There’s very little that bothers entrepreneurs more than getting clients.
After all, we do depend on them to sustain our businesses.
So we have to rely on various techniques to find new clients. From putting our work’s quality first and generating referrals through word of mouth, to placing testimonials on our websites.
However, we can’t rely on just one technique to ensure that we get a steady stream of revenue. And since we live in a digital world, the question becomes:
How to get clients online?
In this guide rich with real-life examples, I’ll show you everything you need to know to successfully get clients online in 2019. Let’s get started!
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What You’ll Learn in This Guide
About the Author
Hey everyone, it's Hahna Kane Latonick.
Unlike most so-called client getting “experts”, I practice what I preach.
In fact, I’ve used the strategies in this guide to attract clients from online sites, like LinkedIn:
Now I’m going to show YOU how to get clients from several of these online platforms.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Here's my disclosure for more details.
Chapter 1. Fundamentals of How to Get Clients Online
Before we get into the thick of it, it’s important to understand the principles of finding clients online.
Principle 1: Build trust with online clients using social proof
Getting clients online relies on getting them to know you and trust you. Or, as Damon Richards puts it:
"Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care."
Now, what do you need to do to help your prospects develop trust in you?
The first thing is using social proof.
These can be testimonials on your landing page, showing what your previous clients had to say about working with you, or certifications that highlight your knowledge.
After all, 69% of American consumers seek out opinions from others before making a purchase.
The second way to build trust with online clients is showing your personality.
94% of consumers would rather buy from small businesses than big companies.
Your clients don’t want mass-produced work. They want to pay for services that approach their unique needs with equally unique solutions.
By showing the face behind the business and showing how you’ve helped others, you’ll be able to create more trust than if you invested into expensive advertising campaigns.
Principle 2: Solve your clients’ problems – for free
There’s no better way to show that you’re an expert than by creating content that resolves the challenges your clients are facing.
This is what inbound marketing relies on. Instead of sending hundreds of cold emails, actively encourage your customers to make the first move and get in touch with you.
The inbound principles are very simple if you want to get clients online:
- Attract your customers by creating content using SEO-valuable keywords, or by publishing on social media. By doing this, you’re alerting them to their presence by showing them how they can fix their problems.
- Engage with your customers. Motivate your customers with great content to get in touch with you.
- Delight your customers. Approach their unique issues with their unique needs in mind.
Solving your clients’ problems doesn’t just show clients that you’re an expert. It also shows them that you care about their problems.
Principle 3: Follow up and stay on top of your clients’ minds
It usually takes 5 to 7 follow-ups before a prospect turns into your client. So if you’re wondering how to get clients online, the answer is:
Don’t give up!
Think about a common situation for many freelancers: your client said no, but they’re still following you on a social network where you have a strong presence.
You’re regularly posting, offering value and help, and you’re showing that you’re an all-around nice person to work with.
Once they need help with your area of expertise, who do you think they’re going to call? The person they’ve never heard of, or you, whose work they’re already familiar with?
And even if they don’t need your help, they’ll be more likely to refer you to their friends who have a problem you can help with.
All because you’ve created a connection with them. Even if they said no.
And when it comes to creating connection, there’s nothing like using social media to do it.
Chapter 2. Using Facebook to Get Clients
Facebook is where most of our clients are, regardless of our niche. Additionally, Facebook has a lot of useful features that you can use to get clients online.
Here’s what you can do.
Option 1: Facebook Pages
Think of FB page as your business’ storefront: show your goods, and show the customers why they should buy from you.
Don’t count on a lot of organic reach from Facebook pages – unfortunately, pages usually see only 1-3% of organic engagement. Engagement rate increases with video.
However, when potential clients look up your business on Google, your Facebook page will be among the first to show, so it’s important to keep it updated and full of valuable content.
A great example of a Facebook business page is Starbucks on FB.
Instead of just posting about new beverages, Starbucks also has content on how their customers can make awesome coffee at home.
