Friends have been my Greatest Asset!
It's been a slow progressing growth. This is a good thing as I still have a day job and wouldn't be able to handle a massive influx of clients, but 6 months into this being a full business, I've learned something extremely valuable.
Your best clients and promoters are the ones you've been establishing a relationship with for a while.
I've had a handful of coaching clients. Many coaching leads. I've also done some marketing services and some editing for folks as well.
100% of my clients are either someone I know and interact with on a regular basis or they were recommended by the aforementioned person.
While I have received many leads and people promising to check out my services and get back to me. This seems to only happen when there is a relationship that has already been established.
I know I'm not telling you anything innovative here but I didn't realize the value of relationship building when it comes to finding clients.
Ways to do this
1. Establish yourself as a Professional in the field and Connect with other professionals.
photo credit #wocintechchat
One of the biggest networks that I have been able to tap into is working with other developers that have podcasts. We have a slack workspace that we all hang out in. It started out as just a handful of us but now there are over 50 people in there.
Each of them have their own reach and their own network. I've had them refer some of their audience to me when they are looking for a coaching client.
I've also worked with a few of them as an editor when they need help with something.
2. Nurture Strong Relationships with the Noguchi Method
Some relationships are easy to maintain and others are more of a chore. I like to treat my relationships similar to the Noguchi Filing Method.
The Noguchi Filing Method is simple. When you take out a file. Move it to the top of the stack (or front of the line) When you put it back.
I do this in my head. The people that I just interacted with I try to interact with more. Over time you will connect with people that are receptive to maintaining a good relationship with you. Those will be the same people that will recommend you to potential clients or reach out to you if they have a need.
3. Don't be afraid to ask those that you know (nicely)
I got my first client by sending the following message to about 50 of my podcasting friends.
I've been working to bring PIT back at the beginning of 2019 (I have some coding things that need to get done first)
Also, PIT is now a business (officially). Aside from the podcast, I am doing content creation, coaching, and "unicorn" services.
I was inspired by Kathy Campbell. My goal is to just help people where I can.
Here is a list of the services I provide.
My skills include: - social media - recording videos and screencasts - podcast editing and recording - community management - newsletter publishing
Do you have any ideas how I may be of any help?
Also if you know of anyone that I could help out with those things or individual or group productivity coaching, I would love an introduction.
Everyone that I sent this to kindly replied that they either couldn't help me, or they would keep an eye and ear out.
I didn't get upset I just said okay and continued to maintain a good relationship with them.
One person did have a need and to this day they have been my most consistent and biggest client. They've lead me to many other leads and clients that I've received over time.
The other thing about doing this that has been great is that now when I send out a message about some service I'm offering, it is that group of people that often like and repost that message to their audience.
None of these things are all that time intensive and none of them leave you with this grimy feeling as if you are peddling to your friends. Your "inner-circle" doesn't want to see you fail. In fact, they will be your biggest fan. It's up to you to nurture those relationships and make sure that you let them know of ways that they can help.