As a social media consultant I am often asked how I get new clients. I have spent the last year teaching community courses at my local community college helping small business owners learn to use social media and blogging to grow their business. With this opportunity comes several opportunities to meet new clients but it also means I am asked a variety of interesting questions, one of which came from a younger lady that was interested in social media consulting and wanted to know how she can attain new clients. I think this could easily be applied to any entrepreneur looking to grow their business and find new clients but these are my top 15 tips to for getting new clients for business.
- Speak at local events. Look for groups, meetups and gatherings of people who’re in or related to your industry. Speak at these events to position yourself as an expert and gain more exposure. I speak at chamber events, small business conferences, college classes and at our local community college.
- Speak at seminars and conventions. Offer to speak at seminars and conventions. If you have a recognizable brand name, most organizers would be thrilled to have the opportunity.
- Get covered by the press. Come up with some unique angle and pitch it to reporters. Use tools like Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to find reporters looking to do stories.
- Network and follow up. Go to minglers, mixers and professional events and meet people in your target market.
- Give free advice. Do it both online and offline. Demonstrate your credibility first before trying to sell. This is an example of free advice but you can offer it for anyone subscribing to your newsletter or visiting your Facebook page. Free is good!
- Answer questions on LinkedIn. This helps build your credibility online, which often translates into real world contacts.
- Build a professional website. Having a great looking website helps create trust with people who’re considering hiring you.
- Ask for referrals. Talk to people you know, including but not limited to past clients and ask for referrals. I am in the works for doing some redesign for the business/services portion of my site and finding what will work for you and your brand is very important. I think I am still figuring this piece out in an ever changing climate!
- Run a Q&A mailing list, blog or website. Become known as the person to go to for questions in a particular arena. Feel free to contact me with your questions and I’m here to help! I’d love to answer your questions on anything green living or social media and consulting!
- Network with lawyers and accountants. Every business needs a lawyer and an accountant. If your clients are businesses, networking with lawyers and accountants can be a potential gold mine. I met my accountant from networking and it has been a great relationship that will help us both in the end!
- Start a blog. Help people in your target market by providing great content.
- Regularly post great content to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Plus profiles. People who follow you will come to see you as more and more of an expert.
- Ask past clients to give you credit on their website. For instance, if you did some graphics for a client, ask them to put that the graphics were by you on the bottom of their site. If you were their coach, ask them to talk about their experience on their blog.
- Join your local chamber of commerce. You’ll often meet valuable contacts that can either become clients or people you can work business deals with.
- Publish a book. Write a book about your subject and get it published. Check out my book, My Mommy is a Blogger! Even if you never sell over a thousand copies, being a published author will still massively boost your credibility. Nobody will ever ask you how many copies you’ve sold.
What advice do you have for growing your client list? What questions do you have on ways to grow your blog, business or being social media consulting?