Finding Clients Lesson #1: Targeted Referrals

11 Lessons on How to find clients

If you are like most service business owners I know, then referrals is where you get most of your work from. Yet you can’t figure out how to make those more predictable.

Today I’m going to share with you a process that I’ve developed and used based on business practices that have been in the wild for decades, if not longer.

Whether you are just starting out or been in business for a little while, you have a network.

A network of trusted colleagues, friends, family, and individuals who you look to for advice.

You also have a network online if you are on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, etc.

Why is it that you hear time and time again, to attend chamber of commerce meetings or local business events? It’s because it’s networking. Though in those meetings it’s often hard to really get what you do and who your serve out there in an effective way. Most people are there to hand their own business cards out.

But those networking events have worked for a long time helping local businesses connect and find new business.

By taking that concept and turning it into something you can do for the 21st century, I present you with targeted referrals.

I want you to reach out to your network. Reach out to folks who do similar work as you, who are your trusted colleagues and friends.

Also, reach out to those people who you look up to as well.

Create a list of people.

Don’t confuse this. This is a relationship building exercise.

Once you have the list, grab 5-10 people from that list.

What I encourage you to do is to reach out to them asking them about their weekend. Ask how their latest project went. Congratulate them on a job well done that you noticed them doing online.

This can either be done via phone, text message, even your social media platform of choice.

Create engagement with no expectation of anything else.

When they respond, continue that conversation and see where it takes you both. There will a natural point of the conversation where they will ask you what you are up to.

This is where you want to share exactly what you are doing.

Share with them a couple of sentences about a successful project or client problem you solved this week that you are excited about.

Don’t bore them, keep it short. Then follow up with your positioning statement of who you help and the problem that you solve for them.

So this could sound like “This week I was able to help a client of mine land 10 new customers under their new pricing, which was double the number and twice the price than what they had last week. I love helping online business build better relationships with their customers through email marketing.”

Again, expect nothing from this conversation. You are building the relationship, but more importantly, you are creating a circle of trust, a tribe if you will, of folks who truly understand who you help and the problem that you solve for them.

On the flipside, you should also be mindful of what they are doing, being curious about what they do and problems they solve for their customers.

Building a relationship that will continue to grow, but also when they encounter someone with a problem that you solve, they will think of you.

I’ve done a form of this for building my email list as well as with trusted colleagues and folks I look up to so that I stay top of mind when they encounter people who can become a client of mine.

It doesn’t take long to do, but it’s something that if you do it regularly, and keep track of your connections, you’ll build a nice consistent flow of referrals into your business.


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