“How can I get more clients?” is a question I’m often asked by entrepreneurs and small business owners.
Running a business can be overwhelming and at times, pretty darn stressful too - especially if you’re doing it alone in the early years.
You’re constantly trying to figure out new ways to get more clients and sell more products and services and that can take its toll on you!
Today, I’m going to share with you 10 Ways to Get More Clients (& Keep Them Coming!) as well as the biggest mistake that I see entrepreneurs and small biz owners making with their lead generation.
So let’s talk about what NOT to do first:
The Biggest Mistake Entrepreneurs Make When Attracting New Clients
Reinventing the Wheel
Are you constantly trying to come with new ways to get more clients or sell more products / services?
If so, you’re likely to be wasting a lot of time and effort (and probably money too)!
The thing with entrepreneurs, is that we’re a pretty creative bunch, and coming up with new and exciting ideas (whether that's a new online course, eBook, blog post, discussion topic or lead generation strategies) is, for most of us, pretty fun!
But, it’s also money down the drain.
Of course, when you first start out in business, there is a lot of testing involved with any strategy you use to attract more clients, but the key thing to remember, is that when you have a strategy that works...stick to it!
If you can’t help yourself and really want to test out something new (and you have the time, money & resources to do that without it affecting your business), then by all means go for it - on the condition that your current lead generation strategy is still up and running just in case things don't go quite to plan!
'If It Ain't Broke Don't Fix It'
The Two Main Ways to Attract Clients
There are two main strategies that you can use to attract new leads and clients into your business - Inbound and Outbound.
Both concepts work really well for online businesses and there are pros and cons to each, but you may find that you are implementing one strategy a lot more of the time, and it’s important to have a balance of the two.
Like the names suggest, these two concepts work in opposition to each other.
So what are inbound and outbound lead generation and how can you use them in your business?
What is Inbound Lead Generation?
Inbound lead generation is hugely popular due to its effectiveness and how easy it is to implement nowadays with the popularity of social media sites.
With an Inbound strategy, it’s a bit like leaving a trail of breadcrumbs for your potential customers to follow, which then leads back to your business.
These breadcrumbs are things like blog posts, social media posts, incentives, information and providing value to your target audience.
What is Outbound Lead Generation?
Outbound lead generation is of course, the opposite of this. Examples of using an outbound strategy to attract new clients would be email marketing, direct messages on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.
An outbound strategy is also the most direct (and some may say ‘salesy’) method and is the more traditional method.
Saying that however, this method can still be really successful when you use it sparingly to your hot or warm leads.
Read more about the different types of leads you need to attract in your business here!
11 Effective (& free) Ways to Get More Clients in 2019
1. Create blog content with your ideal client in mind
Blogging is great for your business for so many reasons and attracting new clients is just one of them!
By creating content that speaks to your target audience you can really connect with your ideal client and provide them with the valuable information they want and need.
You can also showcase your skills, experience and expertise by writing informative and helpful blog posts which help to position you as an expert in your industry.
So what type of blog posts can you write?
If you are a web designer, you could write a post on ‘How to Design The Perfect Home Page’. Are you a bookkeeper? You could write a post on ‘5 Bookkeeping Mistakes That Are Costing You Thousands’. Are you a social media manager? Share advice on ‘The Best Time to Post on Facebook’
2. ‘There's a Hole In The Bucket, Dear Liza…’
You have a website, a landing page, a funnel and a conversion rate. But maybe that conversion rate isn’t quite as great as you think it could be.
What do you do?
Most people will start from scratch and try something new. They’ll create a new lead magnet, a fresh landing page and an entire new funnel.
But that takes up so much time! So what can you do instead?
Do you remember this song..:
“There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
So fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.”
You fix the hole!
Take a step back and run through your entire funnel process and see where potential clients are slipping through the net (ie. falling through the hole in the bucket!).
If nothing seems hugely wrong (ie a link not working etc) then this is going to take a little more time - but it’s well worth it!
