How do I get my first clients when I’m just starting out?

At its core business is very simple: Create and sell the solution to a problem. How do you get your first clients when you’re just starting out? Figure out who has the problem you have the solution to.

To make things a little more interesting, the people who will become your clients must also:

1. Want the problem to go away

2. Know, like, and trust you

3. Agree with your approach to solving their problem

4. Value your solution MORE than the price you charge

5. Be able to afford your solution

Let’s dig a little deeper into the “how” of each of the things I listed above

1. How do you find clients that “want the problem to go away”?

  • You have to start by taking an educated guess, and then actually talk to them! You can create a survey, get them on the phone, send them a text or a tweet, it doesn’t matter how you communicate with them, but you need to get a true understanding of their problem. Once you’ve gathered data, you should refine your guess, and ask some more until you come to a compelling conclusion that you understand who you are targeting.

2. How do you get clients to “know, like, and trust you”?

  • Know: You have to get in front of them, whether it’s online or offline, and be visible.
  • Like: There’s a great book called The Likeability Factor by Tim Sanders that really breaks this down, but in a nutshell, the book states that you need to be friendly, relevant, show empathy, and be real.
  • Trust: Be real and reliable. Do what you say, say what you do. Be true to yourself, others, and don’t be fake.

3. How do you get clients to “agree with your approach to solving their problem”?

  • Educate them about your approach. Let them get a taste of the experience of working with you. Why do you think people can test drive cars, or grocery stores give out free samples?

4. How do you find clients that “value your solution MORE than the price you charge”?

  • Spell out the result and the transformation they are going to have. You need to show them that the exchange of money is going to improve their life in some way.

5. How do you find clients that can “afford your solution”?

  • Test it out by offering them your solution. You’ll never know unless you ask for the sale. If they say no, find out why by asking them.

Now, step one is crucial because if you don’t get that right everything else will fall down. If you’re struggling to get clients or haven’t been able to find your first one- it’s probably not that your business is bad, it’s probably that one of the above steps is broken. Don’t worry, it’s probably an easy fix. I’ve found that so many people have this problem that I put together a free five day challenge to help people dig deep into discovering their ideal client. Click here to get more info about it.

Now if you’re absolutely sure that you know who your target market is, the next question is, are you visible to them? If not, why? If you know where they are but you’re afraid to approach them then that’s on you, and you know what you need to do (answer: get out of your comfort zone and take action #talkraw). If, on the other hand, you’re not sure where they hang out or how to approach them, check out the Client Discovery Challenge.

If you have 1–2 down, I suggest that you go through the above and ask yourself if your business is successful in doing all of the things listed about. If you’re not seeing the results you want, and you’re being honest with yourself, I’d be willing to bet that something is broken in your business. If you know what’s broken let me know what it is in the comments below. I may just write my next blog post about it.

Until next time,

Rachel Jimenez