So you have your own unique genius and decided to start a business or come up with new offerings in your existing business? And now you’re just waiting patiently for your favorite clients to come running to you. Ok, maybe not patiently because you have bills to pay, potential people to start serving, and skills and talents to share with the world…. like ASAP!
First off, congrats on taking the steps to grow and build your business beyond where it is now. I know this wild world of entrepreneurship is sometimes a dream come true and sometimes it’s heart-wrenching and altogether scary adventure. But don’t worry, my friend… I’ve been there and I’m here to guide you into finding and booking those fabulous future clients of yours. Can you see them? They are waiting for you!
1. USE YOUR PRECIOUS TIME WISELY
As I write this, I am thinking back to the time I was right in your position. I set up shop and was impatiently waiting for my future clients to fill my calendar. Where are theyyyyyy? I asked myself. I spent days fretting if I was ever going to even find them. But here’s what I wish I spend more time doing – spending my time more wisely on setting up systems, doing market research, designing beautiful opt-ins aka all the things you will be putting on the back burner when you start booking so many clients that you can’t spend time on all the little details of your business (or you’ll get a rockin’ assistant who will do those things for you).
Instead of worrying about where your clients are going to come from, spend time being proactive. But really, use this time wisely because it’s precious, exciting, and really important in the beginning steps of starting your business.
2. ESTABLISH YOURSELF AS AN EXPERT VIA CONSISTENT INFO CONTENT
This goes along with the above. Once you starting booking a million clients a month (ok, slight exaggeration) you won’t have major amounts of time to create consistent content. I strongly believe in the power of blogging, but that doesn’t mean that has to be your avenue of creating content on a consistent basis. You can make video content, focus on your newsletters, periscope… or anything else you can dream up that will put in your genius into something that can be shared, viewed, taken in consistently.
Creating content on a consistent basis is like putting out seeds of your wisdom on the inter-webs so you can drive more traffic to your site. When a potential client stumbles upon your site, you want them to stick around and take in your brilliant content (whatever that may be). Try to put lots of love and time into this when you can because I have a feeling you’re about to book more clients than you know what to do with and you’ll be running an empire in no time.
SIDE NOTE- If you are going to blog, you should totally follow this pinterest strategy to drive traffic and attract those wonderful potential clients to your site.
3. HELLLLLLO, REFERRALS
Probably all of my branding, design, and photo styling clients have come from a referral. No one really wants to hire a stranger. But this can be really good news for you. Why you ask. Because once you start getting clients rolling in, you don’t have to hustle as much as you have been in the booking clients department. You have to hustle to get that one client who just adores you and everything about your services and they will be happy to tell all their friends about you.
Word of mouth is key if you are working one-on-one with clients. I cannot stress it enough. You can even encourage your clients to spread the word by offering them an incentive if they start recommending you and get you business.
A fabulous idea you can use for your own taking is if your client refers you to someone you end up booking with then you can offer them a credit towards your services. This rewards your clients to refer you to more people and then you have two future jobs ahead of you. #winning
4. FIND WAYS TO CONTINUE CLIENT SUPPORT
Put your thinking caps on for a second and think about long-term ways you can continue to serve and nourish your potential clients. This always makes me think of Shark Tank. Are you a fan? It’s probably one of my favorite shows EVER! I’ve learned so much about business by binge watching every season over and over. So the most amazing thing I’ve learned is that when companies create products if they don’t have a strategy to keep their customers coming back, then most likely the sharks won’t invest in their business. They love businesses with product extensions.
So if you do one thing and after you deliver that one thing your clients never need you again, then it will be hard to develop a major long-lasting relationship. Of course, there’s an exception to that, but if you don’t continue client support you better get super rockin’ at booking clients one after the other.
I am not saying to pull services and products out of your *you know what* just to continue to serve your clients. I am challenging you to think outside of the box a bit and see how you can develop a client experience that keeps them coming back for more.
And I know, I know maybe you are laser-focused on just doing one thing. I get that and you don’t want to think of other services you can provide your clients…. BUT when you are starting out it’s important to try a couple things so you can see what clicks with what your clients really need and what ways you love serving them best.
5. FIRST WORK & TESTIMONIALS!
Aka don’t have a fear of putting yourself out there. And I know you may fall into two scenarios here…
1. You don’t have any work to show because you are just starting out + don’t have any clients yet. So here’s what you can do – If you do some sort of visual work (photography, graphic design, web design) make your own projects. This can be super fun because you can create whatever you want to dream up. Better yet, think of your perfect dream client and create a logo or branding that they would just die for. If you’re a photographer, take some rockin’ photos of your friends or family to add to your growing portfolio.
If your work is consulting or coaching then pick a couple clients (not too many) to test your genius on for free (or in exchange for a testimonial). I DO NOT recommend working for free just because! I recommend working for free to test out your services until you’ve perfected what will best serve your client’s needs. Then get awesome testimonials from those clients you worked with. And of course I must mention that once you’ve worked out the main kinks in your services and offerings, then charge your full value pleassssse! SIDE NOTE – You’ll never have it all together (no one does) but you’ll know the right time to start charging, raising your prices, etc.
2. Or if you only have 1 or 2 clients. Yay!! Go you! Get testimonials from the few clients you have so you can share their experience on your website, social media, etc. Share the work you’ve done for them (if it’s visual) all over the place!
You can always do a little combination of both of these! Whatever you do, put yourself out there because your future clients NEED your own unique genius!