“How can I get more clients?” It’s a question that plagues every small business and startup and while many “experts” claim to have the silver bullet to grow your customer base, it takes time and dedication to steadily increase your client list.
Now, before you stress too much, there are a few simple things you can do to start building quality relationships with new clients. I’ve put together a roadmap of strategies you can implement right away.
1. Create a Blog
Writing blog posts is one of the most efficient ways to get potential clients to notice your product or service. The first step to creating a great blog is to put yourself in your client’s shoes to consider the topics they want to read.If you are a personal stylist, for instance, you could share tips of the most recent styles for each body type in your blog post.
Create an attractive landing page to encourage potential clients to read through your content. If you are a designer, share tips on how to utilize WordPress for the best results. Your aim should be to express immense expertise in the field you are discussing.
Blog posts are a unique way to offer advice to your client while marketing your service or product. It is more like you are advising the client while you market your service or product. Show off your skills to your readers and then direct them to your services page or subscription to email newsletters.
2. Network online and offline
You could choose to sit behind your computer screen all week. However, that will only market you online, and while it is a large client base, offline marketing is almost equally important. Plan conferences or meetups in an area where your prospective clients can easily access.
Online marketing is crucial to the growth of your business. If you don’t already have one create a LinkedIn profile. Make sure to fill in as many details about your product as you can. You can also regularly share up-to-date work samples on your posts. A great idea would be to share links to your blog posts in your LinkedIn news feeds. Don’t forget to take some time and seek potential clients and link with as many of them as possible.
Join LinkedIn groups that are related to your product and try showing your expertise without coming off wordy and untrustworthy. Show the advantages of your product(s) without being salesy. There are groups for every industry in LinkedIn, so it will be quite easy for you to get chances to answer questions in your field and provide your audience with easy solutions. This is one way of creating social proof that you know enough to be legitimate in your business.
You never know, you might also land a new client on LinkedIn while showing off your expertise. It is an excellent way to grow your connections and significantly add to your client list.
3. Ask for referrals
Referrals are quite a popular way of getting new clients in today’s market. However, not many merchants ask for referrals. Most of them just sit back and wait for an impressed client to do the job on his own. Sometimes, impressed clients will spread the word. However, with today’s robust economics, most of them are just too busy to go out of their way to help grow your business.
Instead of sitting back and letting these organic referrals come your way, you could go through your list of clients and proactively ask for referrals. It shouldn’t be complicated for you to find a few impressed customers who have not sent you any referrals yet. You could also encourage those who have come back to purchase your product or service to continue spreading the word.
Email them this instant! Remember to thank them for choosing your product before proceeding to ask them for a referral. Do not beat around the bush, keep it short, and make the font easily readable for clients with eye-sight problems.
4. Browse job boards
This one will be a walk in the park. Chances are you are already using job boards. If you have not tried them, you should try bookmarking a few and check on them daily for any new projects in your field. It is arguably the easiest way to enlarge your client base.
The most significant advantage with job boards is that there are plenty of jobs available in a different field, and they can be done part-time, full-time, contract, and many more. However, not many of us want to be checking on job boards daily while we can sign up for workshops such as freelance leap year . They will provide you with the best leads on job boards through email on a daily basis.
5. Partner with agencies
Partnering with more successful agencies in your field is an excellent way of bringing in new clientele to your business. This precise strategy helped me get my business on course. I built a good relationship with a more successful agency that got me two new clients each month on average.
Agencies will pass on work to you due to lack of enough manpower, low budget, or they could not find a person with the required expertise within their organization. The latter is more common, and it is what you will need to exploit.
When the agency feels it cannot serve a client for any of the above reasons, you want them to refer the client to you. I researched a few web agencies that were in need of someone with my expertise and proposed to take on any extra work they had. Now, I have to turn away some of my clients once in a while to create time for projects. It is an excellent way to show your clients that yours is not a terrible client protection plan.
