Subcontractor's pickup lines, NOT to use!

hbplifestyle

New Member
Since I've been in the subcontract niche I'm still amazed at how many people seek projects with the wrong approach. I'd like to share some of the so called "pickup lines" they use to get projects. Guess what? They won't work. If anything it's going to turn contractors away. Here's a few but add any you may have seen.

I have X number of years experience ........................
I happened to notice you hire subcontractors..............
If you have an overload of work I subcontract............
Last week I was laid off................

I realize many of these are true however what subcontractors forget is that they need to sell themselves and become a resource. Consider how you can sell your most valueable resource to be asked to subcontract.
 

lcmillsinc

New Member
"Last week I was laid off...." Collette! You crack me up! LOL! I love your posts!

Honestly, I don't think of my work as subcontracting. Although, occasionally I do assist fellow VA's with projects...I see them as clients and treat them as such. Yes, I do try to offer discounted rates for VA's because I'm partial... :D But all and all, I don't seek them out with proposals unless they've requested one.

My approach to subcontracting is "give and take". I participate in conversations on forums and social media. I ask questions and give advice. I make friends in other words. Of course, within the context of our conversations I may mention what I do...but it's not forced. For the VAF and other VA's to know who I am, they have to know what I do. LC Mills, Inc. is part of who I am. It's a no brainer.

If work comes my way, I welcome the opportunity. But my advice, concentrate on networking and being an asset to the VA community. Not a beggar...
 

On My Wings

Member
Collette! Those are great - and I agree with Caroline about the one that says, "I was laid off!" However, better than saying I was fired!

So, in the vein of helping others in this realm, and since you are an obvious choice to comment - because it is what you definitely know about - would you like to share what approaches they could take? I would love to know why the first one is not a good piece of information to offer. I am currently helping a colleague find some candidates that he can screen, and I most definitely want to know how many years experience they have. I don't want to send someone his way that has just started their business.

Thanks for the post! Made me giggle, and after this long day it was just what I needed!
 

hbplifestyle

New Member
I believe that @LCMills couldn't have said it better. Participate in forums like this one and you will soon become known. I have to agree with your comment about wanting to know the years of experience. It's just when I see someone introduce themselves in this way that it doesn't always mean as much. In the VA industry you almost have to prove yourself.
 

PamH53

Member
I agree with Caroline that subcontracting is a client relationship. I always get a contract signed when I do any subcontracting. As with any client, you want to know what is expected in terms of work and payment, to name a few.
 

On My Wings

Member
I think I would like to add that it is also about presenting yourself professionally, when you do contact someone about an opportunity. One of the reasons I asked the question I did was because in just the last couple of days I encountered many people who truly do not seem to know what they should do when it comes to responding.

For example - a couple of days ago I listed an opportunity both here and in a couple of other forums. While this is the first opportunity I had available to present, over the next few months I plan to have many more. I took my business in a direction where I will be "preparing" people and getting them more geared toward outsourcing - so it will be very likely that I will be looking for other VA's who I can refer to my clients.

I received a huge response, but so many of them either did not provide all the information I asked for (so that tells me they either rush or don't follow directions well), or they had a ton of spelling and grammar errors, and just other things I won't go into.

Also, for each and every one you can best bet I'm looking at their posts and interactions. I am always trying to coach new people on the forums to be careful with this, because I know what I'm looking for - so I assume others are looking for similar qualities. I don't expect "perfect" grammar in a forum setting - but there's a difference between an occasional infraction and just plain lack of skill or lack of care.

I know there is at least one post that even tells people how to respond to an RFP, so... --- I just want so much to see everyone succeed, and so it makes me feel bad for them.

Ok...off my soapbox. Just wanted to see what others thought should be expected. :)
 
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LeeDrozak

Community Leader
How true Collette and you are right Pam being laid off is better than being fired.

I would like to note that when hiring whether it is for myself or another client, I check activity on the boards as well as a Google search before anything else. Your presence here, or lack of, speaks volumes to potential clients. This includes subcontracting jobs too.
 
