This is a guest post from my good friend Dina Eisenberg, Reinvention and Outsourcing Coach. She’s visited the blog here and dropped some knowledge on us before. Dina is an expert in helping entrepreneurs to outsource and making sure that awesome service-based business owners, like VAs, get noticed by the clients who need them. Take it away, Dina!
A typical proposal a buyer might see from a virtual assistant on one of the online work marketplaces like Elance, Guru or a VA job board looks a little something like this…
1. Write a headline
Book Marketing Virtual Assistant
2. Write a sentence or two about your background
After 25 years in the publishing industry, I can help you with the administrative side of being an author.
3. Write a sentence or two about your skills and the programs you’ve mastered
Expert at Word, InDesign, PowerPoint, Open Office, Infusionsoft and more. Press releases, virtual book tour, guest blogging.
4. Write a sentence or two about your professionalism and commitment to great customer service
A diligent and detailed, hard worker, I believe that your success is my success. I’ll take care of the little things so you don’t have to.
As I said, this is a very typical proposal style. There are thousands of similar proposals all over the boards. (I made this one up based on what I’ve seen). I call type this of proposal provider-focused.
The provider is trying to offer up all the information she thinks the buyer will need to make a buying decision. The proposal has a ‘resume’ feel that is what most of us think of when we’re going for a job. This approach works as a strategy because it’s familiar. You’re expecting to see objective, goals and skills.
But it also has its drawbacks. The buyer has to do a lot of work. She has to decide if a book marketing VA is what she needs. Then, figure out from the skills what the VA can actually do for her. Frankly, that’s more effort than most people are willing to spend.
You know the Staples ‘Easy’ button? You have to make finding and selecting you easy for the buyer. The buyer must instantly identify you as the one who can solve her problem. The best way to do that is with my Problem-Focused Approach.
The Better Problem-Focused Approach
You want the buyer to gleefully exclaim, “That’s exactly what I was looking for!” when they read your headline and profile.
Being a generalist on online work platforms isn’t the best strategy. It seems logical to present all that you can do but it actually defeats your purpose.
By offering a list of skills, talents and programs, it’s easy for the buyer to get confused about what you actually do, and more importantly, how you can specifically solve his problem. Brain science tells us, and marketers bear this out, that confused minds do not buy.
The buyer comes to a work platform to get help to fix a specific problem. They need to test a product. Set up their shopping cart. Get a book cover designed. Buyers get overwhelmed with so many providers like you to choose from and freak out. The number one question my buyer clients ask me is, “How do I pick the right person?”
Help the buyer out! Talk about the solution you provide to a specific problem or need…in the headline and in the copy.
That’s what clinched the job for a provider when I needed help to repair a string error in my code that was preventing me from using my shopping cart. My provider said specifically in his bid, “I’ve seen this problem many times and can deal with it quickly.” Can you imagine how relieved I was? He could solve my problem, and quickly! Buyers naturally want to give you the gig when you give them that sense of relief and hope.
What are you doing on your profile to attract buyers?
Want to transform your profile so it works for you? Great! It’s my birthday and I’m giving you a little Profile Makeover Magic as a gift.