Starting your creative business is exciting and you feel motivated to work with clients or to prepare your products. You feel that your services and products are so great that your inbox will flood with inquiries and you’re sure that the clients will come to you ASAP.
A week passed, then months and NOTHING. No one is booking your services or purchasing your products. You’re disappointed, frustrated and sad. Sounds familiar? I bet it does because I’ve been there.
As I’ve mentioned, starting your online business is amazing, but most of the business owners are caught up in the moment to “just start”, they quit their day job or start a business without savings (guilty). I spend few months researching how to get clients for my services and products via my website, but honestly, most of the advice was too vague and didn’t mention the basics.
Confession time – I hate selling and pitching! I know, sounds crazy.
You might think “how the heck can I get clients without selling or pitching?! Isn’t having business all about pitching and selling something?”
After having my business for 1.5 years, I can see what strategies worked and which didn’t. Today, I’ll tell you how to get clients for your services and products if you hate selling and pitching. I’ll share my 5 ways to get clients for services and products without being salesy.
I really wanted to have my own business and work with clients to design their brands & websites, but I wanted to do it as much “organic”. I come up with the idea to simply share my work on my website and attract my potential clients with it, so they are attracted to the past projects and they wanted something similartor their business. Doesn’t sound salesy or pushy, does it? But I know it sounds too good to be true and like a dream world.
Before I share my strategies on how to get clients for services and products if you hate selling and pitching here’s a little disclaimer:
All the advice in this blog post is my personal experience. Everyone’s circumstances and lifestyle are different, so some of the strategies might not fit yours or might not work the same way they did in my business. Also, all the tips are long-term, so it’s not that they’ll work right away (although they might) and you need to make the efforts. From my experience and from what I see around the web, most of the online business owners get their first clients or customers within 6 months of starting their online business, so don’t be discouraged that you haven’t got them just yet.
FIGURE OUT THE BASICS
Before you learn how to get clients for services and products if you hate selling and pitching you need to figure out who do you want to attract to your services & products and how to drive traffic to your website. Both of those things are crucial because in order to get clients for products or services you need to figure out with who do you want with, in other words, your ideal client/target audience.
I won’t go into the detail (let’s leave it for another post), but the best way to figure out your target audience is to create a client profile which includes gender, occupation, their problems and so on. Once you come up with your ideal client profile, you’ll be able to provide a solution to their problem = your services or products.
Next, you need to learn how to get traffic to your website, because no one won’t magically come to your site which you launched today (OK maybe your family and friends, but not clients). There are a lot of different strategies to get traffic to your site and from my experience, Pinterest SEO and SEO from Google are the sources with the highest ROI.
You can read more about the strategies I used (and still using) to make Pinterest my top referrer at this post How to get traffic from Pinterest.
All right, back to the blog post title. Once you figure out your target audience and how to get traffic, let’s move into the fun part!
WHAT DO I MEAN BY SELLING, PITCHING AND BEING SALESY?
In other words, what strategies I personally consider salesy. These are the advice I believed in before I started because they were the only strategies around the web.
First is cold emailing (I’m cringing when I write it!). Personally, I didn’t even tried it, because I’m an introvert and thought of writing to a stranger and telling him/her that they should hire me is ridiculous to me and when I got emails like this I instantly delete them or mark them as spam.
Second (and this one I’ve tried) is to use scarcity and forcing someone to purchase right at this moment because the offer will go away/never be available again etc. This was one of the reasons why I deleted my email list because I hated forcing people to enrol in my online course.
Third is to asking for money before you provide a value (or even met someone like in cold emailing) or forcing to buy by giving the product and asking for the money. I don’t know about you, but when I go to someone’s website and all I see it big buy now buttons or something along these lines and barely any information about this person, no or close to zero items in portfolio, no blog posts showing their expertise or any another “proofs” of their skills, I click away.
When I think of that strategy, it reminds me of the time when my husband and I were on holiday on Gran Canaria and we were walking to the beach and suddenly some women came to us and put some bracelets on our wrists, before we could say anything. We were so confused and didn’t know what to do (it was super awkward for both of us introverts) so we paid them (they were sooo overpriced) and went away (I regret that I paid them until today haha, it was 4 years ago!)
