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August 24, 2022 Category: Business (7 minutes read)

Five Tips to Land Your Company's First Client

Know Thy Clients

Identifying your target audience isn’t just for marketers or businesses. It’s also an important process for freelancers. The best part? You should already have an idea of clients that you want to work with without conducting any sort of market research. Knowing who you want will make it easier to land new clients. For example, if you’re a photographer specializing in weddings, then you already know your target audience.

Instead of casting too wide of a net, narrow down your potential clients and build a profile on them so that you’re aware of their demographics, hobbies, income, and where they hang out online. With that knowledge, you can begin creating content and offers specifically for them.

Always Be Prepared

This should be an ongoing process that freelancers need to continually work on since it involves several steps.

For starters, when I say that you need to be prepared, I’m talking about getting the basics out of the way. Have a website. Build an online portfolio. Be active on social media. Get business cards made. Practice your elevator pitch. You never know who’s searching for you online, or who you’ll run into at a mixer, family party, or conference. You need to have some evidence that you’re a left freelancer who can provide a service.

Another part of being prepared is knowing what the competition is up to. This includes everything from how much they’re charging for their services, how clients have discovered them, and how you can differentiate yourself from them. That doesn’t mean that you have to be enemies, your fellow freelancers could become an assistant for you, which I’ll discuss later. This means that you can share and trade ideas, advice, or even potential client leads.

Finally, revisit the profiles of your potential clients. You should have already done your homework and found out what makes them tick. How can you be an assistant? When you do have a chance to talk business with a client, you should be able to answer those questions without hesitation.

Go into the sale informed

There is possibly nothing worse than trying to sell your products or services to someone and not being properly prepared. You should remember that you are trying to make a sale, so your main goal is to convince a potential buyer that the product or service you are offering is worth buying. Learn as much as possible about your offer and the needs of your customers. 

Solve your customers’ problems on the first calls

Improve your first call resolution by ensuring your customers get what they want the first time they reach out to you. Creating a good first experience will leave a good impression and contribute to positive brand recall. Adopt a friendly approach to your customers’ needs and make them feel like you are there to help them. Be nice, regularly inform them about the progress of their inquiries, assure them that your full attention is being dedicated to their cases, and listen to everything they say. Happy customers mean a happy company!

Provide self-service options

Times are changing and so are customer expectations. In 2019, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning allowed for the automation of 25% of all customer service interactions. It is expected that this number will grow by another 15% by 2023. Another report proves that a whopping 73% of customers want to solve issues completely on their own with the help of self-service tools and applications. The most commonly preferred channels for support are a company’s website, as well as IVR and social media profiles.

Analyze your current efforts 

According to Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “too much knowledge and analysis can be paralysis”. Whilst we agree with this statement, we think that no analysis can be even worse, especially for a salesperson. Find your golden mean and dedicate your time to analyzing your past performance. Use solutions like net promoter scores (customer loyalty and satisfaction measurements) and in-app data to determine whether your customers are happy with the experience you provide. Being aware of the mistakes you make, as well as the strengths that make you a successful salesperson, will let you find out what is and what is not working in your company.

Connect customers with the right agents

We live in an era when time is very precious and no one likes wasting it on things that will eventually turn out to be useless. This is why you should master your company’s ability to quickly and effectively route your calls to the right people within your company. 

In terms of call centers, a great tool providing is the aforementioned IVR technology, allowing for call routing and delivering quick and relevant customer service. IVR is proven to reduce call duration by 40%, which gives you more time to serve more customers and, hopefully, make larger profits. It is also great for customers as they do not waste their time waiting in line for an agent who will not be able to help. Do look into this feature if you feel like it might improve your approach to customers.

Give yourself some runway

Many promising companies fail because they don’t have the resources to last long enough to get things going. How long can you last without any clients or income? The more cash you have in the bank, the lower your risk will be and the higher your chances of success. I recommend starting with 6 to 12 months of operating expenses on hand.

Talk to everyone you know

Sending an email out to everyone you know announcing your new business is all fine and good but talking one on one to the few individuals who can truly help you is better. When you approach people don’t ask them for their business. Instead, ask them for advice on how to get their business or the business of those they can refer you to.

Get involved in your community

People generally do business with people they like and trust. Deals get done at kids' soccer games, through religious affiliations, or via relationships formed in volunteer organizations. Of course, you don’t want to be the guy everyone knows as being involved in the community for his self-serving ends. Focus on being a good member of the community first, and business opportunities will naturally come to you without needing to be forced.

Get involved in the business community
 When I first arrived in Hong Kong I went to every business event I could find. I identified those who were doing the most to help Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial scene grow and then I offered to help wherever I could. I have received quite a bit in return.

Collaborate with your competitors

If you view every competitor as an enemy or a rival to be defeated, you’ll miss out on some of your greatest opportunities. One of the first things I did upon moving to Hong Kong was to identify competitors and reach out to them. More than half of them told me upon our first meeting that they frequently had projects they were too busy to handle and asked if I’d be interested in taking their surplus business. Last week I met with a competitor. As a result, we are organizing a series of training and education events for executives to learn more about online marketing. Together we will be able to have greater reach than either of us could get working separately.

Get Online

Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn offer excellent opportunities to connect with the various communities that may be interested in your services. But social media can also suck up a lot of your time, so use it wisely. I start online conversations by posting on my blog about entrepreneurship and marketing, quoting experts who will share the content, and then sharing the content via social media.

Optimize your website

I tell my firm’s clients all the time that it’s going to take months of SEO before they start getting sales or leads from their website. That’s generally the way it works, but sometimes it can happen quite a bit faster. We started getting leads from the Hong Kong version of our website within a few weeks of launching it.