6. Follow up with your network
Take a while and go through your old connections and email conversations with colleagues you spoke with in the past who could help you build your client base. Enquire on their current status and how you could be of help to them. Whether it is advice, doing a small task, or giving feedback, it will help build your relationships. Every time you go out of your line to offer some help, they get the urge to return the favor.
Follow up on that entrepreneur, physician, writer, or lawyer, etc. you met a while back, offer him or her feedback on their product or advice on how to market it better. After seeing how helpful you are, they will want to provide you with honest feedback on your product or service or even better, offer you a gig.
Monitor all your platforms to make sure none of your clients is left unattended. You may need to know how to manage multiple WordPress sites.
7. Write an eBook
eBooks have become a popular way of businesses expanding their client bases. The best way to utilize the potential of eBooks is by writing them to solve specific business challenges. Make sure that they are valuable to your prospective clients.
eBooks offer you the chance to explain the use of your product in detail. However, do not let your products or services always to be the subject of your eBook, especially if you are a startup in a competitive market. At iThemes we have implemented this strategy for years. We have ebooks on our products, creating webinars and the entrepreneurial journey.
After writing the eBook, sell it at a throw-away price or give it for free to your subscribers on your website. If you choose to give it out for free, ask for email addresses in exchange for your eBook. That way, you get to build your list of prospective clients.
8. Guest blog
It is generally easy to know which prospective clients are impressed with specific blogs. Ask to guest-post them on your blogs. They will most likely want to say yes to your proposal. To get potential clients to like your content and want to be guest posted on your blogs, you must provide information that offers a lot of value to the reader.
The main advantage of using guest blogging is that you get to tap into someone else’s audience. It is, therefore advisable to guest blog people with a good reputation in your field of expertise.
Everyone knows we are big fans of Beaver Builder at iThemes, so it was a natural fit to guest post on their site. This gave us the opportunity to contribute in a content way to a company we love and get to speak to their audience. It was a win-win for both of us. Guest blogging is a natural part of our content strategy to get more clients at iThemes.
The main advantage of using guest blogging is that you get to tap into someone else’s audience.
9. Be personal
You could be replying to a job ad, cold emailing, or creating content for your website. To stand out against the stiff competition, it is wise to be personal. CEOs will be amazed at the effort you throw into cold emails as well as your expertise in conversation optimization. Hiring you will be an easy decision for any CEO if you can show them you understand their problem and can solve it.
Your potential client is probably already bombarded with emails from other freelancers. You could capture your bio on a short video to make it easier for a prospective client to grasp your ideas. You can replicate a personal touch like this in a couple of ways.
Being personal, however, takes time. You have to show a deep understanding of your field while still being articulate with the services you offer. A personal touch will go a long way in landing you more gigs.
10. Stay in touch with your subscribers
No other marketing strategy will keep you in touch with your subscribers like emails
One of the key actions you can take to improve your business and get more clients is building your email list. As much as it is essential to bring in as many new clients as possible, keeping your subscribers engaged with updates of your products and services and new ways to resolve issues in your field will keep them coming back.
No other marketing strategy will keep you in touch with your subscribers like emails. They are great for sharing offerings and promotions that you are offering in your business. If you keep popping up in their inbox once each week with valuable advice and tips, they will definitely consider hiring you the next time they have a gig in your field of expertise.
Keep up with your subscribers even after they purchase a product or service. You can learn more about recurring revenue through our Recurring Revenue Summit.
11. Search Engine Optimization
To this day, I am still amazed by the fact that most of my clients found my business through a Google search. The internet is home to thousands, if not millions, of designers. How did their searches lead to my website or blog? SEO!
Optimizing your content for Google and other search engines involves finding the right keywords that explicitly define your business. It has a fantastic potential to bring customers rushing to your store every time they enter your keywords in their browsers’ search box.
Pumping your SEO makes the links to your content appear among the top results on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). That way, you get more clicks. More often than not, users will click on the first or second link on the page. You want that link to be the one to your webpage or blog post.
