When you’re running a brand-new business (or thinking about it), one of the big questions you need to consider is how do I get my first clients? You’re not the only one! We’ve got you covered. Try out these lead generation ideas to land your first clients.

  • Ask friends and family to keep you in mind. This isn’t a “cop-out”–it’s a smart business strategy to draw on your network of people you’re closest to. If they could use your service themselves, offer a steep discount in exchange for being able to use them as a reference. Otherwise, ask them to keep you in mind if they hear of someone who could use you. “Friends of friends” significantly expand the client pool!
  • Use work connections. Especially if your former job was in a similar industry, you may have worked with people or businesses your service would be a great fit for. Give them a call!
  • Join local organizations. Rubbing shoulders with the community is a great way to enrich your life and make sure your name comes to mind when they need a service like yours.
  • Level up your SEO and advertising. When someone searches online for “[your type of business] in [your city]” will you be on the list? If not, invest in hiring good SEO writers for your website content and building backlinks on the websites of others in the industry. Paid advertising is a great option too in conjunction with organic strategy.
  • Strike up a conversation during your free time. Chatting with other parents at your kid’s sports game? Lifting with a gym buddy? You don’t have to be salesy here–simply talking about what you’re up to professionally is enough to plant a seed.
  • Be active on social media. Start pages for your business and keep them updated. This helps give your business a personal, engaging feel.
  • Keep the ball rolling by asking clients for referrals and testimonials. Once you’ve landed your first couple of clients, ask them to leave reviews for your business. You can also mention that if they know anyone looking for a similar service, you’d be glad to chat.

The first clients are the hardest, but if you use these lead generation tactics, you can start building a solid base of loyal customers who’ll stick with your business through thick and thin.