The thought of networking may seem daunting. If you have never owned your own business before, you may be intimated at the thought of networking and trying to sell your services. Just keep the following tips in mind and you will find networking is pretty easy and can actually be fun.
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Networking Tips for the Virtual Assistant

Effective networking is essential for building any successful business.

For Virtual Assistants who have a background in sales and marketing, networking may be second nature to them and their goal would be to find networking opportunities. For others with less experience, and less outgoing personalities, the thought of networking may seem daunting. If you have never owned your own business before, you may be intimated at the thought of networking and trying to sell your services. Just keep the following tips in mind and you will find networking is pretty easy and can actually be fun.

Where do you find clients?

Networking is the most effective method of finding clients and promoting your business. Most VAs have found plenty of clients through good old fashion word of mouth. Keep in mind networking for your business is similar to networking in social situations. You are building relationships first and finding clients second.

Perhaps the business person you meet does not need your services, but may know someone who does. You want to network with as many people as possible because you never know where your next client will come from. You will want to find networking opportunities offline and online, and fortunately there are plenty of opportunities in both communities.

Here are a few tips for successful networking:

Create your "30 second commercial". Many business people are still unfamiliar with the term "Virtual Assistant" so you will want to find a fast and easy way to describe what you do. The 30-second commercial or "elevator speech" was designed to catch people's attention quickly and leave them with a fast and easy impression of you and what your business is about. People today are busy and have short attention spans. A quick description of you and your business is much more beneficial than a long explanation of what a Virtual Assistant is.

For example, instead of saying "I work at home by providing virtual administrative support ..., try "I help small business owners save time and money by providing cost effective solutions to their administrative tasks." Give this some thought and come up with something comfortable for you, then practice it until it just rolls off your tongue.

Promote your benefits, not your services. Good marketers know that you want to promote your benefits to your potential customer or client. People are not interested in what you do but what you can do for them. For instance, instead of saying "I provide administrative services to businesses remotely", try "I save business owners time by taking over time-consuming administrative tasks, freeing them up to build their business". Clients will consider your services when they can see how you will benefit them and their business.

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