Networking is an essential part of growing your VA business. Not only does it give you an opportunity to find your ideal clients, but it’s also a chance to raise your profile with other VAs and make new business friends, to potentially build your team or to become a team member of another VA.
However, it isn’t always easy finding suitable networking groups to attend. So here are some tips to help you find the right groups for you.
Check out existing online event sites
You can often find business networking meetups listed on the different event sites. Try Eventbrite and MeetUp, as both list events by location and topic. You can also take a look at the Small Business website too, as they have a list of events and exhibitions suitable for small businesses.
Make use of the networking groups within social media
Social media has a lot of options available for you when it comes to finding networking groups. Companies, businesses and individuals can list local events on Facebook and LinkedIn. Of course, you can also look for online networking groups on them both, as well. Online networking groups can be a hive of activity and form an essential part of your networking circle. Ask in groups like the VA Help Desk where others network.
Look into industry publications
Trade publications are another excellent resource for VAs looking to find networking groups. You can opt for the niche your ideal client works in or a VA specific publication. And remember that you have both online and offline publications to choose from, such as VA Pro Mag or Executive Support Magazine. (As part of the VA Membership you get access to the Executive Support Magazine as part of your membership.)
Sign up for a local business group
No matter where you live, there’s bound to be a local business group you can join. Check out the likes of the Federation of Small Business, Women in Business Networking and the British Chamber of Commerce for potential events of interest. All of these groups will give you the opportunity to connect with others and access additional resources to help your business grow.
Ask your local connections for networking group recommendations
Remember, as a VA and business owner you will already have grown a network of local contacts of your own. So why not ask them for recommendations? You may find some new groups you hadn’t previously heard about, and you may just end up with a networking group buddy to go with you to your next event!
I recommend you put a post on both your personal Facebook profile and your personal LinkedIn profile asking for recommendations for networking opportunites. Doing this has 2 significant benefits – the first is that your network, already know, like and trust you – so they will want to help you if they can and will therefore share the events they know about, but the second benefit is you get to raise the profile of what you are doing without having to do a sales post. We know that often our clients will come from those we know, like and trust – so by you asking your network for help you are getting to share the message about what you do.
Networking is an essential part of growing your VA business, and the tips above will help you find a suitable group or two to join. Once you’ve joined a couple and are ready for your first interaction, check out How to start a networking conversation when you’re nervous and new to help steady those nerves.
VA Specific Networking Opportunities
And if you’re looking for a dedicated VA networking group, why not check out our very own VA Membership? When you join, you’ll not only become part of an active and positive community of VAs, you’ll also get access to all the training and support you need to grow your VA business.
The VA Membership is the only UK VA business accelerator that’s designed specifically to help you build and grow your VA business, to help you create recurring revenue and consistent growth through regular and consistent action. With over 100+ hours of courses, weekly co-working sessions, weekly group coaching calls, a private support group and the ability to pay as you go – when you’re ready to grow or scale your business online come and join us in the VA Membership.
The VA Membership has the option to upgrade to more one to one coaching and mentoring support – this is perfect if you are looking to really scale your business. If you would like to see / learn more about our one to one coaching and mentoring then you need to check out the new One to One Mentoring page.