Want To Know Why You Don’t Have Clients?
In my work training and consulting virtual assistants who are struggling to make ends meet the number one reason I find they don’t have clients is that they didn’t invest in themselves first. I know from experience. It wasn’t until I invested in myself and in my business that I saw a huge return on investment.
The next question becomes, so what do I invest in? There is no shortage of classes or coaches that promise to turn your business around. If I hear one more person talk about making six figures I just might scream. It’s not because it’s not possible, it’s because it is so impersonal. Trivial. The number hasn’t been tied to anything important to the individual yet. Making the coveted six figures doesn’t even imply a lifestyle change.
There is another fundamental reason this model is flawed. It’s flawed because most of those striving to become successful virtual assistants have never made $100k or more before. You might as well say that they can make $1M next year. Could they? Sure, anything is possible. However, the person has to believe they can before anything is possible. Most VAs don’t believe six figures is possible and really only want to earn the same amount they did in the office.
This is why when I first beginning working with struggling virtual assistants I’m not coaching them. Mentally, they are drained and not making the best decision because all they see is that they aren’t making enough money. The fear is that they will have to go back into the office and begin working for someone else again. They have fears of being a failure while it appears it’s working well for everyone else. The fear that they’ll be stuck in a job they don’t love.
In that type of mindset, you can’t grow. It’s understandable. The person has gone into survival mode. Now is not the time to teach someone how to fish, they are hungry and need to be fed. Once they have a full belly then I can give a fishing lesson. That’s what I do.
Ask any financial expert and they will tell you that people who have lack of money issues tend to make bad money decisions. It’s not because they are not smart. It’s because in the moment of fear and stress they are unable to make thoughtful, long-term decisions and weigh all their options carefully.
During these times it is hard to invest in yourself. It’s hard to imagine that spending money will make you a better service provider. This is especially true when you have tried in the past and been unsuccessful. So why does investing in your business work? Because now you can really begin to understand your clients.
Your future clients may not be in the same financial situation you are, but that doesn’t mean it is less frightening to hire a virtual assistant and take a chance that this may or may not be the answer to their prayers. If you are not their first VA and they have had a bad experience already you are facing even more of an uphill battle.
The sooner you realize what it is like to be in your future client’s shoes the better. Whether it is to calm their fears, address their concerns, be able to relate to their needs or provide reassurance it comes from real life experience. You can’t do this until you can say you have made your own investments. You won’t ever get the clients you are so desperately in need of because you get what you give. It’s that simple.
Will this always be the case? No. As you continue to grow as a VA and service provider you’ll begin to attract new clients who are excited about investing in your services. The same way you’ll get excited to invest in yourself and your business.
So that brings us back to the question, what do I invest in? Coaching, consulting, an online course, technical skill? You invest in what you believe will have the greatest impact on your business in the quickest amount of time. There’s a famous quote which is absolutely true,
“Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Now, would I caution against courses and promises of earning money quickly and with little effort? Absolutely! Do people still buy and make money quickly and with little effort? Sure they do. However, never forget even a stopped clock is right twice a day. The last thing you want to do is build a sand castle business.
I work with individuals who want to create a foundational business in which they provide a win-win situation for themselves and their clients. Most get rich quick business models make a loser out of someone. I’m not in the business of working with someone who is a loser. Neither should you because you are the company you keep.
Let’s say you are ready to invest in what is going to have the greatest immediate impact on your business. What does that look like? If it’s a technical component it should be a skill that is transferable and scalable in several different ways. If you can only make money with a few clients and by doing one thing, it’s not scalable and isn’t the best investment at this time. It could be your high ticket item later, but not now.
If you are struggling with your mindset and believing you can make any of your dreams possible you need to work with a mindset coach or at the very least read a few books on how to create a new mindset. If you believe you have the right mindset and have already taken technical courses then you need a consultant to piece it all together for you.
What to avoid? Avoid investing in social media. That is the long game. It is highly unlikely you are going to recoup your investment or make enough, fast enough to stay in business. Plus, the trends and needs are constantly changing. Once you have a system down that works you’ll need to change it again. If the service is for your clients you can’t bank on that money either because your clients are going to want to see a long history of an online presence and stats of what you’ve done to assist your previous clients.
Avoid coaches who have a one size fits all approach. How can you tell? Ask them how they will personalize their coaching to you. You might hear that they don’t because they have a proven system and method that works and has been working for years. It very well could be. However, this won’t help you when it comes to your mindset. What is holding you back is different than what is holding someone else back. Yes, your coach should have a system and proven method that works personalized to you. You are paying them. They work for you. Not the other way around.
Avoid consultants who are not in your area of expertise. This means anyone who does not identify as being a VA. This is where a lot of VAs go wrong. There is something fundamentally wrong when we look outside our own area of expertise for help and think someone who doesn’t have a strong background, knowledge, or value of our field can assist you. If the first suggestion is to change your title and remove “virtual assistant” run for the hills! It will go something like this, “Wow! You do so much for your clients. You are more like a strategic partner and the term virtual assistant doesn’t do you justice”. You know what doesn’t get you clients? Removing the term virtual assistant.
Positioning yourself as a strategic partner doesn’t make it easier for potential clients to find you when they are specifically looking for a VA. Furthermore, the kind of clients you want already have strategic partners with extensive backgrounds and a resume full of accomplishments. If you are going to go this route, you had better make certain your resume can stand side by side your competition.
Investing is hard when you first start. It can even be one of the scariest things you’ve ever done. To your future clients so is hiring a virtual assistant. Whether you identify it as karma, what goes around comes around, or only getting what you give, it’s all true. Don’t ask a client to make an investment in you when you’ve never invested in yourself.
Melissa is the bestselling author of Hire the Right Virtual Assistant and Become A Successful Virtual Assistant. To learn more about becoming a successful VA or be matched with a client looking for a VA just like you, contact Melissa here.
She has gained international recognition and has been featured in CareerBuilder, The Muse, Spark Hire, Thinkific & Woman’s World.