You’ve got a business (or a business idea), and now you need to grow it with some shiny, new clients. These simple, actionable, recruiting tactics work hard to help you get new clients no matter what industry you’re in – and even if you hate promoting yourself. And best of all, you can start using them right now.
1. Give It Away
No doubt you’re in business to make a profit. Maybe surprisingly, one of the best ways to do that is to give things away for free. True story. Why? Because it allows people to ‘test drive’ your brand. They get a taste of your style and how you work. Plus, freebies make people feel appreciated, and when people feel appreciated they’re more likely to come back. It works for you because it brings in more viewers who may have seen your post on social media and came by to see what they could grab. Done strategically, it also benefits you by helping the prospective client to hone their needs, goals, or process before they decide to pay you for your services.
Not only should your content marketing entice them, it should offer something of substance. Make it something value-packed that they can use; something that gets them thinking and encourages and inspires them to take the next step. Make sure you add a call to action at the end of the giveaway so they know how to proceed.
2. GET SOCIAL
Even if you have a small social media audience to start with, share away! Getting yourself in front of a few is better than getting yourself in front of none. The trick here isn’t to get the most views, but instead, to get the most engagement. Offer something of value that will help people reach a goal or solve a problem, and they’ll share. If you need help with your social media prowess, check out Get Social. It’s got loads of tips, tools, tricks, and resources to help you maximize your social media presence.
3. JUST ASK
As amazing as you are, y
ou’ve undoubtedly got a quality circle of friends, family, former business associates, bosses, colleagues, and associates who have faith and confidence in you and love what you’ve got going on.
Don’t be afraid to ask them to help you spread the word. Their glowing endorsement is genuine, and it feels real, because it is.
4. Put out a Press Release
A press release is a written statement that announces something of note about your business. You can create and distribute a press release for just anything you think you’d like to share. It might be to promote your launch, a new product or service, an expansion, etc. Disseminate it through local and online media outlets, share on social media, or send to a press release service. Here’s a nice, big list of FREE press release services you can use.
5. SELF PUBLISH
If you’ve written some ebooks, you can self-publish them either by creating a PDF or even on Kindle. Adding the title ‘author’ to your professional accomplishments is a great credibility boost, and you get the exposure right along with it.
If you’re not savvy with the design aspects (design either for the whole book or the cover design), check out Fiverr and CreativeMarket. They’ve both got some amazing cover mockups with design services(some starting as low as $5!)
No matter what the game, there’s strength in numbers. Done right, teaming up with another business, brand, or provider has the potential to exponentially launch your exposure, and your credibility right along with it. Not only do you get the benefit of having others share your ‘team’ with their people, you also get the added value of having their side of the story to share with your audience.
You can do this with someone within your marketplace through interviews, podcasts, webinars, or guest post s. You can submit a guest post to us, right here.
And/or you can do it with someone in a correlative industry. For example: If you’re a writer, you could collaborate with a graphic designer to provide information on how to develop a complete brand presence. Ask them to guest post, share an update, or tout your offerings. Explain to your clients the importance of both pieces of the brand view.
Real life success story: When I was growing my own B2B copywriting business I teamed up with a talented graphic designer friend I use, refer to, and trust. We had so much success bouncing ideas off each other and collaborating, we took our respective talents and launched a small business branding agency that we still run today.
The benefit to us is that, by dually promoting, we bring in more business: I share, my people share, she shares, her people share. The benefit to our clients is that they get a professionally done website presence from start to finish, with all elements done by a respective industry expert. And, perhaps equally important, it saves the client the trouble of finding two professionals who work well together, both creatively and personally. Before we collaborated, we didn’t even know the need for this existed. And now we have an entire business built around it.
Targeted ads can help you get yourself in front of the right people quickly and effectively. Facebook ads are easier and more affordable than they have been in the past. A quick Google search will net you plenty of tutorials on how to best go about it.
