If there’s one thing that I can pinpoint constantly being curious about when I was just starting my business, it would be how the heck to find and sign on paying clients. It seemed easy enough to me to write blog posts, chat on Twitter (hey, it was 2012), and post a few times to Pinterest and Instagram throughout the week. However finding clients seemed really overwhelming for a while.
That question of how to find clients is one thing that I get asked most often not only by new designers, but also new business owners, in general. Whether you’re just getting started or trying to level up your new business so you can start making more money each month, the common denominator among everyone is finding and booking clients.
So, in today’s post I want to share 3 often forgotten tips to help you find and more your first (or more) paying clients!
Make your services easy to find on your site
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how many websites of service-based businesses I’ve been to and finding what they offer was like pulling teeth. If you want people visiting your site to know that you offer services, then you want to make it incredibly easy to find. The more you hide your services behind link after link or on random pages, the less likely people are going to easily find those pages. This means it’s far less likely that you’ll be easily converting those readers to clients.
Instead of hiding your services and crossing your fingers that visitors find them, make those pages easy to find on your website. Create a “Services” or “Work With Me” tab in your menu. If you talk about what you do on your About page (which you should), include a call-to-action straight over to where you describe more in-depth what you do. Include a call-to-action on your Home page so new visitors can quickly and easily learn about how you might be able to help them.
Bonus: Make your services page(s) easy to navigate and understand.
A lot of times we can get caught up in using jargon that others in our field would understand but the clients we’re trying to work with may not. For example, while you may know what “email list integration” means, it’s likely there are people out there who don’t. Similarly, make sure you’re not cluttering your pages with too much content. The easier it is to understand what you do and know how to take the next steps, the more likely your potential clients are going to do exactly that.
Network with peers within your field
When most people think of their peers within their field they immediately think one thing: competition. That’s definitely one way to look at it, but it shouldn’t be the only way. Remember, if you’ve built a solid brand and are confident in what you do, then the right clients for you will find you. With that being said, it’s important to look at your peers as a great place to connect and build relationships instead of just turning a cold shoulder.
Having relationships with your peers is really beneficial to your business because you have a group of people to turn to when you have questions or need help with something. It’s also really great to take the time to authentically build relationships because those people could refer clients to you in the future. In fact, I’ve received quite a few referrals from relationships with other bloggers and designers that I’ve formed since I started my blog.
If you’re trying to figure out how to network with your peers
A great place to start is obviously on social media. By simply responding to someone’s tweet or commenting on an Instagram photo, you’re opening the doors. Another great place to look is Facebook groups that are specifically for your field or niche. For example, Krista and I started a Facebook group for web designers as a place to get feedback, ask questions, and most of all build a community. You can also always try reaching out to some of your peers via email to just get your name out there and open the conversation. I’ve had several other designers reach out to me this way, and it’s a great way to start building those relationships!
Show your work and testimonials
Similarly to what I was saying earlier about making your services easy to find on your website, you also want to make your portfolio and client testimonials easy to find. Now, I realize that not all fields will have the type of work that can be shown. For example, a VA can’t really show that they’ve been scheduling tweets or responding to emails. At the very least, though, you should show off testimonials from happy clients that you’ve been working with.
If you’re in a field where you can show your work, especially designers and web developers, then it’s a good idea to have a portfolio on your site. When you’re showing work in your portfolio, be sure to share what exactly you did for the client. For example, if you’re a designer and you develop all of the sites you work on, then it’s a really good idea to include that. If you’re doing any sort of work that can be viewed online, like web design or development, please include a link to the site. The only reason you wouldn’t want to include the link is if the work you’ve done is no longer live but it still reflects the work you want to do.
When it comes to asking your clients for testimonials
A lot of people start getting a little squirmy when people bring up testimonials, and to be honest, I’m not really sure why. Yes, it’s a little uncomfortable to ask for them, but if your client is happy with the work you’ve been doing for them, then they’ll be incredibly happy to express that in a testimonial for you! My trick to asking for the testimonial is to include a link to my feedback form at the end of the project. I like to either send it with the final files or follow up a week or two later and mention that there’s a feedback form with the optional space for a testimonial, and I’d love for them to fill it out when they get a chance. It’s that easy!
Need more help booking clients consistently for your business?
I’m so thrilled to be hosting the Be Seen, Get Booked Summit, which kicks off in less than 2 weeks! Over three days fifteen experts will be sharing their best strategies to be seen online by the right people and get booked by dream clients consistently.