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How to Acquire New Clients

by | May 6, 2013 | Freelancing, Tutorials | 2 comments

How to Acquire New Clients

One of the toughest things when owning your own business is getting a sustainable flow of clients. Steady business is what keeps the doors open. Money is tight, and your budget needs to stretch as far as possible. So what do you do? Do you advertise in the newspaper? Do you create a tv commercial? It is likely that your budget just won’t go that far. Also, it’s not guaranteed that your target market will even see the ads in the first place. Something we all need to know how to do is how to acquire new clients on a budget. If you’ve read “Freelancing: 10 Things You Can Do to Get Business” or “5 Easy Ways to Secure More Freelance Work” then you know how important it is to have different avenues for gaining new business. Below, I give you 5 easy ways to acquire new clients.

How To Acquire New Clients

1. Get out there and get noticed!

The first thing that you need to do, assuming that you have your portfolio website up, business cards printed, etc., is to get out there and network. There is no way around it. You can’t sit behind a desk at home and wait for the clients to come rolling in. That kind of thing never happens. You need to get out of the house and meet other business owners, small and large, and get your name and face in the heads of the right people. Search online for local small business or entrepreneur events and make an appearance. Bring promotional materials, especially business cards. Talk to other business owners, and discussing what each of you do is bound to come up. This is one of the best settings to land new business, because people are more open to meeting new people and hearing about their services. Make sure you have that business card handy, and possibly a brochure that talks about your services in-depth.

2. Sign up as a guest speaker for new business seminars

Are you an expert in your field? Offer a little bit of your knowledge for free via a new business seminar, or an event that provides information to local business owners. This gets you in front of people that are either starting a new business, or they are considering it. They will be excited about their business and their products, and they will be looking for ways to promote it. This will land you new clients who really need your services. They may not have the highest budgets, but you never know how large their business will become. Imagine getting in good on the ground floor of a startup such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or Amazon. Think of having them as a regular client and how much your business will benefit from their future success.

3. Scour Social Media Sites

I know you’ve probably heard it all before, but just hear me out. Social media is a great place to find business prospects if you know what to look for. Connecting with local businesses on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is essential for growing your business. Here, you can see if anyone has posted a question or request for help. Common questions that you will find on social media sites are “Does anyone know where I can get nice business cards made?” Another one might be “I need a website built for my business, who should I call?.” I’ve seen questions like these dozens of time. Being in the right place at the right time to offer help can bring in a little business, which is good considering all that you invested was a little of your time. You can also use programs such as Tweet Adder to do a keyword search and search for tweets containing certain terms. You can follow businesses on Twitter that fit certain terms as well. Tweet Adder is an excellent tool for managing Twitter accounts.

4. Paid Referrals

Paid referrals are a great way to acquire new clients. This could be something like offering established clients incentives for referrals, such as a $50 visa gift card for a referral that ends up being a paid customer. Yes, you may end up having to pay someone $50, but if it lands you a new small business website for $3000.00, then I would say that is a decent return on your investment. You won’t get that kind of return from Google advertising, or any other paid search program online.

5. Offer a Free Consultation

A lot of large firms charge just for consultations. The reason is that that can’t afford to pay a team to give free advice or to spend their time looking at someone’s business for free. This is where you can leverage your small overhead and offer free consultations. 8 times out of 10, you’ll land a new client if you show them that you can deliver quality results at a fraction of the price. Another thing that you have to offer that larger businesses don’t is the ability to have a more personal interaction with your clients. They won’t feel like just another client or a set of walking dollar signs. This is one of the best ways to acquire new clients.


We all need to acquire new clients from day one and on a regular basis. It is important to always be on the lookout for the next new project and your next new client. It is also important to always stay in touch with past clients and make sure that they have everything that they need. Networking is one of the most important things you will ever do to get out and meet new business prospects. Businesses won’t knock down your door, especially if they don’t know that you exist. Business isn’t always about what you know, but it is definitely about who you know. What do you do you acquire new clients?

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