As a new virtual assistant, when you start reaching out to offer help to business owners, it’s quite possible that a potential client will make an assumption… an assumption that you’ve got the experience needed to take the lead on a specific component of their business, or hey… sometimes even the entirety of their business operations and marketing.
Even if you’ve been very clear in your LinkedIn headline, website copy and outreach emails… to position yourself as a supporting team member and get-it-done person… a business owner might still make this assumption, either because:
a) They themselves are new to building a business online and working with freelancers, and perhaps haven’t yet made the distinction between leading strategists and supporting implementers.
They assume that anyone who says they work with… >>insert software name here<< … is offering both strategic planning and implementation within that particular system.
b) You’ve presented yourself online in such a polished, professional way… your profile photo, your service descriptions, your written correspondence, your appointment booking process… that the potential client just assumes you’re a veteran.
This exact scenario has been playing out for a new virtual assistant I’m collaborating with at the moment, and I’ve seen it happen many times before. It’s a good problem to have!
As you’re getting your VA career started, I’d like to help you to break down these broad service areas you might hear about in general terms… like ‘landing pages’ or ‘blog management’ or ’email marketing’… to consider the specific component tasks that you can be focused on learning, and then offering, to business owners you’d like to support.
I wrote a similar post about the 3 Levels of Email Marketing Support You Can Provide to Clients as a Virtual Assistant. I have to say it’s probably the blog post link I share most often in conversations with new virtual assistants. The idea here is for me to pass on some of the language you can use to put yourself forward as a proactive and skilled implementer, to help those potential clients visualize exactly where and how you can add value to their business and save them time.
In order for me to be able to paint a clear picture here, I’ll divide it up into 3 distinct levels and give them catch-all role titles:
- Supporting virtual assistant or team member
- Landing page creator or product launch manager
- Digital marketing consultant or funnel builder
In practice, however, there is no fixed hierarchy, career progression, definitive role titles or relative pay scale. Think of it more like a buffet of component services that you can pick and choose from as you gain experience, or say…
… a continuum of proactivity that you can slide yourself along one way or the other as your life situation or business goals change. You’ll get a clear idea of what I mean when you read this post in conjunction with the email marketing services post.
Let’s get into the examples of specific landing page tasks…
1. Supporting virtual assistant or team member.
Using your research skills, along with your understanding of your client’s message and content, to prepare the raw materials needed to put together each new landing page… and to complete isolated landing page tasks that were delegated with instruction.
As a virtual assistant or team member in a supporting role, you might be:
1. Proofreading and editing the draft text that will go on to the final landing page. The copy might have been written by the client themselves, another member of the team, or a freelancer that’s been contracted specifically to write the copy for this landing page.
2. Logging into your client’s Leadpages account (or any other landing page tool) to review the history of previously published pages, to find a page that’s similar to the one that’s about to be created now. Can you copy the text into a Google Doc and then make edits to the headline, bullets and descriptive paragraphs as best you can, ready to send to your client or team lead as draft text?
3. Researching via Google, Facebook and your email newsletter subscriptions to compile a list of landing page examples that your client or team lead could draw on for inspiration in designing this new page.
4. Duplicating a previously published landing page inside Leadpages, revising the text and images to match this new purpose and saving changes. Sending a task update to your client or team lead through your project management space, to let them know the new page is ready for review. Implementing any more revision requests then publishing the page.
5. Searching for images that would work well for the purpose, design, and layout of this particular landing page. You might be searching in paid stock photo sites like Stocksy, a free stock photo site like Kaboompics, or the client’s own original brand photography stored in a shared Google Photos album.
6. Brainstorming and researching examples of graphics that could be modeled to represent what’s being offered on this particular landing page… your client’s downloadable checklist, ebook, video series, workshop, demo or discount.You might be looking closely at each of the graphics your client has already used in the past, to see what can be adapted here, or you might be looking at graphics that have been created by other businesses you follow.
Once you have a really good example to model, you can recreate your own version using Canva (if this is you’re first time hearing about Canva, you’re going to be in love!) or… sending a succinct brief to the graphic designer that works with this client’s team. Here is a checklist that will help you to efficiently translate your client’s creative ideas into ‘graphic designer speak’.
7. Researching for an icon that can be used as the ‘favicon’ for this landing page that’s being created. That’s the tiny picture that sits on your browser tab when you visit any web page.
Your client may already have a custom favicon that they had created to match their main website design. If they do, grab that one and store it somewhere for easy access when creating landing pages in future. If they don’t already have one created, go searching for a high-quality icon that will compliment your client’s brand, here on CreativeMarket.com. Personally, I’m a fan of this designer’s cute little icons, available in a huge range of topic areas.
