If you need more clients, you've come to the right place.
This comprehensive list of 50 ways to get more clients will help you bring in new business and continue to grow your revenue.
In fact, I've used many of these tactics to grow my own business from the ground up.
Anyway, let's dive right in.
Job boards are an excellent place to find new clients. No matter what industry you're in, there are people actively looking for help on their projects all over the internet. Here are a few of the more popular boards you can check:
Before you start spending money or reaching out to strangers, you should tap your network of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and everyone else you've ever had a connection with.
If you haven't spoken in a while, start the conversation off lightly. Don't mention that you're looking for work. Once a rapport has been established, you can ask if they need help with anything.
Although you are trying to acquire new clients, the thing you help them with doesn't have to be related to your work. It can be anything. If they need some advice, help with a minor task, or feedback on their recent work, go ahead and give it to them.
While you might not get paid for your efforts, building relationships like this can go a long way toward building a steady client base. Even if the people you help don't need your services, some will be more than happy to pass on your message to people who do want to hire you.
If your current clients are happy with your work, many will also be happy to recommend you to their networks.
While asking people to send you new business might seem confrontational, I assure you there's absolutely nothing wrong with it. We're all trying to put food on our tables, and almost everyone understands this. As long as you ask politely and infrequently, your clients won't mind you asking for referrals one bit.
The key here is that your clients need to be happy with your work. If you ask unhappy clients to send you referrals, you'll likely get a nasty email in return. But you're a pro, so I'm sure you won't have too many clients like this.
Creating a blog (and posting on it consistently) can bring in a ton of new clients.
Not only will it bring in fresh prospects from search results and social media who would have otherwise never known about you, but it will also build your reputation as an authority in your industry.
The value of the trust your blog builds in potential clients is hard to quantify but know that you'll come off as a much better candidate than if you didn't have one.
If you don't have a blog, starting one is relatively easy. Use this step-by-step process to get your blog up and running as fast as possible.
There's far more to making a blog than the four-step process listed above. Here are some fantastic resources that will go into much more depth than I can in this article:
If you have some keywords you know potential clients are typing in, you can leapfrog the organic Google results and get your business in front of those prospects with a Google PPC ad.
To get started with Google ads, go to ads.google.com, and begin the signup process.
If you need help setting up your ads, your best bet is to call the Google Ads customer support phone number; it's free, and the rep will be able to offer detailed advice tailored to your specific situation.
Facebook is another great place to land some clients. While building an organic following should be something you prioritize, you can skip the slow organic ramp-up process and get new clients fast with a Facebook ad campaign.
The Facebook ad service offers more ad formats than any other social media platform, so you have quite a few options to work with. To start, I recommend you post client-generating content you have on your website and boosting those posts.
As you get more comfortable with the Facebook ad ecosystem, you can start experimenting with other ad formats that might generate a higher ROI.
Here are a few tips for acquiring new clients with Facebook ads:
Just like starting a blog, writing an eBook can build both your authority and the level of trust potential clients have in your abilities.
While an eBook won't bring as much traffic to your website as a blog, you can leverage it to capture leads and get potential clients into your sales funnel. Just set up a lead capture form offering the eBook in exchange for an email address and place it all over your website.
Writing a whitepaper serves a similar purpose to the eBook (boosting authority and generating leads), although these are typically harder to write than an eBook.
They require more in-depth research, more authoritative sources, and need to provide a unique and thorough analysis of a problem your target market is having.
That being said, creating an excellent whitepaper can bring in tons of clients if you're in a technical industry. There's no better way to show you know what you're talking about, and many potential clients will be sold on your skills based on the whitepaper alone.
Blogging is great, but it's not too effective if no one is reading your posts. If you need clients quickly, ask the owners of established blogs if you can guest post something on their website.
As long as the content you post is good and you link back to your own site at the end of the article, guest posting should send some potential clients to your website.
Companies often post about jobs that need completing on their Twitter accounts. Use the Twitter search function to find these companies and then contact them about a potential partnership.
You can search manually with phrases like "Want to hire [your job title]" or "Hiring [your job title]," or you can use an automated email alert tool like Warble to do the work for you.
I already mentioned eBooks and whitepapers as a way to generate leads, but you should also look at lead generation as a process to generate clients.
Turning potential clients into leads before attempting to sell your services to them gives you the chance to nurture them and warm them up to the idea of paying you for help.
