10 ways to get your first client
You’ve started your business, but you’re wondering how the hell you’re going to find your first client. I get it. It’s a little stressful, because you want to be able to grow this business from your laptop. Some of you are even starting without any contacts, from ground zero. I did too.
The number one thing I wish I did earlier was tell people. I was too scared though, of the judgement and fear of failure, but if you don’t tell people about it, you’ve just got a really expensive hobby on your hands.
So here are the ten ways that you can get your first client.
Understand what you do and how you help people
You’re not going to find the right client if you don’t have clarity. Clarity around what you do and how you can help your potential client, because you need to be able to explain the benefits of working with you, the benefits that the client will get from working with you. Be specific, it’s not just ‘ I can design websites’ cool so does thousands upon thousands of other people out there. The following statement is where you can start:
I help ________ by offering ________ which will_________
E.g. I help entrepreneurs and business owners eliminate the overwhelm by offering website design packages which will allow them to have a beautiful website that attracts their ideal client and customer.
Tell family and friends
I know some of you read that sub-heading and cringed at the idea of telling people you know. I get it. I’ve been there, too afraid of the judgment and fear of failure with everyone knowing. Here’s the thing, you can’t give a shit. It’s hard, but if you don’t tell anyone, again it’s going to be an expensive hobby. Reach out and tell them about your new business and see if they are looking for your services. Look, they might not, BUT they may know someone who does need your help. Plus the personal recommendation goes further than you think. I mean if you’re looking for a beautician, for example, are you just going to give anyone a go or are you going to ask your friends which one they like and can recommend.
Create Social Media and build relationships
I can’t stress the following statement DON’T STRESS ABOUT THE NUMBER OF YOUR FOLLOWING. When you’re starting off, take the time to build relationships. The secret to growth on instagram? Engagement. Comment on your potential clients photos, reach out to others. Build your relationships and build your presence as an authority in your field. The more you share, the bigger chance of finding your first client.
Build a website and start a blog
When I say build a website, don’t underestimate the importance of a beautifully designed and functioning website. If it’s not functioning, you’re not going to get your clients or sell any products. If you need any help in this department, your girl has your back. I recommend starting a blog because it illustrates your knowledge to potential clients. Share these on Pinterest (number one source for driving traffic to websites). This will help you get in front of your first client
Post in Facebook Groups
This is how I started. Research types of entrepreneurial facebook groups you can join, like here. Post in there your services, how you can help. When I started I offered three free websites to anyone that was wiling to give me testimonials. Just ensure you read the rules first, because some don’t allow you to advertise your services. You can also keep an eye out for when people post asking for help with a certain task, but please don’t just say ‘I can help’. Go deeper. “Hey ____! I can help you out. I had a look at your Instagram and your work is awesome! I specialise in graphic design helping entrepreneurs much like yourself, adding life to their designs and standing above the crowd. To find out more, you can contact me here at www.insertwebsitehere.com.”.
Collaborate with others
Due to the fact that you’re new, collaboration can be such an advantage because you’re exposing yourself to a whole new audience! An audience that may need your services, and it doesn’t really cost you anything. So reach out to those within the same industry and see how you can collaborate to promote your services to a new community.
There a numerous sites that you can look for freelance work, such as Upwork and freelancer. It’s a tough market to break, because there are so many others bidding or the same work ,but be persistent keep applying for jobs and effectively communicating your benefit to them. You need to separate yourself from the crowd. Tell them why it has to be you they work with.
Advertising with Facebook & Instagram
Research more about Facebook advertising and Instagram advertising. Don’t just through money at it and try to reach everyone because you’ll reach no-one. You need to clarify who you’re audience is and reach them specifically. If it’s too much for you, do your research and work with someone who specialises in online ads, because they will help you get the most out of this investment.
I get it, some of us are introverted and getting out there is like Howie, from Bench Warmers going out into the sunlight - overwhelming. I was afraid of telling people what I did, in case they thought I was a fraud. P.s that’s called imposter syndrome and everyone will deal with in at one stage of their life. I remember one instance, where I met a woman at an event, and I told her about web design and how I was making it into a business, and she gave me her card because she was looking at getting work done. Did I ever get in touch, I did but a few months later because I was so afraid of messing it up - and I didn’t even get in touch. However that was a wasted opportunity. So be brave, get out there and tell people what you do because you’re amazing.
Build an email list
This allows you to grow a community that isn’t controlled by an algorithm, just the state of their inbox. Grow your list and share with them valuable content that can help them in their business of life (depending on what work you do). The more they learn from you, the more they will know, like and trust you and as a results could lead to your first client!
So there you have it, 10 ways to get your first client.