How to Get (and Keep) Clients

June 9th, 2014 by Jason Hartman | 2 Comments »

Yellow post it notes on the corkboardIf you’ve recently embarked on a jet setting business adventure, we’d like to congratulate you! You’ve just begun on one of the most exciting journeys a person can undertake. The great thing about running your own business (aside from being your own boss) is the ability to potentially work from anywhere.

Still, no matter the business, you’re going to need customers. And this can be tricky. Luckily, Jason Hartman has lots of experience in management, travel, and working abroad. To help you along the way, we’ve prepared a guide to finding and keeping clients.

Getting Them

The first thing you’ll need to do is locate your clients. This doesn’t mean identifying their home address—instead, focus on narrowing down who it is you’re targeting. Who is your client, where do they look for solutions to their problems, how can you address the problem?

Figure out how you can make a match between your customer and your service? If they’re reading a lot of magazines, that might be your opportunity. If they’re reading the church bulletin, perhaps that’s your medium.

Look for specific leads in your specific target market and find out where they’re looking. Targeting your approach so specifically will ensure that your first clients are the kind of lasting customers you want. If you’ve got a product for moms with children between the ages of one and two, look for blogs that focus on this age group. Look for playgroups for this age. Look at internet message boards. Look at stores that cater to them. Talk to people, eavesdrop, enter their minds.

Keeping Them

The key to retaining clients is in communicating with them. This will vary depending on your audience, but email is typically a good place to start. When you’re sending an email pitch (or any email, for that matter) remember that clarity is key.

Many emails are long and aimless. Busy people have a hard time engaging for more than a few paragraphs, which should be well organized and follow the inverted pyramid structure—most important information at the top. A good email should clearly state the outcome you desire and what you want from the client.

The Most Important Thing

The thing you need to remember about your first or first few clients is that, at this point, it isn’t about the money. It’s about the feedback, the positive reviews, and the promotion. Use them to learn from your mistakes and to evaluate your approach. Build relationships with them early and maintain them for the entire life of your business.

Try out different pricing models, decide if you need to hire employees either locally or remotely, and decide how it is you’ll structure your service.

It might take a while to build your business into a profitable one, but it all starts with these first few clients.

(photo credit: MyTudut via photopin cc)

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