One of the best things about running your own virtual assistant business is that you have control over who you work with. No more grumpy customers or annoying coworkers because you get to work with your ideal client. Exciting, right?!
Before you start working with any clients at all, you need to know who your ideal client is.
Getting clear on who your ideal client is is one of the foundational pieces you need when creating your VA business. It’s something I cover in my VA’s Guide to Starting a Business because it will set your business up for success and make your life so much easier!
What exactly is an ideal client?
It’s basically your dream client. It’s someone with the characteristics you want in a client.
It’s unrealistic to expect that every client you work with will have every characteristic on your “ideal client” list, but they should have enough that makes you feel like the two of you click.
why do you need to know who your ideal client is?
When you don’t know who you want to work with, you risk the chance of bringing on clients that you don’t click with. And when you don’t click with a client, you’re unhappy. Things just feel difficult and “off”.
That in itself is a really good reason for knowing upfront who your ideal client is. But there’s a few more reasons:
1) It will make the pre-client process easier (and save you time and energy)
The pre-client process is when you determine whether a prospective client is a good fit for your business or not, and if so, turn them into a new client.
I recommend having prospective clients fill out a form that’s either on your website or that you send to them directly using a link (I use Typeform to create mine). Have them answer questions that will help you determine if they’re a good fit.
You’ll have a better idea on what to ask, but here are a few questions you can include on your form:
- What’s your website url?
- What city/state/country do you live in?
- Why are you looking to hire a virtual assistant?
The questions you ask need to help you decide whether you should invite the client to the next step in your pre-client process or not.
If they pass with flying colors (they seem like someone you want to work with), your next step might be holding a discovery call. During the discovery call you’ll ask each other questions to determine if, in fact, you’re meant to work together.
If they don’t seem like a good fit after filling out the form, you know not to go any further (like scheduling a discovery call), and can instead refer them to another VA who would be a better fit or just let them know that you’re not the right fit.
This will save you both time and energy because you’re not pursuing a relationship that you know won’t work out.
2) It will make your marketing easier and more effective.
Knowing who your ideal client is inside and out will shed light on where they hang out online and offline, which FB groups they might be interested in, what sort of language you need to use on your website to attract them, etc.
You’ll know exactly who you’re talking to and can directly speak to their pain points (see below).
3) It will help you attract clients because you can talk directly to their pain points.
Your ideal client is in pain and struggling with something.
Her struggle might be keeping up with her social media marketing on a regular basis, or creating beautiful graphics for her website, or getting her bookkeeping done consistently.
Lucky for her, your services are your ideal client’s Aspirin. She’s looking for someone to take her pain away, and the thing that will do that are your services!
If you can talk to your ideal client’s pain points, she is more likely to hire you.
That’s because you understand her. You know what she’s going through and you have the solution.
If you’re unclear about who your ideal client is, you won’t know what she’s struggling with. You won’t be able to speak her language. And that’s a missed opportunity for a new client!
So how do you talk to these pain points?
Through your website copy, blog posts, and social media posts.
When she reads your service page (or blog post or social media post) and says, “This VA is talking directly to me! She gets me!”, she’ll be excited to learn more about your services and work with you.
How to Create Your Ideal Client Profile
You’ll want to get inside your ideal client’s head. This will take some guess work sometimes, but as you work with more clients you’ll learn what you’re looking for.
Here’s a sampling of questions to ask yourself to figure out your ideal client profile:
- Are they male or female?
- How old are they?
- What’s their personality like?
- Are they married?
- Do they have kids or pets?
- Where do they live?
- What are their hobbies?
- What books or blogs do they read?
- Where do they like to shop?
- What do they do as a profession?
- What industry do they work in?
- Who’s their ideal client?
- What’s their yearly income?
- What social media platforms do they prefer?
- What are the top 3 concerns on their mind when they wake up in the morning?
Extra Credit: Find some people who you think are your ideal clients and ask them these questions (who knows, you may end up with your first client!).
As you can see, it’s really important to figure out who your ideal client is before you start working with clients. Doing this step will make running your business so much more enjoyable and will set your business up for success!