How to Get More Clients Online When You Don’t Know Where to Start
If you work as a coach, consultant, graphic designer, virtual assistant or other type of business that serves other business owners, you’re involved in a potentially very lucrative area. Working with other business owners gives you the ability to charge what you’re worth for your knowledge and expertise.
But, without a steady stream of clients, you can get stuck in a feast or famine situation where sometimes you have a lot of money coming in, and other times you don’t. It’s important to be aware of how to get more clients online, so that you have a steady income to avoid the situation of floods versus drought.
No one enjoys choosing between paying a mortgage and buying groceries. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way. You can get a steady stream of clients so that you can make an ever-increasing amount of money, year after year, serving other business owners – whether you’re a coach, consultant or another type of service provider.
Attracting the Right Clients
Before going any further it’s important to understand how vital it is to not just get new clients, but to get the right clients. And in order to get focused on getting the right clients, you need to do a little soul searching and actual research to determine who those clients are. Which clients will help you experience joy in your work and freedom at the bank?
Who Is Your Ideal Client?
Figuring out your ideal client is a combination of who you like working with and what you’re really good at doing. You also want to find the clients who can afford to pay you what you feel that you are worth. This might seem like a tall order but if you take the exercise seriously, you will be successful.
Know Their Demographics
To choose who your ideal client is, you need to know their demographics down to their age, sex, income, desires, wants and fears.
You should know where they hang out, what they do for fun, what they do to find out more about business and who their idols are.
For example, what blogs and magazines does your ideal client read?
What types of things inspire your ideal client to make a purchasing decision?
What makes you the right person to fulfill those needs and why are you different from the others who say they can do the same thing?
Keep Clients Longer When They’re Right
When you can answer all those questions, you can figure out who your ideal client is and work toward attracting that ideal client.
What happens when you are good at identifying your ideal client is that you will keep your clients longer, get more quality referrals and end up with a long list of potential clients that help you avoid the feast or famine, flood or drought – or choosing whether to pay your mortgage or buy food.
To get more clients online, you need to build an online presence that lets your audience know that you are there for them, and why.
If you can use the tools available to you to get the word out about your business, you’ll keep a list of potential clients in the pipeline.
Setting Up the Perfect Online Presence to Attract Your Ideal Audience
Your online presence consists of everything that you use to get your name out there online. It’s important that you create a plan of action and design the marketing collateral that you need to impress your audience.
The following ideas will help you develop your online presence to get the word out about your services:
Create or Have a Professional Website Created
Don’t skimp on your website. It is the main source by which your clients will learn about your offerings. It should be designed to appeal to your audience in terms of design, content, copywriting, layout and navigation.
Create or Have Created a Well Crafted Lead Magnet
Often called “lead bait” or “freebies,” this product is designed to get leads to sign up for your email list. You may deliver a newsletter, updates, and more via the email list, but the product that you create should be laser focused on your audience – to the point that they know it’s meant for them and they have to have it.
Create or Have Created Some Audios and/or Videos
You can create these by repurposing a webinar or podcast. These types of information will impress your audience, especially if you are giving away the information that helps your audience answer questions or solve a problem that you know that they have. This will further cement your online presence as one that is in service to your audience.
Publish an EBook
The barriers to entry are very low today when it comes to publishing, but it doesn’t take away from what you can do with a published eBook. Write, or have ghostwritten, an eBook solving a problem or teaching your audience something important. Not only can this be a source that helps establish your expertise, but it can also be another income stream.
Form an Active Social Media Presence
Sign up and create accounts for any social media networks that you believe your audience uses and takes part in. Fill out the profiles completely, keeping a cohesive brand throughout, but taking into consideration the unique nature of each network.
It’s best if you focus on only one at a time so that you can make the account truly reflective of your business and what you offer clients.
Then as you get used to keeping up with one, add another. Just don’t allow any of them to go dark. They must have unique information disseminated on them on a regular basis to be of any use to you or your clients.
