It is not uncommon for me to see requests come through on my website every single week with different versions of "How and where do I find more clients to keep this business running?"
Some business owners are exhausted with countless attempts to create a successful business where they're no longer worried about revenue. Others have not quite gotten the business off the ground to begin with, and are wondering if they should throw in the towel.
Both those stories are difficult to read at times, because I've personally walked in those shoes. If you're in that place, here's what I did to get on the path to consistent revenue:
1) Embrace the System that creates revenue
The system is quite simple yet, like many who seek my help, I grappled with "getting it." Randomly trying different things to get clients rarely ever works to create a sustainable business. There is an equation that works for you in your own business to generate the revenue you want, and that equation is this:
• You must have a clear and repeatable way to get leads/prospects to your door.
• You must have a clear selling process for converting those leads into paying clients.
• You must also be clear on your own conversion rate. This means, given a consistent and repeatable lead-generation and sales process what % of your prospects are you able to turn into paying clients/customers (either offline or online).
With the answers to the 3 above, you're now equipped to create a repeatable system for generating revenue in your business. Without these answers, you're likely to be shooting in the dark in your attempts to grow your business and living on "hope-ium" (simply hoping things will turn out OK). To get more clients and to create a sustainable business, you must have a reliable, repeatable, systematic method for doing so.
2) Realize that not all marketing is created equal
There are countless marketing strategies out there. When a particular form of marketing isn't working for you, you have 2 choices - ditch it in favor of something else, or tweak it to create better results. Sadly, I see entrepreneurs simply repeating the same things despite it not working. Usually it's because of:
• Not measuring the results of those marketing efforts to gauge whether it's actually working (measuring is critical to your success)
• Not knowing what else to try (see #3 below)
• Simply being committed to using free or low-cost marketing options only
I've tried (and still use) a few different free marketing methods in my business - both online and offline. But I will be transparent in sharing that I get the best results when I choose to invest in my marketing. Free methods are often the slowest paths to new clients and revenue.
It is important that your marketing attracts highly qualified leads not just random prospects or you waste a lot of time. It is also important that you find these highly qualified prospects in large numbers or you are likely experience very slow business growth. To get the clients you need to create a sustainable business, you must be willing to invest in high-impact, highly leveraged marketing strategies.
3) Choose to get off "I don't know how" island
When I struggled to attract clients and create revenue in my own business, I was in a place where I honestly did not know how to change that. But I had a choice - stay on "I don't know how" island, or do whatever it took to get the strategies and tools to create the success I wanted.
Some things I tried worked well to attract clients, others not so much, but I persisted. I was a single mom. Failure was not an option, so I had to know. I was at a conference this past weekend where my mentor said something I'll never forget. Those words were "Some of you are just doing the best you can, but you've got to realize that just beyond best-you-can is whatever-it-takes.
Those words resonated with me because, for me, not knowing how to create the revenue I wanted was an unacceptable place to be. I decisively moved from best-I-can is whatever-it-took. I made heart-thumping decisions to in myself and get a mentor when I barely had the cash to do so. I invested in executing higher-impact marketing strategies even when free options remained readily available.
I chose to make decisions based on what those decisions had the potential to create in my business vs making decisions based on what might be left in my bank account afterward. When I made decisions that way, I quickly got off "I don't know how" island. To create a sustainable business, we must decide to know and to regard "I don't know how" as unacceptable.
4) Follow the right leader
In closing, I'll share that my path to success wasn't easy and was often scary. And to be quite transparent, I continue to make what feels like scary decisions regularly. It's how I stretch, learn, and grow. I've also noticed that it's far easier to stretch and grow when I hang around with folks who are more successful than I am. One of my mentors shared a very true statement the other day... if you're the smartest person in the crowd you hang out with; don't be proud of that fact because it's probably time to find a new crowd that would challenge you and to help you get to the next level.
Over the years, many of my mentors have been multi-millionaires. Having had the privilege to get behind the curtain of success, I quickly discovered that none of them got to where they were without making many scary decisions. None created that level of success without investing in themselves and in strategies and tools to get there. None chose to stay on "I don't know" island very long. All had a clear and repeatable system that created their success. I figured... might be a good idea to follow just that.... if I wanted to get the clients and revenue I needed to create a sustainable business.