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How Do I Get Clients in a Down Economy?

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Spend time in your home office seeking client contacts.

Just about all small business owners, including freelancers, are wondering, “How do I get clients in a down economy?” Finding new clients is something that takes time and effort even when the economy is good. By following a few simple rules, you’ll be able to gain new clients and make your business successful.

Why Do You Need New Clients?

Gaining new clients, while retaining old clients is a key to any successful entrepreneurial adventure. No matter what type of business you’re in, you need new clients. Writers need new readers, direct sales consultants need people to host parties, inventors need new outlets to sell their goods, etc. New clients help take your business to the next level and up your annual income. The key is keeping your old clients while gaining new ones. Otherwise, your business will not grow, it will just stay at the same level.

Ways to Seek New Customers

There are many ways to seek new customers, but some of the most effective ways include some of the tried and true methods that have been around for generations. We’ll go into these in a bit more detail below. Also, we’ll take a look at some of the newer trends in gaining customers.

Referrals

One of the best ways to gain new clients is to simply ask your current clients to refer you to others. This type of word-of-mouth advertising is one of the most effective. I like to give a little bonus if the person signs up for a package and pays. For example, one of my web design clients recently referred a new client to me, so I put a $10 credit on their account and let them know about it. It was a simple thank you that the client really appreciated.

Sales

If you need new business quickly, run a few sales. Offer a percentage or certain amount off if the person signs up by a particular date. Those of you in direct sales could offer a package like one-on-one tutoring sessions for the new consultant or letting them take one of your booked parties. This helps you as well, because you usually earn a percentage of what your downline sales. Try to be creative with your sales. Limit them to 48 to 72 hours and stick to it. Don’t keep extending the sale or there is no reason for people to sign up right away. Also, don’t offer the sales too often or there is no real incentive, because the potential clients will realize you run these sales all the time. They’ll just wait for the next one.

Schedule in Time for New Client Seeking

Most successful freelancers spend 30 minutes to an hour of each work day seeking out new jobs and clients. How you go about this might be varied. You could ask current clients for names and numbers of people who might be interested and cold call. You could visit local businesses. You could post information on your social networking sites. You could even make the rounds of online chats and interviews to increase your exposure for free. Try different things and go back to the ones that work best.

Social Media

For today’s modern business owner, social networking is an absolute must. Utilize your network to find new clients. Create a post reminding everyone of what you do and asking if they will spread the word. Offer to reward the favor, of course. The main sites to start with for networking include Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, but there are also many others out there, so think about what ties in best with your business and work those connections.

Stay Upbeat

Anyone who has owned a business for a while will tell you that there are ups and downs and that work will seem to lag and then will pour in all at once. Spending a set time every day seeking new work helps a bit, but it will still have lulls and busy periods. When the lulls c

About

Lori Soard has worked online designing websites, writing, editing and promoting clients since 1997. Through Promo Warriors, she's consulted with over 100 clients to help them figure out what online presence works best for them. In addition to helping people learn how to start their own businesses, she writes feel-good books about the way love and the world should be.