HOW TO GET YOUR FIRST CLIENT IN 30 DAYS
So you just started your business! You finally came up with some cool looking colors, you have an awesome looking logo, and you may even have a brand spanking new website (make your own here). Whoo! all that hard work has paid off, but wait, you don’t have anybody that wants to utilize these services because you have zero clients!
How in the world do I try and get clients?
You're probably one of these types when it comes to getting your first client. You either think that this is some huge monumental task that will take weeks or even months to achieve because you have no audience.
Your completely clueless on where to even begin so you hope you get lucky and somebody stumbles along your social media or website.
You tell yourself you got this and you began that worthwhile search to find that person or company to be your very first client.
No matter which group you belong to, these tips will help anyone searching for new clients for any type of business.
REACH OUT TO YOUR NETWORKS
Believe it or not we all have networks. Even if your network is your small church group of 20 people, 4 co-workers you may be cool with, or even if it's just your significant other, it is still a network because once you tell them about your business, they can mention it to their networks and thus your network has grown that fast!
I was a person who was scared to talk about my business at first. I didn’t want people to talk negatively about my business and I definitely didn't want to seem desperate, but there will always be those negative nancy type of people around. For me, it was some friends and family that I mentioned before. These were the types that I would mention my business too, and they would either tell me why my business wouldn't work and why I should get a "real job" or simply never mention my business to a soul because they “forgot”.
So besides these folks, reach out to other friends, family, church members, social media, neighbors, or even people at your previous/current job. Yes, a majority of them will not help you, but you may find that one who happens to know somebody who needs you.
I mentioned my business to a close family member and she just so happened to be speaking with somebody whose company needed a new website (try making your own). She pitched my name, and long story short, I got my first recurring client!
After getting your first client you will feel a huge weight get lifted off your shoulders because you know your business is not a failure and you can actually do this! This dream that was once in your head is now coming to life, but how do you keep the momentum going?
You must be proactive!
Here is what you don’t do. Don’t get your first client then think OK I've made it. I don't need to reach out to people anymore because they will come easily after they see what I did for my first client.
This couldn't be any further from the truth. Nobody knows you exist and there are likely thousands of other companies just like you who are either more established or are just starting so you have to keep going at all times. Just look at how much billion dollar companies such as Walmart or Amazon market there products and services.
I used TaskRabbit to try and find more clients since I was already using the platform to make money. I even ended up getting a client through the platform even though it was short lived.
Hop on job sites such as Indeed. When I first started I was applying for about 50 jobs per day. I would setup my searches looking specifically for contract work, freelance, or remote positions. I told myself my days of working in somebody's office were over so this fit my needs to a tee.
Also apply everywhere! Just because a job posting or client is not in your city that does not mean ignore them. My job can be done entirely online so it would not be smart if I limited my potential clients to only Miami, FL and the surrounding area.
BE WILLING TO WORK FOR FREE
I personally didn’t do this at first, but I wish I had. Nobody plans on starting a business then just doing everything for free. Seems crazy right? It might be, but hear me out on this one.
You do things for free to build your portfolio. For example, one of the services I offer is building websites, but I was brand new and had no portfolio to show any potential clients. If I could do it all over again I would offer a few websites for free to get my portfolio going and to gain some consumer trust. Reviews are everything!
You ever bought something from a new company without checking the reviews? Yea me neither.
Shoot, you ever bought something from a billion dollar company like Amazon without checking the reviews? Yea me neither.
Doing things for free allows you to gain experience with a real client as well as build a portfolio for reviews. We all imagine how things will go and how perfect it will be, but it almost never goes this way. Clients are real people so that means they may not agree with you, may not respond, may change their minds last minute and much more.
Without my close family member mentioning my name, i would have been searching for clients and waiting for job application feedback. You do not have to offer every single thing for free, but pick a few things you offer and pitch it to your client in hopes that they accept and then pay you for it later. Then more importantly refer you to other potential clients!