What kind of pricing structure could you use for landing page services, when you’re taking a supporting role to help with the prep and isolated tasks?
If you’re a member of a team where everyone submits invoices weekly or monthly, you might send an invoice and timesheet to the client after the work is complete. Alternatively, you might ask the client to pre-pay for a ‘block of hours’ in advance, then notify them when the block of hours has been used, sending along a task time sheet. Freckle and other funky freelancer time tracking tools make it super duper easy to prepare time sheets.
2. Landing page creator or product launch manager
Using your skills in Leadpages (or another landing page tool) and your understanding of software integrations to complete or oversee a full landing page project, including the copy, design, and tech.
As a virtual assistant taking a leading role, you might be doing all of the landing page preparation tasks above, as well as:
1. Meeting with the client before the project starts to discuss the landing page/s that are needed and what elements each page needs to include. Offering ideas and suggestions, including potential additions or refinements to similar landing pages that have been used in this business in the past.
2. Researching for a copywriter that specializes in this particular client’s topic area or business model. Providing a brief to the copywriter, and requesting a quote and project time frame. Corresponding with the copywriter to review drafts and request any revisions.
3. Searching through the landing page template designs inside Leadpages (including templates you’ve previously customized with your own styling) to choose the specific template that’ll work best for the new page you’re about to create.
4. Deciding on the color palette that will be used for this page. You might do this by using a ‘color picker’ tool like Sip for Mac to determine the ‘hex codes’ for your client’s main brand colors… the 6-digit numbers that represent a specific color. If this landing page will need a completely different look and feel to the client’s main website and brand, then you might go hunting for color palette inspiration on a fun site like Adobe Color CC.
5. Choosing the complementary pair of fonts that will be used for headlines and paragraphs of text on this page. Once again, you might be copying the exact two fonts that have already been selected for your client’s main website design, or you might be searching through the font selection available in your client’s landing page tool.
6. Creating a checkout page for your client to accept payment for their product or service, either inside the landing page tool itself (if checkout pages are integrated), or within a separate eCommerce tool like SamCart or Infusionsoft.
7. Installing the ‘LeadPages Connector’ WordPress plugin to publish the finished page on your client’s website.
What kind of pricing structure could you use for landing page services, when you’re taking a lead role in building a single landing page, or a series of landing pages as part of a product launch?
Once you’ve spoken with the client to find out what they need, and which parts of the project you’ll be responsible for, you might choose to offer the client a set project fee for the work, allowing time for planning, implementation, client correspondence, meetings and revisions. You can prepare an invoice for the full project amount to be paid upfront, before you get started on the work, or if it’s a larger project, split it into 2 or more milestone payments.
3. Digital marketing consultant or funnel builder
Using your experience with one or more digital marketing channels, as well as your understanding of the client’s business model, message, products and services, to plan and implement a strategy that will improve business results.
As a freelance consultant offering digital marketing expertise, you might be doing all of the landing page creation tasks above, as well as:
1. Meeting with the client to find out about them personally, their business, their goals, what they’re selling, their target audience, the current conversion rates at each stage of their ‘funnel’ or ‘customer journey’…. and all of the articles, videos, checklists, guides and landing pages they’ve created and published up to this point.
2. Logging in to the client’s landing page tool, Google Analytics account, and eCommerce system to run reports and make calculations.
3. Planning out what specifically the client will offer on their landing page, and how that offer should be presented through words, images and video.
4. Helping the client to coordinate videography or photography featuring them personally, their products or brand message.
5. Brainstorming a video concept to feature on this particular landing page, then preparing a brief and raw footage to send to a professional video editor. Corresponding with the video editor to provide feedback on the initial production and request any revisions.
6. Considering where landing page visitors will be coming from (is it a Facebook Ad? a partner’s website? a Google search?), the messaging a visitor will have just read and therefore what they’ll expect to see when they land on this page.
As a digital marketer, you might be taking the lead for the copy and design for the whole funnel, from start to finish. That means you’ll be making sure that everything before and after the landing page looks and feels congruent.
7. Using a ‘split testing’ tool to create a variation of the original landing page, with a different headline or different button text perhaps, and then reviewing reports to see which variation of the page performed the best over a period of time.
8. Review the landing page closely to make sure it’s compliant with the advertising policies of Google or Facebook if visitors will be arriving on this landing page after clicking on an ad on either of those platforms.
What kind of pricing structure could you use for landing page services, when you’re offering to help a client to grow their business using a specific digital marketing channel and a series of landing pages within a ‘funnel’?
