New to an Agency or Consulting? How Do You Get Clients?

If you just started an agency or became a consultant, where did your first clients come from? In the beginning, finding clients, let alone the right clients can be difficult. You can go to friends and family, but that gets old real fast. In this video, I give you my best advice on how you can not only get clients but form valuable relationships with industry leaders and peers.

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– So you just started an agency or became a consultant, how can you find clients? (confident music) Being a consultant or running an agency is like any other business. Overnight success just doesn’t happen. You need to work for it. So like you think you start an agency, and clients start coming in? It’s not gonna happen, so what do you do in those situations? I mean, your first thing to turn to is people you know. Your existing social network, your social capital. You can pull in some favors, friend of a friend needs something. You can go down that route, but that will deplete itself very quickly, and you don’t also wanna be that guy that is constantly trying to sell to your friends or friends of friends so, like, people don’t wanna hang out with you. So you know that’s limited. Cold calling? Well, unless you are amazing on the phone, I don’t recommend it. I mean, I’ve done cold calling plenty in my early career and when I was in sales. It’s brutal. It will kill you. And who the hell wants to buy agency services, consultants, over a random cold phone call? Not many people, right? You need to sell to people who know who you are. That is your best bet, so how can you do that? So one is, events. You go to your local meetups, any meetup you can go to that might have people in your target audience, and just be a helpful guy, a normal person. Talk to people, understand what’s going on with them. Form a relationship first before you pitch them. You know, make them like you, and then later on, you can follow up and say, “Hey, by the way, remember how you were telling me about your problems with X, Y, Z? I can help you with that.” So that’s one way to go about it. Attend conferences, seminars, you know, all kinds of events where people come together. Seth Godin once said, well he was asked, “When is the best time to start promoting my book?” And his answer was before you start writing it. So it’s the same thing with your business, so the best time to start acquiring customers is before you even start your business. I started CXL, the agency, in 2011. Day one, we signed up a bunch of B clients, and we never looked back, and how did I do that? Well I had been blogging for three years, prior. You know, at a different domain name, different market, but people knew who I was, so I had built social capital. I had built name recognition. I could sell to these people right away. So that’s exactly what consultants and agencies should do is to use some form of content marketing to show your expertise, ’cause essentially, you are in the business of expertise. So you might be the best adverts guy on the planet, but if nobody knows, you know, they won’t hire you, right? So you need to promote yourself, and the best way to do that is through some form of content marketing, whether it’s blogging or you’re active on social media, you do video, podcasts, you know, whatever, and if you don’t wanna host your own, like, you can be a guest on everybody else’s show, if you have some interesting stuff to share. So don’t expect an overnight success and start investing in some form of content marketing right now and do it like your business depended on it, ’cause it does. (confident music)

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New to an Agency or Consulting? How Do You Get Clients?