Have you ever heard of the phrase "Shiny Object Syndrome?" In laymen's terms, it means chasing after things that look good on the outside and becoming distracted and not focusing on the end goal.
For example, you're in one of your Facebook groups. A member posts they absolutely love a new app that creates awesome graphics. That's great. But there's a problem. You don't create graphics in your business. But...it sounds sooo good, all the major players in the group are recommending it, you've got to have it. You buy it and then...you never use it. Why? You got caught up in the frenzy which is "Shiny Object Syndrome." Defining your mission and your niche helps to cut down on impulse decisions and purchases.
If you listen to a lot of virtual assistants, you've got to have a website when you start your business. But your checking account is saying something else. You just can't swing an expensive, pretty website that everyone else seems to have.
Well, I've got news for you. We can work around that!
Now, I'm not saying you won't EVER need a website. Listen, you're working virtually and you've got to show people who you are and what you can do. But that's the end goal -- not all the bells and whistles that other people have. If you have to start small, there's nothing wrong with that. As you gain clients and your business starts to make money, definitely invest in a professional website.
When I first started my business, I used self-hosted Wordpress but after seven years, I made the switch to Squarespace. I wanted to focus on my business and not have to worry about updates and plugins. Squarespace is easy to use -- I put my website together in a weekend.
Megan Minns has the most comprehensive Squarespace web design course out there. And it's free! You know me -- I'm all about learning new skills!
If Wordpress is more your speed, sign up to learn how to master it in this free 23 video course. Click here to learn more.
But if you just can't afford a new website right now, that's okay. It's summer right now and you're looking ahead to back to school expenses - totally get it.
Don't let that stop you from launching your business. Remember, the end goal is to showcase your services. Think of it this way: you get a beautiful diamond necklace for Christmas. Your child wraps the package in a brown paper bag instead of wrapping paper. You unwrap the brown paper bag to reveal the shiny necklace. Does the brown paper bag make your joy of receiving a diamond necklace any less? Nope! The end result is a stunning diamond necklace.
So, let's talk about a few ways you can unwrap and reveal your shiny skills to the world without a website, okay?
Create a Facebook business page.
Even if you don't have a website, create a Facebook business page so you can post about services and other industry trends. Create some graphics or samples and upload them there. Use your personal Facebook account to join Facebook groups, network and share what you know. Believe me, you'll get noticed if you share valuable tidbits of information.
I just created a free 5-day course on how to land clients using Facebook groups. Sign up here to gain access.
Create an About.me page.
I love the title - About Me. That says it all, doesn't it? You can establish an online presence with a one-page About.me site. Go the free route (a branded page + an email signature) or pay $79 for a year to have your personalized domain, email signature and more.
Create a one-sheet promotional piece.
What's a one-sheet? Well, it's a promotional piece where you present yourself in a way that gets you noticed, will get potential clients interested in you, and will get them to act on your call to action.
Whatever method you use to create your one-sheet, make sure it includes:
- a good photo of yourself or your company logo
- contact information
- your bio or elevator pitch
- education, awards or other relevant achievements
Create a portfolio board on Pinterest.
I used this method during my site overhaul. Let's say you create graphics. With Pinterest being the visual beast that it is, those graphics can get a lot of notice, even without a website.
Here's what you do:
Sign up for a Pinterest account, if you don't have one.
You're going to create a board for your portfolio items. Go to your profile page and then under Boards, click the red "+" sign, "Create Board."
Name your new board, "Portfolio." My board is named "Test" because I already have a portfolio board. If you don't want anyone to see your board (this might be useful while you fill it with your portfolio items), check "yes" for Secret. Click "Create."
Now you're ready to put some pins on your new brand spankin' new board!
Click the "+" at the top and select "Upload Image."
Choose a picture you want to share on your board and click "Upload Image."
Select the new board you created and click "Save."
BOOM! You just added a pin to your portfolio board! Yay, you! Keep adding more samples!
Bonus find: You can also create a pretty spiffy website for free using Adobe Spark. It's pretty simple: create your account, choose a theme and images, create content and publish. There is a free plan that includes the Adobe branding as well as paid plans. Remember, you just want to get up and running. You can start with free and as the clients roll in, you can upgrade to a paid plan later.
And if you're just starting your virtual assistant journey (good for you!), make sure to sign up for my newbie
virtual assistant toolkit.