by Abbey Ashley
Pop quiz time!
What’s the ONE thing every business MUST have to succeed?
Social media strategy? … Nope.
A perfectly branded website? … Uh Uh.
Pretty business cards? … Not exactly.
The ONE thing that every business needs to succeed is CLIENTS!
That might seem obvious, but what I find is that most entrepreneurs spend a lot of time on activities that don’t directly make them any money.
If you’re looking to start a business, I have a strategy that goes against the curve – that focuses on bringing in funds now so you can then go and build up the rest of your business.
Really – you have two options when starting a business:
Option One: You spend $1,000’s of dollars on a website, business cards, software programs, and courses on driving traffic… but no one buys your product.
Option Two: Focus on getting a few clients first, validate your idea, make money and then create your website / build your business.
The better option seems obvious, right?
Here’s the steps to make it happen:
Choose a service
The best way to start making money quickly in your business is to start providing a service. This doesn’t have to be a service that you will always offer in your business. Remember, your goal is to start bringing money in so you can have the funds to build out the rest of your business.
You may have to get creative here. The goal is to have a done-for-you service that you can offer to clients.
Need ideas of a service to offer? Here’s a list of 50 done-for-you services that you can start offering today.
Send a friends and family email
Now that you’ve chosen a service to offer in your business, you want to start getting clients! One of the most neglected places to find clients for your new service is from your friends and family.
You might be thinking, “Um… my friends and family are NOT my ideal client!”. That may be true, but chances are, they are connected to ONE person who is!
Make a goal to reach out to 100 people (remember, building a business takes hustle!). Make a list of the people that you’ve talked to in the past year (via email, your Friends list, etc). Message these on Facebook or LinkedIn or email them with this template to let them know about your service. Even if they aren’t your ideal client, they probably know someone who is!
Create a portfolio
I suggest making a PDF portfolio of the service that you plan to offer. My favorite place to create this is in Canva. Here’s what you can include in your portfolio:
- A biography with a photo, outlining what you are the BEST person for the job
- Have a list of services that you can provide, or a detailed description of your service
- Show examples! If you are going to manage social media, show off some graphics you can create. If you are going to be creating custom meal plans, show some example meals.
- Gather testimonials. Even if you have never had a client, get a few people who know you well to write a testimonial, simply saying you are awesome at what you do.
- Enter in your pricing. What will you charge for the service? Make it clear in your portfolio.
- What are the next steps for hiring you? Make it clear in your portfolio.
Search in relevant Facebook groups
You have reached out to your friends and family. You have created a portfolio. Now you can start advertising your services in Facebook groups.
Here’s how you do this:
Join 20+ Facebook groups, that have your ideal client. Simply search for groups that have your ideal client in them like “parents” or “entrepreneurs”. A great way to find these groups is through the “Discover Groups” Link on the left sidebar on your Facebook news feed.
Once you join the group, introduce yourself (make sure you include a picture!). Something like this is good:
“Hi everyone! My name is ____. Thanks for letting me join the group! Would anyone be interested in a service that provides ______? It’s something I’m looking to start offering and wanted to see if there was an interest!”.
Stay involved in the group. Search daily for people looking for your service. Follow up to anyone that inquires about your service.
That’s it. Wash, rinse, repeat these steps until you have your first client. Once you start bringing in some money from offering a service, you can begin focusing on the other elements of expanding your (now profitable) business!
Abbey Ashley is a wife, mother, and the Founder of The Virtual Savvy. Through her free tools and online resources, she helps savvy women launch and grow their own virtual assistant business from scratch. With a background in marketing and a passion for empowering female entrepreneurs, she has helped hundreds of women create a business they love with the flexibility to work from home.
Interested in learning more about becoming a virtual assistant? Check out the free online tips and resources made available on her site at: www.thevirtualsavvy.com