In this current economic climate, many Virtual Assistants and online business owners have experienced the highs and lows in their businesses over the past couple years. In fact, you yourself may have cycled from a time of abundance with great “high-value” clients to a drought where you have struggled to fill retainer clients that you may have lost for one reason or another. The ebbs and flows of a virtual business can cause a lot of stress.

During these times, it s important to evaluate your virtual business activities and ask yourself some key questions: What marketing strategies are you currently using to connect with new clients? What strategies or activities have been successful for you? What has not gone well?

As we re focusing on virtual business marketing this week, we d like to take some time to share some top marketing strategies for reaching new clients. In our free event on March 17, “Virtual Business Marketing Makeover in One Hour,” one of the things we ll be talking about is the fact that you must market every single day even if you have enough clients now. So, to start off our list, here are the first seven tips for how you can consistently market your business and connect with new and potential clients through offline activities.

Offline Activities:

1. Join or start a business networking group in your local area – This activity can actually happen both online and offline. Through Meetups, Tweetups, Chamber of Commerce or Local Business Associations, you can connect with like-minded individuals for collaboration purposes or to get connected with your target client audience.

2. Do a presentation for a local business group or association (i.e. local hospitality association, real estate association, small business owners) – For example, you could do a social media presentation that demonstrates how restaurants can use social media to draw in more customers. In a previous blog post, “Social Media Goes Local in 2010,” we talked about how restaurant owner Joe Sorge uses Twitter to engage with customers.

3. Attend a business fair/conference in your local region – These conferences and fairs are a great way to have face-to-face encounters with people who might potentially hire VAs.

4. Host a local event in your area (e.g. Social Media for Hospitality Businesses) – This activity requires some planning and maybe a bit of a budget, but it can be very effective as a form of networking.

5. Research and target local business clients with a one-on-one presentation – You could visit certain restaurants or spas you want to target to see how they could use social media to grow their businesses.

6. Publish an article in a local newspaper or trade magazine – This activity requires a certain level of writing skills, but can be very effective in giving your business more visibility.

7. Send targeted mail-outs to business lists through an association like the Chamber of Commerce – This is not the number one strategy we d recommend because it isn t very measurable, but it could definitely lead to multiple client opportunities in the local business community.

Stay tuned for our next post, where we will talk about tips for marketing your business through online activities (our favorite kind of strategies here at VAClassroom :).

And in the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments about these offline marketing strategies. Have you used any in the past and found them successful? Please drop us a comment in the box below!