Lead generation strategy is a topic that could encompass many long blog posts, so I won't get too in-depth here. However, I will give you a simple plan to start generating leads at almost zero cost to you.
If one of your past clients found a ton of success using your services, ask them if they're willing to be featured in a case study. Nothing builds more trust in a service than proof that other businesses benefited from it.
Once you have the case study created, display it prominently on your website and share it far and wide via social media, your email list, and other channels of communication.
Many clients are going to find you through a search engine. And that search engine will probably be Google, as it currently holds more than 90% of global search engine market share.
To capture as many of these searchers as possible, you need to improve your website's SEO and beat out your competitors in the Google search rankings.
Here are a few easy ways to improve your SEO and boost your rank in the search results:
Like many of the client acquisition strategies on this list, SEO is an enormous topic that extends far beyond the tips listed above. To ensure your website is hitting every SEO mark possible, read The Complete SEO Checklist from Backlinko.
Slideshows are a surprisingly effective way to share information and get your name out there. If you post a helpful slideshow on a popular site like LinkedIn's SlideShare, you can get a lot of views (and quite a few clients) for a few hours of work.
If you've got a knack for public speaking, giving a speech at an industry conference is a superb way to get clients.
Your best bet is to leverage your network to try and land a speaking gig.
If your network doesn't get you anything, hit up Google and search for "[your industry] conferences [current year]." You'll get an exhaustive list of all the upcoming conferences and can reach out to the organizers to inquire about speaking opportunities.
Make sure you stick around after the speech to talk and network with the conference attendees. As you're one of the stars of the show, many people will want to speak to you, which will allow you to sell your services to some highly interested prospects.
Industry-specific networking events are great for client acquisition, but they can be a pain to travel to. Attending local networking events can also land you some clients, though it'll probably be harder to find clients as people from all sorts of industries will be attending.
One novel but surprisingly effective way to bring in clients is to answer questions on Quora, a user-powered Q&A site.
If you write detailed, well-researched answers to relevant questions, people who want an answer to those questions in the future might come across your answer.
By linking to your website in your Quora profile, people who are impressed by your answer might click through to your site to learn more about you. From there, these people might become leads, or they might even hire you on the spot.
LinkedIn is one of the best websites to find clients on. A social network for professionals with over 300 million users, there are almost certainly people on LinkedIn who would be happy to hire you. All you'd have to do is find them and convince them to try you out.
To maximize your chances of acquiring clients through LinkedIn, use the following profile optimization tips:
If there are industry-specific sites your potential clients like to hang out on, become an active member of that community.
If you interact with the other members of the community frequently and genuinely, many will end up trusting you. And some of those may hire you down the road.
Not all potential clients are reachable through digital means.
If you're targeting C-level executives, sending them an email or a LinkedIn request probably isn't going to cut it. You need to go above and beyond to land these lucrative clients; one of the ways you can do that is by sending them a handwritten letter.
I know this seems a bit personal and weird on the surface. And it's true: many prospects aren't going to respond to such a direct and personal method.
However, your goal isn't to convert every single person you contact. As long as you target enough people, even a small percentage can bring in a life-changing amount of new business.
If you work from a computer, joining a coworking space is a great way to expand your network, which will help with the client acquisition process. While the people you share the space with may not need your services, building relationships with them can help you land clients in the future.
People are watching more videos than ever, and that trend will only continue as time goes on.
So, if you feel comfortable getting on camera and talking about the work you do, making videos for a YouTube audience is a great way to build relationships with potential clients.
The prevalence of video isn't the only thing that makes YouTube great for client acquisition.
If you can harness YouTube's algorithm and get your videos into the Recommended Videos section that appears next to the video you're watching, you can attract people to your content without setting up an SEO-optimized website or paying for ads.
Creating videos is a bit more involved than the text-based content creation we've covered so far. It gets pretty easy once you get the hang of it, though.
To get you started on the YouTube track, here are a few tips for building a channel that attracts potential clients and turns them into customers.
It's easy to fall into purely informational content that simultaneously educates and bores the viewer. While you can get away with dry content on a blog, that's not going to work in a video format. Take the time to make funny or exciting videos; your subscriber count will thank you.
It is possible to shoot YouTube videos on a budget. But if you can splurge on a good camera, decent lighting, and a reliable microphone, the quality of your videos will increase exponentially.
YouTube doesn't like to send people away from YouTube.
