How To Get Your First Paying Client

Getting your first client who wants to try and pay for your services is a super big thing because it proves that someone is willing to pay for your service and it takes you one step closer to your business dreams

Most of the time, what scares people on doing this is because its so new: getting a new client is one thing, getting them to pay you is another.

In these cases as I share, I’m gonna assume you already know what you’re doing eg I’m a hand therapist and I’m licensed and experienced, I dont need to be supervised.

If you’re picking up something entirely new, it will make sense for you to go for courses, certificates, internship and hands-on job training first to build up skill and experience if you hadnt.

If you just got your cert and are totally new, you may consider working for someone or a company first for a while to get some experience, for free as an unpaid intern for a short time if you need to because experience really really matters to produce good outcomes.

It’s a 3-step process for me:

Step #1 Craft & Package

What are the basic service packages you want to offer?

2 or 3 packages at most.

Have an idea about what type of clients you want to work with. For me, my example is in physical therapy, specificly patients who has pain and injury to their physical body. So when i communicate, it’s very clear, i’m speaking to clients who has back pain, neck pain, hand pain etc

If you’re a massage therapist you may be offering 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions.

etc etc

Its important to get as clear as possible about this and what you’re planning on including so that you’re not customizing things for every client:

  1. saves you and them time AND
  2. it’s muuuuuch easier for them to make a buying decision when it’s clear what you solve for them

Clear and well communicated packages make you look more professional too

Step #2: Softlaunch Offer – Get Appropriate Beta Testers

Once you’ve got your packages ready, next, you got to make an offer, and a gentle way to ease yourself into sales is by doing soft launches.

You can also call it getting beta testers who will get a special price before you launch it to the full public and full price.

For example

  1. if you’re a web designer and you’re new, you can consider providing 3-5 free websites and hosting is extra X dollars a month; or
  2. if you’re a massage therapist you can offer a trial 30-minute session for purely new clients who had never experienced your massage before etc.

How to position this is to

  • set a fix number of beta testers you want (not more than 5)
  • set a fix price (discount forever or free for X amount of time)
  • make the offer

An example is to make an offer like this on your social media channels, messaging systems like WhatsApp, saying

I’m going to work with 3-5 people at this price point before I put the price up to the full price, and I would love for you to be one of them

What will happen is

  1. you will get some (or lots of) rejections or ignores
  2. some inquiries which turn to nothing
  3. some inquiries that will take your offer
  4. some inquiries that will miss your soft launch offer and become full private paying clients

Step #3: Ask For Referrals

All businesses need new clients on an ongoing basis, so don’t stop at beta testing once and done.

Continue to refine your sales process, and one of the simpler approaches to increase your client base is to ask for referrals from your existing clients. They’re already getting serviced by you, so I ask them directly to consider referring someone they know who will benefit from my services.

It can be a simple text, email or chat:

Do you know someone who may benefit from my services? Please refer them and I will do my utmost to take good care of them.

Chances are if they’re happy with your services, 10%+ of the time, they will refer their friends, colleagues and family to you.

Once you get your first client, it’d be a big confidence boost, and then you can go on to get your second, third, fifth, tenth, hundredth client and on and on. Remember, you got business dreams, you want to make a full time income and to make that happen, you have to start with the first person.

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