All About the Client

What is a Client?

It is a person, group or company receiving professional online services of a virtual assistant or freelancer. Oftentimes, they are entrepreneurs (CEO, owner) who own a startup business or small-, medium- or even large-scale businesses. These clients outsource mostly task(s) they want done quickly and with high quality standards. Examples of tasks that are being pass to a freelancer or virtual assistant are building brand for their business on the internet. These can be website design or development, logo design and other marketing materials needed. Create an effective and profitable marketing strategy to boost online sales for client’s product or services is another example. Also, managing client’s social media accounts. There are many other tasks that can be outsourced to a VA or freelancer.

Types of Clients

If there are various types of freelancers and virtual assistants, then definitely there are various types of clients. Honestly, I have encountered them all in the past until today in my many years of experience as a virtual assistant. My motivation is this phrase, which I meditate in my mind whenever I get frustrated dealing with these types of clients – “I love my client. I love my job.” Some days this can be hard to utter.

Building relationships, complying with expectations of goals as well as an open communication what makes a good VA and client relationship that will last for many months or even years. But, sometimes, there is this type of client that contradicts it all in which belongs to one of the many persona, which I will mention below:

1. Mrs. Unsure – This is a type of client which is not sure what she really wants. She has tendency to change her suggestion or opinion about the task after a few minutes, hours, or days constantly. Here’s my tip, put everything the client and you discussed and agreed upon before starting the tasks in writing. Include in your agreement a firm rule regarding redo of any tasks like additional fees for 100% redo, revision fees, etc. Send her a copy of this agreement via email. If she decided to make “major” changes once you finished or delivered it (data send via email) then have a firm decision not to change anything. Remind her as well about your written agreement regarding this. Depending on what’s written on your agreement, if it’s only a “minor” changes then you can change it at once.

2. Add-on Girl – “I believe this should be included in the tasks. This one and this…” A type of client that expects more additional tasks from the agreed tasks. My tip to VA is put in writing an agreement regarding the specific tasks you will only do. If add-on tasks are requested unexpectedly, then additional fees will be added as well. This way, everything will be transparent and clear.

3. Sir Emergency – Unexpectedly, the client sends to you an instant message at 9:00 PM (not your agreed scheduled time) on Skype saying, “Hi, Paul! Search an inspirational quote, find free image to use then use Photoshop or Canva to create this quote image. Then write a short description about the quote and eventually post it on all our social media accounts today. Can you do it now? Thank you.” Here’s my tip, put everything in the written agreement including your time schedule with this client and send this copy to her. Remind the client about your agreement and your availability to work with him is only within the agreed scheduled time. Tell him that you also have other clients that needed your services and they have schedules as well.

4. Ms. Holiday – Wondering you didn’t complete the tasks on Christmas Day, frequently send emails off hours (midnight, sleep hours). This is a type of client that constantly sending emails on unscheduled hours even during holidays. Here’s my tip, have a firm agreement about your agreed time schedule and deadlines for the project. Also, noted on your agreement regarding off work during holidays or unexpected emergencies.

5. Mrs. Deadline – “We do not have a deadline but wait yes we do and it will tomorrow.” A type of client that has no specific deadline on a project or task allocated to a virtual assistant but suddenly made a firm decision on a deadline. What to do? Before starting the job, put in agreement that you and the client will agreed to follow the specific timeframe or schedule of the project. This way, you will avoid rushing to finish the job which can affect the quality of your services as well as endanger tasks or projects allocated to other clients.

6. Committee Guy – After delivering the data regarding the tasks you have accomplished the client says, “Our committee will review this. Thank you.” This is a type of client, a large-scale business or a big brand that every aspect of the job is being decided upon a committee. What to do? Before starting the job, ask the interviewer the name and contact details of the person to whom you will report every detail regarding the tasks and make the final decisions about it. Through this, you will save time and effort in accomplishing every aspect of the tasks.

7. Ms. That Isn’t I want – “Yes, I don’t know what I want but I’m pretty sure that’s not the one I want.” This is a red flag to all virtual assistants and freelancers. “Do not accept this client.” Just say, “I am fully book, or we have no vacancy.” Believe it or not, you must avoid this type of clients. It will ruin your credibility and reputation.

8. The Disappearing Act Guy – A client who asked for you to do a task then disappeared for weeks or months leaving the job hanging. Out of the blue, this client suddenly appeared again bombarding you requests via Skype or email about the pending task and now requesting for new tasks to do. My tip, timeframe and schedule are important to you and the client so put this on agreement and constantly remind the client about this. If he doesn’t comply ditch this type of client.

9. Madam Unaware – “I need this done yesterday.” Lack of awareness and specificity regarding the task is being forgotten by this type of client. Here’s my tip, remind the client the scope of the task he wants done and made him aware the possible timeframe or deadline to accomplish the task.

