You’ve just set up your business and you’re feeling very proud of your new baby.  You’ve got a shiny new website and a stack of business cards.  You’re all ready to go but there’s just one thing missing – clients!

You feel an increasing sense of panic as you realise that you’ve been focusing all your energy on setting up the business without thinking about that crucial aspect of how the hell you’re going to start earning some money.

Sound familiar?

It’s easy to feel like a fraud when you first set up in business.  Everyone around you seems to be reeling in clients left, right and centre.  And there you are trying to look like a serious business owner, while deep inside you’re thinking “holy shit” because you’re struggling to find anyone who wants to work with you.

I’ve been there and got the T shirt and still vividly remember that feeling of panic at the thought of trying to convince people to hire my services.  I had little idea of how to get clients or what they looked like.  All I knew was that I needed some to start bringing in the cash to pay the bills.  Of course, I’d heard about social media, networking and cold calling but I either didn’t know where to start or the thought of trying to pitch my services to complete strangers left me wanting to run for the hills.

As a startup, you can often feel confused by marketing, either believing you have to be a pushy salesman chasing after the sale, or seeing it as something completely alien where you have no idea where to start.

When I first started out, I got my Facebook friends to like my business page, I signed up on Twitter and LinkedIn and then I put on my brave face and ventured off to my first networking event.  Here I heard stories from entrepreneurs who got people wanting to work with them after sending out their first tweet.  Or who had rocked up to a networking event and landed their first big client.  I listened in awed silence – how did they do it? 

And the more networking I did both online and offline, the more I felt like a failure because none of this was happening to me.

Now the chances are that you’ve experienced something similar to the above.

You can start to feel desperate to earn some money and grab on to anyone who expresses an interest in hiring your services.  You’re worried that if you turn them down, you may never get another chance and something is better than nothing.  The trouble with this type of thinking is that you can end up wasting time on someone who doesn’t appreciate what you do and is constantly trying to renegotiate your rates.  Instead you want to be focusing on attracting people who love your services and will happily pay whatever you’re asking.

So whilst the thought of marketing you and your services to complete strangers can make you feel like running out the door back to the cosy world of employment, the reality is that landing your first big client isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

I’m going to share how I got out of that headless chicken stage where I was grabbing on to everyone and anyone who expressed an interest in what I was doing, and give you one key thing you can do to start reeling in clients for your business. 

It would be really easy to start talking about marketing funnels, target markets, ideal clients, blah de blah but I don’t know about you, this kind of talk just leaves me feeling confused.

In fact, I set up Mojo to help simplify the whole world of online marketing so entrepreneurs can easily learn how to get their message out to the world without the confusing jargon.

So I’m going to keep things simple and share how I got people to work with me.

I got my first few clients through rocking up to my local networking events.  Now if you’re anything like I was when I first started out in business, you would rather chop your right hand off than stand up in a room full of strangers and pitch your services.  In fact, my first appearance at a networking event was a disaster where I spent most of the time staring at the floor, hoping a hole would appear and swallow me up!   But after a few months (and with a bit of help!), I created a fab 60 second pitch that told people how I could help them and started to make some great contacts – and a few of them turned into clients.  (My next blog is going to be about how to create a fab 60 second pitch, so watch out for that one!)

So here’s what I suggest you do –  go to Meetup.com and search for business networking events in your area and start going to them. Don’t worry about being nervous – you won’t be the only one!  If you are expected to make a 60 second pitch then write something out and practice it.  The key to networking success is consistency.  So it’s not just about rocking up once and getting a client (although congratulations if you do!); it’s about turning up every week, month or however often the group meets up.  Only then do people get to know you, find out about what you do and feel comfortable about referring you to others or using your services themselves.

There are obviously other ways to get clients and I’ll be sharing a few of the ones that I used to get people through the door in future posts – scroll to the top of the page and subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss out!

About Valerie

Valerie helps solo entrepreneurs create a clear online marketing strategy so they can get in front of their ideal clients and attract them to their business.

View All Posts

Your Marketing Health Check

Is your marketing bringing in the clients you want? Take our short quiz to find out!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.