Some clients and people in my network have asked me how I find new clients, so I though I would share it in a blog post. In order to understand the ways I find clients, it is important to understand my target market: I am primarily looking for business service companies in the $1 million to $10 million revenue range who want to use marketing to grow their business. They are frequently in high-tech industries. 1) Referrals As with most service providers, a referral is the best way to get a new client. However, it is not a good idea to just wait for a referral. To encourage referrals, I stay in close contact with my best referrers and remind them who my ideal client is. In addition, I use my newsletter (discussed below) to stay in contact with my network and remind them of what I do. 2) Targeted Networking In a past life, I thought that any networking was good networking. However, it is more important to find the networking that is most likely to deliver a client. That is why I now describe it as targeted networking. It has to have a high likelihood of delivering referrals and fit with how I do my best networking. Personally, I am not good at networking at large events where the goal is to meet a lot of people. For me, I do best when networking involves getting to know a small number of other business people over time. So, those are the groups I focus on. 3) Developing Partnerships One good partnership can be worth more than a whole network of people. Currently, I have three partners who I work with. Two are web site developers who I help when they have clients who are looking to drive more potential customers to their web sites. Another partner focuses on improving sales processes. I partner with him to help companies figure out their marketing in order to get their sales processes in order. What I find most valuable about partnerships is that through partnering, you add more value to a client’s business than you could do alone. 4) Speaking & Teaching This is one area I am looking to expand this year. Currently, I teach a Pay-per-Click Advertising class at UCSD Extension and occasionally put on workshops. In addition, I am always on the lookout for speaking opportunities, such as networking events, chambers of commerce, or as a guest lecturer for a class. These types of opportunities help to position me as an expert. Potential clients do not view what I offer as a commodity. Instead, I get an opportunity for a consultative sell when they do decide to contact me. 5) Newsletter Finally, I use a newsletter to stay in contact with my network and provide them with valuable information. It allows me to demonstrate my expertise and help my network learn more about marketing. And, I have always found that an educated client is the best type of client. Ironically, I do not use pay-per-click advertising (one of my specialties) to get new clients, because the competition is fierce with firms that are larger and have much deeper pockets in this space. It is always best to play in an arena where you can win. Hopefully, you have found this informative. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to discuss what types of marketing would be appropriate for your business.
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