When it comes to growing your business, visibility is one of the most essential business activities you need to make an effort to do, no matter what. No matter whether you’re a hotelier or a VA (Virtual Assistant), a social media manager, or a PA (Personal Assistant), if you want to stand out in the marketplace and stay in business for the long term, you need to be visible. No matter how certain or uncertain the times.
Uncertain times often leads to uncertainty in business
However, during uncertain times many small businesses will hesitate to get visible. As our need to self isolate during this COVID-19 crisis has showcased, many business owners are reluctant to continue with business marketing and visibility generally, during times of uncertainty. Typical fears and worries that may run through your head during this period of time include:
- A fear that you’re taking advantage of the situation in some way
- Worrying how it will look to others
- Struggling with what to say
And maybe even wondering if you should even be charging for your products and services at this time.
During uncertain times businesses are having to pivot really fast. Many are swapping the offline world for online solutions, overnight. Whilst others are having to either totally change direction or risk closing down altogether. As VAs we’re all lucky that most of us work from home anyway – but the impact COVID-19 is still being felt, as our working environment and general lifestyle habits are having to change.
The reality of your business and visibility
Yes, adapting during uncertain times isn’t always straightforward. It’s difficult to predict what changes you may have to make in advance, especially when it comes to business direction and goals etc.
As for your marketing methods, there will be people who feel it’s wrong to charge normal prices, whilst others will argue that you should keep them the same, or even potentially increase them. People will always have an opinion about how others run a business – that’s a fact! That’s why I’ve created VA Membership to help VAs who need help with their business growth and visibility – so they have helpful advice and solutions, not just the opinions of others not even connected with the industry.
But when it comes to being visible and maintaining a level of business marketing in your business – isn’t there always a certain element of risk involved? And regardless of how uncertain the current situation is, visibility is something many small businesses and VAs alike, simply struggle with anyway?
The reality for many VA businesses is this – those fears and worries mentioned above, are actually fears and worries they have, regardless of the current situation. That’s why you’ll find lots of advice around visibility on the VACT website – including this article to confirm whether you’re being visible or hiding in plain sit and this one on 10 ways to promote your VA business.
Visibility: you need to think long term
The key to staying visible is to remind yourself that it’s a long game, not a short one. It isn’t something you can dip into, as and when you need new clients. It’s not about just advertising when you need to, or writing a blog when you feel like writing, it’s about maintaining a visible, professional presence at all times.
Visibility is about getting your name and brand out there and being seen in your industry or niche. It’s about becoming a go-to person for help, advice and valuable information, and it’s about showcasing why you’re an awesome VA. Visibility is about standing out and staying at the forefront of your ideal clients mind, as well as showing that you are open for business – no matter what certain or uncertain times we may currently be experiencing.
So how can you do that? I’d recommend you get help to do it right. That’s why so many VAs have joined VA Membership. But if you’re looking for solutions you can implement now, without having to pay for access to any resources, advice and training, start with these 5 visibility tips.
5 tips for long term business visibility success
#1: Keep it consistent
As with many business activities, consistency is crucial. You cannot just post and run, if you want your marketing and visibility efforts to work. If you’re blogging for your business, you need to have a weekly or fortnightly blogging schedule planned out. You need to ensure your content is reflective and sensitive to what’s currently happening in the world around you, so you’re not offending or upsetting other people.
And you need to regularly show up on your social media platforms of choice, with relevant and helpful posts, targeted for your ideal client. Ideally, you need to be adding your photo and/or videos to those posts etc too, to help put your face (and a more personal slant) to your business.
#2: Always add value
If you’re not keen on getting visible or worry about what to write during difficult times, switch the focus to your ideal client. Know what they need and what they’ll find valuable, and look to focus on giving them that.
Research the typical pain points they have and the benefits you can bring to them – especially during the uncertain times, as this is when most people need the value and resources to help. Focus your visibility efforts on sharing those solutions and writing blog posts that will help them overcome those struggles and issues.
#3: Be willing to share
You need to be willing to share, if you want to get good at being visible. In part, this is about sharing information and resources you have – yours and other peoples. But it’s also a little about being willing to share about you and your business too.
During uncertain times you need to show that you’re sympathetic to what’s going on around you, but you’re also still able to help. You need to understand there is a line between sharing and being too honest though – especially in situations where you’re financially or personally affected by outside factors etc.
#4: Show you’re here
If you’re worrying about whether to sell or not, give yourself a little bit of a break. You’re in business, so you do need to sell something, but you don’t need to be overtly salesy to do so.
Instead, make your visibility efforts more about showing that ‘I’m here!’ You can slant your posts to offer value and highlight how you can help, with a soft call to action at the end. You can offer value, by showing how you can help and offering some potential solutions, whilst also showcasing the results you’ve gained for other clients. And it’s OK to highlight the latest offer or promotion you’re having – because your ideal clients may just have been waiting for you to do so. You see, selling doesn’t have to always be about overtly pushing for a sale!
#5: Be level and measured
As with anything in business, visibility is something that’s best done with a level and measured approach. Posts can be sensitive and still offer something for sale. If you don’t know what to say, you could focus on being helpful, or providing a tip/solution that can help.
And if you’re worried about how others will respond to things – stop! You can’t do anything to change or influence them. Instead, focus on how you’re reacting to the circumstances, situation, and their responses. By focusing on how you’re reacting to things, you’ll be able to give yourself the space and time to stay calm and moderate a level and measured response to anything that comes your way – whether it’s comments and opinions, or the latest uncertainty in life.
When it comes to growing your business, visibility is one of the most essential business activities you need to make an effort to do. It isn’t always easy to do, especially when you’re in the midst of uncertain times, but it is essential, if you want to do all you can to stay in business. By using the advice above, you’ll be equipped with the tools you need to get visibility working for you, regardless of the situation or uncertainty you may currently be facing.
So what do you think about being visible with your VA business? Is it something that you know you need to improve? How about your approach to uncertain times? Do you feel you need more access to support and/or advice to help you grow your business, no matter what the situation?
If so, why not check out VA Membership? It’s a monthly membership site specifically for VAs, especially if they’re looking for help and support with visibility, marketing and business generally. And you can get access to the training and support you need, to help your VA business grow. So why not check out VA Membership now!