Do you have a hard time finding clients as a virtual assistant, Pinterest/social media manager or as a freelance writer?
Don’t worry; finding new worthy clients it’s the hardest part of working from home jobs. I mean, it’s totally normal.
However, I decided to write this post to help other people working from home. I make a living online working from home for the past 5 years, so I will let you know everything I learned about the best ways to find new clients and jobs.
According to Cision, the Virtual Assistant Market is growing rapidly and it will skyrocket until 2024.
This way, if you haven’t started your online business yet and you’re thinking to enter the market there’s enough space for you.
If you master the art of gaining new clients, create your network, and provide quality work, you might be able to earn much more online than a traditional job.
However, the grand majority of virtual assistants and freelancers fail to earn a full-time income online because they fail at the most basic things.
First, let me tell you the basic things you have to follow in order to create a successful online career as a virtual assistant, freelance writer or Social Media Manager.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant 101
1) Treat it as a Real Online Business
Instead of promoting yourself as a person who does a virtual assistant’s tasks on his/her free time as a side-hustle, promote yourself as a real business online who takes the clients seriously.
This includes creating a website so you can showcase your portfolio. Samples and portfolios are the most important things to earn trust and attract new prospects.
If you can’t afford to pay for a self-hosted site, at least try wordpress.com which is totally free.
However, I discourage my readers from having free sites as they “scream” that you don’t earn any money from your business if you can’t even afford $3-4/month for a self-hosted website.
Check my “Hire me” page to see an example with prize tables.
You can create quickly your website & receive bonus promotion and coaching by reading this post: (Create Your Website in under 20 minutes Bones: Free Promotion & Coaching)
It’s an offer I created myself to promote new freelancers & VAs to my network of bloggers (as the grand majority of my readers are bloggers and online business owners)
2) Think like an Employer
No matter where you promote yourself (Fiverr, your site, Social Media) try to think like an employer who looks to hire a person like you.
Highlight all the pain points you’re able to help them and focus on the benefits you’re going to provide.
For example, if you provide “Pin creation” services for Pinterest for busy bloggers, mention on your pitches/bios how much time they’re going to save and that they’ll receive a great increase in their traffic.
Marketing yourself the right way is really important!
3) Become an Expert on 1-2 specific types of jobs
As Pat Flynn says, don’t be a Swiss Army Knife, be the sharpest knife you can. Or as PewDiePie said: don’t be a salad, be the best broccoli you can!
I hope you get the concept.
If you were an employer looking to hire someone to manage your Pinterest account, would you hire someone that claims to:
- do Social Media marketing, writing posts, proofreading, graphics designing
- or someone that claims to be a top Pinterest Expert?
The grand majority of people would hire the second one!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not a bad thing to broaden your range of skills and learn new things.
But always market yourself the right way.
The more expertise you have on a subject the easier it will be to find new clients and for higher prices (similar to traditional jobs)!
4) Make it easy for your clients to pay you
These services are international and much more convenient for everyone to send or receive payments.
Nobody likes to mess with confusing banking routes and delayed payments.
Anyway, you can send the payments from Paypal to your bank account with a few clicks.
How to Get Clients as a Virtual Assistant, Pinterest & Social Media Manager or an online Freelancer (Writer, Editor, Proofreader)
The above-mentioned categories of jobs might be different but the ways to find new prospects are similar.
Below you’ll learn for free some powerful strategies to attract new clients that many other bloggers with the same amount of experience as me sell online as online courses.
This way, I’d greatly appreciate any kind of engagement as Social Media shares or comments!
1) Cold Approach (emails)
This is by far the best strategy to get new high-paying clients as a virtual assistant, freelance writer or Social Media Manager.
Here’s an example of the latest job I landed:
It’s a simple as it sounds. Identify websites/website owners you’d like to work for and send them an email.
Make sure to include:
- Who you are
- How you discovered them
- How you’re going to help them & how they will benefit from it
- Focus on their pain points you’re able to solve
- Include your best samples of previous work (the most important step)
- Your rates. Include something that sounds like an offer like “for the next week I offer a 30% discount” or bonus work if they offer you recurring work
It’s much better if you make your pitch sound like a really good deal. For example, let’s say you offer proofreading services for $10/article. Create an offer like 10 posts only for $60!
This “offers-strategy” works on all platforms, not only cold pitching.
Make it a habit to send at least 10 emails per day or even more (20-30) if you can.
Keep working and improving your pitch along the way. Experiment with what works and what doesn’t.
The best thing about cold pitching is that you can find better rates to work for compared to “content mills/marketplaces” like Fiverr or Freelancer that you can find work only if you work for a few pennies per hour.
If you’re working about something related to Instagram, don’t hesitate to message your prospects directly on the platform.
How to find clients to cold pitch to?
I let you know my secret strategy that not only can find you new clients but it will save you much time too.
- Network with other virtual assistants and freelancers (on Social Media) that offer similar services as you. Most of them have their portfolios on their websites or a Social platform.
- Check their portfolios to see what websites they have worked for.
- Send a pitch to these websites. They hired a freelancer before, so it’s likely they will hire another one too!
- Offer competitive prices and services to make them consider your offer!
That’s it! It’s simple but it works!
Of course, you can pitch to every site you’d like to work for. Scan Google search and Social Media to discover potential websites.
Networking is powerful in every kind of job and online business is no different.
Start by networking with other virtual assistants and freelancers on Facebook Groups, Twitter, and other Social Networks.
Not only they can help you to be better at the job, but they can introduce you to potential clients if they don’t like to get a gig.
Further, if you keep good relationships with your clients and you provide quality work, it’s likely to recommend you to their friends or even hire you again in the future.
Of course, you can’t create the perfect network overnight, but you should keep it into account as you proceed.