All right, let’s move to NOT salesy strategies:
HOW TO GET CLIENTS FOR SERVICES & PRODUCTS IF YOU HATE SELLING & PITCHING
5 Ways to Get Clients For Services and Products Without Being Salesy
1. CREATE A PORTFOLIO/GALLERY WITH YOUR WORK AND/OR PRODUCTS
In order to get clients for your services and products, you need to present your past projects and the best way is to create a portfolio or gallery with them. You don’t need to upload every project you’ve ever done there. The best way is to pick several projects that reflects your current skills and style (which change and/or improve once you have more experience) and work that will attract the clients you want to work with (e.g. if you want to attract women, don’t include masculine projects).
Another great way is to share your work and products on social media. You can repurpose the content from portfolio/gallery or create new images, for example, long pins with several products on one image for Pinterest (which we’ll discuss in point 5)
2. CREATE SERVICES AND/OR SHOP PAGE
This one is usually neglected, which is surprising. I’ve seen a lot of services and shop pages which had close to zero information about what’s included, pricing, and process etc. I also saw websites, where you click on Work with me or Services page and all you see, is a contact form. There are businesses with no services, so the shop is the main aspect of their website, but instead of having the shop set up on their site (with a plugin like WooCommerce), they only have their Etsy shop linked under Shop page.
If you want to book clients or have a customer for your products, you need to show them that you’re available to hire and what they’ll get from working with you. As I’ve mentioned, what I’d recommend is to create a services page and/or specific pages about each package you offer like I have for my brand design and brand & website design package.
On the services page, include the problems and solutions, pricing, process, deliverables, testimonials, portfolio and so on. I highly recommend setting up your own shop on the website using WooCommerce instead of having just Etsy shop.
3. BLOGGING ABOUT TOPICS RELATED TO YOUR SERVICES AND/OR PRODUCTS
Blogging is probably one of the best way to showcase your expertise, gain trust (no one would purchase anything from you without trust) and to get traffic to your website quickly (thanks to SEO) and it’s great to write blog posts about topics related to your services or products. The best way it to pick 4-6 blog post categories in which some of are more general (like Design in my case) and other more specific (like WordPress in my case).
Important – when you write a blog post, always have your ideal client in mind. Think what takeaways they can have from this blog post and how it is going to change their business or life. Don’t write blog posts just for sake of writing them (unless you’re blogging for fun, not to get clients or customers).
For example, sometimes I have an idea for blog posts and then I realize that this kind of blog posts would be only beneficial for other designers (not my target audience).
4. BLOGGING ABOUT YOUR SERVICES, PAST PROJECTS OR PRODUCTS
Blogging about your services, past projects or products is far more organic than simply saying “buy this or that because it’s awesome”. When you write about your services and products on your blog, showcase the solutions and benefits of them. The blog posts can be directly about launching your new service, like this one; updates from your shop or showcasing new products like this one or portfolio blog posts (like in this category).
When you write about your past projects, don’t simply paste pretty pictures here and call it a day. Walk your potential clients through your process from start to finish, show before and after images and explain your decisions why you created or did something.
When you write about your products, explain why you created them, for whom and what they’ll receive if they make the purchase. Think of creative ways of how to present your products in the blog post, for example for the digital products, use mockups or lifestyle photos to show how your products look like in “real life” or in use. Similar to the physical products, show how other customers are using them, take styled photos with your products and share testimonials if you have them.
5. UTILIZING PINTEREST BY CREATING PINS FOR YOUR SERVICES AND PRODUCTS
Pinterest is absolutely one of the best ways to show your work and products. In fact, most of my clients came to me via Pinterest, because they saw one of my brand boards and other images for my past projects. The same with the customers for my shop, I shared the long images with all the premade logos and well as few images of each logo and branding kit.
What I’d recommend is to create a long pin with several images for your products as well as text overlay or title on top, so pinners can know what it’s not just pretty picture – these are products to purchase in your shop.
The same goes for services. These are a bit harder to present on Pinterest, but what I’d do is to create an image with solid background or photo background and text overlay saying the name of your services/package and for whom they are, for example, I created pins for my services and included “Brand & Website design services for creative entrepreneurs” and hid the image within my services page.
I hope this blog post shows you that getting clients for your services and products doesn’t have to be salesy and that if you hate selling and pitching, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get clients. If you want to genuinely help others without being salesman/saleswoman these 5 organic ways to get clients can help you with that