How to Stand Out in a Referral Based Industry
It can be tough to get your foot in the door of an industry that is largely based around connections and referrals. With that being said, getting your first job can be tough. However, once you are able to get your first client and do a stand out job, you will be shocked at how much easier it is to get your next few jobs!
So how do you stand out in a saturated market that is based largely around word of mouth marketing and referrals?
Here are a few tips and advice for tapping into the virtual assistant/freelance job market.
Go above and beyond. Once you get a client, be timely in your responses to them, get all of your tasks done on time, and go above and beyond in the projects you are assigned. Be quick to communicate, update, and respond to your client to make sure you are on the same page.
You are your best differentiator. Be yourself and find/pursue clients that fit your personality and your target market! This will make both you and them so much happier in the long run. Capitalize on your own unique strengths and talents and don’t try and do it all!
Be proactive. If there’s one thing I would focus on when trying to stand out from the crowd, it would be this. Be willing to teach yourself new programs and skills and do your best to answer your own questions. Always reach out if you don’t know the answer to something and can’t figure it out, but if it’s something you can figure out and not use your client’s time, do it!
Look for opportunities to serve. As I’ve talked about before, being a virtual assistant is a hugely relational line of work. With this in mind, if there are things in your client’s business that you can tell stress them out, offer to take them off their plate. Be aware of opportunities to step in during a busy week and offer to help with an extra task. By all means, it is so important to have boundaries and stick to your designated hours, but seizing opportunities to serve them will automatically guarantee you referrals or increased hours!
Make it easy for people to refer you. Whether you do this by creating a rocking website, easy to find and active social media handles, etc., this will make it easier for people to refer you. Create business cards that you’re proud of and you’ll be surprised at how many you end up handing out as you mention what you do in different conversations with people that you meet!
Don’t be afraid to ask. Let clients know if you’re looking to take on more hours/have more openings in your schedule. Most likely, they will know someone similar to them who also needs more help, or will be willing to either invest in more hours with you or let you know an estimated timeline of when they will be needing more hours.
Focus on the relationship. If you’re looking for job security in the tumultuous world of being a self-employed virtual assistant or freelancer, this is where you’ll find it. The better the relationship you can develop with your clients, the higher the chance for referrals and long-term opportunities. Plus, it’s so fun to see all the relationships you develop with clients across the world as you get to know them and help their business flourish!
These are just a few of the ways to make yourself stand out in a referral based industry. Comment below with your own favorite tips and tricks to excel in remote work!