Yes, today is September 1st.
Yes, it feels like trickery.
Some clock-shifting sleight of hand.
How could Summer be over?
Wipe the sand from your feet and the sun from your eyes.
The truth is we are in the homestretch of the third quarter.
Then there is one more quarter before a new year rounds the bend.
Maybe you’re asking yourself this question:
How can I get more clients?
Do I have to stand on my head?
Visions of hiring a professional writer/actor dance in your sun-dazed head. Someone who’d write all your content, speak it, pick up the thousand-pound phone and make sales calls. Easy!
Keep the pareo on for the moment, stir up a batch of sweet tea and join me here on the sun-drenched deck.
Let me break it down for you.
I’ve got 10 things you can do to get more clients. They’re not as hard as you’re thinking.
The first half involves people you know. The second involves people you don’t. Cool?
People You Know
1. Referrals — Call up a favorite former client to hear how they’re doing and make the Ask. See if they can recommend people to you. If they love you as much as you love them, they’ll be happy to help. You’ll see. Watch your heart glow.
2. Warm Letter — Write a quick email talking about what you do, how you help people — and ask your friends and family to spread the word. Send via email or — if you’re feeling energized — send handwritten notes. With Janis Joplin stamps!
2. Testimonials — Bang out a simple Before, During, After story structure and ask your current clients who’re getting results to recount their journey with you. Remind them where they were when they came to you. People forget! Talk through it with them to help guide and inspire. Better yet, have them write it on the spot. Painless. Or at least, timed and done! You can share these individually on social media. Post on your site. Share in talks or on the phone. As long as the client gave permission.
3. List — Write a short letter inviting people on your list to set up calls with you. Open with an engaging story. Offer some hot-off-the-press tips. Come up with a fun, juicy name for your calls. Like, Catch Fire calls. That’s what I use. Or Ice, Lemon and Love calls. That’s how I ordered my water the other night at the local bistro. Put your own spin on the tired Strategy Sessions.
4. Current Clients — Create a new Pop-Up Event. A field trip to a haunted house, or a volunteer day with orphans. Maybe a mastermind at a museum, or spa. Invite them to join for a special pricing. Tell them they can bring a friend for free.
5. Circles Of Influence — Be helpful. Be generous. See what your Circles need. Come up with a great connection, or offer to spread the word about one of their events. Or give them a great, shimmery idea. Even if they don’t directly help you, then, the karma will radiate. You will give off a I-Offer-Value vibe that will attract like the best pheromone perfume.
People You Don’t Know (Or Don’t Know That Well)
6. Business Cards — Grab that fishbowl, take a big breath — and dump out all the cards. Take a stack, and start dialing. Call 10 people a day. At least. Every day. Don’t get into conversations. Leave messages. Follow up with emails that same day. Quick and to the point. If you do get someone on the phone, keep it short. Set up another time to speak. It’s a numbers game, people! Sip that sun tea and take it all in stride.
7. Random Delight — You’d be amazed at how this can work. What If you let people know what you did at…the local bistro, your cafe, the grocery store, a party, in line at the bank, at the gym. I don’t mean blurt it out at inappropriate times, like in the middle of a soul cycle workout. Pay attention to opportunities though. To people who might be interested or know people who are. You never know who you’re talking to — or who they know.
8. Networking/Conferences — Make sure you dress for confidence, that your hair gleams, that you have stories galore. Most of all, get your Deep Listening groove on. Be curious! Channel your Inner Alice In Wonderland! Ask questions. Offer help. Set an intention for business cards, for scheduled appointments, even for clients. You’d be surprised how well intention-setting can work for results. Make sure to speak 1:1 and 1:many as often as possible. From the mic if you’re not on the stage or running a breakout session. An extra tip? Loosen up! Have a sense of humor. Be you and you’ll go far.
9. Social Media — Did you know that the most popular posts are Images, Opinions and Status Updates? So get thee to Instagram. Post images! On Insta, make sure you use up to 20 hashtags to find like-minded people. You can direct message people there too. I use Insta to do my first posts. As always, anchor an image in a story (or moment, or scene, or snatch of dialogue, image — something visceral and vivid, emotionally engaging and entreating) in your message. If you don’t drop in a Call To Action, make sure to drop in links to your site and make clear what you do. Then share them also on Twitter and Facebook. If you hit on one with lots of engagement, expand it into a blog. On longer status updates, like on Facebook, make sure to follow that simple sequence: Story/Message/CTA. Post regularly and remember – Comments are Conversations! Engage with whomever seems interested. If they seem like a match, DM them and set up a call.
10. Livestream — This is internet 3.0! Trust me. If you want the fastest path to Know Like and Trust, this is it. Learn the basics. Get on Periscope, and Meerkat, and Blab. These platforms are about being raw and real — our Writers On Fire motto! You don’t have to be polished, or overprepared, or dolled up. Just Be You! And…invite people to pick up a cool freebie so they can join your list. Or even offer a brand-spanking new course or product…after you’ve earned their trust and built a community.
BONUS! Make a list of all your current clients. Then past clients. Then figure out where each came from. Your list. Online. Social media. Networking. Events. Associations. See where your biggest number is. Then reverse engineer. The numbers don’t lie. Start your 10 ways there.
Happy action-taking! You’ll feel so much better. Remember that your Ideal Clients are looking for you. So stop hiding.
Let me know how it goes. I’d love to know if these tips help. Maybe you have some other favorites to share.
Yrs in truth,