Today we are talking about how to find those first paying clients when you are getting started in your biz.
But honestly, these 5 tips are timeless. I still use them to this day to generate a consistent stream of clients after a decade in business.
I love these strategies because they are SO simple, but SO effective.
It’s so easy to get swept away in the latest trends or think you need to do things you don’t want to do to be successful in business like constantly create content, or dance daily on TikTok or document every hour of your life on Instagram.
I’m a firm believer that the most simple, successful, and SUSTAINABLE businesses focus on the same thing, which is to meet their clients where they are, connect authentically, share compellingly how you can help, and create customers for life by serving your people powerfully.
Business really does get to be that easy.
So how do you get those first paying clients when you are just starting out?
STEP 1: Set Your Energetic Intention
Might sound woo-woo, but at the end of the day, energy follows energy. You can spend a ton of time and money on Facebook ads, blog posts, and Instagram stories, but if you don’t feel confident and clear, your people won’t feel confident and clear when it comes to working with you.
This doesn’t mean you need to know EVERYTHING about your business, your clients, your offers, and confidence in getting people insanely powerful results. That is impossible when you are starting out…
So how do you create a vibe of clarity and confidence and attract your people?
You become sure of something. You confidently share what you DO know, what IS clear.
For instance, my intention was a prayer to God/Spirit/the divine. I said I wanted my life to be used for good. I wanted to be of service, to give back, to create a little less suffering in the world. To please guide me to the right people and places, to say the right things, to learn what I needed to learn, to be able to give back in the way you would have me give.
TO set your energy to be an energetic match for clients and cash… you need to decide you are worthy before you feel you are, you decide to feel confident before you do; you decide you are clear enough instead of waiting until you are SURE.
And before your calls with a potential client you can say a little prayer, “may this be a healing for myself and this person, may they get everything they need and more, may my work be enough.”
It’s a little energetic hack, because you will show up clear and confident and ready to serve right away and people will feel that and respond to it. You are confident that you will do your best and clear that you are new and don’t know everything and let it be ok.
That shifts the energy dramatically.
So say it with me: I am open for business, please bring me the clients and customers who I am meant to serve and may I get out of my own way and let this work flow from you through me to those who need it most. May I be enough. May this work be enough. May you see to it that my clients get everything they need and more.
STEP 2: Start with Practice Clients
Start coaching or offering your products or services to 3-5 people in your circle at a special rate. I recommend a reduced rate rather than free because when people offer these sessions for free people value it less, are less engaged or committed, and often end up flaking out. When they pay money, they pay attention.
You can find these practice clients or “BETA” clients in your social network, people in training programs – ex. Business coaching containers, coach training programs, professional development seminars, etc.
You won’t discount your rates, long term. The idea here is to get started somewhere and make it an “easy yes” for your client and you will often feel more comfortable and confident charging this intro price.
This also helps you work out the kinks before you charge top dollar. You know you can get people results and you can build your testimonials, referrals, and portfolio.
STEP 3: Interview Ideal Clients
If you don’t know anyone who would want to pay a reduced rate to work with you professionally like this, a great first step to connect with ideal clients is to hold ideal client interviews.
There is NO SELLING in this approach, but often it leads to sales. Here is what I mean.
You will reach out by email, and post on social media that you are looking to interview 5 (INSERT IDEAL CLIENT DESCRIPTION) who want to (INSERT THING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT MOST WANTS) without (INSERT THING YOUR CLIENT MOST WANTS TO AVOID).
For example, “I’m looking to interview 5 women entrepreneurs who are looking to bring in their next 5 paying clients in 30 days without needing a huge email list or social media following.” Or “I’m looking to interview 5 women who want to lose 10-25 pounds in the next 3 months without drastic exercise or restricting their food.” Or “I’m looking to interview 5 new moms who want their baby to sleep 10-12 hours a night without having to cry it out.”
See how this is magnetic for your ideal client?
Then you’ll say DM me, and the first 5 people who respond will also get a free coffee on me 🙂 (got this idea from one of my coaches, Haley Burkhead).
Or just simply say I am developing my new programs and am looking to interview (insert statement above). It will only take 15-20 minutes and would help me tremendously. Please dm if this sounds like you! Thanks in advance!
A few reasons I LOVE these interviews…
- It’s all about THEM. There is no pressure to sell or convince anyone of anything. You are simply going to listen, ask questions, learn about what they struggle with, what they wish was different, what their dream solution would be, what they’ve tried in the past, what they liked or didn’t like about it, and see what questions they have about your area of expertise.
- They are automatically going to feel more connected to you after this call. Because it is so RARE that people feel seen and heard, and their perspective so valued. Also, because you aren’t going to sell them anything, you actually GENUINELY care about helping them.
At the end you can say are you interested in knowing when my product launches or when I start seeing clients, etc? And boom! You now have a mini waitlist of people to reach out to and offer a deep-dive conversation where you can invite them into working with you.
STEP 4: Start Offering Powerful Conversations that Lead to a Sale
Step 4 is to offer free 20-60 minute calls with prospective clients where you will listen, ask questions, serve them powerfully, and if they are the right fit, invite them into working with you.
I go into this in extraordinary detail including giving you the exact script used to get a 80% or above close rate on calls, how to handle money objections, when people ghost you, if people don’t show up to these calls etc in The Aligned Female Entrepreneur Business Building course, but for now, if you are not already, considering having a free call that is really high vibe and high value, where again you will listen and learn what your people need and at the end invite them to work with you. Start offering these to everyone you know and meet that could be a fit. This is like ROCKETFUEL for your business.
STEP 5: Ask For Referrals
Once you set your energy to serve, start working IN your business rather than ON your business by signing up your first few practice clients, you’re interviewing potential clients, and constantly booking your calendar with calls you are going to be WELL on your way to your next 5 (or more!) clients.
But you might ask, what if I don’t know anyone who would do a call with me even for free, let alone invest in a complete package or program? Totally get that. And I’ve successfully helped women make a full-time income in their business who lived in small rural communities, who identify as a total introvert, who live on an island with a tiny population, and who didn’t even have a certification in their field.
In this case, referrals and word of mouth are AMAZING tools. I’m all about having a small community of loyal people who I have a sincere connection with and who happily refer all their friends to me rather than having a gazillion likes and followers online.
You can ask for a referral from friends, business colleagues, old bosses, your yoga teacher, a local naturopath, literally the possibilities are endless, so if you don’t know any of your ideal clients, reach out and form connections with the people who do.
You only need to make ONE solid connection with someone who knows 20 people to expand your reach rapidly without needing to spend a dime on marketing.
I have a free resource download for you on how to get your next 5 paying clients that goes into a ton of detail with exact scripts you can use to reach out to potential referrals and a huge list of places to start.
Remember, your first paying clients are often going to be someone you know or someone that someone you know knows. Do not spend hours, weeks, months building a social media following or email list hoping that it will convert to paying clients. Start with real people, actual relationships and connections and your business will not only grow more quickly, but you’ll create clients and customers for life, which brings in a steady stream of income for years and years to come.
Download your free guide now and let me know in the comments if you have questions, what you are taking from today’s episode and how it goes!