Blog Regularly, Pointedly, and Consistently
When you blog, talk directly to your audience addressing a very small laser focused issue in each blog post. You’ll want to develop a distinctive voice on your blog; a style and format that you keep consistent. Blog at least once a week for the best results. Make sure to avoid putting up content that has no purpose or meaning to your audience.
Develop an Autoresponder Series
Be prepared for people to sign up for your email list by creating an autoresponder series. Arrange for it to go out about once a week for at least three or four months. You can always add more to it later.
The series needs to be evergreen information that is not dependent on dates. You can use the email list to send out dated and time sensitive material, blog updates, and more current information too.
Design a Client Questionnaire
To ensure that you get a good match with your clients, craft a questionnaire that ensures that they are ready to work with you. Try not to make the questions too long, but design it in such a way as to screen out those who would not fit with your business and bring in your ideal clients.
Build your online presence and then use everything at your disposal to build trust with leads, potential clients and clients. This will ensure not only that you work only with those who most match your needs, but also that you only work with people who really need what you have to offer. Everyone will be happier that way because you’ll keep more clients, get more referrals, and keep everyone longer term.
The Value of Keeping Your Clients Long Term
When you can keep the clients you have longer term, you reduce the need for new clients continuously. In addition, you build a trusting relationship with the clients you have which make it easier to ask your clients for referrals and testimonials.
Additionally, there is nothing quite like the trust that develops with long-term clients.
When you suggest a new direction or additional services, your long-term clients are going to be a lot more likely to trust your advice due to their past experiences with you.
In many ways, by keeping clients long term you increase the value of each client – not only due to keeping them longer but also due to them trusting you more to let you do more for them.
The other thing long-term clients are really great for is to help you perfect your services. In order to market better to new clients, it’s essential that you understand exactly what type of services you will offer clients.
Perfecting Your Services
When marketing your services to other business owners, it’s essential that you truly understand what you want to do and for whom. Additionally, you need to have a process by which you deliver the work.
Your job is to solve the problems for your audience, so as already mentioned it’s essential to identify who your audience is so that you know what problems that they have that you can solve.
You don’t have to do everything and be the be-all and end-all for your clients. Choose which problems you will solve for your clients, and stick to that list.
Once you’ve identified the list of solutions you will provide your audience, you can work on perfecting those services in terms of how you will actually deliver the work. Choose some systems that will help you work more efficiently.
Tools to Help You Get and Stay Organized
- Basecamp.com – This is a good project management system that will enable you to work in an organized manner with your clients. It depends on what you are doing for them, but you can even organize teams around each client with Basecamp, which makes it so much easier to deliver on your promises.
- FreshBooks.com – This system is really invoicing software, but it has a few accounting features such as keeping track of expenses, as well as project management features such as being able to assign work to your team. You and your team can keep track of time in several ways, including limiting time spent on any given project.
- Dropbox – Everyone needs to keep files in the cloud these days. Dropbox has solutions for individuals and teams at reasonable prices. You can use it to store and deliver work to your clients, as well as use companion software to help you back up your website, blog and computer.
- JigsawBox.com – If you are a coach, or want to deliver consulting to more than one person in a “drip” type environment (charging a monthly fee to access the information), as well as have access to discussion boards and other “coach features,” then JigsawBox is something you really have to check out.
- Google Calendar – This is a great way to organize your day. You can enter each task that you need to do for every day of the month and print out a daily task list. This can help you stay on track with your client work, your own work and even your family obligations.
- Google Hangouts – Not only can you run webinars, one-on-one meetings, and round tables via Google Hangouts, you can also record the sessions so that you can repurpose them or send them to the client.
- SweetProcess.com – Everyone does repetitive tasks, and this software helps you create systems from your repetitive tasks easily by documenting how you get things done. Not only can you use this to create an SOP (standard operating procedure), you can share it with your team mates too. Systemizing things helps reduce errors and is an essential component to running a business successfully.
- ScheduleOnce.com – This system works with your current calendar for in-person meetings or virtual meetings. It enables you to get teams together without a bunch of back-and-forth email, and that saves a lot of time and effort.
