That's half right. The goal is to help folks decide whether or not to buy the book. Even if we help them decide not to buy our marketing has done its job.
Are you a new or aspiring virtual assistant? You may have heard that you need to offer every service under the sun and learn all the new technology so you are prepared to assist everyone.
Or you may have heard the other extreme. Just learn one thing really well and offer that service only. Never do anything outside of that narrow service.
Let's take another look at how you can have a balanced view of your virtual assistant business.
Yes, you want to provide service to a narrow niche. Why? Two reasons come to mind:
1. It is much easier to market your business to a specific niche. ("I provide administrative services to solopreneurs" versus "I help authors market their books by creating and implementing a marketing plan using social media")
2. Prospects are more likely to find you and become clients. (An author looking for help in implementing a social media marketing plan will find you and know you are the virtual assistant they need.)
That doesn't mean you'll never do other types of services for other type of business owners. But it will make your marketing job easier.
What niche do you serve?
During his one (and only) art class, Dr. Seuss turned his drawing paper around and was sketching sideways. The teacher scolded him, and said, "You can't draw that way! If you do, you'll never succeed."
What Dr. Seuss knew, and the teacher didn't, was that in order to succeed you can't do what everybody else is doing. Nor can you try to appeal to everybody. You've got to separate yourself from your competition in some way. Many people can draw and write books for children. None of them can do it like Dr. Seuss did.
Dr. Seuss's characters, The Grinch, Sam I Am, and The Cat in the Hat live on more than 50 years after they were first published because they're unique. Before you try to market your business, think about what you offer that's different. Do you specialize in a particular industry? Are you the most expensive or offer gold-plated, super-special service that's completely over the top - like having papers delivered by a butler dressed in white tie and tails? Do you do one thing really, really well?
Stick to your passion
Dr. Seuss wrote a truly awful movie called The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. It was so bad that he called it a "decabulous fiasco" and didn't mention it in his official biography. He was doing something he wasn't particularly good at. And it showed.
Choose a specialty that you care about. If you have a passion for genealogy, follow it and help people trace their ancestry. I love working with creative people, but I'd be hard-pressed to drum up much enthusiasm for promoting NASCAR. Be genuine, not artificial.
Not too narrow
If Seuss had stuck to writing for left-handed children named Max who live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he'd have been in trouble. No, his books were aimed at beginning readers. One of them (Green Eggs and Ham) had only 50 different words. A niche that is too small will make you unique. It won't make you money.
You may be worried that other people have said and done everything there is to say about being a Virtual Assistant or found every niche that's worthwhile. Someone else may also be concentrating on offering bookkeeping to dry cleaners - but they'll bring different skills, a different perspective, and a different personality to their clients than you will to yours. Stick to what drives you.
As Dr. Seuss said,
That is truer than true
There is no one alive who is
Youer than You"
Jodi Kaplan has been called the Clarity Driver and the Wizard of Words. She blogs about broken marketing and how to stop it at Fix Your Broken Marketing.
Are you still considering whether or not to become a Chief Virtual Officer (virtual assistant)? How can you determine if that's your one true passion?
Or perhaps you are looking for your niche in the virtual world. How do you determine what it is you really want to focus on?
Now there's a tool with practical exercises to help you discover your passion. Visit Business Heretics to learn more.
I know you think you can and should do it all. I disagree. You've developed your niche market and your specialized skills. That's great! Now your client asks you to do a task that you have no experience doing. Instead of taking on a task that you don't know, why not enlist the assistant of a fellow virtual assistant?
I have a client that has a half dozen different virtual assistants working on her team. She recognizes that each one has specific skills and talents. Imagine you are a small business owner starting a retail business. Would you really hire one person to be your accountant, attorney, salesperson and business coach? No. You would hire individuals specializing in each area so that the work they each did was the best and made the best use of their time.
I encourage you to build a network of fellow virtual assistants and then freely refer business to each other. There's plenty to go around. Instead of getting stuck and caught when you cannot accomplish a task you don't have the skills for, your client will be impressed that you were able to find someone that specializes in that particular skill.
I have found that I love the general administrative tasks that involve lots of typing, data entry and ten-key. Several clients have had me compile spreadsheets of contacts to include names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, websites, and additional notes. Many find this type of work tedious and boring. So give me a call if you need someone to handle that type of work.
On the other hand, I have not had extensive experience with setting up shopping carts. Yet many solo professionals now need this type of work. If that's your expertise, let me know so I have someone to refer those prospects to when they approach me for that type of work.
Working together, virtual assistants can grow their businesses. There is enough to go around!