When you’re offering to help a business owner to grow their business, you might set a monthly retainer or package fee that the client pays each month, along with an initial planning and/or setup fee. Sometimes this monthly fee is payment for a ‘productized service’… it’s a published set fee with a set scope of included services, and the consultant helps the client to figure out if the service is right for their business. Sometimes this monthly fee is determined after an initial meeting with the client, when the consultant prepares a custom proposal.
Now all this ‘digital marketing’ talk can sound like a completely foreign language if you’re just getting started researching your virtual assistant career path. I clearly remember my first few weeks working online as brand new VA in 2011, supporting a ‘digital marketing strategist’ who had also recently been contracted onto the same client’s team. I remember thinking… whatever she was doing must be some kind of mysterious digital magic. 🙂
I was completely clueless.
Looking back on that experience now, I have a whole new appreciation for the layers of skills and experience that build up over time.
It’s the same with any career path really. This one just brings with it the life-changing perks of a flexible daily schedule and location independence.
So, let’s take it back to the beginning… starting to work online as a supporting virtual assistant or team member. Above, we looked at what kind of help you’ll be offering when you’re first starting to provide landing page support. Now, let’s get clear on who you can help as a supporter starting out, and why many of these businesses are looking for implementers, rather than experienced specialists.
Who can you help as a supporting virtual assistant or team member?
1. Business owners who are currently going the ‘DIY’ route. They’ve learned enough to be dangerous and they’re currently building their own landing pages inside either Leadpages or ClickFunnels. They know their preferred page templates and style, and would happily hand this ongoing task over to an assistant, if they found someone (you!) who’s affordable within their current budget, and as excited about their business as they are personally.
2. Experienced freelancers who are currently taking a lead role in a client’s virtual or ‘remote’ team. An experienced team member could create landing pages for this particular client’s business with their eyes closed… almost… but with growing responsibilities within an evolving business and team… they no longer have time for ongoing landing page creation and updates. They need someone who’s familiar with the tools, detail oriented and full of enthusiasm to pick up the reins.
3. Digital marketing consultants, agencies and virtual assistant teams. Supporting work for skilled implementers can always be found wherever experienced service providers are doing the thinking and strategizing on behalf of their clients. Watch the recording of this past Facebook Live to get the full picture…
Why will people contract you for help with their landing pages when you’re not a marketing expert?
1. Business owners often want to stay focused on their revenue generating activities, like sales conversations or providing the service that their business offers. Marketing consultants often want to stay focused on the strategy, planning and figuring out of what should be done in the first place, and how.
Both business owners and digital marketing specialists need implementers to back them up with proofreading, researching, formatting, customizing, integrating, link-checking, testing, revising, and the list goes on… so they can continue to spend more time focused on building a profitable business that delivers an exceptional experience for their customers.
2. Experienced digital strategists offering to make an impact on results, will generally charge a comparatively higher rate than a supporting team member offering to complete tasks and take care of the implementation. Not every business owner has the budget or willingness to pay for expert consultants.
3. Even if a business owner does have the budget and inclination to invest in high-level support, many business owners value the support of team members who know their business, products and audience as well as they themselves do… more than they value the marketing expertise of an external agency or independent consultant.
Here’s how you can get started with landing page services…
You can start laying the foundation for this career transition now, or whenever the time is right. If I was to start again now, with no experience and no online network, I’d start by learning 5 specific online marketing implementation skills first. You can read about each of them in this blog post here:
Then, focusing in on the landing page services specifically, this is how I’d approach it…
Step 1. Decide
Check out the website homepages of both Leadpages and ClickFunnels. Navigate around, check out some of their blog posts… use your intuition to make a firm decision… which one of those two tools will you get skilled up in first?
Here’s my contribution to the decision making process…
Leadpages is my personal favorite.
It’s the one I recommend to clients and the one I teach inside my skills development course, The Online Biz Skills.
In the past, I’ve worked with clients using ClickFunnels to build their landing pages, and I would possibly do it again if I was super excited to work with a particular business that was already using ClickFunnels. But, in my biased, subjective opinion 🙂 it’s easier to get a polished looking page design working with Leadpages templates, as a beginner, when you don’t have any prior design experience, talent or training.
I’m not a graphic designer. (‘Designer wannabe’… yes, that I am 😉 ) And so the look of default template styling (without heavy design customization) is super important for me whenever I’m choosing my preferred tools.
There are plenty of other landing page creation tools out there. The Launchkit Landing Page Builder is my other favorite, though not as beginner-friendly as Leadpages. I possibly could have made the decision easier for you by saying… “just go with Leadpages.” But if it was me, starting again now, with no idea about all these different online software names…
I’d really appreciate it if an experienced person just passed on to me that it’s Leadpages and ClickFunnels that are the two ‘big players’ in landing page creation for non-techie folk, and where a large volume of the work is, especially for supporting VAs and team members.
