Landing your first client is by far one of the biggest challenges for getting your business started. I believe that businesses are based on referrals and in order for you to receive referrals, you must have clients which will refer you! But don't get stressed out just yet - there are many things you can do to establish a clientele.
Reconnect with your network, both social and business. Create a list of everyone you know, have done business with or have given business to. This is where you can begin the referral process. Though you friends, family and colleagues may not require your service right away, they may know of someone who would benefit from your service. Keep in touch with you network and keep spreading the word about your services.
Source out your previous employer. Before going out on your own, you obviously worked for a company. Reconnect with your previous boss as you already have their trust. Your ex employer has already seen your work and knows what you are capable of. Pitch your service to them and take advantage of the fact that they already have a professional relationship with you.
Join forces and collaborate with other businesses in your community. Connect with people who would also benefit from referrals. If you are a Realtor, partner up with mortgage brokers or stagers. If you are a wedding photographer, connect with caterers and wedding planners and promote your business. Work with people where your services compliment one another.
Be a guest author and write for a local newspaper. Pick a topic which many people have questions about within your field and write a short article about it. Direct questions and comments to your own website and offer to elaborate or offer your services to further educate the reader. By having your article appear where potential clients will read it increases your exposure and credibility.
Find organizations that target your market and offer to do a training session or offer a seminar to educate people on your expertise within your industry. When I first started real estate, I would hold first time buyer seminars. This allowed me to educate people for free about purchasing property for the first time. Once I gained their trust, I retained them as clients. As an entrepreneur, many of your attendees may decide that they would rather hire someone (you) than do it themselves. Plus, you can sometimes get paid for speaking, adding another revenue source.
These are just a few tips to help get you started in building your clientele. What may look like just a few small ideas, could end up leading you to generate a list of possible people who may one day, be your client. It's your business, everyone you meet, whether personal or professional, voice your services and make sure they know what your business is about.
Do you have a way of generating new business? Would love to hear from you!
With Love, Nikki