Things are changing for virtual support providers this year. Whether you call yourself a Virtual Assistant, Online Business Manager, Social Media Manager, Pinterest Manager, Graphic Designer, Web Designer or something else, if you provide virtual support to online entrepreneurs then these four changes I’m sharing with you below are things you NEED to know about.
Because if you can adapt with the changing marketplace, then you can set yourself up for continued success moving forward (or even set yourself up for success for the first time).
Here are the four things you need to know about running an online virtual support business in 2020 (and beyond).
Clarity is QUEEN.
With the rise in education about and accessibility of online business, we’re seeing two things.
More coaches than ever NEED support and also more providers than ever OFFER support.
If you want to stand out in a seemingly saturated marketplace (so you can sign more clients and book out your business), you need to be 110% solid in your business foundations.
Having clarity here is how potential clients know what you offer and why you’re the *right* hire for their business. These look like:
Your pricing model.
You need to be crystal clear on what makes you different from your competitors because it’s that type of clarity that helps you convert.
If you feel like you look around at others in your industry and you’re all saying the same thing, you know you need to get more clear so you can stand out and make the sale.
Outward marketing (by itself) is OUT. Direct outreach is IN.
If you’re not filling your client roster with referrals, then it’s time to let go of the attraction marketing strategies in favor of a new plan.
Specifically, you need a rocksolid direct outreach strategy that helps you GET clients (so that you’re not only waiting for them to find you).
Too many online support providers are following the same “copy + paste” marketing strategy and when your social media feed looks, sounds, and feels like your competition, your potential clients don’t know who to hire and are less likely to make that hire YOU.
That’s why you also need a direct outreach strategy that helps you identify, reach out to, and pitch potential clients (in a way that feels good AND converts).
No more scrolling on social hoping and praying a new client will land on your virtual doorstep. If you want the clients, now you have to go and get them!
Simple is SMART.
Because people think the market is getting more and more saturated (it’s not…demand is still higher than supply right now), I see virtual support providers doing all kinds of things to stand out.
And while you DO need to get crystal clear on the foundations of your business (and how you’re different), you DON’T want to differentiate yourself in the wrong way (with things that only end up confusing your potential clients).
The solution is to make working with you easy by making the ways clients can work with you SIMPLE.
How do you do that?
You call yourself what you do.
I know, I know, it sounds so obvious, right? But for a while, I saw virtual providers think they needed to come up with a clever title to stand out from the crowd. While the intention was great (to stand out), the execution was off. As an example, if you’re a Virtual Assistant but you’re calling yourself a Productivity Consultant and you aren’t signing clients…your confusing title might be the issue.
Remember, the way most people (aka your potential clients) scale is by outsourcing work they can no longer do or don’t know how to do. They need someone to pick up where they want to leave off and the easier you make it for someone to understand THAT’S YOU, the better.
The same rules apply with your pricing and packages.
If you make it hard for your potential clients to work with you, they likely won’t work with you. Your clients are often overwhelmed and overworked by the time they get to the point of hiring. You need to make their life easier with a simple offer (that tells them how to work with you), and simple price (that tells them what to pay).
Tiered packages, sliding price scales and too many offers with confuse your potential client and when they’re coming to you already overwhelmed this is how to immediately make them walk away and find someone who makes it easy to work with them.
This doesn’t mean you have to lower your price at all. In my experience, the easier you make it to work with you the more you can charge and ultimately, the more you will make. Instead, you have to prove you’re worth whatever price you charge by making it super easy for your potential clients to say yes.
Change your attitude from assistant to partner.
If you have a done-for-you business and you’re getting clients consistently and making consistent cash… OR if you’re getting clients who aren’t ideal and aren’t respecting your boundaries… this one’s for you!
Start marketing yourself (and showing up for your clients as) a partner in their business
You still provide done-for-you work and you *don’t* have to give any more time, but rather you start giving your time in a different way and start showing up to the client relationship with a different perspective. You focus on more strategy, research, thinking outside the box when it comes to supporting your clients, and you over deliver like WOAH. You treat your clients businesses like your own and bring new ideas to the table to help them succeed instead of just wanting for work to be given to you. THAT is what a true partner does.
The bottom line is this. Those scaling done-for-you businesses in 2020 and beyond are doing so in part by positioning themselves (and then showing up) as partners and not assistants.
Reconsider your positioning.
These 4 tweaks in your online virtual support business will help set you up for continued success (or first time success!) in an ever-changing marketplace.