“If I don’t start getting some clients I’m going to have to give it all up,” I confided to my best friend of thirty years. Even though everyone knows once you taste the freedom of entrepreneurship, there’s really no going back. You’ll do anything.
“Honey, you need to go get a job,” the voice shouts, waking me up in a sweat. I’m dreaming again, only this feels more like a nightmare. The guilt, desperation, and anxiety of the bottom line on my P & L is no joke. The voice from my dream is probably right. It might be time to concede, claim the failure, and go back to my day job. Luckily my wife has never uttered these words, and it was only a dream.
Or is there a way to build my business, get more clients, and do this like I see everyone else around me doing it easily? There must be a way. If they can do this, I can do this, I think.
Getting clients is about having a consistent action-taking strategy and then despite the demons that show up in your head, taking that consistent action until it works.
When you feel like quitting it all say to yourself, this is that moment.
It’s the moment you’ll read about in books about success. It’s the moment you realize you’re going to have to find your inner badass and really go for it in a bigger way.
You got this. Now let’s go get more clients, fill your pipeline, experience some regular cash flow, and build that business you were born for.
How to get your very first clients
One of the ways to begin getting clients in your new business is to work for less, or free, and get a few testimonials to help your advertising along. Chances are you’ve already helped a few people for free. And who cares if it was your brother, you can put “Grateful Client” as a testimonial signature for now.
Truth is, you believe in what you do, and you’re good at it. And there’s someone out there, whether they paid you or not, who can start to speak about it. Take advantage of that and ask them for some kind words you can use. Then go plaster them on your website, social media, or other places it makes sense where prospective clients are reading about you.
The other way to start getting clients and more of those coveted testimonials is to trade services with others who do something you need. You’ll be creating satisfied clients and you’ll be receiving crucial services you might need to grow your business as well. Think about who would make the most sense to trade or barter with. Whose services would benefit you, and them. Look for a win-win.
But…you can’t work for free forever and next up are nineteen more ways you can begin to attract more clients to your business.
19 simple, effective, cheap ways to get new clients and customers
- Go to networking events
I hear you moaning, but I’m about to transform the way you think about networking in terms of building your business. You’re networking to help other people build theirs. You heard me right. The old mindset about showing up to those events to sell your shit? It’s not going to work. Go in with the intention of building someone else’s business and watch how the magic unfolds.
The magic lies in creating a goal for yourself to connect with two people from each event you go to. Find a good fit. Learn about what they do to the point you could easily talk about and refer them to your friends. And do that! You will begin to see that that energy and gratitude comes back your way. When you’re known as that connector, you’ll be a sought-after colleague and you will get referrals.
- Tell friends and family about your business
Do your closest family members and friends really know what you do? You know those people who already know, love and trust you? Teach them about what you do and how to talk about you should they come across someone in need of your services.
- Ask for referrals
Many times when we talk to others about what we do they won’t necessarily need what we have to offer, but they will know someone who does. Remember to ask for referrals. And when they connect their friend with you, the person who ends up solving their problem, well you just made that person who referred you look pretty darn good. And that’s a really good thing. They will refer again.
- Create a workshop or presentation
When you do a free webinar, workshop or presentation, live or online, about what you do, you’ll be able to build your know, like and trust factor and prospective clients will more likely become actual ones. When you give them some value, help them solve a problem, and give them a taste with some tangible results, you’ll be hearing from them again.
- Offer free help or advice
You can also build the know, like and trust factor by offering advice or coaching that gives that tangible result and helps the person solve a problem. How much coaching or advice you give is up to you. Don’t over give and get taken advantage of. But a little goes a long way and it can lead to a new client.
- Get some publicity
Everyone could use a little more publicity for their business and services. But ask yourself what you’ve been doing in this arena. Anything? Appearing as a guest on a podcast, or guest blogging can give you the bit of extra publicity you need to begin to build your platform and then add new clients to your schedule. You should create a regular schedule of publicity and exposure to consistently fill your pipeline.
- Write a guide or case study
Writing an ultimate guide (kind of like this post) or a case study will help prospective clients not only know, like and trust you enough to sign up for your services, it will show you’re an expert in your field.
- Be personal
They talk about know, like and trust for a reason and it doesn’t happen without some authenticity. Be personal, relatable, and kind. Practice compassion. Share yourself. The more personal you are the more universal appeal you have to your audience and the more likely they are to become a customer.
- Connect with others during personal activities/hobbies
Many business owners are so wrapped up with their business 24/7 that they forget there are loads of possible clients who show up for different activities, events and hobbies. What are some of your favorite things to do? Go meet those people. Go into Facebook groups about those hobbies. Be helpful. Build some relationships. Do you even know what those other parents on your kid’s team do for a living?
