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Networking Online: Yahoo Groups

peoplenetworkingNetworking online is an important way for a virtual assistant to market herself and get more business. But, oftentimes networking online involves talking to other Virtual Assistants. While I highly encourage talking to other VAs, I am part of several online networking groups for Virtual Assistants like my closed group Virtual Assistant Moms on Facebook. (You can ask to join just by dropping me an email and giving me your Facebook Email address so that I can invite you via email.) As well as a few others. But, if you want to get business you need to hangout where people hangout that want to and need to hire you.

One way that I’ve been successful is to find Yahoo! Groups that consist of my target audience. Currently my target audience are customers who need content. My business website is here: Barry Publishing. I offer a variety of content related services to help a business market their business online. My niche is Content Marketing and my target audience needs content in order to market their business online. Therefore, I joined groups with people I wanted to work with such as Coaches, Authors, and Online Business Owners. You can find so many groups on Yahoo! that you can find anything you need.

The trick is to know how to communicate with people via these groups. Most people sign up to receive the messages via email instead of reading them online. I always set them to read online so that my email inbox isn’t overly saturated. Then I spend one day a week reading through the new messages, answering questions that I feel I am an expert in, and communicating with the other members allowing my signature line and Yahoo profile to speak for itself. Doing this I have got at least one new long term client a year. That may not seem like much but currently those Yahoo clients add up to about 5000 dollars a year of income for me.

Using Yahoo! Groups as a way to find clients isn’t a short term business strategy. It’s a long-term strategy that will work if you give it the right time and opportunity.

Do Not Spam — Don’t get on a group and immediately start offering services.

Follow The Rules — Yahoo! has their own rules, but the creator of the group is allowed to also make rules. Read them and follow them to the letter to stay in their good graces.

Engage — Have group conversations as well as two way conversations with the members of the group. Make the discussion the focus, not selling your services.

Share Freely –– You want to be a valuable resource and to become the “go to” person for advice within the group. To do this you need to share information freely.

Take your time to get to know members, get to know how the group works, then jump in to the discussions by introducing yourself, answering questions that you can, and being a general resource within your niche and you’ll soon have members contacting you off the group to work for them.

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About Stephanie Watson

Mom | Wife | Virtual Assistant | Content Strategist
Stephanie has been working from home for over 20 years as a virtual assistant, template bender, and content writer. She's currently transitioning to business coach. You can learn more about her at her website http://www.barrypublishing.com.

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