Get more clients for free, impossible!
Getting more clients can be expensive, but here is where and how you can get them.
It has come to a point that free traffic online is almost a thing of the past.
Think about it.
Using social media to get more clients
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have all reduced the organic reach of all accounts. For example, today a person with an Instagram account containing 100,000 followers is only expected to get approximately 3,000 likes. On a new post, they may have had 15,000 likes on the same post when Instagram first launched.
This doesn’t sound bad at face value. It has an engagement rate of 3%, which is considered a good engagement rate on Instagram by today’s standards. To obtain a 3% engagement rate, it’s likely that about 10% of your followers see each post.
Here is an example
In simple terms, if you have 100,000 followers, 10,000 will see a new post, and 3,000 will engage. Now, if we bring that down to the startup level and you have 500 followers. Fifty of them will see a new post and 15 of them will engage.
Not only does it make it extremely difficult to build a relationship and land a new client. But it also makes growing a new account to an influencer level almost impossible.
Even people who have purposely followed your business account aren’t guaranteed to see your content in their social media feeds.
Social Media companies do this because they want you to pay for advertising.
Using paid search to get more clients
The best keywords on Google are dominated by large corporations and websites that can afford to land thousands of backlinks. This allows them to grow their own authority and rank for keywords organically.
It’s not enough to have the best content anymore. You must spend money or be very skilled to compete on Google. This is because, without the corresponding authority, your only option is to pay for advertising on Google.
There are exceptions. But those are mostly based in very niche fields with low competition and, in turn, require little authority to rank.
There’s nowhere you can go online as a new startup and get the traffic necessary to land enough new clients. It just means that you can’t sustain a new startup without paying for advertising.
The challenge to get more clients
The challenge is that most new service-based start-ups are launched by regular people. They aren’t funded to pay for the advertising necessary to build the client base needed to turn a profit.
So, how do these service-based start-ups get clients for free?
The 3 rules of thumb to get more clients
Before we get into the places you can go to land clients for free, remember this. Here are three rules which are relevant in any free traffic situation.
Where to get more clients for free
With LinkedIn, you can leverage the power of instant connections. You can get your pitch directly in front of people who are making critical decisions about their businesses.
LinkedIn helps break down the barriers between you and potential clients, making them just a connection or conversation away.
Furthermore, business professionals might be more open to responding to a message on LinkedIn or interacting with you there than through an email or a phone call.
But LinkedIn’s opportunities aren’t limited to this form of passive marketing. Being active on LinkedIn as a marketer, forming connections, participating in groups, and monitoring your own group. And more can help you to grow connections and have a warm pipeline of leads ready at any time.
Keep the following in mind
Some of the most important things to keep in mind with your LinkedIn profile include:
- Writing a tagline of what you do and who you do it for
- Including all the services you offer clients in the overview section of your profile
- Ensure your LinkedIn connections are your ideal clients i.e., C-suite executives, marketing professionals, digital agency owners, and CEOs
No, I’m not saying to start a Facebook group and joining any random Facebook group will not do.
First, I’d like to identify the one thing almost every service-based business has in common. Their ideal customer lives in their own subdivision, town, or city.
This isn’t to say that some service-based businesses can’t expand beyond these limits. But they should be the potential clients you pursue first because they are the easiest to reach.
Here is an example
Once you are in the groups, introduce yourself along with what you do, but do not attempt a sales pitch.
Take some time to get to know people in these groups. Join in unrelated and local conversations to make friends and get people used to seeing your name. And they recognize you as a contributing member of the group.
When the time is right, post in the group providing value.
For example, if you are a Tax Accountant. Maybe remind people of the deadlines coming up or tips on saving money this year. Again, do not make it a sales pitch.
Rather, you are providing value.
It won’t take long for people to start asking you questions. You’ll start to receive business inquiries and referrals from people you’ve never met. You will be the go-to person for tax accounting within the local group. It’s a process. You must build trust within the community. It won’t happen overnight, but it won’t cost you a single dollar.
This is one of the most overlooked methods on the market today is forums.
They aren’t as popular as they once were, but lots of people still use them. Start searching locally and expand out if your business model allows you to do so.
Once you find a forum with your ideal client or customer, follow the same procedure.
From a B2B point of view, I’ve made much more money by being active in Facebook groups and forums. Compared to building my social media accounts using paid advertising.
Lastly, once you have mastered the local groups, start identifying other groups that your potential customer could be in. For example, if you are a tax accountant, investigate local and non-local business groups, entrepreneurship groups, etc.
There are likely several types of groups that you can find customers in for free.
This one isn’t difficult to do by yourself. And it has the potential to bring you lots of free business through organic search.
- Join local networking groups.
- Join the local Chamber of Commerce.
- Join the local Rotary.
There are many free options available, and in many areas, these same groups are still meeting via Zoom or another video conferencing software.
