After learning how to write copy, finding clients is easily the toughest thing to do. How do you know who’s interested in your help and willing to make an investment in marketing and who isn’t? Read on for one, dare I say, sneaky-genius place to look for your next small business client.
Today’s question comes from Carla A., who asks, “I’d like to add some small business samples to my portfolio. What’s the best way to find small business clients?”
Before we get into today’s sneaky-genius tactic, let’s cover a few basics about finding small business clients:
- Start with an industry you know. Did you work at a bookstore as a teenager? Or at a gym in college? Or at a restaurant at any point that you can remember? Good—that means you already have insider information about the industry. You have an idea of what goals they’re looking to meet and some of the best ways to meet them.
- Research all of these businesses in your town. Get mailing information, phone number and owner’s names for each and every one. This might take some dedicated Google-ing time, but the info is out there to be found.
- Put together a postcard or a sales letter detailing what it is you do and how you can benefit them. People may not even know they need a copywriter until they hear from you—so let them know exactly what you can do for them and how it can help their businesses.
- Tip: When sending this first postcard or sales letter, don’t use the word “copywriter” or, at the very least, don’t use it as part of your introduction. Many people don’t know what a copywriter is; introduce yourself as a marketing writer or a business writer, instead.
- Follow up with a phone call a week after you send your postcards/letters. Sometimes mail gets lost in the shuffle, but you don’t want that to mean that you miss out on their business. Give the owner a quick call explaining who you are and what you can do for them. Also, if at all possible, call prepared with an idea for a marketing piece they could do. Ideas make you that much more useful (and irresistible).
- Once you’ve gone through this process for the industries you know, branch out into others. You’ll get a lot of “no”s, of course, but you’re also bound to get some “yes”s.
Okay, so that’s a quick run-down of how to find small business clients in general…which brings us to our tip of the day, our Super Sneaky-Genius Way to Find Small Business Clients.
What if I told you that, every single day, you get at least one (if not more) list of businesses that are actively trying to market their businesses delivered right to your inbox?
Yup, it’s true. And, sure, these lists are sent trying to get you to buy something, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s companies in need of marketing help.
Which lists am I talking about? These: Groupon, Living Social, Gilt City, AmazonLocal, Buy With Me and all the rest of the daily deal sites.
Companies have signed up to work with daily deal sites because they want to spread the word about their businesses and increase their clientele. Perfect! That’s exactly the kind of client you want to work with. And every day, these perfect clients are being delivered right to you.
So get in the habit of opening every single one of these emails and making notes of which companies you’d be particularly interested in working with. Then, do a little research to get the owner’s name and send out your postcard or letter. You might just find that daily deal sites don’t save you money—they make you money!
Your turn! How do you find your small business clients? Let us know in the comments below!