I was recently asked the question: how do you get clients, testimonials and experience under your belt when you don’t have any?
That’s the holy grail of business!
So, some of you on here have had your business for a while and work is going well, but either way, I still think these tips will be helpful and maybe even spark some ideas, wherever you are along your journey.
The other day I was listening to a podcast that was interviewing one of my clients. [Woot! Shout-out to Flow FP for kicking butt]. I bring this up because the topic was very similar to the question I have here, and her answer was raw and really great.
For example, she mentioned she had a big meltdown a bit into starting her business. She described how she had her business and niche set up nicely (of course ;). But, then came the question, how do you actually get clients?
As her brand designer, I was glad to hear her mention this top suggestion:
Know exactly who you are talking to (or if you don’t know, pick somebody specific to start with). Reach out to them in every place where you think they are hanging out, like Facebook groups, Meetup groups, specific events, etc. Provide helpful advice so that they start recognizing you as the go-to person in that specific niche.
But don’t take my word for it. Take a listen to her interview here and she will tell you the same.
Content marketing. If you like to write, create articles. If you like to do videos, make videos. If you like to talk, create a podcast. There is something for everyone 🙂 ! Get out there and share your knowledge. Meg did this phenomenally well. If you haven’t read her blog, I recommend it. Her realness, wit and cleverness can make even financial topics delightful.
Do great work. This will build your audience slowly, but it’s a solid way of building your business. Even if you only have a few clients, give them your all. It will come back tenfold.
Ask for a review. When you’re finished with that great work, I suggest you send a wrap-up email for a few different reasons:
a) Ask if they wouldn’t mind leaving a review, so other people can easily find out about your great work too! Link directly to the sites you want them to use, so you make it easy for them.
b) Ask your client to let you know how you did. This will be helpful so you can grow and do better next time.
c) List other ways you can help them. Generate more work opportunities for your business while providing them with the additional help they might need! Win-win! It’s always easier to take care of current clients vs. trying to find new ones.
Ask for an introduction. You can do this in your wrap-up email or you can write a separate note to your client. Thank them and ask if they happen to know somebody else who could benefit from your help and request an introduction. I like to use the word introduce versus referral; it just has a nicer, more gracious ring to it.
Create a small workshop at your local café, coworking space or on Zoom (if being in person isn’t an option). It’s a great way to practice your presentational skills and of course spread the word on how you can specifically help.
I know that there is so much out there about people making it overnight, but the truth is, it takes time to build up momentum in your business. In the podcast interview, Meg said it took her 10 months – that is absolutely amazing! She did a lot of the right things for that to happen. But don’t fret if you are 1-2 years in and don’t see the movement you wished for. It does take a lot of work and consistency.
If you keep up with these different suggestions, you will gain momentum. You will get over the hump and start seeing consistent work coming in. It’s like the motto…whatever you water will grow!
I hope this inspires you to take some action!
If you have any questions, I’m a click (or two) away.