First of all, congratulations on becoming an entrepreneur! You have, hopefully, embarked on a journey that will be immensely exhilarating and fulfilling to you. Now comes the hard part of getting the first client for your business. Actually, it’s not that difficult if you follow a few time-tested tips. It may seem a bit difficult because you probably don’t have a website, a blog or fancy business cards, but there are people who have struck million-dollar deals while operating with offices the size of a fridge. Such entrepreneurs know a trick or two about how to land your first client, and you too can put these ideas into practice.
Be prepared and have an open mind
Attracting the first clients to your new startup will require some considerable preparation. You need to have an open mind because you are the foremost as well as the biggest brand ambassador for your company. Polish your speaking and writing skills as you will be communicating with lots of potential customers. Most people you meet will not tell you that your grammar is underwhelming, and they will not want to be associated with a person does not look the part.
Don’t be afraid to work for free initially
Look for potential high-value clients who could open the door for you through associations and recommendations. Now offer to work for them for free or very low rates, and then make sure you do an awesome job. Take that opportunity to show them how your startup is amazing and how it adds value to their company. Most importantly, make sure that you completely impress them. A happy client will recommend you to their associates which translates into more high-value clients for you. If you keep upholding excellence and professionalism, your company will grow tremendously.
Get involved in other activities
I know of friends who landed their first clients at the poker table or over a round of golf, and this happens because most people will do business with those that they trust. There are many deals that are made at soccer games or informal church meetings. The idea is to project the image of a person who is outgoing and loves his community. You will be surprised at how easily opportunities will come knocking at your door. Start getting involved in things happening around you, not for your own self-serving interests, but simply to be a valuable member. Things will start falling into place.
Ask, and you will receive
The reverse is also true. If you need clients, you have to request for referrals. You will have to ask many people, but persistence is what bears fruits. I know it’s not an easy thing to do especially if you are fresh out of school and looking to start a company. But if you don’t, nothing will happen.
One way to do it is to let as many people as possible know that you exist. Let them know about your startup and what it does. Getting the word out there is not particularly hard. Attend professional functions for professionals in your business niche and give out your business cards to a few people as you network. The more you tell others about yourself, the greater the chance of you getting your first referral.
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