Finding clients is something almost every small business owner struggles with from time to time. There are many ways to do it, but it really boils down to putting yourself where your clients are, being approachable, and fulfilling a need or solving a problem for your potential clients. It doesn’t have to be much more complicated than that.
The challenge is figuring out where to go and how to position yourself to get found by not just any client, but your ideal client. So the first step of the process is identifying your ideal client. Once you’ve done that, you can focus on getting yourself in front of those ideal clients. Here are a few ideas.
Market to Your Ideal Client
Once you know who your ideal client is, especially if you didn’t have a clear picture before, you should take a good look at your marketing activities. Are you marketing to your specific type of ideal client, or are you trying to market to the masses? Consider working some new activities into your marketing plan that focus solely on putting your name where your ideal clients will see it. Explore advertising on websites frequented by your ideal clients, writing copy that feels more personal and relevant, and repeating some of your marketing messages in different ways to the same group of desirable clients.
Make Yourself Visible
While you may be going out and actively searching for clients, imagine if your ideal clients came to you on their own? Some of the ways you can make yourself a client magnet are by optimizing your website and blog, participating in industry groups, commenting on relevant blogs, and being active and consistent (and interacting) in social media.
Become a Local Networker
Many times, when we conduct so much of our business online, we hesitate to cross back over to the “real world.” But there can be a tremendous amount of value in working with local clients. If you haven’t explored your local area, consider joining local industry organizations, speaking at non-industry events, and offering live classes, seminars and question and answer sessions for people outside of your industry.
Maximize Referrals and Recommendations
Once you have a few clients who fit into your ideal client sketch, a significant portion of your attention should be focused on keeping them happy and exploring how you can do more to support them. Then, ask for referrals and recommendations. In many cases, your ideal clients will have colleagues who are just like them, expanding your potential client pool significantly.
Explore a Joint Venture
The power of numbers can’t be ignored, especially when it comes to finding clients. If you have a colleague who offers complementary but not competitive services, consider teaming up to expand your reach. There is a lot you can do in a joint venture that can increase business, from bundling services, to email marketing, to offering added value and incentives.
Have you been particularly successful at finding clients for your business? What are your tips?
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