In March of 2013, I launched ICB Consults to help other women launch their own small business. As mentioned before, I had a built in audience and the transition from retail to consulting was slightly easier for me than most people who are jumping into the service industry.
I will share my actual story next month to educate and bring awareness of my own business. When I do Q&A on Instagram most people ask how do they land clients and keep them. We’re going to discuss how to land your first client and how to create a stream of income from your client basis.
Before you quit your job you should have already landed 3-5 clients who have signed on as clients for 18 months to 1year contracts. This is extremely important for your business to succeed versus folding the first year. These clients have been with you since you were freelancing and running your business as a part-time side hustle. Also, note that it is important for you to have 6 months of living expenses put away in your savings account.
This might be awkward for some but your former company now has a vacant position that you use to occupy. If you did your job correctly and exceeded their expectations you are truly a missing puzzle piece they need. Formulate your pitch or presentation on how you can serve the company. Personally, I freelance for a couple of companies I use to work for handling social media. This is a great way to bring in extra income. One of the benefits of freelancing is your company does not have to offer all the previous benefits it normally does which in turn saves them money. Your focus really should be on how you already know the companies needs and how hiring a contractor is cheaper than hiring a staff member.
Connect With Your Network
I gave this advice to one of my clients who was branching out to run her own company. I told her to have coffee with three people a week, asking them to link her with people who need her services. Within the first month of being full-time she signed on five figure clientele for contracts that year. Your network is stronger than you think. I am not talking about reaching out to the people you barely know on LinkedIn. Reach out to everyone in your personal phone. Most people are very guarded when it comes to referring people. People respect personal references so you know you have a 50/50 chance of landing a contract based on their relationship with the referrer.
Leverage Social Media
I went with this approach of landing my first client. I posted a flier that said “Consultations with Tasha” email me. That landed me fifteen inquires the first day. I was elated that my followers believed in what I was talking about. They saw me as a trusted expert to guide them. Gary Vee once said that everyday you should be promoting the future without even knowing what your launching. Consulting and writing this content is the way that I am promoting my future businesses that have yet to be planned. Ten years from now I could launch a tech company and I laid the ground work already. You are laying the ground work already on social media.
What strategies have you employed to land your first client? Have you mapped out your plan to land your first client before leaving your 9 to 5?
Photography Image by Robert