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Having chosen to set yourself up as a virtual assistant, you will probably have read about the best way to choose your name, the best domain and hosting to buy, and you probably have a great idea in your mind for your logo. You’ve probably also heard that you need to decide on your niche so that you can find clients with a little more ease. Deciding on and defining your niche is what this post is all about…
When I was going to start my VA business, I had been researching everything about being a VA for a couple of years. And when it came time to start my business, one thing that was not clear was whether I should define a niche or not. I was concerned that doing this would mean that my business would be turning away any potentially interested clients that didn’t fall into the niche I’d defined. What if I defined the niche incorrectly? What if the niche I wanted wasn’t a profitable niche? There were so many questions and I was stumped.
Defining your niche can provide clarity for you – but also for your potential clients
A niche market is basically your target market, refined. It’s deciding on who your ideal client is but also what industry they work in. Some industries are fairly specific, and they are going to want assistants who know what they are doing and not just providing general skills.
Defining your niche can actually get you more clients. Of course this depends on the niche though. Usually the more narrowly you define your niche, the more clients within that industry will be drawn to working with you because you’re able to tick most, if not all, of their support requirement boxes!
Take for example a medical professional. They are administration-heavy. The amount of paperwork and documentation is eye-watering. In correspondence you’ve got to be professional, very polite, dot every i and cross every t. Researching, following processes and instructions is just something you cannot get away from. So, if you hated doing this, this niche wouldn’t suit you.
But then on the other hand, take a creative or media agency. They are laid back. Correspondence is typically by email and it’s quick-fire responses. As they are very often meeting out and about at events and industry parties, they speak often and in relaxed environments. The people who work in this industry normally have a lot of fun – work hard, play hard! The emails are relaxed and informal, and assisting in a support function in this industry is very often arranging coffee catch-ups, lunches, dinners, drinks meetings, etc.
Your niche needs to fit your personality
Is there a certain type of person you’d like to work with? Who have you worked with in the past that you got on well with? Anyone you instantly built rapport with? It’s possible that if you’re just starting out, you don’t have particular industry experience and think it will be difficult to define your niche. But you could think about the people that you either work best with or those you think would be your dream clients.
An example would be if you’re an introvert, you’d probably be best supporting a writer or some other quieter type of profession (not to label all writers as introverts, but we very often are that way inclined!). If you like picking up the phone during the course of your work, having some social interaction that way since you’ll be working from home and be quite isolated, maybe you would fit well working for a business that relies on phone calls to keep in touch with their clients and potentially make sales.
If you’re the type of person that really wants to work for themselves and be a VA, but can’t imagine working from home alone every day without seeing and talking to people, your niche offering could be that you provide on-site support to businesses when required. For example, if they must keep their paperwork on-site, needing to access it regularly, but they are a small business and can’t afford to employ someone who takes care of the filing, making sure everything is organized and easy to find. A lot of potential clients want a VA who is willing to go to the office from time to time!
Your niche needs to fit your skills
Unless you’re prepared to learn new skills, it’s best to stick with what you know. What industry have you been working in? What do you do well? What do you enjoy doing?
You’ll be pleased to know that there’s a vast number of services that a virtual assistant can provide to clients, so you can easily fit what you know into your offering.
What are you good at?
Is there something you do that people often compliment you on? Something that comes easily to you? Or something that you studied hard for? Do people in your office always ask you to get involved with helping to plan events because “you’re the organized one”?
Are you excellent with managing CRM systems, Excel spreadsheets, or contact databases? What type of industry’s business relies heavily on making contact with their database? Could you offer database management to real estate agents?
Do you have a huge following on social media, posting awesome content daily? Do you know how to get followers to interact and engage? Do you know the ins and outs of social media management?
Think about what comes easily to you that other people struggle with, and what industries rely on those skills – these are yet more clues you have to defining your niche.
Is there something you love doing?
I’ve had this dilemma – if I don’t feel like I’m working, and I’m enjoying what I do, maybe it’s too easy and I should be doing something else… This is a difficult one, but I think it comes down to personal pressures and the desire to achieve. Why shouldn’t we enjoy what we do on a daily basis? Doesn’t everyone have certain talents that we should find what they are and do that as our work? In an ideal world, and in theory, yes.
If you do what you enjoy, you’ll be much better able to serve your clients – and they will feel really lucky that they’ve found an amazing assistant out of the hoards of virtual assistants out there.
When my logical and achievement-driven brain takes over at the end of a day, and it tries to get me to feel as though I’ve not done much work that day even though it’s 9.30pm and I got started at 9.30am, I try to remember that wise saying:
If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.
If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Click To Tweet
Are you a problem solver? Do you have the amazing ability to walk in to a problem, take it over and sort it out? What industry experiences the type of problems you know how to handle that need to be solved on a daily basis? This could be your niche.
If you’re still really stuck, sometimes you need to just look around you as opportunities may be around the corner. Maybe you live in an affluent area where households need support, such as managing and handling the mail, writing out cheques, filing, responding to invitations, maintaining a household diary, keeping cars maintained, ensuring road taxes and roadworthy tests up to date.
Maybe you could provide support to other virtual assistants with their overflow work when they are too busy and need an experienced helping hand?
Can you see how the possibilities for your virtual assistant offering really are everywhere?
If you’re looking for a virtual assistant course that covers all the aspects of setting up a VA business – and is affordable for everything included in the course – have a look at 30 Days or Less to Virtual Assistant Success. Don’t let the course name fool you into thinking it’s quick and easy! It’s a really thorough course which will put you on the right track to starting your business right 🙂
And this huge list of possible services to offer in your VA Business could be a great help in giving you ideas to define your niche. Download it – it’s free!
I hope this post has helped! Here are just a handful of possible niche markets in which you could specialize just in case you still need more ideas:
- Massage therapists
- Beauty salons
- Alternative therapists
- Business coaches
- Health and wellness coaches
- Small business owners
- Recruitment agency
- Human resources
- Financial advisors
- Graphic designers
- Web designers
- Media agency
- Social media agency
- Creative agency