This is not some gimmick. I’m going to give you the exact step below because I’m concerned that so many people skip over this easy and effective step.
I notice that people starting businesses, or even with existing businesses, make it way too hard on themselves to get a few new clients.
You don’t even need a website, a speaking engagement, a business card, or a networking event to get some new clients.
This is the easiest and fastest way to get new clients.
I recently had a first coaching session with a client who we discovered was ready enough to have her first customer, but she wasn’t sure how to find customers. I nudged her to try this one idea and by the time we met the second time, she had two new customers!
Here It Is
I’ll explain in full below but here it is in a nutshell: Make sure you announce to the people who already trust you that you’re ready for clients.
All you have to do is think of at least 15 people and send them a clear, sincere, and brief email about what you do and what kind of clients you are most suited to help. Ask them to think of a few people to forward the email to, and you’ll soon hear some positive responses and inquiries.
It really is that simple. Doesn’t it seem silly how often this step is skipped over?
There are people who already know, like, and trust you. If you think you have to get clients primarily by connecting with strangers, you’ll be waiting a long time. Start with where there is already trust.
Let me respond to some of your concerns:
- “But people who know me already know what I do.”
Actually, they mostly don’t grasp it, I promise you. And they would appreciate knowing and would appreciate the opportunity to help in some concrete way. Let them help.
- “I don’t want to bother people with another email.”
If you keep it short and concrete about exactly what you’re requesting, they will read it and try to help. People love to help when there’s something clear to do! Start with just a few people to test it out, and then widen the circle as you build confidence.
- “I don’t know enough people to tell.”
You definitely do. Think about former co-workers, former clients, friends, family, and all kinds of people sitting in your email contact list. Those contacts are more interested than you may think. Go through your contact list and find at least 15 people to start. The more you tell, the better. (Individualized emails work best.)
- “What if it doesn’t work?”
Notice what does happen. Did people respond with questions? Did they say they would forward it? Notice the signs and consider a follow-up email to clarify questions. You might even call one or two of them to ask for direct feedback. Then after fine-tuning your messages, expand to another 15 people. Keep going and it will eventually work (IF you have a clear message and clear niche.) Patience and perseverance is essential to successful self-employment.
8 Tips To Make It Work
- Choose people who trust you.
You don’t have to send it to everyone. Think of people who are supportive of you and your ideas. Especially include people who are familiar with your reliability or skills.
- Prioritize people who love to connect people.
Some people naturally love to introduce people to each other. I call them “Connectors.” They get excited when someone wants new connections. Their internal wheels will keep turning until the match you with someone. These are the ones to invite to lunch if they’re willing.
- Keep it fairly brief.
No one wants to read long emails, and they won’t. Try sticking to a max of 5 short paragraphs. Short words and short paragraphs make it easy to scan. A link for more info is good. (If you need to go longer, at least keep the paragraphs short so it’s easy to read.)
- Show your passion and sincerity.
They don’t need (or want) the details, but they do need to feel your sincerity and passion for what you’re doing. Don’t be too formal or it will come across as cold.
- Include a specific and easy invitation for the interested person.
For instance, “I invite them to contact me at [email or phone] for a free sample consult…”
- Just send it, imperfectly.
All you ever need for any next step is “Good enough for now. Safe enough to try.”
- Yes, you can call them too.
Remember, your chosen contacts already like you!
- ***Don’t assume that one email is enough.
Emails get buried. People are busy. They still might be interested. More than one email, or a follow-up phone call, is often needed and it’s not stalking. It’s real life.
If It Doesn’t Get Responses
I admit it might not work even with perseverance. Luckily, that is a sign that is useful for you in finding your next step. A good entrepreneur sees each “problem” as an insight to work with. So no one responded? Notice that. It means one of these:
- You’re expecting instant results and haven’t taken some next steps.
Solution: See tip #8 above.
- Your message is not clear or doesn’t speak to your people.
Solution: You could get help with writing.
- You might be trying to offer your services to the world instead of to a clear niche. Solution: You could get help to refine your niche.
- You chose people who don’t trust you. I’m guessing this is unlikely but it’s possible. Solution: Find people who do trust you and ask them for feedback. Are you accidentally sending an off-putting message?
Tune in to your heart to think about what is off. You’ll know.
More Details and a Sample Email
OK, you want more background and a sample email?
- Here’s a snippet from Chris Guillebeau’s book, $100 Startup, with concrete advice (from a super successful introvert), including a sample email: How to Spread the Word About Your Work.
- Sample email requesting referrals (PDF download)
Ready for More Easy Client Attraction Steps?
I wrote another post that takes you through a couple more steps:
3 Quick, Easy, Effective and Free Steps to Get Clients
These tips are for real. No gimmicks. No sales. No charge. Just stuff that has helped me and others, shared from the heart because I hate seeing people struggle so much.