47 Ways to Attract Paying Clients
What started out as a bland, flat list of where to find paying clients blossomed into a robust compilation of tips and real life stories from woo-woo coaches, healers and service providers about how they attracted clients.
Some trends emerged:
First, your clients are EVERYWHERE!
It’s not a matter of where to find them. It’s a matter of them being able to find you.
Second, it takes time.
One of the stories included a client who was on an email list for 10 years. TEN YEARS! Do you think of your business that way? Or are you looking for clients in the next 10 minutes?
The strongest trend: STAY CONSISTENT!
When your clients are ready to work with you, they’re going to look for you where they first found you. Choose your marketing channels well. Let them be places you enjoy hanging out. You’ll be there for a while.
To get the most from this article, choose ONE out of the 47 ways and work it for the next 30 days. Then add one more and work both for the next 30 days. Then, add a 3rd and work all 3 for 30 days.
At the end of your 90-day experiment, decide if you want to stick with those 3 or replace one of them.
Are you ready to attract more clients?
1: Educate your family and friends
Your family and friends want you to succeed. Too often we rule them out with “they don’t understand me anyway”. Try them. Be patient. Think of it this way, if you can explain to Uncle Joe what Reiki healing is, it’ll be easy to explain to your ideal client who doesn’t understand (yet) how you can help them.
2: Tell EVERYONE you meet about your business
The butcher, the baker, AND the candlestick maker. Everyone knows someone who’s looking for what you offer. BUT, if they don’t know what you offer, they can’t recommend you.
3: Take someone to coffee once a week
Or tea. You can do this in person or virtually. It helps you to build partnerships so that you can be the ultimate connector AND build referral sources.
4: Talk about your business at your day job (sparingly, but confidently)
Right after I graduated coaching school, a former boss of mine asked if I could help her son ace his next job interview. He became my very first paying client. Based on that success, her daughter hired me to help her with her job search. After that, my schedule started to fill up with referrals from that family–nieces, nephews, cousins, coworkers, spouses, friends.
~ Maria Lironi, Love Your Work
5: Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It still works. Especially if you’re outside North America. One of my clients is an EFT Practitioner in Germany. Almost all of her clients find her through Googling EFT in her hometown.
Do a 5-part scope series on your most asked about topic. In every scope talk about the special offer that you’re going to reveal in scope #5. Conduct scope #5 like a webinar and reveal your related, specific offer.
7: Interview experts
Your current audience receives value, you position yourself as someone well-connected in the industry, and the expert introduces you to their audience. Win-win-win!
8: Don’t be afraid of cold contacts
I sent cold email to a LinkedIn connection asking if they used freelance writers. They turned into my longest running client to date.
~Jen Phillips April, The Coaches Copywriter
9: Old school online forums
Respond to member questions related to your expertise. This also works in Facebook groups. It positions you as helpful, knowledgeable, and approachable. All good things when someone is looking for a coach.
10: Answer ‘pick my brain’ questions publicly
I would get frustrated when someone invited me to coffee then proceeded to pick my brain, but then I turned it around. I now respond with, “That’s a great idea for an article. I’ll send you the link.” Or, if I’ve already written it, I send the link to the article. Bonus points: Tag the person who made the request when you post the response on social media.
11: Brag about your clients
You’ll show your clients how proud you are of them while showcasing your work.
12: Post your story in Facebook groups
My favorite was probably in the beginning before I learned to read the rules in groups! Hah! I posted my story in a group that seemed like it would be a good fit for my work. A woman resonated with it so much that she signed up for one-on-one coaching for the next three months!
~ Rande Moss, Wellness Coach
13: Start a Facebook group.
It’s a virtual space where your tribe can gather. Like a virtual open house. Instead of it being one event, it’s available 24/7.
14: Host a challenge in your Facebook group
Keep it simple 5-7 days of different topics leading to an offer. OR, you can do 30 days of one question to promote consistency and go deeper every time you ask the question. Challenges are a great way for your tribe to take action toward a goal and get results.
15: Survey your group members
No need to guess what your audience wants to buy next. You can survey Facebook group members to get a feel for the next product your create. If you already have a service in mind, this is a great way to guage interest and create a waitlist to PM once your service is available.
I saw that Karen Salmonsohn had made a graphic of a quote from something I’d written & Instagrammed it, and I reshared it. It led to me connecting with a number of new clients & boosting sales of my book.
17: Post day-in-the-life photos
Photos of your life – your desk (even messy), your setup before a webinar, worksheets that you’re working – tell your clients that you’re in business AND relatable.
18: Show, don’t tell
For example, as a wellness coach, rather than write a post about how to make a salad jar, post the photo of the salad jar with arrows pointing to the ingredients. Better yet, ask your followers to guess what’s in the jar.
19: Host a webinar
Webinars are value-rich teaching tools which convert well into paying clients IF you know how to sell from the stage. If you’re new to selling from the stage, start with a low-cost, no-brainer option.
20: Be a guest on a webinar
In August 2014 she listened to a webinar I did with the Harvard Business Review on Toxic People At Work. She liked it so much that she signed up for my newsletter. She’s been reading me for two years, and following me on social media and just reached out for coaching since her work has gotten worse!
21: Share valuable articles on your social profiles
You become known as a resource.
