How do I locate and identify my client base?
This has been the most difficult part of establishing my VA business. Most of my professional experience has been in financial and medical services. I'm unsure of how to find these types of clients and if this should be my target.
Ten steps to building a strong future customer base. They are as follows:
Start by knowing your current customers and everything about them. I suggest that you develop a precise profile of shoppers; age, education, gender, marital status, employment, hobbies, and the places they visit, on-line and off. Once this is complete, it will be very clear to you who your true clients are.
Know their needs and wants. Take time to visit with them. Ask pertinent questions. Listen and learn.
Know what they think about your solution and what they think about the competition. Look for problems and opportunities.
Know what they watch, listen to and read.
Recognize that your customers have friends who are like them.
Ask your customers to invite their friends to engage with you. Entice them to connect with these friends via the internet on your behalf.
Invite these prospective buyers to try your offerings.
Provide a special introductory offer to them and likewise reward your current clients who helped.
Ensure a splendid buying and user experience. Go out of your way to take care of these new shoppers.
Ask your new customers to also make referrals. Don’t be shy. It’s how business grows.
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Network with other VA companies. I have found that they all network together and help each other.
Hi Ayanna - great question and two answers are relevant.
There is a traditional response and then there is the response that guarantees 100% results consistently. That's right.
Regarding the traditional, Jim Carrey said it best two weeks ago: “I learned many, many lessons from my father, but not least of which is that you can fail at something you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance doing what you love.” It is all about seeking positive outcomes only.
So now,here's what works 100% And it may have little or nothing to do with your previous experience. That's right. Everyone knows someone who was pushed into a job/career and knows they were meant for a higher purpose, with meaning.
Here's what to do right now:
Pretend you are sitting across the table, having a coffee with your ideal client. Where are you (geographically - you are a VA)? What are they wearing? What is important to them (that resonates within you)? What are their problems/issues (that you can ... and desire to engage in)? Write down everything you just imagined about meeting them.
When you have a crystal clear image in your mind of who and where they are (nothing to do with what they do), then start asking the Universe to attract them into your radar screen. That's when your networking on and offline will start to bear fruit (not before).
And when you choose to eliminate any self-limiting doubts, check out the info I posted on the Quantum Change Process at www.is.gd/Quantum or view John Assaraf's Brainathon at www.is.gd/4brain
How soon will you let me know how I can be of further support Ayanna?
My name is Mia.
The first place I would look is who have you done business with in the past? If you have already provided you services to people, then take a look at who they are. The hottest target list are those who have already shown interest in your offerings and have invested money by shopping with you. Once you have identified people who are already purchasing your services or are interested in your services, then you can further target from there. Was there a type of client that was easier to deal with than others, did you enjoy doing one type of service over the other?
What type of services do you provide?
Some great advise.
It looks to me that you need to develop your business plan.
The advise previously given will help you with that.
I would like to build on what is already given.
1) Develop for yourself a SWAT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats.)
2) From this build on your strengths and opportunities.
3) Identify what is your Key advantages are.
4) Identify what is your sustainable advantage. (your unique advantage)
5) Answer this simple question. Why should I hire you ?
Based on this you should get a good idea as to
A) Which areas you will best excel in.
B) Which industries you will be able to provide the most / best outcomes for.
(This may be the area you like the most, or that you have had the best past experience, or knowledge about)
I hope this helps you.
Ayanna, you have great responses and I know I am repeating here, but without defining who your ideal customer is, you are in danger of going down so many blind alleys.
Because once you do this,then you can find out which social media they use. What are the corporate magazines they subscribe to. What websites they visit and many others that define your ideal customer. Once you have this in place,you can then start to build your sales and marketing plan.
If you take the time to do this,it will save you so much pain later on.
Wishing you success in your venture
Hello Ayanna - In order to identify your clients you have to ask your self 5 or 6 questions , 1. Define your product . ( What is the product you have ).
2. Price of your product , Which slice of market you are dealing with .
3.who are my competitors . who are they .
4.Your market segment .
5.Your ability to com pit with others .
Answering these questions will give an idea of your expected clients , then your marketing plan may help you to reach them .
I think defining your target market requires you to create a profile of your ideal client.
Physical: Gender, Age, Income, Marital status...
Emotional: Wants, needs, emotions vs logic...
Niche: Personal, corporate, retail...
Once you know this you can create a short list of who they are and focus your marketing and sales presentations accordingly.
