You're not alone if you're a small business owner or service provider who's struggling to get clients right now.
Navigating a freelance or service-based business that relies on a continuous supply of clients is rarely ‘steady.' Instead, it fluctuates between feast times, and why isn't the phone ringing?
We understand that attracting clients is a difficult task. To become a profitable client, prospects usually require a lot of TLC and nurturing.
Building the kind of trust necessary to sell a customer, particularly online, takes time. The majority of marketing does not immediately attract clients. Instead, it makes you visible to those prospects considering your services.
In this post, we will talk about all the strategies you can implement now to get more clients as well as what tactics to avoid.
You might also want to check out our Internet Marketing For Small Business guide for a strategy that just could provide the massive boost in business you're looking for.
Let's get started!
What if you're having a tranquil moment and need to get some clients in the door right away?
Every business has its ups and downs. Even large corporations with thousands of employees experience ups and downs. That isn't to say you should give up or sit around waiting for new clients to come through the door.
In the long run, being proactive in acquiring new clients means that your "slow moments" become few and far between. Your steady flow of clients is less sporadic. You can relax a little more.
Proactively Reach Out To Prospects
When you're proactive, your potential for success increases exponentially. Contacting those who have already expressed an interest in what you offer is a great way to get the ball rolling and keep it going until they're either with you or realize they're not interested.
There are two reasons for this:
You increase your chances of closing the sale exponentially. You up your chances of getting referrals.
Prospects with whom you've had contact will feel like there is more history between you and them, thus making it easier to move forward into a mutually beneficial relationship.
How can you proactively reach out to prospects?
You could create a presentation and provide them with it via email or social media: It's always better to give than receive and this is one way to prove that.
You could offer an e-course that they can opt into: This would be similar to supplying your contact list with a presentation.
By providing a course, you're demonstrating that you have the knowledge to impart to them and they can benefit from it through their relationship with you.
You could also contact your past customers: This is another way of being proactive as well as showing those prospects who aren't yet customers how valuable your service is for those who are already using it.
How about an in-person approach?
If you're working from a local business center, it would be beneficial to introduce yourself and your service to other people in the office.
You could also look into signing up for Meetup.com or Craigslist's Gigs Section. It wouldn't hurt to attend some networking events either.
So, what can you do to get clients who will generate both short-term revenue and long-term growth for your company?
We're going to show you 10 quick and easy strategies to attract clients right now that will help you get through this temporary famine (without seeming or feeling desperate) while also helping you grow your business.
You can't actively sell anything without knowing exactly who you're selling it to. Finding potential customers is a simple task when you know how and where to look. For the majority of businesses, that means using social media.
If your business is B2C (business-to-consumer) then you're at an advantage. Chances are that your customers already have social media accounts and spend time on these platforms every day. What's more, they likely have their preferred networks saved in their favorite places.
If your business is B2B (business-to-business), then the process of finding clients is slightly more complicated.
Some businesses target market leaders with large followings or industry influencers with high follower counts (people who are already known within the industry).
Other businesses will go straight to their biggest potential clients by researching keywords for geographic location, company information, and hashtags used on social media.
As your business grows, your network widens. You'll have more clients to target, but it should be easier to track them down using the same strategies.
Once you've found potential clientele on social media, take note of which platforms they use the most frequently. This will help determine your initial approach with each one.
If your client is a B2C business that targets stay-at-home moms, you'll be able to use more casual language on Facebook than on LinkedIn. Keep your tone consistent with the expected level of knowledge on each platform.
You may also want to do some online research and discover where your target client is most likely to be found at a given time.
Are they browsing Facebook over breakfast? Tweeting while they wait for the bus? Reading blog posts on their lunch break or watching YouTube videos on the train ride home?
You can easily curate content based on your client's social media activity. A month later, you'll be able to determine which platforms they spend the most time on and focus your attention accordingly.
1. Look for ways to provide (even more) value to your current clientele
Retaining current customers is much less expensive than acquiring new ones. Concentrate your efforts on existing and former clients.
You already know they're a fan of your company and eager to pay for your services, so re-engage them or go deeper with them.
What else do you have to give them? Consider what your client genuinely requires at this time and how you may meet those needs with your services.
Let's imagine you're a personal trainer and your client recently lost 50 pounds. He now wishes to bulk up. You assisted him in losing weight; now, reach out to him with programs and ideas to assist him in gaining muscle.
Maybe you're a dating expert. Maybe your client needs some long-term relationship coaching now that they've met a spouse.
