Every entrepreneur has been there at some point. You’ve spent months of preparation and finally launched your brand then… nothing. You find yourself looking for problems with phone connections, testing emails to yourself, and checking your forms are properly connected.
But with the right approach you’ll get there. That’s why we’ve written up 10 tips to land your first client as an entrepreneur. We’ll provide a range of strategies that tell you how to find your first client, with both technical and personal tips on offer. For when it comes to sealing the deal, we’ve included some methods that will stop you falling short at the last minute.
So here are some tips on getting your business off the ground.
1. Create a profile of your first client
When you’re at the stage of trying to land your first client, we can assume that you’ve gone in hard on the market research. If not, get back to the drawing board, because you need a good knowledge of your sector to inform you on this step.
Start off with the basics: What are their gender, age, and location? As much as you’d like to appeal to the entire world, every product has its niche audience and you have to know who yours is. Then you can take a dive into their personality. Are they rebellious? What are their pain points and motivators in life? How can your product match their feelings?
Next, you won’t make any sales if you don’t know how to find your first client. Where is this person likely to hangout? Will they contribute to online forums, or are they more for attending events in person? Dedicate yourself fully to your customer profile, because it really pays off in the long run. Your findings will direct your efforts in the following tips for how to land your first client.
2. Optimize your website
Your website is your digital storefront and it says so much about your company. It’s not just the content you put on there either.If you don’t maintain standards with writing style, quality of photos, and usability when you’re creating your website, your customers will quickly say goodbye.
However, perhaps the most important thing to focus on is your search engine optimization (SEO). The best website in the world is useless if nobody finds it, so ranking high on search engines should be a priority. SEO makes your content more relevant and engaging too.
The hugely complex algorithms punish lazy solutions and reward authoritative writing, accessibility, and solutions to questions. True, it does take quite a while to reap the rewards of website optimization. However, your site is the absolute bedrock of your online presence and with enough work put into it, it will be a massive help in your mission to land your first client.
3. Leverage your social media
If your website is the passive version of your company online, social media is undoubtedly the active place. Companies all over the world have realized the importance of having an open, free-flowing social media account. It works incredibly well both as a marketing tool and a customer service center, and should be a focal point when you’re looking to land your first client.
You can draw potential leads in with advertising and marketing posts, and speak to them one-on-one to seal the deal. Start by making noise. There are plenty of easy online tools for designing Instagram images that you can post — and don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family to share them.
Make a splash in relevant groups on Facebook and keep your notifications switched on for anyone who reaches out. With so many directions you can go in, social media can become quite a handful. Therefore, we’d highly recommend working via a CRM where you can record all your interactions and keep track of every potential client.
4. Become an authority in your field
Even if you’re a solo entrepreneur, you can create a backlog of written and video content that tells people you know what you’re talking about. Possibly the most accessible version is written content. Incorporate a blog section into your website, write up an engaging article and promote it via your socials.
But getting in front of the camera can come with even more benefits. Video is everything these days, and all you need to get started is a phone and a ring light. A final example is becoming a speaker. If you can get yourself onto a stage in front of people, you’ve got a way of building your authority and an attentive audience of potential clients. If it’s recorded — even better.
You’ll be sharing that as much as possible in the coming weeks. By producing frequent, easily digestible content that helps people better understand your niche, you’ll build trust and become an authority figure. Just don’t forget to invite them to purchase!
5. Offer your customers an easy user experience
Now you’ve caught your users’ attention through your website or social media, you need to lay a pathway that makes it as easy as possible for them to go from lead to deal. The last thing you want is a last-minute drop off after so much effort put in through the marketing process.
Therefore, design and test your customer journey to be as seamless as possible. Most deals will eventually take place on your website, online store, or landing page, so you need to make them just as smooth on mobile as they are on desktop. The best web-building apps now come with built-in responsiveness so your mobile app is fully accessible and functional.
For your landing pages, make sure to include clear, impactful calls to action and simple forms that automatically connect to your CRM for record-keeping. Now you’ve set the stage to land your first client, make sure to run a few tests on desktop and mobile, and get your friends to try it too for a second opinion.
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6. Attend events and network
Who doesn’t love a conference? Insights from speakers, a nice buffet, and a year’s supply of pens to take home — they’re a real highlight. But where events really come into their own are in connecting with others from your industry. There are few scenarios that can compete with events for really getting into someone’s mind as you speak to them.
