Attracting clients is difficult enough but made more difficult in today’s global economic downturn. The usual ways of doing this either need to be ramped up or you will need to find new ways to do this. So, let me share some of my tips for attracting clients to your online business during a difficult economy.
Tips for Attracting Clients
#1 Tip: Networking
Networking 1-on-1, person-to-person, is important right now. It is crucial in good times so imagine how important it is today.
Why/How to Use
Meeting face to face, yes even via Zoom (or other video meeting software) helps us to see one another and read some body language. It also indicates that you are willing to take the time to put into relationships. In the end, most business success comes back to building relationships.
The saying, “It’s all about WHO you know” is true. Who you know can make all the difference in connecting you with others they know who may prove to be a critical part of your success.
#2 Tip: Marketing Wheel
Keep your marketing wheel turning, always, as long as you are in business. Whether business is great or slow you must put time into your marketing machine. If you do not have time to do it (especially if business is good) then you should hire someone to handle parts of it for you.
This is just one example of what someone’s marketing wheel may look like. These steps, SEO Blogging (or producing content), social media, email marketing, networking, and following up on prospective clients represent one way an online business may market itself. Your wheel may have other components mixed in. [Please Note: I did not include the paid marketing channels in this one.]
The reason you should keep your marketing wheel turning is because you never know when you may lose a client or clients. Many have lost clients who have been clients for years but have had to cut back in these economic times. You never know when something may change so it is wise to keep the marketing wheel turning.
#3 Following Up on Former Clients
During tough economic times, it’s even more important to reach out to former clients.
The reason you want to reach out ultimately is to see if they need help with anything. There is also a reason to reach out to former clients if you have changed any part of your business. For example, you may have transitioned from one type of service like providing administrative services to providing digital marketing services.
The fact is, however, that you need to redevelop a relationship with them first. Do not start the conversation with “Do you have any work?”. Simply reach out to connect again and see how and what your former client has been up to and then after connecting again (which could mean a couple of emails, texts, or even a Zoom meeting) then bring up prospective work possibilities.
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#4 Follow Up on Prospective Clients (past calls)
Following up is one of the top reasons I closed many offers to prospective clients in my digital marketing agency.
It is important to follow up because, in the online service business, those prospective clients who reach out to you are already busy. I always tell my clients that these prospective clients usually should have reached out to them at least 6 to 18 months prior. Now they are even busier and it has pushed them to finally schedule that meeting with you and most likely some others in your niche specialty. By following up consistently you are showing initiative, keeping your name in their inbox in front of them, and it indicates that you will be a good communicator (which is highly desired by most clients).
Routine for Follow Up
My suggested routine for follow-up, as long as they are not communicating with you, is…
- The day you meet – send an email thanking them and any comments on the meeting you had with them. If you promised them anything like a proposal or quotes let them know when to expect them to be delivered.
- A week later – if you have not heard back from them and you have done all that you promised to do then send them a follow-up email a week after your meeting.
- A couple of weeks after – if you still have not heard back that does not mean they are not interested but could be very busy. It also does not mean they lack interest in your services. This mistake most online service business owners make. They assume that the prospective client is no longer interested.
- A month – assuming no response still, a month after your last communication you can email them again and let them you will not reach out again and let them know you are available if they need you.
- Month mark – the month mark above is also when you put them on your email list for regular email marketing (make sure you have their agreement whether putting it in the terms they agree to when setting up the appointment or some other verification). So when you send this email (after a month) also let them know you will only be emailing them when you send your regular newsletters out, (as they agreed to when they scheduled the appointment with you). You will still show up in their inbox and they begin to get to know you better as you send them regular emails through your email marketing system.
I’ve had a number of clients tell me later that my follow-up is why they chose to work with me. I was persistent and consistent and showed up in the inbox. Remember, whether they open the email or not your brand or name is coming up in front of them often. They will remember you when they finally decide to move forward.
#5 SEO Blogging
SEO Blogging is another great way to help attract clients. It can help you show up in Google Search more often.
This used to be my number one tip to clients in my digital marketing agency. The reason is really simple. If you think about what your potential client is looking for or researching in Google then you can write articles to help answer those searches.
A Couple of Tips for SEO Blogging
- Chose a title that answers the question your clients are looking for in the search engines. For example, if you know your potential client is going to be looking for ways to grow their audience and you are a digital marketer you will give them tips in ways a digital marketer suggests. So, you may say, social media is key to growing your audience. I would tell you to write an article about that. And the title may say, “How to Grow Your Audience Online”
- Use YoastSEO Plugin. You can use the free version on a WordPress site. This will help you complete the keywords or phrases and the meta description.
- Share what you know. Do not try to write about topics or information you do not know. This is not a research paper like in High School, this is a blog. It is alright to add in personality and your genuine knowledge.
For more tips on SEO Blogging read this article.
#6 Email Marketing
Email marketing is absolutely key – even if means redoing or making your freebie look better – or creating a new one to collect email addresses.
This is still the very best way to your warm leads. Remember they like you and gave you emails already so this is a warm audience. Continue to share yourself with them. This gives you so many opportunities to share your knowledge and tips and help them in real ways so that when they need your services it really is a no-brainer.
#7 -Create new offers
My final tip is not one I use often but, in this economy, I believe it is a smart move.
Try creating smaller packages or programs that your prospective client can afford. I’m not saying to decrease your value or lower your rate. I think you can still charge your rates but package them in a different way to give more options to those who are struggling today.
For example, let’s say you offer social media management. Normally your lowest package is $699. Perhaps you can make a package that is $349 and uses half the hours you usually use but still gives a fair amount of services. Maybe you only post 3 times a week, and less commenting, but still offer reporting. Find ways to repackage to appeal to more of those who need it but cannot pay the higher-priced packages that others were paying a year or two ago. [Please note: This is a made-up example and does not represent true pricing for anyone]
The last things I want to mention are doing workshops and online videos. Finally, I have to tell you that sometimes it is OK to take risks. Take risks in who you reach out t o connect with. Taking a risk means reaching out to that dream client you thought you’d never land. Now is the time to take those risks.
Don’t stop being you! People are attracted to who you are when you are yourself.
Have a wonderful week!
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