I got so many  responses to my punchy blog post “Nine Years Ago I Told My Boss to Stick It,” all wanting to know how to get clients. Man, you guys are hungry to break out on your own and build something that is yours. Way to go!

So here is how I got my clients. Keep in mind that doing it my way is not a guarantee that you will get clients.

To start, there is one very simple, though not always easy, element:

You need to care!!

If you have compassion and a strong willingness to help, then maybe this post is worth your time to read. If not, then you’re wasting your time!

Jennie’s tips for getting clients

  1. Start small. Work with the right type of client, who reciprocates with respect for your efforts.
  2. Be the philanthropist for someone in need. Sometimes that means doing a tax return for free for someone who genuinely needs it. People always remember how you were there when they needed it, and they will become your best sales agents, commission-free!
  3. If you like a particular client, offer a referral program. Something as simple as a $5 Tim Hortons gift card for each referral makes people go bananas! Individuals are likely to provide good-quality referrals when they’re rewarded for it. After all, its their reputation on the line if the person they recommended is a complete creep.
  4. I didn’t waste time with newspaper ads or snail mail advertisements, etc. I went straight to the source of advertising I could afford: social media. It is an absolute must that you have more than just a Facebook page for your business. I’m talking Twitter, LinkedIn, and pushing it out to Pinterest and Tumblr too. Think I’m nuts? Well, how did you find me?
  5. Start a good blog. Obviously, mine is candid, but it’s also informative. I make it inspirational for a reason: to empower my readers, who likely receive criticism from naysayers on a continual basis. Are you hearing you are going to fail from them? Tell them to stick it!
  6. Keep all of your social media channels informative, with your own words, not just retweeting what everyone else says. Unless its me. Then definitely retweet—lots. I may even send you a Tim Hortons gift card.

I’d love to hear how you get clients. Remember, inheriting clients is not always a great thing. Be careful if another company wants to give you a client. They are likely crappy and won’t pay you. Be selective and exclusive. Always ask questions! One bad client can really suck up your energy and take away from the ones who empower you. Don’t let that happen.

Feeling empowered yet?

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Secret Tip for those who actually read the entire post: check out Chris Guillebeau’s book The $100 StartUp.  Persuasion, by Arlene Dickinson, of Dragon’s Den, is well worth the read.