While plastering your ads all over the internet certainly serves a purpose, an in-depth conversation can really convince people to spread the word or become your first client themselves. Take contact numbers or LinkedIn accounts if you can’t make any direct sales, and make sure to leave people with a great impression of your brand.
Always send a follow up message after you meet people. One or two days is perfect — you have to strike while the iron is hot. And don’t leave it up to your memory, get that “spontaneous message” in your calendar so you don’t forget about it. Yes, it can seem awkward for some to wax lyrical about their own product, but this is the game we’re playing.
Remember that everyone is at these events for similar reasons, and by staying reserved, you’re only doing yourself a disservice. So leave your shyness by the door and start mingling.
7. Connect with other entrepreneurs as mentors
Networking in general is one thing, but if you can get the help of a mentor, you’ll massively increase your chances of closing that first deal.
More experienced entrepreneurs will know where all the hotspots are to find your first client because they’ve been through it before. They will help you pinpoint your search to the areas that will provide the best return on investment. They’ll have a vast array of extra tips and tricks relevant to your industry, geography, or demographic, and could even help you long after you land your first client.
Also, simply knowing that what you’re trying to achieve is possible provides an amazing mental boost. When you can see the trail blazed ahead of you, you’re not walking through the dark, desperately trying to find that breakthrough.
8. Keep your competitors close
Whatever industry you’re in, having a good understanding of your competitors is an unavoidable necessity. You can spot best practices, identify their weak spots, and work on your niche. But it’s not just about outsmarting them.
You can get a leg up in the industry by collaborating with your competitors too. When you’re still at the stage of trying to land your first client, you need to take every opportunity you can get. For example, service-based companies often have an overflow of jobs to complete and there is no shame in taking their surplus work off them.
At the end of the day, a client is a client, and every great reputation has to start somewhere. You can learn from your larger competitors, create a great impression with their clients, and use their reviews to take your business further. Aside from helping to land your first client, collaboration frequently opens doors and leads to lucrative opportunities you might not have thought of before.
9. Offer free products for testimonials and recommendations
All the most established companies have an advantage on you in the form of happy customers. However, if the numbers add up, you can entice your first real customer by using reviews from users who haven’t made a purchase.
Online testimonials, word of mouth, and social media posts are all of the utmost importance when it comes to customer decision making. If reviews are suspiciously absent from your site, it generates a sense of mistrust. On the other hand, a product that has 4.7 stars from 500 reviews is easy to trust.
So if you’re wondering how to land your first client, consider offering a free sample of your product to a user, who will return the favor with a testimonial or online review. The more influence your user has, the better it will be for your business. This tip involves getting in contact with your user’s own network — they’re the ones who will see the review.
So rather than worrying about how to approach a client for the first time in a cold meeting, you can meet them with the backing of a mutual contact.
10. Speak like a consultant, not a salesperson
This tip might seem counterintuitive. Surely if you’re planning how to land your first lead, a salesperson is the ideal profile to achieve it. However, it’s all-too easy to get nervous and come across as desperate if you’ve been waiting for this moment for a while.
So when you’ve actually got a potential customer standing in front of you, eager and interested, we’re recommending that you don’t go route one. By thinking like a consultant, you’ll be willing to listen to your potential customer’s real pain points — what they really need.
Present your product as a way to help them solve a problem, and who wouldn’t want that? With this mentality, you’ll appear to be confident (even if you’re not), and listen to their story, rather than diving straight in with the elevator pitch.
Now you’ve compiled all of our tips and taken them on board in your mission to land your first client, it’s time to get into action.
But not so fast!
From creating your customer profile and launching your website to posting on social media and communicating with potential leads, you need technology on your side. Bitrix24 is the secret weapon for over 10,000,000 companies who use it to streamline and accelerate every area of their business.
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How to find your first client?
Tactics to land your first client include:
- Creating a customer profile.
- Optimizing your website.
- Leveraging social media.
How to approach a client for the first time?
- Meet them where they are.
- Listen more than you speak.
- Talk about your product in relation to their needs.
How to land your first client?
- Creating a customer journey.
- Becoming an authority in your field.
- Learning from others.
- Offering free trials.
- Working on your sales pitch.