How to Onboard a New Virtual Assistant Client

You’re ready to set up shop as a Virtual Assistant, and you’ve reached out to potential clients. But now what? This is where it can get really confusing for a new Virtual Assistant, and this is where it can make or break a new client relationship.

What do you say? What do you do? How do you handle it? 

Those are all legitimate questions. And I’m here to answer and explain in depth each and everyone of them. 

Let’s begin with the initial contact, you reaching out to a new potential client.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you do so…

  1. Pay close attention to the potential client’s message. If you’re responding to a social media post or using a service, be sure to read the entire thing and pay attention to every detail. Oftentimes, potential clients will include specific instructions on how to contact them, as well as specific keywords to include. If you fail to do this, you’re showing them that you don’t fully read directions nor comprehend them.
  2. Make yourself memorable. Don’t use subject lines or opening lines that every other VA is going to us. Unless they’ve asked for a specific subject line or opening phrase, using things like “VA Application” or “Response to your VA Opportunity” won’t put you in the forefront of their mind. Instead, use fun and catchy titles. For instance, “I’m the VA You’re Looking For” or “I’m Your Girl” stand out in a sea of other subject lines.
  3. Take your time. Grammar errors and spelling errors look horrible to a potential new client. Don’t get so excited that you type without thinking. Take your time to type out that initial communication. Then take a few more minutes and proofread everything you wrote TWICE before hitting send. Trust me, this will make all the difference. A potential client will discount you quickly if they read that first email and it’s full of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. 

Once you’ve reached out to the potential new client, and they’ve responded, it’s time to set up a Discovery Call. I recommend Zoom for those calls. Now, here you have two options. You can go back and forth via messaging or email to nail down a date and time, or you can present a more professional appearance and use a scheduling service. I recommend Acuity or Calendly

Using either of these services, you’re able to input your availability, set up specific types of calls, add your Zoom link, and have a specific link to send to potential new clients so that they’re able to schedule a call at their convenience. And, without the hassle of the back and forth to determine a mutually good date and time.

But how do you prepare for the Discovery Call? Great question. And many, many new VA’s have that question as well. Here are some tips to get you prepared…

  1. Begin by setting up your Zoom account well in advance of your first Discovery Call.
  2. Practice the entire process with a friend or family member.
  3. Be sure you’re very familiar with the ins and outs of the platform before scheduling a call with a potential client.
  4. Run through a mock interview, either with yourself, or a friend.
  5. Prepare answers to potential questions that you may be asked, about your experience, your rates, the platforms you are knowledgeable in, and your past and present clients.

So you’ve got Zoom figured out, and you have that Discovery Call scheduled, but what comes next? Before you even have that call, you need to have your onboarding documents and process down to perfection. Otherwise, you’ll be in a tizzy trying to figure it out and get it set up after the call, while the client is waiting on it all.

Here’s a list of what you should have already in place before doing a Discovery Call:

  1. Your contract. You absolutely should never work with a client, without a contract signed by both parties. A contract protects you, sets expectations, and also protects your client.
  2. A Welcome Packet. Your Welcome Packet should include your policies and procedures, your rates and packages, a nice letter to your client, and a Client Information sheet for the client to fill out.
  3. Your invoicing system and software. You need to have your system already in place, and your invoice template set up before that Discovery call. Having a system in place takes away the stress of trying to do it quickly. And you should never start work as a VA without procuring at least 50% of the payment ahead of time.
  4. Your Client Management System. You need to have a system in place to track the onboarding of new clients, BEFORE beginning to onboard them. Whether it be through Trello, Asana, Dubsado or something similar, it must be in place prior to that Discovery Call. 

I fully understand and recognize that this process can be confusing and overwhelming. I once was a new VA myself. If you’re struggling with creating your onboarding documents, you’ll find the Virtually Scale Tool Kit here, where it’s all created for you and ready for you to simply put in the specifics that pertain to you and your business.

If you’re struggling with the actual Discovery call or the systems, you can find more information in the videos section of the Virtually Scale Facebook page.



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