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Join your local Chamber of Commerce and email the member list (if it’s opt-in) about your services with a link to sign up to your newsletter. Again, don’t just add everyone to your newsletter list but introduce yourself by email and ask if they would like to subscribe.
Send an opt-in email to everyone in your address book asking them to sign up for your newsletter. Make sure you don’t just include everyone in your contacts list in your newsletter list, ask their permission first.
Include a newsletter sign up link in the signature of all your outgoing emails. You can include this in a PS at the bottom of your email after your name and before your contact details.
We all need to fill our marketing funnel with the contact details of potential clients and referrers of our business services. The following series gives you some ideas about how to collect contact details, and in particular email addresses, so that you can begin to build relationships with your prospects.
Put an offer on the back of your business card to get people to sign up for your newsletter. For example, “Visit www.mywebsite.com/freereport to download 20 Top Tips for Outsourcing to a Virtual Assistant”. When they land on your page, ask for their email address in order to receive the free report.
Initially writing the text copy for your website seems quite simple. You just tell them who you are, what you do and how to contact you, right? Err, no actually.
Many business websites drone on and on about when they started, what their “mission statement” is, what technology they use, blah, blah, blah. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but nobody cares. All that prospects and customers care about is “What’s in it for me”.
So the very first thing you need to do is put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer. What problem do they have that they are looking for a solution to by searching around the internet? If they have arrived at your website as part of their search they will look for confirmation that they have come to the right place. What solutions are you providing that solves their problem?
If you were the customer, what questions would you want answers to before parting with your cash? Make sure you answer those questions in your copy.
If you are selling an intangible or unknown service such as administration and business support services, how have you displayed your credibility? Have you shown testimonials or feedback from previous customers, or can you show case studies where you have made a real tangible difference to a former client?
If you are selling information, how have you established to them that you are the expert that they should listen to? Do you have any samples of the type of information you provide such as free downloads of tips?
How easy is it to contact you? Is there a telephone number for enquires? Have you got a proper mail address on your website or just a PO Box? Do you have a guarantee that will allow them to purchase a product or service without reservation?
Lastly, give them a compelling reason to buy from you now. Or if your product or service has a longer sales cycle, get them on your list by offering something in exchange for their name and email address.
While back in part 1 of this series we talked about personalising your website, but don’t spend all of it talking about yourself and how wonderful you are! Although your visitors need to know a bit about you, what holds their interest is the knowledge that you understand their problems and issues and have ready-made solutions that resolve those problems. Your visitor will always ask, “WIIFM?” (What’s In It For Me). Answer that question by making your web site about your visitor, not about you.
If you are not sure how to WIIFM your text, hire a professional sales copy writer if you can afford it or try the following format:
Do you struggle with getting your VAT return in on time, we offer a full book keeping service which means that your VAT return will never be late again and you will save expensive fines and a whole lot of stress.
Replace the italics with their pain followed by your solution and the bold italics are your WIIFM.
In summary: Your web site can function as an attractive online brochure, or it can be a client-generating tool to help you grow your business. As a virtual assistant, you need to generate clients from your website in order for your business to be successful, make the necessary changes and you will get more clients online.
One of the easiest ways you can create customer confidence in you and your business is to post testimonials on your web site. Don’t even think of writing these yourself (I’m sure you wouldn’t) but ask your clients to write something that clearly states what you do for your client and how working with you has improved their business or life, etc.
If you are new to virtual assisting and don’t yet have clients you can ask for testimonials, prepare some case studies outlining a problem and how your service helped solve it. These case studies are also very powerful in convincing a potential client that you can do what you claim.