12. Try Facebook ads
Another effective way of reaching your target audience is Facebook ads. Facebook offers you a unique opportunity to create sophisticated ads to show to your audience. As you already know, Facebook has a wide variety of audiences. Be sure to seek out the groups that are in your niche and will appreciate a reasonable offer on your ad.
Compared to other methods of advertising, using Facebook ads is considerably cheaper and pretty practical for the cost. Facebook also gives you a chance to know your client’s gender and location that is critical information in marketing your product to prospective clients.
My business generated a good number of clients from Facebook ads. They have been a game-changer in my marketing strategy.
13. Focus on a specific audience
When marketing yourself to the whole world, it might be hard to note any reactions among interested audiences if there any. It is quite difficult to keep up with your adverts on Facebook, for instance, if your posts are among the thousands of posts on your client’s feed.
Instead, focus on particular groups on online platforms. If the group is not interested in the kind of services you offer or is administrated by a competitor, it could cause some outrage from the members. Focusing on an audience will build trust in your client relationships.
14. Host a webinar
Webinars have great potential to grab new clients for your business. A webinar is a live workshop that is transmitted through streaming video. You can either share advice or teach something related to your product or business. You could attend client contracts and proposals workshop to grasp the strategy better.
The high conversion rates associated with webinars is attributed to their ability to allow you to connect with your audiences and answer some of their stubborn problems. You can present on anything, not just your products and services. We host webinars to help our audience multiple times a week at iThemes. Not only are we being helpful to our current customers we are using this to reach new customers.
15. Answer questions on online platforms
Many people take to online platforms like Twitter and Facebook to seek advice and recommendations on products or services from their peers. This is where you come in. You will be seeking out these individuals in need of guidance in your field of expertise and helping them out.
Just try searching for specific keywords in your niche on online platforms, and it will lead you right to people discussing the subject and groups associated with the niche.
It is straightforward and will definitely add to your list of people who need the product or service you are selling. Be sincere when answering questions, and if they find your advice helpful, you can recommend a referral or provide them with a link to your portfolio.
16. Piggyback on platforms
What do platforms like WordPress offer apart from offering excellent content management systems? Millions of customers rely on their services to run their websites, blogs, or online stores. Tailor your services to provide help to their customers.
Piggybacking is a tested method of tapping into a large customer base while still offering valuable services to stay relevant. Take a look at WordPress maintenance services. https://ithemes.com/12-ways-offer-wordpress-maintenance-services.
17. Create presentations
Upload creative presentations to your SlideShare and Speaker Deck accounts. Create your presentation to solve modern problems in your specific area of expertise. The possibilities of presentations are endless, from offering advice on services and products to providing tips to your clients related to the services you offer.
18. Write a guide
Guides are quite similar to the above mentioned marketing strategy. Guides are however, more straightforward and easier to make. Make sure you are precise when making guides for your clients, providing detailed step by step guidelines. Make sure they do not have to search elsewhere next time a similar issue arises.
19. Speak at industry conferences
It is excellent to attend conferences and meetings to expand your networking circles. However, it is a wise idea to develop your speech skills and reach out to organizers of conferences on your field of expertise about speaking. Back up your topics with expert advice. Long speeches can bore people out of concentration. Be precise, professional, and brief directing people to your website or online blogs.
Remember, you are there to be helpful and offer great advice to the audience. If your talk doesn’t provide value then it won’t work like you want it to. Instead, be dynamic, work the hallways and meet new people at the booths.
WordPress based conferences called WordCamps are held every month all over the world. Attend a few WordCamps before you decide to submit a talk, but these are great places to start practicing that talk and meet like-minded entrepreneurs.
20. Business cards
When executed correctly, business cards could be the game-changer for your business. They are also extremely cheap to make but offer a fantastic ROI for your business. When you give a well-designed business card to a potential client, make sure they will be impressed with the quality of the card. That way, they are eager to read through it.
They might also end up being shared at meetups, in offices, or on social media if they are impressive enough.
We presented 20 ways to get more clients, but don’t think you have to implement them all! Only you can decide what will fit your business and the clients you would like to find. Our hope is that you are walking away from this post with some new ideas to grow your business.