I often talk to Virtual Assistants who are struggling to find clients. When starting a business one of the most pressing concerns is generating revenue. In an effort to fill their practice they try to be all things to all people. In many cases, after years of experience in administrative roles in the corporate world, they have many skills and experience that can be valuable to many different kinds of clients. Casting a wide net will surely yield the best results in finding clients – right? Actually, the answer is no.
When I first started my business as a Virtual Assistant I developed a list of things that I could do to help busy entrepreneurs. With over 25 years in a variety of different industries, the list was VERY long. I even created a brochure that listed them all! But what I found was that it only confused potential clients about how they might use my services. There is an old adage in the marketing world that says, “A confused mind says no.” I found that to be true and a disappointingly small percentage of the people I spoke to about using my services actually became clients.
I did manage to establish some ongoing client relationships and my business was underway. I pitched my services to many people in networking and in replying to requests for proposals through several VA groups. My rates were not very high (after all, I was desperate for clients) and when I spoke to potential clients I always felt like I had to compete on price. I found myself struggling to make a real profit in my business.
Some of my first clients were speakers. My corporate experience included supporting a woman who was a public speaker and representative of her industry. My experience and skills in working with speakers were enough of an edge to land those clients. Some of my clients had already published books and were marketing them and one of my clients was in the process of writing a book. So when I heard about a training program for Author Assistants it seemed like a good way to gain some skills that would make me more valuable to my clients and more attractive to the kind of clients I seemed to be most successful in landing.
Certification as a Professional Author Assistant was an important step in my business success. The training gave me more skills and expertise and the certification served as a credential that tells potential clients that I have demonstrated knowledge to help them succeed as authors. Most importantly, it has given me a more clearly identified market niche. This outside validation of my value to authors has also given me the confidence to significantly raise my rates.
Working with creative people who are passionate about putting their message into the world as published authors and speakers is very rewarding—both personally and financially. They are appreciative and willing to invest in competent help because it means they can spend more of their time actually delivering their message. And it is personally satisfying to know my support helps bring those messages to the world. I’ll always remember the first time I saw my name included in the acknowledgments of a book!
Whether you are just getting started or are looking to grow a current virtual business, working with authors and speakers is a lucrative and in-demand niche. The demand for Professional Author and Speaker Assistants continues to grow. The number of books being published annually is increasing at an unprecedented rate. That means a lot of people are publishing their first book and are actively looking for someone who can help them figure out the confusing world of publishing. Speakers are looking for people who can help them manage the details of their business while they are traveling and delivering their message from the stage.
If you would like to know more about how establishing a niche working with authors and speakers, I would encourage you to register for our upcoming webinar – 3 Secrets to Build a Profitable Business as a Professional Author & Speaker Assistant.
Who will benefit from this webinar:
- Virtual assistants who want more interesting clients who are willing to pay higher rates
- Someone who wants to start a business that allows you flexibility and is successful from the start
- People who love books and want to be a part of the publishing world
- Someone who wants to leave a legacy of impact on the world by helping support “messengers”