But, how do you get more clients? Especially when you are first starting out?
Here are three tried-and-true methods:
#1 Set Up A Referral System
Referrals are when someone, usually a happy client, tells another person about your business. As a service provider or coach, you can have an informal referral program or a formal one.
An informal referral program is pretty easy. You simply ask your current customers if they know of anyone who could benefit from your services. They may send people your direction or give you a few names to contact. Many businesses grow through referrals.
But, what if you have never had a single client? Well you know people, don’t you? Start asking friends, family, neighbors… the person who cuts your hair… if they know anyone who can use your services.
The key here is to ASK.
A formal referral program is a reward-based program. Anyone who refers a new customer to you would receive some kind of reward. The reward could be a discount on your services or it could be a freebie.
For example, if you’re selling a program you might offer anyone who refers new clients to you $25 off their next order or a free download of done-for-you templates.
Because you need to track who is referring who (so they can be rewarded), a formal referral program requires that people ‘sign up’ in some way. You need them on your ‘list’.
They could be on your list because they have signed up as a client, bought something through your site, opted-in for one of your free gifts, etc. However you work with them, they need to be placed on your email list so you can keep communicating with them. In this way, you can send periodic letters to your list to remind or motivate them to refer new clients.
Again, this is all about asking.
Referrals work quite well to get more clients fast because theyíre coming from a trusted source (a friend). You can ask for referrals on your social media in the same way.
Regardless of the methods you choose, put referral systems into your business.
#2 Work With Affiliates
The second way to get more clients fast is to start an affiliate program. Affiliates are people who agree to promote your services in exchange for a commission. This is very similar to the ‘formal referral program with a reward’ idea we just talked about, except you reward affiliates with a commission.
A bit like a salesforce who get a small percentage for every sale they actually make, it is an excellent win-win for both parties. It requires a bit more work than a referral program, but it can be extremely effective.
This works especially well online. Affiliates market your business for you and they drive traffic to your website. For every new client you get, they earn a paycheck. It’s a good system. To help them succeed you should also provide them with marketing content like emails to send their people, ads and other information to use on their website.
You can also do this in the real world. For example, you could set up an arrangement between professionals; a Chiropractor can refer clients to a massage therapist and get a commission for each person who books (and keeps!) an appointment.
Another great way to get more clients fast is to forge a partnership with other complementary businesses. For example, if you’re a virtual assistant you might partner with a website designer. Their clients will need tasks done for their websites and in their business and your clients may need a website redesign. It’s a win-win situation.
To get more clients fast, take advantage of your current assets:
- What clients/contacts can you ask for referrals and recommendations?
- How can you set up a way to work with affiliates?
- What partnerships can you forge?