F again but meantime, as you say, as a VA we can be based anywhere. Sue


#8

A scary step, but a really good one!

LinkedIn is the best online platform for VAs getting clients… I think I might dissect this a bit more this year in the survey, as I suspect people use it to reconnect with existing contacts rather than cold leads giving them business! It really depends a lot on where you think potential clients will hang out - if they are insanely busy, they might not be online at all!


#9

Thanks Caroline. Yes, I agree with you, if people are insanely busy one of the first things that gets dropped will be your interaction with social media or certainly your interaction will be less likely in a meaningful way when you’re up to your neck in it. I’m on a Linkedin training session tomorrow so will no doubt pick up some more hints and tips - see https://adamhoulahan.com/webinar/
Sue


#10

I definitely think it depends upon the clients you are looking for. Most of my clients are Independent Consultants and i have picked up several cold leads just by asking them to connect with me


#11

I appreciate your feedback Jinty…my ideal client would be the same and I’ve now signed up to join a few business networks in the hope I can get to know a few. I must admit to being a little backward in coming forward asking for connections to folk on LinkedIn I don’t know. It’s good to know that you’ve been successful in this way - long may it continue and I’ll try to take a leaf out of your book. Thanks again. Sue


#12

Hi Sue,

I started my business almost 2 years ago and it has been mainly through networking that I have found my clients. I use Facebook and Linkedin but my main area of leads has come from a networking business called BNI. Some people like BNI and some don’t but if you would like to know more and want to know if there is a chapter near you that you could visit virtually let me know. To date 80% has come from this. If you want a chat drop me an email and I will get back to you. Congratulations on taking the plunge.

Wendy


#13

Congratulations Sue, taking the plunge is so nerve racking.