If you've recently launched your company, you've probably realized the following: You need to get some new clients as soon as possible — or else!
I've been there before. And I've figured out how to get business in methods that are free, quick, and even enjoyable!
To begin, do three things to set yourself up for success:
1. Take a chance. Don't listen to anyone who tells you not to do something that will get people's attention (as long as it's legal, of course).
2. Be inventive: Startup time is when you might be most inventive. When business owners who have been around for a while ask me what they can do to give their businesses a fresh lease on life, I urge them to tell me what they did when they first started—and then do it again.
3. Allow yourself to be free of your worries, doubts, and insecurities. When you do, you'll love yourself more!
After that, take action:
1. Create a website that establishes your credibility, which your prospects will value.
2. Run to a quick printer for some quick business cards. Don't get too caught up in making things flawless.
3. Unless you're trying to avoid the law, include a photo of yourself on your business card. It sends a message to potential clients that you're serious about your business. You should have your photo taken by a professional photographer since you want to look your best.
4. Create a verbal "30-second ad" that conveys a striking message about your company. Here's one of mine as an example: "My name is Pete Silver, and I help small businesses obtain new clients quickly without spending a lot of money on unneeded things. As a former journalist, I understand how to use free media exposure for my clients, and I create websites and other materials that persuade potential customers to BUY.
5. Post your card on bulletin boards at supermarkets, universities, public libraries, and anywhere else where people who might be your clientele congregate.
6. Contact local organisations and offer to deliver a free 20-minute instructive speech, assuring them that you would not try to sell them your service or product—and keeping your word.
Simply by not selling, your audience will be interested in receiving your card, and you'll acquire their names for follow-up with the following strategy I'll show you.
7. Inform your audience that you will be holding a free drawing. They should all place their business cards in a box, and you will choose the winner. If they don't have business cards, they can put their names, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers on a blank card you provide, and the drawing will be held after that.
It could be a product you usually sell. If it isn't possible, a bookshop gift card will suffice.
8. Double your chances by practising the skill of "give a card, get a card" with everyone you meet. First, ask for two cards and tell them that if you come across someone interested in their services, you'll give the additional card to them.
Then, since you're a startup, present them three of your own cards and explain that you'd appreciate the same courtesy in return!
9. Look through your local newspaper to discover who covers new businesses. Prepare a comprehensive backgrounder on your company and present it to that person, along with your photograph.
Reprint it as soon as it appears in the newspaper and distribute it as a flier anywhere you can.
10. Find collaborators and partners who can assist you in gaining new clients. Make a list of possible partners and start contacting them online, over the phone, or by email. Industry experts, complementary enterprises, influencers, and networking groups are all possibilities.
Join forces with these individuals and collaborate to support each other's efforts by sharing information with both of your audiences.
11. Use social media to quickly attract new clients. Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are all great places to connect with interested people in your services.
They're also swamped with every other company attempting to reach out to their audience via social media. It's like looking for a needle in a haystack. So, what's my advice for standing out in a crowd?
If you’re starting from ground zero, give some of these community-boosting ideas a try:
- Join Facebook Groups where your audience spends time
- Comment and engage with other like-businesses
- Be a guest on an industry podcast
- Hitch a ride on a partner’s YouTube channel
- Broadcast a Facebook Live session with a special guest
12. To attract new clients, optimise your website and “calls to action.” Are you aware that there are over 1 billion websites on the internet? That number is increasing by the second. Isn't it a little mind-numbing?
So, to stand out, you'll want to follow the SEO (search engine optimization) guidelines of the internet.
It's well worth your time to ensure that your website is search engine optimised, with a focus on the exact specialised keywords that your target audience will use to locate you (think "expert small dog walker in the bay region").
13. To attract new clients, become THE expert. You want to be known as the "it" person for your specialised services to increase your influence and audience.
What do you excel at that no one else does? It's time to write about it, whatever it is. Raise the standard. Increase the stakes. Take control of your superpower. Respond to the questions that no one else can.
You'll rank higher in search engines for those exact queries if you develop unique material, and you'll also be able to demonstrate your competence in your subject.
For instance, type in “health coach”, and you’ll find:
- What does a health coach cost?
- Can a health coach give nutrition advice?
- Is health coaching covered by insurance?
- What is a holistic health coach?