Client acquisition has been a huge part of my quick success as a service provider.
I get so many questions about how to get clients from other women who are looking to launch an online business. So I figured that I would write a post detailing exactly how I make a good impression for my client acquisition and ultimately turn them into repeat customers and loyal followers.
Have a good attitude. Be friendly.
Right from the very beginning, and pretty much in all of my interactions with anyone online, I strive to sound like a person that people would want to work with.
Your goal is to come off to everyone as friendly, helpful, and caring. View every single person you talk to as a potential client and start building a relationship with them. Don’t fake this — with client acquisition act like yourself, but make sure that you are putting effort into each interaction you have and that you seem like a person they would want to be friends with.
I don’t recommend the “be their friend” tactic to everybody, but I think that in most online businesses, that should absolutely be a big part of your goal.
Stand out as an expert in your niche.
I find that Facebook groups can be really beneficial for helping you come across as an expert in your niche. When your goal is client acquisition, answer questions that people you want to work with have posted. Give free advice and be overly helpful. People remember it when you go out of your way to be of service to them.
Go above and beyond in every circumstance that you can, and you will start to develop a really good reputation! People will be drawn to you and come straight to you asking for advice. When they get to the point where they want to hire someone or take a course from someone with your expertise, you are going to be the first person that comes to their minds!
Be a professional.
Yes, it can be really great to become friends with people in your client acquisition process, but it’s also super important to always remain professional.
A few suggestions on how to come off as professional: Don’t talk down to people or gossip. Be organized; have systems and details in place that make the initial hiring process a breeze. Make clients sign contracts. Don’t go overboard with the “lol”s and emojis when you’re corresponding with them. Take notes on your interactions and keep files on all of your clients. Keep strict business hours.
Provide free discovery calls.
As part of my client acquisition process when I first started to provide my services online, a lot of people requested to speak with me over Zoom before they hired me for a project. Some of them wanted to get to know me better. Others just thought that their design concepts would be a lot easier to explain “in person.”
After more than a couple people asked for this as part of the hiring process, I actually implemented it into my service pages. On all of the pages on my site where I detail my different services, at the bottom I have a form that people can use to ask me questions, request a quote, or schedule a free introductory Zoom call.
Since implementing those forms on my service pages, my potential client inquiries straight from my website have increased by about 100%. It made a huge difference, and I would highly recommend that other people try this out.
Some people get worried to offer introductory calls, because what if the person doesn’t show up or doesn’t end up hiring you? It is a commitment of time and effort that not everybody is willing to give. That being said, in the four months that I’ve been doing these Zoom calls, I have never once had a no-show or had the person not immediately hire me. So yes, I absolutely think that the commitment is worth it.
Kick ass on your introductory calls.
My main goal during these introductory calls is to explain exactly how I am about to change this person’s life. I have researched their business, I understand their goals, and I detail all of my thoughts about how they can improve.
I give tons of personalized, free advice. Tons. I do website critiques, I offer my opinion on their branding, I give them some tips on their Instagram strategy. Whatever they mention that they are struggling with, I do my absolute best to give them as much advice about it as possible.
Once they see how gung-ho I am about their company, and how hard I am already willing to work for them, it becomes a no-brainer that this person must hire me. They realize what an asset I will be for them and cannot possibly resist inviting me on board.
Utilize questionnaires and contracts.
Something that I do with almost all of my clients is to have them fill out a questionnaire and/or contract right at the beginning of the process. I use Acuity for this! Especially if I am doing design work for them. This helps me get a better sense of their personality and brand identity, and exactly what they are looking for from me.
I also send out another quick questionnaire at the end of our time together. This gets them to answer some information I want to know from them (how they think I performed, what they thought of the price, etc.). I have a section at the end where they can leave me a testimonial to use on my service pages.
Using these types of things in your business gives off the impression that you truly care about what they have to say. It also shows a bit of professionalism — you have a process that you take each client through, and you use the information they give you to do a better job as a service provider.
This is something that I, in particular, have always struggled with. While working on my client acquisition process, I get a lot of emails including those from clients. I also have many, many things on my to-do list. Sometimes, before I know it, 48 hours has gone by and I still haven’t answered that person’s email!
But this is something that I truly make an effort to do better. I try to update my clients often, and respond to their questions quickly. It’s also important that you stick to your deadlines. If your turn-around time is a week, make sure that you are actually getting it done in that time frame.
Clients really appreciate it when you maintain an active correspondence with them throughout the process. It’s a good idea to be as consistent as possible with your responses. And always alert them if any questions or concerns come up.
Use my client acquisition process to help you gain more clients confidently.