The number one challenge for any small business owner is finding, attracting and signing new clients.
As a new small biz owner, it’s something I deal with every week. How to keep it rolling and bring in new quality clients.
Having a gorgeous website, blog or well branded social media channels don’t mean anything if they don’t receive any traffic. They mean even less if they don’t convert existing site visitors or subscribers into clients or at least prospects.
Now, I am the world’s worst salesperson and I am not yet an expert on business development. I’m definitely not over here swimming in cash and popping champagne. But, a few things have been working for me as I grow my business at a slow pace.
I wanted to share my tips for attracting new clients for your small business.
Network. Meeting people, handing out business cards and connecting online have been the biggest factor for me in growing See Girl Work. Whether it be meeting great women to profile on the blog or meeting potential clients, getting out and shaking hands has done more for me than any form of advertising.
However, I network very strategically and with intention. When I attend events, I usually go by myself. When you attend networking events with a friend, you’re most likely going to stick with them the whole evening in a corner chit chatting instead of meeting new people. Attend networking events by yourself.
I mostly attend events where I won’t know anybody. If you go to an event where you already know everybody, you’re not networking. You’re just hanging out with a bunch of people who’ve already decided not to hire you. What’s the point in that? Go to events, workshops, panel sessions, etc where you probably don’t know anybody. Then you have a room full of prospects.
If you go to an event where you already know everybody, you’re not networking. You’re just hanging out with a bunch of people who’ve already decided not to hire you.
You have to meet people. You have to work the room, introduce yourself, your biz, socialize and hand out your business card. If someone asks you for a card and you don’t have any, you might as well have not attended.
Go to events outside of your niche. For instance, I don’t go to a bunch of marketing events. Why would I do that? I’m already in marketing so I don’t need to meet a bunch of other marketers. I try to attend events that will bring out a diverse crowd of folks with various professional backgrounds. I want to meet new people, not just the same ol’ crowd.
Create Content. I am not a sales person. In fact, I hate talking about myself. However, I love creating content and I’ve had great success in leveraging the content we create on See Girl Work to attract leads and quality clients. Creating content is a huge factor in building SEO. But if you’re not building your blog or social content to attract and convert clients, you might be wasting your efforts.If you're not building your blog to attract and convert clients, you might be wasting your efforts. Click To Tweet
Create content to showcase yourself as an expertise in your industry. Share it on your LinkedIn and social feeds so people in your online networks know what you’re about.
Interview people and share your knowledge. Use your Instagram as a portfolio of your work — not just selfies. Produce short video clips to dish out advice and share them on your social feeds. Be strategic about your content and your social channels. Everyone is watching.
Build Relationships. Throughout my career there was a phrase that was repeatedly passed around; “It’s not who you know, rather it’s who knows you.” This phrase couldn’t be more true as a small business owner.
Building relationships may be a long tail strategy — meaning it won’t necessarily pay off immediately. But investing in relationships might make the difference between a quality client and not-so lucrative one.
Make offers and not asks. Follow up with a LinkedIn connection. Send thank you cards just because. Invite like-minded prospects to events with no catch. Cover the tab. Share their content on your social feeds. Leave comments on their content. Be helpful. Be a resource. Follow them online and see where you can fit in as an asset, not as an expense.
Be helpful. Be a resource. Follow them online and see where you can fit in as an asset, not as an expense.
I’m not the best at taking my own advice, but these tips have really worked for me so I’m hoping that if you’re trying to attract new clients for your small business (and we all are), they’ll be helpful for you too.
What other tricks and tips for attracting new clients have worked for your small business?
Image via Shutterstock