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Why is finding clients online so hard?

We have access to the world at our fingertips. Why can’t we find all the clients we need? The thing is, they (our potential clients) also have access to a world of options. Making your business the most attractive option takes some doing. Maybe you’ve set up your online presence pretty well, taking account of your systems, your budget, your knowledge, the external factors you know about. And yet it feels like there are roadblocks.

Are you caught up in busy-work, planning and creating, but not yet working with clients? Feelings of uncertainty, perhaps fear, can sabotage your confidence. Without realising it, you’ve got the handbrake on.

When you do find clients you can help, you end up undercharging and overworking, unable to see how you can find clients who are a better fit.

If you’re feeling stuck when it comes to trying to find clients online, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s getting in the way

I’m worried about ‘putting myself out there’

Ah, impostor syndrome, that ol’ chestnut.

“I can’t say that!”…
…It’s too salesy / What will people think? / They all do it much better than me…

If you’re a conscientious creative, consultant, professional service provider, this is always going to be on your mind. We care deeply about the quality of our work and it feels personal.

But marketing’s all about giving people the opportunity to get to know you and how you can help them.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can’t help people if they don’t know you’re there
  • Yes there are a lot of other people doing similar things to you, but you’ll do it your own unique way that will draw clients to you, because of you
  • When you’re turning things around and around in your head, it’s time to sense-check those ideas with a fellow business owner and get the feedback you need to move forward.

I’m not really sure how to describe my service offering

Your audience isn’t going to be sure whether they should buy from you either. If your audience can’t easily see what’s in it for them, they’ll move on to the next business.

Start by getting clear about the problem you’re solving.

If you’re stumbling over how the features of your service will benefit the people who have that problem, you’re bound to be reluctant to put out any promotional messages.

Maybe you can engage a copywriter to draw out the best description of your services, so you can get back to focusing on delivering them.

I used to know how to approach clients in my last job

Maybe where you worked previously was a client-facing role, and your client service skills are top-notch. You’ve been able to engage and build rapport easily, and you’ve been confident that you’ll win clients over in the same way in your own business.

This view doesn’t factor in that the clients you worked with were drawn to the company or organisation first.

Now you’re representing your own operation, you need to:

  • establish yourself as the best choice for the client who is comparing services like yours.
  • demonstrate with social proof, track record, and [an appearance of] confidence, that you’re the service provider for them.

It isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Stepping out on your own in business is a massive change to the way you approach your work. No longer representing a company or organisation, you’re going to adopt a different mindset for promoting your own business to clients.

I feel super busy but I’m not earning enough

Take a step back and review what you mean by ‘busy’.

Could you set aside an hour and write down the activities you’re doing and the client work you’re doing? Bonus points if this is already recorded in your calendar to look back on!

Are you actually spending the time you need to on your client work? Or does this indicate maybe you’re spending a bit too much fiddling with systems in the background? I’ve been there, and it’s so easy to be caught up in tweaking your website, or adding a new clever automation in your CRM that’ll make it easier when you do get a rush of clients.

Once you can identify what you’re busy with, you have more clarity about your next steps. It can be hard to check in on ourselves, so getting some outside perspective can help.

OK, you’re busy serving clients but you’re not earning as much as you’d like to. You have a few options:

You could serve more clients. That means doing more of the same work for the same money, getting busier and busier with the same services. Outsourcing could be the next step to growing your income.

What if that wasn’t the only way to earn more?

Sometimes getting clients online for your business isn’t just about ways to get more clients. It’s about what else you could do differently.

You could raise your rates. How long since you last reviewed your pricing – are you undercharging?
You could attract different clients as you move your services into a premium offering at a higher rate. That’s a new challenge.
You could consider other ways you could solve your clients’ problems. Adding productised services like downloads, templates, courses, could all support your core service delivery.

I’ll share some thoughts about types of content and services later on.

Stuck attracting clients? Think differently

The way you used to do things might not work now, when you’re starting or growing a business. There’s a lot to do as a business owner, and our mindset has a big part to play in how we go about finding clients. Take a fresh look at what’s taking up your time, whether you’re addressing your ideal clients’ problems and what you could do differently. If what you’ve been doing hasn’t attracted the clients you’d like to work with, doing more of it isn’t the way to getting more clients for your business. It’s time for a change.

Are you feeling stuck and unclear about what’s holding you back when you’re trying to find clients? Book in for a Next Step Navigator workshop. We’ll look at what’s working and not working and identify your next action steps for finding clients.

Office Connectjen

I’m Jenny Lindsay, a versatile marketer, copywriter, and opportunity-seeker. I’m committed to helping service providers like you to get your marketing foundations sorted so you can find the clients who need you.