3 Steps for Finding Clients Now
Posted on March 21, 2011
There’s a difference between finding clients to work with six months from now, and finding someone to pay you today. In my business I’m almost always focused on the long term. I market with a six-month or more mindset. If your focus remains on finding income today and tomorrow, you’ll always be scrambling to make money.
If you’re just starting, you probably don’t care much about the future; you need clients now. We’ve all been there. While a long term vision is great, you probably need cash flow and can’t wait six months to get it.
Let’s dive into the three most important things you can do to generate income now.
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Create a Killer Website
While you can do it on your own, I can’t stress enough the importance of having a great looking website. Right out of the gate, it’s worth spending money on even if you’re not making any. It’s possible to make a professional website for around $60. Don’t worry about stationery and business cards, yet. For now you can network without them.
Wherever you go, whatever you do, talk about your site. Create really helpful things for your market and post them there. Give things away to attract an audience. The more helpful you are, the more sites you’ll get linking to you. In the eyes of Google, you’ll be a superstar nearly overnight.
Don’t forget to include an About page and a Contact page. You can call them whatever you like, but make sure they’re there. I’m big on story, so my about page is titled My Story. Also, don’t forget to include your full name on your about page. I intentionally give a brief bio to start with and a good print-ready picture. 90% of the time, when I speak, this brief bio is used without even asking me. Make it easy but sound professional.
I speak casually in first person throughout the rest of the page and I include audio and video. Some of it is really long and most people won’t check it out, but the people most interested will eat up everything you give them, so make sure those options are available.
From blog posts to newsletters, info products to books; be consistent about creating information. If you blog, release a post at least once every week, ideally on the same day each time. Newsletters can be a bit more random and unexpected, but don’t forget about your subscribers. If you go too long in between notes, your readers will forget who you are. Getting reported as spam isn’t my idea of fun.
Cross promote your writing on your website. Provide an eBook for free when people subscribe to your newsletter or RSS feed. Highlighting a book you’ve written on your homepage gives you instant creditability with new visitors.
If the process of writing a book is overwhelming, start with an eBook. Once you have the content, it’s easy to make it look professional in a physical form.
Nothing screams expert like standing on stage in front of an audience, especially if you’re holding a book you’ve written. You have instant credibility and an endorsement from whoever invited you to speak. Don’t let them down.
Look for industry associations, businesses, churches, and civic organizations. Record a few videos and post them to your website. I’ve had people hire me simply because they noticed some of the venues where I’ve spoken. A five day cruise makes the top of the list for me.
Tie your writing and website into your speaking. Cross promotion is crucial. Don’t expect they’ll hunt down your website after your talk. Send around a sheet giving audience members the opportunity to subscribe to your newsletter or download your free eBook.
When you get out from behind your computer you’ll almost immediately begin making money. Focus on your first few clients and then transition more and more to finding people to work with six to nine months from now. Let the snowball roll!
What strategies do you use to find clients now?