Maybe it’s the copy on your landing page, or the image on your website? Perhaps a short 2 minute video would work better than an image?
Test out different things and see which increases your conversion rates!
Now, I dare you not to remember this unique way to attract more clients with that song on your head! ;)
3. Do a SEO Health Check
With so many websites online nowadays, how on Earth are your target clients going to find you?
Running a quick SEO Health Check will ensure that your website is using the correct keywords for your business that Google and other search engines will use when people are searching for help, advice, answers, online courses etc online.
Be sure to choose your main keywords and phrases carefully and be as specific as possible. Read this guest blog post for more info from Website Wonder Woman!
4. Be Proactive
One of the things that many entrepreneurs seem to forget about are outbound strategies such as reaching out to new contacts on social media.
Now, let me just say that I am NOT saying that you should make a ton of ‘friends’ on Facebook and immediately private message them trying to make a sale!
That’s plain rude.
But it’s perfectly ok to reach out to people who have shown an interest in you and your business before and drop them a friendly note to see how things are going!
If you have already started to build a relationship with these people, you can (sparingly) drop them a message to let them know of a new product or service you have launching soon.
Even better, is to offer a freebie so there is even less resistance on their end - all they need to do is provide their email address!
5. Instagram Outreach
Another way to be proactive in attracting new clients is by using Instagram.
For example, when I get new followers on Instagram, I spend a few minutes per week checking out profiles and seeing if any of my new followers are a good match for my business.
If you’re using Instagram correctly (ie, posting the right content and using the right keywords) you should be attracting your target audience. Which is the whole point, right?
But it’s no use having 1000’s of followers on Instagram without actually doing anything with them! What you want to do is convert those fans and followers from your Instagram (and other social media accounts) on to your email list so you can continue to build a relationship with them.
So, when you make new connections, drop them a short friendly direct message and welcome them! You can then offer them a free guide, cheat sheet or video training as a thank you!
Here’s a sample message which you can copy & tweak!
Hi [insert their name]!
Thanks so much for connecting with us! How has your week been so far?
I’ve had a look at your profile and it looks great! (if you have and it does!)
As a thank you for being in our community, I have a little gift for you which I hope you’ll love!
Click here to grab your free [insert link to what it is you’re giving them (which should lead to a signup page)] and let me know your thoughts!
Looking forward to chatting to you!
6. Guest Blogging
Yep, blogging is in this list twice! The difference here is that you are guest blogging for other websites, rather than your own.
So why would you spend time and energy doing this?
Well, if you write for other blogs that your target audience also reads, you’ll automatically be expanding your own audience too. It’s fresh new content for them, and by adding your headshot & author bio to the blog post, with a link back to your website, some of those readers will make their way back to your website and blog!
Top Tip: Be sure to make a note of when your guest blog post will be published and have a really great blog post on your own blog ready and waiting for new readers to make their way to as well! This way, if they come across to your blog, you can provide even more value and get them on your email list with a content upgrade!
7. Be SEEN As The Expert
It’s one thing to be good at what you do, it’s totally another to be seen as the expert.
There are lots of ways you can place yourself as an expert in your industry, but one of my favourite ways is collaboration.
Make a list of 10 businesses that you could work with who are in an industry related to your own. The idea here is to connect with businesses that your target client would also be interested in. These could be people on social media, websites, podcasts, YouTube channels, blogs…
The idea here is that you are ‘interviewed’ by these businesses and therefore gain exposure to their audience too. So whatever your jam is, you could do a joint YouTube video, a podcast episode, Facebook Live, webinar - or pretty much anything else you can think of!
For example, let’s say you are a Social Media Manager and help your clients to create social media content, schedule and manage their social media accounts.
Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm ideas of people and business you could work with!
Interested in doing a YouTube video collaboration? Jump on to YouTube and search for ‘social media tips’ and see which channels and videos have the most subscribers. Add these people to your list!
