Creatives and entrepreneurs are always telling me that their biggest struggle in business is getting clients.
I'm never surprised to hear that because we all need a steady stream of clients to bring in revenue and run a sustainable business.
What shocks me is how those individuals think they should go about getting clients because it's always something big and complex and (often) expensive too.
Maybe you can relate? Maybe you've heard that the best way for you to get clients is to run Facebook or Pinterest or Instagram ads. Maybe you've been told that if you'd just hire a publicist, you could find clients. Or maybe you've heard that rapidly growing your email list or social media following by tens of thousands of people would fill your client load.
I think that all of these solutions can work. (I've even experimented with some of them myself.) BUT I also know that a far simpler approach has been more effective in my business than any and all of the above methods for creating clients.
Yes, you read that right.
Honestly, the thing that's created more clients in my business than any other approach is reaching out to people 1:1 and inviting them to have a conversation with me.
This strategy works because it lets you go from speaking from 1 to many to speaking to someone 1 to 1, which feels personal and thoughtful. It allows you to handpick people you know you can help (and if you've done your homework on your target audience, you should to able to identify your people with ease.)
Plus, you don't need a special skillset or a ton of money or time for this approach to work. It's easy to do yourself and takes far less time than you'd think.
If you're ready to try this approach, here are the exact steps I use and teach my clients so they can adopt this strategy in their business:
Step 1: Make a list
Set 15 minutes aside to make a list of people who could be potential clients. These can be people you've met at networking events. They can be people you've gotten to know online in a Facebook group or membership community. They can be friends of friends or even people you just casually know through social media. If you like what they're about and know you could help them, put them on the list.
Step 2: Do a little research
It pays to take a few minutes to gather a little information about each person on your list so you know what's going on in their life or business right now. (If you know the individual well, you can probably skip this step.) Don't go too deep here; you're just refreshing your memory to give you a better point of connection. So read a few recent blog posts or scroll through a social feed for 5 minutes and stop there.
Step 3: Reach out
Craft a personal email for each person on your list (or reach out through PM if that feels more natural for you). Be personal and to the point. And always ask them to connect more by phone so you can have a real conversation about what's going on with them and what's challenging them right now.
These are the basics you need to know to start creating clients by reaching out 1:1. That said, I know that many of my clients struggle with step 3 because figuring out what to say (and what not to say) is a bit of an art.
So if you too get stuck on step 3, know that you've got my support. Just send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll send you a few of my own email templates to use for inspiration. We'll call it my gift to you.