Acquiring clients is a key task to master. Not all customers are hard won or expensively marketed to. Some will walk right through your door, know exactly what they want and be prepared to meet a reasonable cost without too much negotiation. Happy days!
First impressions count. Much is riding on that very first customer interaction.
Acquiring clients are definitely in the medium to hard variety. Obviously depending on the amount of money in consideration and how difficult it is to achieve the desired outcome. As with the customer service blogs which we have posted in the past, how you approach and deal with their queries will determine how well it goes and whether they can be a long-term client.
First impressions count. Much is riding on that very first customer interaction. Judging your approach means doing some homework on lifestyles, like and dislikes, likely behavioural patterns and who else they may work with. This can inform how you present yourself, your work and how hard to push initially.
- Knowing your target market. This is key to your marketing efforts as it will serve no-one if you are speaking in a different language. Figuring out what will attract customers to your work and why, means defining your offering. If you specialise early on, be aware you will need to do less specialist work to pay the bills and keep momentum flowing.
- Testing. There is no harm in trying a few different tactics to see what works in acquiring clients. Make flyers for specific places and shops. Change the tone of voice and the offer for each one. Offer family-style incentives for flyers in schools. Portrait and wedding ones in hotels and venues. Baby portraits and family ones in coffee shops. It’s important to know quickly what might work and what doesn’t. You can follow similar tactics online and even more targeted, but this needs a more budget-led approach.
- Analyse your existing clients. It may be intuitive to you of what works for your clients and why they use you. But someone else may be able to analyse it more effectively. They may just provide insight that you had not considered and give you solid drivers for your next marketing push. It may be that they all happen to be from the school or neighbourhood, or they go to the same places online. This kind of information is critical to understanding patterns of behaviour and why they choose you over someone else. It may even be as simple as price.
- Existing clients. This is your surest route to new clients but that does not mean you should sit back and wait for the referrals to happen. Existing clients need incentives. When you are working with them, don’t let them leave empty-handed. Make sure they know, with a flyer and maybe a gift, that whoever they can bring through your door will give them further discounts and special service. Referrals work brilliantly well if executed well.