How do you ensure you have enough clients?
In other words, how do you ensure you have a sustainable business?
And by the way, if you’re not a business owner, in sales or another role where you’re looking for, “clients,” substitute the word, “potential employers,” (for those looking for a first or new job) “team” (for leaders) or, “contacts” (for all of us…business is a contact sport…you need to keep building and deepening your relationships!)
So, getting clients.
I’ll admit. I’ve worried about this. It’s kept me up at night, particularly in my first year of business, the same way I know it does with many of my colleagues and clients. However, here’s the thing: that is a question from a scarcity mentality. That there are only so many clients, there may not be enough to go around, and you have to fight to get your piece of the pie.
How pumped are you thinking of it like that? Could there be a different, more powerful question?
Tip #1: Live in Abundance versus Scarcity
Look at professions that have just exploded. My field of coaching and speaking, for example, were pretty much non-existent 40 years ago. There weren’t huge conferences where they paid decent money to have great speakers share their expertise in an informative and entertaining way. There weren’t speaking associations or speaking bureaus. As for coaching, CEOs weren’t building into their employment contracts the need to have the support of an executive coach. People didn’t consider second careers in coaching. We didn’t even have the field of positive psychology to ground the field in. However, the work has grown, the professions have blossomed, and the client base has ballooned.
Why? There’s great value that coaches and speakers provide every day and in everyday life, in the full range of professional and personal realms. Everyone could benefit from insights of a speaker and the partnership of a coach. That’s the abundance mentality. That we can build value and build as a profession because there are more than enough clients out there, as opposed to scrambling to figure out how we’re going to get a limited slice of the pie.
This thinking need not be limited to these professions; what might happen if, in your organization or profession, you believed there already was enough clients who needed your services, products and IP (intellectual property)? How might this change what you focus on and how you do your work? How might this impact your working relationships and how you treat your clients?
And there’s more on abundance mentality (both in this VLOG and on my ‘YouTube’ channel); this is just the tip of the juicy iceberg of abundance thinking!
Tip #2: Have a Unique Brand
What is the unique value you offer the world? What do only you (or your team or company) offer that can’t be replicated? What do you do better than anyone else in the world?
You have to know what your unique brand is. Not sure? Ask those who are already your clients. Your brand is defined by how others see you. Clients have many choices, even if they are limited. If they buy from you, they’ll have the answers as to why you. All you have to do is listen and then implement it more.
If you’re in the right place and offering unique value then you don’t have to worry, “How am I going to find enough clients?” Keep doing valuable work. It’s what you’re designed to do. If you don’t have any clients or they cannot tell you why you are unique then dig into your brand. Get brave and committed to doing what you were most meant to do.
Tip #3: Market Yourself (Your Company/Your Products)
At risk of stating the obvious, marketing is essential. I mention it because so many of us expect that either good work should speak for itself or we don’t believe we should “toot our own horns.” Well, who is going to do it for you?
So, let’s say you know you are doing what you’re designed to do. Yes, you likely have raving fans that will tell others (testimonials on your website, recommendations on LinkedIn, word-of-mouth accolades). Are you just waiting for folks to offer to rave about you though? Everyone’s busy. Maybe they would if you asked them. Why not ask?
You also need to tell the world what you’re doing (what’s in development, what you’ve accomplished, what you do well every day). And tell them why you do what you do. Share it through stories so it’s authentic and memorable.
Your social media profile is a way of continually telling the world about the value you offer. And I’m not saying, “sell, sell, sell,” I’m saying share who you are personally and professionally in a continuous way. Let people get to know you and like you. People are more likely to do business with you when they feel they know you and like you. And when I say, “you,” this applies to businesses as well as your team.
When you show the world what you are all about on an ongoing basis, people will see it and respond. People will notice, and want to be part of that world.
Tip #4: Don’t “Sell,” Add Value
Speaking of, “selling,” I’m not referring to it the way most people think of, “selling,” – that it’s a bad thing. Think of it as, “adding value.” How do you add value to your clients? What part of that value do your clients pay for? What part do they not? What’s the harm of having a range of ways clients can work with you; various revenue streams in your business? This makes it easier for each client to find the right fit for them; right budget, right timing, right touchpoint, right product. When you know you add value, not only does it become less about, “selling,” your business also becomes a heck of a lot more sustainable long-term.
If questions such as, “How am I going to find clients? How am I going to make enough money? How am I going to build my business?” keep you up at night, go back to the question, “What is my way in which I can add value in the world?” Your clients will come, if, and when, they need that value.
What other tips do you have to get and keep amazing clients? This is just the tip of the iceberg!