How to Find High-Paying Clients as a Virtual Assistant

Knowing how to find clients is your ticket to running your virtual assistant business and achieving the lifestyle flexibility you’ve always wanted. Getting high-paying clients can be a hustle at first, but over time, as you build up a good reputation and network it’ll get easier and easier!

Happily in this day and age there are all kinds of options to help you connect with potential clients, whether you’re just finding your first client or have been in business for awhile. Try picking one strategy that suits your personality the best – you can always build on it over time!

Here are some helpful tips to get your business off the ground:

Strategies for Finding Clients as a Virtual Assistant

Ask around your existing network

Almost everybody knows a business owner who could use some extra help with tasks here and there. Especially if you already have a few high-value skills under your belt, word gets around fast that you’re available to help out with them.

It can be as simple as mentioning your new venture to friends and family. Let them know what services you plan to offer and they might have some suggestions!

Friends have even paid me to help with side projects before – they don’t even need to own a business. You might be surprised by who takes you up on your offer.

Develop a social media presence

All of the major social media channels (like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook) are fantastic for finding new business. You can either create a new account, or let your existing followers know you’re starting a business and ask them to refer you to someone they know who might need your services!

A few tips for standing out on social media:

  • State what you do in your profile. Anyone who stumbles on your socials should be able to understand what you do right away.
  • Hash tag your posts so that new people can find them. The #virtualassistant tag on Instagram is a great way to find new clients outside of your local area!
  • Tag your posts with your location so that more people see your posts as well. Even if you work remotely, this will help get more eyes on each post you make.
  • Ask viewers to share your posts with someone who might need your services.

You can get tons of ideas for content to post by looking at other virtual assistants on the platform. Giving tips on time management and information about the services you provide shows potential clients what you’re all about and how you can serve them.

Social media is something of a longer term strategy for bringing in new leads, but many virtual assistants are able to find their first client this way within the first month or two of marketing themselves online.

Freelancing Websites

Freelancing websites like Upwork, Fiverr and can be a great source of clientele. These types of websites were made to connect clients and freelancers.

Try taking a look at other virtual assistants on the platform to get inspiration for how they set up their profiles. Similar to with social media, you’ll want to clearly state what services you offer and be proactive in reaching out to clients and bidding on projects.

Competition can be a little fierce on platforms like these. It can help to narrow down on specific, valuable services and to display any social proof you have in your profile, like reviews from previous clients.

Encourage reviews and referrals

Make sure to ask previous clients to leave you a Google review, write a testimonial for your website, or refer you to a friend. This makes it easier and easier for new clients to find you! As an added bonus, having a mutual contact helps them trust you and what you offer right away.

If you haven’t had any “official” virtual assistant clients before, you can still ask people you’ve worked with in the past in different contexts to write a testimonial for you. Consider past workplaces or even volunteering you’ve done in the past.

Reach out to people you’d love to work with

If you already have an idea of the type of business you want to work with, think about which channels they hang out on. Are they more the LinkedIn crowd? Would they belong to Facebook groups where you could meet and mingle a little? Could you follow them on their social channels?

Potential clients definitely start to notice when you take an interest in their business and strike up conversations with them. You can build up a bit of familiarity with them before mentioning what you do, and how you could help them.

Do your own marketing

Having a strong online presence (website, blog, and/or social media content) can really help you to find clients online. It actually helps potential clients find you and learn about you on their own time. That way you’re not scrambling to find work again every time a contract ends!

When you write blog or social media posts, your marketing should speak directly to your ideal client. It should show them that you’re aware of their problems (lack of time and organization) and that you’re the person who can help them solve those problems.

It takes awhile to build up an online presence, but it really pays off in the long term. Here’s a guide to getting your own website up and running super fast:

Partner up with other virtual assistants

Other virtual assistants can point you towards clients, and are also super helpful people to trade notes with.

Many VA’s who have been in business for several years are in a position where they need to turn clients away – and they can refer them to you instead!

You can also try getting in touch with other VA’s who have a wait list and ask if they have any overflow tasks that they need help with. That situation is more common than you might think!

Every virtual assistant has a different skill set. You might love working with numbers and data but hate writing – so you could partner up with someone who is the opposite. That way, you can refer potential clients who aren’t a great match for you to another VA, and vice versa.

Try the local yellow pages

Although virtual assistants can technically work with anybody anywhere in the world, it’s sometimes easier to connect with people in your own local area. Crack open a phone book (if they still exist where you are!) and you already have a list of potential clients written for you!

Cold calling can be a little nerve wracking at first, and is sometimes a pure numbers game. But you could easily end up with a client right away. Calling tends to get results a lot faster than e-mailing. Especially given that many business owners don’t have time to check their e-mails!

