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You can start your own business by becoming a virtual assistant. Despite the growing demand for such services, clients will not flock to your website without some effort on your part. You have to let potential customers know who you are and what you do, while finding a way to distinguish yourself from the other virtual assistants on the market.Former Employers and Associates
People who already know your work can form your initial customer base. Contact former employers to let them know about your virtual assistant business. Don't forget former co-workers as well. They may know someone who can use your services and they may be able to vouch for your work ethic. This type of marketing is very personal. Use customized emails rather than mass emails and make phone calls. Your aim is to trade on a previous relationship. You can find former employers and associates on business networking sites such as LinkedIn.Trade Organizations
If you can develop a market niche, you can focus on a few trade organizations for which your specialty will be appreciated. For example, if you have a background in financial services, you can attend seminars and online sessions in investing, banking and insurance where you can let people know about your expertise. While it may seem that focusing on a niche will narrow your market, it can actually increase your sales by positioning you as an expert.Newsletters and Articles
Consider writing informative and authoritative pieces on your craft. Focus on the cost savings of using a virtual assistant as well as the ease of working with one so that your potential clients will come to recognize you as both an expert and a resource. Your electronic newsletter and articles on other people's websites or blogs should always feature your website and other contact information. You can offer visitors to your site a free newsletter or white papers on the topic of using virtual assistance.Market Limited Services
Choose two to three services and emphasize those in your marketing. For example, you may offer phone answering, calendaring and travel expense reconciliations. People who need these particular services will pay attention to your marketing because it names the tasks you perform. You can add other services later after you build a customer base. By focusing your marketing this way, you improve your chances of reaching the people who need what you do best.About the Author
Kevin Johnston writes for Ameriprise Financial, the Rutgers University MBA Program and Evan Carmichael. He has written about business, marketing, finance, sales and investing for publications such as "The New York Daily News," "Business Age" and "Nation's Business." He is an instructional designer with credits for companies such as ADP, Standard and Poor's and Bank of America.Photo Credits
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