Starting a work-from-home business can be quite a shift coming from a 9-to-5 office job. You’re moving away from a career that has the security of a paycheck every 15 days to one with no assurances of a consistent stream of income. Anyone can start a business but it won’t run unless you have a client. All it takes is to land the first one. It seems daunting, and it is. But if you follow our 10 tips below, you could sign up your first client faster than you ever thought possible.
1. Set Up a Business Website
If you’re serious about running a business from home, invest in a website for your business. A website is where potential clients will go to learn more about your products, services, skills, and experiences.
As you will find out in this article, to get clients for your work from home business, you have to market and promote your skills and abilities. All of your marketing and promotional efforts have a single destination point – your website.
You don’t need a fancy website with all the bells and whistles. Simple design will work as long as the website is highly functional. Therefore, it must be mobile-friendly, has a fast download speed, and is secured by SSL Certificates.
What pages do you need for your business website?
- Home Page – Discuss your value proposition; what can you do for your client?
- About Us – Share your story; why are you the right person for the job?
- Products/Services – Create a “showroom” of the products and services you offer; descriptions must be detailed enough to answer all of the client’s possible questions.
- Portfolio Page – Show the client the projects you’ve done so far; encourage the clients to visualize the work you can do for them.
- Contact Page – Include complete contact information such as business address, contact numbers, and e-mail addresses.
2. Clean Up Your Social Media Presence
Believe it or not, finding clients is similar to looking for a job. Remember that in the same way a recruiter qualifies the best candidate to work for the company, potential clients will qualify the best service provider they can work with.
In other words, potential clients, like employers, want to know who you are before they sign you up. And the best gauge is your social media.
According to a study conducted by The Manifest, 90% of recruiters will check the social media activity of a job applicant before proceeding further. Take the extra step and assume that potential clients will do the same to you.
Remove all posts – text, images, and curated content – that could potentially put you in a bad light with the client.
3. Create Business Pages in Social Media
Whether you have a company name or if you’re using your real name as the brand for your business, it would be a good idea to set up business pages in social media.
A business page will help you build your brand through the following ways:
- Develop a solid base of followers;
- Establish online channels to distribute your blogs;
- Engage with your followers;
- Drive traffic to your website;
- Set up additional channels for potential clients to reach you.
In addition to your personal social media pages, prospects will visit your business pages to see how you handle questions about your products/services and deal with current clients.
4. Blog Regularly
Blogging is a great way to enhance your reputation as an expert in your field or profession. Think of it as a platform – a virtual soapbox on the Internet – where you can share your ideas, thoughts, and opinions with people who are interested in what you have to say.
Maybe a few of those “sitting in the audience” could be your future clients!
But blogging isn’t just about tapping away on a keyboard putting ideas on a word processor. Blogging is both an art and a science. You want to be sure that what you post on the Internet will be seen by the people you want to target as clients.
In other words, your blogs must be optimized for search engines. Your blogs must be searchable; easily found and indexed by the search engines’ crawl bots. Optimization is a skill in itself. For optimization to be effective, its principles must be applied diligently:
- Embed high search volume keywords into your content;
- The main keyword must be in the title, first paragraph, body, and concluding section of your blog.
- Keyword density must not exceed 2% of the total word count.
- Include at least 1 link from a reliable source into your content.
- There must be at least 2 supporting keywords in your content.
Once you have the hang of optimizing your content, the next step is to blog regularly. According to studies, you have to blog 11 to 15 times a month to drive more traffic to your website.
Your best option is to outsource blogging to us! We’re optimization experts and we have a team of content writers who can create high-quality and high-ranking blogs for you.
Our blogs on digital marketing have frequently been cited by the UpCity website as the best in business writing!
5. Invest in PPC Ads
Pay Per Click or PPC ads guarantee quick hits to your website. Since you’re already promoting your business organically through social media marketing and blogging, invest a bit of money on PPC ads to speed up results.
You can start with Facebook PPC ads. Facebook will place your PPC ads directly in front of your target audience and increase the probability of someone clicking on your ad.
When someone clicks on your PPC ad, that person will end up on your website’s landing page. If he likes what he sees, he will explore your website better. And if he’s convinced that you have the skills for the project, he’ll get in touch with you.
The good thing about PPC ads is that you only pay whenever someone clicks on it. It’s an effective way to stretch your marketing budget while boosting your chances of landing a client.
6. Join Freelancer Platforms
Now that you’ve set up the foundation of your online business, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and let the real work begin!
Networking is a must-do activity in the search for clients. In this article, we will explore 3 different types of networking activities you can do. The first one is to network on freelancer platforms.
Freelancer platforms are sites that connect businesses with remote workers, virtual assistants, freelancers, and those who run an online business from home. You might be surprised to know that many of the largest and most successful companies in the world use freelancer platforms to look for talent.
