10 ways to get perfect clients

Posted on: April 26th, 2011

In a recent post, I explained how to pinpoint your perfect client. Once you’ve worked out who this ideal person is, here are ten ways you can go about finding them:

1. Ask for introductions

My target audience is small-medium sized web design and graphic design agencies, based in London. So, when I go to networking events, I always explain who I’m looking to meet. Most people happen to know of a designer and are usually very happy to introduce them to me.

2. Send them a mailshot

I send out postcard mailshots about three times a year. Yes, old fashioned snail mail. And, because 99% of people send emails, physical mail that has arrived in the post tends to get noticed these days.

3. Attend events they go to

Sounds obvious, but if there are certain industry events that your prospects regularly turn up to, make sure you do, too.

4. Hang out where they hang out

Similar to the above point – check out which clubs, networking groups etc your ideal client is likely to go to and go along, as well.

5. Join relevant groups on LinkedIn

On LinkedIn, you can link up with anyone who’s in the same group as you. So join the groups that your  target clients belong to – and start connecting with them.

6. Join their professional association

Not every ‘ideal client’ fits neatly into a professional association and not every association will allow those not directly working in the industry to join, but it’s worth checking out. For example, I found out recently that D&AD (the professional association for designers) allows copywriters as members.

7. Read their industry magazines

By checking out what’s happening in their market, you can be on top of the latest industry developments and news stories. If I read that a design agency has landed a big new client that I would love to write for, it could well be they need a copywriter like me to help them out….

8. Phone them up

Cold calling isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it can reap great results if you’re persistent and don’t mind hearing ‘no’. At some point, you’ll get a ‘yes’. Here’s a blog post you might find useful if the thought of cold calling brings you out in a cold sweat.

9. Follow them on Twitter

Some of them will follow you back and then you can start to interact with them.

10. Get featured in their main trade publication

Writing a useful ‘how to’ article in the magazine that your prospects read – or getting interviewed by that magazine – will bring your name to their attention. Then, when they see your mailshot, read your tweets or get your phone call, they will already have heard of you.

What’s the most effective way you’ve found to reach your perfect client?

7 Responses to “10 ways to get perfect clients”

  1. Jon Buscall
    April 26th, 2011

    Oh, some great tips here ! I’m curious to hear if LinkedIn is really working for you. Do you find it’s a good place to attract clients? How do you think it compares to Twitter?

  2. Pawel
    April 26th, 2011

    Very good tips Carole.

    I would add one more, highly important thing to remember. Before you do any of the above, make sure that you are already known as an expert in your field.

    All of the above will be dead easy once you do.

  3. Carole
    April 26th, 2011

    Thanks Jon. With LinkedIn, it’s a bit like joining a gym: the more time you spend going to the gym, the fitter you get. I’ve definitely got more out of LinkedIn by spending more time on it. And I find the groups are great if I have a question I need answering, or something I want to discuss.

    But if someone said, “You can only do one thing: LinkedIn or Twitter, choose one”, for me it would have to be Twitter. It’s such great fun! And I have ‘met’ some really interesting people. I also love interacting with different groups I know in ‘real life’ on Twitter.

  4. Carole
    April 26th, 2011

    Great point, Pawel. In fact, you’ve just given me the theme for my next post! So thank you. :)

  5. Carole
    April 26th, 2011

    Five minutes after I posted the reply to Jon, I got this in my inbox from someone wishing to connect with me on LinkedIn:

    “We will be looking at a completely revamped website very soon and will need to call on your services.”

  6. Pawel
    April 26th, 2011

    My pleasure :)

  7. [...] be relying a lot on your reputation and recommendations from past clients to drum up new business, more so when you’re just starting [...]

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