The One Tactic You Need to Get Clients for Your New Business Fast
I’m going to channel my inner Sophia Petrillo to make this fun today. Picture it:
The time for your side hustle to become your full time gig has arrived. You build/update your website to include all the services/products you’ll be offering now and put in your resignation from the corporate world.
You are feeling like a BALLER and 100% in control of your life. Then it hits you: Umm….I need (more) clients!
So what do you do?
Well friend you have landed in the right place because I have the answer to that question. In fact, the advice I am about to give you is not only what I advise all of my new business clients, but it is also the exact tactic I used to secure my first three clients after taking DCM from freelance to full time.
Getting the Word Out Quickly
The first thing to remember, whether your side hustle has been around for 0 days or 3,000 days, is this:
In order for people to buy from you, they need to know what you do.
That means you must tell them. The fastest way to get in touch with everyone in your network is via email. I know some will be surprised I didn’t say “post on social media!”, but the real kicker is that not everyone you know who could buy from you or refer you business is on social media. And even if they are, they may miss a post due to the constantly evolving algorithms.
So to email we go!
Step 1: Gather your contacts
Start by exporting all of your contacts from LinkedIn. Then add a new column to the spreadsheet and assign them labels of “Referral Partner” or “Prospect”. You are going to send a similar message to each audience with a slightly different intro and call to action tailored to the classification you gave them.
Step 2: Craft your messaging
Since you are sending this to people you know and/or have worked with throughout your career (to this point), I recommend keeping the email conversational and simple text. Start with a friendly greeting “Hi [first name],” then move into the main message.
The two emails you send (mass emails, one to each list) will have the same overall message with a short background on how you started (or got the idea for) this side hustle, how the idea/business grew, and notice that you recently left your corporate job to take it full time.
Explain who you are looking to serve (i.e. target client) then follow with a list of the services or products you offer. Keep this list tight with a link from each that respective page of your website where they can find more info. This will keep the email short enough they read the whole thing, including the call to action at the end. (More email marketing tips here.)
Suggested services formatting:
…… [INTRO MESSAGE GOES HERE]…..
These are the services I’ll be offering:
…. [CALL TO ACTION GOES HERE]…..
As you can see, I did not explain HOW I do each of these things and/or what’s included in the packages I offer. That is what the website link is there to provide. The mention in the email just needs to give them the high level so they can click through to learn more where it’s of interest to them.
Step 3: Tailor the Call to Action to the Audience
After the main message is set, you need to wrap up quickly with the call to action (a single line) tailored to each of your audiences. What do you want the potential clients to do next? Hire you! What do you want the referral partners to do next? Refer someone they know to you.
Since these are previous work-related colleagues a simple line of “Would love to work together again soon. Are you in the market for any of these services?” will work for the potential clients.
For the referral partners, you may think a simple “Please keep me in mind if you think anyone you know would benefit from this,” would work. However, I encourage you to take the opportunity to ask for an action NOW. Such as “Do you know anyone in your network who has mentioned having a tough time in any of these areas?”
After each question, immediately sign the email. Make that the last element prior to your name. Skip the “All the best” or “Look forward to hearing from you..” just sign it. This way you are enticing them to reply.
Should they do so and not have a referral right now, then you can move onto a “Keep me in mind..” kind of reference along with a request to keep them on your email list to stay abreast of what you are doing as it evolves.
Step 4: Send it out!
I followed this exact process when I took DCM full time and sure enough, I got my first two clients within 24 hours. After my first engagement with each, they wanted more ways to work with me and the contracts got bigger. That momentum started to build and as I shared what I was doing on social media, and later via a weekly newsletter to my lists, I saw the referrals and new business inquiries grow.
One. People can’t buy from you if they don’t know what you are selling.
Two. There is 100% a way to be clear about what you do and who you do it for without being pushy or too “salesy” as many entrepreneurs worry about.