3) Social Media
You can find many opportunities on Social Media. Some good places to start are relevant Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, and hashtags on Twitter.
A recent example of my Facebook Blogging Group
Don’t join only groups and hashtags that virtual assistants are looking for jobs. Join and monitor groups/networks/hashtags where your potential clients spend their time with.
For example, if you offer services related to blogging, join some groups for bloggers. Join some discussions and offer your help if someone is looking for similar services.
Occasionally, you can directly speak about the services you offer.
LinkedIn is a perfect place for freelancers to network with clients and other freelancers. LinkedIn also includes a page with direct listings from employers seeking to hire (it’s not specifically for online freelancers, but there are many of them as well).
4) Warm Approach
The opposite of the “Cold Approach”, this strategy requires engaging with your clients before you message them.
For example, if you want to work for a specific website first read their posts, comment on them, and share on your Social Media.
Also, a good method is to provide them feedback on how they can improve and serve their audience better. This way, you show them that you know what you’re talking about.
After a while (some days or weeks), you can message them and offer them your services or tell them under a comment.
Therefore, it’s much more like they trust you and hire you:
- They trust you more and they feel like they know you
- You show them that you have knowledge about their business
- They will prefer you over another random pitch
5) Virtual Assistant Marketplaces & Content Mills
I’m not a big fan of these websites as the employees are forced to work for pennies and there is too much competition.
The majority of them have the same concept: The employers post a job they need someone to accomplish and the employees bid for the lowest price.
I guess you’ll have already tried some of them, as they’re the first place beginner freelancers seeking for work.
Don’t think of them as a chance to get easy but low-paying jobs. Marketplaces can be useful if you use them the right way.
Try to think of them as platforms when you can meet new clients for long-term work. When I first started out as a freelance writer, I was lucky enough to meet some clients that offered me recurring work for the next months!
Of course, they didn’t pay me again and again through these platforms because they keep huge commissions.
Instead, we exchanged emails and they deposited the money directly on my Paypal.
This is forbidden among these marketplaces because they lose money that way.
I described how I managed to make $3k in my 1st-2nd month freelance writing on this post.
Also, if you just starting your online career these marketplaces are decent for building your portfolio and gaining experience, regardless of the low payments.
Some of the most popular freelancer marketplaces are:
This is my personal favorite marketplace as there are more high-quality gigs there and the payments are slightly better.
Also, the competition seems to be lower since there aren’t many people from 3rd world countries that bid for a few pennies.
Fiverr works the other way around. The employees post their gigs and the employers choose the one they like more.
Since this sounds like a better concept, the competition is still high.
But the most important thing is to get clients and reviews as soon as possible after you publish a new gig.
Otherwise, your gig will be lost forever.
To achieve that, you need to actively promote your Fiverr gigs on your Social Media, forums, or your online network.
Also, you need to start with competitive rates and services to find clients as a new user.
Anyway, you have nothing to lose if you try the platform yourself.
Personally, I hate this platform. The competition is too high and the payments are as low as they can be.
However, there are thousands of jobs posted daily and this is the platform I got my first long-term client.
Further, this website asks non-stop for its job-seekers to pay for premium benefits such as more bids or exposure.
You can try it if your thirsty to start immediately, but I don’t recommend paying for their premium plans.
This platform works similar to PeoplePerHour but there are more people that bid for pennies and the gigs are mostly low-quality.
As a result, the payments are too low.
Further, there are so many people applying daily that the platform rejects new applications sometimes.
I don’t recommend it unless you’re just starting.
This platform works exactly as the above-mentioned “Guru”.
The same applies to it, I have nothing else to add.
Here’s a list with other popular freelance marketplaces
Amazon’s freelance marketplace. Amazon’s name adds credibility to the platform but don’t expect high-paying jobs.
6) Search on Job board Listings
Job boards are not recommended for entry-level freelancers, but you have nothing to lose trying them.
Keep in mind that they receive hundreds of replies applying for each position and it’s difficult to stand out.
Your most powerful weapons here are your pitch, and your experience (your previous jobs samples)
Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected on your first pitches. Remember, the competition is too tough.
Some popular job boards for virtual assistants and freelancers are:
- ProBlogger (tasks related to blogs)
- BloggingPro (tasks related to blogs)
- LinkedIn Jobs
While you’re searching on these boards, don’t forget to set your location as “Remote” to filter only the “work from home” positions.
1) Cold Approach
2) Social Media
4) Warm Approach
5) Freelance Marketplaces
6) Job Listings
1) Have your own website
2) Advertise online
3) Use Social Media Networks
4) Blog about topics relevant to your services
Don’t hesitate to offer your services for free until you build your first portfolio samples and gain some experience.
Otherwise, you can try Freelance marketplaces, Social Media and cold pitching.
On average, the entry-level jobs pay about $5-$10/hour, while field experts can earn more than $50-$100 or even more per hour.
1) Do your research and identify what services you’d like to provide
2) Practice your skills on your website
3) Offer your services for free in order to build your portfolio
The industry average is $15-$30/hour for simple tasks and can go as high as $50-$75/hour for financial tasks.
How to find online jobs as a Virtual Assistant, Freelance Writer or Social Media – Pinterest Manager
After you decide on what services you’d like to offer, set up your website and create a PayPal or Payoneer account.
Then, use some strategies such as Cold or Warm Approach, Networking, Social Media, Freelance Marketplaces and Job board listings.
If you’re new and you want to build your portfolio, don’t hesitate to offer your services for free a few times until you create some samples and gain experience.
If you want to quickly master Pinterest and then sell your services, I recommend you check this course: “Pinterest Perfection Masterclass” for only $19!
Don’t get confused by its price though. It’s so cheap to be competitive on the market but it’s a high-quality course to master Pinterest!