A theme I see pop up time and time again with our students and clients is this: They are wondering where they are supposed to find clients for their online business.
When you’re starting out, or in the beginning stages of growing your online business, it can feel a little like you’re shouting out to the abyss sharing your expertise. You’re wondering who is paying attention, if anyone is, and if all this work is actually resonating. On top of that, you either only have a couple of clients that you’re relying on to keep your business open, or you’re working on getting any client to get your business growing.
You’re ready to take your online service-based business to the next level, and you want to make this happen quickly. You’re tired of making ends meet and working so hard to put yourself out there. You know there has to be an easier way!
After 10 years of working with online business owners to help them grow and scale their services online, here’s what I’ve got to tell you: You need to build a solid foundation for your business.
When you’re starting out and growing to next levels, it does take a bit more work to get things flowing. You will need to “hustle” — intentionally — to get things set up. The biggest difference here? Thinking long-term with your choices, and setting yourself up for success so that the work you’re doing now can continue to work for you time and time again (without the hustle, yay!!)
Here are my 3 favorite strategies for finding new clients for your online service-based business or online programs:
1: Put relationships first.
When you think back to the best clients or business wins that you’ve had, where did this stem from? How did these people find you, and what did you do to get your business in front of them? For my business, most of our clients have come from relationships that I have built over the years.
Solid relationships don’t happen with a formula. They happen when you are showing up as a person on social media and at events. They happen when you are YOU and when you can find common ground with people at a human level. When it comes to building relationships both on social media and in real life, act like you would when you’re making a new friend!
It’s crazy (and wonderful) to me to see how many business wins have stemmed from me showing up as a friend. Over time, as you show up as your best business self, these relationships naturally turn into referrals. When a friend of a friend is needing support with something that you can help with, they will naturally recommend you. This is how 80% of the clients at Pinegate find us now! I haven’t had to “work hard” at marketing in years because over time these relationships have built and I have this solid foundation that supports my business. Ideally, this is where you want to grow to when you’re thinking about organic marketing strategies (aka not paying for ads)
Bottom line: Make friends, be a good human.
But what if you’re new to your business, and you don’t have a ton of business friendships yet?….
2: Create content that positions you as an expert, and that’s evergreen!
When you show up to share what you know and give amazing value to your target audience members, they take notice! When you confidently and consistently share your knowledge, you’ll be seen as a go-to resource in your industry. This builds up trust, and people purchase things from people and companies they trust. Trust is a HUGE reason why branding can be so important as well — it builds up automatic trust and credibility through visuals! Again, getting known as an expert does take a bit of time, but when you go all-in with this it can happen relatively quickly!
When you’re creating content, aka emails, blog posts, Instagram posts, lives, etc… Think about what your ideal people are searching for, and what they want. What problems do they have? What goals are they looking to reach? Create content that naturally answers the questions they have, and positions you as a person who has the answers. When you’re thinking about what content to create, make sure that it’s evergreen. When you create evergreen content, this means that the content will be relevant today, tomorrow, and in a year+ from now. When you create evergreen content, you can repurpose it later and use it on Pinterest to drive traffic to your website and social media channels. This means the work you’re doing now lives on and will compound on itself over time, unlike content that is just relevant for a short time.
Getting meta here, but you’re probably reading this because you’re looking for more clients right? If so, there’s a chance you’re just like my ideal audience. I’m creating this content to give you value! Over several interactions with my brand and content, and if you like what I’m sharing (hopefully!😉 ) you’ll begin to trust my opinion and the Pinegate Road brand. Annnnd, over time, maybe you’ll want to take the next step and become a client of ours, purchase a course, or become a student in one of our programs! This is how creating valuable content over time turns into clients and customers.
Wondering what kind of content you can create that creates amazing value for your people? I’ve got you! Click here to download our free training on 25 of my favorite valuable content ideas. You’ll be blown away with how much inspiration you get in this quick training and on your way to making amazing content that wow’s your people in no time!
3: Reach out and make invitations
Create ways for people to take the next step with you. I am always telling our clients and students to make one invite a day. Invites can be for engagement, to download a freebie, attend a workshop, and yes…an invite to work with you. In the marketing world, they call invites CTA’s (call to action), and that’s exactly what they are. What are you specifically wanting your people to do after they engage with your content? This helps you leverage your work, and guides your people to a helpful next step. Win for you, AND them!
If you’re in survival mode, another type of invite that you can do is to reach out and cold email / cold-call potential clients. I’ve honestly never had to do this, but know it’s an option. You have sooo much power to get in touch with potential clients because of the internet! Get creative! You never know what’s possible until you ask. With this, the biggest thing is overcoming rejection. This can be a huge factor in your success long-term. How can you make invites a game? Knowing that rejection is part of the process, and it’s one step along the way to a yes?
I love this quote:
Where can you reach out, be bold and make invitations?
Are you ready to up your content game, get your sales process on-point, and have inquiries flowing to your business on the regular? Check out our program, Pin to Profit! Here we teach you how to use Pinterest to keep your content working for you over time — so you can work hard once and let it work for you! We’ve seen students get booked out, sell $$$$ products, and work waaaay less when they got this system up and running for their business.