I believe presentation and first impression are very important when it comes to applying for or submitting a proposal for any job/project. I'd also like to add that I was just awarded a virtual assistant subcontracting position..and it came from this forum!! I'm very excited!

Thank You VAF! :happydance:
 

hbplifestyle

New Member
This may be a good topic to bring back up for some of the new members. It's intended to be helpful. when I started I wish someone would have shared some of this with me.
 

Tbassett

New Member
I think I would like to add that it is also about presenting yourself professionally, when you do contact someone about an opportunity. One of the reasons I asked the question I did was because in just the last couple of days I encountered many people who truly do not seem to know what they should do when it comes to responding.

For example - a couple of days ago I listed an opportunity both here and in a couple of other forums. While this is the first opportunity I had available to present, over the next few months I plan to have many more. I took my business in a direction where I will be "preparing" people and getting them more geared toward outsourcing - so it will be very likely that I will be looking for other VA's who I can refer to my clients.

I received a huge response, but so many of them either did not provide all the information I asked for (so that tells me they either rush or don't follow directions well), or they had a ton of spelling and grammar errors, and just other things I won't go into.

Also, for each and every one you can best bet I'm looking at their posts and interactions. I am always trying to coach new people on the forums to be careful with this, because I know what I'm looking for - so I assume others are looking for similar qualities. I don't expect "perfect" grammar in a forum setting - but there's a difference between an occasional infraction and just plain lack of skill or lack of care.

I know there is at least one post that even tells people how to respond to an RFP, so... --- I just want so much to see everyone succeed, and so it makes me feel bad for them.

Ok...off my soapbox. Just wanted to see what others thought should be expected. :)
Pam- I know this an older thread but all of this information is helpful to us newer VA's. It shows what the experienced VA's have come across, look for, as well as gone through themselves. This forum has been my key point of research on several topics and I always find good answers and ideas.

Thanks to all of you who support us on our new business ventures & the invaluable information everyone posts on here!
 
My biggest pet peeve is not addressing what I ask for, and being to vague. Not that I require deep detail, but some would be nice.

For instance if someone is familiar with Aweber, but has not fully utilized it I want to know that. It won't necessarily stop me from working with them, but it may get them fired if they can't perform and they led to me to believe they could. Anyone who works with a platform like Aweber knows there are different aspects to it, and while it is not hard to teach someone to use and I would certainly be willing to do so as long as they are upfront with me in regards to their skill level with Aweber. So if they could just say something along the lines of, "I am familiar with Aweber and have done x, y, and z with it (they could also add) but I am willing to learn more if needed." That would be sufficient.

I will overlook a typo and even a grammar error as long as it's not overtaken with them. I am not perfect and I do not expect those who work with me to be perfect, but if you are claiming to be an editing/proofreading/grammar expert then of course I will judge your skills a little more tightly in that regard.

But like I said my biggest pet peeve is not addressing my questions. Even with Clients it's a huge problem. People are so busy, and I've been guilty myself of this same thing so I know how easy it is to overlook something.

A few tips that I have picked up:
1. Don't respond to an RFP when you are not focused or are busy with something else.
2. Don't respond to an RFP when you are rushed.
3. Don't respond to one when you are sleepy/tired.
4. Proof your response. Review and double check it against the RFP.
5. Have someone else proof it and double check it against the RFP if you feel you just have to respond now and maybe are not on top of your game at that moment.
 

CustomVA

Member
Wow, this post is an eye-opener and very informative thank you ladies for your suggestions and words of caution.

Collette, I have been guilty of using the "I have x years of experience." I will definitely reconsider using that phrase in future responses.

Thank you, ladies!
 

RoyalRegina

New Member
Thanks ladies for this valuable information.

Rhonda - I totally agree with you. That is one of my pet peeves as well. I don't like having to go back and ask my question again, because I wouldn't want someone to have to do that to me.

Thanks again ladies.
 
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