Some of the best freelancer platforms you should consider are the following:
- Upwork (Formerly known as Elance-oDesk)
- People Per Hour
- Simply Hired
Create a compelling online profile and make sure you include links to your website and social media accounts. If you’re trying to land your first client, don’t prioritize your earnings and price yourself out of the market. It’s unlikely that a client will pay a premium for a first-timer.
Lastly, successful networking is a numbers game. Qualify and be selective with the projects you want to apply for but try to bid for more than one.
If we conservatively assume a 2% success rate then you must apply to at least 50 projects in one month or almost 2 projects per day. Yes – including Sundays.
7. Network in Social Media
The second type of networking still keeps you on the Internet. This time instead of the freelancer websites, you will be networking on social media. The best social media platform is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is widely considered the professional’s social media network. Many entrepreneurs, CEOs, key influencers, top-level executives, and managers use LinkedIn to connect with potential clients, strategic business partners, as well as find talent for their respective companies.
Similar to your freelancer profile, come up with an impressive LinkedIn profile. Creating a LinkedIn profile is like writing a resume. Cite your achievements and share your career milestones.
Join community groups in your industry. Get involved in focus discussions but don’t sell your services here! At least not yet. Your primary objective is to gain acceptance by frequently sharing your knowledge and expertise with the community.
LinkedIn has its own blogging platform. You can blog from here and then distribute your content to your community and to the focus groups you belong to. You can also share your blogs from your website.
Once you’ve got a good feel of LinkedIn, try to connect with other members who are part of your industry. Look for potential clients. Qualify them by reading up on their bio and by researching on the Internet. Once you’ve identified your “targets” shoot them with a Linkedin invite to connect.
Send a customized invite. Don’t just send the default LinkedIn invite and write one that’s directed to the person you want to connect with.
The magic number in LinkedIn is 500 – as in 500 followers. When you’ve achieved this milestone, people will want to connect with you!
8. Qualify Your Contacts List
Your contacts list – you know the ones in your email, your phone book, and social media accounts – could be potential gold mines for clients.
Go over your contacts list and pick out those contacts who might be interested in hiring your services. Put these names on a shortlist then review them one more time. Rank them in order of importance – who would most likely hire your services?
If you know them quite well, message them first and ask if they’re up for a quick call or a chat over coffee. Let them know straight off the bat that this meeting will be for your business. And if they’re interested – or not – they’ll let you know right away.
Who knows? Maybe they’ll give you a referral which we’ll discuss next. You have nothing to lose except a few minutes of your time.
There’s always that possibility your contact will tell you “Sure! I was just looking for someone with your skills. It’s a good thing you called me. Let’s meet for coffee. Are you free tomorrow?”
9. Ask for Referrals
Asking for referrals can be an uncomfortable experience. You’re calling a friend or an associate to ask for a favor. Just remember that every successful entrepreneur has asked friends, business associates, and family members for referrals. It’s part of the entrepreneurial job description!
While many will gladly help you out without asking for anything in return, it’s perfectly fine to offer a referral fee. After all, this is business. A referral fee is usually 2% to 3% of the project cost or a small percentage of your first month’s pay.
Whatever you decide, you must be comfortable with it and the incentive must be worth your friend’s time.
10. Attend Networking Conferences
The third form of networking is good, old-fashioned leg work. Try to attend networking conferences such as trade shows and relevant expos whenever possible.
These events might be rare or less frequent during this time of the pandemic but some organizers are still willing to host as long as safety protocols are in place and strictly implemented.
If you have an opportunity to attend a networking event, bring calling cards and a few hard copies of your company brochure. Yes, not everything should be uploaded on the Internet. Many people still prefer having a calling card and a printed brochure in their hands.
While at a networking event, focus on profiling your “targets” and “scope” them out carefully. It will be good if you can find out from the organizers who the attendees are and to do a bit of research.
It’s not a good idea to talk business right away. Get to know them as people first and likewise, let the person come out before switching to your entrepreneur hat. The segue from pleasantries to business must be as seamless and natural as possible.
At the end of your chat, if in your honest assessment everything went well, ask the person if you can meet sometime during the week to discuss business matters further.
The key to getting clients for your work-from-home business is consistency. You have to be at it regardless of the outcome. There are days when it seems signing up your first client is an impossible task. It isn’t.
As we mentioned in this article, landing a client is a numbers game. You have to acquire as many prospects as possible to improve your chances of getting one.
Stay focused on your business and believe that the effort will be all worth it. In a few years, you’ll look back and be glad that you went through the process and overcame the challenges.
If you need help in setting up a business website or in planning a digital marketing strategy, give us a call or drop us an email. We’ll get you started right away!
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