- Generate and capture leads
If your business does not have an automated system for generating leads, you’re missing out. You need a system with a way to capture people’s names and emails and a system for regularly communicating with them that helps build that relationship. If you’re behind the times with this it could be a game-changer in today’s digital world.
- Industry-specific job boards
Taking a peek at industry job boards or Facebook groups for people in those industries can prove to be an excellent way to build relationships with people who need your services. The biggest rule in social groups is to be helpful. Don’t try to sell your stuff. Just go in, answer questions, make helpful comments, and let people come to you.
- Productize your services
Turn your service into a product that someone can purchase. This ensures regular passive cash flow. Make your service into a class, course or workshop that people can buy and participate in on their own.
- Cold emails
You might try a few cold emails to people you think may want or need what you have to offer. You never know, you may just end up in their inbox at exactly the right time, and bam…new client.
- Partner with agencies
Joint ventures, partnerships, and collaborations can quickly lead to referrals and new clients when those partnerships are strong. Who in your industry might you partner up with to create something even bigger and better for your clients?
- Start Co-working
By sharing office space with ten to one hundred other business owners you have an opportunity to network on a daily basis with people who might become clients or know others who need your services.
- Send a handwritten letter
Do you get excited when you receive actual mail in your mailbox? It feels special. Because it is these days. Try a handwritten letter when you want to get the attention of a prospective client.
- Create controversy
Many believe creating controversy will cost them clients, when in reality it brings more of them. Because when you stand for something you attract the perfect clients. Don’t be afraid to talk about and write about what you believe in, especially if your way is different than everyone else’s. There will be people sighing in relief to come across your message.
- Make creative business cards
What does your stack of business cards from that last networking event you went to look like? Any of them stand out? Why? Take a peek at the ones you paid attention to and think about how you want your next one to look, feel and sound. It could mean you land the client.
- Run an ad campaign
Sometimes your business message needs to get in front of more people and an ad is the only way to do that. Make sure you know what platforms your ideal clients are on and where they are reading before you spend money on an ad.
- Craig’s List
Have you posted your offerings on Craig’s list yet? Your neighborhood list serve? Try it and see what happens.Learn how to find clients online
If you have an online business then you’ll need a few more ideas about how to get more online clients. Here are 11 more ways to get clients in the online space.
- Focus on a specific niche
Actually this goes for on or offline. You need to niche. Stop resisting. And you need to niche down to the flavor smoothie the person likes to drink. The more you know who your client is in detail, the more your copywriting speaks to them, the more they begin to know, like and trust you, and the more likely they are to buy from you. If you are talking to everyone, saying things like, “I help everybody,” then you’re talking to no one. When you specialize in something you’ll have no shortage of clients.
- Blog with your ideal clients in mind
Every time you blog, or post on social media, or write a hard mail letter, your words should speak to that ideal client to the point they start saying to you, “Are you in my head?” When that happens you’ll know you’re on target with your copy. And you’re much more inclined to start getting more clients.
- Guest blog on other sites
This is an exposure and publicity thing. The bigger the site, the better. But find out where your ideal clients are hanging out to read blogs. Submit to those sites. You might even spend a couple bucks having those pieces copy edited to make sure they stand out among the thousands of other submissions.
- Pump up your SEO
There are people you can hire to make sure your website is getting more traffic. Sometimes a simple SEO boost will drastically change the amount of visitors to your site, which will in turn, end up in more clients.
- Host a webinar
I talked about the presentation or workshop earlier, but the free webinar is a great way to funnel people into a paid offer. Give value. Build your know, like and trust factor. And then watch as more people begin to hire you to help them.
- Hang out where your clients are online
Make a list of groups your clients would be hanging out in. What social platforms do they use? Frequent those sites and build relationships.
- Industry networking sites
One of those platforms might be an industry-specific site. Make a list of those for your industry or complementary industries and spend time each week building relationships.
- Use Quora and answer questions there
You can showcase your knowledge by answer questions on this platform. Go in and look for questions being asked in your line of expertise.
- Use Reddit and answer questions there
Reddit is a similar space to Quora but instead of looking for questions, look for communities that are gathering based on your topic and go in and be helpful by answering questions or contributing to comments.
- Use LinkedIn
Target connections that make sense for your services and build relationships by regularly reaching out to get to know people.
- Build your customer base daily
Build your email list consistently and stay in touch with that list on a regular basis. Consistency is more important than frequency in this case. Because, out of sight, out of mind.
