So, you’ve decided you’re going to enter the extremely competitive market of absolutely anything online-related? Well done, now you’re in for a task! The fact of the matter is that you can be the most exceptional person ever and still have a hard time getting clients. You might design the most visually stunning websites ever or you might be able to miraculously rank any website on the first page of Google within 3 hours, but if you aren’t able to stand out from the sea of other internet marketers and website design companies out there, you probably aren’t going to get what you deserve.
Here is a fool-proof plan to getting your initial clients for your newly-founded business.
#1 – Think
Now, here’s the bit that most people don’t do, think. You probably think you’ve thought about it but even if this is the case, I want you to sit down and think about it again. Who is going to buy your product? How much are they likely to spend? What size are these companies? What’s the best way of getting hold of them? Do they already have someone worse than you doing things? You need to think about all of these questions before you even start. Basically, you need to indentify your target market…properly!
In order to do this effectively, you need to realise how good you are. What kind of companies are likely to hire you? Are you really so good at your job that you’re in no doubt that huge corporations will hire you? If so, you might want to opt for contacting these kinds of businesses, but if you haven’t got a portfolio, don’t expect them to take you seriously.
#2 – Design Your Marketing Efforts
Now, this might sound like a bit of a strange thing to say but let me explain. There are so many different ways you can get clients, you can go to networking events, invest in SEO, SEM or even cold call. However, you need to make sure that all of these marketing efforts work in harmony.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you head off to a networking event. What usually happens at these kinds of things is you all introduce yourself and then you’ll end up at home with the biggest pile of business cards ever. Obviously, another (non-related) point is that you need your business card to stand out from the crowd, as well as yourself. But also, you need to make sure that your marketing efforts work in harmony.
Chances are that you’ve spent a few quid going to a networking event and chances are that you only had chance to meet a few of the people and create a brief introduction. Chances are that you’ve also created a flashy website for your business and set yourself up on Twitter and Facebook etc. So, to make sure that your marketing efforts work together, print your Facebook page, Twitter account and website address on your business cards.
There are lots of ways that you can design marketing efforts, especially online. Make sure your Facebook page links to your website, which links to your Twitter account, which links back to your website where you also link to your LinkedIn page etc. The more info you can give people, the better it is. This also has a bit of an SEO bonus.
It’s also important to ensure that your branding is consistent. Don’t have one logo on your website and a completely different one on your business card! But you already knew that…right?
#3 – Do Things You Hate
Getting clients isn’t easy these days and the reason a lot of people don’t get clients is because they sit around waiting for them to come. A lot of people just want to be able to run their business and do what they’re good at. There’s nothing wrong with this, but in the early days, you’re going to have to do things you don’t want to do.
For example, you might not enjoy building links to your website if you’re more of a designer but if you want visitors from search engines and you don’t have enough money to pay an SEO, you’re going to have to. If you don’t like getting on the phone and ringing people, even if you know you have something good to offer them, you’re going to have to.
Once you get past this stage, things will be a bit easier usually, so long as you do a good job for every client you work with.
#4 – Build A Long Term Plan
You don’t get a number one position on Google overnight, and you don’t get 100 good reviews from real customers overnight. You also don’t build a portfolio overnight and you don’t earn trust overnight or brand awareness. However, all of these things should be long term goals as they are likely to be what keeps your business going and keeps clients naturally coming in.
If people trust you, they’re likely to hire you. If you have an impressive portfolio, they’re likely to hire you. If you have a number one Google position for desired keywords, they’re likely to find you. If you have great reviews, they’re likely to trust you. When you combine all of these things, you’ve done it. There’s almost no chance of no clients coming in as you’ll be one of the most impressive companies out there.
So, bear in mind while you’re cold calling that you don’t want this to be a long term fixture and in order to make sure that is actually the case, you need to push yourself to get all of these things.
Building any business isn’t easy, especially not in today’s crowded market but you can succeed. Of course, it helps if you’re more talented than most others, but even so, there’s a lot of quite frankly poor businesses making millions these days, so you can too.