Many people are so excited to start their own business by setting up an LLC or other business structure, that they don’t put much thought into the next step: how to get customers. Sure, your business is up and running, but if you aren’t sure how to secure or find clients, your business might be dead before it even gets started.
In an effort to prevent you from making the same mistake, here's a quick list of proven ways to get clients and ensure your business is growing and increasing its revenue.
1. Social Media
What’s so great about social media, and why did I make this our first option when figuring out how to find clients? It’s quite simple actually: IT’S FREE. With no out-of-pocket cost, you can set up a free profile (both personal and business) and start interacting with people and businesses immediately. You could always utilize paid ads, but it isn’t necessary.
When you're trying to get clients on social media, you first need to establish your target demographic. From there, use the right platforms to get started. For instance, if you sell a physical product, Instagram might be the best option since you can post images of your product(s). If you provide a service to businesses, LinkedIn would be a good option since that is where business professionals are.
Regardless of which type of business you have, I would recommend having a Facebook page. All of these platforms can get you in front of buyers, clients, and customers to market your business and build awareness.
Once you figure out how to get your first clients, from there you're going to want to ask for referrals. The key here is to ask in a way that shows you want to help as many people as possible through your product or service (rather than being unappreciative of the clients you have). Try something like this: “Client, you’ve been using my product/service for quite some time now, and it looks like it has been serving you extremely well. Do you know anyone who might also find value in my product/service? Would you be willing to refer me to them?”
A referral is similar to a testimonial in the sense that someone is recommending your product or service via word of mouth to others. This is extremely powerful and a great way to grow your business. You won't need to think about finding new clients when your existing clients are basically doing the work for you. It might even be worthwhile to give your client something in return for a referral that brings you new customers.
A great way to figure out how to get clients is to network. This can be through social media as mentioned above, or through face-to-face communication. If you join something like your local Chamber of Commerce, you will put yourself in front of many business professionals, business owners, and decision makers. Shaking hands and introducing yourself is a great way to get your brand and business in front of the right people.
Even if the people you network with aren’t your exact demographic, that doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. Business owners and professionals know many people outside of the networking channel you're currently utilizing. If you build a relationship with your network and exchange business cards and information, those whom you’ve met could pass along your information to others they know who might need your products or services. Never walk away from a handshake thinking it wasn’t a good connection — you never know who those people might know.
4. Work for Free
A final option for finding clients is performing some work for free. For some new businesses, it makes sense to do this at the start. However, I wouldn’t recommend this as your first option if you're an existing business. If you’re established and people know you, you shouldn’t need to give anything away for free unless you are doing a promotion. Your time or product is worth money if it solves a problem, and people should be willing to pay for it (assuming you are a fix to their woes).
But if you're just starting out, maybe your best option is to give away a one-time service for free, or give out a single product to a potential client in hopes that they'll reorder. While I’d save this as a last resort and implement the above first, it’s good to have this strategy in your back pocket — especially if it could land you a huge client in return.
If you're ready to implement these strategies but aren’t completely sure what else is next on your checklist for starting a new business, Incfile has an amazing resource I recommend you read.
And if you are looking for more great information on how to grow your business, consider checking out the Incfile help center. It is full of information to allow you to scale your business — and there are plenty of ways Incfile can help you manage your growing company too.
Matt Weik is the Founder/Owner of Weik Fitness, LLC and is a well-respected fitness expert/author with a global following. He’s a certified strength and conditioning specialist, personal trainer, and sports nutritionist. His work has been featured in over 85 fitness magazines and over 1,500 websites. You can contact Matt via www.weikfitness.com or on his social channels found on his website.