The Easiest Way To Get Your First 10 Clients (Most People Miss This)
Where do you begin?
When you start your business, everything can seem totally overwhelming. It can seem like there is so much to do, and it can be difficult to know which to do first.
Do you have to pick a niche?
Do you need to be clear on your offer?
Should you build your website?
Should you design your logo and brand?
Should you start building your social media following?
Should you start an email list?
The truth is, you don’t need a website, a logo, an online presence or an email list to start serving clients now. And there’s a good reason to not begin any of these things until you’ve got a few clients under your belt.
start by working with clients
It’s not until you start working with real clients that you truly begin to understand the pain points your clients are experiencing. You hear the language they use to describe where they are at and where they want to go. You learn what works to get them there and what doesn’t.
This experience of serving your clients will shape your business.
Your business is the value you provide your clients. The results your clients get. How you make your clients feel. You don’t need a website, a logo or even an online presence to do this.
So if you’re currently sitting in the overwhelm of knowing exactly what you need to do next to grow your business, take a breath, stop what you’re doing and read on.
I’m going to walk you through the exact steps you need to take to get your first 5-10 clients. Do this before you do anything else.
You need to be 50-70% clear on your niche first
Before serving clients you need to have some idea of who you want to help and what you help them with.
There will be a lot of other people offering the exact same service as you and without narrowing down on who you serve, it will be incredibly hard to market and sell yourself. You need your message to speak to your ideal client - if you don’t know who your ideal client is, this will be near impossible.
If you’re unclear on your niche, check out my post on The Ultimate Guide To Picking a Niche and work through the exercises first.
If you use the below strategies before having clarity on who you help and what you help them with, you are unlikely to have much success.
If you’re already clear on this, let’s move on.
The know, like and trust conundrum
Before people work with you, they need to know, like and trust you. That’s tricky when you start out. You haven’t got any results yet to speak to your value.
But there is a group of people in your life that know, like and trust you - your family and your friends. This is where I’d recommend you start.
Now before we dive into the strategy, let me say this: when I bring this up with clients, I’m often met with resistance. It’s a scary step, particularly at the early stages of your business. You might not even have told people what you’re doing yet.
However, this is the number one step to take if you want to get clients quickly. And you do want to get clients quickly, as when you begin working with actual clients, who are paying you, everything becomes much more real. Your learning accelerates. You figure out what works and what doesn’t work, and you’re going to grow so quickly.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU SKIP THIS STEP?
If you decide to delay working with clients, in favour of building your website, establishing your brand and growing your social media following, it’s likely that this will happen:
You’ll have to play the long game: building your online presence, providing relevant, helpful content, slowing growing your audience, to the point where people have built up that trust that is so important for people to part with their money to work with you.
You won’t have any cash flow to kickstart your business.
Your learning will be slower. You’ll miss out on the experience of actually working with the people you want to help, and letting this experience shape your business.
You’ll begin crafting a solution before you fully understand the problem. It’s only through working with clients that you will truly begin to understand their pain points. Your whole business should be shaped by the people you serve. Go to your ideal clients, find out what they need, and then craft the solution.
why this strategy works so well
When I used this strategy myself, there were several benefits which really stood out for me:
You’re going public with your business. It can feel terrifying to tell people what you do (fear of judgement and all that). You’re coming out and announcing your new venture. For me, getting over this roadblock shifted my mindset entirely. I had announced I was a Business Coach, and in doing so, I became a Business Coach. Even if your offer bums (it won’t), this is a brilliant process to go through.
People will support you. Whether it’s an encouraging comment, or a referral, people will generally rally behind you because you’ve been honest, upfront and vulnerable. It gave me a massive boost seeing the words of support, and I booked a load of sessions off the back of it, often from people I didn’t even expect.
You’re offering something for free. In my case, I offered a free 75 minute strategy session (exact copy below). You can craft your offer to be whatever you want it to be, but when you’re offering something for free, the only thing people have to lose is their time.
If you’re still with me, and open to the idea of putting yourself out there to your friends and family, let’s dive into the steps you need to take.
The friends and family email
This step is all about using your personal network. You’re writing to your friends and family and being totally honest about what you’re doing and the support you need. You’re putting yourself out there, being vulnerable and asking for help. And most people will respond well and will want to help you.
Send an email to your friends and family and tell them exactly what you're doing, including who you help and what you help them with. Ask them to forward your message to 3 friends who might be suitable and ask for referrals.
If you don’t want to email everyone (I’d recommend you do), make a list of as many people as possible that you would feel comfortable emailing.
In my email, I offered free 75 minute sessions. If this doesn’t suit your business, you can just straight up ask for referrals.
For the exact email I sent to my friends and family, hit the button below.
The Facebook post
Similar to above, write a post on your personal facebook telling your friends and family what you’re doing, including who you help and what you help them with. Ask them to share the message, and ask for referrals.
For the exact message I posted on FB, click here.
The free session offer
I didn’t have a big network of friends and family before setting up my business, so I totally appreciate any reservations about the above technique. However, even with my small network I had people refer their friends and family to me.
However, I also put out a free session offer in relevant FB groups where my ideal clients hang out. In fact, I did this twice, Once when I first launched my business in August 2018 (this is where I found my first client) and then again when I went full-time on my business in January 2019 and had space for more clients.
The offer I used was a free 60 minute strategy session for my ideal client, and I was super specific about what they would achieve in this session.
Make sure if you do a free session offer you are 100% clear in your copy about WHO you help and WHAT you help them with. You only want to speak to your absolute ideal clients.
For the exact free session offer I put out this January, click the button below.
If you haven’t tried these strategies yet, take a deep breath and put yourself out there.
Once you’ve done this, come back here and comment with your results. I’d love to know.