4 Steps to Take When You Need Clients Now

March 1st, 2016

Meet the Author

Nevica Vazquez
Nevica Vazquez is a Business Strategist to creative bosses who want to make their income predictable by consistently booking dream clients. Her love for business and marketing led to a BS in Business Management and a Certification in Business Strategy. She works with creative entrepreneurs who are talented and passionate at what they do. She believes that with your business foundations in place, the right strategy behind you, and your skills & passion guiding you, you can have the profitable business of your dreams. It is her mission to work with creative biz owners on the strategy of their business; so that they can create a life of work they love, while having the time and money to spend with the people who matter most!

4 Steps When You Need Clients Now | via the Rising Tide Society

by @nevicavazquez

You have bills that need to be paid next week, or there’s a conference coming up that you know you have to be at, or maybe your mom’s birthday is next month so you need some extra cash.  All of these situations involve you making money in your business as soon as possible to make them happen.  Well I have great news, as an entrepreneur you decide how much money you make and when you make it.  You can decide to take on more clients, raise your prices, or create a new offering, all resulting in more income for yourself.

Whether you need money right now because it is a necessity, or want to treat yourself or someone you love to something that you didn’t budget for, today I will tell you how you can do just that!  Now I need to make a disclaimer, I am not a genie or fairy.  There will not be any magic tricks or woo woo steps to take. These are real steps that have worked for me when I needed bookings on a short notice. As a reminder: You should have a marketing, promotion, and sales plan you can follow consistently so that you don’t get into situations where you need money on short notice. But if that time comes, follow these four steps!

FOUR ACTIONS TO TAKE WHEN YOU NEED CLIENTS NOW

4 Steps to Take When You Need Clients Now | via the Rising Tide Society

Photo by Jenn Kavanagh

Action Step 1: Contact Past Clients

It’s a lot easier to make a repeat sale from clients who already know and love you than it is to get a brand new sale from someone who may have just seen you online.  Also there is a good chance that past clients would love to work with you again and either don’t know how else you can help them, or simply have not made the time to contact you.

So that means you need to do two things:

1. Figure out how you can work with past clients again

Depending on the kind of business you have this will look different for everyone.  If you are a wedding photographer, you can contact past clients to take their anniversary photos now.  If you are a graphic designer, you can contact past clients to see if they have any new courses, campaigns, or events coming up that they need new or modified graphics for.  The main idea here is to think of what they need now.  After working with you once, what is the next step that they now need?

2. Email them to set it up

Once you have thought of a way to work with them again it is time to email them about it!  This might not be the way they end up working with you, but you need to have an idea to pitch to them to start the conversation.  The email should not be pushy, but should be clear! Check in with them to see how they have been doing, and ask if you can help them again with the new idea you have!

Once you have thought of a way to work with them again it is time to email them about it!  This might not be the way they end up working with you, but you need to have an idea to pitch to them to start the conversation.  The email should not be pushy, but should be clear! Check in with them to see how they have been doing, and ask if you can help them again with the new idea you have!

Action Step 2: Ask For Introductions

In other words, ask for a referral.  But I was very particular and specific when I used the word “introduction”.  I learned the difference between the two words from my friend Breanne of My Name is Breanne Consulting.  She taught me that using the word introduction instead of referral is a lot less intimidating for both parties!  So once again reach out to past clients.  Maybe the clients you reached out to in step one were not able to work with you.  If that is the case, then ask them if they can introduce you to someone who they know would love to work with you!

This simple action leaves both sides feeling pressure free.  Your client will be happy to introduce you to more people you can help, and those people will be happy to know you can solve their problem!  To be clear once the introduction is made, learn more about the person and their problem/needs, then tell them how you can help them (aka make the sale)!

Action Step 3: Run A Promotion (That’s not a sale)

I’m not a big fan of sales because as a service provider myself I know they can really damage your authority, and perceived value for charging the way you do. But as someone who spent a few of my college years working in retail, I know that for certain industries sales are a great strategy.  So I can’t completely knock them, but I won’t be talking about them as a step to take today.

