As a freelancer, new clients are always top of mind. Sometimes we might have too many, other times not enough.
Phyllis Khare and I recently talked about some of our top 5 tips for getting new clients as a Social Media Manager (and these really apply to many freelance jobs).
Here’s our recorded SocialTalkLIVE video – as always, we had some fun!
#1 – Attend Live networking events
This is one of the ways I started my business. I used sites like Meetup, local searches, and my own Chamber to find active business owners who needed social media help.
I had a very compelling 30 second introduction to my business (often called your 30 second commercial) where I stressed how I could help a business owner.
You can also think about presenting a free training to these business owners that gives valuable tips but also gives you a chance to show what you can do for them.
#2 – Build your resume with free or low-cost work
This is a better tip for businesses who are just starting out. I gave away my consulting (sometimes in exchange for other services) to help build my resume and get testimonials.
Phyllis recommends starting with your “Passion projects” (for example, nonprofits you align with) for resume building. Sometimes those passion projects then hire you for further work but make sure the time you give away has a very short term limit or very specifically bound.
Don’t give away too much or be force to work too long or hard for “exposure”. Value what you do!
#3 – Give Referral bonuses to existing clients
Often a business owner has a network of other people just like them. Many times they might refer you because they like what you have done for them.
But you can encourage the process by either giving discounts or a special “thank you” to existing clients for bringing in a new client.
Word of mouth recommendations are often the best way to grow your business. Sometimes just sending an e-mail to your current clients saying something like “My business thrives on referrals – I would appreciate any introductions to people who could benefit my services.” That lets your current clients know you are open to referrals.
Check out The Referral Engine by John Jantsch for more on this technique!
#4 – Use attraction-based marketing through your content
This technique is better for the longer term but as a social media manager need to be blogging and posting on social media to build your authority. Be your own first client.
When you are sharing great tips through your blog and your social posts, people then value your opinion as an expert.
Not sure how to find good content? Here’s a great set of ways to find the best content to share on social media.
#5 Create a Lead Generation System
This is also more of a long term technique but often your content can lead to immediate customers – make sure you pitch your services at the end of your free content!
So how do you generate leads? Basically you offer something that is very closely aligned with what you do, often it’s a free webinar, an e-book or it could even be a free 1-hour local workshop.
You give away valuable content that attracts your perfect client, then at the end of the e-book or webinar, you tell them about how they can work with you (or what product they can buy).
For example, I wrote an e-book called 50 Facebook Posts Guaranteed to Engage Your Audience. I give it away for free because I know my audience is interested in that type of content.
So that is some of our top 5 tips on getting new clients as a Social Media Manager. We also have a great social media manager starter kit that helps dive into this process even further.