When you’re first starting your business the struggle to find clients is real. Some days you’re overwhelmed with so many people telling you what works for them and then not having much success in your business.
You’re tired of seeing your fellow business besties bring in a full-time income when you’re struggling to find work yourself. I know the desire you have to provide for yourself/family and how the overwhelm can quickly paralyze you from what you need to do.
That’s why this post is designed to help you find clients that love your business. There’s no fluff or “keep doing what you’re doing” mantra, but honest and actionable advice you can begin today.
If you struggle with telling people that you own a business and what you do, stop worrying about what others think! You need to tell your network, family, and friends what kind of service-based business you run and how you can help them.
You don’t have to bug everyone by sending individual messages. It could even be a simple one-time announcement on Facebook.
Super simple, and it doesn’t need to be complicated.
One thing you can do is invite a business owner you admire for a lunch date and share with them how their business has changed your life. Focus on them and eventually, they’ll ask, “What do you do for work?” It’s then you can share your role and the services you provide. You can emphasize how you can specifically help their business’s current needs without sounding too salesy.
If you go this route, which I don’t think is a bad one, keep in mind a few things. Choose a limited number of projects (usually 1 – 3) to add to your portfolio to showcase your work. You can easily reach out to non-profit organizations or businesses you’d like to work with in the future and offer your services to them, rather than picking people who can’t afford you because they’re currently there.
When a job is complete, ask your client what they love most about the work you provide. This is a great way to gather testimonials to share on your site and social media.
At the end, you’ll have amazing portfolio pieces and (hopefully) glowing reviews to pave the path for other clients!
There are Facebook groups that are specifically for creatives, entrepreneurs, and groups specific to your area of expertise. However, I don’t want you to do a search and request to join every single one of these groups.
You’ll want to join 3 – 5 high-quality groups in your specific area. Then spend time investing in these groups by providing free advice in helping others. Don’t forget to optimize your personal Facebook profile and list your website and your business in employment.
If your advice is great, people will click on your profile link. Ideally, you’ll have your business information on the public view of your profile.
You’ll also want to focus on Pinterest and Instagram as well.
Pinterest is a great way to build trust and increase traffic to your site. You can also create opt-ins to help solve problems and invite them to purchase something from you. Give your best work free because if it’s amazing, your clients will know your paid work is even better.
To connect to clients personally, use Instagram to increase your exposure and engagement. You can show your personality by using IG stories, call-to-actions, and leaving helpful comments on other posts. Don’t forget to optimize your profile by telling people what you can help with.
In-person networking is a bit time-consuming, but this method can be very effective at blog and business conferences.
Don’t attend random conferences, be purposeful with which events will bring fruitful and genuine relationships. Do some research into events and make sure they’re either peers in your industry or your target market
Start authentic relationships with others without pitching to anyone or being salesy. When you’re willing to serve and talk about others, you’ll be remembered more than if you talk about yourself.
These can lead to friendships or business besties to form masterminds with.
Give it a try! If you’re introverted, just know that small bursts of conversation, as long as they’re genuine, are just as good as a large quantity of time. As a fellow introvert, I almost want to say they’re even better! If you’re just plain shy, bring a friend or two to ease your nerves.
It’s a satisfying feeling to know you’ve left a place with possible new friendships!