Finding clients for your freelance WordPress business
Sometimes, getting new clients is as simple as being a little creative.
I know how it feels sometimes. You are stuck. You need clients to pay the rent next month. You think that if you don’t get anything soon, you are going to be turning out the lights in a couple of months.
You are stressed out.
It is at this point that you have a hard time focusing and thinking of anything to do to round up some paying clients.
Relax. Breathe. Take a deep breath. You are going to get through this, I promise. You just need to take a step back and come up with a gameplan.
Today we are going to look at four things you can do to find clients for your freelance WordPress business. Let’s get started, shall we?
Grow your network to find more leads
Ultimately, sales is a numbers game. The more people you know, the more people you can pitch, the better it is to find someone who needs what you are selling. That doesn’t mean firing off thousands of canned emails to every person who may or may not (and probably doesn’t) need your services. It does, however, mean developing strong relationships with more people.
One of the best things you can do for your network is to offer value. It sounds cliche, but it’s true. Sometimes this means doing something to build trust that doesn’t mean getting paid. We all do that. Sometimes it is worth it to build a relationship with someone who can help you build a business.
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Your network should never be viewed as the hoarding of contacts with you reaping all the benefits. When you become the immediate source of contribution, your value rises immediately.
Once you have developed that trust, you begin to have opportunities to pitch your business. You become someone your new friend refers others to for help with certain projects.
Don’t be afraid to ask if your new person knows someone who needs what you can do. Be specific.
Expanding your network means meeting new people. Certainly, you can do much of this in Slack chat rooms, Twitter or on other social media platforms, but nothing beats meeting someone in person. WordCamp anyone?
Reframe your understanding of selling
Admit it. When you think of sales you think of some slimy, icky dude who is selling used cars. There is a certain method of sales that depends on high-pressure techniques. When you are selling your services for your business, you do not have to use high-pressure techniques.
You don’t have to use uber manipulative methods either. You simply need to build a relationship with your prospect, follow up, add value when you can, and ask for the sell. True, sometimes you have to learn to overcome objectives. That is true with everyone.
I liken this type of sales to working in retail. In my days working in a bookstore, that is exactly what we did. Our booksellers would be reshelving books and other assorted tasks but would always stop to ask a customer if they needed help. It’s pretty simple really. You know what? They often accepted our help and then listened when one of our booksellers would tell them about a book they really liked.
There is no reason to use high-pressure sales techniques, but selling is absolutely necessary if you want to keep the lights on.
The final two points may be a little unusual, but I am going to illustrate them with a real-world story from real entrepreneurs. They may take a little creativity and boldness to execute, but they are things you can do.
Connect with someone you want to work with
We all have dream clients. There may be a business we want to work with or an influencer. We know that working with them can change the trajectory of our business. In this case, you will need to connect with the business to build the relationship and ultimately sign a contract for a project.
Michael Killen did this. He explained to me how his team purchase products from a business for which he wanted to work with.
“In order to secure clients for our business, we’ve often bought their products and services and been a client first. We’ve invested in their products, understood their marketing and sales process and used that to build a relationship.
“It can be a very cheap method of acquiring customers if they have low tier products. But even then we’ve bought $10k worth of stuff from one business just so we could meet their marketing director.”
Undoubtedly, not everyone can spend $10K worth of products to meet an influencer, but most can buy a book or training course.
One technique I have used over time is to sign up for an influencer’s email list. From there, I will reply to the email with a question or comment. Most of the times, the influencer will reply.
I remember even carrying on a conversation with Chris Brogan one time in one word or one sentence emails that started with a reply to one of his emails. At one point when he was testing an idea, he even gave me a phone call.
When you are a customer you can find yourself on the radar of an influencer or business. If you become a great customer, you will be someone that person will listen to even more.
Online marketer Selena Soo did this when she was able to work with Ramit Sethi. Soo explains more in this video with Ramit.
Uncommonly good pitches using LinkedIn
Recently, I watched a Facebook Live on replay by Uncommonly Good copywriter Misha Hettie. Misha is a great interviewer and brings a fun positive vibe to her videos.
She interviewed copywriter Rob Braddock, Jr. who explained his process for getting started in copywriting.
Braddock used LinkedIn in a way that is easy to implement for almost anyone. He took advantage of the free 30 day trial for LinkedIn Premium. With the premium, you can see who is looking at you and many of the people he was “stalking” could see him because they use the premium as well.
Braddock would spend time searching for those who were in his target niche. He was looking for established copywriters who might need overflow work.
LinkedIn provides a “stock message” as he calls it that you can send to invite someone to connect. He used the stock message and most people actually accepted his invitation.
When he would check out someone’s profile, they would then look at his. This would set off a chain reaction of each person looking at the other’s profile. After a few times, he would send a basic message to them.
He would keep everything short and avoid marketing jargon. He called his non-jargon approach as the “Barstool test” which is talking to someone as if they met in a bar. This keeps the conversation casual.
After a couple of messages, he would then tell them what he did for business and volunteered to help with any overflow work they have.
The two give reasons why it worked so well. It is worth the 31 minutes to watch.
Wrapping it up
It can be scary being in business. You have to get customers. It can be tempting to resort to empty short-term tactics, but investing in long-term strategies can bring you success for years to come. It’s kind of like compound interest.
With a little planning and some creativity, you can generate some leads within in a few months. Sometimes it is a simple as asking if someone needs your help.
What kind of tips can you give us for finding clients? Drop them in the comments below.