I get asked all the time “Edward, how do you get all your clients?” and also “Edward, how did you get started?”. The simple answer is that I got started with extreme difficulty! These days I get a great two thirds of my clients through 4Networking with the rest coming from Online, Referrals and other people I know around town.
Although this may sound “Pretty Good”, my success in this area is relatively recent. Today, I was very lucky to catch up with the Awesome Ilana Wechsler today. She is based in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney and is a Google Adwords / PPC expert who I have met through the 4Networking Community. We had “Middle Eastern” Pizza’s for lunch on Bondi Beach and we shared notes about building our own businesses from scratch.
In sharing what we felt, starting out is really hard for many Small Business Owners. The trick is being around long enough, “Surviving” and “Cracking the Ice” so you have your base of original supporting clients. You do a great job of these, they support you and help you get more clients and so on!
Talking to the subject of this article, I remember my goal when I started out about 3 – 4 years ago is starting to really happen – that is, “Creating a Stream of Profitable Referrals!”. Over the past few weeks, I have had several leads a week and it has been totally awesome. They have led to high quality meetings and with some converting into awesome high quality clients where we both love each other.
As Ilana and I spoke on this topic today, the reality is that to get the “Stream of Profitable Referrals” you have to market consistently, be really good, love your clients and in simple terms – just be around for “A While” so your reputation and profile builds and builds over time. Talking to my own Online Marketing / Blogging – I really think I “Got Good” at it at the start of 2014 and it took about 6 months for it to really kick in.
These days it works amazing well for me and I think it’s just a function of people being exposed to me for long enough to eventually say “I’d love to contact this guy” to see how he may be able to help me.
My advice? If you are a bit flat in your business with referrals or starting out – no sweat, we have all been there! You want to market hard, look after who you have, focus on relationship building (e.g. regular emails with great content) and get yourself & your services in the mind of the market. That way they are more likely to hire you, hire you again (if previous clients) or even better – give you awesome recommendations and referrals!
It does take time, but the harder you work it the shorter it takes. I think in all fairness, it took me a great 2 – 3 years to really crack the ice and get established. Hope that helps you on your own journey and please drop me a line if you need a hand Awesome Friends!!!
Love your Work – Edward Zia, Marketing Mentor, Crazy Persian, Ilana Wechsler Fan who Loves Referrals!