As you hone in on how you’ll deliver the services that you offer your clients, and narrow down which services fit with your ideal clients, you can get closer to perfecting your business so that you can market online better to attract just the right clients to keep your roster full.
Online Marketing Tips That Get Results
Using all of these things to set up a systematic marketing effort that never stops producing potential clients, while also keeping your current clients happy, is a skill that you can develop and improve upon.
Good marketing doesn’t just happen – it’s planned. As they say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” You may be sick of hearing that particular quote but whoever said it first was a genius, because nothing is truer when it comes to marketing that gets results.
1. Set Your Goals and Objectives – Write down your biggest dream, and then quantify it so that it’s measurable. Example: “To create a steady stream of new client leads at a rate of approximately 4 new leads per month.”
2. Define Your Strategy – Write in a sentence what you hope to accomplish with marketing. Example: “To create a consistent online presence across the web, establishing expertise on social media networks, my website and in-person events.”
3. Your Website Is Your Storefront – It is a fact that online your website is your storefront; it is the center of your existence. Your storefront is not on social media; it’s not anyplace else but your website. Everything should start and end with your website. Every appearance, every ad, every social media update should all lead to your website where your audience can sign up for your newsletter and get more information.
4. Pay Per Click Marketing – You may think that there is no place for PPC for someone who offers services to business owners. However, if you do it strategically on Facebook or other social media, you can use a lead magnet such as a free report, checklist, or something that solves one problem for your ideal client to lead people to sign up for your email list. Ensure that the freebie is targeted toward your audience and not too general.
5. Content Marketing – This is probably one of the most important forms of marketing you will do online, which encompasses much of all the other types of marketing online too. Pretty much everything else starts with content marketing. Generating content for all your online real estate needs to be a priority.
6. Email Marketing – Once you get people signed up for your email list, you need to have a plan of action that teaches them what you offer once they sign up. Don’t start marketing the list until you have the follow up designed.
7. Be Seen and Heard Everywhere – It’s important to take advantage of guest blogging, articles, interviewing, speaking and other engagements online and offline to establish your expertise. You want your name to be recognized.
8. Social Networking – Don’t join a social networking platform unless you are willing to actually get involved. Having a profile on a network if you’re not going to be active will be useless to your needs.
9. Affiliate Marketing – Even as a service provider, coach, or someone who works with business owners, you can have an affiliate program that enables other people to market your services and products for you. Having an army of marketers behind you can be very lucrative.
Putting into practice these tips will help you turn your online marketing into a lead-generating bonanza.
Remember: Develop your goals and objectives, create a plan, implement the plan, and follow through. Repeat.
How to Get Help from Others to Get More Clients
There are many ways that you can find help to get more clients. You can hire an employee, work with contractors, and attract affiliate marketers to help you. There are many ways you can attract these helpers, too. You can even get people practically for free if you know how to do it.
Here are some strategies you can implement:
This is a common place to find people to do one-off projects for a low cost, such as an eBook cover, a website button, or even a generic keyword article. There are also a lot of other really creative ideas that you can find on fiverr. But, while there are some advantages such as low prices, there are also some disadvantages such as the risk of bad service.
When you pay this low a price for a service, you cannot be sure if the graphics you’re getting are really legal to use. Also the quality of the work might suffer due to the low pay that the workers who work through fiverr command. A good way to overcome these issues is to use more seasoned service providers who have the ability to offer upgraded services at a higher price, rather than the newer providers who can only charge $5.00 without any type of upgrades.
You can also use fiverr to get clients. The best way to use it isn’t to sell hourly services, though. Instead, use it as a way to get sign-ups for your newsletter. Offer a five-dollar report that solves a few problems of your target audience for sale. Inside the report, link to your website, newsletter sign-ups, and even other affiliate products and solutions for the person who downloads the report.
Facebook has many opportunities to help a freelancer. Not only can you get your name out there under your personal name, but you can also sign up as an Author, Coach, Writer and other service business in order to have another way to distribute information to your audience. In addition, you can start private groups for your clients. You can potentially have a private group for each eBook that you publish, service that you offer, or coaching product that you sell.
