If you are just getting started in business, you might find yourself asking “Where do I go to find new clients?” Finding your first few paying clients might seem like a roadblock, but with a little creativity you’ll be able to find them in no time!
First things first, you’ll want to make sure you know who your ideal client is. There’s no sense in putting in hard work to bring in clients if they aren’t going to be referring in your target market. Building a base on the wrong kind of clients will lead to harder work down the road. If you’re not sure who your ideal client is, read this post to figure out how!
Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to put a plan in action.
Reach out to family and friends
This is your quickest and most plentiful source of new business. And a lot of times this can be overlooked! Family and friends WANT to help you succeed, so let them know you’re looking for new clients. Give them a call, reach out on social media, send out a personal email, or set up a time to meet in person over coffee or lunch.
You’ll want to make sure you have your elevator pitch ready to go. This way you can quickly communicate to them what type of business you’re starting and what type of clients you are looking for. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! The best way to combat any self doubt you have or that you’re afraid someone else may have is to speak confidently about why you’re excited to start this business. People are drawn to that kind of energy and want to be involved in your new adventures.
If you’ve already had a couple clients, you better be asking for those referrals! Check out this post if you’re wanting tips for creating the perfect referral program.
It’s better to ask than to let the opportunity pass by. Clients who love working with you will be more than happy to do you a favor! And what’s the worst someone can say? No? Then you can simply thank them for considering it and move on. You’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
Since you’ve spent time figuring out what your client loves, where they like to shop, etc., why not find a way to connect with those types of local businesses to cross promote with one another? It can also be a great way to build a community where you can share ideas, brainstorm together, and get advice from other business owners.
Connect with Peers
This might feel counterintuitive, but building a friendship with other local photographers is a surprising way to grow your business! Not only can you find assisting opportunities, but you they can be a great referral source. As you build your network, if you have clients where you aren’t able to work them into your schedule or they aren’t the right fit, you can send them to your photography friends. And many times, they will do the same for you!
Find a local event (that’s in line with your ideal client) where you can get involved or donate your services to. Whether it’s a fundraiser that you could offer to photograph, a non profit you could offer your services too, or a Girls Night Out event that showcases local businesses to name a few. This gives you a chance to connect, get your name out there, and get involved with groups that you and your brand resonate with.
What ways did you find clients when you were first starting? Have any of these worked for you in the past?
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