It’s time for episode 3 of the Summer Series!
This is an action packed and super tactical episode about getting clients, with solid steps and advice to make your biggest dreams a reality.
Remember, you don’t control all of the “hows” in your business. You only control:
Keeping your eyes firmly planted on where we want to go, what the end destination looks and feels like + the unshakable belief you can get there
Taking your next best step
This episode highlights my 5 best tips for you to get real, paying customers. It involves some elbow grease and proven sales strategies - but not the ones you might think.
When you’re first getting started, I don’t recommend advertising, funnels or even a sales page.
Instead, you can use these universal practices that anyone can do, no matter your financial situation or circumstances.
If you’re struggling to get your first customers, these steps may surprise you in their simplicity. While they aren’t easy, they are the most direct and actionable path for you to get clients rolling in.
1. Go One On One With Your Services
If you’re looking for the quickest way to get paid, this is it. While creating content, building a following and offering an online course is often the dream - that’s playing the long game. The time it takes to find and grow your audience will be much longer than narrowing down your search to finding 2-3 clients to work with directly.
Trust me, even if you don’t plan on working with clients one on one forever, as a starting point this method can’t be beat. Why?
When you work one on one with clients, you can charge more for your time and you don’t need to find as many people. You may be scared off by popular business advice telling you not to trade time for money - but working with a small core group of clients will enable you to hone your craft and generate income. You can scale later, but this will build your solid foundation.
The best way to work one on one with clients? I’ll cover that in my second recommendation...
2. Craft ONE Core Offer
I wish I had done this when I was first starting out! In the hopes of helping and reaching as many people as I could with my services, I had multiple offers trying to solve multiple problems.
The problem with this was twofold.
It was confusing for my potential clients and for me! Having too many directions at once meant when people checked me out they had decision fatigue. All of my offers made it unclear how I could help them specifically. Plus, my wide range of offers meant I had a tough time pitching myself and explaining exactly who I helped and how.
Creating one, solid core offer solves these issues.
As the business owner, you can share your offer with ease and clear language. There’s no guessing. And anyone wondering if your services will help them will know in detail how you help, how long you help for and what it will cost.
To create your core offer, consider the following.
Think about your business and services. What’s an ideal time frame you would need to work with someone to help them with their transformation? Make this the length of your offer. Then decide on a price, based on the value they receive not the hours involved. Know the overarching details of your offer, such as number of calls clients get with you and practice saying it aloud.
Now you’re ready to sell what you do!
3. Leverage IRL (In Real Life) Opportunities
I’ve noticed a funny thing when a new entrepreneur decides to start an online business. They completely overlook the multitude of ways they can create connections and find clients in their own community!
No amount of online marketing wisdom can compete with the power of face to face connections when you’re first starting out.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “Ugh, networking? It’s so awkward!” I’ll gently remind you about that one piece of this all you can control. Showing up and taking your next best step. To make it on your entrepreneurial journey, you’ve got to put in the work - even the awkward work you’d rather skip.
Remember, the goal of networking isn’t even about selling your services on the spot. You need to be out there talking about what you do, because there’s always someone who knows someone else.
Your message spreading outward from people you’ve looked in the eye and shaken hands with is powerful and underutilized in our dreams of working completely online.
4. Use The Power Of Your Personal Connections
Remember the elbow grease I was talking about at the beginning of this article? Here’s where that really comes into play.
Instead of tinkering with your website and sales page- try this instead:
Make a contact list of anyone (seriously, anyone that might be a fit) that you can reach out to, to tell them about what you’re working on. Let them know you’re looking for people who may be interested in having a coffee chat about the problem you’re solving with your biz.
These aren’t hard sales calls, these are opportunities to talk about their pains and you being helpful.
Set a weekly goal for yourself for how many coffee chats you’re going to have. This is the work that will bring paying clients closer to you. Showing up, being visible and being helpful. Could you commit to booking five calls a week? If you can continue this practice, it’s only a matter of time before you’ll land clients.
5. You Don’t Have To Get Paid, But You Have To Get Something
“Steph, I’m just starting out. Should I charge clients right away or offer my services for free to gain experience?!” - I’ve heard this question once or a hundred times.
If you ask ten business coaches this question, chances are you’re going to get ten different answers. It really is a personal decision that depends on where you’re at in your journey.
If you’re new in your business but confident your skills can take your clients from point A to point B in their lives - consider charging an introductory rate. This will allow you to get paid while gaining confidence and sharpening your skills and services.
But - if you’re so new in the game that thought of charging clients makes you freeze up, you can trade your services for referrals and/or testimonials. You need to get something out of this transaction, and no, experience isn’t enough!
You Have To Be Willing To Do The Work
There you have it, my top five tips to get your first three clients!
These aren’t tricks or hacks to avoid the inevitable hard work needed to succeed. They are actions you can take starting today to get one step (and one client) closer to your dream becoming a reality.