One of the most asked questions on any VA forum is how to get clients. Fast.

When we start our businesses, we are often convinced that the clients will come easily. And sometimes they do. But for the most part, getting clients takes work.

And it takes strategy.

You’ve heard the expression, ‘It’s who you know.’

Well that couldn’t be more true when you are a VA.

But it doesn’t mean what you probably think it means.

It doesn’t mean that you need to be well known to get clients.

In fact, it’s almost just the opposite.

You only have to be known to one person to get them to work with you.

And the way to do that is to network.

I hear you all groaning right now – Networking is hard. It’s time consuming. It doesn’t work. I don’t have time for it. I network all the time and I still have no clients.

I will tell you something right now … if you are networking a lot and you have no clients (or not enough good clients) – then you are doing it wrong.

Ask yourself these questions:

  1. Where are you networking? Are your potential clients even there? I see more VAs spending all day ‘networking’ with their colleagues. If everyone took even a fraction of that time and spent it actually connecting with people who they wanted to have as clients, there would be a lot more very busy VAs!
  2. What are you saying? If you are connecting with people online or in person, what do you say when they introduce themselves to you? If you are talking only about your business, you will not get clients. You need to have conversations about their business. That’s the way to get them to pay you.
  3. How do you follow up? When you leave a networking event or conversation of any kind, do you ever connect with that person again? I know a lot of people don’t. And the fortune really is in the follow up. If you expect someone to work with you after briefly chatting with you for 5 minutes, you must think an awful lot of yourself. It takes longer than that in almost every circumstance.

So here are my 3 tips for you to get clients faster through networking:

  1. Stop hanging out at the VA forums all day long and go and connect with real potential clients. Limit your time you are connecting with VAs and increase it (by tenfold!) with people you want to work with. Check in with your colleagues, yes, and enjoy, but don’t count that as networking time, because it’s not. Find 3 places to connect with potential clients and check in there. Every single day.
  2. Develop a list of great questions to ask your potential clients when you are in a networking situation. Your relationship with them will grow very quickly when they see how well you understand their business, and how your support will help to make it better. Ask questions about where they find their clients, how they work with them, whatever it is that you know you can help them with. Guide the conversation with questions and you will be memorable in any situation. And they will understand from your very first encounter how much they need to work with you!
  3. Find a follow up system that works for you. People may not be ready to buy when you first meet them, but by staying in touch you can grow a relationship quickly. And that trust factor that is so essential for virtual workers builds fast. Connect with them on social media too. Make sure to really stay in touch if you think you can help them. Offer them resources and just basically stay in touch. You will be the first one they think of when they need help.

If you talk to just two people each day, that’s 40 people in one month. And if you are actively and strategically talking to 40 potential clients each and every month, you will get clients faster.

Tracey D'AvieroTracey D’Aviero is a veteran VA and Founder of Your VA Mentor. Tracey trains and mentors professional women and men who are brand new to the VA industry or who have been struggling to make their business successful. Her mission is to educate professionals on how to build and grow successful and profitable virtual businesses in the VA industry by implementing systems and smart principles. Contact Tracey for speaking engagements, group training or private coaching at www.yourvamentor.com.