You can advertise in non-traditional ways, too. We’ve had clients who have had great success getting their products in swag bags and with getting celebrities to wear their items. Here are some tips on how to get your items in front of celebs and hit the big time.
Go to your local community center or community college and teach a class. Make it basic, yet worthwhile. A complicated or in-depth course narrows your potential attendees. Also, at the end of the class leave them wanting to take the next step. Show them how to get to your website to purchase any additional materials or how they can learn more from you.
I recommend making these seminars paid, not free. And not just so you can make some money. People tend to be more invested when they feel that they’ve paid for something. They’re also more likely to show up and participate than those who have no vested interest other than curiosity and a passing fancy.
If you’re short on time or ideas, you can take one of your popular blog posts or existing freebies and rework it, expand it, and segment it into modules and/or a slideshow that you can discuss in a classroom format. Handouts are always a great idea. These takeaways give students something to refer back to again and again. Make sure your website address and contact information are on everything!
Speaking engagements are another great way to get in front of a lot of your right people at once and position yourself as a credible information source. You can solicit your services on your website or through a media kit.
Hint: having a list of topics you teach or speak on is easier than having someone contact you and asking you what you can talk about. Having a few complete seminars on hand will make things a whole lot easier for you. You’ll avoid having to create a whole program from scratch every time. Finally, if you’re going to be traveling to your events, decide ahead of time what your travel requirements will be (distance, expenses, who pays them), what you’ll charge, and how long you’re available for.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have spoken in several states across the country and have always come away with new clients. Most times, several new clients. Once you’ve solidified yourself as the expert in their mind, you become a front of mind brand when they’re in the market for your services. Here’s a free, comprehensive checklist of everything you need to know to handle your next speaking gig like a pro.
10. Go to local events
Local chapters of The Chamber Of Commerce usually host a meeting a month where area professionals come together to socialize and familiarize themselves with other local businesses. The hope is to build a network of mutual referrals. You can attend your first meeting for free to see what it’s like and to see if you think it might work for you.
A lot of local networking groups have a featured speaker at each meeting who is invited to speak on a topic of their expertise. Ask what the requirements are and see if you think it’d be a feasible opportunity for you. If you can’t find a local group that feels like a fit, then consider starting one of your own and host it in a library, restaurant, party house, or community center. Ask members to pay a stipend to cover any costs (food, the room, etc.).
11. Optimize your Website
Dissect your copy. Look at how you’re describing your purpose, your offerings, and your mission. Is it clear? Is it thorough? Language that’s descriptive, yet brief and enticing will help convert.
You should also make sure that your purchase path is as short as possible. This means the potential customer has as few clicks as possible to get from the product description to the checkout. Crop out all unnecessary clicks.
12. Weave links throughout your old posts
You can showcase your past content by fluently inserting links to other relevant posts on your site. This not only keeps people on your site longer, it lets them get more detailed, in-depth information on the topics they’re interested in. Another way to position yourself as an authority as your readers get to know you and your perspective a bit better. Notice how we did that in this post?
13. Start Building a mailing list
Starting a mailing list is as simple as finding a third-party email service to help.
Mailchimp is free for lists of up to 2,000 but it’s limited in services and customer service can be difficult to reach as an unpaid member. We recommend: MailerLite.
You can use a service (like SumoMe.com list builder) to help encourage your website visitors to join. Once they’re all signed up (we recommend a double-opt-in) you can arrange for an automated ‘Welcome Email’ to land in their inbox. It’s a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself, set expectations, and show them how else they can interact with you and your brand.
14. Create Alluring Subject Lines
Once you’ve got some subscribers under your belt, you can start sending out your newsletter. If you send an email with an irresistible subject line like: ’Want to work with me for free?’ you’re sure to get more opens. The trick is to have a bait piece on the other side of the email ready to go when they arrive at the destination URL (or landing page). Give them the freebie you promised, but then let them know how they can get more (paid). You can do this right on the landing page or you can do it in a call to action link at the bottom of your promotional piece.
