My friend +Johan was planning on starting an online business and creating an Inbound Marketing Agency. His online business plan relied primarily on external funding from investors. When his funding fell through, so did his dream.
This led to an interesting discussion (on Google Plus) of alternate business plans for his Marketing agency. One question in the discussion stood out:
How Do You Acquire Your First Customer With No Track Record?
“How do I get my first customer? I have no testimonials or proven track record. Why would someone hire me?”
It’s plain and simple and if you have sensitive ears you may want to cover them – you need BALLS.
In addition you need to be extremely motivated and persistent.
In business everything is a numbers game. If you knock on enough doors eventually someone will open one!
If you don’t know why someone should hire you you are not well positioned to “sell yourself”. First you must convince yourself why you are qualified to do the job!
OK, that aside you also need to know what you are doing. If you just finished learning how to do something or read a theoretical book you have no experience not to mention no clients. This is vastly different from the scenario where you know what you are doing and have done it for yourself and simply have never had a client.
You need a business plan you can follow. Start by defining your business goals and values, services and process flow and then;
The best way to start is by getting your feet wet.
Here Are Some Real Options to Start Getting Clients With No Track Record
- Start small. Define limited services that you are sure you can deliver, whether you perform the tasks yourself or outsourcing you need to know the market.
Have some integrity – be upfront. You can do your first couple of gigs for free or at a greatly reduced cost in exchange for testimonials. You biggest asset will be your reputation. You have to start building it some time….
- Create some relevant case studies on your own business to show off your skill – Be your own first client. Practice on yourself and gain both confidence and experience. If your results are good you can show them off as a case study to potential clients.
- Resell or white label other people’s products or services. – This is the easiest way to start. You are simply a middle man – providing someone else’s service and managing your client. Granted you will need some volume to be profitable, however if you are just starting out, this may be the best option for you to get your feet wet without having to know how to do everything yourself.
- Find a business partner – If you were hoping for a magic wand or shortcut, you might team up with an established partner or find someone in your position, with your work ethic and drive and do it together. Finding the latter may be trickier than you think and waiting for it to happen is simply unrealistic.
Creating an online business with a business plan and strategy that you can pull off may seem like a challenge. Be prepared to start small and build your business as you go.
Getting your first client may seem like a challenge with no proven track record – make adjustments and over deliver and under charge to start to establish your good name.
Take action and have a great day!