The more time a viewer spends on YouTube, the more ad revenue YouTube generates.
So, if you add a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of every video asking people to visit your website, YouTube won't add your video to the Recommended Videos feed.
To be clear, they don't have a dedicated army of employees checking for CTAs in videos or anything.
But if your video and CTA are compelling and people end up going to your website after watching your video, YouTube's analytics will pick up on that. And as YouTube is a for-profit company, they're not going to recommend your video to users who might have the capacity to become a client in the future.
A bridge video solves this issue.
What is a bridge video?
Well, it's basically a long-form video advertising your services that finishes with a CTA to send viewers to your website.
When you make shorter videos, you finish them with a CTA sending viewers to your bridge video instead of your website. YouTube's algorithm will see that people are watching other YouTube videos after they view your content, and it will keep recommending your videos as a result.
What's the main takeaway here?
It's simple: creating a bridge video lets you retain the client acquisition benefits of getting your shorter videos added to the recommended videos section while still sending viewers somewhere that advertises your services.
A webinar is a long-form video that explains a topic in great detail. These are typically shot live with viewer interaction, though many businesses use recordings of their webinars as promotional content or lead magnets after they finish.
Tip: If you decide to start a YouTube channel, webinars make for great bridge videos. If you do this, make sure your video looks professional and includes a CTA to your website at the end.
While video courses are typically created to monetize websites, you can also make one to help you find clients.
If you make a video course for client acquisition purposes, I recommend you upload it to YouTube. Doing so will make the course more accessible than any other potential upload location. You'll also get new viewers through the Recommended Videos section.
No matter which industry you're in, there are relevant Facebook groups you can join and participate in.
Don't just join these groups to promote yourself, though. Your primary goal should be to establish yourself as a dedicated member of the community. Make posts asking questions and comment on other posts offering advice and encouragement. If you make content relevant to the group, post it and ask for opinions and criticisms.
Once the other regular posters in the group see you as a fellow regular, you can start mentioning your service and asking people if they'd be interested in hiring you.
The easier you make it for clients to hire you and receive your work in a timely fashion, the happier they'll be with your service. Making an effort to streamline your client process will make clients more likely to recommend you to their peers and make them more open to your referral requests.
Here are a few tips to make the client process as simple as possible.
Building a sizeable Facebook following takes time, but it's worth the effort in the long run.
For starters, it gives you consistent, free access to a group of people who are highly interested in what you have to say. Without a Facebook following, you'd have to pay a substantial amount of money to reach these people via ads.
Before you build a following, you need to create a Facebook business page. To craft a page that is professional and optimized for conversions from the start, you can follow this guide from Hootsuite: How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 8 Easy Steps.
Once you have a page, you need to post some content that your target market will enjoy looking at. If you have a blog or YouTube channel, posting some of your best-performing stuff is a good start. I also recommend seeking out other creators in your industry and posting the content they make.
Now that your page has some content on it, it's time to get some followers. This is the hardest part of the process, and many businesses give up before they reach an acceptable follower count. I urge you to stick with it, as a large-enough Facebook page can become one of your best sources of new clients.
To build up a Facebook following as quickly as possible, use the following tips.
Facebook isn't the only social media platform you should be building a following on. Instagram is another excellent place to interact with your target market.
Here are a few ways to get more Instagram followers who are interested in you and the things you post.
Twitter is another useful social platform to leverage. After you make an account, follow influencers in your industry. Retweet the more interesting things they post and add insightful comments when you get a chance.
If you've been in business for more than a few months, you probably have a sizeable list of clients who showed interest but never ended up hiring you.
There's a whole spectrum of possible reasons these people didn't give you a try. Maybe they couldn't afford it at the time. Or perhaps a family emergency took their attention away from their business.
Whatever the case, there's zero harm in reaching out and asking if these would-be clients have had a change of heart.
The worst that could happen is that they ignore and not hire you. And as not hiring you is what these people are currently doing, there's no reason not to give it a try.
If you have past clients who you successfully worked for in the past, there's no harm in reaching out and asking if they have any additional work for you. As long as you ended on good terms, there's no reason they wouldn't at least respond with a friendly decline.
And if they do say they don't need more work, you can always follow up and ask for a referral.
Many would-be clients won't be ready to hire you when they first discover your website.
