“How do I get more clients?” This is the million-dollar question and there’s no easy answer or sure-fire solution. What I can say with certainty is that the common thread is that people like to hire who they know and trust – so, time to get out there and make yourself known! Here are a few simple tips to get you started:
1) Update/Create your LinkedIn profile. People are on LinkedIn with the mindset to do business, gain knowledge and to make professional connections. If you aren’t on LinkedIn, get on it! Start with having a professional photo (no selfies, or group shots where you have someone’s arm half cropped out!). Keep it simple (white, grey or black backdrop). Professional shots are worth the investment since you’ll be able to use these elsewhere, trust me.
Write a captivating headline instead of a job title. Focus on a user/customer benefit vs describing what you do. What do you do for them?
Your summary should tell people a bit about who you are, what you’ve done and how you can help them. Don’t be afraid to show some personality here!
Complete all profile information.
2) Ask for referrals. Reach out to current and past clients and ask them for a referral. Tell them that you’re growing your business and have additional capacity to take on more work, that you’d appreciate any referrals or recommendations to anyone that could use your services.
3) Ask for recommendations. If you’ve completed a job for a client and they were especially pleased with your work, why not ask them for a recommendation? You can do it via email or LinkedIn has a feature for this. Recommendations from clients go a long way towards building credibility and can be re-purposed for your website as well as social media!
4) Join online communities and groups. Both LinkedIn and Facebook have a multitude of groups that you can join giving you access to thousands of people in your niche that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to. Build relationships with people without trying to sell. Find out more about who they are, goals and challenges. The people that you form a genuine relationship will become your best resource for leads. This is a long-term activity that will not appear to be helpful or productive in the short term – so be patient!
5) Build a website. Show, don’t tell! Make sure your website is clear, simple to navigate, and most importantly include examples of your work. Make sure your site is responsive so it’s a seamless experience regardless of the device used. Ensure your website has a consistent aesthetic, and that imagery is chosen with care. Your site should be SEO friendly, and your images should have descriptive names – so Google knows how to classify your images and content – this way if someone is searching for a topic or content you’ve covered, you have a better chance of showing up in the organic search.
6) It’s old school, but have a business card and use as a tool to engage with others. Make sure you say what you do and that your contact info is legible. When you find yourself speaking with a potential client, don’t hand them your card. Say something like, “I’d love to follow up with you. Do you have a card?” When they give you their card, hand them yours.
7) Invest in a good camera and start taking pictures. Take photos of everything you do, places you go and things you see. Why? One, you’ll be motivated to visit new places and do exciting things. Two, you’ll start to learn the value of having beautiful photography and how powerful a single image can be. Three, your social media pages will look stellar. If you aren’t on social media, why not? Don’t you like free advertising? Your competitors are there, so if you aren’t – it’s a missed opportunity.
8) Consume content! The more books you read, podcasts you listen to, videos you watch – will expand your mind and affect the way you think. The more well rounded you are, the more expertise you possess. Continuous improvement should always be top of mind. I opt to watch helpful tutorial/tip videos while on my treadmill – it’s a great way to kill two birds with one stone! I will also listen to podcasts on my drive home, here a few I like:
You’ve made it to the end! Great Job! Now remember, these tips will get you on the right path but there is always more work to be done when it comes to client acquisition! Luckily, I have experience with this, so reach out to me for more info once you’ve completed the above list!