This makes customers more likely to click through to different segments of Starbucks’ page, and that improves Facebook algorithm’s placement of their future organic posts.
Option 2: Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a great way of improving your organic reach and getting more engagement from your customers. Users respond better to live streams, and they’re more motivated to watch them than regular video because they have FOMO (fear of missing out):
“What if they say something important and I miss it?”
It makes them all the more likely to engage with your page, especially if you’ve got a reputation for sharing useful content in your live streams.
What can you live stream on Facebook to get more clients online?
In addition to teaching prospects how to do something related to your niche, you can also run a special promotion, or give your commentary on breaking news in your industry.
Option 3: Facebook Groups
Facebook groups are a great way of getting more publicity for your business (and consequently, more clients).
Again, it’s all about trust and connection. They’re what’s going to make prospects get in touch with you and hire you.
Here’s the game plan for getting more clients with Facebook groups:
- Join Facebook groups related to your niche (e. g. how to make a website, website development for SaaS, etc. if you’re a web developer)
- Start by answering questions and being genuinely helpful in the group.
- Share content you created that will be helpful to group members.
- When appropriate, offer your (professional) help.
- Make sure your page/profile’s “About me” description contains a link to your business or a description of your services, so group members know that you’re a professional.
If you have enough interested members, you can also create your own group and amplify your social proof.
Option 4: Using Facebook Messenger to Get Clients Online
Did you know that over 71% of users across the world want to, and actively message businesses on Facebook? In fact, people and businesses exchange over 8 billion messages on Facebook – every month.
Now, some entrepreneurs and businesses use Facebook Messenger bots to automate bookings and FAQs. Setting them up is pretty easy, and it can reduce your workload until it’s time to close the deal with a client.
You can also use Facebook Messenger to share important notifications and relevant content with the people who liked your page. Otherwise, they may not even see it if you didn’t pay to promote it.
For example, SnapTravel has a chatbot set up to automatically message everyone who likes their page.
After all, onboarding communication is very important in turning leads to clients.
Option 5: What about Facebook Advertising?
While there is a lot you can do with non-paid Facebook features to get clients online, you should also consider Facebook advertising.
The first thing you can use to get clients online as an entrepreneur, freelancer or a small business owner is the Facebook Pixel.
If you integrate the Pixel in your website’s code, Facebook will track your best customers and scour their platform to find similar people who are more likely to become your clients.
It can also be used for retargeting. If someone visited your website but hasn’t proceeded with contracting your services, they’ll be seeing your ads on the social network.
Think about ad placement. You can have Facebook manually select where it’ll place your ads (in the feed, Messenger, or on Instagram) according to the likelihood of successful performance.
Finally, make sure your ad creative reflects your image and objective.
For example, NatureBox published a great Facebook photo ad.
It catches attention with the visuals, offers a free trial, has a clear call-to-action, and it offers value in the ad copy by emphasizing how important healthy snacks are.
To learn more about how to use Facebook advertising, here's a helpful resource.
Chapter 3. Tweeting Your Way to New Clients
As a social network that you can use to get clients online, Twitter is great. There are over 336 million monthly active users worldwide, and 85% of followers feel more connected with small businesses after following them.
We may feel like Twitter is all about 280-character tweets about the state of the public transport, but there’s much more to it when you’re approaching it from a business perspective.
Here are the 4 key things you need to know about using Twitter to get clients online.
Option 1: Advanced Search
Twitter is a great medium for social listening, customer insight, and spying on your competition.
Advanced search will help you with tasks such as:
- Content ideas (that work)
- Understanding customer problems and their perspective
- Customer support
- Lead generation
- Understanding what your competitors are doing right (and what they’re doing wrong)
For example, you can search for people who’ve tweeted about particular topics and hashtags. If your industry is website development, it’s easy to find people who need help with it.
