God it’s awful when things are quiet, isn’t it?
Especially if you’re used to a flow (even if that’s just a tiny trickle) of potential clients contacting you… when crickets start to chirp it can be confronting.
And if you’re anything like me and every single woman entrepreneur I’ve ever spoken to about this, when business is slow and clients dry up, fear quickly creeps in. And when fear turns up, it’s hard to keep your head. Crippling self-doubt often arrives only minutes behind, and together they breed inaction.
Now don’t get me wrong when I say inaction. Back in the day if things were slow, I’d still be busy – just not busy winning or working with clients. For example, I’d be busy:
Panicking. Assuming my lack of clients was due to something deeply flawed in me personally. Obsessively perving on my ‘competitors’. Comparing myself to the cool kids in my industry and coming off a distant second best. Kidding myself that I was working when actually I was watching Friends and Sex in the City reruns all day long. Scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. Wondering if an entirely new university-level qualification would make a difference. Tidying my workspace. Planning my next blog post. Coming up with and repeating feel-good affirmations. And more, oh so SO much more…
It was exhausting! And completely, utterly unproductive. You see even though I was busy, with fear in the driver’s seat, I wasn’t exactly making it rain!
Can you relate?
These days I know, if business is slow, I’ve gotta keep my cool and take big-impact action that actually counts.
You probably already know that staying frosty and focusing on the stuff that counts is key, but of course, when fear’s screwing with your head it can be hard to come up with exactly what those big-impact actions might be.
So here’s 21 client winning moves to make when business is slow. Bookmark this post and refer back to it anytime you need.
1. Learn more about your ideal clients. So often we ASSUME we know what’s important for our community, but we don’t REALLY know for sure. Do the research. Create opportunities to talk to your ideal clients and get to know them. Host a series of free sessions or a survey. Ask people about the biggest problem they are facing right now and what their dream solution would be.
2. Create an automated email sequence for new subscribers that welcomes them into your community and invites people into a complimentary session with you. In that comp session, learn, help, and – if you feel like you’d be a great fit – make an offer.
3. Create content upgrades for your most popular blog posts and then re-promote those posts. It’s a great way to build your subscriber list (especially if you’ve set up that automated email sequence to welcome people and invite them into a complimentary chat session with you).
4. Follow up with past clients. Jump on a call together and learn about where they’re at now. If they’d benefit from your support now make an offer, and/or ask if they’d be happy to refer you to their friends (and then make it easy for them to do just that).
5. Give. I know it’s super cheesy, but seriously, in my life, I’ve learnt this truth: the more I give, the more I get. Anytime I make a donation to one of my favourite charities, clear out my wardrobe and fill a charity bin with my overflow, share a tip or shortcut with another entrepreneur, give my time and expertise for free WITHOUT any expectation of return, somehow opportunities/new clients/money turns up really REALLY fast and in surprising ways.
6. Be genuinely helpful in Facebook groups where your ideal clients hang out. (WARNING: Be careful with this one. Facebook has a way of sucking me in and stealing way more of my day than I’d planned. If you can relate, and you’re going to try this strategy, it’s important to set clear boundaries around how much time you’ll dedicate AND to stay super disciplined about it.)
7. Create and promote a NO BRAINER offer that’s extremely easy for you to create AND extremely easy for your ideal clients to say yes to.
8. Pitch yourself to guest post and/or be interviewed and/or get published and/or share your expert opinion and/or speak at, some of your favourite blogs, podcasts, media, HARO or SourceBottle, events etc.
9. Partner with someone in a complementary vertical* and take turns showcasing each other to your respective audiences. For example, take turns interviewing each other and share those interviews with your communities.
(*By ‘complementary vertical’ I mean someone/a business that shares your target market, but is not a competitor.)
10. Share testimonials on social media. Focus on showcasing your client’s successes rather than tooting your own horn.
11. Use ALL the time you’d usually schedule for working with clients for focused, pro-active marketing.
12. Send personal thank you notes to your (past and current) clients, team, mentors, and soul sisters.
13. Send personal emails to friends and family letting them know what your business and personal mission is all about, and ask them to keep you in mind and refer potential clients.
14. Challenge yourself to share your message and make an offer every.single.day.
15. Update all your social media bios to clearly explain who you help and how AND use the same bio pic across all platforms.
16. Create the ultimate how-to guide on your area of expertise. Make it really, really good. And then give it away for free.
17. Share free, thoughtful value with 3 people every day. For example, recommend a book you love, a helpful article, a podcast or some other resource you think they’ll love or make an introduction you think they’d appreciate.
18. Host a bloody helpful webinar for your community. Share some of your best stuff. At the end, invite people into a complimentary session with you.
19. Check that all your marketing copy (think: your sales pages, sales letters, opt-in landing pages) is clear, benefits-laden and speaks your ideal client’s language. If you’re not sure, ask some of your (past, current or potential) clients to review it for you and send them a thank you gift in return for their time.
20. Incentivise your offer with a limited time bonus. (Tip: The best bonuses don’t create extra work for your clients, instead they help accelerate their success or make things easier.)
21. Follow up on all enquiries you had in the past 6 months. For example, if you sent your services sheet to a potential client, but never heard back, now’s the time to shoot them an email to check in, offer to help however you can and invite them to have a friendly chat.
I hope these 21 tactics inspire you to jump into pro-active, big impact action and momentum! I KNOW that consistently rocking even just a few of these babies will help you quickly shift from crickets to fully booked.
Is there something else you’d add to this list? Let me know in the comments. Together let’s build an epic list of client winning moves so we can all learn together!