Season 1, Episode 6 – How to get clients

Are you struggling to get clients for your business?

Are you not sure of the best method of reaching them?

When you set up in business you've usually got a brilliant skillset for that business. However you are now the marketing department, the invoicing department and everything in-between.

These may involve skillsets you haven't yet built and it can be difficult to know where to start. A website presence alone won't get you clients in the early days. Neither will having Social Media feeds but no websites.

Knowing where to start is the first step and in this episode I walk you through the different options available to you to get clients, build your brand, and network your way to small business success.

Are you ready to start getting new clients? 

Episode Transcript

We’re half way through season 1 and I’m so excited to have you here!

I’m Holly Christie, your host. I’m a website designer, mentor and business strategist. I have 2 website and mentoring companies; This Demanding Life - to help small businesses get seen online and Simply Sites, for budding businesses wanting a stellar website.

This week we’re looking at how to get clients in those early days of setting up you new business. The different options available, and the order I’d recommend you complete them in. Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.

Once you’ve been through the smaller details of setting up your business, as in, you’ve decided you’re definitely going to do this, you’ve chosen a business name. You’ve worked out what you’re offerings are, you’re primed and ready to get clients and…. there’s no one there… Yet.

Getting clients is one of the most challenging roles you’ll have as an entrepreneur. You’ll be trained or training in the job and services you’re providing, but you won’t necessarily be trained in how to market that service to customers.

Clients don’t always come from the same one source, and if you’re a new business there aren’t a lot of shortcuts such as throwing money at Meta ads. If you want people to engage with your adverts, you’ll first need to have content and a community. Building that community takes time, focus and energy.

This message may feel a bit bleak, but don’t worry. There is absolutely hope out there and I promise you, you’re ready and primed to join the world as an entrepreneur. So let’s look at the different ways that you can get clients:

Set up your website using professionals.

When we first start out, it can be tempting to want to test the water and not really make an investment in the business until it’s making a return. This is absolutely the worst mindset you can have as a small business owner. When you set out you really have to back yourself. No one else is going to in those early days and it’s by backing yourself and having confidence in yourself that you’ll be able to get ahead and inspire others’ to have confidence in you.

Back to your website. Business websites are so much more than just putting some copy and images on the page. There are behind-the-scenes techniques that you just won’t know about if you’re not a website designer. For example, the subtle differences in what will make a page rank on Google and what will stop Google from seeing your website. Pages need to be labelled properly, your content needs to be spaced a certain amount from each element, your titles must be in a sequential order according to an SEO process which are different to how you’d format them in a document. You need to consider your navigation and your user journey and you just won’t know how to make this optimal for search engines if you’re not a designer.

Learning the content management systems for building a website can also take up to hundreds of hours and therefore it’s not a good use of your time. As my lovely guest of Episode 4, Niraj Kapur says ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’. In short, if you’re not a website designer, you won’t know what you’re doing wrong.

Branding

When you’re creating a new business you’ll need a brand. Again, this is not something I would recommend trying to do yourself. Trust me when I say that creating a brand in Canva will not be the solution. One of the reasons being that Canva logos and elements can’t be trademarked or licensed and it means that your competitors could also have a very similar brand. They could also sue you if they have trademarked their brand and you have unwittingly created a similar version of it in Canva.

Branding specialists will also create a brand kit for you. This kit will inform all of your visual on-page marketing. It can be used across websites, social media channels and print marketing. Your brand kit will consist of your logo and sub marks or inversions of colours. It will also contain your different front files as well as guidelines on how and where to use them. Your colour palette and how to use your colours effectively to give your brand authority. Depending on your investment, your brand kit may also include social media templates, images and banners. It’s really up to you how much you want to invest in your brand. Our Simply Sites brand shop starts from as little as £97 for a logo and brand guidelines.

Social Media

Once you have your website and your branding sorted, it’s time to look at the social media platforms.

Have a good think about where your clients are hanging out. For example, if you’re a coach or a service provider, you may find that LinkedIn is the right place for you. However, if you have a product that you’re looking to get many eyes on, and market creatively, Instagram and TikTok, may be your platforms of choice.

Once you’ve chosen the channels that are right for you, you then need to look at creating content that’s going to be useful to your audience and that they’ll engage with.

It can be tempting to post any old thing to get a lot of likes and hits, but likes and hits don’t pay the bills, so you’ll need to craft your content to your business. That’s not to say you can’t chuck the odd meme or personal post on there, but 90% of your posts should be about your customers’ pain points, their blind spots and how you can absolutely help them to achieve what they’re looking for.

Set up a mailing list.

Mailing lists are the holy grail of marketing because the people who have signed up to them have done so, wanting to hear from you. They’re literally asking for you to send them more information. Given that it can take up to 27 touch points (and sometimes more) for people to decide to work with you, having them on your mailing list and sending a regular, preferably weekly, email, is a great way of nailing those touch points.

In the early days you may not have many people on your mailing list. Send the emails anyway. It will help you to develop your tone of voice, you’ll learn how to write content people engage with, and it helps set a weekly pattern for both you, and your clients.

People can only sign up to your mailing list if they know about it. So make sure you’re shouting about it, across Social Media, at least twice a week; that you make it easy for people to find the link to sign up (personally, I like to mix it up in both, stories and grid posts), and have a subscribe form or button on your website.

Run a challenge.

These are often done on Facebook as the group settings make it perfect for your challengees to interact, but you can look at other platforms to run them on, too. Challenges are usually run over 5 days. They tackle an area which is a bit of a blind spot for your clients - for example, I run a website challenge twice a year to help people to plan a website build or see how they can improve an existing website.

