Like all small business owners, you want to get more clients but feel that nothing you do is getting the results you want. Rest assured that you are not alone. I have heard this a lot from clients which is why I have put together what I believe to be the key 7 things that you need to do in order to get more clients. Most of the 7 tips are extremely obvious but what I have been finding is that while many business owners are aware of them, they aren’t really following them – only read this if you are prepared to make the time to take appropriate action!

1. Take time to define your niche and target market because you can’t be all things to all people. You need to know what makes you and your products/services unique so you can position yourself as an expert within your niche. Then you must have a clearly defined market which you can describe in 1 short sentence. There is a lot of information available on the internet to help you do this. You can then ensure that the vast majority of your marketing efforts are targeted directly at your target market in order for it to be effective. For example, if your niche is career coaching and your target market is school leavers, then this is the area you should be focussing your marketing on.

2. Try changing your approach to selling so that you “sell the sizzle not the steak”. People will buy from you if you can give them a solution to their problem so stop trying to sell products and services and instead focus on making your target market aware of the solutions and benefits that your products/services provide.

3. Build relationships based on trust with your target market. This takes time and patience yet will always produce results. Nothing beats face to face interaction and public speaking or holding a workshop/seminar is a great way to demonstrate your expertise and start building relationships (the great thing here is that you can then leverage the content and turn it into a CD or e-book which you can either give away or sell). Another way is to have an information product to give away to potential clients – one that clearly demonstrates your expertise; then follow up and continue to give away information that you know will help them (you might even have a few lower cost products to make it easier for potential clients to start buying from you). Once potential clients trust you and view you as an expert who can provide solutions to their problems they are more likely to buy from you and/or recommend you.

4. Close the sale. You have demonstrated that you are an expert in your field and potential clients trust you. All you need to do now is close the sale by showing that you are, or you have, the solution to their problem. The chances are that by following the previous steps, potential clients will already know this so you just need to ask them if they’d like you to provide them with the solution. If you feel uncomfortable doing this then run through the scenario in your head and visualise the prospective client saying yes. Positive visualisation is a powerful tool that is frequently used to help boost confidence – don’t just take my word for it.

5. Know your numbers. In order to get more clients, you need to know where your current clients are coming from so you can focus your marketing on those areas rather than wasting your valuable time and energy on marketing tactics that just aren’t working.

6. Be consistent in what you do. Instead of feeling you have to jump on the bandwagon every time you hear about a new method of marketing, choose to do a few things that you know will be most effective for your company and stick with them. Instead of spreading yourself thinly try attending a few networking events that you consistently follow up on or write a short series of articles related to your niche. This will produce far greater results than an article here, a paid advert there, a single networking event with no follow up etc.

7. Ask for help. As a small business owner struggling to get more clients, you may believe that you have to do everything yourself. Believe me, you don’t and asking for help to get more clients doesn’t have to break the bank either. You can ask people in your network for referrals (make sure you do the same in return). Contact all your old friends and relatives and let them know what you are up to – the chances are that they will be far better at promoting you than you are. Start building reciprocal relationships with other small businesses ( is just one example of a successful strategic alliance between 2 small businesses) you will be surprised by how much this will benefit your business.

The above 7 tips are just the tip of the iceberg from a new program (“Effective Marketing Strategies to Get You More Clients”) that I have recently developed in an attempt to demystify the sales and marketing process and help my clients succeed.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
- Sir Winston Churchill

Author's Bio: 

Anne Galloway is a careers coach and small business consultant who believes that work can and should be creative, meaningful and enjoyable. Her specialties include assisting clients find the 'right' career for them and showing them how to sell themselves confidently on a CV and at interviews, and taking an independent view of business systems and procedures and developing strategies to increase sales and revenue. Anne is regularly sought out as valuable sounding board due to her ability to highlight risk in order to take control and reduce it. Her first book, 'Your Future - A practical guide to action' was published in 2011.