15. Create Discount Codes
We were able to set up a ‘social sharing’ discount right in our Payhip Store Dashboard in about 5 seconds. This means, when someone shares our product on their social media channels before buying they get a 15% discount instantly. It’s a really effective way to not only promote sales (everyone loves a discount), but to get the word out there to their audience when they share.
You can also create coupon codes in the marketing section of your affiliate dashboard. Just decide what you want to offer and to whom, and create your desired discount. These codes can be for a limited time or indefinitely. They can be used on one product or service, or several. There are a lot of choices. Make a strategic plan and let the sharing begin.
16. Get professional looking collateral
Make all of your marketing pieces matter, including both print and virtual. Beyond the business card some of the more essential print elements include: flyers, postcards, and brochures. And for online, have some banners, badges, and social media shareables readily accessible. Stay consistent with your brand and have your URL and/or contact information wherever possible.
17. Put together a Media Kit
A Media Kit (also referred to as a Press Sheet or a Press Kit) is an important part of promoting your business and sharing your media coverage. Essentially, it’s a condensed version of whatever it is you’re selling; it may be a product, a service, or promoting your brand in general. Clients and media outlets alike love the ease of connecting with businesses through media kits.
18. Sign Off
19. Follow up
People may have emailed or left a comment for you asking you a question or looking for clarification at some point in the past. Follow up with them! Go back in time and dig up comments left on old posts or social media and check into any email inquiries you may have received. Let them know that you’ve got some new things in the work and offer them an incentive to come check them out.
Go to where your right people hang out online or in local venues and join the conversation. Or better yet, start one. Engaging with people is a great way to build personal relationships. Because the great majority of purchasing decisions are based on emotion, you’ll immediately start finding that your most likely to buy people are those with whom you have a connection with on some level – even if it’s just through online interactions.
Answering questions is a great way to draw attention to yourself as an authority. If they like what you’re saying, they just may follow the link back to your site to see how else you can help them.
21. GUEST POST
Guest bloggers benefit from getting their expertise in front of a whole new set of eyes by capitalizing on the audience of the host’s blog.
Some are paid and some are not. Blog owners know that you need to get something for your time and for lending your perspective in a written piece on their site. Unless the post is agreed to be paid beforehand, that reciprocation usually comes in the form of an author box at the base of the post that includes links to their website and social media pages. The objective of a guest post is NOT to overtly promote or advertise your services. Your job as a guest blogger is to offer information that’s informational, valuable, and enticing enough to compel readers to click their way over to your site to learn more. That’s why it’s so important to insist on receiving an author credit with links whenever you pen a post for someone else’s site.
Here’s what ours looks like:
You’ll notice it at the bottom of this (and every) post. All of the social media sharing and website links are clickable in the author box.
22. Offer free consultations
If you’re a coach or similar service provider, offering a free 15-20 minute Skype or telephone call is a great way to introduce and endear yourself to potential clients. Naturally, this takes some time, effort, and dedication on your part. Ultimately, you’ve got to be gutsy enough to ask them to take the next step when the call is done.
After the call send a follow up email to thank them for spending time with you. You can provide links to your products and services within the email. A proven way to increase the chances of getting click throughs is to offer a ‘limited time’ code or other incentive to make the decision quickly and convert while you’re still on their radar. Waiting to contact them is a mistake, as the further you get from the call (even a few hours!) the less likely it is that they’ll buy.
Prior to your first call, put together a list of talking points. They should be cleverly positioned to incite interest while making them want to learn more. Listen to their concerns, then integrate how your services can assist them in reaching their goals. Be careful of sounding sales-y. This is not technically a sales call. A well done outline will lead the prospective client down the purchase path in a natural progression. This free-flowing style of conversation inevitably increases your odds of taking things to the next level.
