Many home-based business owners in the service industry will struggle for some time to get their first client. Let’s face it, you have a brand new website, a very slim social media following ( if any) and very little detailed information which is free on the Net about how you can get that first client through the door, super quick!
Some folks will do the worst thing and go all desperado, reducing their rates to practically nothing, frantically sending out flyers and doing other forms of offline marketing and inevitably hitting dead ends with people who look blank when you mention the term “online business” or “virtual assistant”.
If you are at the end of your tether, then try this out and SEE whether it makes a difference.
Here are the ingredients you need for the, “First Client Fast Recipe.”
- 1 x Excellent, well-designed, smart looking web page. Try Flavors.me for super-fast beautiful, very cheap web pages.
- 1 x Web Form
- 1 x Special Offer
- Several hours of research and labour (You can outsource this bit for a few dollars an hour).
- A small budget for pay-per-click advertising (this is entirely optional).
We are going to place an application only offer for people to win a significant amount of services from your business, free of charge. By the end of the exercise the idea is that you will have a highly targeted list of names and email addresses, that may be interested in your services as paying clients, and you will have a great client who will be using your business for a period on time, free of charge, and then potentially may continue. When you have no clients, you have to resort to speculating your time in order to accumulate your clients.
First you need to set up a web page with a few things on it. A bit about you, with a video or photo. Your normal hourly rate or package price for a service that you provide, let’s use a basic example and go for administration, say you charge $30 per hour normally, a package of 10 hours is $300, that’s not small change… Make it clear on the page the value they are getting.
Next, you need to list all of the services on the web page that you can provide in those 10 hours, anything and everything you can think of. Include a Retweet and Facebook share button on the web page.
Then you need to insert your web form; the form needs to contain the following questions:
- Full name?
- Email address?
- Website address?
- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn links?
- How would you use this time?
You can use the Flavors.me Contact Form Function if you don’t have another form option, but you need to make sure you tell people where it is on the screen. You will also need to adjust your question a bit.
When people come to your webpage, you need to collate this information in order to choose the winner. You need to do your background research and give the prize to someone who…
A – looks like they maybe a potential ongoing client.
B – looks like you may enjoy working with them.
C – appears to be genuine and could really use your services.
To do this, when people apply you should check out their website and social media and just use your instinct, if you get a good feeling about them, and they look legitimate, then they could be a good fit.
The terms and conditions of the offer should be that they provide you with an honest testimonial at the end of the 10 hours.
You then need to get your web page out into the world, so there are a few ways you can do this quickly. You need to create a pitch and craft a few ‘tweets’ with your offer.
1. Follow genuine looking people on Twitter with a large following, and approach them to see if they wouldn’t mind tweeting your offer and web page to their followers, at the end of the day, you’re not selling anything, it’s free and most people would be open to that.
2. Repeat the same exercise on Facebook fan pages.
3. Use a service like Magpie to get a tweet out about your offer. This is a paid advertising channel, but fairly low cost.
4. Try a Facebook fan page advert, again it’s paid but just a few cents a click.
5. Consistently leave valuable and informative, non-promotional comments on high traffic blogs and ensure your name is linked to the webpage when adding your details in.
6. Search and connect with people on Ecademy and LinkedIn, and send them your offer.
Keep this going consistently, everyday, for as long as you can, (and keep a running list of all the people you have contacted so you don’t double up), until you have reached a closing date, a couple of weeks should be fine from the time you launch the offer.
You will then be able to get a great testimonial from your first client, which will be the basis of social proof that your service is awesome. You will have a potential ongoing relationship with that client, you also have a list of other people who have all showed an interest in you and your business, who you can then ‘market to’ with an email, containing the testimonial from the competition winner. You could then do a counter offer of a reduced rate service e.g. 50% off, so you can then start to introduce some clients in at a lower rate, and once the ball is rolling, you can continue on your journey to ongoing business development.