October 22nd, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
Yesterday Joel and I were on a coaching call with one of our clients who has recently realized the need to raise her rates. She's realized that if she values herself and her services, she deserves asking for a decent rate from her clients.
As we were talking we discussed the possibility of offering a discounted rate to a client we really like and enjoy working with. This is a viable option at times. But sometimes the better option is to stick to your rate, work less hours, and enjoy your work even more. What do I mean?
Let's say you have a prospect you really want to work with or a client that you want to continue to work with. They say they need you 10 hours each month and can't afford your $30/hour rate ($300 for the month). They can only afford $20/hour (at 10 hours per month that would be $200). You know that you can't work for $20/hour because you value your services and it wouldn't be fair to your clients paying you a higher rate. After talking with the client and finding out what the most important tasks that need to be done each month are, you realize you can do those tasks in 5 hours each month. The client realizes the other tasks that need to be done and would have taken the other 5 hours are tasks that they can do fairly simply. They really need you to do more detailed tasks that more fully utilize your skills.
So you both agree to the higher rate of $30/hour for only 5 hours each month (total $150 month). Sure that's $50 less than you would have made if you'd agreed to the $20/rate for 10 hours each month. You're also only work half the time you would have been. And the client is going to give you the tasks that utilize your skills - tasks you'll enjoy. They'll take the more tedious tasks and manage them on their own. You also have 5 hours available for another client at $30/hour.
You end up working less hours, doing the tasks you enjoy, and getting paid the rate you're worthy of. Your client will value your services more and give you work you enjoy. You'll value yourself and business more. You'll feel happier and less stress. And you'll have time to take on additional work that you enjoy and continue getting the rate you're worth.
It's scary to stick to your values when you know you need to make a living and there's an opportunity to make some money. Too often we compromise our values so we can make the immediate buck. In the long run, though, sticking to your values pays off.
I've done this. I've had a client pay me the higher rate for fewer hours so I can do the tasks he needs the most help with. He takes on the ones that are less fun but easy for him to do. He's one of my best clients.
May 20th, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
Our monthly group coaching calls have been great! Here are the topics we've covered so far:
- Marketing Your Services
- Defining Your Ideal Client
- Networking Creates Word of Mouth Referrals
The next call will be on June 1, 2010 and the topic is Converting Prospects to Clients.
Today I'm announcing a special promotion. Anyone who provides a meaningful comment on any one of our blog posts here at Chief Virtual Officer between now and May 30, 2010 will be entered into a random drawing to win the next coaching call on June 1, 2010 free!
Learn more here about the call on June 1 on Converting Prospects to Clients.
April 19th, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
Tomorrow is the day! We're launching our monthly group coaching calls.
Join us for April's Group Coaching conference call on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 11:00 am PST. We have arranged our schedule for a 60-minute call. If we need to stay on the call for 90-minutes, we've left our schedule open to accommodate that so you get all your questions answered.
All who register will receive by email after the call:
- John Jantsch's 17-page report 7 Steps to Small Business Marketing Success
- Bonus Tips: Grow Your Business as a Chief Virtual Officer, a 10-page report
Win a copy of the book, Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch! Each attendee during the live call will be entered into a drawing and the winner will be announced at the end of the call.
On this call you will learn:
- Basic concepts of permission marketing
- Dos and Don'ts of marketing your virtual assistant services
- The importance of marketing by networking
- and more...
Register for the call. Only $20!
April 18th, 2010 by Sue L Canfield
Everyone wants more clients and more money and they are looking for ways to get that without spending a lot of money or even time. Instead of thinking of marketing as an expense, view it as an investment.
New virtual assistants struggle with this concept. Before they have any clients, they don't want to spend any money. Yet investing in their business can help them get new clients.
It doesn't have to be a large investment. Let's say you decide to invest just $20 per month to build your business. There are still many ways to market without spending much money. A small monthly investment of just $20 though can have great returns. So what can you invest in for $20 per month to grow your virtual assistant business? Here are a few ideas:
1. Set up an account at Constant Contact that includes the additional images option. The first 60 days are free and after that it's $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers. You can sign up here. Then create your newsletter, start building your list, provide valuable information, and start developing leads.
2. Participate in a monthly coaching call. There are lots of free calls out there and other affordable ones. We offer a call for $20 that provides the recorded call, free reports, drawings for free product, and a forum area to get additional assistance. These calls provide valuable tools to help you market your business. Learn more at our website.
3. Create and distribute fliers or brochures at local networking events or mail to local business owners. Include some tips on how they can grow their business using your services. For $20 or less you can create and mail at least 20 fliers or brochures each month.
These are just a few ideas on how to affordably invest in your business. What other ideas can you think of?