To encourage prospects to become clients down the road, you can use a lead magnet to sign them up for your email list. Once you've got their contact information, you can send them a regular stream of educational and promotional content. Once you think you've warmed them up enough, you can reach out and ask if they'd like to hire you.
As I mentioned earlier, Google is the kingpin of the search engine world. Their second-closest competitor, Bing, has a mere 2% of the global search engine market share.
2% of the search engine market share is still tens of millions of people, though. There's bound to be some people in your target market who prefer Bing over Google.
While your reach on Bing will substantially lower than it would be on Google, you'll have much less competition to deal with. This means your client acquisition cost will be lower, and you'll have more marketing budget to spend on other things.
The first item on this list suggested checking job boards for businesses in need of your services.
Well, it works the other way around, too. Many job boards also have the option for freelancers, consultants, and other client-based businesses to advertise their services.
Slack was created with internal company communications in mind, while Discord was built for gamers to communicate. However, both programs have attracted incredibly active communities with interests far beyond the platforms' original stated purposes.
It can be tough to find communities in your industry if you aren't already aware of them. Many groups aren't publicly searchable and require an invite code to access. The best way to find them is by hanging around other online communities in your industry and checking if anyone mentions either platform.
If you know of a company in your industry that you aren't competing against, partnering up with them can be beneficial for both of you. You can refer clients to one another, cross-advertise services or products, and have regular strategy meetings to discuss the state of the industry.
People who feel comfortable with public speaking might enjoy holding an educational event. During this event, you can explain to the attendees how your service might benefit their businesses.
The best educational events provide value to the attendees in more ways than one. Don't just set up a podium and place some chairs in front of it. Encourage people to attend with food, additional speakers, and other forms of entertainment.
Asking clients to refer people to you will only be effective if you have a good relationship with a sizeable portion of them. But if you're more of a work-oriented person and don't tend to build strong relationships with clients, you'll need something extra to encourage clients to refer people to you.
This "extra something" often comes in the form of a customer referral program. Offer clients a cut of any revenue they bring in. You'll be surprised at how many jump at the offer.
If you do start a customer referral program, you shouldn't run it indefinitely. Once you have a solid client base, you should try to move toward client acquisition methods that don't involve giving your hard-earned money to other people.
Millions of people listen to all kinds of podcasts every single day. If you can get some that your target market listens to, the self-promotion can have your phone ringing off the hook.
If you can't think of any podcasts that would be a good match for you, the following tricks should help you find some.
Once you've got a list of podcasts you want to target, you need to create a pitch that will convey the value of having you on as a podcast guest.
Podcast hosts want entertaining, lively discussions. If you don't have a vibrant personality or a unique perspective on something the host's audience cares about, they probably won't be interested in interviewing you.
Whatever your selling point is, you should summarize it clearly and concisely. Hold on to this summary, as you're going to be using it in an email pretty soon.
Now that your list of targets and basic pitch are both ready, you can start contacting podcast hosts.
Go to the websites associated with each podcast and find the names and email addresses of every host. This information can usually be found on a Contact or About page. If you can't find an email address, an email lookup tool like hunter should be able to help you out.
Once you've got the names and emails, start sending out messages!
These should be short and to the point; explain who you are, why you want to come on the podcast, and what you have to offer. Be sure to mention the specific topics you'd like to talk about during the show.
If you don't hear back from some of the hosts, don't worry. Send a follow-up email a few days later and politely repeat your request.
Some of the best business opportunities lie in forums that require payment to access.
While free forums can provide some client acquisition opportunities, the people who frequent paid forums tend to be a bit more serious about whatever topic the forum is centered on.
Many industry associations that charge an annual membership fee have gated forums attached to them, so you can start your search for forums there.
Also, if anyone in your industry offers paid courses that teach people about your line of work, you can check to see if any of those have forums for course members.
The easiest and least expensive way to get new clients is through referrals from present clients. That's why many of the items on this list revolve around making your clients as happy as possible.
As your clients' first impressions of you will stick with them more than anything else, you must impress them the first time you meet.
One thing that can help you make an excellent first impression is doing a bit of preliminary research on your clients' professional lives.
You shouldn't dive too deeply ‒ that could make things a bit weird. Just look for prominent awards they've received or positions they've held in the past.
The best place to do this research is on LinkedIn.
While there are other, more thorough ways of researching a person's past, sticking to publicly available information on a professional social network like LinkedIn will ensure they're comfortable talking about whatever information you uncover.
