Finding Clients: Where, How, When
To answer your question: wherever you can. Thank you, good night and try the veal. In all seriousness, the question of how and where to find leads and prospective clients for your agency is an extremely broad one. It’s inconvenient, but no matter what anyone tells you:
There Is No One-Size-Fits-All Solution
There are many answers to it that can be expanded upon in depth, if necessary. Tactics that work gangbusters for one agency will fail miserably for others. The reason for this comes down to variables. Clients aren’t created equal, nor are the services an agency provides.
The basic steps toward client acquisition, however, always stay the same.
Define Your Target Group
Step one is the most difficult step if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Your quest for client acquisition should be based completely on your target audience. Define what your agency can provide, and who the prospective clients in need of such services are. Those are the people you should be pitching to.
This isn’t to say the target group is a sure-fire conversion. You will be adjusting who your target group is over time. It is merely a foundation to help you aim your efforts, instead of firing blindly into the dark.
Cater Your Website To Their Needs
Now you know who can benefit from your services, it’s time to cater to them. Your website is your storefront, so make sure it shows visitors what you can do for them. Your landing page should be answering every vital question a prospective client might have. The key is to make them feel like they came to the right place.
Engage In Targeted Cold Outreach
To many, ‘cold outreach’ is a negative term associated with call centers and spam email. But a targeted cold outreach can net you significant gains on lead generation. Knowing your target client will let you pinpoint whose email is worth reaching out to. Try not to get hung up on individual emails, unless the possibility of conversion is high. Especially in the beginning of your agency, you’re going to want to play the numbers game. Search for an online list of potential client emails from a website or organization with similar interests to your own. As soon as you have a targeted list, start reaching out.
Diversify Your Online Presence
You got your website and you’ve done your outreach. Chances are that not all prospective clients will get caught in either of those nets. Diversifying your online presence can help you fill the niches that these potential clients are likely to visit. Writing a blog about their interests, doing video reports about events they’d attend, going all out on social media marketing, or even answering relevant questions on Quora can solidify you as an authority in the business.
Those who are confident in their competitive edge can even go up against other agencies. Sites such as Freelancer, Guru, Fiverr and Upwork allow agencies to bid for work. Be prepared to prove your worth, though.
The Power Of Networking
If your agency is still taking initial steps towards proving its credentials, you should start by assembling a portfolio. The easiest way is to start gaining traction within your own personal business network first. This relative safe space will help you get something to show off when the time comes. If you’re a bit further along, don’t let past projects go underutilized. Don’t be afraid to lean on past clients a little to get referrals for new work.
Get out there and start shaking hands. Attending business meet-ups is a great way to get valuable contacts, as nothing beats a face-to-face meeting when it comes to sealing deals. Don’t be a wallflower either. You’re not there to attend, you’re there with a goal: contacts. If the majority of people there have your card at the end of the night, you’ve done something right. They have a first-hand contact for when their needs align with your services. They’ll be far more likely to act on that than a cold outreach email from a stranger.