You’ll probably have to commit to doing quite a few of these to get some clients on board. The more you do, the better your chances of gaining new clients.
23. Continually Pique Their Interest
Offer value-packed freebies like mini-consultations, content marketing, webinars, and blog posts that leave them thinking, ‘If this is so great, I can’t wait to see all the amazing stuff they offer in their paid products!’
24. Do a webinar or podcast
Voice or visual presentation has a way of feeling just a bit more personal and real than the written word. Potential clients can hear your tone, your inflection, and how fluently and thoroughly you respond to questions of the interviewer. It’s a good way for them to vet you prior to hiring you. You can self-host or collaborate vis a JV (joint venture) webinar with another business owner.
25. Create Branded Social Media Presence
Get yourself set up on social media. Stay very consistent with your voice, your visual brand, and with your message. And whenever possible keep your username consistent. For example, we’ve got: http://facebook.com/themogulmom and http://twitter.com/themogulmom. If someone else already snapped up your ideal username, it’s not the end of the world. Work to get something as close as possible.
26. Increase Shareability
I absolutely love the free Highlight and Share WordPress plugin. It allows users to highlight text and automatically post it on their own Twitter or Facebook page.
Here’s what it looks like in action:
You can try it for yourself on this post, right now! Just highlight your selection (keep it short and sweet so it fits in the space allotted) and then wait for the buttons to pop up then click your sharing preference. Simple.
Wordpress users and non-Wordpress users can also use ClickToTweet.com to make sharing easier.
Clickable social share buttons at the bottom of your posts and in your email newsletter make a big impact, too. (See ours down at the bottom?)
27. Host a Giveaway or Contest
Giveaways are a nice way to grab people’s attention. Who doesn’t like a chance to win something? And they’re so easy to put together. We use Rafflecopter.com to collect entries. They generate a free box you can place on your post; it’s free and makes sharing effortless. Each share is an entry. The more shares, the more likely you’ll reach potential clients. You can do a giveaway with your own items or collaborate with another company.
28. Create a Facebook Community
Sometimes people feel more comfortable sharing in a more intimate setting like a private Facebook community versus on a public fan page. Your community can be paid or free. You can use it as an opt-in bonus when people sign up for your newsletter. You can join ours, right here.
You can quickly and easily gather legions of virtual salespeople just by creating an affiliate program for the digital goods and services you sell online. The basic function of an affiliate program is to promote sharing (and consequently sales) in exchange for a commission. Setting one up is easier than you might think. We use Payhip, but have used SendOwl in the past. Do a little research to see which platform works best for you, pick your provider, and upload your offerings.
The key here is making others want to share. Offer a commission that makes them willing to hustle. (Think 25-50%.) Set up an affiliate page on your website so people have the opportunity to see how it works. It should spell out all the details and answer as many questions as possible for potential affiliates. Here’s ours. You can even add branded badges your affiliates can use to promote your offerings. The easier you make it for them, the more they’ll share. We spoke a lot more about the benefits of creating your own affiliate program here.
If you’re a WordPress user you can use the Affiliate Royale plugin to set an affiliate program up and host right from your own site/dashboard.
30. Do some keyword research
Check your Google Analytics and see what people are searching for. Do the same on your social media sites- what hashtags or topics are trending within your online circles? What are your Facebook Insights telling you?
Then do some of your own keyword research to make sure that your website is reaching your ideal audience. MOZ has a great resource for helping you out with this.
31. Have a Bang-Up Bio
It may seem counterintuitive but your ‘Bio’ page is more about them than it is about you. Your bio (or ‘about me’) page is where potential clients land when they’re trying to figure out if you’d be a good fit for their needs.
Share a bit about yourself to help people feel like they can relate to you. Use your authentic voice. (No third person copy here, please.) Share your qualifications, experience, accomplishments, and other personal and professional information. The trick is to try to position it in such a way that potential clients feel a connection and like you’re the perfect one to help them.
