So you just started your first business and you need a paying customer. How do you find one? If you have a point of sale, then getting your first few customers is easy, they just have to spot you. However when you are running a consultancy business, how will you get your first customer on board?

I am going to give you some practical advice that will help you get customers. When I started my first web design business, I used the exact same principles to attract clients.

Let Your Network Know that You Are Open for Business

open-for-business-sign
Are you open for business?

How does a shop find its first customer? Simply because people can see that this shop is open. So what you have to do is to let your existing network know that you are taking clients. Have a facebook account? Entitle yourself as the CEO/Consultant or what you like better on the work field.

Are you on linkedin? Then do the same and entitle yourself to this new business of yours. This is a small trick but it simply works. A lot of people and their friends are constantly checking you out and when they see you are offering these services, they may be interested in being your customer.

Post an update to your twitter/facebook profile that you are taking clients. If you have a blog already, then post about this on your blog and let your readers know that you are expecting business.

Sanjida did it cleverly by sharing about her work on facebook & also sharing updates regarding her coaching career. She also went one step further by creating a separate facebook page for her coaching services.

sanjida facebook account

She has close to 2,000 friends on facebook and followed by 844 people. Sanjida has a total reach of 2,844 people in her facebook network alone. She is more likely to get her first coaching clients than someone who hasn’t done it yet.

Create an Online Portfolio

Register a separate web address and setup a portfolio especially for your business. The reason for doing this is to put the main focus on your work. When someone visits your portfolio site, they should be able to concentrate on your work. As a web designer I took screenshots of the websites that I designed and put them together as a slideshow.

my portfolio website

In the beginning when I didn’t have much work to show, I simply put together my blog and other personal projects over there. Then when I got a long list of projects, I simply put together the top 10 or 20 designs on the slideshow.

Creating an online portfolio works wonders. It is online 24/7 and potential clients can see it and share it with their peers and business partners.

But what if you are not a designer? You are a consultant, what you can showcase on your portfolio? You can record a few video clips or podcast sharing some insights about your market. If you had a chance for speaking on a conference, make sure you add the video recordings of that event and embed it on your website. You can upload videos on YouTube and embed it on your portfolio.

Add an about page on your portfolio with your bio and a professional headshot. Create some pages describing the hiring process + add a phone number/email form for people to contact you.

The best way you can do is to put the contact info in the footer so people can see this on every page of your portfolio site. Add testimonials, if you have some.

contact form at the footer

Setting up an online website is easy. You can create it using WordPress and it will cost you no more than $100.

{ If you like to learn how to build a website for your business, then take a look at my WordPress Video Course }

Show That You Know What You Are Doing

And how will you do that?

You can do it simply but writing some blog articles or recording a few videos. When I started my music promotion venture I did videos and wrote blogs on how to promote music. It brought me lot of attention and people were looking up to me as an expert. You can do the same and post articles or videos every week.

So what will you share with your audience?

Start by sharing small tips on how to solve a problem. For an example you are an antique dealer. You can share tips on how to transport these antiques without breaking them. Or you can share how to clean antique items.

double edged sword
A blog is a double edged sword

A blog is a double edged sword. First, you can show that you know about that particular subject topic and second, you are attracting people who are interested in that topic (your potential customers.)

I have covered the technical part of setting up a blog here.

It is clever to build that blog under your portfolio website. Individual articles will be shared on social media and come up when people type them on google => bringing new people to your portfolio site.

{ By the way, if you need help with social media or setting up your website/blog/portfolio –I am open for business. Get in touch with me. }

So there you have it, my best advice for you to get customers. These tips helped me win customers over and over again and it will help you too. Just be positive and wait for the magic to happen. It will feel great when you will have your first paid client.

Also do remember that you are building a business, so be patient and improve something small every day.