In almost any business your first clients will come from the network of people you know. Be bold in letting everyone who knows you know what you are up to and why you are good at it . Once you have your first few under your belt you will have a better sense of what makes you unique and spatial. Also you will hopefully start to get some word of mouth referrals from people who like your work. Additionally look for people you know or are connected to who have influence the people who know lots of people with the problems you solve and offer them a free consultation. Have some good materials about your offer and give it to them once they love your work. It's like starting a campfire, one you have a flame it's easy to fan, it's the first flame that takes most of the work.
Don't spam your friends. Build a 1 page website with Instapage.com. Include your contact info and what you bring to the table (maybe you have X years of experience). When I was an engineer, I made a connection at a "learn a new skill" event. That led to my 1st client ($136k in design fees). For a service, people tend to want to meet people and start them with a small project 1st before giving more work. Post an ad on craigslist (Free), run a small AdWords campaign with your area (use your city as a keyword and include in ad so people know you're local). Call me if you want to get into this further.
Network. Talk to everyone you meet and know about what you're doing. You'll be surprised by how many folks know someone in need. Have a clear message about the value you'll bring to your clients. Be confident in that value. Consider offering your services for free or at a discounted rate to start with if the client gives you a recommendation and lets you use them as a testimonial. Word of mouth can be an enormous way to build your business and you can always incentivize client acquisition through existing clients (give them a discount or free service or a gift card for bringing you a referral). Network with other consultants in your area as well. They may have an excess of leads that they can point towards you and they'd be even more happy to do so if you give them a commission. Start local, talk to a lot of professionals, and do great work. The leads will come! I've grown my business to a million in revenue and eleven team members purely through reputation, referrals, and visibility. Best of luck.
More than 80% of new consultants obtain their first contract through their natural network. Turn to those who know and have worked with you and be specific about the services you offer and the types of clients you serve. There are also a number of ways to network that require little more than sweat equity.
Make sure that you set up your LinkedIn profile with clear and current information including how to contact you.
Make a list of targeted clients and reach out by phone or email. Make sure you follow up.
Find and get involved with a local professional networking group. Choose a group that serves or is your target audience and is active and get involved.
Set up coffee meetings once per week with potential clients.
Team up with those that offer complementary services.
Submit guest posts to blogs that serve your market (provide advice such as how to get an accurate background check or payroll options). This is a great way to establish thought leadership, and gain visibility without being salesy.
Bootstrapping your business is an opportunity to be bold and creative.
Also if you do want a website, don't let cost stand in your way. You can buy and host a domain for very little and build the site yourself on a self-hosted Wordpress platform. You can buy a theme like Genesis and a child theme for the look and feel and be up and running in a week.
When it comes to finding new clients New Media Marketing offers many free social media platforms to help you find clients. When it comes to marketing in my view there is no substitute for being in control of the message. Try showcasing your talents on your own professional blog that has relavant content about the solutions that you offer.
This will help people with a problem needing solution to seek for that solution and find you as an authority on your topics.
Quick Tip login to your twitter account then open another tab and goto Search.Twitter.com then put in the keywords for the services you offers.
You will see how easy it is to find new leads and sales, Its like grabing fish in a bucket!!
Hope this help you! If you have anymore questions please let me know.
When I began my Solo profession, I didn't have much of a network that even understood what I did.
I had to build relationships fast. So, I'll skip the generalized theories around marketing and tell you what I'd do if I were you (again.) ....even on a bootstrapped budget. :)
This will give you a short term bang and set you up on a rock solid foundation.
1. Define your ideal customer in detail. Identify the content they are consuming.
2.Create a list of 10 headlines that will catch their attention.
3.Create a LinkedIn Group dealing with your subject matter. (It would help to go look at profiles of your ideal buyers and peek at the groups they belong to for inspiration)
4. Pimp out your profile on Linkedin and create a Facebook Business Page. (Start requesting connections on LI and invite people to like your page)
5.Sign up for Get Response Email Service (first 30days Free AND you can build a landing page for to capture emails there as well)
6. Make your landing page simple with a Free offer that makes people want to give you their emails.
Ex: 5 Simple questions to determine the best HR firm for your business.
7.Make content- NOW. It can be quick videos (not fancy but not outrageously poor quality), audios (sound cloud is free and has an app to record via mobile), written posts, images (infographics can be made with quick, interesting facts using Canva for free) -- you get the pic.
Make content that they will enjoy and find useful.
-Direct them to get on your emai list at the end of each piece of content.
8..Start populating your Facebook Biz page, linkedin, and the Linkedin Group with your content asap. Be sure to interact and be human.
9.Now, you should be starting conversations and seeking out relevant ones where you can add value. (Instead of saying- I can help you, buy my services, say- I made a video on that topic here, let me know if it's helpful or you have any questions. (This is strategic but still being a person of value and influence)
10. Outline a webinar, & Host one asap.
Leverage your new contacts from this process you've been carrying out to fill the spots. If you did all of the above with the intention of creating real relationships and real valuable information for your target market, it will not be hard to get folks from the group and your new network on to the webinar.
In fact, they'll want to show up.
11: Invite them to be customers. No hard sells. Pure value always attracts the right buyers ;) It's a beautiful process.
Finally, if you're wondering why I said to make a FB business page, it's because you can upload your connections in a custom audience and run targeted FB ads to them alone. This is just extra fuel for the fire and an added layer of effectiveness.
If you have questions with any steps of this process, drop me a message.
Best wishes and Congratulations on this new venture!
Social media or for that matter LinkedIn is the best bet as stated by most.
If you can spend your time in LinkedIn, I am sure you will find results in quick time without spending anything.
But if you can spend a little, hire a LinkedIn specialist, who can give you targeted profiles to reach out. Ask me for more...