When I first started my business as a Freelance Content Marketer, I lived by the phrase ‘build it, and they will come’. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth.
The world is not what it used to be. Instead of one or two local businesses being your competition, the whole world is your competition. A variety of different prices, skillsets and different ways of marketing are standing in your way of building a sustainable and successful business.
I spent years writing blog posts, tweaking my website, posting on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and got nowhere fast. I understand more than most the anxiety that comes with running a service-based business and not knowing where your next piece of work is going to come from.
The good news is, I broke the cycle and found a very simple and straightforward technique to make my business into what it is today: sustainable, profitable and enjoyable.
So here we go, here’s how to attract more clients to your business by doing one thing: taking action.
How to Attract Clients to Your Business
Attracting clients to your business is not easy. It’s like holding up a sign in a busy shopping street that says ‘Hire me, I’m the best at X thing’ when there are 100s of other people holding up the exact same sign.
It’s important to look at it from the perspective of your potential client. They’re looking to invest in the type of service you provide, but they’re feeling the following:
- Frustrated because there’s too much choice.
- Annoyed that they can’t find the specific person they’re looking for (most people want to invest in specialists rather than generalists).
- Tired because it’s actually taking them longer to search because all the websites they find are too wordy.
- They’ve given up because they don’t have the time to spend looking so instead end up doing the work themselves.
All of this comes from experience. As well as being a Freelance Writer, I’ve also paid other freelancers and searched for others to hire and outsource. The experience can be frustrating and a massive waste of time if you don’t find what you’re looking for.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you, as a businessperson, could alleviate all of the above by simply taking action? This is where the following two steps come in, I’ll be teaching you to:
- Take action by finding your client so that you can contact them directly.
- Contact them and pitch your services.
Step 1: Take action by finding them first
With this in mind, all you have to do is find them. You have to trust me on this one, contacting your ideal client is one of the best ways to attract more clients to your business, faster. Here’s why:
- They’ll appreciate you saving them time (they won’t have to do any more annoying time-consuming searches).
- They will be able to directly talk to you rather than browse your website and not know if they like you or not.
- They will feel like you understand their business from the get-go (if you write a great email).
Here’s how it benefits you:
- You’ll be able to contact your ideal client directly and show off your personality, skills and why they could benefit from your services.
- You will be able to keep track of everyone you contact and get organised about re-contacting them.
- You’ll get used to pitching your services and be able to practice and refine your pitch as you go.
- It’s email, so you can take your time writing and responding before you even have to talk to them.
How to find your ideal client
To find your ideal client, first, you’ll need to be ultra-specific about who they are. If you’re not specific, this step will be much harder.
A simple Google search will provide you with a list of companies/individuals who could be potential clients for your business.
For example, if you’re an Instagram manager who specialises in local food businesses, then you’d simply search for local food businesses and check they have an Instagram presence already.
If you’re a content writer who specialises in writing for online gaming stores, then you’d search for online gaming stores and check to see if they already have a blog presence.
How to determine if the potential client is a good fit
This step shouldn’t be missed. If you contact every single person you find, you’re probably going to get a lot of unanswered emails or rejections (we’ll talk about rejection later). You’ll want to make sure the potential client you’ve found actually wants to invest in your services.
Here are some things you should consider:
- Do they already invest in the service you provide? An easy way to tell if a company has the money/interest in investing is if they already do it.
- Are they doing it well? If you think you can do a better job than they’re already doing (saving them time or making them money), it’s worth getting in touch.
Note: There are some occasions in which you can get in contact with someone if they’re not already spending time/money on the service you provide. However, it will be a much harder sell. Not only will you have to convince them to work with you, but you’ll also have to convince them why it’s a good idea to do X in the first place.
Step 2: Contact them and pitch your services
This step is the part that trips most people up. I know it feels weird to cold email people, but if you do it right, you’ll be left with some happy clients who will thank you for getting in touch – trust me.
Find the right email address
First, you’ll need to find the right person to email. From experience, emailing the generic hello@ email address very rarely gets a reply. Here’s how to find the right person to contact:
- Browse their website until you find an ‘about’ page.
- Ideally, they’ll list their employees on this page and you can get the name of the main person in charge.
- If they don’t list anybody on their about page, you can search for the company on Linkedin, click ‘People’ in the left-hand menu and find the name of the main person in charge.
- Once done, you’ll want to use a site like Hunter, to find the email address of the person you’ve found.
- Simply enter the URL of the company’s website and Hunter will show you a list of email addresses it found that relate to that site.
- Match the name with the email address and you’re good to go.
How to contact them
This step requires a lot of trial and error, patience and calm on your part. Rejection is a massive part of this technique and trust me, you’ll be a stronger business owner because of it.
Your initial email to your potential client should do these things:
- Indicate why you’re reaching out (to help them do X/help them with their X etc).
- Briefly in one sentence tell them who you are and what you do.
- Mention that you’ve taken a look at their existing X and how you can help them improve it.
- Give a few examples/proof of your previous success helping clients with X.
- Invite them to continue the conversation so you can discuss helping them with X.
This email should be as short as possible while providing all of the above information. It should also be tailored to their business – addressing them by name, mentioning their business and proving to them that you’ve done your research and you can actually help.
The key word here is ‘help’. You’re providing a service which can help them make money, help them save time, or help them to build their business faster.
Don’t be afraid to re-draft and tweak this email as you go. You’ll be able to quickly see what’s working and what isn’t as people reply and interact with you. If you’re not getting any replies at all, it could be one of these main reasons:
- You’re not proving to them that you’re capable of doing the work.
- You may need to provide better proof, better and more relevant examples, or mention more of your past results.
- Your email is too long.
- I mentioned many times that your ideal client doesn’t have much time. Yes, you’re cutting that down by emailing them directly, but editing is your friend. Refine your email so it’s to the point and can be read and digested quickly.
- Your ideal client doesn’t have the money.
- I spent years targeting clients that simply didn’t have the money to spend. It’s sadly a waste of time. If this is the case, it’s worth pivoting and targeting clients that have the money to invest in their business – you owe it to yourself to make the money you deserve.
Once you’ve started sending these emails and getting replies, it’s up to you to continue the conversation with your potential clients and start pitching your services. Don’t be afraid to talk about costs and always remember to write your emails by talking about the benefits for your clients, rather than the nitty-gritty of what you do.
Attract more clients to your business by taking action
Build it and they will come isn’t enough to sustain your business anymore. Start taking action in the most practical and straightforward way you can by contacting your clients directly.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links