Here's an example of an email you could send:
Greetings, Jenna! All of your Instagram posts of you and Jim have been fantastic! I'm so glad we were able to collaborate to find you such a fantastic partner. I'm launching a relationship program focusing on sustaining long-term desire and elevating your love life from good to fantastic. I believe it would be ideal for you and your new relationship!
The good news is that you don't need to start with a completely new product or software to get started. Reach out to one or two clients who you believe might benefit from greater attention and provide them with one-on-one attention.
Plus, if customers appreciate the new value you've provided, you might want to consider making it an additional item shortly.
2. Seek referrals from everyone you know.
We understand how invasive referrals may be. However, asking for referrals is one of the most effective strategies to rapidly acquire qualified leads who become clients. Increase referrals through networking strategies.
a. Inquire of your customers
Clients are always willing to assist you, particularly if they appreciate the value you provided. By requesting a recommendation, you are not impolite.
They see you as a business, and they understand that to flourish, businesses require clients. They'll be more than happy to assist you in expanding if they enjoy what you're offering.
According to social psychology research, asking for a favor improves someone's feelings toward you. Your client will feel valued and distinguished if you ask for "more amazing clients like you."
Furthermore, if they assist you, they are more likely to be committed in your future, making them a long-term client.
Requesting references can help you gain new clients while also improving your relationships with existing ones.
b. Ask former clients
Did you try to reach out to someone who declined your offer? There is no need to be concerned. Thank them for their time and request a recommendation.
They may have declined your request for various reasons, but they may know of other partners or individuals who would benefit from your skills. You have nothing to lose, and they might just have the ideal client for you.
c. Consult your buddies
Your family and friends are rooting for you to succeed. They have their networks and communities. If you don't ask, they might not think to offer you referrals, so don't hesitate to ask.
Tip: Referral rewards are a great approach to get individuals to send you more leads.
3. Reach out to the "disappeared"
No matter how high your conversion or close rate is, some prospects will always fall through the cracks. Remember that guy who gave you an initial consultation but didn't return your call? Or the one who requested a pricing quote and then disappeared?
These "dead" leads nevertheless have the potential to become customers. And since you already have their contact information and initial curiosity, reach out to them again. Don't dismiss them so quickly.
They may have forgotten about you, or they may have encountered too many difficulties. A little follow-up will help your business resurface in their minds, and you'll have another chance to overcome any difficulties they may have encountered the first time.
Pro tip: Make the email or phone call more personal. Ask them how their pet is doing, or bring up a scenario or event you discussed in a previous contact. The idea isn't to sell them immediately but to re-engage them in a nice, personable manner.
4. Create landing pages that are optimized for generating leads.
You'll need more leads if you want to get more clients. People who have expressed interest in your business and provided you with their contact information are referred to as "leads."
Leads aren't always ready to buy right away, so don't expect to get clients straight immediately. However, the only way to ensure that you have a consistent stream of clients coming through the door now and in the future is to develop a lead list.
The easiest strategy to obtain potential clients on your lead list is to use landing pages that are optimized for lead creation. Landing pages contain a single marketing goal and call to action, which helps your prospects convert more quickly.
A lead magnet, such as a free eBook or a scheduler for an initial session, will usually be offered on your landing page.
In exchange for their email address, the prospect receives an immediate and substantial value. You now have more opportunities to communicate with them.
5. Experiment with new formats
To reach new audiences, you must get outside of your comfort zone, explore new locations, and go where ‘your people' already congregate.
It's critical to get into your local community and start spreading the word, whether it's online or in person. This type of "offline" networking can assist even digital, remote businesses.
Here are some ideas for establishing your credibility in your community:
- Make an appointment to present at a relevant conference.
- Join the Chamber of Commerce and/or trade organizations in your community.
- Join a co-working place to meet other entrepreneurs.
- Place your business card in places you frequent, such as coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, and other hotspots.
- When you go out, get out of your comfort zone and start talking to more individuals (yoga classes, pet stores, anywhere). You never know who might be hidden in plain sight, whether it's a client or a business partner.
In every interaction, make sure you're adding value. Don't merely request a business card or "beg" for work. Build a one-on-one relationship, and the clients will come organically.
6. Include a bonus without lowering your price
In times of famine, it's easy to get despondent. Prices. Must. Not. Be. Reduced. Too many small business owners will make drastic price cuts in the hopes of attracting new customers quickly, believing that this will encourage others to buy from them.
However, the inverse is true. If you cut your pricing too low (unless you're a large box retailer), you'll devalue your brand, eliminate your margins, and lose potential customers.
