Here's a great article
It should come as no surprise to you that referrals are one of the top ways that most virtual assistants and service providers get new clients.
Just thinking about how we live our daily lives gives us real examples of this in action. If you want to have Chinese food but are new in town you will probably ask your neighbors the best place to go. Or if you need a new dentist you probably won't just pick one from Google, you'll likely ask around first. People like to know that someone else has used that service and are happy with it, and they like it to be someone they already know and trust. That is the power of referrals.
So how do you start building your business on referrals?
Well quite simply, you must ask for them.
Now some clients will start referring you naturally but others may not be so quick to act in this manner. One reason some clients won't refer you out is because they're afraid you'll get too busy to serve them. In order to calm their fears you should have a plan in place should you get too busy and share that with your clients so they never worry about losing your services to a newer client.
Partnering With a Virtual Assistant
One way to avoid getting overbooked is to partner up with another virtual assistant. You can both share overflow work as it comes up so that you never have a client waiting too long. This can work really well if you have a good arrangement and can actually be a great benefit to the client as well because they know they have a backup ready should anything happen to you.
Asking a Client For Referrals
When asking your clients for referrals you may want to sweeten the deal by offering some sort of reward for sending you new clients. This could be in the form of a percentage of the services you provide, a one-time finders fee, or an offer of a free services (ie. One hour of time per client they send). Motivate them to tell others about your services and you're likely to get more referrals.
Finding Related Service Providers
If you provide transcription services, for example, you'd be smart to team up with a virtual assistant who specializes in podcasting. You can both refer out the services of the other and expand your businesses through the partnership. Find other businesses or service providers who you could get referrals from and find a way to make it beneficial to them. You'll probably be pleased with the results.
Getting referrals is a matter of creating relationships and building trust. Some of the best clients come from referrals and the easiest sales because there's no convincing once they contact you. Don't ignore this highly beneficial way to build your clientele and you just may find yourself booked up much sooner than you expected.
To your success,