24 October, 2019 by Sibongile Motshoene

Amongst other challenges of starting a new business, which you can handle, is landing that first client.  Now, that can be a daunting exercise for the owner. 

Below are the best strategies to help you land that elusive client:

1.Know your target market

You probably did some research and identified a gap or an opportunity for a certain product or service before starting a business.  You must have spent some time thinking about who are you going to sell to (target market), what problem is your product going to solve (service offering) and what makes your service or product unique (unique value)? 

At first glance, you might think that your product or service is brilliant and everyone is going to buy from you because this is something they cannot live without.  The truth is, not everyone is going to buy from you.  So it is very important to identify a niche market.

2. Get a professional website

Any business needs a website, the industry or the size of the business doesn’t matter.  It is estimated that more than 70% of consumers judge a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design and will not do business with a company that doesn’t own a website.

It is also very important to present your site professionally and optimize it for human search and search engines. A well build website establishes business credibility, serves as a 24/7 sales agent for your business, generates leads for your business amongst other benefits.


3. Create social media accounts

Complete full details about your business and add a professional profile picture.  Be sure to include a link to your website and a call to action or leave details about how potential clients can reach you.

Now you need a series of meaningful social media posts that will attract attention from your followers.  Start asking people to like or follow your page.  Like or follow other businesses on Facebook and Instagram who fit your target market and join Facebook groups.  I got my first client from a Facebook group, so try it.


4. Start blogging

Blogging is an amazing way to build relationships and become an expert in your industry.  Create content that your ideal client would want to read, a topic that they will benefit from.  For instance, if your ideal client is a website designer, share tips on how to use WordPress to build professional websites; if your ideal client is a hairstylist, share tips on how to get the most flattering hairstyles, etc.


5. Build an active social media presence

I know this can be challenging.  This is why if you don’t have your own team to handle this, or you just don’t have time to do it yourself, hire an expert.  Social media builds trust and expands your reach. 

Sharing your work on social media platforms in a normal human way – not as a sales person – could win you good business.  For instance, if you are a photographer and your recent client was getting married, share their wedding pictures and tag the client.  This can create hype on social media and gain you clients.

6. Grow your email list

Building an email list is very important, it allows you to stay in touch with your subscribers in a way that no other channel can.  It is true that your clients are most probably on social media, but what if they don’t always have time to go on social media or open your website?  That means they won’t see your best offers and promotions.  We know for sure that they will check their emails; this is a very important part of their daily routine.  This way, you can stay in touch with all your clients and potential clients whether they are online or not.

7. Pump up your SEO

SEO is a guaranteed and cost effective way to market your business online.  A well pumped up SEO will drive traffic to your website, at no cost.  Make sure to identify keywords that are specific to your business, optimize your website and create backlinks.

8. Host a webinar

This is an incredible way to grab new clients’ attention.  Use it to teach or share advice about anything related to your business.  This will give you a chance to connect with your audience and answer their questions. 


9. Write an eBook

Write an eBook that can help solve a challenge faced by businesses or create value for your prospective client. Marketer? Write an eBook on how to decrease shopping cart abandonment. Writer? Write about how compelling copy can help a business make more money. Designer? Write about how user onboarding is key to getting customers to use, and later pay for your product.

Write the eBook and give it away for free or sell it on your website. If you give it away for free, be sure to capture emails in exchange for the book, that way you can build a list of prospective clients to market to.

10. Guest blog

Research blogs that your prospective clients read and ask to guest post on them. Make sure that you write about a topic that fits within the blog, but also something that readers will get tons of value out of.

Guest blogging is great because you can share your expertise and grow your brand by tapping into someone else’s audience. Alltop is a good place to find popular blogs in your industry.

11. Answer questions on Quora

Open an account, fill up your profile and link to your website.  Find questions on Quora in your industry, and write thoughtful answers.  Be sure to not just spam your website around Quora.

Instead, build up relationships with people and be helpful. Millions of people search for answers on Quora (and most questions are heavily indexed in Google) which brings traffic and visibility to your replies.

You can start this strategy by answering one question a day, or a few per week. You’ll be amazed at the responses and relationships you’ll build up in the community.


12. Spread the word to family, friends and former employers and colleagues

This is a great way of getting referrals.  Make sure that these people know exactly what you do.  A lot of businesses rely on referrals to sustain their business; they network and ensure that people know what they do.  Remember these are the people who know your strength and the quality of work you can produce and therefore very likely to refer you to ideal clients


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