When starting your own business, the two biggest obstacles are actually starting and then getting paying clients. Because without any paying clients, your business is really just an expensive hobby.
Putting yourself out there can be scary, and your ego will come up with all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it and result in hiding behind your computer screen.
- What if I start my own business and won’t find any clients?
- What if no one wants my services?
- Maybe I should lower my prices; it looks like no one wants to hire me
There are many reasons why you might not find a client, and none of them has anything to do with you, your services or prices.
Let’s look at the most common mistake I see happening when starting your own business as a freelancer.
Your messaging doesn’t match your target audience
Before we dive deeper into messaging, let’s first touch on the subject of even having a target audience, aka a niche. Do you think you should offer your social media services to everyone in order to get more clients? That’s where your first mistake is. “If you talk to everybody, you talk to nobody.”
In my Free Masterclass here, I explain step by step WHY you NEED to have a niche.
However, having a niche is not enough; your messaging also needs to talk to them specifically. That’s where the magic happens.
In other words: you need to figure out the pain points and desires from your niche/target audience.
What are they struggling with when it comes to social media management? You might think everyone has the same issues but trust me; a six-figure mindset coach has different challenges than a product-based online store when it comes to social media. So you need to figure out these pain points and desires and then create content around these topics.
Talk to them specifically. When they land on your Instagram account or any other social media platform, they should feel you talk directly to them.
Most of the time, people create content for themselves and not their audience in result, all you attract is more people like you, aka other marketers. Now you have a bunch of marketers following you and commenting on your pictures because, yes, to them, it’s valuable but guess what happens next. The algorithm will show your content to similar people, aka more marketers, instead of your target audience. Now you are in a downward spiral.
So not only do you need to pick a niche/target audience to whom you want to sell your services, but you also need to talk to them in their language and to their pain points.
Therefore, a crystal clear message is invaluable, and the exact same thing goes for your bios or your elevator pitch.
Your bio might suck
How many times have you landed on an Instagram account or any other social media platform and looked at the bio and within a few seconds clicked away again? Not because you didn’t like it, but it didn’t speak to YOU, and if we don’t feel a connection or that this person speaks to us, we subconsciously click away – off to a new account.
So after you’ve figured out your target audience/niche and you know your offer (e.g. social media management), write down the transformation you are providing. When people work with you, what transformation do they get?
If you go to a hairdresser you will (hopefully) have nicer hair, if you go to a massage you will feel relaxed and after working with you what will people get? How will they feel?
Will they have more sales? More followers? More clients? More time?
Then you put these three things together into your elevator pitch which should sound something like this:
I help___ (target audience) with ___ (your services) so that they can ___ (outcome)
For example, I help women become freelance social media managers to work from anywhere.
Now, if someone lands on your profile, it’s crystal clear with whom you work, and you only want people following you who are your target audience.
In order to get clients, you don’t need a lot of followers; actually, one follower could already turn into a client. It’s not about vanity metrics, it’s about quality leads.
One last thing to add to your elevator pitch or bio is a call to action (CTA). Tell people what you want them to do next.
Should they DM you? Send you an email? Or download a freebie? Book a call?
Whatever it is, state it clearly. Might sound obvious? It’s not!
Now that you have dialled in your messaging and a crystal clear elevator pitch and bio, paying clients will appear on your profile, send you a message and want to work with you, right?
Sending the right messages
After you’ve constantly been posting on social media for a while and have some results/testimonials to share, yes, potential clients will reach out to you. That means posting content in order to get clients is a long-term strategy! A passive, long-term strategy.
However, you need to get clients right away to get your business off the ground and quit your 9to5, right? And here is where I see the biggest mistake happening.
The work doesn’t stop here, it STARTS HERE!
Now you are going to look for potential clients every single day and send them either an email or a DM. A not so nice word for this process is “cold-pitch”, and right away, people associate sleazy sales strategies with it or the infamous “hey-girl” message”.
However, I like to reframe this and see it as a service. If you message someone who you see could potentially benefit from your social media services, you are doing them a favour. Maybe they are actually looking for someone and now don’t have to go through the whole process of putting out a job ad, or they don’t even know that their social media could be better, and thanks to you, they will get more clients. So sending out a cold pitch is not something nasty but a service to them if it comes from a place of service, so if you are just here to make a quick buck, then I am not the one who can support you in getting clients.
When you send your message, whether that’s a DM or cold pitch email, you want to be super specific on where you can help that potential client. Always have a framework for this but use personalised suggestions for them. Saying that you can do their social media management is not enough.
With what can you help them specifically? Point out two to three suggestions that you see they could benefit from. For example:
- They don’t use good hashtags on Instagram
- Their Reels don’t perform (or they don’t have any)
- They are not running ads
This means you are sending a tailored message to every single potential client. In The Social Shells course, we have an email template and a cold pitch DM template with a clear framework to use. Join us here and get the templates.
Of course, there are many other ways to get clients to figure out what works best for your target audience and connect with potential clients every single day!