Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 6 – What Will You Put in Your VA Marketing Package?
Updated on: by Leisa Good
If you have been following this series, then you’ll recall that to date we have discussed what a VA is; how to decide which services to offer; whether or not to become certified; how much equipment is needed; and how to structure your VA practice. (catch up and read them all here) Now the question is, what materials will you put in your VA marketing package?
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First of all, what is a marketing package? A marketing package includes marketing materials for both online and offline marketing that you will want to use to introduce your business to potential clients.
A good marketing package may be mailed to a client via postal mail or emailed as a WinZip file or electronic folder. A typical offline marketing package may appear as a glossy pocket folder with your company name and logo and contain a business card, letter of introduction, brochure, flyer, recent press release, and a copy of the last company newsletter. Large multi-VA practices might even want to include a white paper or
recent case study as well as an annual report.
While these marketing packages can be impressive, they can also become expensive. The cost of designing, printing, and mailing all of these out does not come cheap.
Again, I am going to give you the same advice as I did with your equipment list. Don’t over do it. Start small and build. Please don’t price yourself out of business.
Here is my advice:
All you really need is a website for online marketing and a business card for offline marketing. Really. That is all you really need. Now, that might not be all you want, but that is all you need.
On your website, you should have five pages: Home, About Us, Contact Us, Services, and Blog. You can list your services under Services just like you would in an offline brochure. You may also introduce your company with similar language to a sales letter in About Us with contact information appearing under Contact Us. Put samples of your work under Services or you may want to create a separate Portfolio page.
Just starting out, you won’t have an online newsletter. You may want to write a press release, and send it to your local newspaper or online to one of the many online press release sites such as PRWeb. You could even put a copy of your press release saved as a PDF somewhere on your web site. I would recommend the home page in the left sidebar.
Also, if you could barter your services or volunteer your services to collect one or two testimonials to place on your web site–perfect. This will also boost your credibility. Place the testimonials in text boxes on your web site or somewhere in the sidebars. I would recommend doing this on both the home page and in the Portfolio or Services page.
You may also create a signature file in your web site. This way whenever you reply to an email, your name along with your title and company name will automatically appear in the email. You can even include your company logo with your email signature file and make it look more like an e-business card. For offline business cards, Vistaprint has the some of the best prices.
Again, all you really need is a business card and a web site.
Why is this? The answer is simple, but please don’t misunderstand what I am about to say.
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Until you develop an online presence and have accumulated at least six-months’ expertise, you won’t really have much to write about, tweet about or video about. Therefore, people are less likely to want to hear what you have to say, because they have never heard of you.
However, do not let that discourage you. Instead use this to become more determined than ever to get out there and get experience and learn this industry! Look for opportunities to sub-contract under other VAs, volunteer or barter your services. You can do this!
In future articles, I will be talking to you about how to name your company (if you haven’t already), how to market your services, and how to promote your web site.
As always, feel free to ask questions.
- Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 12 – Where Will You Find Your Clients?
- Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 5 – How Will You Structure Your VA Practice?
- Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 11 – Writing Your Business Plan
- Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 3 – Do I Need to Become Certified?
- Understanding Virtual Assisting – Part 13 – Networking and Organizations for Your VA Practice
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January 24, 2012 at 11:00 am
The number one failure of most businesses is lack of marketing and advertising. The more appealing the package the better your chances are of landing the client. I agree that most of the time “all you need” isn’t all you want. This is a very good well informed article!
January 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm
Tomica, thank you for your comment. You are sooooo right about not getting ENOUGH clients usually is a result of not marketing or advertising ENOUGH. However, there is that fine line between pricing yourself out of business and start-up marketing. This is where social media networking and guest blogging can really cut the costs for a start-up business.
Also, setting up face-to-face workshops through your local Chamber of Commerce or Lion’s Club. Most of these places are begging for guest speakers. Just make sure you have a little expertise (experience) under your belt before you embark on speaking. It is a wonderful, inexpensive way to build a VA practice.
January 25, 2012 at 9:34 am
In a future column, could you suggest do & don’t guidelines in creating contacts with clients?
January 25, 2012 at 10:54 am
Tina, I’d be happy to discuss that. When you say do and don’t guidelines for “creating contacts with clients”, do you mean finding clients or creating email and scheduling systems to maintain clients? If you could provide just a little more information, I’d be happy to address that in future articles.
January 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm
Leisa, I like how you always give affordable advice, I think we all tend to get caught up with wanting all the bells and whistles to make our business” look better” but that’s not what’s important. The flashy handouts can do more for our ego than our bottom financial line.
January 30, 2012 at 11:42 pm
Wendy, thank you. I try. I’ve seen too many people over the years price themselves out of business. Not good. I also grew up in a very frugal family, so I think some of it rubbed off on me.