If only we could be so selective as to bring on clients who not only provide income, but also help promote our small business by providing us with leads and new clients. Turns out, you can. You don’t have to settle for any old client in order to make a living. Certainly, it can be tough to wait for a good client to come around when things are tight, but it is worth it.
Word of mouth will never go out of business practice. Even places like Amazon and Google recommend getting recommendations from your customers as we – as the human race – still rely heavily on peer reviews before we make a purchase. How much more likely are you to use a professional service after it is recommended by a friend or someone you trust? A lot! Likewise, how much more likely are you to rely on a complete stranger’s recommendation of a product that feels sincere? A lot!
Find clients that are willing to write a positive review of your services that you can add to your site. It will pay off in droves, even if it feels like a long time to wait. Good reviews are also harder to come by, so don’t hesitate to ask for them. Most of the time, folks will only leave reviews about extremes – a stunning experience or a terrible experience – but most of your customers are going to be satisfied, and they should share that!
When you do good work, people often talk about it. The same is true for poor work, too. Like the recommendations that are left about extremes in service, you want the word of mouth spread about you to be the best, but also to be simply good. While something like, “My experience with them was good” might not seem like the type of glowing review that brings in clients, it is, in fact!
Most people aren’t necessarily looking for the most outstanding 100% grade A service, or they are realistic that they might not always get that kind of service. 4 star reviews are like the bedrock of good business: it might be impossible to maintain only 5 star quality, but if the majority of your recommendations and reviews from customers are that your produce better than average work 100% of the time, that is more than enough to bring in more clients.
In some ways, you can see the bad clients coming from a mile away: they are hard to communicate with, they change their minds, they are often argumentative, and they are never satisfied. One of the hardest things to do as a small business owner is to turn away potential money, but that is precisely what you should do with these types of potential clients.
The right clients are different for everyone, but they are the opposite of the client described above. They are easy to communicate with: it feels like you are always on the same page. They are consistent, or if they do change their minds, they seek your advice and communicate with you. They seek to understand or are engaged with what you are doing. A lot of the time they are friendly! Find these clients and your marketing is pretty much done for you.