You can’t run a successful service-based business without clients. and it’s vital to have a way to get and retain customers, no matter what size your business is or how many clients you want to take on. You also need a way to do that efficiently. Using email templates for your communications is a great way to start.
Finding Your Clients
To succeed in business as a service provider, you’ll have to be able to persuade another person to purchase your services or products, it’s that simple. No clients, no money! But how do you find these clients?
Here’re some tips:
- Ask for referrals from your current clients; don’t wait for them. Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get new clients because you’ve already built trust and a relationship with the referring client. The potential referred client will be more likely to work with you based on that relationship.
- Partner with networks like VAInsiders to find clients. Networks often turn down clients for various reasons, so you’re more likely to gain quality clients this way.
- You can also browse job places like LinkedIn or Indeed.com to find jobs and new projects.
- Follow up with inactive clients or previous clients that you haven’t spoken to in a while. Send them an email asking how their project or business is going. Reconnect by being helpful and showing them that you care about them as a client.
- Follow up with potential clients you’ve met at networking events or meetings. Ask about their company or project and how you can help them. You can offer some small form of help such as giving feedback or tips on their project. The important thing is to build a relationship with them.
Content is still king. Create helpful posts and share information on social media. Blogging is a great way to begin building your authority. It also helps you grab the attention of potential clients. Blogging and social media help you build rapport with them.
Think about challenges your potential client has and write a guide or eBook that solves the issue. You can give it away or sell it on your site.
Getting Their Attention
Once you’ve found clients you’d like to work with, you’ll need to get them to notice you. One way is to send a cold email. Grab their attention by personalizing your email. That means using their name, not “Sir or Madam” or worse, “To whom it may concern” 😊. Add something meaningful such as their interest in sports or hobbies.
It’s important to connect with your potential clients in some way. Tell them how you discovered them and how it relates to you and your services. Look at their website, social media public profiles, and search LinkedIn for their professional profile. Then use one small tidbit to connect with them.
Your cold email should be brief but offer enough information that the potential client understands what you want.
If you don’t get a response from the first email, send a follow-up email but keep it short. You can say something like, “I forgot to tell you about XYZ”. This email can be sent a few days after the initial email.
If you’ve met someone at a conference or networking event, send them a follow-up email. Since you’ve learned something about their needs and their company, follow up by offering something useful like a link to free, relevant information. Make it personal and show them you remember them by mentioning something they told you about themselves at the conference.
Have you gotten an initial consultation but haven’t heard anything from them since? That’s the time to send out a follow-up consultation letter. In this, you want to convince your would-be client to hire you by showing them the benefits of working with you like how you’ll help them save money, time, stress or whatever their need is. Go over what you initially discussed and give them options for a follow-up call or in-person meeting with you.
Ask your current clients to refer you to their business associates who may need your services. Have them give you testimonials about their experience working with you. Make it easy by providing the marketing materials and links they can share easily, including links to your testimonials page.
Once you get a referral or an introduction, send the person an introduction email telling them about your services. Keep it personal by mentioning something about their business, and explain how you can help them. Don’t forget to include your contact information.
Do you have clients that aren’t active or only purchased once? Send them a re-engagement letter to get more work with them. Express how much you enjoyed working with them and that you would love the opportunity to do so again. If it’s been a while since you worked together, mention something personal about the person to remind them of the previous trust and connection you shared, as well as something you have in common.
Do you have a client that you do a lot of work with? Send them an offer to place them on a retainer. Show them how you can save them money by buying your packaged deal. As a service provider, you save them time because they don’t have to shop around. Assure them that you’ll be available for them month-to-month.
You can also connect through a new client engagement letter. You send this welcome letter after the client has agreed to use your service. The welcome letter should include what you’ve agreed on, such as your policy on payment information, revisions, and what methods you’ll use to communicate. You want to make the arrangement easy for the client and yourself.
Setting your operating procedures will help you both be more productive.
Once you have clients, you must build and maintain relationships with them. They may begin coming to you for products and services. But, as you work together, your customer may ask for your help as a consultant and problem-solver.
Speak and act confidently; your confidence is contagious!
Show your clients they can trust you by being dependable and that you follow through and complete projects.
By the same token, be open to feedback. Remember, your client is an expert in their own field; you can certainly learn from them.
People want to work with people. They want to know about you, and you’ll want to show an interest in them as well. Pay attention to what they post, share, and say.
Once you’ve built a relationship with your clients, you can ask for referrals and testimonials. If you’ve established a trusting relationship, they will be more likely to share their friends and business contacts with you.
Ready to find those terrific clients?