Instead I’d like you to think about a promotion.  Instead of saying you are offering a “discount” pitch it as a limited time promotion where clients can get more than usual.  So that could mean combining  two of your services or adding something on.  If you are a photographer that could look like adding a canvas print to anyone that books a shoot during this time.  If you are a graphic designer that could mean combining your logo and social media packages together.  Again you do not want to say that this is a sale or that you are offering a discount because that could be detrimental to your prices in the future.  But make it more valuable and interesting for them to BUY NOW!

Action Step 4: Let People Know You Are Booking

Now this may seem really obvious right? Well, as a Business Strategist I can tell you that when I ask my clients how often they tell people they can buy things from them, the answer is usually less than 10 times a year!  Now think about that for a second.  There are 365 days in a year (366 on occasion ;))  In those 365 days you are probably on social media everyday, blogging 1-2 times a week, and sending out emails a few times a month.  That is 365 days of constant interaction with your audience, and out of 365 you only tell them they can work with you 10 TIMES! AH! That’s crazy!

We need to remember a few principles here.  

Your business is your livelihood. You have a business to serve others with your gifts, and to support you to live a life you love.  You owe it to yourself, to your business, and to the people who NEED you, to let everyone know when + how you can help them!

People are busy. They have a life, have a million things going on and forget things.  They even forget things they really want! So you need to remind them! You need to tell people you are booking new clients. Tell them how many spaces you have open! They will not get annoyed. They chose to follow you because they love what you do and want updates. So give them updates, and let them know how they can work with you!

At the very least you should be letting people know they can work with you + how 2 times a month.  That is still only 6% of the year.  Which is so small, that trust me your audience will not get upset or annoyed, and if they do then they were never going to work with you anyway, so don’t worry about it!

Now, it’s time to get to work! If you need a boost in sales this month, take action.  First contact your past clients, then ask past clients for an introduction to others who need your work, then run a promotion (that’s not a sale/discount), and finally let people know you are open for booking!  These steps have worked for me, so I hope they do the same for you.  In the comments below let me know which step you are going to take action on when you need clients now!

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Thank you. I appreciate the insight and concrete suggestions. I’m going to read this over and over and set my goals

This is a fantastic article Nevica, and these tips are so practical. It really got me thinking, and I already have a few ideas on how I can implement them. Thanks so much for your excellent tips.

When things are slow, when you are telling people you are booking, what do you find is the best way to do that? Just post telling you have openings, or say you have a specific amount?So to not come across I guess as desperate? if that makes sense.

    Great question Alexis! Usually as a service provider you can’t take on so many people at once. So the number is normally always low as a standard.

    So if you know you can only take on 5 clients a month and and only booked 2. You would tell your audience “Hey I only have 3 open spots this month for booking!”.

    But if you are a wedding photographer and have to book 40 weddings a season and have only booked 10 so far. Then it would be more of a reminder. So you post a great picture of a past client and then caption it with – “we are booking summer 2016 weddings right now” instead of “we have 30 spots open”. I hope that helps!

Thank you so much for the “how” behind this article. Especially #3. I am uncomfortable running a sale, I am happy to run a promotion.

Just found this timely article. I am very guilty of getting busy and not getting new clients…then I am scrambling. I’m going to use two of these suggestions right now!

Thank you so much! These are very practical and can easily be done with just a little effort. I’m excited to run w/ these and let you know how it goes. I’m currently running a FB ad for a discounted session booked this week only for Mother’s Day and have only had one bite. Then FB took it down because it had too much text. 🙁 I agree with the sale vs. promotion. I haven’t thought about it that way before. I definitely will only run promotions from now on. Appreciate the advice!

    Hey Amanda! I’m so happy these tips were helpful for you! I don’t know much about facebook ads, or how you set yours up. But from personal preference I can say that it would be really hard for me to book a photographer, no matter what the deal is, if the first time I saw them was through facebook. So unless the ad was targeted at people who already know and love you that can be hard.

    I would suggest having the ad lead them to signing up for your email list (by giving away something of value that they are interested in). And then you can continue to keep up with them through your emails, then send emails letting your followers know about your promotion! This should be a lot more effective for these circumstances.

    Keep me updated on the response you get from implementing these steps!