So by now you’ve done some research and have a fairly good idea of what value you can offer a business owner. It’s time to make some contact! Don’t worry: when you’re first starting out as a service provider, the first time you talk a potential client can be daunting. That’s perfectly normal. Maybe you don’t consider yourself a “salesperson”, or you get shy around new people. First of all, this gets easier with time - trust me. Second, the more prepared you are in advance, the easier the conversation will be. Here are some general tips for your first time contacting a potential client. First - Reach out directly! It’s tempting to send an email instead of appearing on someone’s doorstep.
Email is also the lowest-effort, most impersonal approach - and whether or not you hear back is pretty much a crapshoot. An exception would be if you’re responding to a job posting, and this is the preferred method of contact as stated in the job description. But if you’re tapping into your network of friends and family or small business owners in your area, we recommend actually showing up and meeting face-to-face. If an in-person discussion isn’t possible, a phone call is recommended over emailing. Second, take care to present yourself as a professional.
This doesn’t mean buying a fancy pantsuit and briefcase, and marching door-to-door pitching your services. It means putting on a clean pair of pants, combing your hair and presenting whatever skills or knowledge you already have. Plus what you learned through the Audit! Start off by presenting yourself with your full name and a brief description of who you are and what type of service you provide. Practice referring to yourself as a website creator, or a web professional, a web designer or a webmaster. Or a website wizard! Whatever variation makes the most sense for you and describes your unique skills.
If you have a portfolio or business cards, use them! These are powerful tools for establishing credibility. Your business card should include a link to your online portfolio and your social media profiles. Whether you’re physically leaving a card with someone at the business or you’re sending an email after a phone call, make it easy for that person to check you out online and get back in touch. The third basic tip for your first outreach is to show the you value you have to offer, and that you’re committed to doing the job needed. Here’s where your Audit especially comes in handy!
Here are a few tips for getting this done: First, prepare an idea or a recommendation - This is where your Online Presence Audit comes in handy, as you should already have brainstormed a few key ideas. Spend time thinking of something concrete you can offer. Next, if it’s possible -- take time to be the customer! This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the business. Use some of their services. Order a piece of pizza, get a haircut, take a seat and observe.
Find some aspect of the business that you can connect to, so you can think about how to advocate or market for this particular business. Then when you reach out, mention your first-hand experience with the business as a real customer. Create a sample website mockup with Wix - If you’re TRULY motivated, you can actually whip up a new website in 5 minutes using a free Wix website template - just slapping on the name of the business and contact info.
This is an extremely powerful, low-cost way to create value, immediately grab attention and be taken seriously. Here are some extra tips and things to keep in mind during your first few approaches: Get over your fear of hearing the word “NO”. Hearing “NO” can actually be a GOOD thing! It means you’re putting yourself out there, hitting the concrete and starting to make something HAPPEN for yourself!
You could even turn this into a fun game you play with yourself - challenge yourself to hear ten ‘NOs’. It means you’re getting practice approaching potential clients...which is the most valuable experience of all. Use Wix for support! We’re here to help! Build your portfolio, use WixEd for free training and reach out to other WixEd community members by leaving Comments below this class – or any other class you want extra help with! You can also let us know how else we can help by sending us an email.
Use the Online Presence Audit as a resource to weed out unrealistic prospects and impress those you do approach with specific ideas and recommendations. Stay motivated. Before you have actual work to do, your work is spending time finding clients! Spend time each day finding potential clients, and eventually something will stick and you’ll have landed your first real job. And your 2nd job. And so on. And finally - stay positive. Approaching clients gets easier with time. The more practice you get, you’ll see what works and what doesn’t.
You’ll learn how to present yourself with confidence and charisma, leaving your prospects wanting more. The goal of this stage, your first point of contact, is to raise interest and leave your potential client wanting more. Don’t worry about pricing or contracts just yet. It’s about starting a conversation and making a great first impression.