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  • 6 Ways to Get Your First Client

    Close Deal photo from ShutterstockEncouraging referrals is the best way to grow your business. However, as a new entrepreneur, to obtain referrals you have to have clients. Getting that first client can be one of the biggest challenges in getting your business off the ground. Fortunately, there are things you can do to entice new clients into hiring you.

    1) Get hired by your former boss. While this doesn’t work in all cases, many small businesses get their start by turning their former employer into a client. The advantage for you is that your boss knows the quality of your work, and if it was good, he should be willing to hire you. The advantage to your former boss is that often, hiring a contractor is less expensive than hiring an employee.

    2) Engage your network. Tell everyone you know about your business. While your friends, family and former colleagues may not need your service, they may know people who do and be willing to refer you.

    3) Get involved in local and online business networks. When done right, with the attitude of helping others and delivering value, meeting people in your business community and through online networks, such as LinkedIn, you can get your business in front of people who will hire or refer you.

    4) Collaborate with other businesses. If there is another industry that can collaborate with yours, make connections for the purpose of mutually beneficial referrals. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer, connect with caterers and bands that also work weddings. If you’re a copywriter, connect with graphic, web designers and printers.

    5) Write for trade or association publications. Having your article appear where potential clients will read it increases your exposure and credibility. If you’re a virtual assistant for Realtors, write a piece for the local real estate association newsletter.

    6) Speak or do trainings. Showing off what you know as an expert is a great way to build credibility and garner new clients. Find organizations that target your market and offer to do a training. For example, if you’re a copywriter, offer to do a program on writing great sales copy for your local Chamber of Commerce. Many who attend will decide they’d rather hire someone (you) than do it themselves. Plus, you can sometimes get paid for speaking, adding another revenue source.

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    Leslie Truex is a career design expert who has been helping people find or create work that fits their lifestyle goals since 1998 through her website Work-At-Home Success. She is the author of “The Work-At-Home Success Bible” and “Jobs Online: How To Find a Get Hired to a Work-At-Home Job”. She's appeared on CNN.com, Fox Business, Redbook and a host of other media outlets discussing telecommuting, home business and other flexible career option. She speaks regularly on career-related topics, including telecommuting, home business, marketing, personal development and authorship. Learn more about her at LeslieTruex.com.

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    One comment on “6 Ways to Get Your First Client
    1. avatar
      EXPERT
      Brian says:

      Great insight into some fundamentals to keep in mind when cultivating your first business venture. Thanks for sharing!

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