A few posts back, I mentioned a handful of ideas that you can use to ensure you are able to line up work for the future. I didn’t mention anything about the ways that you can find new business offline, in your local community.
Here are a few ways to find new customers:
- Pick an area – Choose an area of your town that you want to work within. It might be a suburb, a neighbourhood, or a district, but take a look at the businesses in that area and choose your next customer. Start with the businesses that you frequent or have more knowledge about. Not only can you benefit from word of mouth within this community, but you can visit all of your clients with minimal driving. Become the big fish in the little pool for now; look at expanding later.
- Provide value – Once you’ve selected a new business, find a way to demonstrate how your services will help them. You are a business owner a well, so don’t be intimidated by someone else. If you’re a writer, show how you can provide articles or blog posts that can increase their SEO results. If you’re a web designer, review their webpage with them, and show them how you can make it better. If you’re a biz consultant, show them how to save money, and how to spend wisely. Communicate how what you do will increase their bottom line without increasing the time they need to spend working at it. Ideally, show them how you can save them time and money.
- Be persistent – Note – this doesn’t mean “be irritating.” I can guarantee you will not get the new business on your first visit, but if you do – fantastic! This doesn’t mean the business owner doesn’t like what you are doing, or doesn’t think it’s important. It usually means they are busy. And you want to have business owners who are busy. Show that you are interested in their business by watching for events that might be useful for them. Do you have another client that might benefit from meeting this new prospect? If your prospect sees that you are actively looking for new ways to promote your existing or previous clients, chances are they are going to think about your business in a positive light. Keep in touch with this prospect until they become a client, or until they tell you to go away. Be persistent, not pushy.
There are many ways for your to find new business wherever you are. Pretty much any business is going to be on the lookout for good talent, and when you show them that their business is your priority, you’ll be that much further ahead of the folks that are only thinking of their own business.
To paraphrase Dennis Miller – Nothing is more interesting than MY business, and nothing is less interesting than YOUR business. Start talking about their business, and you’ll probably end up talking about your business.
- Jason Finnerty
Still a bit new to the world of freelancing – but loving the freedom, flexibility, and earning potential that can be found here. Follow me on the twitter, @brandscaping – or check out my blog at http://brandscaping.ca. Love to chat – so if you have a question – fire away!