Online and Traditional Ads

Online ads don’t have to be expensive if you don’t have the budget to spare. Some of them – like Facebook Marketplace or Kijiji – offer free ads, and just require you to post daily to keep the ads fresh. As a virtual assistant, you only need 3-4 long term clients at a time, so online ads can be a great short-term way to get word of your services out fast.

You could also consider places around your town or city where you could post flyers. Lots of places often have bulletin boards: post offices, community centers, grocery stores, coffee stores… While you’re hitting the pavement, you might even run into a local business owner who is interested in your services.

More Tips on How to Find High-Paying Clients

Start your own business

Starting your own virtual assistant business lets you set your own rates, as opposed to settling for whatever a company is offering. Having your own business helps you to look professional and charge higher prices.

When you have your own VA business, you can also decide your own working hours and have multiple clients at the same time – so you can maximize how much you get paid for the time you spend on client work.

In general, virtual assistants who market themselves as independent contractors are able to earn more than ones who work as employees.

Have an ideal client in mind

It’s sometimes easier to market yourself towards one specific type of client. Do you prefer to work with wedding photographers? Landscapers? Real estate agents? Do you have skills that could complement a therapist? And so on. When you know who you want to work with, you can tailor your marketing towards them and advertise skills that you know would be helpful to them. You can also follow your ideal client on social media channels, or hang out in places (both online and offline) where you might meet them. Research industry events in your area so you can attend and meet potential clients there.

For more ideas of who you could work with as a virtual assistant, see this article:

Be persistent and follow up

Business owners are, of course, busy! (And the busier they are the better it is for you!) If you don’t hear back from them right away or communication drops off, don’t take it personally. Especially if they showed interest in your services at first, you may have just fallen off their radar. Give them a week or so, then send another message or e-mail asking if they’re still interested in working together.

Finding your first few clients is usually the hardest part, so keep trying! The first few weeks can be a little discouraging, but it gets easier from there.

Avoid over-crowded job boards

Avoid any virtual job boards that have a lot more freelancers looking for work than clients posting jobs. Often times these jobs don’t even pay well.

Trying to find work this way can be discouraging because it’s just a numbers game where the odds aren’t in anybody’s favor! Even the person who posted – because now they have to go through tons of messages with no real substance!

They can’t tell if a person offers the right skills or experience – it’s just a hundred messages saying “hi, hire me!” They may as well pick a name out of a hat!

What to do when you have TOO many clients!

Hey, it’s a valid concern! “When it rains it pours,” right?

If new clients are still inquiring when your schedule’s full, you have a few different options:

Start a Wait List

If clients are willing to wait a few months to work with you, a wait list is an excellent option. Make sure you let everyone know about your wait list – it shows you’re in demand!

Share the love!

You can always refer your clients out to other freelancers you know will do a great job.

Connecting with other VA’s is a great idea in general. That way, you have someone to step in when you want to take time off, cover your sick days, and help you out if you’re stuck. It can help ease the loneliness of working alone, too!

In Summary

I hope that answered the question of how virtual assistants find high paying clients! It can be challenging at first, but it usually gets easier over time. By developing a network and marketing system, you wont need to find yourself scrambling every time a contract ends!

I hope this article gave you plenty of ideas for both online and offline strategies to get high paying clients in your virtual assistant business. What methods are you eager to try? Which ones have worked well for you in the past? Let me know in the comments! 😊


How do I market myself as a virtual assistant with no experience?

Many VA’s start out by offering people they know free or discounted services in exchange for a good testimonial. This could include a few simple tasks to build up your portfolio and to practice working with clients. Reach out to your network and let them know that you’re planning to start a VA business.

Freelancing websites like Fiverr can be another quick way to get started and get comfortable with working with clients online. Websites like these charge you a percentage of your earnings because you’re using their platform. But they can be a great place to test the waters before you’re ready to start a business of your own. Picking one well defined task that’s easy for potential clients to order is the easiest way to be successful on a platform like Fiverr.

Be honest about the fact that you’re just starting out. Many people are eager to help someone take the first step towards starting a business, and most of us understand that everyone has to start somewhere!

Is it hard for a virtual assistant to find clients?

Finding clients as a virtual assistant can be challenging, especially if you’re just starting out. But with some carefully planned marketing strategies and networking, it tends to get easier as time goes on. The more effort you put into it, the better results you’ll see! If you’re finding it difficult to get clients, try changing up your approach for awhile. Some methods will work better than others, depending on where you live, the services you’re offering and the client base you’re seeking.

How do virtual assistants find clients on Instagram?

Instagram is one of the best places for a new virtual assistant to find clients. At the moment, many business owners actually use it to search for and connect with contractors. Start out with a quick introduction post. A photo of you helps (but isn’t totally necessary!) Tag your posts with relevant hashtags like #virtualassistant. Instagram is also a great place for you to find business owners you might be interested in working with. After following each other for a little while, try reaching out to them through their DM’s. Even if they don’t have work for you right now, they might know somebody who does!