32. Share Testimonials
Customer endorsements carry a lot of weight – even more so than advertising. That’s because a testimonial is the actual experience of someone who worked with you and was willing to take the time to share their thoughts with others.
Write to your satisfied clients and ask them to provide some feedback that you can share. Let them know you’d be willing to link back to their site in the testimonial and they’ll be that much more likely to provide you with something you can really use. If you haven’t had any clients yet, tuck this idea in your strategy pocket for later.
33. Reach Out to past clients
Follow up to see how they’re doing. In the conversation you can ask for those testimonials and perhaps even take it a step further and see if they’d be willing to chat and answer a few questions. Ask what they loved about working with you. Ask them what you could’ve been done better. See if there’s anything they want to see you offer. Finally, ask if they’d be willing to refer people to you. This is a super simple way to conduct some very targeted market research. Be sure to share your affiliate program with them to thank them for sharing.
34. Syndicate your content
Share your exciting posts and articles on LinkedIn, Medium, Google+, StumbleUpon, and other online sharing sites. Then, share teasers to them on Facebook, Twitter and in your newsletter to drive traffic. At the bottom, be sure to include your author bio and a note that states: ‘This story originally shared on [your blog/site] on [date].’ with a link to the original piece. That’ll help bring people over to your site if they want to see more of what you’re sharing.
35. Sponsor local events within your realm
A lot of local businesses and charities host fundraisers. Find events that seem relevant to your business or align with your values and see what they have in the way of sponsorship opportunities. Your financial support or donation will result in some sort of reciprocation. Sometimes it’s having your name on the program, on a table, and in the advertisements. You’ll likely also get a nice tax write-off.
36. Help A Reporter Out
Help A Reporter Out , (aka HARO) is a fantastic way to get yourself in front of a lot of people, fast. Sign up for their mailing list and connect with reporters seeking sources for their stories. You just may be the source they’ve been waiting for! Lucky contributors have found themselves featured in The NY Times, Forbes, and other popular publications. Help a reporter out and help yourself to great publicity.
For more information on how to present irresistible pitches to reporters (including some pitch & switch templates that landed major media spots), check out the all new Get Famous guide.
37. Create Clean landing Pages
Maintain a general ‘shop’ page on your website where you have all of your offerings in one place, but also develop dedicated landing pages for each of your individual products and services where potential buyers can go to get more detailed information and ideally, make a purchase. Make sure you’ve got a great description with benefits outlined, polished off with a compelling call to action. Placing a buy it now button makes it easy for them to complete the sale while it’s right in front of them.
To see an example, click on our shop page, then click on any of the icons to be brought to the product landing page. [TMM Tip: If you’re like us and un-techy, try Landingi to create awesome, professional landing pages with a simple drag and drop editor.]
38. Rub Elbows With Influencers
Having your name associated with a well-known influencer within your industry is a real coup. There are plenty of ways you can go about it. Ask if you can do a guest blog post. If not, do a shoutout online: tweet to them, include their name or a quote in a blog post, tag them in a Facebook post, share their book or publication, leave comments on their posts, or become an affiliate for their products. By all means, shoot them an email and let them know you’re promoting them. For best results, make your references relevant and mutually beneficial.
39. Never Stop Promoting
Don’t be shy when it comes to promoting. And don’t assume that just because you shared something in the past that everyone has seen it. They haven’t. Continue to share your posts and content whenever and wherever the opportunity presents itself.
One of the ways we do this is by rekindling some of our favorite blog posts from the past on our Facebook page using the hashtag #goodasnew. It helps reinvigorate the post and gets it in front of a whole slew of new people. And because they’re already fans of our page, we have an engaged, highly targeted audience of people interested in what we’re saying.
That’s it! A gathering of great ideas you can implement right now to start collecting clients and making some real money. Were you able to benefit from these ideas? In the comments let us know!
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