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As a start up company, I often find it challenging to find new clients.  Right now, I just talk to anyone who will listen and hope for the best.

 

Is there anything that you guys do that helps with new clients?  Thanks!

 

www.gainlight.com

Matt@Gainlight.com

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Hi, Matt!

Your path is the one that most of us have traveled down, at least initially. Your Google presence looks strong as far as the company name goes. I suggest focusing on the places where your target market hangs out. Join Linkedin Groups that are made up of members that could be prospective clients. Get the media involved in what you're doing. Send out both hard copy and web press releases. Issue releases every time you unveil a new client logo or professional service. Establish relationships with folks you meet online. Don't be afraid to ask for referrals and testimonials.

Keep working it!

Warm regards,
Dale Little
Dale,

Thank you for the respone. All of those ideas are good ones and thing we have been looking into. We are about to add an intern who does work mainly in press releases, so that will hopefully help out.

I will look into joining groups online that will help potential clients find me. Relationships online have worked well thus far, I just do not think I have been pursued them enough to make it something that has worked too well.

I appreciate the response!
I concur with Dale. Additionally, remember success (however you measure it) doesn't necessarily happen over night - you must stay true to your mission and remember you're always working on and not in your business. Don't forget that social media is social (developing relationships) and not just media (advertising). I've found Facebook and Twitter to be very useful. I've met many people who became guest on my radio show. Because of that sponsors ($$$$$$$$$$) are taking notice and are interested in other projects that I'm currently working on, again that leads to ($$$$). I never would have guess in a million years that could happen. Also, keep in mind that integrity is paramount. Be genuinely interested in what others are doing, listen to what they are saying and see if there's an opportunity for you to assist even if you can't help them through your own services perhaps you can refer them to someone who can. This method will benefit you down the road - I know it has worked for me.
I would start by adding a portfolio to your site. How do I know I want to even talk to you when I haven't seen what you've done? When I'm looking for someone (mostly on Twitter) that is the first thing I look for.
Carla,

Thank you for the response.

The website you have seen is our old site as we are working on a new one. Check it out at www.gainlightstudios.com.

Thanks again
Hi Matthew - thank you for showing me your new site. I like it a lot!
I would second your thought. Showing what you can do is leaps n bounds ahead of text!
Hi Matt,

Great question! This is something that I also dealt with in the beginning, as I am a small business owner as well. I own Bluefinch Creative, a Vancouver-based marketing boutique that caters to the needs of smaller businesses - www.bluefinch.ca. Social media is great for prospecting, especially Twitter. I find that the more you grow your following, the more prospecting opportunities you will have. It helps if you segment your prospects out into a list called "prospects" or something along those lines to make sure that you give them special attention. Having said that, I try to be careful with my pitch - I always like to get to know them and let the conversation flow naturally first before I talk about business. People like to do business with people that they trust. Be careful not to "over promote" or pitch too early when using social media. I'd love to hear more about your business. Feel free to email me at bluefinch (at) live (dot) com.

Cheers,

Tanya Roberts
Hey Tanya, how are you? We met at an entrepreneur Meetup in Van. My new company coming out is S2S Nation. How is Bluefinch doing? We should meet up for a coffee to discuss business as my site will be launching soon. Peace, Jamie www.s2snation.com
Collecting connections in LinkedIn or friends in FaceBook isn’t what social networking is about. The Online Etymology Dictionary[iv] notes the origins of the word social as meaning: “characterized by friendliness or geniality,” also “allied, associated,” from M.Fr. social (14c.), from L. socialis “united, living with others,” from socius “companion,” probably originally “follower,” and related to sequi “to follow.” It would be reasonable to assume that when you socialize with someone, you keep up with them, you meet and socialize with them face-to-face (or as pen pals, whether with real paper or electronically), and you become associated with them in a group of others with similar likes and/or dislikes.