Even if you’re not into video, this is still a great way to find other businesses to do a joint venture with! Head over to their website, blog & social media pages to see if they are active there and get in touch with them.
Top Tip: Remember, when you are proposing a joint venture, it has to be beneficial for both of you, so be sure to detail how it will benefit them and make it as easy as possible for them to say yes!
8. Answer Quora Questions
Quora is a fantastic free resource for entrepreneurs! If you haven’t used it yet, be sure to check it out! Basically, it’s a question and answer site where anyone can post a question, ask for answers from specific people, or anyone can pitch in and help out.
The best bit, is that you can use Quora for research purposes and to potentially find new clients!
Here’s how it works:
Search for your keywords
Scroll through and find questions you can answer!
Write a full, thorough answer, being as helpful as possible and link back to your blog post, website or contact info if they want more info!
If you want to be more direct and find clients who need your help right now, you could post a question such as ‘Small Business Owners - what are you really struggling with in your business right now?’
Sit back and wait for your replies! When they come in, reply to each one and be super helpful! Remember to link back to your blog / website so they can work with you further, or invite them subscribe to your email by providing a lead magnet that would help with their struggle!
10. Use Content Upgrades
Ensure you have Content Upgrades on all your blog posts! Content Upgrades are a great way to encourage readers of your blog posts to connect with you further and they help you to grow your email list on autopilot.
So, what is a Content Upgrade?
It’s a freebie or ‘lead magnet’ that you insert within your blog posts that is related to your blog post topic.
For instance, this blog post is about generating new clients for your business and how to attract more customers. If you’re reading this post, it’s probably something you’re interested in and want to know more about.
Therefore, if I could help you to attract more clients with a content upgrade, chances are, you’d sign up for the freebie!
Here’s an example of what I might write..
‘If you want to delve deeper into discovering how to attract more clients into your business in 2019, join the free 5 day challenge, starting January 21st!’
And then my content upgrade would look something like this.. (and yes, it’s live so you can join us for real!)
11. Name Drop!
As entrepreneurs, we naturally follow other entrepreneurs that we admire and consider our peers.
If you’re in my Facebook Community or read my blog regularly, you’ll know that I absolutely love Neil Patel. He is master at marketing and his easy to follow advice and friendly personality creates engaging and informative information.
As entrepreneurs, we are constantly learning and growing, so naturally, I follow Neil’s blog and Facebook page.
This lead generation strategy works great for both B2B and B2C businesses and you can utilise these top influencers to make your audience stop and take notice of you!
So which influencers can you follow to attract new leads and clients?
It’s totally up to you of course, but here are a just a few of my favourites:
Four Hour Work Week - Tim Ferris
How to apply this lead generation strategy to your business
The first step is to curate a list of your favourite influencers and brands and follow their blogs & social media pages
Next, have a look at a particular topic that a number of these influencers have talked or written about and write a blog post such as ‘What The Top Influencers Think About [insert your topic]’ or ‘5 of The Best Forbes Articles Every Entrepreneur Should Read’
Alternatively, you can create a create an infographic or cheat sheet around the a particular topic or influencer. Ie. ‘12 Practices To Start Your Day Right’ and include quotes from each influencer.
Don’t forget to reach out to these brands and let them know that you have mentioned them!
Why this works:
By connecting yourself with other reputable brands, that your target audience admire, you align yourself somewhat with those people.
Do you know what Facebook did when they launched Facebook Live? They paid around 140 publishers and influencers a combined $50 million to start creating video using Facebook Live!
Why did they do this? Because they knew that by getting celebrities and influencers to support and promote their new service, it would reach a larger audience, create momentum and build trust.
And if you’re interested, here’s one of the first ever Facebook Lives by comedian Ricky Gervais - from his bathtub! - which received over 800,000 views!
So there you have it! 11 out of the box, unique and totally effective ways to generate more clients in to your online business in 2019, for free!