You don’t necessarily have to start offering your services right away. Instead, offer advice, engage with your potential clients, and…
Option 2: Add Your Prospects to a Twitter List
You can create Twitter lists for a lot of things – existing customers that you can get in touch with for referrals (and who can give them to you on their own), influencers who can amplify your content, and curating resources.
For example, Mashable uses Twitter lists to curate the profiles of social media experts who can help business owners grow their social media:
You can also create Twitter lists for the people you’ve found through advanced search. They’ll be your leads and by adding them to a list, you’ll be showing them that you’re interested in them.
And once they see your interest, they’ll be more likely to show interest in you.
Conversely, you can also make your Twitter lists private if you want to approach your leads differently.
Again, it takes at least 5 follow-ups on average for leads to consider becoming customers, so having a list of them can be a great way of making sure you don’t give up too soon.
Pro Tip: Be sure to use automation tools like Buffer, IFTTT and TweetDeck to make sure you’re not missing out on any engagement.
Option 3: The Formula You Need to Get Clients with Twitter
Your main goal is to attract and engage with your prospects, and turn them into customers. You can do all of that (and more) with Twitter.
Start with hashtags. Research them, engage with people who are your potential clients, follow them and create lists. Then use the relevant hashtags when posting to get more visibility for your content.
If your content is directly responding to a customer’s question or a problem, you can tag them, as well. Especially if you’ve previously interacted with them.
Create engaging posts. Twitter is all about engagement, so don’t be afraid to ask questions, and post images, gifs and polls. Show your customers that you care about their problems, and then they’ll care about how you can solve them.
For example, Tropicana uses a quiz-style post on Twitter with multiple images to stimulate engagement from their followers:
Pinned tweet = CTA. Don’t forget about the importance of pinned tweets. They should always direct your potential customers to pages where they’re presented with a concrete offer, or at the very list – a lead magnet.
Option 4: A Word on Twitter Ads
Promoted tweets, accounts and trends are all a great way of reaching more people to grow your follower base, but the general consensus is that they’re not worth the money.
Forget about vanity metrics like followers. Instead, focus on interacting with leads and turning them into customers.
And remember: trust and value.
Chapter 4. Go Pro: Getting Clients with LinkedIn
LinkedIn is the ultimate professional network, one that performs especially well for B2B industries.
So if you’re wondering how to get clients online, here are the things you need to know about reaching your prospects on LinkedIn.
Option 1: Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile
No matter what you do later in your LinkedIn client outreach strategy, the first thing you need to have is a profile that seals the deal. Make it all about what you can do for your customer, and use keywords so you’re searchable.
LinkedIn profiles are just like an elevator-pitch: you have potential customers’ limited attention, so make the most of it.
This marketer knows how to invoke interest from his customers with an interesting headline.
Pro Tip: Get social proof for your profile by asking your previous clients to endorse you.
Option 2: Create Content that Demonstrates Your Expertise
LinkedIn Pulse is a big hit on the platform, and for a reason.
By demonstrating your expertise with valuable articles, and showing your opinion with status updates, your new clients will understand that you care about their problems, and know exactly how to solve them.
Option 3: Connect to Get Clients on LinkedIn!
Just like Twitter, LinkedIn has Advanced Search. This one is more powerful, since it is a business platform, so you can sort potential clients according to the number of employees they have, industries, and other significant factors.
Once you’ve found your potential clients, visit their profile. They’ll get a notification that you’ve viewed it, and they’ll be more likely to view yours back. That’s why you should have an optimized profile and content that shows you’re an expert.
If your potential clients visit your profile, send them a connection request. Be sure to check their profile before and personalize the connection request with something you have in common.
For example, Larry Kim of Wordstream wrote a great personalized request:
The most important part of this request was what they had in common: marketing automation. Larry had already shown interest in Brian by listening to his recent talk.
Option 4: Stay in Touch
Once your potential clients accept your connection requests, don’t offer your services immediately.
