I have a question to ask you today…
Are you operating your business as if you were a taxi driver, driving around hoping to find someone to take for a ride?
If thinking about this makes you feel uncomfortable, then keep reading…
The view from the sidewalk
Have you ever been to New York City (or any busy city, really) and needed to grab a cab pronto, but there just weren’t any available ones? When you’re the client and you’re looking for the taxi that will take you to your destination, you suddenly stop worrying about the little details like the price, the make of the car, etc.
When you can create a product or service that solves your customer’s problem right away, when it seemed like there was no solution out there… you’ve just created a market where there is no competition.
Operating as the dispatch
You can either have a strategy for getting clients, or you can just drive around hoping they wave you down.
Obviously one of these will work better as a long-term business strategy than the other.
Let’s look at what happens when you start to operate as a business owner instead of a freelance service provider.
In order to start treating yourself as a business you need to develop a system for getting clients. Think of it as being at the helm of the dispatch center, instead of the taxi driver. People call in, and you create a waiting list to schedule people accordingly. As the dispatch you might also get the word out about the company, by getting listed in the right directories.
You can do the same online by creating an e-mail newsletter, where you send useful information on a regular basis to build your credibility and to market yourself. This is a great way to create value for people who might not be ready to hire you yet.
When you can’t take everyone on board
How would you like to be turning clients away, instead of desperately waiting for them to hire you? Instead of accepting clients on an ongoing basis, set yourself up for success.
Pick the number of clients you like to work with on ongoing basis. From there you can reach out to your list and let them know that you’ve got some spots open. If you fill up your roster, great. Everyone else who inquires about working with you will be put on the waiting list for when you have some spots available.
If you’re not able to fill your schedule up right away, that’s no problem. That gives you more time to market yourself and to create value and prove your skills to potential clients. It will also give you more time to dedicate to your current clients, thus ensuring they get the best results possible.
The thing here is to remember that not everyone you meet will be able to hire you right away, and that’s totally fine. In fact that’s why ongoing communication like a newsletter is so important.
This taxi smells of desperation
Potential clients can smell desperation. When you’ve got a steady stream of clients and you’re not hoping to take someone on at the last minute, you send a very confident signal to your audience. When you’re desperate or you can’t make the rent, your potential clients will feel it and they might be resistant to hiring you.
Another great thing to strive for in your business is to create ways to remove yourself from the daily operation of your business. If you’re able to create products, or automated services like software, then you can create a business that generates income without your direct input of time.
This also gives you leverage and flexibility to take on the ideal number of clients and work with them at a much deeper level. You can train them with your products first, and then take them on as clients when they already have an understanding of the basics so you can get them more results. This ensures that you have even more success stories from your customers. What a win-win situation!
Alright, so we talked about removing the desperation, building a waiting list, and providing value through your free content and products. Write down the three steps you’re going to take in your business RIGHT NOW to get more clients. Post in the comments below and we’ll support you in making it happen!