If you join these groups and follow the initial three rules and the same standards as outlined in the Facebook group, you’ll easily start to bring on clients, and more importantly, you’ll start to get referrals.
Once you are set up, use this system as a social media account. Upload new images several days each week and include a paragraph of relevant and helpful information.
Get as many reviews as possible! Some people use friends and family to get a couple of good reviews to get them started in the beginning. I don’t condone this; I’m just pointing out that people do it. What you choose to do is up to you. If you do these things, you’ll easily start to rank for numerous keywords, and your phone will start to ring often.
Again, it’s free, but you must learn how to set it up yourself, and you will have to show value through content and positive reviews.
Characteristics required to get more clients
Every interaction you have, with everyone on Twitter, Facebook, or your pet sitter to your massage therapist, is an opportunity to network professionally.
Here are some quick tips to help you make connections, expand your social network, and nurture professional relationships.
Be interactive to help you get more clients
Extroverted people seem to have it so easy, making friends with everyone from their UPS delivery person to other dog owners in the park!
But these interactions don’t rely on connecting deeply with everyone, instead, making successful connections can be as easy as noticing and remembering things about the people you see frequently.
Taking the time to notice and acknowledge the people you routinely interact with can help you extend your social network slowly but significantly.
Here is an example
For example, remembering your law office’s UPS carrier’s name and inquiring about her baby can help your brief interactions be social connections as well as routine service calls.
Carrying an extra biscuit to the dog park can help you win over a friendly pup (and his owner). When your UPS carrier needs to write a will or your park friend gets a speeding ticket, you might be the first lawyer to pop into their minds.
Be aware of what people do and what they need and make people aware of what you do and the needs you fulfil—without trying to sell them anything.
As the old axiom goes, “People like to work with people they like.” Most everyone participates in social groups outside of work, which can be fertile ground for potential professional connections.
Use social media
As indicated before use your social media profiles to post links to interesting articles about your profession. Share amusing anecdotes about your job during long runs with your training group. Or volunteer at the food bank wearing your company t-shirt.
Here is another example
If you’re an event planner, for example. The more people in your social network who know what you do, like you, and think you are trustworthy. The more likely one of them will call you when they need to plan a wedding or corporate event.
Expanding your social network online or offline multiplies your chances to use your social connections for professional advancement.
Be sincere when you try to get more clients
Most people can tell when they’re being manipulated, and few respond well.
If you’re not a social butterfly. But if you’re at an event that calls for some social interaction, try being honest about your discomfort. “I never know what to say at these things”! Small talk just isn’t my strong point—I’m more of a numbers and details kind of person. “Hi, I’m Cathy, by the way.”
Especially in situations where you feel vulnerable or exposed. Literally, or figuratively, being open about your insecurity can earn you respect.
Ask open-ended questions
Another great way to gain and strengthen connections, especially if you’re not great at chit-chat, is to ask open-ended questions and genuinely listen to the responses.
Most people like to talk about themselves, their passions, their kids, etc., so ask them, pay attention to their answers, and remember them.
If you don’t feel comfortable chatting with your hair stylist, ask her how she got into styling, what her dream job is, what her favourite movie or pop culture hair inspiration is, etc. and just let him talk.
You’ll be surprised how close this can make people feel to you without you having to share anything.
Don’t force it
I was recently on a plane sitting next to a woman who was frightened to fly.
We chatted a bit as the plane ascended about the safety and physics of flight and the beautiful scenery we expected to see along the way.
When we reached altitude, she settled in to enjoy the view, and I whipped out my laptop to work on a blog for a custom home builder.
When she turned back to me to point out the majesty of the Grand Canyon, she noticed my work in progress; as it turned out, she was a realtor.
After talking briefly about the advantages of retaining a content creation expert to write your business blog and the current state of the real estate market in her location, we exchanged cards and returned to our respective activities.
Nothing about this encounter felt for either of us like we were trying to “sell” the other on our product/brand. Rather, exchanging professional information was an organic part of an ongoing interaction at a time that was appropriate.
Learn to identify opportunities
Learn to take advantage of openings when appropriate, but don’t force them.
Afterwards, make sure you follow up with a note or email.
If you become friends on social media, make sure to engage further than just the initial conversation.
Use calendar reminders to encourage you to remember to follow up, even with social contacts.
Today’s social media platforms make it easier than ever to connect with and keep in touch with contacts located all over the world.
Engaging an experienced marketing company can help you make your website and social media platforms look professional and welcoming.
Once you learn how to use them to enhance your in-person social networking efforts, you can more easily leverage your social connections into professional gains—without alienating your friends.
Click on this link if you need a digital marketing service.
Don’t underestimate the power of networking and providing value to others. With dedication and a commitment to excellence, you can position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry and achieve long-term success.
So take on this challenge today and see how you can make a difference in your community.
Share your progress with us and let us know how these suggestions are working for you. We’re excited to hear about your success!