10. Mr. Hands-off – “Do what you want done for this task, I don’t care.” Lack of details or information regarding this task, a type of client that is completely hands-off. VA, take advantage of this type of client, you have the freewill to do what and whenever regarding this task. Despite of this, you must ask questions regarding specific details of the task to avoid major redo.

11. Budget Girl – “How much this will cost me? This is out of my budget. We didn’t agree on this.” A type client that wants to avoid add-on fees for hourly or per project job. My tip, upfront written agreement about add-on fees in case it happens. Remind the client about this. If she doesn’t agree, then just finish the job, get your final pay and never work with this type of client again.

12. Won’t Take 10 Minutes Guy – “If I do this task myself, it won’t take 10 minutes.” This type of client is delusional about the reality of the task he wants to accomplish. My tip, made him aware the reality and specific hours or days to accomplish the job. If he agreed with your proposal, then proceed with to do the job.

Where and How to Find Online Clients?

1. Freelance Websites – According to Forbes, here are 79 top list of freelancing websites where a virtual assistant can look for jobs offered by “real” clients online. It composes of general, writing, tutoring, tech, photography, web design & development, and others.

General: In general category which caters many varieties of freelancing services, among the best are iFreelance, Damongo, The Muse, Fiverr, Just Answer, Working Nomads, Matchist, UpWork, MefiJobs, Mechanical Turk, FlexJobs, YunoJuno, Aquent, Freelanced, Guru, Crowdsite, Crop, Freelancer, CloudPeeps, Rat Race Rebellion, Remotive, We Work Remotely, Skip The Drive, PeoplePerHour, Linkedin ProFinder, Onsite, Indeed, Virtual Vocations, Project4Hire, Folyo.

Tech: Are you a tech savvy? Then it’s a good thing because it is one of the most in-demand jobs worldwide to date. You can find jobs at Authentic Jobs, Dice, Gigster, PowertoFly, Sologig, Stack Overflow, FreelanceMap.

Web Design & Development: Besides being a tech savvy and if you have passion in digital creation of things such as websites then you can surely find a lot of opportunities here at Hirable, DesignCrowd, Dribble, Juiiicy, Envato Studio, Behance, Smashing Magazine, ArtWanted, 99Designs, DesignHill, SquadHelp, Joomlancers, Gun.io, Coroflot, WordPress Jobs, WPHired,

Writing: If you have great skills in writing such as articles, blogs, or eBooks then a lot of potential clients awaits you here on The Shelf, Textbroker, DailyPosts, JournalismJobs, Canadian Freelance Writing Jobs, Online Writing Jobs, MediaBistro, Problogger Jobs.

Photography: If you have an eye for beauty using a camera or digital photography then you can surely find a lot of jobs here at Photography Jobs, Get Photography Jobs, Freelance Photographer Jobs, The Creative Loft.

Tutoring: These are websites that you can offer your teaching skills in specific school subject like Math or Science, specific language like English, or fundamental skills like basic computer or Photoshop. Included in this list are Chegg Tutors, Tutor.com, TutorVista.

Others: Toptal and Traction are among the best “other options” to look for freelance jobs.

2. Referrals – Friends, relatives, colleagues, classmates, previous clients or acquaintances maybe able to refer you to people or businesses whom they know need your online services at some point in the future if not today. To get referrals from them, you need to act professionally with sincerity, passion and honesty on what you do.

3. Online Advertising – If you have sufficient funds to raise awareness quick and easy to get more prospective leads of clients for your services, online advertising is the best option. Advertise your business on Google AdWords or social media such as Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads as well as Instagram advertising.

4. Social Media – Social media groups or social media ads related to our niche “virtual assistant” are the best options to find leads of clients.

5. Your Website, Blog, or Online Portfolio – It is very important to have your own online portfolio, website or blog. This can be used for clients to know about you, your skills, and client’s testimonies. This serves as your resume or curriculum vitae CV online.

How to be Hired by a Client?

The Test – A test can be in a form of verbal or written. Verbal, an online interview will be conducted between the interviewer, the client and interviewee, the virtual assistant candidate. Written, this is done in a form of online chat through instant messaging on Skype, WhatsApp, or similar platforms. This can also be done through email exchange between the client and virtual assistant. Of course, you need to pass the test to be hired. So, I have written a blog named Pass Client Interview, which I highly recommend for you to read. I have written some tips and ideas on how to successfully pass any client’s interviews based on my past experiences.

Your Proposal – Once you've passed the client's test and interview then a written agreement is essential. Please refer to the article Contract for Virtual Assistant regarding this.


SO, WHAT'S NEXT?

Hi, I'm Paul. If you enjoyed reading this post you might like to check out:

Some tips on how to work with a client, or learn some ideas on how to keep your clients at my blog's homepage.

I would greatly appreciate if you could kindly share this article to people whom you know will be interested to read this.

Finally, subscribe to my newsletter to get a free sample page of my book and email updates so you're never out of touch.

Thank you.