Everyone is looking for more clients. One of the worst things is feeling like you have an incredible product or service that helps people but no one knows about it.
Or no one is choosing to buy.
Getting people to purchase from you is the goal to all business owners, and for freelancers, it is both the great thing and not-so-great thing of working when you want.
So how do you find more clients? I have some tips I would like to share that I have seen firsthand and that I have observed in industry leaders.
Just like any good habit needs repetition, commitment, and perseverance, so these strategies can benefit you in the long run if you choose commit to implementing them on the regular.
| Grow Your Email List
This is a hot topic among many online businesses and is also one of the main struggles when starting your own business. Why do you need to build a list when you only offer 1 service or product?
But many very successful people use this approach to get more clients.
By growing an email list you have the opportunity to find out more about your audience, what they want, what they struggle with, and problems they're facing. And by gathering all this information you're taking the guess work out of creating a service or product to an audience that may or may not want it.
Everyone who joins your email list is a potential client. This is not to say you should sell to them with every email you send out. No one would want to be on your list if that was the case. But it's being aware that those who join your email list are interested in you and what you're doing and taking advantage of that opportunity.
To learn more in-depth about where to start with your newsletter (i.e. what to write about and how to go about getting subscribers) check out this post.
| Offer Useful and Consistent Content
This takes the form of information. Content marketing can be done through a variety of mediums. I choose to do content marketing mainly through my blog. You can also do it in your social media accounts as well.
Draw your audience to you by sharing things that can help them with their business, things that can encourage them, inspire them, or benefit them in some way.
Especially when the content is free. When you're giving away valuable information away freely, it shows that you are a wealth of knowledge, that you're generous with what you have, and that you are an expert in your industry.
One of the best ways quality content can be utilized is the form of content upgrades (when consumers give you their email in exchange for more quality or in-depth content). And this goes back to the first point, of growing your email list and that can in turn help you down the line.
| Provide Excellent Current Client Experiences
Never underestimate word of mouth. This "old school marketing" strategy goes such a long way and you want to be sure that the clients you work with have nothing but great things to say about you and your work. Take extra time to make sure they have a wonderful experience.
This may take the form of a welcome gift, excellent communication throughout the process, a launch party, featuring them on your social media, or taking time to write them a handwritten note.
Any way you choose to make the experience for your client a memorable one (in the best way) is a great way to spread the news about your business.
| Ask an "Ideal" Client
A lot of people shy away from this strategy, but it could land you a few clients.
What’s the trouble with asking someone who you see may need help with what you provide?
Owning a business is all about putting yourself out there and solving a problem for someone. When you own the fact that what you offer is unique, excellent, and beneficial it won't be as hard to offer your services. Well... depends on your comfort level, but you have to start somewhere.
I suggest that even if your potential client, or someone you would like to work with, is not actively seeking out a solution, offer your help. Doing this gives that person a sense that you’re looking out for them and want them to succeed.
This happened to me with a former client. I had worked with her once before and when things were on the slow side, I emailed her asking if she had any design work she was needing and she ended up hiring me for a second time.
You never know until you ask.
| Craft Your Brand Story
It’s my goal to always tie in what I write about to branding, cause that’s my jam.
Your brand is a powerful thing and extends beyond the color palette, beyond your website homepage, and the things you share on social media. Your brand is who you are, what you stand for, what you love, and it can be used to your advantage.
Use your brand to connect with your audience. If you have a love for something that makes you unique, share it. Someone who enjoys that same thing may find common ground and want to connect.
Whether it be humanitarian efforts, or simply a flavor of ice cream that you can't live without, sharing who you are and what you stand can be a terrific platform for reaching others.
I talk about the importance of understanding that people buy from people in this post but it's worth it to reiterate that sharing your life and values in a real way is important. It is the most powerful thing about storytelling.
Storytelling is a key to marketing and reaching potential clients. This article from Marketing Week says that marketers who can create imagery and also personal relationships are very capable of establishing long-term brand loyalty. People connect to stories and stories change the way you view things, products, and companies. I'm not saying make up a sappy story to connect with people, but let your real life permeate your own business and story.
Entrepreneur John Stapelton, who co-founded The New Covent Garden Soup Co, said, "You have to tell the truth and then spin the story for marketing purposes... Obviously you need good products but the success of many brands is linked to emotion. A strong story based in reality will bring your message and values to life in a way the consumer can believe in." He sold his business in 2011 for $230 million.
This is something I'm working on myself as we're coming to mid December and I'm working on some major branding changes to R Artspace. I'm keeping in mind that story telling is one of the best ways to showcase my brand without being salesy but also reaching the right people.
I hope this list helps you reach out and book more clients. Continue to grow your email list, offer valuable, consistent content, provide an excellent client experience, ask people, and use your brand to market more authentically. Tell me what you think of this post. I always love hearing from you.
Do you struggle with getting clients?
Did any of these strategies surprise you or make you think you should try it?
Would you add anything to the list?