How do you get your first clients as a starting entrepreneur? Maybe you’ve recently started your business and you are extremely determined to make it a success, but you’re not sure how to go about reaching and converting those first customers.
This is an early disclaimer: this article is especially created for service-based business. I’ll walk you through some, maybe obvious, steps you can use to attract those first clients and actually converting them. Because it’s one thing to have an idea but it’s a whole other thing to actually convince people to pay you for your professional help.
Step 1: Gather social proof
When you’re just starting out and you’re still testing the waters, it might be beneficial that you offer your services for free for a while.
Radical idea, I know, but it does offer you an insight in your audience and what elements might still need some optimization. In exchange for your free services, you ask for social proof.
So, how do you get your first clients? By offering your services for free for a while.
Additionally, it will also help you create confidence in whatever it is you’re doing. You’ll feel more surefooted if you dip your toes into the water without any pressure for a while.
If you’re someone who executed this particular job in full-time position on payroll and now you’ve decided to become a consultant on an independent basis, then highlight some accomplishments or your years of experience instead of offering your service for free.
Step 2: What do you want to accomplish?
Often people start a business and they’re excited about their million ideas to develop certain things, without really knowing where you want to go. What do you want to achieve by offering a specific service to people?
What is your end goal, what do you want to help people reach? Knowing this is the baseline for your business, so get clear on what exactly you want to accomplish by starting your business.
It’s also a tip when you’re having a sales conversation: don’t talk about the specifics you’re offering, like an e-book or 3 hours of coaching a month. Instead emphasize the transformation they’ll go through when they choose to work with you.
Step 2 is all about specifying the driving force behind your business.
Step 3: Explore your own environment first
Look for friends, or even acquaintances, who might benefit from your service. You might feel less stress about trying your offer out on them before introducing it to the general population.
A little thing I learned from previous experiences is to always adapt your service to the client. Keep your driving force, or whatever it is you want to help people accomplish, in the back of your mind.
Step 4: Be loud (and proud)
Excitement is contagious, so you being excited about your offer is essential to starting your business.
Being excited about your offer will easily get you 80% of your sales and if you’re not enthusiastic, you’re not working on the right offer.
Dare to show the love about your brand and your offer, because only then will people be inclined to buy.
At the very start, you might not have a website yet and all channels you have at your disposal will be social media. So use them to their fullest potential and don’t be shy to talk about it to people in real life either.
Did you run into someone from high school? Tell them about what you’re doing, you never know what results it might bring you.
In short: do you need to be selling to your immediate environment? Nope, but you do need to tell them about what you’re doing because spreading the world will become a lot easier this way.
Step 5: Go out and network
It might not be your cup of tea, but networking is an ideal way of getting the word out. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know other businesses who might share your principles, or even potential collaborators.
Going to events and networking will spread awareness faster than you’ll be able to produce otherwise.
Step 6: Don’t shy away from repetition
Have you ever heard about a little something called ‘The Highlight Effect’?
This is about the fact people need to hear something 8 to 10 times before they remember it and are actually influenced by it.
As an entrepreneur, you easily get the feeling like you’re too present or you’re scared of annoying people by posting too much.
But in reality, people won’t buy if you post once because that first post might intrigue people but they won’t be convinced to buy yet.
Besides, posting about your offer more than once isn’t annoying — it shows people you’re excited about whatever it is you’re selling. Remember what we said about enthusiasm? You’re your business’ best ambassador, so take that role seriously and go all out on your marketing!
Go out and get your first clients with these 6 steps
What do you take away from this article? Which of these 6 steps really resonated with you or did you recognize you do too little of?
Are you someone who’s filled with passion, but you don’t know how to take that final leap of faith and actually get started? Then my free Business Summer School might be just the thing for you.
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PS Are you an English speaker? Then I have tons of other resources for you, such as my free webinar on launching your next big thing. Follow my 5 step blueprint and put your new product or service effortlessly out into the world.
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