How can you get clients if you're starting from scratch and you don't have anything to show to your hypothetical clients? How can you convince someone if you don't have a portfolio or experience?
I came across this question many times online, and rarely I read the most reasonable answer.
When I started, I didn't have previous projects to present to my clients, and I've never managed a third social media account.
I built my skills using my social profiles and my business accounts.
So instead of lying talking about successful projects I worked for, I've done something rare in marketing: I used honesty.
I admitted I had no experience with Social Media Marketing, but at the same time, I was eager to learn and improve my skills. Plus, I proposed to work entirely for free in exchange for a testimonial video, in case I brought results to the company.
Funny how working for free in exchange for experience and reviews is rarely contemplated by who wants to start online.
And I get it! We all want to make our projects profitable from the get-go, skipping the struggle period.
But let me tell you one thing. Even if I was using my spare time working for free, I loved every single second of it. I could experiment, test new methods, grow my skills.
If you're genuinely passionate about something, doing it for free only makes you happy.
And if you handle more than a client, it will take just a few months to grow your expertise exponentially and collect testimonial videos and case for your website.
This is precisely what I did.
In around 6 months, my portfolio was magically filled with projects and reviews. I was finally ready to charge for my service.
Where to find your clients
The web offers you plenty of possibilities to create connections and find new opportunities.
All you need to do is to locate the communities where your future clients are hanging out. Usually, you're already signed into the same communities.
You can start searching for Facebook Groups and Forums related to your niche.
If you want more options, I've created a list of the 5 best online communities where to find clients, with a few suggestions on how to use them in the most productive way possible.
Make a daily habit of checking these communities, and support people who're looking for help in there. And when it's the case, send a PM offering your service.
If your advice were useful, sooner or later someone will consider paying you for consultations. And I'm saying this for direct experience.
Finding clients becomes pretty easy when you start fixing problems.
At the same time, you shouldn't underestimate offline communities.
Look for events in your area, and then attend them in order to create valuable connections.
If you don't know how to spot events around you, some tools and apps can help you. I've put up a list of these tools that you can use for this purpose. You can download the list here.
Don't make a mistake to attend these events unprepared. Print a good number of business cards and distribute them to as many people as possible, no matter if they're not your ideal clients.
The majority of your clients will arrive through recommendations.
And if you still don't have a website, simply put on the business card your phone number or your Skype name. What's important is to add a way to get in touch with you.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
Where did you find your first client?