what to do before you apply to get a new client

No matter the method we use to get new virtual assistant clients, I believe there are some simple and universal rules that could make our proposal stand out.

Sometimes just a small detail can make a difference, not to say about the good first impression.

Many virtual assistants including myself state they have a good attention to details. Thus, I believe the proposal is a perfect chance to demonstrate this skill. Or as the saying goes: Deeds not Words

Here is what I consider important elements:

Introduction

Even if we are invited to bid for a job on UpWork or PeoplePerHour we still need to introduce ourselves. We are certainly not the only person invited to apply, so it’s always a good practice to refresh our potential client’s memory and remind her about:

  • Our name
  • Briefly explanation of our expertise (we’ll go to details a bit later)
  • Our current position(s)
  • A statement that we are available for new engagements

Show Manners

From the very beginning, we have a chance to shine as a professional. I learned this when I started working at ApexSQL. I learned to start every email with a “Thank you” sentence.

While I worked there I thanked people for being customers of this IT company. Now, I’m thanking potential clients for consideration or invitation. I show appreciation for their time and effort.

Showing manners and being kind doesn’t cost, and yet, it can be one of the crucial elements in winning new clients.

Read The Job Ad Until The End

read the job ad until the end

I wouldn’t think this is such a big deal. However, a few days ago one lady sent me a message thanking me for reading the ad until the end and invited me for an interview. YAY 🙂

I was like: Really? Why is she thanking me for this?

Then it hit me. There must have been a ton of applications without one single important thing she asked at the end of her job ad: “In the first sentence of your application write how much is 29×4”.

Her request may sound silly, but here is the deal.

We all want to be treated as professionals with a unique set of skills. We all want special treatment as if the job is waiting just for us. Or maybe we are in a hurry to get a new client as soon as possible and rush the things out.

Whatever the reason, we are approaching the “getting a new client” situation from our own (selfish) perspective. Not caring what is what the potential client wants and what are her needs.

The truth is, our potential client also think his business is very special and if a potential freelancer didn’t put an effort to read the ad until the end, or compose a proposal offering solutions to his pain points, then a freelancer is not worth his time (and money).

Personalized Proposal

Related to the previous section, personalized proposals are the core of each good pitch/bid/application, call it whatever you want.

What you need to do here is to carefully, once again, read the job ad. Then, try to explain for each task or responsibility how YOU can be of value with your specific experience. If you have the numbers or portfolio samples that to prove your statements even better.

Take your time to do this right. One HR advisor has told me recently that if we put more effort at the beginning of the selection process, less effort we’d need in the later phases. Not bad advice at all.

Proofread

grammar proofread

I use Grammarly to proofread anything I write. I even downloaded its smartphone application.

Installation of its extension on your favorite browser (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge) is FREE and super easy. You can even install it for  Microsoft® Office on Windows, so be sure to get it even if you are a native English speaker.

It will prevent you from making critical grammar errors. No one wants them. Period. 🙂

Conclusion

Before you hit the send button to impress your potential client, make sure your message contains all of these elements. What you need boils down to this: professionalism, personalization, attention to details, good manners, and good grammar.

It takes time, but it’s worth the effort.

Now, are you ready to show your magic and get new clients? I certainly am. Let’s do this.

~ From Nada With Love

Pitching Proposal For a New Gig? What to Do Before You Hit Send

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