You can even use private Facebook groups to organize your helpers such as affiliates, virtual assistants or other service providers. There are many ways to put Facebook to use. If you use it for general promotions by having a business page, be sure to update your page often, engage with followers, and try to think outside the box. There are some drawbacks such as Facebook limiting the number of followers that will see your posts, even if they have liked your page. You will need to overcome that by using promoted posts and paid ads strategically.
One good way to use Facebook ads is to promote a free report that solves at least one problem for your audience in exchange for their email address and other information so that you can market to them in other ways.
An excellent way to use Twitter is to update your followers on what you’re doing. But, you can also use it in other creative ways such as for research. Having said that, one really big drawback to Twitter is the amount of automation that happens. Sometimes it’s hard to know if anyone is actually on Twitter, or if it’s all third party software.
A creative way to use Twitter is to use a decided-upon #hashtag during a live event, then asking your attendees to “live tweet” during the event. Offer a random prize for people who are live tweeting your event by drawing names of those who participated in the live tweeting (known by the use of your #hashtag).
As mentioned above, you can use Twitter for research too. You can find other people to follow to keep up-to-date on what they’re doing. It’s a great way to keep tabs on what your competition is up to. You can also follow people that you would love to work with – either as your clients, clients of theirs, or potential JV partners.
This social network is all business. Anyone who is serious about business needs to create a professional business profile on LinkedIn. You can use LinkedIn as your online resume and portfolio, as well as a way to be introduced to and connected to others. You can also start groups, participate in groups, and more, on LinkedIn. One of the biggest drawbacks is the temptation to use it for everything instead of your website.
LinkedIn needs to be used as an extension of your website. Put similar things on LinkedIn as are on your website, but use LinkedIn to link to the full versions of information right on your website. Remember that your goal is always to push people toward your website and your email list.
Right now, LinkedIn offers limited people a new publishing opportunity. If you can get invited to publish articles on LinkedIn, you should. Try to publish at least weekly. They offer excellent analytics so that you can find out who read your piece, plus they provide the chance to have great conversations about your article.
It might seem strange initially to include ClickBank in this list, but the truth is, ClickBank is one of the oldest affiliate networks available. You can use it in several ways. You can use it to promote your low-cost reports as lead bait, or you can sell full-fledged products and services right through ClickBank and recruit others to help you.
A big drawback of ClickBank is getting paid. You have to sell a number of products via a few different credit cards and types of payments before you can ever collect a single payment. But, if you can overcome that issue it is super easy to set up, and due to their generous return policies, people do trust them to make purchases.
You can use either of these freelance networks to hire freelancers for projects. In addition, you can sign up as a service provider to bid on projects. A big drawback is having to work through their system, which can make it hard to move your client base from their ownership to your own. But, that can also be a protection to you if you are trying to get services done because there are some safeguards in place to protect both buyers and sellers.
You can use many different freelance sites to get work done such as content writing, graphic design, and website design – as well as to bid on work to help build your clientele. It’s a good way to get started, but you probably don’t want to keep doing it this way long term. Instead, you want to use it to build up your reputation and expertise so that you can use your website as the hub of your online activity and client attraction.
Your Most Valuable Resource
One of the most important resources that you have available to you is the people that you already know. Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals from friends, family, acquaintances, current clients and former clients. If no one knows that you have spaces in your program, then no one will seek more information about what you offer. It’s important to get the word out in many different ways to keep the flow of traffic and leads moving through your marketing funnel.
Getting help from others is an essential component to a successful online marketing program and attracting more clients to your business on a regular basis. The key is keeping your roster full, and your wait list full so that you never have feast or famine or floods and droughts. Instead it’s satisfaction and green pastures all year long for your business.
Your website is the center of your business that enables you to build rapport and get more clients online. Everything you do is designed to bring people back to your website and sign up for your email list so that you can show them what you know (your website content), products that you promote, and services that you offer.
Finally, once you get a new client, it’s essential that you provide the services that you offer in a systematic way which increases the potential for each client to become a long-term client who will be happy to refer you to others and shout your praises from the rooftops. It’s all self-perpetuating after that!
Your success is my business!