Challenges are a brilliant way of helping people get an idea of what it would be like to work with you, as well as solving a pain point for them. You’ll also be able to get them onto your mailing list through the challenge and then you can keep in touch with them afterwards.

Having run a lot of challenges over the years, my advice is to keep each day’s task short and uncomplicated. My challenges are run over 5 days, it takes less than 3 minutes to watch the video of what the task will be and less than 20 minutes for my challengees, to complete it. The feedback is always that people love that they learn something quickly and build on that learning each day. These people also often convert into customers.

Host a workshop.

This is different to running a challenge as it tends to be live, over the course of an hour or less (I like to make them about 45 minutes so people can learn what they need, ask some questions, then get on with their day). Workshops are a great way to share your expertise, position yourself as an industry authority and give people a glimpse into what working with you may be like. A workshop should always offer a lot of value to your potential customers and you may like to offer them the recording of the session once it’s over.

Make sure you focus on just one topic for the workshop, don’t try to give too much information on too many different subjects or you’ll leave your audience feeling overwhelmed and confused.

Hosting a workshop can feel a little daunting as you need people to be online, live at the time you’re presenting. It can feel like a popularity contest but I encourage you to push on through. The more you do them, the more practice you’ll get and over time, more people will attend. It’s ok to run a workshop with just 4 or 5 people on it. They’ll get lots of 1:1 time with you during the question and answer sessions and you’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

As always, people can only find out about these workshops if you advertise them so make sure you advertise them regularly in the lead up to them and don’t run them too often, or people will get complacent. If in doubt, I recommend you run them no more than once every quarter.

Create a podcast.

Podcasts are becoming more and more popular these days, and you’re listening to right now! They are a brilliant way of getting your content across to your ideal clients. They can take quite a lot of work to set up, but once you’re there it’s relatively easy to record your content and publish it to those who would like to listen. A podcast is a great way of showing people that you are an authority in your industry. It’s brilliant for breaking down industry terms and letting people experience what it could be like to engage your services for their business.

Network

Whether you like networking in person or are more of an online guru - networking will be one of the main things that gets you ahead. If you’re not already on LinkedIn, join it and start connecting with people. Also check out local in-person networking groups. You can also network on less formal entrepreneur and small business groups on Facebook and Instagram.

Let’s wrap up

Getting clients when you’re a new business can be hard. But with a little support it can become a really enjoyable part of your business. I love communicating with people on LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram and it always makes me happy when someone hits my ‘book a call’ button. Whether we end up working together or not, it’s great to meet new people and get to know their businesses.

The different ways of getting clients can feel exhaustive in the early days so think about building up step by step. Start with your brand and website then networking and social media. Once you have an audience you can look at workshops and challenges.

Here’s a reminder of all the different ways we can look at getting clients, we covered:

  • Having your website built by a professional
  • Creating a strong brand, aligned with you and your ideal client.
  • Using Social Media platforms
  • Setting up a mailing list
  • Running a challenge
  • Hosting a workshop
  • Creating a podcast
  • And good old fashioned, networking.

If you’re just starting out with your network, feel free to add me in. You can find me on LinkedIn at: hollycchristie and on Facebook and Instagram as This Demanding Life.

That’s all for today, thank you so much for listening. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show and learned that you’re not alone when starting out in your small business journey. Remember that everyone starts somewhere and it’s taking those first steps that count!

If you haven’t already, please would you leave a rating and review of the show, from wherever you get your podcasts. It helps the podcast platforms in recommending it to more people and I’d love to help as many people as possible, to access this free resource.

That’s all for today, see you next week!

Really Refreshing

Looking forward to the next episode, I’m hooked already. Really easy to listen to and definitely strikes a chord with me. 

MrsH68

Just listened to your first podcast episode and it’s absolutely brilliant! Good work Holly!

Mike Cottam

It’s a great podcast Holly, you’ve covered some really useful topics and had fantastic guests. It’s like your topics were written with me in mind…

Natalie Trembecki

Feeling inspired

Would definitely recommend this podcast. Aimed at those small business owners, but for someone who has recently started a new role in my company, this definitely motivated me on this cold wet Monday morning to not be afraid of being vulnerable in the workplace and putting myself out there!

Can’t wait for the next episode

izagoo9067

Brilliant first episode!!

The first episode of “Your Business, Your Way” is a refreshing take on the entrepreneurial journey I needed to hear this morning . I felt reassured hearing Holly emphasise a crucial point: you don’t need to know everything to get started. This approach is a game-changer, especially for those new to the business world, breaking down the barriers of perfection and complete readiness that often hold us back.

What I loved about this first episode of the podcast is its blend of practical advice with an undercurrent of motivation. It reassured me that starting with what I know and learning as I go is not just okay, but a smart way to grow. The podcast feels like a supportive friend, nudging you to take those first steps while keeping the mood light and approachable.

For anyone at the crossroads of starting or scaling a business, this podcast could be the push you need. It’s a promising mix of insights, stories, and encouragement. I’m eager for the next episodes and recommend it to anyone looking to embark on a business venture in a way that’s true to them. It’s an exciting start, and I’m genuinely looking forward to where this podcast will take its listeners next.

wmbaggs

Small Business Growth

I love listening to each new episode of Holly’s podcast. It feels like she has read my mind and understands the challenges I find myself up against when running my business. Her advice and insights are fantastic and I’m looking forward to hearing her future episodes. This is a great resource for any small business owner trying to establish a successful business in the online (and/or offline) world.

Fay Wallis

Small Business Growth

I’m so excited to have your podcast alongside me as I grow my business. Looking forward to taking action on your steps and learn from someone who knows what they are talking about. Thanks Holly – you’re a star!

LisaJaneYork