One of the hardest parts of starting a business is figuring out how to attract clients. Knowing where to find clients is a big part of creating your marketing strategy. That way, you don’t waste time trying to promote yourself where your target audience won’t see you, and you can concentrate all your efforts where you’ll get the biggest return on investment.
Know your target audience
In order to attract your clients, you’ll have to study your target audience and get to know them. You need to know what terms and phrases they use, and how they use them.
But once you’ve got a handle on that, you’ll need to make yourself part of their community. There are a few key places to hang out, in order to find your clients.
Join them on social media.
There are tons of social media platforms and every single one has communities you can join within each niche or industry. As part of your market research, you should know which social media platform your target audience hangs out on.
So now, find a few of the communities where your target market gathers, and join them. Take a few days or weeks to observe the group for activity and engagement. Learn the rules of the group and its rhythm. Leave the groups that aren’t engaging and active, so that you have more time to spend with the ones that will be more worth your time.
Track your groups and their schedules and rhythm, so you can be organized and deliberate about your time in them. Mark the days where you’re allowed to promote yourself and your business. Introduce yourself! And start engaging daily, so that people in the group get to know you and start looking to you as an expert.
Engage with them in forums.
Contrary to popular opinion, forums are still alive and well. And these can be extremely targeted! So when you find a forum that has your target audience, jump on it.
Like social media communities, take some time to observe the forum. If it isn’t active anymore, don’t waste your time. But if it is active, get to know the rules, the moderators and admins, and the key conversation leaders. Every forum community has a few experts, and getting to know these people will be the key to your success.
Don’t try to sell yourself right away. Introduce yourself and follow the rules of the forum. Have real conversations with others and listen carefully. Become part of the community, and as you position yourself as an expert in your field, you’ll see a steady stream of clients.
Create your own community.
One of the best ways to get exclusive access to your niche audience is to create your own community! Then you get to make the rules, you’re already seen as the expert, since you’re the group owner, and you have ready access to an engaged, interested audience at your fingertips.
It can take time to build up a group, so this shouldn’t be your sole strategy. But taking the time to build your own community can be so worth it in the end.
Read (and write) for their stuff.
When you get to know your audience, you quickly figure out what they’re reading. After all, one of the best ways to research your audience is to sign up to your competitor’s lists, to read industry blogs and magazines, and to keep up with the trends in your niche. Now, take advantage of that previous research, and focus on what your audience is reading.
One way to find clients is to write for those blogs, magazines and lists that your audience is reading. This helps build your credibility as an expert, and gets you in front of your audience more.
Participate in their events
Reading what your audience is reading also lets you know about events and conferences that they will be attending. Then you can participate in those events, offering to speak, to be interviewed on the podcasts and YouTube channels, and submitting guest posts and products.
You can also get a good idea of the resources being offered to your audience. That will help you develop your own content and products. Make yours better value and more helpful, and you’ll find clients quickly and easily.
Find your clients by engaging your audience.
Hanging out with your audience gives you their language. Using the terms and tone your audience uses helps you connect more effectively with them.
But just learning the language isn’t enough. Now that you know where they are, it’s time to start engaging with them. Join the groups and forums. Comment on their blogs, write for their magazines, and speak at the events they attend. By paying attention to how they communicate, you can build a community. And when you build a community, that’s where to find clients.
Create your plan today!
Start your business right. Use this handy little checklist to write out your business plan. It's easier than you think!