Should a new Virtual Assistant offer services for free to get started?

ftrammell81

New Member
Hello everyone. When starting off as a new VA what do you think about providing my services for free to a few people in order to get my feet wet and get some real testimony's about my services. I have decided to start out with Real Estate Agents, Lawyers, and Entrepreneurs. :think:
 

twenty47

Member
Re: New VA

Hello!

Welcome to VAF. When you are starting off as a VA it may be difficult to get clients at first so volunteering your services to a chosen few is a way to get your name out there and also getting testimonials and even referrals. I personally think it's a good idea. I have done it before with one person and it paid off. Those people refer me.

I wish you all the best.
 

ftrammell81

New Member
Re: New VA

Thank you. I stayed up last night working on a letter to get out to those that I am targeting and also bought my domain, email, and website last night with godaddy. I feel good about that. Making a little progress. My next step is to make a welcome package for my clients so I can also have that available when the time comes.
 

JenCharles2014

New Member
Re: New VA

Hi I am somewhat new to this site. I joined probably about a year ago with intensions to start up. I had a distraction helping my husband getting his business going. I am now ready to focus on this again. I started by creating a logo and from time to time I go onto blogs about VA's. I also recruited my mother into doing this to help her get away from a job she doesn't want to be at. Really wanting to make this work but would like some advice on what to really do without spending to much money on educational materials.
 

deedallas

New Member
Re: New VA

Just keep your name out there. Post on blog and reply to blogs. Do everything VA related and Definately Network and word of mouth will help also. Good Luck
 
Re: New VA

I have done this as well, and it has worked out really well for me too! Starting off with people you know or have a good repor with is a great way to build confidence. Best of luck, and keep it up!
 

JenCharles2014

New Member
Re: New VA

I'm so excited. I finally got a client today and it happened by accident. I almost gave up but, wow, this is really great. I just need to learn how to balance my work life and my baby life..lol
 
Re: New VA

Hi ftrammell81,

Giving Free Quote is fine. But you also need to make a benefit by doing that.

Everytime I'm giving a free quote to every person, i will ask him to recommend my service into 3 persons.

So let's say i will do a Free Quote to 5 persons. I can get 15 free persons recommendations.

Hope it helps
 

Tess

Administrator
Staff member
I'm surprised none of our veteran VAs have jumped into this thread - my personal feeling on giving away work for free is a big NO *unless* you're aiming your pro-bono work at a local community nonprofit or something else that would be truly giving back to a cause that matters to you.

Don't ever undervalue what you offer.
 

Your Virtual Wizard

Community Leader
Never, ever give away services for free!

If you are looking for clients, I often state here that volunteering your time is one of the best ways to not only give back to an organization dear to you, but also to get the word out about your skills.

Volunteering is by far the best way to network at no cost to you other than giving of yourself.

In some cases, volunteering is so lucrative for networking because people are so grateful! Word of mouth about your services is better than any form of advertising at all!

Some churches, synagogues and religious organizations will often allow you to place a free ad in their bulletin or online in their resources areas.

So offering free services is never suggested except in the case of volunteer work.

Offering free services cheapens your offerings. It can be perceived as desperation. And you want to be perceived as professional and stable.

You are better off using the time to marketing and network your services to your ideal audience instead of working for free.

Janine
 

Allie11

New Member
I have often wondered about this as well, offering free services at startup. How does everyone go about offering free services at startup? What is the best route everyone has found for this besides people you already know? Awesome job on landing your first client!
 

Your Virtual Wizard

Community Leader
Hi Allie1,

Please see my post above yours. I would suggest you do not give away your services for the reasons given. Try subcontracting your services first with another VA.

Best,

Janine
 
I am on the other end of the spectrum and don't believe in doing work for free to a degree. I think that volunteering your services to Non-Profit group (or something of the like) would be great. BUT they would need to be either A) your target market or B) a group that is complementary to your services and can get you in front of your target market. Or even a group that you ideal client/target market would themselves donate to or volunteer at.

The biggest reason I don't believe in offering free work is that often time those looking for free work won't be your ideal client and in the end will not bring you the clients that you want to have. And if you all of a sudden have all these referrals but they aren't your ideal clients then you really haven't accomplished what you were hoping, except maybe getting a couple testimonials, and the cycle will keep going of getting referrals that are not your ideal client.

So I would say to be very specific with who you offer your services to for free :)
 

WorkingWithYou

New Member
Volunteering for a non-profit for a cause you agree with ... yes! Working for free ... no! I worked for ridiculously low hourly rates when I first started as a VA 5 years ago, and it didn't get me to where I needed to be. I got a referral, but it was for someone who wanted to pay low rates too.

Then, I found this forum and subcontracted for other VAs and made twice as much as I was being paid.

I agree that free services cheapens you offerings. I don't know why, but it seems to work that way. I also agree with Tess that you don't want to undervalue what you offer. Hope this helps a bit.
 

adavant

New Member
I too thought NO NO NO !! you never want to set up the expectation that you will do work for free. You want to be respected so please don't do this.

Instead you can find clients at a lower price point than you may want to eventually get to, but even then don't sell yourself short. You are worth it!
 

Christina

New Member
Sometimes offering a free task can actually work against you where no one wants to use you..figure that one out! For real though before offering a free service I would get them to signup to your email newsletter list and build up your list first and then see if these could be long term clients then offer them a "free gift" if you need too.

The free quote thing is a given, personally its not even worth noting that on my site or elsewhere.
 
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