I am in a group of fancypants business owners on Facebook (like, super successful folks who know their shit) and I asked them a simple question:
If you were telling a brand new business owner what to do in their first 3 months so they could gain visibility and get clients, what 3 steps would you tell them to take (assuming they are already clear on their niche and have an offer to sell etc)
Before we dive into the answer, let me break down the question a bit:
The first important thing to note is that I specifically asked about what they should be doing to GAIN VISIBILITY and GET CLIENTS — I didn’t ask what they should do to “grow their business”.
This is important. It’s always important to know what your goals are, and there are lots of ways you would work on growing your business at any stage, but in the beginning, the most important thing you need to be focusing on is getting visible and getting clients. The rest can come later.
The second important part of this is that I specifically stated that this assumed they were ALREADY CLEAR ON THEIR NICHE AND HAVE AN OFFER TO SELL.
(not there yet — Uncage Your Business will get you there!)
Because NONE of the answers below will help unless you have that done. I see too many people come to me in Uncage Your Business who have been doing so much stuff to try to make their business work. And a lot of what they have been doing is actually great strategy — except that they are doing it with no focus.
- They don’t really have a strong business message
- They don’t have a clear way to differentiate themselves from all the other options out there
- They don’t have clear, distinct packages
- They kinda sorta know who they want to help in their heads, but it’s really not clear to anyone else
So they are doing all this great marketing with no results.
If this sounds like you, IGNORE there rest of this post and get that shit sorted first. Your other efforts will be a waste of time otherwise (and if you don’t have it sorted and you know you need some expert help getting clear and strategic about how you put yourself out there, check out Uncage Your Business – we do ALL of this in the program with lots of individual help from me, and we are rolling again together in March!)
Ok — if you DO have this sorted, here is what my smarty-pants business friends recommended for how to get clients faster when you’re getting started (I also teach most of these strategies in Uncage Your Business once my students have all the foundations nailed, so I know they work).
*Becca’s notes: What I love about Breanne and Lacy’s advice is that it’s so simple and it works. It’s what I tell my clients to do and it’s what I did (and do!) myself. No fancy tech required. Get out there and tell people what you are doing. Getting in front of other people’s audiences is a biggie and one of the fastest ways to gain some traction (but remember – NO point in doing this unless you are mega clear on what you do and what you offer, or else it’s a wasted opportunity!)
*Becca’s notes: First off, I adore Michelle Warner. I worked with her to strategize my biz before I rebranded my website and she’s just SO smart and amazing to work with. If you’re further along in business and are making 80-100k+ and need to dig deeper into strategy, she’s your girl.
I love her tips here because its just reinforces the first one, in case you weren’t convinced yet lol. And again, it’s easy and FREE. I am all for free marketing when you’re starting.
*Becca’s notes: Once again – simple and free wins! Suzy’s strategies are great because anyone can do them and they are the things that, when done consistently, WILL get your name out there and start getting you clients.
Becca’s notes: A woman after my own heart – one of the best strategies out there (I talk more about how to do this and give you an exact email template in this blog post (although sending to 100-250 contacts is ballin’ — go Rachael!). Even though your immediate contacts might not be your clients, the more people that are clear on exactly what you do, the more referrals you will get now and down the road when they hear of someone who needs what you offer.
But again, the KEY to this is not doing it too early in your business!! When I teach this in Uncage Your Business, so many clients tell me “I already sent out that email when I started, and I can see now why it didn’t work! It was totally not clear now I could help people”. They sent out an email saying “Hey EVERYONE I KNOW – I’m a life coach now! If you know anyone who needs life coaching, please consider me!”
No specificity on what they do, who they work with, why someone should contact them etc. Do not send this email til you can clearly articulate all that!
*Becca’s notes: Kendrick walks her talk with this one. I remember when we were starting out businesses around the same time, I posted in a FB group because I was having trouble with a widget on my website. Kendrick hopped on Skype with me and offered to walk me through it EVEN THOUGH website tech is nowhere near her area of expertise. I always remembered that kind gesture, and I stayed in touch with her after that, and now, 6 years later, have given her over $20,000.
A huge part of getting clients is just making connections and networking with other business owners (and non business owners!) and getting your name out there.
Kendrick’s mini session suggestion is also an amazing one that serves the same purpose — HELP PEOPLE FOR FREE. Help as many of them as possible Do your best work. Those people will either naturally want to hire you (now, or maybe not now but in the future when they are more ready), and they will inevitably tell their friends about you.
And of course — following up! I never used to do this and since Kendrick has hammered it into my brain, it’s made such a difference in my business. I also notice as a consumer, that am more likely to buy something when someone followup with me. It’s like that email from them reminds me how much I need whatever the thing is, and the gentle nudge is always a welcome reminder. Don’t skip this!
*Becca’s notes: Michael’s strategy is the very one I started with — I went to the yoga studio I loved in Toronto and asked them if I could do a free workshop for their students. They could market it to their people as free value and I could get my name out there. To be honest, I don’t do a lot of this now, because I don’t like leaving my house and prefer online methods, but there is something to be said for getting out there in person, in your local area, and meeting people.
This could also be done online, if you find other businesses that share the same values and audience – the “talk” you do could be done by way of a Facebook live, or a free webinar for their audience.
*Becca’s notes: The first two steps in Kristin’s tips are what I was talking about above – knowing your brand message and what makes you stand out, and then turning that into your “system” (or packages). I teach all this in Uncage Your Business – how to develop your system and turn it into specific offers — even if you’re new to business and not quite sure what you’re doing yet (I promise, I make this EASY!). Click here to learn more about Uncage Your Business.
THEN, once you have that, getting that message out there by blasting it everywhere through free talks. The more people hear your message (and the same, consistent message), the more they will remember you and come to YOU when they need what you offer.
SO, TO RECAP:
Tell as many people you know. Get your name out there. Help people for free. Make friends online and in person. Be generous with your time. Offer lots of free value. Connect with other people’s audiences.
It doesn’t have to cost anything.
It doesn’t have to be complicated.
You don’t have to use any fancy technology that stresses you out.
You just have to talk to people, help people, get to know people, and be clear about what you can offer.
I firmly believe that you can get 5-10 new clients with these strategies, and that they are more effective than spending time curating posts for Instagram or writing blog posts on your website – at least when you’re working on getting your first 10 clients.
What do you think? I’d love to hear how you feel when you read these strategies – have they worked work you? Do they scare you a little bit? Let’s chat more about it in the group — head over here and share your thoughts!
Not ready for these strategies yet and need to nail down your foundations first?
Come join me and my other badass clients in Uncage Your Business and let’s get you clear and confident AF about what you’re putting out there so you can get clients faster.