This will make it easier to choose what groups, such as LinkedIn, that you want to focus attention on.
If you currently have customers, you might want to profile them since they are your customers.
I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your new venture!
Try building an email list using something like LeadFerret.com and send emails about your service to them.
Do some market research. The SBA.GOV website has several free resources for you to use.
As a fellow VA, I understand where you are at.
As you have professional experience in those fields, I would specialise in that area, as there are many VA's who do not tailor to that 'niche'.
If you have an area which is unique, you are more likely to prosper.
I agree with other professionals on here, about Linked in, I would also look at the IVAA, and Facebook mentoring sites.
If you would like any personal recommendations, send me a message; and I will forward you the names of the groups and mentor I am using to help succeed.
(I don't know if I am allowed to name them here, as I don't want to inadvertently advertise).
I wish you every success in your business venture-
Tara Coffin-Harrold VA
Hello Ayanna, you've received good responses so far. Here my take:
All businesses however small need a clientele base. Before going online or using any social media platform, I recommend you take a moment and brainstorm. Take a notepad and pen, ask yourselves these questions:
a) Who do you want to work with?
One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you get to choose who you want to work with in terms of customers, partners, colleagues, staff, suppliers etc. However, I want you to just focus on figuring out "Who your ideal customers are?"
b) To define your ideal customers, create an avatar in your mind. An avatar is a figurative image of your ideal client. Give the avatar a name.
c) Now ask yourself: how old is this person? Where does this person work? How much does this person earn? Is this person married? If married does this person have kids & how many? Where does this person reside? What is the educational level of your ideal client?
d) Ask more questions: What type of books does your ideal client read? What are your ideal client's favorite website/portal/social media platform? (You see, you just might find that a section of your ideal clients do/do not use Linkedin. This piece of information will save you a whole lot of resources)
e) And more questions: Where does your ideal client vacation/shop/socialize? What are your ideal client's current issues? What are the common results/solutions that your ideal client will get from purchasing your services?
You can come up with more questions. I'm sure that by the time you are through with the process, you'll not only having a clear picture of who your ideal clients are but also where to find them.
I've used and I still use this method successfully with my clients. Was my answer useful, simple to understand and follow through? Do you need more information on how to go about the process, kindly contact me on this platform.
Best of luck.
(Small Business Development Consultant)
First define who your client isn't. Who would you never serve or work with and why? What are the defining behaviors and attributes of who your client isn't?
Once you know what you don't want, then define what you do want? You might look at current clients and see if there are any characteristics or behaviors they have in common. Why do you want to work with that type of client?
I recommend that you write down a detail description of who you want to do business with.
Visualize your IDEAL CLIENT and write down what you come up with.
Base your criteria on Age, gender, occupation, industry, sales volume, may be geo location, do they use your type of service already, level of technical knowledge.
You can come up with a few of your own... but right it down. May be you can develop a list or buy a list of people that fit your description. Create a survey to find out what services your target market might be interested in.
I recommend this video for all new businesses: http://youtu.be/aDyiI-NxMto
Look for trends in industries that has a growing need for your services.
Clearly define what services you offer.
To your success,
'the Marketing Coach" & Mobile Marketer
Ayanna, as others mentioned LinkedIn is a great channel to connect with business professionals; however, you first have to identify who your target audience is before you can search for them. I would recommend that your first step should be to clearly define what you're offering as a company, how you are different from others in the industry, and who can benefit the most from those services. From there you can then use different channels to reach them, one be linkedIn. Others could include industry publications/events/trade shows, your website, and inbound and outbound marketing initiatives.
This is a challenge for all businesses, large and small, but is well worth the time and investment to figure out in the beginning. Hope that helps and contact me if you want to talk more.
Establishing a business without knowing how to identify your client base is a recipe for disaster, it goes not bode well for your success.
Good luck though.
You have received Wonderful information thus far..IF you still need any Peer information connect with me as well.
As Dave mentioned LinkedIn sounds like a great place to start. For ads and I would also check into the groups where those targeted audiences are hanging out.
Secondly ,I would use the graph tool search bar on Facebook and find a group or page there that fits your market, then locate "fans" of that page or group and it will bring up a whole list of your target audience.
I'm not sure what your budget is, but there is always SEO to find them. Are you local marketing or nation wide?
that is the biggest part of the customer dev or customer acquisition part knowing your client what pain you are fixing and the reasons that they would want to buy your product