One of the hardest parts about working for yourself is the quest to find your first paying client. This is honestly one of the most difficult times in any business, and it’s where some people give up. They underestimate the time it will take to break that barrier. These tips will help you be one of the entrepreneurs who succeed.
1. Tell Everyone You Know
This may seem obvious but you would be shocked to learn that a lot of people who start a business don’t tell anyone they know about it. This is a mistake. You want to get the word out to everyone you know, because they may know someone that needs you and tell them about you. Hand out business cards and offer an incentive to get them to send you a paying client.
2. Get Involved
Being involved in your local community and online communities, both business and personal, will help you become a known entity. You don’t even have to become a sales person in these associations. Instead, you just be yourself; and when someone asks what you do, be ready with an answer. Be ready to give them a business card – or if you’re online, make sure your profile is amazing and compelling.
3. Start a Joint Venture
A joint venture is a temporary partnership in which you join forces with someone who markets to your audience but who is not direct competition. Make sure you have a really good offer; host a webinar teaching your audience something to solve one of their most burning problems. Since you’ll get access to their list (and in exchange you should do all the work for the event), you should get at least one client out of the process.
4. Be Social
Make all your profiles on social media compelling and informative. Post a good profile image that shows your face and eyes. It doesn’t have to be a professional shot, but it should be clear and show a good depiction of your personality. Join various groups online, consisting of both your audience and your competition. Get to know people, help people, and let your profile speak for itself.
5. Build Your Reputation
Take the time now that you don’t have any clients to work on reputation building. The way you do this is participate in webinars, discussions, and blabs (Blab.im), showing your professional knowledge about your niche and how you can solve problems for them. Write a book, blog, guest blog; develop a freebie (lead magnet) to give away so you can build an email list.
6. Optimize Your Website
Your website is the hub of all other activity. Ensure that it works on any device, that it loads fast, and that it is pleasing to the eye. Use keyword-rich titles, appropriate anchor text, and publish informative blog posts. Ensure that you have at least a home page, blog page, about us page, service page and a contact page, and that there is no mistaking what it is you do when someone visits your website.
7. Be Your Own Client
One of the best demonstrations of what you can do involves being a bright, shining light that shows the world what it is that you do. If you are a website developer, then your website should demonstrate all the bells and whistles. If you’re a content writer, then the content on your site should be top-notch. And if you are a virtual assistant, then you should demonstrate what you do for others on your website.
Once you get that first client, it will begin an amazing snowball effect. That client will tell other people, and before you know it, you’ll have a full roster of clients and a waiting list.