This is perhaps the #1 question I get asked.
- How do I find clients?
- Where can I find them?
I often laugh in my lighthearted way and want to say –
“Here’s the secret no one told you…”
“There they are! Over there! Right behind the potted plant!”
And then there would be a mad rush…
Except it doesn’t work that way.
So many methods teach that you need to go find clients, like you are on some treasure hunt and if you just look hard and long enough a windfall will be bestowed upon you. Unfortunately this is not a hunter-gatherer mission.
Neither is it a sit back and wait for ideal clients to magically manifest like a genie in a bottle. Poof! There they are!!
The truth is that it is more organic than either of these frequently taught approaches.
Relationship is the Only Path to Clients
No one buys anything from anyone without having a relationship of some kind. If you are in a service based business, relationship precedes purchase. Always.
So the answer to the question “How do I find clients?”
Engage in relationship with others.
When you engage with others and what you share and who you are resonates with them, a seed of a relationship is born. It is only from there that something can grow. There’s no guarantee that it will but without the seed, nothing happens.
There are only a few ways to turn engagement into clients:
- You engage with someone, they become a client.
- You engage with someone who then sends people with whom they have a relationship to you. (Referrals, contract work, etc.)
Based on this and your marketing plan, will you take actions to build direct relationships, indirect relationships or both?
Ways to Plant the Seed for a Relationship
The number of ways in which you can do this are plentiful. You can:
- Meet people in person
- Meet people online or by phone
- Speak to a group in person or virtually
- Share content online
- Give value by offering a free sample of your services
This might sound simplistic. You might be thinking – “I already know this and do this, but how do I find clients?” The answer is – you experiment. You try different approaches, you measure your results, and tweak accordingly. You take appropriately sized action on a consistent basis and build on it.
There isn’t a secret decoder ring. There isn’t a magic formula, no matter what any big time marketer will tell you.
[clickToTweet tweet=”There isn’t a magic formula to find clients, no matter what any big time marketer will tell you.” quote=”There isn’t a magic formula to find clients, no matter what any big time marketer will tell you.”]
You need to:
- Develop a strategy to do this.
- Choose a few tactics you are going to utilize to achieve your strategy.
- Take action
- Measure effectiveness
- Make changes
- Keep going
That is the highly UN-proprietary eight-step process to attracting ideal clients.
All the other “You must do this!” — “You can’t do that!” – “I can show you THE way to do it!” is all just noise. Support can be helpful but don’t mistake support and value for “having all the answers”.
If you have ever made a friend or gone on a date, you can do this. You already know how to start a relationship. Tap into your own uniqueness and honor your style of being in the world (introvert, extrovert, etc.) and make it your ally.
The rest of the tools, tactics, and strategies are simply vehicles to get you where you want to go – to a space where you can plant a seed, grow a relationship.