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Finding Your Niche in Your Virtual Assistant Business

When you are first starting out in your virtual assistant business, it is tempting to market yourself as a ‘general’ virtual assistant and offer any and all services.  While I think this is okay in the very beginning as you explore what types of things you like to do, down the road you will want to find a particular niche and stick with it in order to differentiate yourself in the sea of virtual assistants.  Finding your niche in your virtual assistant business can have big pay offs down the road as you gain experience and exposure.

Once you get a little bit of experience under your belt (or even before), the best thing you can do is sit down in a quiet place and do some serious reflection and brainstorming.

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You need to be honest with yourself.  You want to create a business that you love.  It may be easier to get clients if you do xyz, but if you hate doing xyz, then it’s better to hold out for the clients that need you to do what you love.

Start off with the following 3 questions:

1.  Determine Your Strengths

  • What are you AWESOME at?
    To help determine this, think about what other people ask for your help or advice with repeatedly.
  • What knowledge has your background given you?
    I was a software tester in information technology in my previous life, so that lends itself really well to doing more technical virtual assistant work.  Maybe you were an accountant or a bookkeeper?  These are things that can easily transition into your virtual assistant service offerings.
  • How can you best help others?
    Maybe there is something that seems to come really easy to you, but doesn’t come easy for others.
  • What do you LOVE to do?
    This is the most important one in my opinion. In order to build a business that will last, you have to love what you’re doing.  Now I’m not saying you will always love everything, but most of the work should be somewhat enjoyable to you.

2.  Determine Your Weaknesses

  • What are you NOT awesome at?
  • What types of things do you dread doing?
    When I first started out, it was writing for me.  I took on a few jobs for writing blog posts and I procrastinated and dreaded doing that work. So I no longer offer any kind of writing services.
  • Where do you need to learn/grow?
    Do you need some more training in order to feel comfortable offering certain services?  Like maybe getting trained and certified in a certain software.
  • What types of tasks do you dread doing?
    Again, think about the things you end up putting off because you just don’t feel like doing them.

3.  What do you want your clients to be like?

Think about what types of clients you want to work with on a daily/weekly basis.  What personality types do you click with?  Here are a couple of differences I have found in my practice:

  • The Type “A” Client
    • The “cookie cutter”, business type
    • This client may simply want you to perform the same/similar tasks weekly.  Not creating a lot of problem solving or creativity on your part.
    • Examples would be blog implementation, shopping cart updates, adding/updating products.  More maintenance based tasks.

This type of client may seem boring to you.  You may crave more creativity.

  • The Type “B” Client
    • The chaotic, artsy, creative type
    • This client may continually challenge you to problem solve and achieve their “next big goal”
    • Examples would be finding the best software solution to fit with their next launch or idea.  Typically they want nothing to do with the technology.

This type of client may be more hands off and allow you to show your creativity and offer suggestions/solutions.

Asking yourself these questions early on in your business can really give you an advantage down the road as you narrow your niche and target market.

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