When you start out working on your own one of the hardest things is the quest to find your first paying client. It doesn’t matter what business you are in, it’s difficult for any business and it’s where give up. They underestimate the time it will take to break that barrier and the steps required to break down barriers. These tips will help you be one of the entrepreneurs who push past this on your quest to success.
Tell Everyone You Know
This may seem obvious to you, but you would be surprised to learn that a lot of people who start a business don’t tell anyone they know about it. This is a big mistake as these are the people that know you and are warm to your advances. You want to get the word out to everyone you know, because they may know someone that needs you and they can then tell them about you. Hand out business cards and offer an incentive to get them to send you a paying customer.
If you get actively involved in both your local community and online communities, both business and personal, this 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 professional, amazing and compelling.
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.
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.
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.
Optimize Your Website
Your website is the hub of all other activity and the centre of your online world. Ensure that it works on any device, that it loads fast, and that it is pleasing to the eye and updated regularly. Use keyword-rich titles, appropriate anchor text, and publish informative blog posts at least weekly. 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. Oh and don’t forget those call to actions.
Be Your Own Best Customer
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 you believe a website should have. 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 as you’ll have more confidence. That client will also tell other people if you ask them to, and before you know it, you’ll have a full roster of customers and a waiting list… although life is never that easy but at least you’ll be well on your way.