How to Find Clients: Four Tips for Future Success
in Small Business Growth on January 7, 2021Share with your friends or professional network
If you own a project-based business, you may sometimes be frustrated that your workload is more subject to ebb and flow and offers few guarantees. “When it rains, it pours” and “it’s feast or famine” come to mind. The key to surviving slow times is to know how to find clients so that your project flow becomes more reliable. In this post, we’ll focus on our top four tips for finding clients.
TIP ONE FOR HOW TO FIND CLIENTS: GET COMFORTABLE ASKING FOR REFERRALS.
The thought of asking for a referral may make you squeamish at first, but “referral marketing generates three to five times higher conversion rates than any other channel.” And there are a wealth of statistics supporting the power of and the willingness of people to give referrals. It’s one of the easiest ways to build your business fast, so here are some tips to help you get comfortable.
- Offer them options. You’ll both feel more comfortable if they have choices on how to sing your praises. Some people would rather give you contacts; others would rather write a testimonial. And still some are fans of star ratings.
- Partner with other small businesses that do what you do. It may sound a little weird at first, but asking people in your niche to let you help out when their project load is more t
han they can handle can be a win-win. And of course, you should reciprocate.
- Refer your clients/customers. Refer your clients to people you know that may be interested in their products and services. Comment on their social media and share their posts to show your commitment to them and stay top of mind.
- Use your email signature to call them to action. Your email signature is a great place for a call to action button to make referrals easy for your contacts. Plus, it will be a gentle reminder in every email.
TIP TWO FOR HOW TO FIND CLIENTS: GET LEADS BY CREATING WEBSITE CONTENT.
Remember the line in the movie Field of Dreams, “If you build it, he will come.”? It’s not always quite that easy with small business marketing. You likely won’t see overnight higher ranking in Google search results, but you can use email campaigns or paid ads to drive traffic to your site. And, your engaging, high quality content will immediately give your site visitors a better impression.
When you build website content, it gives you something to talk about while establishing credibility for your area of expertise. It can also increase your search engine optimization. Consider blogging, and creating videos, case studies, eBooks and downloadable content that will interest prospective clients by helping them personally or professionally.
TIP THREE FOR HOW TO FIND CLIENTS: GET THE INSIDE SCOOP ON JOB BOARDS.
You can harvest prospects from job postings. While you need to be upfront that you are not applying for the position, many companies are wasting money on staffing needs that might be better met with a freelance/small business. Here are some places to check out:
TIP FOUR FOR HOW TO FIND CLIENTS: GET SOCIAL.
Social media is a great place to find connections and network. Here are a few things you might try using social media.
- Use Twitter search to find tweets where people are looking for services. Type “looking for a [your keyword]” in the search bar. In the example below, we searched for graphic design work.
- Find questions that you can answer on Quora that relate to your industry. Most questions are indexed by Google, so you can get discovered by being an expert at what you do. In the example below, we searched “home renovation” and clicked on the “answer” link.
- LinkedIn gives some good advice on getting clients using its platform in six steps.
- First, they instruct you to complete your profile so that it’s professional, search-optimized, and client-focused.
- Second, they tell you to prospect by searching Groups or using LinkedIn’s Advanced Search, making sure to target people that fit your ideal customer profile.
- Third, they want you to simply send a “thank you” message to people who have accepted your request (but don’t try to pitch anything to them).
- Fourth, start to send relationship-building messages on a regular basis. These messages are a good use of the content you’ve created for your website that we mentioned in our tip above.
- Fifth, check what groups they are in, and join those groups. Get involved, show your expertise and engage your prospects there.
- Sixth, convert prospects to customers offline. Get them to talk to you outside of the social media platform once you have built a rapport.
Do you have a favorite tip? Connect with us on Facebook or LinkedIn to share your thoughts. Then, manage your clients better by making sure you can keep track of all the projects that start and stop and move around by signing up for a free trial of FuelGauge’s cash forecasting software for project-based businesses.