How To Get More Clients?
It’s a big question. And as old as time. Well, maybe not as old as actual time. But as old as modern business! How DO you get more clients?
Well, the answer IS actually as old as time. People need to know, like and trust you (or as I like to say – See, Hear and Feel you – we’ll get to that later).
For the entire length of human existence, this has been the key to everything, not just business. In order to flourish and grow as a village, a town, a people, a country, you needed to form alliances. For those alliances to last, they had to be formed on trust.
How does trust get formed? Well, first of all, you have to know about each other. You can’t form an alliance with someone you have never heard of and don’t know exists. Then you have to ‘like’ each other. In this context – at least be singing from the same hymn sheet – want the same things (security, freedom, back up, mutual respect).
But how do you create the conditions for people to know, like and trust you in business?
Well, the first thing is simply to change your focus.
What do I mean by that? Well, in ‘the old days’ when I was new to the job of ‘sales’ there was an adage an old boss used to say. It was ABC – always be closing. Basically, if his mouth was open, he was selling. That might have worked back in the ’80s, but in today’s world not so much.
Whilst, of course, you are always on the lookout for opportunities, the kind of ‘old fashioned’ values of relationship building, are just as important and perhaps more so, than they were back then.
Let’s break this down.
It’s all very well being the best goddamn (X – insert your product or service) in the world. But if no-one knows about you, if you are not visible, if nobody sees you. you’ll have zero clients, right? In today’s world (especially right now in LOCKDOWN) the main ways for people to know about you are online. Social Media. Zoom calls. Webinars. Email. Clubhouse. Podcasts. Facebook or YouTube or LinkedIn or other ads.
There is no point putting up a Facebook page or a website, and just expecting people to find you. It is NOT going to happen.
So, you must have a strategy for letting people know about yourself. There are a million different strategies for brand awareness (and you might want to talk to someone more qualified in marketing – I can introduce you to our marketing peeps if you like), but the point is you need to have a plan.
AND. You need to remember that when people first come across you – in any context – they do not yet know, like OR trust you. They’re at ‘the top of the funnel’. They don’t know who you are and – more importantly – they DON’T CARE. All they care about at this stage is whatever problem THEY have and how to fix it.
If at this point it becomes clear to them that you are potentially able to solve their big problem, then they might just start to follow you. Perhaps they might download something and allow you to email them more useful stuff. Maybe they will tune into your weekly Facebook live, follow your LinkedIn stories or YouTube channel or sign up for your podcast or clubhouse event.
OK – so once they are aware of you, what’s next? Well – this is all about the content you put out there and how you interact with them. Hopefully, they will join your Facebook group, or open your emails, or watch your lives – and IF they are the right sort of people (ie people with the big problem that you can solve) and IF you are helping them (or they perceive that you are helping them), then they will start to like you.
Why do people like people?
It’s not a daft question. It’s important that you understand that this works in the exact same way as getting to know and like a friend, or partner, or someone you follow on line.
Like is born out of a few key things.
We like people who are like us. We like people who help us. We like people we admire and want to be like. We like people who make us laugh (that come under the heading of helping us). We like people who make us feel good about ourselves (again – helping us). We like people who give us the stuff we need (and again – helping us). Do you see a pattern here?
If we want people to like us, we pretty much need to help them first. And in order to help them, we need to understand what they need help with. And then we need to translate what we have into a message that they (the people we want to help) can hear and understand.
Now don’t get me wrong, people don’t have to want to be your best mate (although some of them will), but they need to like what you do, how you do it, and know that it can help them.
Trust – in the context of business trust means, they know you can help, and they believe you will do them no harm. This is more important than the like. It is possible to buy things from people who you aren’t particularly warm towards. But if they have what you want, and you know they can help you, then sometimes that is enough.
Clearly, it is much easier to do business with someone you like, but it isn’t essential. What IS essential is trust. Without your client trusting that you are the person that can help them / deliver the goods – your business is not going to work.
Trust is built by keeping your promises, consistency (important for the algorithm as well as the customer!) and by telling the truth. Which sometimes means being vulnerable, or saying you got it wrong.
People will always give you a second chance, but only where there is trust.
So – going back to See Hear and Feel……
In order to build a tribe and turn that tribe into paying clients, you have to be SEEN, HEARD and FELT. People need to know you exist – they need to SEE you. They need to like you – which means they need to HEAR what you have to say and understand its relevance to them.
And they need to trust you – they need to FEEL you are the person who can help them.
This need to be seen, heard and felt is SOO important for small businesses and solopreneurs, and especially startups and micro-businesses. Without this – it’s going to be a long hard road.
How To Get Seen, Heard and Felt
And that’s why I created the Live Love Laugh LIVES, where I coach people on how to create their amazing personal story or the story of their business. I host them to deliver their talk (where possible) in front of a live audience, and I interview them and put the interviews and the talks out on our YouTube channel, on our social media and out to our email audience (that’s you, dear reader!).
Because it is so hard to get that huge heavy ball rolling up an ice-covered hillside (at least that’s how it can feel for a lot of small businesses trying to build an audience and find clients). And so we give them a platform.
On the back of the first LIVES – which took place in 2020 – I have written a book. It’s nearly ready. It’s called “How to be SEEN, HEARD and FELT so that your ideal client wants to work with you”, well, that’s the working title. Tell me what you think of it!
If you think that it’s about time you were seen a bit more, heard by the right people and felt to be the right person in your field to help, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or why not go join our Facebook group “How To Speak With…” where I go live once a week on a Thursday at 12, to give you tips, strategies and feedback on using public speaking to be seen, heard and felt.
See you there!