50% of the mums in business who responded to my simple one question survey, told me that the biggest challenge they face in business is getting more customers or finding new clients.
The other challenges mentioned:
- How can I stay focussed and make the most of the part-time hours I have available?
- How can I make the most of a very small marketing budget?
- How do I plan for financial success and set realistic financial goals?
- How do I monitor the success of my business with key performance indicators (KPIs)?
- What tools are available to make my life easier, before I am in a position to outsource?
- How do I know if I am under-selling myself?
- Acting the part … feeling confidence from the outset.
Here are the 3 of the most popular and powerful ways as shared by business mums on how to find new customers.
The first suggestions on how to get more clients were centred on networking. Marketing expert Brenda Gabriel, suggested: “Start with your network“. Katie Bates agreed with this: “Definitely networking“.
When you think about networking, it helps to get clear on the purpose of your networking. Are you there to find potential new clients? Or are you there primarily for the social interaction and connection?
As Photographer Michelle Richards pointed out, every time you meet somebody, it’s an opportunity for networking and telling somebody about who you are and what you do:
“Make sure everybody you know (i.e. friends, family, neighbours, ex-colleagues etc) know what you do – some of my clients have come through unexpected routes!”
Jen Smith, Social Media Strategist, added “Email your friends and family about your new venture (ask them to refer/share your new business) + Facebook groups + networking as immediate strategies”.
Not keen on networking? Check out these top tips on how to network even if you’re an introvert.
Who can you collaborate with? For example, if you are a florist who specialises in wedding bouquets, can you collaborate with other suppliers involved in the business of weddings – venues, planners, handmade invitations. Or if you are a fitness expert, could you make connections with a nutritionist? You share the nutritionist’s articles and links; and vice-versa.
Virtual Assistant Carol Medcalf makes this point too:
“Find out who has your clients first. We used that to great effect when I organised the NCT Pregnancy and Baby Fair. We reasoned that new parents had to register their babies at the town hall. We contacted them to help us advertise our event; they wanted to advertise their naming ceremonies, so it was win win.“
Collaboration is a great way to build your list and find new clients.
Establish expert authority in your field. What does that mean? Expert authority is about standing out as an expert in your market or your industry. I know … for some mums, this feels a bit daunting or scary. However if you have set up business as a marketing consultant or a publisher or an accountant, you do already have valuable expertise and experience. Maybe you have knowledge of a specific sector e.g. banking & finance, or legal technology software.
Your expert authority comes from publishing articles, blogging or vlogging, sharing content on your Facebook page or Twitter, writing a book, commenting on relevant news articles, speaking at events, being interviewed for a podcast – what other ideas do you have?
When you are seen as the expert, clients will want to come to you because … well you’re the expert. EVEN IF your business is only a few weeks or months old. You still have every right to call yourself an expert if your business is what you have been doing for years and years – in your corporate life or as a volunteer.
What about you? Would you agree with the mums who responded to my survey that getting new customers or clients your biggest challenge? What ideas have worked well for you to get new clients, other than networking, collaboration or establishing your expert authority? Leave a comment below.
If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love The Confident Mother Means Business. A safe non-spammy Facebook group where you can discuss the business challenges you face.