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Today I want to chat about how to land VA gigs.

When I first launched my freelance writing business, I’d never heard of being a VA. I didn’t know that being a virtual assistant was a thing.

I was cruising along with my writing, and had the opportunity to Beta test a new course from Gina Horkey, 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. (<= aff. link!).

After taking the course, I knew this VA thing was a good match for my skill-set. So I decided to give it a try.

I started pitching.

Unfortunately, pitches weren’t very successful. In fact, I only landed one client in my entire first eight months of being a VA.

Ouch!

But, I didn’t give up.

I kept trying. And experimenting.

I’ve definitely learned a lot since then! In fact, in the past couple months, I’ve definitely improved in my pitch writing ability. I’ve landed a couple of short-term projects, and a long-term client. Woo hoo!

What Changed?

So how did I go from hearing back from literally no one to having pretty good results landing VA gigs?

I finally realized something crucial.

The pitch isn’t about me.

It’s about my potential client.

More importantly, it’s about why I’m the best candidate for that client.

You see, back when I started, my pitch looked something like this:

Hey (Potential Client),

I saw you were looking for a VA and  knew I’d be a great fit so I wanted to reach out.

I’m an experienced WordPress user, and in addition to formatting posts for my three blogs, I have formatted blogs posts for another client of mine. I’m also good at formatting photos with a variety of programs.

I know how to use social media to market products, and can easily add valuable comments to other blogs or websites to help you with outreach.

Here’s a bit about me:

I’m a teacher who left the classroom a few years back to homeschool my kids. I’ve since launched my own freelance writing and virtual assistance career. I am a reliable, knowledgeable worker.

If you have any other questions, I’d love to continue the conversation. You can hit reply and we can keep chatting.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Blah, blah, blah.

I’m sure this client received a bazillion emails that were formatted almost exactly like this.  There’s some good qualities in there, but I sure didn’t make it easy for this potential client to notice.

They sort of had to dig through all the fluff to figure it out. And no one has time for that, especially when they’re responding to lots of emails.

My pitch didn’t do much of anything. I just sort of threw it all out there and hoped something stuck.

Well, nothing did! I didn’t land VA gigs, and I couldn’t figure it out. After all, my skills matched.

But, my presentation stunk.

How I’m Writing VA Pitches Now

My revelation that pitches weren’t about me was a game changer. Now, I’m all about writing pitches that give the client the information they need, easily.

It felt weird at first, because they broke all of the formal cover letter rules I’d learned earlier in life. But, I’m realizing a pitch isn’t exactly a cover letter (even though it serves a similar purpose.)

Know your audience— an important rule whenever you’re writing!

So now, here’s what I do.

  1. I mention where I found the posting, and name drop if possible.
  2. I include bold-faced headers that highlight the skills needed
  3. Under those headings, I explain why I’m a good fit. I typically use experience, education, or a combination to do this. But I keep it short–one or two sentences is it!
  4. Include a call to action and a confident closer. Before, I was wishy-washy: you can hit reply…I look forward…

Don’t be Charlie Brown when you’re pitching.

Instead, believe in yourself and your ability to be a fabulous asset to this client.

What My New Pitch Looks Like

Here’s an example of what I might send out…Just replace all the XYZs with a skill from the job description or where help is needed!

(Name drop)mentioned you needed help, and after reading the details, I knew I’d be a great fit!

So why should you pick me instead of all the other qualified candidates you’re sure to hear from?

Because I:

Am Experienced with XYZ
1-2 sentences showing why.

Have Super XYZ Skills
1-2 sentences showing why.

Possess An XYZ Attitude
1-2 sentences showing why.

Have Excellent XYZ

1-2 sentences showing why. 

Truly Have a Desire to XYZ

1-2 sentences showing why.

I’d love to connect with you and help however I can!

If you have any questions, or need more info, hit reply. I’ll be a great asset to your business! 

Alright, let’s analyze this one.
My new pitch accomplishes a few things.
First, it’s much easier to read quickly. It’s skimmable.
And all of those bold-faced headings? Those are taken directly from the potential client, so I know they’re important! Just like when you’re creating a resume, it’s essential to use those words.
It doesn’t have a boring opening. Because I’m pretty sure people who are hiring aren’t going to spend much time reading these anyways, so I want to make a good initial impression. Being boring doesn’t help my cause!
My ending is stronger with a simple call to action (hit reply). I also end on a positive note instead of with wishful thinking.

Responses are better. I’m hearing back more often, which is wonderful.

Here’s to Positive Responses and Being Able to Land  VA Gigs!

 Are you trying to land VA gigs? The pitch is crucial! At first I did them all wrong. Then I realized something important. Click through to read and see what's working for me now.

 

 

 

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Mompreneur - Freelance Writer & VA, Blogger at Lisa Tanner Writing | Website

Lisa Tanner loves helping busy moms find time to grow their own business. As a homeschooling mom to nine, she knows a thing or two about balancing diapers and deadlines.