The question that I get asked the most is how to find more clients. Whether you are starting out, or have been in business for a while, you need clients and customers. Without them you have no sales! There are easy ways that you can find new clients, and it doesn’t have to cost a cent to do it.
Listen on: APPLE PODCASTS | SPOTIFY | STITCHER
When you are creating your work or business, it is hard to remember that you actually need clients too! I know how hard that can be when passion is driving you forward. Creatives are often terrible at selling themselves, but brilliant at promoting their friends. This is why some of the tips that I am sharing to find new clients involve getting together with others. Think of it as safety in numbers. Plus you get to have a giggle with someone else!
Start with emails
Emails are the simplest way to get new contacts, and that doesn’t mean that you have to send them to strangers. If you can, start by sending 3-5 a day. Janet Kafadar and I chatted about this on another podcast about doing this with only 20 minutes a day. It really doesn’t have to take over your life. What I like about this strategy is that you contact the people you already know. This is something that I tell my mentees to do all of the time.
By starting with people that you already know, it doesn’t have to be scary. They don’t even need to be people that you have worked with. You might be thinking, but Philiy surely I need to have worked with them? But no you don’t. The key here is to be super clear about what you want and need, and then ask them to share it with their networks. I have had so many new clients this way. I always think about the 6 degrees of separation theory and how we are only 6 people away from someone we want to contact. So if you have never asked your Auntie to pass your details on before, you might have had no idea that her neighbour’s niece was one contact away from a new client for you.
Sometimes we forget that the people closest to us might have the answer that we are looking for. Give it a go for a month, and see how many new clients you get out of it. I’d love to know!
Safety in numbers
Being a creative can be lonely at times. You can be working in a studio on your own, or hot desking along side other laptop tapping solo entrepreneurs. In theory hot desking should help you make new contacts, but in my experience everyone is so busy looking at their screens it is hard to make conversation. Let alone ask for a lead.
This is when joining friends and other creatives works better. Think about people that you know who serve a similar audience or customer base to you, but aren’t direct competition. (A side note here: sometimes it is ok if they are direct competition, for example a group of illustrators, if you are bringing lots of people through the door. Taste will always direct a sale rather than loyalty, and you might help each other find clients this way.)
You can set up a workshop, event, exhibition or retreat together. This is a great way to extend your reach and bring new potential clients and customers through the door. I share more details about how to do this in the podcast.
Create an opt-in
You might have signed up for someones email list before (hopefully mine!) and received a freebie for doing so. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It could be a checklist that would help your ideal customer, or else a fun recipe for BBQ popcorn to bring along to your stage show. If you are reading this and thinking, but I don’t have an email list! If you do one thing after reading this, please start an email list.
Emails are the best way to convert fans into buyers. It doesn’t matter if you are a fine artist, run a theatre or are a coach, email lists work for all. When you spend a $1 on advertising you usually get about $2 worth of business back. But this changes dramatically with email lists. For every $1 that you spend, you get about $38 back! Impressed? I was. People on your email list have already shown that they are interested in what you do. They like you, they like your products and services. All of this means that they are a warm lead and more likely to buy from you.
Now the general rule of thumb is that someone needs to hear from you over 7 times before they make a purchase. But when they do, they are more likely to buy more from you and recommend you to others. Plus you get more of a connection to your clients and customers, which means you can ask them for feedback or leave reviews for future customers. A win, win!
Do jump over to the podcast to hear the next two ways that you can connect with clients and customers.
If you are struggling with this and want someone to help you come up with a strategy to reach new clients and customers, I have a few mentoring places left for this quarter. You can find out more here: Tell me more
I’d love to hear how you get on with the 5 ways to reach new clients.