You are already a seasoned Virtual Assistant and you want to climb up the ladder of success. The next question on your mind is what’s next? Usually, the next step is to set up an agency where you hire a team of VA’s to help you with different projects. But working independently as Virtual Assistant is different from running your own virtual agency. This time, you have a team of individuals that you need to feed with work/projects to keep your business running.
What about during lean season? Your members will just leave the team if you don’t have projects lined up for them. The first thing that you need to make sure is that you have lots of projects that you cannot do on your own before you consider putting up an agency. If you think it will be sufficient then go ahead. It’s time to set up your TEAM.
Another thing you must give importance to is how to attract more clients. Think of new strategies because you need to market yourself now as an AGENCY. You’ll have to look for clients who are interested in working with an agency rather than an individual freelancer. You also have to decide what type of projects you are going to look for.
In most cases, agencies need to look for projects with bigger budget (usually you need to get big companies for this) to make sure that they can be able to pay all the members of your team. Some agencies also take many small projects as long as it can sustain their needs. As an agency, it’s up to you on which projects to look for and what will “work” for the success of your team.
Convincing Your Clients
The main goal of every businessman is to SUCCEED. Just like your agency, clients want to hire someone who can help them not only with different projects but in overall success of their business. They need to know how your agency can help them get more clients and make more money of course. This means that you need to show them or prove to them that your agency can really be an asset to their company.
You may show them your agency’s work history or portfolio. If your agency is just starting, you may show them the individual portfolios of your team members. You may also start with a low rate just like when you were just starting as a freelancer. Once you already proved that your agency can deliver the result they need, that’s the time you may increase.
Places to LOOK for Clients
The SECRET to Marketing success is know where the clients you want to work with are going and make sure to follow them there. This means showing up/networking on different events, visiting websites/forums that they are interested etc. Follow them whether online or offline then think of ways to make your Agency NAME appear in every places they are visiting.
Also, in looking for clients you’ll have to know the “DECISION MAKER”. The owner isn’t always the decision maker especially for large companies. Know who has to power to decide in hiring staffs or team for any projects. Social networking sites such as Linkedin, Facebook etc. can be a great help in this task. Once you already know the decision maker, that’s the time you need to think on how your agency will appeal to him/her.
Before doing a marketing blast for your agency, make sure you know how much work your team can handle. If you hit the right MARKETING strategy, you can land on lots of different projects at the same time. Yes, it may sound exciting but what if your team can’t handle it? This might destroy your reputation plus, adding another team member is not that easy so be careful on taking projects. You don’t want the quality of your work to suffer right?