My consulting firm, ICB Consults, will have been around for two years this month. Running a consulting company is somewhat like running an online boutique. However, I have learned way more in the last two years from digging into this industry and carving out my own little style of consulting than I could have imagined. A consulting firm is only as great as the clients on its rooster. I’m always telling my clients that they are a reflection of my business. If they don’t succeed people will judge my business too. Acquiring the right clients takes a lot of practice. Before implementing these practices to acquire new clients, always make sure to clearly state who your type of client is. This goes back to the “Characteristics of Your Ideal Client” post we had last month.
How often do you ask others to refer your business? How often do you refer someone else’s business? I put the endless referral method into practice late last year. My goal was to at least refer one freelancer, consultant, or business owner each day. Giving them endless referrals to help grow their business. Think of practicing cold calls. In my new eBook, I speak about cultivating a network that will help you in this area. It’s not about who you know, it’s all about who knows you and will vouch for you. By creating a solid network you can do that.
Tweet About Your Service
Hootsuite, Coschedule, and a couple of other scheduling apps can help you automate your social media; allowing you to broadcast your services. A very popular social media guru stated, he post the same tweets 4 times throughout the day, in order to, hit all of the time zones; thus ensuring he didn’t miss any potential clients. Make sure you are posting about your services at least 4 times a day through the use of scheduling. Make it easy for your audience when do this; direct them to the exact page on your website. That way they don’t have to search around. Also, use Google URL shortener to track which tweets get the most traction.
True networking has gotten really murky, with people caring only if someone can immediately do something for their business. One of the things I note to all of my clients is, to be very strategic with their networking. If you’re a fitness consultant going to a fitness enthusiast networking event, you’re most likely not going to reap the benefits of landing new clientele. You will stretch and meet a new audience in another industry. Great places for you would be health insurance, tech, finance, or networking with like-minded professionals in your field.
Continuing with the fitness consultant example, everyone in a tech networking event is a possible client. Especially if, you curate 3 to 5 different elevator pitches to share with people about your business. Most people in the finance world are very time constrained. However, if you can pitch them on, ways to eat healthy on the go and full workouts in 15 minutes, more will appeal to their importance of time.
I have seen more consultants go this route. Basically, you start an affiliate program for your business. The referrals that sign on with you end up getting kickback payments for referring clients to you. Some people say it has helped bring them a serious amount of leads.
In high school, school counselors always insisted those social clubs would hold serious weight on your college application. I don’t know if that really mattered then or now. Being apart of social organizations can be great for building up your skills as a freelancer; Toastmaster is a good example. You can also think about joining virtual clubs via Facebook. This enables you to showcase your expertise, while giving others the chance to see your skills and hopefully provokes them to refer you to others.
Everyone loves a good deal. Sometimes the quickest way to land a new client is to offer a deal. No, I am not saying offer some huge discount that would drastically effect your paycheck. If you have a future whale of a client who is indecisive about which package to purchase, offering them 10% off to sign right then, for a specific time length contract would be worth it. One thing I do is, give my newsletter subscribers early access and exclusive deals. This rewards them for being a subscriber, while at the same time, entices them.
These 7 best practices on acquiring new clients are very simple to implement. Have you tried using these strategies to land new clients in the past or are they something you will consider using in the future?