So, you have decided to start your own business. You have thought out and created your awesome service or product. You’re feeling optimistic about your chances. Great! What now? How are you going to land your first client?
Obviously, every business needs people to pay for its product or service in order to survive (and thrive). Getting paying customers might be your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur. However, if you know what to do, getting clients doesn’t have to be a stressful thing for you.
Before we get into how you’re going to connect with and land your first customer, we have to establish who this person (or business) is. In order to effectively target the right people, you have to be very clear on who you’re marketing to. Let’s figure that out… You might need to do a little bit of market research to answer these questions, but the more info you have, the better you will know your potential clients and the better your chances of convincing them they need your product or service.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Whose problem is my product/service solving?
- What does my client want to achieve?
- Are they a student? Do they work? What does their life look like?
- What are they scared of?
- What’s their personality like?
- What other brands do they frequently use?
- Where can you find them on social media? Which platforms do they use most?
- What quote could be their life motto?
Now, with this info we’re going to make a persona. A persona is a visual representation of the fictional person you’ve just described that’s going to represent your ideal customer/client. Not only is creating personas an efficient way to understand your audience, but it will also help you relate to them more. You can also use your persona(s) to make decisions for your marketing and later create customer journeys for your customers/clients to unearth any ‘problems’ in your product and/or service. However, that’s something for another time. 😉
Let’s talk about what you’re really here for:
Tips and tricks for landing your very first client
Budget and make sure you have a buffer
Many starting or aspiring entrepreneurs are at least a little scared of financial instability when they finally decide to take the leap. Totally understandable, that’s why we recommend track your expenses and make sure you have at least a few months worth of savings in your account, just to be safe. Not every business has a smooth take-off. It’s better to have a safety net so you can fully focus on developing your business without worrying if you’re going to be able to cover rent next month.
Make sure everyone knows about what you’re doing
Tell everyone you know about your new business. Post on your social media, send out an email, carry business cards with you everywhere you go. Just make sure they know where to find you if they ever need it. Clients can come from the most unexpected places, but when you first start out, someone you already know (even if it’s vaguely) is most likely going to be your first client.
Work with people in your niche or industry
Competition, especially when you’re just starting out, is not going to do you any favors. Don’t see your competitors as enemies, but rather figure out a way to work with them. Don’t turn your back on great opportunities like this. We believe you’re always stronger together. Some entrepreneurs who’ve been reaching out to their competitors have even gotten business from them because they had more projects than they could handle! There’s also a lot you can learn from people who’ve been doing what you want to do for a while. No harm in inviting them to go get a cup of coffee.
Create a killer website
Create a beautiful website for your potential clients and make sure it offers value to them. Having a blog is a great way to establish yourself as an expert on the topics you write about. I’ve gotten the question if every small entrepreneur needs a website, even when they only do business locally. The answer is always YES. Just think about how much time you generally spend on the internet. Now think about how much time all your potential clients spend on the internet combined. It’s a marketing channel, it makes it easier for people to find you and it gives your business legitimacy. It’s super easy to start your website and with all the awesome options out there, you need zero knowledge of coding to have a beautiful website.
Create a marketing plan
You don’t have to have a degree in communications in order to create a marketing plan (although it probably helps). Just create a content schedule for social media and think of creative ways to get your business out there. Additionally, write down some goals (for followers, the number of likes, the number of interactions and/or sales for example) and check every month what posts were successful and which were not. Then, learn and adapt until you’ve got it right. If this is really not your thing (or you simply don’t have time for it), consider hiring someone to do your marketing for you.
Get social & get out there
Now it’s time to just get out there and spread the word. Post on social media regularly and interact with as many of your potential customers as you can. If you solve a problem that they want to be solved and they know you’re out there to come to their rescue, they’ll know where to find you. 😉
We’d love to know how you landed your first client! For us, simply sharing the news about Life’s Work Lab with our network got us our first clients. Let us know how you landed your first client in the comments.
Maud & Mark