Kate, I think there`s definitely potential to find clients in the food/wine industry.
I`m working with a public relations professional right now who specializes in the wine industry, and all of her clients are vintners. I think you could probably find niche clients not only with local winery owners (there are several in my state and they do utilize newsletters to keep in touch with customers and wine enthusiasts), as well as the professionals (like my PR person) who work with that market.
Keep asking those questions, digging around, researching the market, and you`ll find your path to them. :)
Virtual Assistance is the profession of self-employed administrative professionals. What a Virtual Assistant would provide is the administrative support to execute someone`s blog or ezine and so forth.
Take a blog for example. A Virtual Assistant isn`t going to write the blog posts, But, a client might like to write several posts at once, maybe even in stream-of-consciousness style. The client can then have their Virtual Assistant go in to proofread, edit and cleanup posts, perhaps find suitable stock images to add visual interest, and schedule the posts for publication.
A Virtual Assistant isn`t going to write a client`s newsletter (although there are VAs who do also happen to be talented writers and their clients can avail themselves of those services as well), but they can input the articles, proof and edit them, put together basic print or ezine layouts, and work with ezine delivery product such as Constant Contact or IntelliContact.
Clients also often have their Virtual Assistant take care of their list management using products like Aweber. In that case, the Virtual Assistant can set up campaigns according to client specifications, proof, edit and input the messages, schedule autoresponders, send out broadcast messages, create the html code for registrations forms and place it on the client`s websites... the list goes on.
All of this kind of work is administrative execution, and just a few examples of the vast amount of administrative support that Virtual Assistants can provide for clients.
Kate, I didn`t realize you had another thread on this topic and I responded to your other post as well. I think you can find a niche market working with small vintners and the professionals who work with them. For example, I`m working with a public relations professional whose niche is the wine industry. All of her clients are boutique vintners. Keep asking those questions and poking around, and you`ll eventually find all your answers. :)
1) I would find some nifty maple sugar recipes. Post them on your website and others. To create a demand for your product.
2) Bag some small samples. Put together a "kit" that we can send to people who ask for it. Maybe if they sign up on your web page. (see #5)
3) Do some press releases about how active you business now has become - send it to Yankee Magazine, Mother Earth News etc. hoping for an article or a mention. Also, WNPR`s Faith Middleton show - the Food Schmooze where she frequenly interviews small organic farmers on her show.
4) Get links on other pages like Buy Local, Yankee, etc. for your website.
5) Add a sign up section to your website and send subscribers news and recipes periodically. (Ezine)
6) Also, look into who supplies such products to places like Old Sturbridge Village`s gift shop (and others) and the Vermont Country Store and Catalog.
We`d have to talk off line about my rates but I can tell you that a VA charges only for the time they spend on your projects. I have a time clock program on my computer and 10 minutes is 10 minutes - that is all you are charged for.
If you would like to know more, please let me know.
Also, I`d be glad to walk you thru the process to get your picture on the boards!