How To Get The First Client? Tips For Startupers
Updated: May 27, 2019
When you, as a freelancer or a business owner offer a service or sell a product, doing the actual job is not the hardest part. Once you’ve secured the job, you already know who you are working with, the result they’re expecting to get, you agreed on the payment and other terms. Those are your coordinates. Now you just need to move from point A to point B.
But what if you don’t have a destination? No ongoing contracts or secured projects. Just you and thousands of potential clients who yet don’t know you exist.
You’ve spent days developing your point-of-difference, working on the brand identity, creating a website or social media page. Filled in your email, phone number, Instagram page, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, home address, and a post code, just in case. Silence. A day, a week, a month. No calls, no messages, no offers at all.
Now, you can fall into despair cursing the moment you decided to start a business, or start doing the actual job, which is getting the clients. (Key word is GETTING!) At first, they won’t come to you. You have to go out and GET them.
Start with your close circle. Family, friends, friends of family and friends of friends. People you’ve studied, worked, played soccer with. Reach out to every single person you know regardless of their professional interests, geolocation, or current financial state. You’ll be surprised by what they might be up to or who they might contact you with. Talk to people you meet in the gym, in the beauty salon, at the parties. If you want to get your business running there’s no room for shyness. Tell everyone about what you do. Dozens of contacts might be useless. Out of five potential clients only one might actually end up giving you a job / buying your product. But hey, one is already more than none!
Now, when you’re fighting for a big client, even if you already have a solid portfolio, sometimes you gonna really push your limits in order to get him. How did we get to work with one of the best restaurants in Australia? Thanks to being persistent and giving more than we’ve been asked to do. Specifically, a 17-page document with a media & marketing plan for the whole company instead of the simple email offering our services and a cover letter, which is what the general people usually do. We spent a good week working on this proposal, hoping it would get their attention. And it did! This got us into the room with the CEO where we were able to share our vision and convince them they should hire us as a creative team.
This is what social media marketing genius & New York Times bestseller author Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in his book ‘Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook’:
“Your story needs to move people's spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you've given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.
I think this also applies to the process of getting a client: give before you receive. And don’t be shy.
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