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Can Giving Free Consultation Build Your List – Doable 27

Doable 27

Here we are at doable 27 of the ‘Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables’ Blog Tour. Yesterday we learned how to use JV Giveaways as a list builder.  It is definitely worth a read if you haven’t set on up on your site yet. A full list of the blogs we have already visited can be found at the Blog Tour Information Page.

Thank you so much Stephanie Watson-Barry for hosting us on our blog tour.

Don’t forget that not only can you learn some neat tricks about list building but you can also win great prizes. You can find all the ways to enter at the bottom of this post.

It’s not just on the blog that you can pick up earn entries – share about the blog tour on social media and use the hashtag #30dailydoables for more chances to win!

This blog tour is to celebrate the launch of our latest book ‘Build Your List with 30 Daily Doables‘.  If you grab the book while the blog tour is on, you receive access to some great extra bonuses – make sure you visit the launch page to get yours!

Have an amazing day!

Stacey Myers

Build Your List Blog Tour

Can Giving Free Consultation Build Your List – Doable 27

Free consultations are fantastic for getting to know the people that are going onto your list.  You can book sessions for any length of time – anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour.  I personally wouldn’t give away an hour session for free.  I think 30 minutes is a reasonable amount of time.  When you have a session with your potential client it helps to find out what their immediate goals are and how you can help them to achieve their goals.

You don’t want to give away too many free sessions as it can take up a lot of your time. If you are giving away a free eBook, you create it once and then it will continue to build your list on-goingly, whereas you need to show up yourself every time for a free session.

I think the free sessions work really well as a list building tool for a particular product or service that you offer that is higher in price.  Where people might be a bit on the fence about whether they should do it – a conversation with you may be all they need to help them decide.

There are a few different systems you can use for people to be able to book sessions with you, and believe me, you want to make it as systemised as possible.  The last thing you want to do is keep going back and forth with people to get a time that works for both of you.

I really like TimeTrade. With that system you put in all the times you have available and how long you want each session to be and then you just give people the link in your follow up email.  They click on the link and go and book.  It easily sorts things out if times need to change or if they cancel, without you having to take time rescheduling them.

The form for a free consultation probably wouldn’t go on your homepage but at the bottom of the page that you are offering your coaching program or other service on.  In my publishing company I offer free consultations for people that are considering writing or publishing with us.  The only page that it is on is the one that refers to the packages that we offer.

Another time I do give away free consultations is when I want to do some market research. It gives me direct access to know what people are dealing with in their business. I give away 5 free, half hour consultations.

Do you think you would offer free consultations to build your list? Leave your comments below.

ENTER HERE!! Build Your List with 30 Daily Doable Blog Tour CONTEST

Why Certification Helps You Land Great Clients

Approved There are many reasons why you might want to become a certified virtual assistant. But the most common reason that a virtual assistant chooses to become certified is so she can get more clients and more lucrative work. Whether you work with solo-preneurs or large corporate executives, becoming certified can open doors for you to grow your business like never before. Here are a few reasons why certification can help you land those great clients.

Certification increases a potential client’s trust.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, anyone can put up a website and claim to be a virtual assistant. These phonies may just be posing as virtual assistants to take advantage of clients that are unfamiliar with the concept of outsourcing. By the time the client realizes he’s been scammed, the phony VA could take down their website and create a new one.

Certification lets potential clients know that you’re not a scammer. Of course, scammers can claim to be certified, too. But a quick Google search can confirm that you really are certified as a virtual assistant. When potential clients see that you are who you claim to be, they’ll be more likely to trust you with their business.

Certification gives you an edge.

When it comes to applying for virtual assistant jobs, you want to make sure you have an advantage over the other applicants. One way to show that you’re more qualified for the job than anyone else is to mention your certification.

A hiring manager will look at your resume and be more likely to hire you because he knows that he doesn’t have to teach you everything before you can begin work. Instead, he can give you a simple introduction to how things are done at his business and pass off a list of tasks to you. This frees him up to focus on tasks that generate revenue.

Certification shows clients that you’re serious.

When you’re certified, you’re sending the message to potential clients that you’re serious about your online business. Clients know that you aren’t just claiming to be a virtual assistant but you really are one and that you’re willing to do the hard tasks that lead to success.

Becoming a certified virtual assistant will allow you to go after bigger clients and increase the trust you already have with your existing clients. It will also help you, too. You’ll be more confident and do a better job of marketing your services once you become certified. I’ve tried out a few courses and training programs personally and have compiled a list of those that impressed me. Check them out and let me know if you choose any of them.

Scheduling Client Work around Your Home Life

One of the hardest parts of being a virtual assistant and a mom is scheduling client work around your home life. You want to balance both your client work and your time with your kids. The best way to achieve this balance is to work in small chunks. There are probably many moments in your day that you could use to get a bit of client work done. Be on the lookout for these times and use them to your advantage.

Immediately After Naptime

Yes, you can use naptime to be productive. But you can also use the first moments after naptime to work, too. While your child is still sleepy, give them a quiet activity to do like coloring or reading. This works especially well for children that are slow to wake up and need a few minutes to get going. While you wait for them to wake up, go ahead and take some extra time to work on a client project.

During a Movie

Thanks to devices like Apple TV and streaming services like Netflix, there are now hundreds of kids’ movies at your fingertips. If you need a large block of quiet time, try putting on a movie for your child. But it’s best to pick a movie they haven’t seen yet as that’s more likely to capture their attention.

