The other day I was shopping and came into the same aisle as a young family - Dad, Mom and Toddler. The Mom was pushing the cart, the Dad was looking on the shelves, and the Toddler got in the way of the cart Mom was trying to push around the corner. She immediately yelled, "That's enough of this crap! You're getting in the cart!" and proceeded to pick up the Toddler and dump him in the cart. He started to cry, and she continued, "It's not a punishment, it's just the way it has to be." ... Huh? Not a punishment? Then why the yelling and the dumping?

She sent the poor young lad completely mixed messages, and he didn't know what she meant to say. The little boy didn't even learn anything, because the mother's messages didn't make sense (not even to me!). She didn't speak TO him, she spoke at him, and expected him to understand what she really meant. The message she was trying to convey was completely lost.

Think about your marketing message that you are putting out there to potential clients. It is very easy to deliver the incorrect message to your potential clients (without even knowing it!). What you WILL notice, however, is that you WILL NOT sign clients unless they clearly understand what you are telling them.

Many new VAs I come into contact with are delivering exactly the wrong message ... here are 3 things I see all the time. (Note: these things will keep you from signing clients!):

Do not try to sell the client on the merits of using a VA. The client doesn't care about the how they won't need to pay payroll taxes, holiday time or health benefits. Although this is important information, it is not important to the client who is seeking help. The client wants to know how you will solve their problem, why you are the best person to work with, and specifically how you are the expert at taking care of their work. Talk about the benefits that your services will provide to the client; THAT is the message you need to be sending them.

Do not sell services unless you are an expert at doing them. This is a huge mistake that I see all the time. Just because you have your own Facebook profile does not mean you are a social media expert, and you shouldn't put the message out there that you are. And don't tell a potential client that you can learn what they need you to learn. Ever. They will hire you for you expertise, and as a business owner, that's the message you need to get out to them. You will build your business by presenting yourself as an expert. Learn new skills, yes! Master them before you sell them. Decide who your ideal client is, determine specifically how you can help them, THAT is the message you need to send them.

Do not offer a retainer package without giving an estimate of hours the client will need. Retainer packages are great - they protect the VA from unpaid invoices, and they allow the client to hold a block of hours. However, you should also provide the client with an estimate of how you will use their hours (i.e. 4 newsletters x 1 hr each, client communication x 2 hrs, teleclass management x 2 hrs, etc.) Simply telling the client you will let them know when they will need more hours is not serving them. Put procedures in place and set times for each service you provide. Give the client a professional estimate when they sign your retainer, and then update them throughout the month. This small step sends a clear message to your clients that you are a pro, and you really understand what they need; THAT is the message to send out to them.

Setting up or building your VA business doesn't have to be difficult. Develop a clear message for your business offerings (this is what I can do for you, this is how much it will cost you), and then all you have to do is deliver that message to potential clients through your networking - simple! (and that's the fun part!)

Be sure your message is clear, and then get out there and get those clients!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey D’Aviero is a successful Virtual Assistant as well as a VA coach and mentor. She helps new and aspiring Virtual Assistants build solid foundations for their businesses by teaching them how to put procedures and plans in place for success and growth. Pick up a copy of Tracey’s free ebook “3 Way To Get The Clients You Want!” at