Where you find your clients out in the world is a big question.
I held an open door session inside the Sustainable Freelancer FB Group last Friday where I put the webcam on and anyone could pop in to talk about anything they want.
Resulting from that was a conversation around the location of potential clients. Not necessarily any strategy about getting them, but more of where to look for places, online, offline, etc, where they may be.
A watering hole is where all the animals in an ecosystem come together because they need water to survive.
The idea fits perfectly because you want to find places where your clients come together to talk about business with other people in a similar market.
These are events, meetups, conferences, online forums, trade shows, and the list goes on.
You are a developer or designer and live online, so it’s safe to assume that you know your way around the web.
Because of that, you may want to find your clients on the web. You try Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, and even online forum sites. While you may find them here, maybe it’s not THE watering holes best suited for your clients.
When I was working for an agency that focused on the medical industry, the sales team would regularly attend trade shows and conferences and buy booth space at these events.
Sure they ran Google Ads and such, but a great portion of sales and revenue for the business came from these events. There were months of the year where the sales team would attend 10-15 events in one month, all over the country.
The thing is that doctors and the medical industry don’t spend the entire day on the computer and the web. They still don’t.
What they do is attend conferences and events to learn about new technology and studies, to meet up with colleagues and build relationships, and play golf (let’s be honest).
The sales team knew this, the business knew this, which is why they were so invested in putting effort into going to these watering holes and finding their clients.
Understanding the behavior of your client will help you figure out where to find them.
Pay close attention to your existing clients. Just because you found them in one spot, doesn’t mean that’s where they all are.
Follow them, talk with them. Ask them about their weekend and what they did. If they tell you that they can’t make a meeting because they are going to a conference, ask them what conference.
Where you find your clients isn’t about you. It’s about them.
Be curious, ask questions, pay attention. Get into the head of your clients and they’ll lead you to more.
Here are some further resources that you'll want to check out that directly relate to the show.
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