This week I got a Facebook message from a Virtual Assistant who wanted to know what words she should use to optimise the traffic to her website. She assumed that I, as founder of SVA, would have a secret formula for making visitors flock to her site.
Here’s the rub: You are chasing a rainbow… The magical keyword does not exist!
So let’s suspend our scepticism for a moment and assume that I have one magical phrase which brings red hot prospects to my site in huge numbers. They come, I convert them into customers, I do the work, I earn lots of money. Fantastic. So I give this magical keyword to you to use on your website… And guess what? It doesn’t work – here’s why:
- My magical phrase may well be for a service you don’t even offer. There’s no point in you having thousands of hits for “freelance typist” if your WPM is only 45! Your target market is as unique as your business.
- By giving you the keyword, I’ve just halved the traffic – some go to my site, some go to yours. It’s a diminishing return even if I wanted to give you it.
- Even if you use exactly the same keyword and offer exactly the same services as me, you still won’t rank similarly as Google takes into account all sorts of different factors, such as length of time the domain has been held, frequency of updates, number of pages, words used, order of words etc. It is not a simple thing to get a good SEO score!
- The conversion of clients from your website will have a completely different process to mine – we have follow ups, postcards, phonecalls, and fact sheets to send out as part of the follow up process. Getting the visitors to your site is only half the battle. You also need to convert them.
- Lastly, you need to do the work… Over the years we’ve built up systems and processes which minimise the mistakes and optimise the opportunities. But your business will be completely different from mine.
So even if I hand over my marketing bible to you, the chances are that it’s not going to work. You aren’t me, I’m not you – and as virtual assistants we are offering a very personalised service.
Quite often VAs will see a good idea on another VA site and adopt it… Or they will feel pressured to do lots of networking because that’s what other VAs do, or to have a social media presence because it’s expected. NEWSFLASH: You are not an employee, this is YOUR business, you get to choose how it is run!
Your business is unique to you – so no one can hand you a magical marketing formula for a VA business. Run fast from anyone who says they can! The best thing you can do to create your own marketing plan that works for your business, is for you to write it, thinking about your ideal clients, what their needs are and where you can connect with them.
Aim for at least 10 different ways of marketing your business.
“10??? 10!!! How much time do you think I have???” Well – 50% of your time as a new business should be spent on marketing. And if you are finding that your 10 different streams use up too much of your most precious asset – your time! – rethink them, as they aren’t sustainable long-term once you get busier. Monitor your results and see what works, drop the ones who don’t produce any results after 3 months, reinvest your efforts elsewhere.