22: Feature colleagues and business partners
Write about and reference experts in your field and TELL them about it. They tell their tribes.
23: Add a guest post to your mix
It’ll give you a blogging break, keep your tribe on their toes, give you access to your guest blogger’s tribe.
24: Teach classes
I kicked her a$$ teaching her yoga and she realized my fierce, laser focused, warrior wild woman vibe was what she needed to jump start her life on the mat and off.
~ Ann L. Dretzka, Inspired Grit
25: Facebook Personal Page
Life coach, Susan Hyatt, posts almost exclusively on her personal page. The posts are range from going to the lake with her kids to her latest retreats on the Amalfi Coast.
26: Publish a blog
Tried and true. However, the key to having a blog is mapping out the next step for your audience. Once they devour your juicy content, what’s next on the menu?
27: Set up an email sequence
Guide your audience from being a follower, to a subscriber, to a paid client through a series of emails once they’ve opted in.
28: Submit articles to print magazines
A future client was in her attorney’s office praying for a fresh start and there was a magazine that I had been featured in for successful female entrepenuers. She called me up and the rest was history.
~ Mandy Lo Dickson, Transformational Coach
29: Post an offer on your website WITH the price
Only one offer is required here. It tells your audience that you’re open for business and gives them an idea of how much you cost (or to be coachably correct, how much they’ll need to invest).
30: Comment on blogs
For every article you publish, comment on 5 others. You can count on search engine traffic, but it’s more likely that people will find your site through links around the interwebs. Comments provide those links.
31: Guest post
Similar to commenting, guest posting gives you access to new audiences and positions you as an expert in your field.
32: Do GREAT work
A book I designed was just released for print for one of my clients. She gave her mentor a copy. He loved it so much that he asked her about it. She recommended me. And so I designed his NEW BOOK coming out in December.
He’s a high-level coach (Kat Loterzo was coached by him). Someone I would have been SO intimidated to approach. Having my client tell me about him, I was able to watch a few of his videos and read his blog to get an idea of what a nice guy he was and by the time we talked, I was ready to sell.
~ Rita Ester, Graphic & Web Designer for Adventurous Entrepreneurs
33: Host a monthly Meetup for your tribe
My client who 10x her income in a year hosted a monthly drum circle. It was small, intimate, and low cost ($9). From it she signed 2 high paying clients and received referrals for others.
34: Conduct a seasonal workshop
Close to the end of the year, everyone’s talking about goal setting. It’s the perfect time for a Desire Map facilitator to host a vision board workshop.
35: Practice being seen
Take a leadership position at your church, on your PTA board, in a civic organization. It’s easier for your clients to find you when you’re lit up. Stop hiding.
36: Host an open house
My last client came from an open house where I had people rsvp to have a sample guitar lesson with me.
~ Janet Feld, Janet’s Planet – Music Lessons for Humanoids
37: Attend local networking events.
The trick is to go for the food and conversation, NOT the clients.
38: Attend a conference.
Whether it’s for fun or in your industry, conferences are like networking events on steroids. The key, though, is in the follow up.
39: Sponsor a conference
Make sure you have a way to collect participant information and follow up, follow up, FOLLOW UP!
40: Speak at a conference
I secured one of my first coaching clients after speaking at a Natural Hair Care Event hosted by a local stylist. The event was a perfect fit for me as a makeup artist and mindset coach who believes inner beauty of mindset as well as outer beauty in selfcare and makeup artistry.
~ Justina Travis Ford, Purposeful Pursuit
41: Podcast interviews
I LOVE these! The clients that come from interviews are always a surprise because they hear it months, sometimes years after you went live and they jump right in. Wonderful client surprises.
42: Facebook Business Page
A dying breed, BUT if you treat your FB biz page like a sign in a mall, it works. Just be sure to change the window dressing frequently and keep it interesting. Window dressing = posts.
43: Be patient
Yes, this made the list. Often times, we are SOOOOOOOOOOOO close to breakthrough and we turn around and start digging somewhere else. Stay consistent, keep watering your seeds and cultivating your garden, allow them to blossom.
44: Enjoy your life
One client was an eZine subscriber for 10+ years. We originally met playing tennis, but the eZine was the cord that kept us connected.
~ Alexandre L’Eveille, Brand Catalyst
45: Participate in social groups.
Are you a runner? Join a running club. Love quilting? Find the local fabric art society. Want to improve your public speaking? Join Toastmasters. Social groups may have nothing to do with your business, but that’s the fun part. You’re out enjoying yourself and talking to more people about what you do. So they can talk to other people.
46: Send love notes
No one gets fun mail anymore. So when a potential client opens her mail to see your postcard, it’s refreshing, attention-grabbing, and memorable. Send mail consistency and you become ‘real’ and trustworthy.
47: Most important…KEEP IN TOUCH!
My favorite client attraction story is someone who I ‘met’ in a Facebook group and kept in touch with via snail mail and my eZine. About 3 years after meeting virtually, she PM’ed me on Facebook out of the blue and asked if I was taking clients.
“Sure”, I said.
She became my first 5-figure client at $12,000.
We’re going to meet in person for the first time in a couple weeks.
You never know where your clients are going to come from or how they’ll find you.
KEEP IN TOUCH!