As many of you may know…on March 8, the world was celebrating International Women’s Day under the theme: Be Bold For Change. I made sure I scheduled to attend at least one Women’s Day event this week so this morning I was at the QueenMakers Women’s Day Celebration. It was great! I also got an opportunity to face my fear and step out of my comfort zone as I took up the important task of MC at the breakfast meeting. I’m grateful for this opportunity but that’s a story for another day. I am here to share something that was inspired by what one of the speakers, Fungai Ndemera was speaking on this morning – going global with your business. It resonated so much with how I got my first client.
As a virtual assistant, most of my work is online – from client communication, to research to training. I spend most of my time on the internet. I have found that when it comes to work, internet seems to be a burden for some people though. They cringe when you say, “OK, I will email you the quote.” Maybe because they last opened their email the day they created it. I will not even start with, “I can’t make it to the meeting in person. Can we Skype instead?” Some will even take “offense” and it always leaves me wondering.
In this day and age, in 2017, email shouldn’t be foreign or some animal you can’t deal with. Right? A website has become something basic, right?
Let me quickly share my story.
In March 2014, after launching my business, I had no clients. I had no website. I remember the first thing I did was get business cards designed and printed. Smh. I had nobody to give them to because I had zero networking skills. Oh networking! Another tale for another day. But I knew I wanted to start a business where people would search for my services online and find ME – not anybody else. I had a vision to have my website and office email up in the next 3-4 months. So in the meantime, I decided to work with what I had.
- An active email address (Hotmail).
- A Facebook Company Page.
- A LinkedIn Company Page. I also updated my LinkedIn profile, making sure my new job with Twenty47 Virtual Assistant was out there.
Everyday I would sit and wait for someone to contact me.
March passed. No client. April passed. No client.
Then May came…
Whilst visiting in the US, 15000+ kilometres away from home, I got an email from someone who needed the services of a virtual assistant. As much as this was something I was expecting, I could not believe it. I told myself, “This model actually works!” Believe it or, my client actually searched online for a virtual assistant in Zimbabwe and found…ME! I was beyond excited! The interesting thing is we still do business together to this day, yet over the past 3 years we have seen each other just twice. Our communication is primarily via email. So when I say I am a virtual assistant, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how virtual things can get at Twenty47 Virtual Assistant and the truth is…We love it!
I went on to launch my website about 4 months later and it did not look like what you see here today. It was pretty ugly to be honest BUT…it was there! And if anyone visited it, they would find something.
Why am I sharing this story?
I believe the opportunities that have been brought about by the existence of the internet are limitless. So if you are running a business but you have no online footprint – no website, no social media page, no email – then you really do not exist on the global marketplace and are just as local as the vendor selling on a street corner. But if you want to compete on the global market place, get clients beyond your borders and grow your business income, then you need to start actively promoting your brand online today!
I like how Fungai said, “Facebook is not just for posting your faces.” You need to find a way to monetize from the experience.
The internet is a multi-billion dollar marketplace waiting to be explored and you need to claim your share of this big pie by being a player in the game.
So if I do a Google search of your name or business today, what will I find? Well, here’s mine.