Online or in-person, there are some other great ways to think about the best way to get more clients. Some of it has to do with the way you’re branding your business, some with mindset, and some are straight-up social media or exposure strategy. It’s great to experiment with several of the following tips to see which work the best for your business. Business development is a lot about adopting a CEO kind of mindset vs. an employee mindset. Let’s see which of the following you need to focus more on.
What’s the best way to get clients for my business?
Become the face of your business
When you’re out there consistently as the face of your business you become known for your brand. If you’re still working in your business you’ll eventually have a problem. When it comes to your business you must begin to ask yourself if you’re becoming the face of it, and what exactly that face represents.
Create a contagious vision
Part of becoming the face of your business includes the badass vision you have. What is your business vision? Is it big enough? Is it clear? Is it so badass that others are drawn to helping you achieve it? Start doing some journaling on these questions. Think about Martin Luther King’s Vision “I Have a dream…”
Master your mindset
Discipline your mind and everything else will follow. Negative self-sabotage will crush you and your business. With a focus on things like positivity, success, and possibility, your actions will follow the energy of those thoughts. Seek out tools to help you on the bad days. Search for a community that is doing that together. If you think you can’t get new clients, then you can’t get new clients. Begin to practice the thoughts of the business owner you are becoming.
Focus on Business Development
Business development is about helping build other people’s businesses. It’s the biggest misconception out there about how to build your business with new clients. We think we have to go out and sell everyone when what we really need to do is build relationships with people who will help us grow our business.
Get punched in the face
No, I don’t mean take a boxing class. I mean learn to deal with mistakes and failures as stepping stones and get back up and do it again tomorrow. The biggest problems give us the biggest opportunity for victory. Don’t get too discouraged when life punches you in the face. Realize you’re learning how to be a badass.
Take action by doing scary things every day
If you’re not taking bigger risks every day then you’re playing it safe in your comfort zone and you’re not going to be able to take everything to the level you dream of. Big victories come from big leaps. Your purpose-driven fear will guide you in the right direction. Don’t stay stuck in your cozy little comfort zone. The zombie life is not for the entrepreneur. When a fear pops up it’s literally the universe saying, “Go that direction!”
Try your hand at standing on a stage and talking to people about what matters to you and watch the clients line up at the table in the back after your talk. Speaking positions you as an expert that can solve problems. And people have problems they need solved. Your message and story will resonate with the ideal avatar.
Write your book
Similarly, writing your book will position you as an authority and expert in your field. You can promote that book on interviews, blogs and podcasts, get more exposure and publicity with it and begin to build your platform. You can also get new clients from your book when they read something that helps them solve their problem and they contact you to work with you afterward.
Blogging is another way to gain expert status and get known as an authority in your topic area. Guest blogging is a particularly great vehicle for this as you’ll reach more people on those bigger platforms. You can also get clients directly from the call to action on your blogs.
Start podcast guesting
Be a guest on podcasts that serve your ideal clients. It’s a great way to share your voice and message, build the know, like and trust factor and with a strong call to action, get more clients.
Start your own podcast and build your platform with listeners. Providing value is key. When you help the listener solve a problem, they’re more likely to click on your website, sign up for your email list and then become a client.
Start a Facebook group
A private Facebook group that serves your ideal clients for free is another great way to offer value. It can be a funnel to your email list and your paid offerings.
Create content: Videos/social graphics, etc…
Any form of consistent content is necessary to getting more people to know, like and trust you. They say it takes seven to nine touches to get someone to act. Consistent content in the form of live-streams, videos, blogs, posts and other content can help fill your pipeline.
Automate your sales process
I mentioned this early but it’s worth repeating, when you automate your email sales process you will automatically get more clients you never knew you could get. When a business grows you need even more of this. There will be a point when your systems are not serving you anymore and you’ll need to up-level your sales automation. Don’t resist. A small investment can yield great rewards.
Get a publicist
Similarly there will be a time when there are not enough hours in the day to reach out for the publicity and exposure you need to continue to fill your pipeline consistently. A publicist, virtual assistant or other people will be crucial to building a strong team that helps you grow your business. And many times you’ll need to invest in these team members before you feel ready, to allow you to jump to the next level.
Delegate and Outsource
One last word about that team. When you begin to delegate the tasks you hate, and outsource to professionals who are excellent at what they do, you’ll not only free up valuable time to build your business, you’ll start to sit in your zone of excellence more often, be the face of your company more often, and attract the champions to your business you’re hoping for.
