Thanks for joining us in our very first Hangout of 2015! You can watch this, anytime, on YouTube, here: http://youtu.be/3vJsSTZld78
Our special guest today was Janine Gregor, seasoned Virtual Assistant and author of “The RFP Transformation: Take Your Virtual Assistant Proposal From Blah To Bling”. You can find her at YourVirtualWizard.com and on Twitter @UrVirtualWizard
Free offers for all HOW Mad Mimi watchers!!
Get a FREE chapter of her book, by signing up at VATransformationSeries.com
AND go here: bit.ly/10FreeRFPTips to get 10 Free RFP Tips
AND use code RFP20 to get 20% off her book!
We talked all about what Request For Proposals (RFPs) are, and where you can find them. Janine talked about the top three reasons why you might want to use the RFP and Proposal system, whether you’re new, or a veteran to the business.
1. if you’re looking to change your target market
2. building new business, and gaining new clients
3. to network, and keep your funnel full
Janine mentions many more in her book, but highlights the following 3 sites as great places to find RFPs, shares examples of RFPs from each site, and explains how they are best used for gaining clients…
Thrive (free): http://thrivehiringsystem.com/hire/
Offers potential clients a more check-box system for creating their RFPs, and includes Janine’s favorite question: “What’s your favorite type of person to work with?”.
Virtual Assistantville (nominal charge): http://www.virtualassistantville.com/rfps
Offers potential clients a more free-form approach, and offers users a listing complete with profile and blog page. Also, the owner is very good at publicizing on Virtual Assistant Forums and social media.
Virtual Assistant Forums (free, but minimum posts required to view RFPs):http://www.virtualassistantforums.com/ and on Facebook, here:https://www.facebook.com/VirtualAssistantForums
Membership site where RFPs are shared, and provides a directory of VAs for potential clients. Also, with many discussions helpful to new and experienced VAs and freelancers, alike.
She also tells us all about how she has taken regular job postings on careerbuilder, and monster, for example — and turned those into VA relationships for herself. And how you can, too.
Janine suggests spending about 2 -3 hours per week on RFPs, EVEN IF YOUR CLIENT ROSTER IS FULL. This is the best way to keep your skills sharp, and always provide yourself with networking and referral opportunities. She provides us with tips on prepping and creating a brilliant proposal.
Be sure your online presence is neat, orderly, and professional — you will be googled, and it’s important to appear the way you would want to, when meeting a potential client, in person.
And follow-up is key! If you haven’t heard from a potential client, reach out to them! Janine suggests each week, reaching out to them, to get a follow-up response. Even if they aren’t going to hire you, t’s good for closure, and for honing your proposal approaches.
Janine’s secret Mad Mimi tip is the icing on the virtual cake, here, folks! She’s created a newsletter that she invites ALL her potential clients to sign up for, whether or not they’re going to work with her. She provides useful information in her short, but consistent emails. Things like free software opportunities, software use tips, social media strategies, etc.
By collecting an email address (with valuable content offered in exchange), she not only gets contact information to use in following-up, but also keeps her top-of-mind with these clients. You also establish yourself as an expert. She’s gotten offers a long time after initial contact, and even referrals via people on her list. She’s had potential clients that never hire her, write to her to say how much they appreciate the newsletter. Networking gold!
And thanks for all the great questions! We had wonderful submissions that helped us clarify the discussion, and provide more detail to Janine’s tips.
If you have any other questions for Janine, you can email her at Janine@YourVirtualWizard.com or connect with her on Facebook, here:https://www.facebook.com/YourVirtualWizard
And you can always reach either one of us at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Stay tuned to all HOW Mad Mimi news, here: https://madmimi.com/signups/112223/join
And we’ll see you next week!