Even though we all know how powerfully connected we are by the internet, it can also sometimes feel like a bottomless pit of Google searches. More doesn’t always equal better, and with an endless supply of Facebook posts, Instagram feeds, and thousands of networking websites, finding clients online can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. But don’t give up yet! To help get you started today, here are 10 super easy ways to find more clients online.
Create a done-for-you version of your work and advertise online on platforms of your choosing such as Etsy, Creative Market, or Upwork. If you’re a graphic designer, photographer, or social media manager, you can easily create packages or individual items to suit a wide variety of client needs.
Create a simple offer for your ideal client. Are you a web developer whose ideal client is a food photographer? Consider creating a beta package for the start of your new business. It can be a lower priced offer that is available for a limited time, with the specifics of what is included in the package. Send your proposal to 10 of your most ideal clients, by email or direct message on social media platforms of your choice.
Harness the power of social media. If you don’t already have a social media strategy, find a social media manager on your favorite platform and follow them. Many social media managers offer free tips and advice on how to create posts and content. Get on their email list and learn everything you can about finding your audience, advertising your offers, and crafting the ideal social media content for your business.
Find online communities. There are thousands of Facebook groups with niche audiences where you can meet and engage with your ideal clients. Try to think outside the box -- which groups would your ideal client join on Facebook? If you’re a web developer or a virtual assistant, consider joining Facebook groups for food photographers or podcasters. Be sure to read and follow all the rules in the Facebook groups you join, as each one is very clear on advertising or speaking about your online business.
Create a community of your own with a lead magnet. What juicy, irresistible printable, guide, or other downloadable gift would your ideal client love to have in their hands? Offer it on your website and social media platforms in exchange for someone’s email address. Building out your email list is one of the most important things you can do as an online business owner, because it is a direct line of communication between you and potential clients. Through an email list, you can create lasting relationships and build a community of your own for your business.
This is super important. Don’t ignore the potential clients who considered hiring you in the past. Maybe it wasn’t the right time for them. Circumstances change, so don’t be afraid to reach back out to them at a later date. Tell them about a new seasonal special that you’re offering and entice them in by emphasizing how you can help them and their business.
Open-ended questions lead to opportunities. Utilize the power of Instagram stories, Facebook, or TikTok to ask your audience questions such as, “What questions do you have about hiring a web developer?” Another question might be, “What reservations do you have about hiring a graphic designer?” If you’re posting in Instagram stories, use the poll sticker for the audience to easily answer. Be ready to answer quickly and thoroughly to establish your authority and expertise.
Find partners. If you’re a web developer, consider partnering with bookkeepers, photographers, and bloggers for referrals. You can offer a percentage of commission, and help each other by promoting your businesses to your audiences.
Finding virtual clients doesn’t mean you can only work with clients halfway across the globe. Don’t forget your local community! Open Google Maps and type the name of a main street in your community where there are coffee shops, retail shops, libraries, or even grocery stores. Who can you help with your services, and how? Make a list of 10-15 businesses in your area where you can make an impact with your services, and be sure to get all of their contact information from their website or from Google.
Cutting down on the amount of time you spend finding a client in the internet haystack can easily be done with one technique: Ask for referrals. If you have very happy clients, always ask for referral business, and if possible, generously compensate them with discounts on future services, gift cards, or other tokens of appreciation that provide even more value to your clients.
Aim to have the majority of your business come from referrals, and you won’t spend hours, weeks, or even months scouring the internet for more clients. The best foundation for your business will always be satisfied clients who sell your services for you.
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