Instead, stay in touch with them.
Engage with their content and if you post something that they’ve talked about before, feel free to send it over to show them that you’re here, listening, and also – you’ve got just the thing for what’s been bothering them.
Chapter 5. The Power of Visuals and
Finding New Clients through Pinterest
There’s very little we love more than visuals. That’s why Pinterest has over 250 million users who love shopping through Pinterest.
In fact, over 50% of Pinterest users said that they made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin in their feed.
What 3 key features can you use to reach the purchase-ready Pinterest clients?
Option 1: Focus on the Visuals, and Promote Your Pins
Some business owners find it easy to promote themselves on Pinterest – especially if their products are visual by nature.
However, even if you’re an entrepreneur who does web development or marketing, that doesn’t mean you can’t use Pinterest to get customers.
All you need is a graphic design tool like Canva that’ll help you create visually appealing images.
Take a look at Big Cat Creative’s pin visuals as an example:
They’re promoting a post on getting clients, and still, they’re making it highly visual.
When they pin this and promote it on Pinterest, they’re sure to get a lot of attention and the standard Pinterest ROI: $2 for each $1 spent.
The very nature of advertising on Pinterest is so successful because it’s native. It doesn’t disrupt the flow of users’ feeds – it integrates with them, and with their interests. That’s why promoted pins work, even if you’re in the least visual industry ever.
Option 2: Don’t Just Promote: Curate
When clients open the Pinterest app on their phones, they spend a lot of time using it. From planning purchases to finding useful content, it’s a shame not to use Pinterest to reach more people.
You don’t even have to create original, for Pinterest content.
Simply repurposing the content you posted on other social networks and blogs, and adding the visual component to it can go a long way.
Wrote a blog post on email responsiveness like Litmus? No worries, it can be repurposed for Pinterest:
From a blog post on email responsiveness, the team behind the email marketing blog Litmus managed to create an engaging infographic that demonstrates their knowledge in a fun, visual way that can help them capture clients on Pinterest.
If you repurpose and curate content like Litmus, and publish it on your Pinterest boards, you’ll be able to reach more clients organically. They’ll share your content with their friends, too.
Option 3: Perfect Your Pinterest Profile to Get Clients Online
Pinterest users are extremely prone to sharing (re-pinning). 80% of all pins are re-pins (content originally posted by someone else, and shared by other users).
This is yet another reason why using Pinterest to reach more clients is a good idea.
However, clients don’t always click through to book a consultation with you the first time they see your content. That’s why it’s important to have an optimized Pinterest profile for your business – just like with LinkedIn.
Make sure that you create boards with related subjects that are interesting to your potential clients, as well. Use the platform regularly and provide value.
You can also add keywords to your pins, boards and profiles to make sure that you get SEO benefits, as well. Don’t forget about linking to your website, either.
Learn how to turn unappealing to Pinterest-ready from a pharmaceutical company, London Drugs:
London Drugs understand that 80% of their followers and customers are women, and more than 50% have children. That’s why they’re not posting pictures of their medication on Pinterest.
Instead, they focus on something half of the world adores: cute kids.
Chapter 6. If It’s Not on Instagram, It Didn’t Happen
Ever since Facebook acquired Instagram, they’ve been working hard to provide a better advertising experience to business owners.
However, there are other features you can use if you’re wondering how to get clients online.
Option 1: Instagram Ads Connected to Facebook
Instead of placing ads directly from Instagram, you can also use Facebook’s Ad Manager to improve the reach and targeting capabilities of your ads. If you were using Instagram native ads, you wouldn’t be able to use the pixel targeting.
When creating the ad content, keep in mind that video performs best on Instagram.
Option 2: Be (In)credible
Instagram is a highly visual platform so you have to pay attention to aesthetics the same you pay attention to appearing credible and professional. Perform hashtag audience research to see what kind of content your audience loves the most.
