The first challenge to getting new clients is getting them to trust you with their businesses and their money. It’s not an easy challenge to overcome. That’s why the technique I’m going to share with you in this article WORKS and works well. What I’m suggesting is … working for FREE (do I hear a big gasp of horror from the audience?).
Why work for free? Well, it makes sense. Many virtual assistance companies offer a free consultation where the client can ask questions and you can explain your process. You need to stand out from the crowd and win the business.
Here are two reasons why offering a free sample of your services works:
It eliminates the risk factor. Business is risky from all sides of the fence. It’s risky for you and it’s risky for the person doing the hiring. He or she will be trusting you to work for his or her business and get results. They’ll be taking their valuable time and money to invest in your services and they want to choose wisely. You help them not waste their time by proving yourself before they ever pay a penny.
It builds the relationship. Working well together is all about having a good relationship. It’s really hard to do great work for someone who doesn’t like you and vice-versa. If you offer a little sample of your work you can create an instant relationship and they will usually like you already! That’s a great start.
Before I get the fifth degree from some die-hard virtual assistants, I’ll admit that this technique of getting new clients is risky. You just need to be smart about what you’re doing and you’ll eliminate a large part of the risk.
You’ve probably heard the saying “Why buy the milk when you can get the cow for free?” Yes, some unscrupulous marketers may go around getting freebies and never be willing to pay, so that’s why it’s your responsibility to do your research and hand-pick the clients you want to work with.
That’s right. Don’t just take any ol’ Billy-Bob who comes to hire your services. Make sure she is the kind of person you want to work with, will most probably love to work with and who you can create a rewarding relationship with. When I used this technique for my own business I went to online marketers who I already had a relationship with and whose business models I greatly admired. This allowed me to know exactly who I was going to be working for. It also gave me the added bonus of learning what they did in their own businesses to make them great successes!
If you’re thinking giving a sample of your work away for free might be a good idea for you, here’s a bit of a game plan:
Offer a small sample of your work; one or two hours would be good.
Offer the work with no-strings attached; they’ll hire you if you’re needed.
Only offer to people who are interested in hiring and who need the help (research).
Do an amazing job.
Ask for referrals and/or testimonials in exchange for your free work.
Finally, this isn’t a technique to do all the time. It’s one you will use for a hand-picked group of highly sought after employers. Try it once and see what happens. You really only need one good high-profile client who loves your work to get great referrals for a long time coming.
I have done this both with great success and the expected wasted effort, you might say.
I love to proofread and edit so did this for several web sites with just the promise to have the caption “Edited by Jan Tallent” with a link to my VA site. So far, of the 5 or 6 I did this for, only one has kept her word but we do live and learn AND I know that I did it.
Plus, to be honest, I turned 2 of them down later for paid jobs because the trust factor was destroyed when they did not keep their end of the bargain and that is the biggest thing with me – my word and yours
Wishing you all of the best in your client-getting goals.
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