There are some other exciting websites where you can expand your electronic social networking to in-person social networking. MeetUp.com[v] is a site enabling users to plug in a zip code and find others with the same interests in a geographic area. It’s an excellent and rich website where its free to join to meet others who are small businesses, entrepreneurs, or hobbyists looking for social exchange or business card exchange with others. EventBrite.com[vi] is another with the ability to plan and electronically notify your ‘network’ about meetings, social networking events, or even parties. For both of these, there may be a small monthly fee required, depending upon the level of use.

I am very interested in blogging, and recently have increased my WordPress blog uploads, as well as cruising around their website to read other interesting posts by other professionals, political pundits, and industry leaders. So I recently caught a notice about a new group in the local Hampton Roads, Virginia area that advertised a meeting for a new Social Media & Blogging group, and decided to accept and drop in for a peek. This group met at a local restaurant, had a social hour before the actual ‘meeting’ where ‘socialers’[vii] could share business cards, then broke up into groups of about four to six persons where a more experienced technical person ‘showed us’ the ropes, tips, techniques for developing blogs for personal or business purposes. In the space of an hour I learned the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org, building a website, which websites provide SQL database support, and enjoyed the question and answer session facilitated by a local entrepreneur who enjoyed sharing his knowledge.

During the summer of 2009, I attended between four to ten business networking group meetings weekly. Some were Business Network International (BNI) sponsored groups, some were independent entrepreneur efforts, and others were Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) representative sponsored groups for Avon, Mary Kay, Shaklee, Arbonne, and Amway. Some of the groups were independently sponsored entrepreneurial networking groups with membership fees, while others were free for members to join and participate.
The purpose for all these groups were to: 1) meet other entrepreneurs and business people, 2) share business cards, referrals, and references, as well as kudos for services experienced from group members, and 3) – most importantly – to develop a comfortable relationship with group members that might eventually turn into a business relationship. This is the true key to social networking. Social networking is not just electronically connecting with faceless names on the Internet. It’s meeting folks and getting comfortable with them enough to develop the trust to do business.

If you have read the Tipping Point[viii] by Malcolm Gladwell, you’d understand a product or service ‘takes off’ exponentially in the market the more people talk about it. Public relations and marketing specialists know a close personal friend telling you about a product or service has an extrinsically higher value than hundreds of thousands of dollars of advertising, coupons, mailers, radio, and television ads to persuade the market to buy their company’s product or service. The best marketing campaigns in the world start off with, “I want to…do you know…?” or “I need…what would you recommend…?”

This is the crux of social networking – being able to not only recommend someone you know to a friend, family member, or co-worker, but also the product or service that comes with the recommendation, based on the personal relationship built through knowledge, comfort, and trust.

Dawn Boyer
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/DawnBoyer
She accepts all LinkedIn invites via Dawn.Boyerme.com
http://dawnboyer.wordpress.com
I agree with Dawn. Social media is all about being SOCIAL. The growing your following part just allows you to be social with more people. If you're not following anyone, you have no one to interact with. Growing your following is incredibly important for this reason. I participate in social media to expand my personal network and prospecting flows naturally out of this. All social media endeavors should be approached with the "what can I give?" attitude vs "what can I get?" People see through this very quickly and are very hesitant to interact with people who are just plugging their business. I very rarely speak about my business in my Twitter feed, and I have a few people approach me each week about consulting services. Take a look for yourself here: www.twitter.com/bluefinch604 if you're curious. Does this answer your question, Matt?
1) It sounds like your success has been in your local market. So offer to do presentations for your local business associations.
2) You can also showcase your expertise through webinars. This will allow you to reach both local and non-local businesses.
3) Also think about focusing on an industry specialization or two - getting to know certain kinds of companies and their challenges will make you more effective at creating solutions for them. You can create subdomains or keyword-loaded dedicated domains for these audiences that can be SEO'd.
4) Always get testimonials from clients and make sure they're posted in the places that decision-makers from similar companies would see it. Even better, get that client to co-present with you on the actual business benefits/results of what you did in webinars (see #2) or in-person events (see #1).

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