Authentic Marketing Principles for Getting More Clients
How they go from “I don’t know who you are” … to… “I’d love to be your client!”
To get more clients, you essentially need more of the right people to discover you, then having enough trust to buy what you sell.
For us solopreneurs, we don’t need complex funnels. Instead, we need to apply some principles…
Three key ways I often teach about how to be discovered by prospective clients:
- Authentic content — instead of seeing content creation as a chore, look at it as a discipline of “public journaling” and “creativity fitness”. Share what’s true for you today, or what you feel is important for the world to know about. Use it as a way to practice creating and communicating, because the more you practice, the more you get comfortable, and gradually more skillful. And if others benefit, then all the better. Inevitably, if you keep posting, some of the authentic content you create will be shared, and more of your prospective clients will discover you.
- Social media ads — I regularly run ads on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. The key difference in my method, in contrast to most marketers, is that I run mostly content-based ads that don’t sell anything immediately. Most of my ad dollars are spent to educate and uplift, by promoting my best posts. I target those ads to my ideal audiences. After they engage, they will occasionally see my sales ads too, but they’ll also continue to see my non-selling, content-based ads. If you want to learn my full method, check out Facebook Ads for Solopreneurs.
- Netcaring and Collabs — get to know fellow service providers in your industry, and in related niches. Aim to connect with those who have a similar-sized audience as you — start small and grow! Focus on those you genuinely feel resonant with. See if there’s a mutual friend to introduce you. Or reach out and volunteer to interview them about their work, to share with your network. They may later return the favor. More friends means more referral sources for you. It’s also good to be seen by your network as a hub/resource of good people and ideas.
If you practice and increase your skills in one or more of the above three strategies, it will bring you plenty of the right visibility. Gradually study all three strategies, so you can give yourself the best chance of being discovered by your ideal clients.
The best way of marketing is supposedly word-of-mouth (when people talk about your work) but that’s not something we “do”. It’s something that happens naturally, when you practice the above 3 strategies, as well as simply doing good work for your clients.
The vast majority of solo business owners are not consistent in doing their marketing, and it results in a feast-and-famine (mostly famine!) cycle in their business. Dedicate yourself to the regular practice of marketing (again, one of the above strategies!) and you’ll grow the skillfulness that helps you excel in your industry.
You need to consistently let your audience/network know about your service. You can’t expect word-of-mouth to happen all by itself — not enough to get you enough business in the beginning anyway — instead, you need to actively, regularly let your audience know about your service.
For example, send a monthly announcement to your audience about one aspect of your services you’d like to highlight that month, whether it’s your 1–1 service, group program, or online course. Post the announcement everywhere you can: email newsletter (if you have one), social media channels, and even sending a few individual emails to those you haven’t contacted like this in awhile.
Take on an experimentation approach to your marketing. By trying different types of content and offers, you’ll get clearer over time about what resonates with your market that also interests you.
Aim to talk to more of your potential clients — and if you don’t have any yet, start by talking to your friends. Have them look at a list of skills that you could provide, and see which of those skills jump out at them as something they could easily refer people to you for. Ask them also about the related services or products that they’ve bought or have considered.
Show that you really care about their wants, and it’ll inspire their trust and referrals, and will give you the data you need to shape your offer into something that sells easily.
As you might have discovered, marketing isn’t as easy as you’ve been sold by business experts. Not in the beginning anyway. It’s definitely a journey of trial-and-error…
Yet, we don’t have to suffer along the way. Every day that you work on your business can be a day of joyful productivity, if you set that intention. Gently return to that intention throughout the day.
Commit to experimenting consistently, with curiosity and playfulness and a dedication to learning.
Practice detachment from the outcome, and instead, expand the value (in your mind and daily practice) of making marketing into a journey of exploring yourself and your service to others.
Transform the act of marketing itself to become worthwhile, and you’ll be more consistent in doing it, and joyfully so :)
by the author.