If you're going to use any marketing strategies in your client acquisition process, you must develop at least one buyer persona to help you craft your messaging.
If you're not familiar with buyer personas, they're basically fictional representations of your ideal client.
You give them a name and assign them all of the characteristics your perfect buyer would have. If you want to go all-out, you can even give them a face so that you almost have a real person in mind when crafting your marketing material.
Here are some essential characteristics your buyer persona should have.
While you can undoubtedly make a buyer persona based on intuition, the most accurate personas are backed by data.
You can gather data by asking your present clients to fill out surveys. Also, use these surveys to gather feedback from clients about how happy they are with your service.
Not every potential client will call during business hours. If you want to increase your odds of converting these callers into paying customers, it's best to have someone on hand to answer the phone 24/7.
Most people reading this understandably won't want to hire an employee to stay up all night and sit at the phone. There is an affordable way to accomplish this, though: hire an answering service.
By using an answering service to receive calls when you're not open for business, you give potential clients a real, live human to talk to.
While this person won't be able to provide much information about your business, the simple act of answering, taking down a name and number, and promising that you'll call back will leave a much better impression than a voicemail message will.
While Meetup.com is best known for its abundance of recreational activities, there are also quite a few professional networking events posted on the platform.
To find these events, search for your industry or the term "networking," and some local events should pop up.
Many of the strategies on this list are optional; this one isn't. If you have a business, you need to have a Google My Business account.
What are the benefits of a Google My Business account?
First of all, it'll give you a prominent spot on the right-hand side of the Google search results whenever someone searches for your business. This sidebar will contain key information about your business, including your name, website, phone number, hours of operation, and physical address (if applicable).
If your business has a physical location, you'll also appear in the Google Maps search results box that sometimes appears when people search for businesses.
While the increased visibility is helpful, the most important benefit is arguably the access to Google Reviews.
No matter what service you offer, your potential clients will want to know what previous clients have to say about you.
Many will look online for this information and having a Google My Business account will make it extremely easy to find reviews of your service.
Make it easier for people to find you by filling out your N-A-P information on major online directories. Ensure your profiles on sites like Yelp and the Yellow Pages are correct and complete.
You should also take the time to add your information to local directories and industry-specific directories.
While a large percentage of potential clients will search for your services on Google, some will go with a more old-fashioned approach and head to a specific directory before starting their search.
I already mentioned online reviews in the context of Google My Business. However, it's not enough to start a Google My Business account and hope that reviews magically appear. If you want to leverage the client acquisition powers that reviews have, you need to put in some work and get present clients to leave reviews.
Your first option is to ask clients to go to your Google profile and leave a review. But while this is pretty easy, I've found it to have a meager success rate.
Almost everyone you ask will either forget to leave the review or encounter friction when they try to leave the review.
Unfortunately, Google doesn't make it super easy to leave a review. You need to click through to the reviews tab on a Google My Business page to even see the option to review a business.
Many would-be reviewers might get frustrated and give up before they get the chance to help you out.
There is a shortcut you can use, though.
To eliminate the frustration and increase the number of people who leave reviews, you can create a link that goes directly to the "leave a review" page. You'll need WordPress to implement this particular method, but it's still possible with other website frameworks.
This link will bring clients directly to your Google review page. However, it's a bit ugly and hard to type in. Here are a few additional steps to make the link shorter and more memorable.
The focus thus far has been on Google, but that isn't the only place you should be racking up reviews. Many people look to Facebook and Yelp for reviews as well, so be sure to ask people to leave you reviews on those platforms too.
Many of the tactics discussed in this article involve speaking to clients. Asking for referrals, asking for reviews, making a good first impression, and many more strategies all depend on your speaking ability.
Let me be clear: there's nothing wrong with being a bit awkward or unrefined in the way you communicate. However, it would be wrong to say that an unpolished communication style won't affect your ability to bring in clients.
Here are a few quick tips for improving your conversational skills:
Many of the techniques on this list involve sending potential clients to your site to read a consume content, sign up for a lead magnet, or read a sales page.
If you want to turn as many of those website visitors into clients as possible, you need to optimize your website for conversions. Here are a few ways to do that.
If you have specific people you'd like to turn into clients, the most straightforward way to start the process is by calling or emailing them.
You'll probably have a low success rate, but that won't matter if you target enough high-profile businesses.