We can learn from Aaron Ward when it comes to making a visual impact that’s going to bring you clients from Instagram:
As you can see, Aaron posts photos with text that show his potential clients the value they’ll get by visiting his website or taking his courses. However, they’re presented in a very visually appealing way.
But just because you’re focusing on the pretty, don’t forget about the actionable: add a CTA to your bio. What can your clients do next?
Option 3: Engage!
Instagram users love engaging – more so than users of any other social network. So when you’re in Rome, do as the Romans do and engage with your community; clients, potential clients, influencers, partners, and everyone else.
Show that you’re interested in them before you expect them to be interested in you.
And once you’ve got enough clients, why not share their testimonials or samples of the work you did for them? Even if you’re not in a visual industry, you can publish a case study and make it look incredible for Instagram.
Option 4: Slide in their DMs
If you’re ready to be proactive, find clients in your area. Search for businesses and people in your target area who could benefit from your services. Then just shoot them a direct message (DM), saying something complimentary and offering to help them get even more customers.
Not everyone is going to respond, but those who do may just feel like it’s serendipity that you found them.
Chapter 7. YouTube and the Power of Videos
There’s nothing that gets more engagement than videos these days. Marketers and businesses are increasingly investing in them, and consumers love them.
In fact, views on videos with branded content (content businesses are publishing) increased by 258% on Facebook and 99% on YouTube.
So why not use YouTube to get more clients?
Here’s what you need to know.
Option 1: YouTube and SEO
If you post YouTube videos, know that they send SEO signals to Google’s algorithms so even if your blog posts and other formats of content aren’t showing up for your target keywords, your videos just might.
Let’s take a look at MinorityReportLaw’s example:
By having their video rank for search terms in a sea of textual content, they’re standing out from the crowd.
Option 2: Educate Your Clients
Reading a long-form article on why something matters takes a lot of time. But videos are great for keeping it short and straight to the point.
Your clients will be more willing to hear you out and get informed on issues you can solve if the explanation is presented as a video.
Just take a look at Dollar Shave Club’s video:
Even if you’re camera shy and stick to blog posts, you can always turn them into videos with tools like Lumen5.
Option 3. Show Your Personality
The most important thing about creating (YouTube) video content is showing your face to your clients. And just like I talked about in the fundamentals – it’s the connection that matters.
When we’re all separated by screens, showing your face, letting clients hear your tone of voice and gain insight into your personality can go a long way towards warming them up.
You don’t have to be a professional YouTube star, but you can be authentic and show your clients why you’re the person whose services they’d love.
Chapter 8. Getting Clients Using JV Webinars
Partnerships are the key to success. That’s why joint venture webinars (JV webinars for short) perform so well.
Regardless of whether you want to go all in and co-host a webinar with someone else in a complementary industry, or just have a plethora of guest speakers, you’ll see benefits such as:
- Shared audiences (you promote them to your audience, and your partner promotes you to theirs)
- Shared knowledge (two heads know more than one, and clients respect that)
- Credibility and professionalism (shows the scale and professionalism of your operation)
Depending on you and your partner’s agreement, you can also split the profits or agree on a commission percentage if you’re charging the webinar.
Take a look at Teachable and SumoMe’s joint venture webinar:
These two companies joined forces to give Teachable exposure to SumoMe’s massive email list, in exchange for Teachable creating a workshop and offering a discounted course to everyone who was also subscribed to SumoMe.
In spite of all the different social networks and tactics, it all comes down to one very simple thing:
People want quality services, but they want them from people who care.
It isn’t just about what you can do. It’s about how you, and only you, can do it.
So if you’re wondering how to get clients, start by creating a connection.
Connect with your prospects in different ways and, over time, you'll be able to turn your connections into clients.
I hope this guide showed you how to get clients online.
And now I’d like to turn it over to you:
Did you learn something new from this guide?
Or maybe you have a question.
Either way, leave a comment below right now.
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