All of the aforementioned tips are crucial to building a business that continues to grow, attract new clients and scale. But The ultimate question I get asked is how to do all of this fast. Like yesterday. You know it doesn’t always work like that but here are some ideas to speed up this process.
How do I get more customers in less time?
Want to know how to get clients fast? Here are three simple ideas.
Perfect your current client process
Follow up with current clients to see if they need more help. Be creative and offer them services that they may need to help them grow. Your current client base can be a perfect and easy way to increase cash flow. Use a CRM to remind you to touch base every 30 days.
- Work with clients who have a large, engaged audience
When you’re serving clients who have a lot of connections you’re liable to gain more clients just from being a part of their world. Go find one or two of those kind of clients and figure out how to engage with them more often.
- Follow up with clients who never purchased
Sometimes people are just busy and it takes one extra personal follow up for them to come around and hire you.
- Reach out, reach out, reach out!
Every day you should send at least 10 direct messages to your ideal avatar. Ask them non-sales questions about their business. Compliment them on what they’ve accomplished and ask how they did it. Consistency is king in reaching out.
Leverage social media to get more clients
If you’re not on some kind of social media then you’re passing up a huge opportunity to get more clients. Don’t resist. But first find out where your people are hanging out and then spend some time developing relationships in those places. Here are some tips for the major social media platforms.
How to get clients with Twitter
Answer questions on Twitter or use Twitter Search for your topic area. Join Twitter communities and engage often on other tweets. Follow trending hashtags and create your own content.
How to get clients with Instagram
Post daily and make sure your profile link takes them back to your website or group. Use Instagram stories to ask questions, create polls and other fun content. Use hashtags that focus on your ideal avatar. Post at least once a day and engage with other people’s content.
How to get clients with Facebook
Facebook can be a moving target but in the end it’s all about developing relationships.
Make sure you participate in Facebook groups where you can be of service to other members. Running your own free private Facebook group is a great way to funnel people into your paid offerings. Using Facebook live-streams to deliver regular content is a great way to build the know, like and trust factor. Your Facebook business page can include a link to your email opt-in. And Facebook ads can be targeted directly to your ideal clients. Don’t forget to reach out via Facebook Messenger and build relationships with people who’ve just friended you or accepted a friend request from you. Seek to build that platform consistently.
How to get clients with LinkedIn
Building relationships on LinkedIn might include reaching out by messenger to learn more about someone and their business, doing LinkedIn live-streams to build know, like and trust, or blogging to educate your audience there. Post educational content that helps people find more success with what you do.
Ad Etsy listings for your services
Etsy is more for crafters selling products but you can create branding items like t-shirts, mugs, etc…with your quote, your tagline, or your message and brand and turn your words into stuff you can sell.
Using Pinterest to get clients
Pinterest, like YouTube, is being used as a search engine for people looking for just about everything. Maximize your Pinterest page with freebies, blog posts, and by following like-minded people.
Using Youtube to get clients
Posting regular videos that help people solve their problems can be a great way to funnel them into other paid offerings. Remember to add your website and other important links to your posts so it’s easy for people to click and find you. What are you ideal clients typing into YouTube when they need to find the answer to something? Remember your keywords when you post.
Using Tiktok to get clients
Post behind-the-scenes content and let them meet the real you. Remember what is every day normal for you is not every day normal for others. Follow ideal clients and engage with their content.
More bonus marketing tips to get more clients (and not feel like a sleazy slime-ball)
Ultimately we need a full pipeline of prospects on a consistent basis to begin to get more clients and keep them coming. Most of this is about business development and building relationships. The rest is about your sales strategy. When it comes down to it, your old, out-dated mindset about sales, maybe something you were taught way back when, is killing your bottom line. Let’s remember what sales actually is.
Bonus #1: What is sales?
If you remember that sales is just a conversation with an outcome and stop going into your sales conversations trying to sell, but instead trying to learn as much as you can about the other person, you’ll have a game-changing way to up your client-getting game.
Bonus #2: The rules for sales
Number one rule? Don’t try to sell them. Number two? Be authentic. Number three? If they are full of objections it’s not your job to talk them out of them. People are so freaked out by the bad sales experiences they’ve had in the past they flinch when there’s any little bit of an idea they will be sold. Be yourself. Be honest. Call yourself out on your worries about the conversation up front, and if it all goes to hell…remember to ask them for a referral. Chances are if they aren’t a good client, they will know someone who is.
Bonus #3: Closing the sale
The biggest thing to remember is to make sure you get to a next step. That might be a sale, but if it’s not, make sure you have a date on the calendar for a next conversation. Be bold about not leaving the current conversation without one.
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