The first thing many newer virtual assistants wonder is how to get new clients. We've talked about this before in other blog posts and in our group coaching calls. I wanted to share with you what happened to me this week. Perhaps my story will help you understand how you can get new clients through word of mouth referrals.
I've connected with many great virtual assistants at FindVirtual. I've chatted via email or on the forums with many. One of the great VAs I've connected with is Vickie Turley. In fact, she's even quoted in our book, The Commonsense Virtual Assistant - Becoming an Entrepreneur, Not an Employee.
Vickie recently released her book, What's Love Got To Do With It?, How To Have The Perfect VA-Client Relationship. I contacted Vickie to ask her if she'd like to contribute copies of her book for the Client Communication Clinic for Virtual Workers in Vancouver. After several emails and a couple of phone conversations, we realized how well matched we were and that even though we are 'competitors', we could refer work to one another.
During the course of our conversations it came to light that Vickie needed a backup plan when she was unavailable to clients. All VAs should consider putting in place some sort of backup for when they need to go on vacation or are unexpectedly unable to handle their client work. After more conversation, Vickie and I came to an agreement and she hired me to be her backup as needed. In fact, she needed someone immediately since her client needed work done and Vickie was going to be leaving on vacation. So I now have a new client, as a backup for another VA, from connecting with Vickie.
Now her word of mouth referral has resulted in yet another client. Vickie told me about another VA who needed some assistance. Deb Howard Greenleaf needed some assistance with a variety of tasks so she could continue focusing on her tax and accounting business. Since Vickie and I had talked and hit it off, Vickie referred me to Deb. Deb and i had signed contracts for more than one project within a day.
So develop relationships and start referring people. You'll find that you start getting new clients also from word-of-mouth referrals.