Mark Crone: Week 8 - Lessons learnt[Author: Mark Crone, Clearwater Traditional Marketing]
Date: 21-Feb-2011 21:51
Week 8 - Lessons learnt
My eighth and final post is at a time where my business has been running for just over 4 months and I am starting to see the benefits of my marketing activities. Last week I received 2 enquiries that resulted from meetings I have had at networking events. They have both originated from referrals, e.g. people I have met and developed relationships with who have then felt comfortable to refer me to third parties. It is this success that proves if you approach networking with the right attitude then it really can help.
Throughout the last 8 weeks I have tried to write about the experiences I have faced and they have all very much been factual. I would love to say that my business is incredibly busy and I am making lots of money. Whilst my business is performing and I am making money, I know that I am only at the very start of my journey and I have a long way to go before I can say that I am successful VA. In my opinion you need to allow at least 6 to 12 months to get your business operating successfully and be earning a good income. This means hours and hours of focus on building your brand and building your reputation.
Quick wins are a great way to make an impression. In my working career I have built up a good relationship with senior personnel at large organisations. I have made it one of my focuses to get back in contact with them to see if they need any help. It is unlikely that I will get good retainer work from these people (as they have comprehensive support teams in place) but I can count on getting some one-off jobs. I have no doubt that retainer work will come but it is the one off jobs that have helped me to establish Clearwater VA and build a good reputation.
When it comes to generating new business I try and follow steps which an old boss taught me. If I attend a meeting at serviced offices or on an industrial estate then I ask the client if they know of any of their work neighbours who may also benefit from my service. I always take sales literature with me and undertake a leaflet drop. This may take an extra hour out of my day but it is certainly time well spent. I am also a big believer of getting client testimonials. I have recently added three to my website which have proved very popular. A client testimonial helps me immensely but it also helps my client. This is because I ensure I include a small description of my clients business along with details of their web site, this free bit of promotion for them is a great sales aid for me (if any of you would like help on this please don't hesitate to get in contact).
Finally there are many great VAs, each one is unique and can offer specialist skills. My USP is my Marketing skills. The SVA is a wonderful resource for potential, new and established VAs. It provides excellent information and is a great support structure. It is a web site that I visit daily and I am sure will continue to be a great aid for me and my business
I wish all my fellow VAs a success and would welcome the chance to help them in any way that I can.
Mark's BeMyVA profile: http://www.bemyva.com/va/1485/Mark-Crone
Web link to Clearwater VA: http://www.clearwaterva.co.uk/