One of the challenges of marketing your business online is that it’s easier to attract the attention of your colleagues than it is to attract potential clients.
Many times, I see blogs of virtual assistants whose commenters are their friends and … wait.. let me think about it.... ah.. other virtual assistants. And it’s great that these professionals support each other.
Up to a point.
The problem is that these people are not necessarily the target audience that will BUY your services.
Unless the VA is so successful that she has overflow work that she can pass along, she can only offer moral support (which is no small thing). But traffic from these kind of visits does not largely translate into work that brings in money.
So here are a few questions I would like to ask you:
1. What is the objective of your web site or blog? Is it:
a) A way for you to hang out with other professionals to combat the loneliness of working from home?
b) A tool to market your services and products?
2. What is the content of your web site or blog about? Is it about:
a) How to be an effective VA?
b) The challenges of being a work at home mother?
c) How business can best utilise the services of a VA, the challenges that one faces when making the decision to hire a VA, the process and how to make sure that the relationship is managed effectively??
3. Where do you promote your web site and blog? Is it:
a) VA forums and other places where VAs come together
b) Business sites in general, and specialist sites such as forums for doctors, lawyers, researchers, event managers , HR managers, small business owners and other professionals who hire VAs.
4. Do you get comments on your blogs? If so, who comments?
a) My friends and colleagues who support me
b) My current clients, potential clients, colleagues ( and some friends and family)
c) No one really. Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself.
There is no mystery to this short quiz. If your blog is mostly an online journal where you hang out with friends and family ( and my writing blog Storypot is exactly that), then it makes sense for your audience and commenters to be mostly friends and family, with a sprinkling of colleagues.
But if your blog or web site is a business marketing tool, then it would be really disturbing answers for the quiz is not 1a), 2c), 3b) and 4b)
Damaria Senne is a writer based in Johannesburg. Client sites/blogs she maintains include one for the OneLove Regional Campaign (www.onelovesouthernafrica.org) and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering.