The rules are… there are no rules!
The short answer is no, you don’t need a website before you submit applications to leads.
Many Australian virtual assistants and online business managers secure their first clients before they have built their website, so it is not critical. It is just ideal.
Now here is the long answer:
Having a website gives your business a professional presence and helps you to build trust with your target market.
I don’t know about you, but I always go searching for someone’s website when I need to compare multiple providers for myself or my clients. I sometimes do it even when someone has been referred by word of mouth – in fact, it makes it easier for your network to recommend you if you have a website they can send people to.
Whether it is an accountant, builder, plumber, digital marketing agency, freelance videographer, virtual assistant or online business manager, I will be looking for a website to learn more and form an opinion as to whether they are a good fit.
Having a website makes your brand feel established and we recommend that you do make this a priority.
Now is the best time…
You don’t have to finalise your branding, source images or write the content for every page to get your website live!
You can launch a one-page website or ‘coming soon’ page with your contact details and an enquiry form fairly quickly, then work on your branding and website in the background.
Your future business that is busy with clients will thank you if you use all the client-free time you have now to work on your website and other marketing collateral.
Remember – progress over perfection. This doesn’t mean don’t pay attention to details (typos on a website has stopped many an Australian Virtual Assistant or OBM from winning a client), it means don’t delay publishing because you don’t have all the content you planned on adding.
Tools of the Trade
See our recommended…
- Domain and website hosts here
- Website builders (and how to choose one of them) here
- Website plugins here
Don’t wait to apply!
While websites and socials are extremely important in presenting your business, not being ‘online’ certainly shouldn’t hold you back from getting started and approaching clients.
In lieu of completing your flashy website or social media profiles, here are a couple of ways you can display your business without the time and financial commitment of building a website.
Google Business Listing
This is a free business listing on Google that can be found by searching for your business name or keywords found in your business description.
This is a great way to increase your visibility online by providing details and photos of your business, including your location, services and products.
Genuine ratings and reviews are extremely important, so you should ask your employers, colleagues and clients to provide some feedback on your skills and service.
Once you have a website, link to it in your Google Business Listing to give your site an SEO boost!
We’ve previously answered a question here about getting your Google listing set up.
Spend some time putting together a professional and well-designed proposal that will showcase your talents and experience and impress your clients-to-be.
If you’re a graphic designer or copywriter, this is your time to shine. Use this opportunity to exhibit your creative flair or wordsmith prowess.
If creativity ain’t your thing, don’t worry. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of templates online to get you started.
You can use Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Canva and many other tools – just remember to export as a PDF before sending.
When the idea of using something stock standard doesn’t cut it, or you’re looking for something a little more personal, you could use this opportunity to network and build business connections.
List a project on the VA Lead Network to engage virtual assistants who specialise in the areas that you do not. Transform your resume or scribbled business ideas into a beautiful brochure you’ll be excited to share with your clients-to-be.
Remember the plan
Having a good website and a solid online presence should still be part of your business plan.
You may win a client without one, but:
- Having a website will make it easier to win more clients
- Others will find it easier to refer you to their network
- The process of building your website will force you to define your brand and business, who your ideal clients are, and the services that you offer
- You’ll have proven experience
Although websites can be expensive and bedazzling, they don’t need to be. Your first website can be simple and concise.
Progress over perfection
Your website doesn’t need to cost you the earth, and you don’t need all the bells and whistles to get started.