Rather than drastically altering your pricing structure, consider offering exceptional, limited-time offers.
Let's imagine you now provide a complimentary consultation to your coaching clients. Perhaps you offer a promotion in which new clients receive a free consultation and first session.
But you're not going to give away your complete 10-call coaching bundle for $10. You're delivering a little more value while still keeping folks engaged and allowing yourself to sell them your bundle at full price.
Psst… Come from a place where there is plenty. No one enjoys being in a desperate situation. Concentrate on providing even more value to clients, and the money will come back to you.
7. Increase your costs
While you're doing it, why don't you up to your prices? It may appear counterintuitive and even frightening but it may be worthwhile.
Raising your prices can enhance your perceived worth and attract higher-quality clients, which means you'll need to land fewer clients to make the same (or more) money as you are now.
Keep in mind that pricing is a form of marketing, so if you're boosting your prices, you'll need a good cause to explain the change, or you'll face backlash.
To justify the increase, add some value to your offer, and consider ‘grandfathering in' your most loyal customers if you want to keep them around for the long run.
To persuade leads and previous clients to take the plunge, here's a nice approach to present a price increase:
Hello, Dylan! What's up with Yoda, your dog? I'm contacting to inform you that I've introduced several more services and that my pricing will increase to $xx in March. I'm still taking new clients, so send me an email to lock in your discounted cost before it goes up. Please contact me if you have any questions regarding my service (insert offering title or description).
This creates a sensation of exclusivity (since your physical worth is increasing) and urgency (because a deadline is approaching).
People who were on the fence about buying are more likely to respond with questions, follow-ups, or purchases if they are pressed to make a decision quickly.
8. Develop and market an online course
This one takes a little more work, but many coaches and people find it a terrific business builder. Create an online course where you can share your knowledge with others in your area.
It is a fantastic way to connect with new clients and a great way to offer a service that people might not be able to afford if they're going through your coaching program.
If you're a life coach, you can lead individuals through daily exercises or teach them about meditation's psychology. If you're a chef, you can pass on your family's recipes and knife abilities.
People want to know and learn from you, no matter what you're brilliant at! For three reasons, an online course is effective:
To begin, you can earn money by selling the course itself, which can help you keep a continuous stream of passive income coming in. (You may not make a lot of money, but every bit counts when it comes to expanding, right?)
Second, teaching a course establishes credibility and authority. This might help you establish yourself as an industry leader and reinforce your brand. This is especially effective if you are your brand.
Finally, you're raising awareness about yourself and your company. People will likely do additional research about you if they see or take your course on another platform, such as Udemy. Then you may convert them into paying customers by capturing them as leads (who already love your course and what you have to offer).
9. Send handwritten letters to people
We're obsessed with digital marketing here at Leadpages. However, we recognize the value of combining digital and traditional advertising methods.
Handwritten letters or postcards add a personal touch that shows you care about your customers and prospects. Perhaps you send a client a thank you card, thanking them for their business and requesting references (remember the goal is to get clients now).
Adding a personal touch to your marketing is always a great way to increase conversions and trigger emotions that influence behavior. So consider adding an old-school touch to your next campaign!
Alternatively, you may send a birthday card to a previous client with whom you'd like to reconnect. Alternatively, you might hand out postcards to your neighbors encouraging them to visit your website or landing page.
If you don't have someone's actual address, a personalized email is a good way to show them that you care.
10. Invest in web advertising.
Have you ever heard the expression, "You have to spend money to make money?" It isn't always true, but it can be just what you need to get your company out of a rut.
If you're not getting the web traffic you want, you might choose to invest in Google Ads PPC (pay-per-click) ads or sponsor a few of your Facebook or Instagram posts. Running these is rather affordable, and you'll usually get a reasonable return on your investment.
The idea is to spend money on high-quality traffic from relevant sources, which you can then deliver to your conversion-optimized landing pages.
This is a good method to get folks in the door, utilize your landing pages, and then attract more qualified and ready-to-buy clients now.
For those who take the time to invest in their marketing, it can make a considerable difference. However, don't let marketing efforts detract from your core service offering or require you to spend any more money than necessary.
Getting clients is the single most important part of running a business. You can have the best product or service on the market, but if no one is using it, what's the point?
In this article, we've explored ten time- and cost-effective strategies for growing your client base. Customize and pick out a few that you think might work best for your business.
Then sit back, enjoy the pay cheque you'll soon be bringing home, and take satisfaction in knowing that you're doing everything possible to get clients now.