Something that happens a lot when someone gets started as a virtual assistant is that they are tempted to take any and all jobs offered to them. While this can be a great way to get your toes wet and gain experience, it’s not a good long-term strategy for running a business. What does work is to choose a niche for your virtual assistant business. Then, you market specifically towards people that fit your “target audience” within that niche.
When you are first jumping in to the virtual assistant game, it can be easy to feel like you need to apply to every job, no matter what field of expertise is needed or where the job is posted. It’s not hard to convince yourself that the right thing to do is work with anyone doing anything at any time.
Unfortunately, that type of business model just simply doesn’t work in the real world. If you’re marketing to everybody, you’re effectively marketing to nobody.
Basically, the key to strategic marketing is to choose a niche for your virtual assistant business.
How to Choose the Best Niche for Your Virtual Assistant Business
What is a niche?
First things first, let’s talk about what a niche actually is. The actual definition of the word is “products or services that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population.”
What this means is that you want to structure your business, branding, and services in a way that appeals to a certain group of people moreso than others. If someone is able to strongly identify with you because of the way you’ve niched yourself, working with you is going to be an easy decision for them. And that’s exactly what you want!
Why is a niche for your virtual assistant business important?
The reality is, you can’t build relationships and network with every single online business owner. Just on Facebook alone, there are 1.94 billion people — so you can imagine how many entrepreneurs you’d have to get to know!
Since you can’t form connections with all of those people, you’ll need to have some sort of guideline to follow. Having this guideline will help you create a stronger marketing strategy. Once you have that, you can start reaching out to people and making friends, connections, and relationships.
Having a niche for your virtual assistant business also allows you to focus your time and energy on the exact people you want to work with. Just like you can’t network with unlimited people, you also only have 24 hours in the day. Choosing a niche automatically sets parameters for your networking, so that you are only focusing on your ideal client. And marketing only towards the people who are most likely to purchase from you is a much better use of your time.
In my opinion, the best part about having a specific niche for your virtual assistant business is that you can easily focus on becoming an expert in that area. Picking a niche is a big decision. But once you do that, you are able to pursue mentors, connections, trainings, and certifications that position you as the go-to person in that niche.
Eventually it will become very obvious to your ideal client that you are the pro they need. This is a far better strategy than trying to be a jack of all trades. Instead, your goal should be to become the master of your one niche. Doing this means that clients will instantly be able to identify with you and realize how capable you are. They will be dying to work with you!
Say, for example, say there’s a Mormon homeschool blogger thinking about hiring a virtual assistant to help with something. The first thing they’re probably going to do is look around for generic VAs. They probably don’t even think there’s such a thing as a VA who specifically works with Mormon homeschool bloggers, right? While they’re hunting for the perfect person, they’re probably worrying about things like explaining the ins and outs of their business to their new VA, including the types of content they post, the softwares and programs I use, my target audience, my goals, and what I’m struggling with.
But if you choose a niche for your virtual assistant business and decided to become a Mormon homeschooling blog expert, you would already know all of that! And once they find you, they’re going to be like “YAY you exist!” They’ll feel super comfortable and ready to hire you, because they’ll have faith that you can help them so much better than any other kind of VA. Instead of worrying, they will be able to think, “Oh my Gosh, this girl totally understands me, she knows exactly what I need help with. She’s perfect.”
How to Choose the Best Niche for Your Virtual Assistant Business
What are you good at?
Consider your strengths. Brainstorm all of the things you’re really good at, and all of the things that you really enjoy doing.
- Are you great with marketing ideas?
- Networking and building relationships?
- Keeping track of lots of information and keeping everyone else on a tight schedule?
- What about managing social media accounts?
If anything really resonates with you, that is helpful in getting your niche picked out.
Who do you NOT want to work with?
Eliminate the types of clients you definitely DON’T want to work with. Even if you’re just starting out and you’re basically willing to work for anybody, you still probably have somewhat of an idea of the kind of people that you want to work for, as well as the type of clients you would rather not work with.
Maybe you would rather not work with guys, network marketers, dog walkers, or people who perform in-person services — like plumbers or hairdressers. Some things just don’t hold your interest and that is okay. Clients want to have a VA that is interested and familiar with their type of business, so it’s best for both of you if you don’t work with a business you aren’t passionate about.
Your Income Potential
Another thing to consider is what kind of income you would like to make. Not all types of clients are going to be looking to pay what you want to make. If you are charging $30 an hour, does that match up with what they are able to spend on a virtual assistant?
Each niche has a certain level of earning potential, depending on the clients’ background and needs. Before you choose your niche, do some studying. Take a look at your target market and ask yourself some questions.
- How long have they been in business?
- Do they have kids?
- Are they a one- or two-income household?
- Where do they live?
- What is their education background?
- How old are they?
Thinking about these types of things when considering a niche will help you figure out if they can afford you.
What do you know how to do?
Think about the technology you are already familiar with. For some of us, it might be basic computer skills and word processing. Others may have more experience in programs that are highly sought after.
Each niche often uses really specific softwares and programs for their particular needs. Some entrepreneurs need experts in WordPress, using the Genesis or Divi themes. Others need pros to manage their social media using Tailwind, Buffer, and Grum. Another popular expertise is sales funnel building, which requires a knowledge of Clickfunnels and Facebook ads.
Choosing a niche for your virtual assistant business is an important piece of building a successful career as a VA. You and your clients will both benefit from this. You’ll be able to use your strengths, focus on the things you enjoy doing, and get jobs that pay well. Your client will appreciate that you have the expertise and understanding to help them run a successful business.