How to Get Clients
Whether you're just getting started in business or have been at it for years, you need clients and customers in order to grow.
So you want to get more clients and customers, but you’re not sure how. Maybe you:
- Are just getting started in business and need to get yourself in front of people
- Have been in business for years and need more customers in order to grow
- Already cycled through all your leads and have hit a wall
- Have outgrown your existing clients
Whatever your case may be, you might not know where to begin.
You’ve come to the right place! Throughout this article, I’ll show you step-by-step how to find high-quality customers who want what you have to offer. I promise it’s easier than you think!
The First Step to Finding Customers
For the first two years of my marriage, I really wanted jewelry as a gift from my husband—not costume jewelry, but real, legit jewelry that would cost more than $30 to buy. It’s something that seemed so special to get from a spouse and something I’d never buy myself.
Oddly enough, holiday after birthday after Valentine’s day, I never got any. I got yoga mats, concert tickets, nice dinners, flowers and spa days. I got some awesome stuff, but I never got that special piece of jewelry I truly, secretly wanted. Do you know why? Because it was a secret! I never told my husband what I wanted!
So after two years of my husband missing my cues, clues and psychic signals, I finally told him. And you know what? That Christmas I got the most beautiful, delicate diamond necklace I’d ever seen.
Why? Because I told him.
He’s not a mind reader. Imagine that!
And you know what, your customers aren’t mind readers, either.
Believe it or not, so many small-business owners miss this same idea in their business. They go from zero to fancy with their marketing strategies and miss the easiest first step to getting new clients.
Tell people you’re doing this thing.
That’s right. You can get new clients simply by telling people what you do. Here are some ideas to get started:
- Talk to friends and family.
- Send out emails to people you know.
- Post about it on your personal social media accounts.
- Talk it up at church or on the sidelines of the kids’ next soccer game.
Just take the opportunity to talk about what you’re doing—this shouldn’t be pushy or aggressive. You’ll be amazed at how many people will be interested and want to know more when you simply share your passion and your dream.
For a deeper dive on exactly how to do this, check out my podcast episode on How to Sell Without Feeling Slimy.
The Next Steps to Getting More Clients
After you’ve taken the obvious (but often overlooked) first step of talking about your business, you’re ready for the next steps: Talking to the right people in the right way in the right place.
Talk to the right people . . .
Your ideal client is someone who checks these two boxes:
- They want what you have to offer.
- They are willing to pay the price you charge.
When you know who that is, you don’t have to beg, push and pull to convince them to buy from you. They already want it!
Plus, when you market to a customer who is willing and able to pay the price you charge, they don’t try to negotiate and lowball you. That makes life (and business) easier for you and the customer.
You have a certain type of customer, and all of your marketing efforts should speak directly to them.
Not every person is your client. You have a certain type of customer, and all of your marketing efforts should speak directly to them. You’ll need to do some research to learn who they are and how to talk to them, and I have a free tool to help you with that at the end of this article. The Business Boutique Persona Template will help you dream up the details surrounding your ideal customer, or you can also use it as a way to survey existing or potential clients.
. . . In the right way . . .
The tone of your brand is all about word choice. Your marketing will reach the right people when you use the right words. Everything about your tone and the words you use should answer the question every new, potential client is thinking:
Why should I care?
To answer that, I’ve used the next two questions in every single coaching session I’ve ever conducted, in every event I’ve ever spoken at, and in every setting where I needed to influence or lead others. They are two simple questions, but they give you incredible insight into the audience you want to connect with. If you want to engage a group of people, you need to know:
- What frustrates them?
- What motivates them?
What frustrates them? What problems do they have? What pain points do they experience? What fears, challenges, stresses and worries do they have?
What motivates them? What fires them up and gets them excited? What is their why? What makes them light up and gets them out of bed in the morning?
When you know what frustrates your audience, you can highlight the problem and demonstrate empathy, understanding and compassion. You can offer help, solutions and support.
When you know what motivates your audience, you can come alongside them and align yourself with their goals and dreams. You can rally with your audience, cheering and championing what matters the most to them.
When you offer a solution to their frustration and champion their motivations, your potential clients think, Aha! She gets me!
. . . In the right place.
Once you figure out who your customers are, you need to know where they are. That way, you can be there too! There are several ways to do this, both in person and online.
Finding Them In Person
Think of places where your ideal customer hangs out. For instance, if your business is making custom baby gifts, you might sponsor a lunch for a local Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) group so that you can meet and build relationships with women who have little ones—and they probably have friends with more little ones on the way!
Or, if you offer small-business accounting services, you could bring coffee and donuts to local small businesses and introduce yourself to get your foot in the door. Whatever kind of business you have, your customers hang out somewhere. Go find them!
Finding Them Online
You can also find your customers online through social media. Each platform is different, so figure out which one your ideal customer spends the most time on and go there. Dig in and see if they’re on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
Maybe your ideal customer uses Pinterest, while LinkedIn might be a better option if your target market is business professionals. Social media can be a cheap and effective way to reach your customers.
Even More Ways to Get Clients
Let’s get practical. Here are ten ideas to help you get more clients:
- Post about your business on your personal social media accounts.
- Send out an email about your business to your contacts.
- Post flyers at places in your city where your ideal customer hangs out.
- Partner with other vendors in your industry. If you make custom photo albums, collaborate with photographers in your area. If you’re a photographer, form relationships with wedding planners. If you make custom baby gifts, sponsor a lunch for a local MOPS group.
- Scour Craigslist for freelance gigs—particularly if you’re in a service-based business.
- Rent a booth at a trade show. For more on this, watch my video training lesson called “Maximizing Trade Shows” in the Business Boutique Academy.
- Organic Facebook and Instagram posts; keep in mind that people stare at videos on Facebook five times longer than photos.(1)
- Paid Facebook ads—they’re ridiculously cheap and easy to experiment with.
- Create a lead magnet to collect new email addresses. For more on this, check out my podcast episode “Digital Marketing Strategies That Work.”
- Ask for referrals. Example:
I’m so glad you appreciated my work. Do you know anyone else who could benefit from my services/product? If so, I’d love for you to put us in touch! Let me know if anyone comes to mind.
And y’all, that last one is gold. If you aren’t asking for referrals, I guarantee you’re leaving money on the table. Referrals from your past clients are one of the absolute best ways of landing new ones.
The Ongoing Process of Finding New Customers
Finding new clients isn’t a one-and-done effort. It will most likely be an ongoing process that you’ll work through the entire time you’re running your business.
When you put everything we’ve covered here into practice, you’re well on your way there! But how do you get them to ultimately buy from you? People buy from those they know, like and trust.
Keeping that in mind, there are plenty of simple strategies you can implement right now to bring people into your funnel, convert them into buying customers, and close the sale! After all, this is the ultimate goal of getting new clients, right? You need to get them to do more than just buy in; you need them to actually buy.
To do that, check out my video training lessons in the Business Boutique Academy. The Academy is where I share my proven principles on how to sell with confidence, overserve your customers, close the sale and more. You’ll also get access to live group coaching with me as well as these amazing tools:
- Business Health Check—Take a personalized assessment to reveal your business score and customized action steps based on your needs.
- The Planning Center—Store and organize what you’ve learned in this digital business handbook.
- The Community—Get feedback, advice and encouragement from women on the same journey as you.
I’ll see you over in the Business Boutique Academy!
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