What’s the best way you can generate new client projects each month?
At Red Lemon Club, we are all about simplicity and being direct when it comes to getting things done.
This includes the process of winning new projects with clients and making more sales.
We don’t like complication or distraction. We like to choose one thing, one method, and going for it.
And yet I’ve been meaning to write a piece on the sheer range of the means and methods one is able to land new projects with great clients.
The fact is, there are many ways you can do so, and I want this list to illustrate such diversity, just so you know what is possible, rather than to annoy.
Many of the following ideas can lead to getting hired straight away, and many others will provide that initial ‘seed’ that will indirectly lead to a sale or project after some time in germination.
For most points, it is assumed that you have put in the research to find out what kind of person or business your target prospect actually is.
I’m keeping the descriptions on these minimal to highlight the wide range. Here goes:
1. Join in on a conversation with a prospect on Twitter
2. Think of how you can make your business REALLY different from what everyone else out there is doing, then tell the right people about it.
3. Learn about sales copy, and incorporate it into your main website homepage, leading to a call to action, that encourages readers to contact you.
4. Join a discussion on a relevant web forum and include your main product or benefit into your comment signature.
5. Comment on a prospect’s Facebook page wall.
6. Find a major problem of your prospects. Work out how you can solve that problem with your skills. Tell them how you will solve that problem on your homepage and ask people contact you who want to find out more.
7. Email a new target offering to work with them.
8. Write and share a blog post that is of interest to a prospect.
10. Shoot a behind the scenes film of your workspace and share it online.
11. Offer to be interviewed on a blog frequented by prospects.
12. Do a weekly podcast discussion or interview on a topic that is relevant to your dream clients and post it on iTunes or similar.
13. Call someone that you feel would love your services.
14. Go to a talk, gallery opening, or conference, talk to one or two people, and follow up later that day or the next.
15. Give a free talk on something that would truly benefit your target prospects and encourage people to connect with you at the end.
16. Write a highly specialised book on something that would interest prospects.
17. Fill your Twitter feed with interesting, relevant and targeted content from all over (you be the curator), as well as occasional updates on your work, and follow many prospects. A large portion of them will see your feed and follow you back and eventually decide to work with you.
18. Write a useful guest post on a popular blog that has an audience containing people in your target client market, on something mind-blowing born out of your own experience.
20. Buy a prospect in your town coffee to discuss how you can help them.
21. Send a personalised postcard with your work on it to twenty highly targeted prospects.
22. Send a box full of your products and merchandise to a relevant influencer in your industry and come back to them a while later with an article mentioning them. They will likely help promote that article, which could lead to more exposure, and more clients and customers.
23. Email or tweet past clients a link of something you know interests them.
24. Send previous clients and new prospects a printed booklet of your new work.
25. Start a video blog sharing insights on things you know your prospects would find interesting and share online.
26. Design (or outsource) an infographic visualising an article you wrote that would interest the right people.
27. Create a great information product at a discount price ($9-15 rather than $90) and distribute it through several resellers who have big followings, and give them 60% of sales. Ask all buyers to sign up to your email list when they buy. Pitch your services over time to those hot subscribers.
29. Start a charity that you donate to via your client projects and other sources of income. Give 10% away of all that you earn.
30. Write a list of twenty people you know who you could ask to refer a client to you, and contact them all individually.
31. Ask past clients for a recommendation on a new client.
32. Create a free web-zine using collaborative writers on a topic of interest to prospects that generates leads for all of you.
34. Create a written tutorial on something you’re uniquely good at and share it online.
35. Do an online video course on a subject that draws clients and customers to your brand or business.
36. Give away an awesome free ebook that would interest potential clients and customers in exchange for a newsletter sign up that you deliver free tips and articles to each week.
37. Offer to run a workshop or class teaching your skills to a few people, then offer further services and ask for recommendations from those students.
38. Host a free online webinar to your followers and subscribers explaining an element of what you can help with, then lightly promote your services for further client work.
39. Get involved in a panel discussion at an event on topics that exemplify your skills.
40. Build a fascinating photography feed online that highlights an interesting life, and include a description of what you do, and a link to your website in your bio.
41. Run an exhibition showcasing work from other people in your industry, including your own and invite prospects to it.
42. Write an article discussing the work or value of ten prospects or influencers and make sure all of them know about the post.
44. Talk to more people when you don’t feel comfortable doing so, and keep in touch with those people. Use business cards liberally.
45. Be minimal. Communicate what you do in extremely simple terms wherever you have presence. Then have a call to action to move those people who ‘get’ you.
46. Create something that your prospects would find really cool, useful and funny, and share it everywhere.
47. Run a search for the job role of your ideal client on social media, connect with those individuals, and discuss how your skills will solve their needs.
48. Work for free for someone great, but tell them you don’t normally work for free and that this is a one-off to gain experience. Don’t become known as someone who works for free.
Send them an invoice showing ‘zero’ once the job is done to emphasise their debt to you. Get their testimonial and use the testimonial to build credibility on your website to generate great clients. You may eventually get work from that free client also.
49. Write a list in an article or ebook that reveals what you know about solving your prospect’s problems and get it to those people.
50. Be vulnerable publicly. Show people how you have failed, what you have learned and how you are just like your prospects on a human level. People will relate to you, want to connect with you, and want to work with you.
That’s a lot of ways to get clients. My advice is to choose one, and get good at it, before even considering moving on to the next. Focus is of the essence or you will flounder.
Best of luck creative genius, though you won’t need it.
If you are a graphic artist, illustrator or any small business needing clients, read our in-depth new guide: ‘How to Get Illustration Clients’ / How to Win Creative Clients.
We also have a new course which looks closely at how to build a limited network of high value people that can take your biz to higher levels: Value Network Building Course.
Icon attributes: Cake & Antenna: Marco Galtarossa; Yarn: Maria Coons; Main image and Salvador Dali: Simon Child; Collar Mic: Dan Hetteix. Thank you all.