Whether you’re a freelancer, consultant, or you’re starting a business, one of the most important things you can do is to find your first 10 business clients. These are the people who will help get your business off the ground, talk about you with others, and support you as you grow.
5 Steps to Prepare to Land Your First 10 Business Clients
You can’t get your first clients without doing some prep work first. Follow the five steps below to get started, so you’re ready when the business starts rolling in.
1. Identify Your Target Market
Who are the people that need or want your products or services? Who is your ideal customer? You need to know who you want to work with so you can try to find them!
2. Reach out to Your Target Audience
If you build it, they won’t come – unless you tell people that you exist! Start to get the word out through online channels like social media or forums and through offline channels like networking events, industry conferences, and community events (if you want to focus on building local clients).
3. Write Your Elevator Pitch
Make sure you have a strong elevator pitch ready. That way, when you make contact with potential clients, you can sell them on your business and/or services quickly and effectively.
4. Follow up after Initial Contact
Don’t ghost prospects! If someone shows interest in working with you, make sure you follow up with them within a few days to try to close the deal.
5. Track Your Connections and Progress
Keep track of all the contacts you make – whether they turn into clients or not – so you can continue to build relationships with potential customers in the future.
10 Tips to Land Your First 10 Business Clients
With your prep work done, it’s time to land your first 10 business clients. Finding them doesn’t have to be difficult if you use the tips below.
1. Start with Your Personal Network
To find your first 10 business clients, ask friends and family if they know anyone who could use your services. Not only can they put you in touch with great people, but you know that these connections come with a personal endorsement.
You’ll likely find reliable clients who are in need of the types of services you provide — a much better scenario than aimlessly reaching out to strangers online. Therefore, send out those emails, give people a call, and ask to set up some meetings.
Let your friends and family know what kind of work you’re interested in taking on. Landing 10 happy, reliable clients from your personal network is an amazing way to get started on your journey to become a freelancer, consultant, or business owner!
2. Seek Cross-Promotion Opportunities with Other Businesses
Look for businesses that are in a similar industry or field to yours and ask if they’d like to cross-promote by referring customers to you (and you to them) or partner with you on advertising to split costs and increase exposure.
Developing mutually beneficial partnerships with other businesses in a relevant industry or field can be a great way to expand your customer base. When you form referral relationships, you and the other business get the chance to work together to reach new people beyond your existing networks. This collaboration can generate an additional stream of leads and help grow both your businesses.
Consider partnering on promotional materials or advertisement opportunities to have a larger impact and make the biggest impression on potential customers. Reach out to any businesses that come to mind that could potentially be interested in working together and see if they’re open to exploring these ideas further.
3. Explore Online Directories and Listings for B2B Leads
If your target audience is other businesses, there are a few great online directories and listings that can help you build your B2B client base. Google My Business and Yelp are great places to start. Search for businesses that may be interested in the services you provide and reach out to them.
Cold-calling may seem intimidating at first, but with preparation and practice, it can be an effective method of reaching potential B2B clients. Be friendly yet professional when you make contact. As you gain momentum, you’ll start to see connections materialize, which is perfect for expanding your network of clients quickly. With persistence, you’ll surpass your goal of finding 10 new B2B clients!
4. Attend Local and Online Business Events and Meetups
Attending local business events and meetups is a great way to make connections and find your first 10 clients. These events provide an opportunity for you to connect with like-minded people who have similar business interests as you. Whether you attend seminars, workshops, or networking sessions – there are so many different types of way you can expand your network.
Not only will you get the chance to meet new people, but you’ll also gain insight into their business experiences and the kind of clientele they have. Networking is an essential way to find new clients – either among other attendees or through their referrals and extended networks.
5. Give Something Free or Discounted Away
Offer a discount or a free consultation to get people interested in working with you. Both are great ways to pique potential customers’ interest and encourage them to engage with you and your business.
Freebies and discounts can generate initial interest in you and your services, and jumpstart word-of-mouth marketing. People love getting things for free or getting a great deal, so give it a try. Just don’t offer too many people discounts or freebies. You don’t want to create an expectation that your services are worth less than they should be.
6. Get Involved in Your Community
For local businesses, a great way to connect with potential clients and build your business network is to get involved in your community. Volunteering at non-profit organizations or joining your local Chamber of Commerce can put you in front of new people who might need your services or know someone else who could benefit from working with you.
Make sure you identify key clients to look for – those who have the capacity and need to work with you. There are bound to be 10 of these people whom you can start engaging with. By getting involved in local activities, you may even make some new friends along the way!
7. Get Active on Social Media
Join key social medial channels and work on building a network of contacts who can help you build your brand and attract potential clients. For example, you can join online groups on Facebook or LinkedIn that are relevant to your business and start conversations and answer questions. This allows you to build awareness about your business and establish you as an expert in your field.
Don’t just self-promote! Instead, you have to share useful content to demonstrate your expertise and value. Finding potential clients through social media may take time, but it can be highly effective if you stick with it.
8. Start a Blog
Starting a blog and leveraging content marketing can be a great way to find your first 10 business clients. By publishing blog posts on your website about topics related to your business, you’ll establish yourself as an expert in your field and provide potential customers with valuable information.
Additionally, through social media or email marketing campaigns, you can direct readers back to each blog post you publish — driving traffic to your website and increasing engagement. There is no better way to prove that you’re the best at what you do then by writing authoritative blog posts and promoting them to your target audience.
9. Invest in PPC Advertising
Taking the plunge with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising can seem daunting, but when you’re on the hunt for your first 10 business clients, it could be just what you need. Using platforms like Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads and other PPC ad networks, you can easily target potential customers who may already be interested in your products or services.
With careful audience targeting and optimization of your ads, you’ll be able to get your business out there while also making sure you’re getting the best return on your investment. Start by advertising on the sites you know your target audience spends time and track your results. You’ll probably have to try multiple ads and offers until you find the ones that work the best, so don’t give up too soon.
10. Do Some Pro Bono Work
Doing pro bono work is a great way to get your first 10 business clients, because it can provide valuable testimonials that help you spread the word about your amazing work. Offering some services for free is also likely to result in referrals and more clients rolling in over time.
By getting a few clients under your belt and demonstrating what you can do, you not only gain extra credibility and references, but you also build relationships that inevitably lead to new opportunities for growth. Doing this will also open doors for other kinds of partnerships, so be sure to make the most out of every single connection made through pro bono work.
Key Takeaways about How to Find Your First 10 Business Clients
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, consultant, or business owner, it may feel like an uphill battle to get your first 10 business clients. But don’t despair! With a little creativity and persistence, you can find them. Follow the suggestions above, and you’ll be well on your way to building a strong client base for your business.