You can always transfer your skills to another landing page tool later, if an awesome client opportunity presents itself, but right now, focus on getting skilled up in one of those systems.
Step 2. Set an action goal
Locate a series of video tutorials (free or paid) and dive in to learn that system you’ve chosen. Set yourself a realistic target for how much time you’ll spend engaging with those tutorials each day… watching, taking notes, looking up examples, clicking around inside free trial accounts.
Will you be studying 1 hour per day, Monday through Friday?
Or 4 hours per day on Saturdays and Sundays?
Whatever time you can realistically allocate within your current commitments, schedule that into your calendar. Here’s the important part… treat it with the same seriousness you would if you’d just paid $5,000 to attend a private college in the evenings, to make a traditional career transition.
It’s still playing on the internet, and if it feels fun and effortless, you’re probably doing it right… now you’re just bringing in a little more directed focus to your usual internet research.
Step 3. Procrastinate productively
Whenever you find yourself avoiding getting started with a scheduled session of landing page skills study, or feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about your virtual assistant career… use that feeling as the trigger to start a session of ‘productive procrastination’ instead, and let the study go for a day.
Grab a cup of fancy tea or coffee and give yourself permission to wander around the web, focused on just collecting samples of landing page designs that you think look great, saving them into Evernote using the Evernote Web Clipper.
I share more details about the process of starting to collect your own digital idea files to draw on, in this blog post here:
There’s no pressure here. You already know how to navigate around the web and find gorgeous stuff. Now that enjoyment becomes valuable to you and your future clients.
Step 4. Create momentum
Now you’ll put the skills you’ve studied into practice!
Find one family member or friend who has a business – any business – and would benefit from a beautiful website landing page that offers something that their audience can sign up for, or purchase.
It could be a local brick-and-mortar business, an online business or a direct sales or party plan business. Every business has at least one ‘offer’ that can be presented on a page, and usually many more.
Let this friend or family member know that you’re getting skilled up in online marketing services, and you’d love to practice by creating a landing page for them.
You know them well, so you can be 100% upfront in explaining the process…
a) Let them know you’re brand new to this. You’re not a marketer or a professional with the tools (yet), so you’re not able to help them with growing their website traffic, email list or sales, but… you ARE 1000% pumped to create a gorgeous page for them with our new skills.
b) First, you’ll meet with them in person or on a video call to find out more about their business, product or service. Together you’ll come up with the idea for what to offer on this landing page. You’ll also find out what images, graphics, colors or fonts the person might already be using to represent their business.
c) After meeting with them, you’ll write the headline and text for what’s going to be offered on the page, using the landing pages you’ve collected in your ‘idea files’ as examples to model. You’ll send it to your friend for feedback and any changes.
d) You’ll sign up for a free trial account of either Leadpages or ClickFunnels (based on your decision in step 1), choose a template and customize that template to create the page. Once again you’ll draw on layout, image and color inspiration from your idea files.
e) You’ll send a private preview link of the final page to your friend, ready for their review and input.
f) If your friend loves the page and wants to keep it, you’ll help them to make a decision on the best way to get this page ‘live’ and ready for use. Let them know about the possibilities and potential costs at the outset, at the time when you very first suggest this idea to them.
Here are the details to share before you start:
When you create the page, you’ll be using a software tool that has a monthly subscription cost. If it’s Leadpages, that cost is currently $37/month after a free trial period of 14 days (double check the current pricing, just in case there have been any changes by the time you read this). If your friend decides they’d really like to use the page, they can sign up for their own account, and you’ll transfer the page over from your account to theirs.
Alternatively, if they can’t justify an ongoing software subscription, but they already have a WordPress website for their business, let them know you’ll be happy to re-create the page design to be very similar, using a WordPress plugin called Thrive Architect. Your friend will be able to purchase this plugin for a one-time fee (currently $67).
If your friend doesn’t want a monthly software fee, and doesn’t have a WordPress website already, but they’re still happy to let you practice your skills on their business, here’s what you can do instead…
Create the page inside a free Leadpages trials account and take a full page screenshot of the published landing page, using this Full Page Screen Capture Chrome browser extension.
Share one copy of this landing page screenshot with your friend, and if relevant, let them know you could re-create it for them whenever the time is right (either for free, or for a discounted set price, depending on the relationship).
Save one copy of this page screenshot for yourself, ready to use as an example of your work once you start reaching out to your first paying clients.
Step 5. Find your first paying client to help!
You might reach out to a business owner with an offer to help with their landing pages specifically, or with a small set of online marketing support services. I’ve recorded a full 80-minute workshop on how to go about this, before you have experience to draw on.