Waiting Rooms

Whether it’s getting a cavity filled at the dentist or waiting in the car pool lane to pick up your child from school, you probably spend at least fifteen minutes waiting. That’s valuable time you could use to get a jumpstart on a project or send an invoice to one of your clients. Many places including doctor’s offices now have free Wi-Fi. Make a habit of storing your current projects in cloud-based software like DropBox. Then when you’re at a location that offers free Wi-Fi, you can open the app and get to work from your phone or tablet.

Track Your Time

If you just feel like there isn’t enough time in your day, spend a week writing down every activity you do. Then analyze your week and look for areas where you might be missing the opportunity to squeeze more work in. For example, if you take time to prepare meals every day, maybe you could delegate this responsibility to another family member or prepare meals in advance. By looking for little blocks of time that you can work in, you’ll find that you can balance your work with your lifestyle so that you get the best of both worlds.

Many parents find that they have to schedule client work around their home lives. While it may not always be easy, it can be done. That’s why it’s important that you prioritize at the beginning of each day and work on the most important tasks first.

5 Tricks to Managing Projects for Multiple Clients

project managementAs your virtual assistant business grows, you’ll most likely end up managing projects for multiple clients. It’s great to have the work, but it can also make it hard to know what to do next. All of the ongoing projects can easily overwhelm you. But don’t give up. There are a few tricks you can use to manage those weeks (or months) where you have multiple projects going on.

Rank your projects.

This requires creating a list of your current projects. Once you’ve made your list, look it over and begin ranking projects by urgency. For example, mark all of the projects that must be done by the end of the week with an asterisk. Then mark projects due next week with a square. Doing this will help you clearly see what needs to be done right now and what can wait until later.

Focus on one client at a time.

Very few people can effectively multi-task. Unless you’re one of them, try to sit down and focus on just one client right now. You don’t have to dedicate your whole day to working for this one client. But do try to dedicate an hour or two to working on their project. You’ll feel more relaxed once you get the most urgent projects taken care of so always start with those.

Batch small tasks.

Sometimes, you’ll have to do the same task for different clients. You might have to update a client’s website to the latest version of WordPress or clear spam comments from their site. Instead of spreading these tasks throughout your week, do them all at once. Batching work like this keeps you from interrupting your work flow to handle small tasks.

Keep track of deadlines.

When you’re juggling multiple deadlines, it can be easy to let one slip. A good way to avoid this is to note project deadlines on a calendar. Whether you choose a desktop calendar where you write down the deadline or a virtual calendar that you can access on the go, it’s important that you know when your next deadline is.

Send out status emails.

Even clients that take a hands-off approach want to know that you’re still hard at work on their project. A quick way to let clients know that you haven’t dropped the ball is to send out a status email. It doesn’t have to be a long email but mention what you’ve been working on and how it’s coming along. Many virtual assistants pick one morning a week to send out their status emails to all their clients. Your clients will be happy because they’ll feel like their project is still your top priority and happy clients will be more forgiving if you do drop a ball later on.

Juggling multiple projects can be tricky but it’s an essential skill that every successful virtual assistant needs to learn. You can use software, project management systems, and more to help you work on everything without confusion. But remember, these tricks will only help your business if you implement them.

Screening clients for a good fit

golden interviewAn Interview is For You to Determine Fit

When you get an inquiry about working with you, it’s really important to ensure that they are a good fit for your process. Instead of trying to fit into their process, your clients should fit into yours as much as possible. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try something new if it’s truly organized well, but many clients won’t be organized well and it’s up to you to ensure that the way work gets done is appropriate for you.

You’re Not an Employee

So many times when a VA is interviewing for a new client they shrink down into “employee” mode and try to please the person who is interviewing them. Instead, you need to turn that around to ensure THEY are a good fit for you. Sure, you want to be a good fit for them too, but if you don’t tell them what you need, and how you work, they can never fit into your way of doing business. In other words, if you seek to please too much you can end up being just another employee who can easily be replaced.

Be More Proactive

But, if you are proactive, and take charge, you become a partner in their business, someone they can’t work without. You become the person with the answers to their problems. Being a problem solver is your job. Not a people pleaser. Most VAs are naturally people pleasers so this transition to problem solver can sometimes be scary and difficult. But, if you can do it, you’ll become someone whom your clients can’t live without.

The first step to getting out of employee mindset is to change how you interview new clients so that you can make sure they are a good fit for your business. For example, if you’ve set up a specific system of how you get work done, but your client wants something different it’s important to be honest with them and yourself about your ability or willingness to do something different.

For example, the way I work is only on Friday, Saturday, Sundays and Mondays. I try really hard not to work for others on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. This can be a shock to a new client, and certainly I “lose” some clients due to this fact. That’s okay though because I’ve managed to find great clients who can work with my schedule. I require all work for the week to be sent to me via their project management system, or a document in drop box (my system) by midnight Thursday night (or before I get up Friday Morning. I ask that they put things in priory order.

I also only take on up to 30 hours a week of work. This means that if I have three clients who each want 10 hours a week, then I only have room for three clients. I work on one client’s work at a time, and get it all done by Monday night at midnight. If there is an emergency or problem, they do have my cell phone and I will deal with those if they are a real emergency or something is wrong (such as a website going down). I charge extra for emergencies that aren’t my fault. I rarely get called.

To some this may sound like an impossible system. But, I am always full of clients and often have to turn people away due to the amount of work that I have.

If you want to fill your roster and your time limit, fill it with people who match your personality, your work hours, and your system and you’ll end up much happier with your business.