Turn Your Squarespace Website into Your Very Own Virtual Assistant
Turning your Squarespace website into a so-called virtual assistant isn’t as hard as you might think.
If you’re a busy, booked up service-based provider - you’re a lawyer, financial planner, illustrator, consultant, etc - with 1:1 clients, you’re probably inundated with emails.
People are finding you via Google search, referrals, your blog or social media posts. Maybe you’re on a directory and are hearing from 4-5 potential clients a day.
That’s whole lotta leads. And not all of them are right for you. (Or you for them.)
Responding to emails is a huge time suck and more often than not, doesn’t lead to business, even if you’re totally ok with helping people who aren’t your ideal clients.
The online advice tends to recommend hiring a virtual assistant or employee to handle all the overwhelming emails from potential clients, fans and customers.
That’s all well and good, but maybe you’re not ready to subcontract or hire an employee.
How about turning your website into one? (An employee or a virtual assistant, that is.)
What can you do right now to turn your Squarespace website into a virtual assistant?
How can you set up your website to fit in with your workflow so you’re spending less time writing detailed email replies?
In the video, discover 3 areas of your website that can act like a ‘VA (aka virtual assistant). These sections are where you put vital information so that your potential leads will:
self-select and determine if your services are a fit for them
email you the exact information you need so you can send a quick, useful reply
know when to expect to hear back from you
get answers to common questions and links to useful resources
Section 1 - Your Contact Page
On your contact page, be super clear about how you want folks to contact you. This is especially important if you choose not to use a contact form.
Say exactly what you want people to include in their email whether it’s project details, their budget, the service their interested in and any other information you need to know to craft a proper reply.
Being very clear about what you want to know helps prevent the back and forth emails. If potential leads don’t email you the information that you’ve asked for, you can reply with a quick canned response (tweaked slightly to personalize it) asking again for the information you need to move forward.
So, where can you save your canned responses? If you use GSuite, here’s a quick tutorial. Or you can set up a spreadsheet where you keep all your repetitive replies. Just copy and paste and send and done.
Section 2 - Your Contact Form
If you are using the Squarespace form block to set up a contact form, Squarespace’s form block makes it easy to create fields that help you get the info you need from potential leads.
(Note: Make sure you know what your industry allows you to ask potential clients. You may need to add a disclaimer. You may need to inform people not to tell you too much about their problem as you don’t have a working relationship yet, if you’re a lawyer, for example.)
Before folks even begin to fill in the form, write clear instructions about who the form is for, what kind of questions you’re generally asking for and links to other contact forms, services or blog posts that help those who may realize your services aren’t right for them afterall.
On my own contact form for entrepreneurs and freelancers, I share a link in the instructions to encourage web designers and agencies to fill in another contact form.
On the form itself, I ask form-filler-inners to select the services they are interested in. I include an ‘Other’ selection and then give examples of what ‘Other’ could be. If someone chooses Other and tells me what their Other is, I probably have a canned email with a list of designers or platforms that can help them. It takes me less than a minute to reply and is helpful.
I don’t like ignoring people who email me (unless they’re spammy) even if I know they won’t book my various services, so asking the right questions on my form and sending canned emails speeds up my workflow.
Sarah’s inquiry page for our Design in a Day™ service is another good example of how having detailed and clear instructions saves time. She’s very clear about who we work with and what we don’t do. We work with owner clients and we don’t white label our Design in a Day™ service for agencies. This simple statement has reduced the number of inquiries from agencies and has saved Sarah time having to respond to them.
VAs save you time. A simple statement on your contact page or form can save you time, too.
Section 3 - A Thank You Page
If you use the Squarespace form block, once someone fills in your form, they can be redirected to a thank you page right on your website.
There are no limits to what you can put on your thank you page. The most important information is:
When your lead can expect to hear back from you
What to do if they, for some reason, don’t hear back from you. (In my case, I share my email).
Other useful information is:
a link to a blog post, faq page or video that answers common questions people ask
an intro video
links to other services
links to other useful blog posts
any disclaimers you might to need to add
If leads ask the same questions, it takes time in your busy schedule to answer these same questions. Save time by writing a quick blog post or FAQ page and link to it on your thank you page. In your canned response, you can also link to it again.
No need to say the answer the same questions in every single email.
When you’re your own business of one, make sure your website does the job of a good virtual assistant. Save time, reduce overwhelm, focus on the stuff that ‘makes you money’ all while still being helpful to people who reach out to you.
And remember - this, like anything on your website, is an experiment. Try it out. Check your analytics. Ask actual clients what they thought of your form or your thank you page. See what works. See what doesn’t.
And tweak as required.
Are you spending too much time watching video tutorials like these to set up your Squarespace site when you could be spending it on paid client projects?
Learn more about Design in a Day™ to see if that's a better option for you.
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