How Do I Get Clients? Pt 1 : For the Novice.
It’s the dream. Getting paid to do what you love. And a lot of people are doing it! It’s inspiring to see but can leave the rest of us wondering. How the heck are they even doing that. I think that's why I get asked this question more than almost any other: "How Do I Get Clients?" Some people are asking for my specific methods and others want a general How Do I Get Started. This is the answer for the latter and something that I see a lot of people avoiding talking about. But talking money is the best way to get over the discomfort that it brings. So I will be the first to say it...
A girl’s gotta eat! And that avo toast is expennnsive. So here it is...
money IS important.
Living my best life does cost money. Guacamole costs extra and let’s not even talk about my vast bucket list. Money is definitely not thee most important thing, but I can’t see the things and do the things I have planned without any of it. So to answer a common question I get asked and to help my fellow Wantreprenuers GET THAT GUAC (both on their toast and in their bank account) I put together this blog.
Please tell me about how you enjoyed my avocado metaphors (or the blog post if you give it a read!) in the comments below. *Bless*
Take a look at the following list to see how to get started. If you’re already on your way to a success story, stay tuned, because part two will be written for those who are looking to level up their biz and increase traffic/customers/clients/buyers.
Side note, if you feel I’ve missed anything important or if you try any of these and they work, please let me know! I would sincerely love to hear from you.
Set aside specific times or a set amount of hours to practice your craft daily. Become the valedictorian of YouTube academy! No, it’s not an actual academy. But these days you can learn almost anything on YouTube… Fo’ free. Get books on Audible. And if you’re looking for more technical teachings, iTunes University is way underrated in my opinion. They have classes from ivy league colleges on their, sometimes even with video others you can just listen to. Also for free! Take advantage of any free learning you can find. Learn as much as you can and spend as much time as you can learning from people who know more than you.
2. Build your portfolio.
This one is hard when you’re new to your chosen industry. It’s basically a cliché and literally the reason I started KM Design. People want to hire someone with experience but how do you get said experience without having experience? Building your portfolio is different than the “Practice” step because this is where you work with other real people or buyers of your service/product. Do a little work for free! Give your product away in return for learning how people like it. This is where you learn if your business idea has any legs to stand on. If you sincerely cannot afford to do the work you want to do for free (maybe you have big overhead cost or your product is really high-end) then at least do it for much cheaper than you plan to when you’re business takes off. Can’t find people? Ask friends and family. Ask Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Go on forums online… Spend some time brainstorming all the places where you can find clients interested in what you have to offer. If you can’t find anyone interested in a good deal, you’re probably not looking hard enough. Experiences with IRL people will make you feel more confident in your practice and in selling your practice/product! And it will also help with my next tip…
3. Build your reputation.
This is one of the reasons I suggest doing work for free. If you’ve ever researched marketing, then you know that word of mouth marketing has the best return on investment. Working with others who can later suggest you to their friends is arguably the best way to get clients. Once you have worked with someone, ask them for feedback or even better, a testimonial that you can display for other interested parties to read.
4. Build your brand.
If you’re a designer, hone in on your design style and put it on display. You don’t need dream clients to create dream projects. If you’re a blogger, get yourself a catch phrase, a mission statement (so people know exactly what your blog is about) and a solid, adaptable logo. If you’re in the beauty industry social media kits are fire. Memorable branding and an educational and/or entertaining social media presence will help build your client base.
5. Show off.
This is where I get to make a shameless plug for my own services. You need a website. It’s true. And hey, guess what I do for a living? Hint: see above. BUT--even if you don’t have money to invest in a killer site right now, you can definitely make your own website with some time and effort. Get back on YouTube academy or do some simple google searches. A great place for beginners is to start with Squarespace (my fav). Pick a template and put your work up there. Pay special attention to copy (or the text on your site). It should be concise and to the point. Using your own branding and flair of course. Here’s another blog post I wrote about how to get started building a website.
6. Learn from other success stories.
This last step is something you can do from the start. Find people who are doing what you’re doing and imitate them. This is why I am so thankful for the internet. 2018 and the living is easy! I feel like I shouldn’t have to say this, but I am going to say it. Do. Not. Copy. But you can learn a ton from other’s successes. The easiest way to be successful is to do what other successful people have done already. They have the formula, all you need to do is implement it in your own way.
Take your time when you're getting started but don't let the overwhelm take over. Progress begets progress. It’s great to have a plan if you can, but if you are still unsure where to start, anywhere is a good place! Once you get some momentum going, it will get easier to continue.
Here's to YOUR future!