How to Get More Clients: 3 Best Offline Strategies
Wondering how you can get more clients? What I’ve found is that one of the fastest ways to convince someone to work with you is to meet them face-to-face (either in person or with the help of an online meeting tool, like Skype or Zoom). After all, you build trust much faster when you meet someone offline where there is instant human interaction.
That said, online client acquisition is much more scalable than offline marketing.
But if you want to expand your client base with different marketing strategies and build your business faster, these offline methods might just be the thing for you.
So, if you want to walk out the door and start picking up clients, here’s what you need to do.
Ever heard of Meetup.com? It’s a great platform for connecting with people in your city. But not just any people–your clients.
Meetups are essentially events in your local area about anything and everything (food, languages, sports, entrepreneurship, and more).
I didn’t intend to use meetups to find clients, but once I started going to these events, I realized just how powerful they could be. After all, if you choose your meetups wisely, you’ll be networking with your ideal clients.
To find groups where your clients are hanging out, go to Meetup, search for an entrepreneur-related keyword and take a look at the groups that pop up. Alternatively, if your clients are other types of organizations, like non-profit organizations, use those types of keywords.
Once you find a group, look at how active it is to determine if it’s worth checking out. If the last event was a year ago, that group is probably dormant and you’ll want to look for something else.
Group size doesn’t matter that much, but in my experience, it’s easier to build connections faster if you find a group with smaller events instead of hundreds of attendants.
Now, you can just show up for events and network with the host and participants.
But an even more effective way to quickly establish yourself as the “go-to” freelancer in your niche?
The way I did this was to go to a few events a local meetup group was putting up. At this point, I had gotten to know the group host, as well as some of the participants.
I then suggested holding a workshop about web copywriting. The workshop was a quick way to give value and position myself as an expert. And as the group targeted local entrepreneurs, I started getting job requests right away.
As a long-term strategy, you could even host your own workshops and that way, get more clients.
2. Local communities
Next up? Local communities, like co-working spaces.
Think about it: Co-working spaces are great for picking up clients because you’re working side-by-side with them.
To find a local co-working space, you can go for the most obvious options, like WeWork. If you want to find a smaller or different type of co-working space, go to Google and type in a search phrase like “Best co-working spaces in (your area)” or ask friends what co-working spaces they use. Those are the strategies I used to find the co-working spaces I’ve worked from.
Most co-working spaces offer tours and introduction days, so you can quickly figure out if your clients are hanging out there. They also offer ways to connect with other members through events, apps, or online forums.
My own co-working space has an app with a jobs feature, which is a chat function where people post jobs every day. But even if your local co-working space doesn’t have that feature, you can still get to know other businesses and get new clients.
How? You can use the “Meetup Strategy” and host your own workshop. Or you can start going to events at your co-working space.
But how do you stand out in the best way as a freelancer when meeting someone at an event?
Simple. Instead of saying, “I’m a freelancer,” you ask them what THEY do.
Client: “So what do you do?”
You: “I help businesses grow with the help of compelling content. What field are you in?”
Client: “I run a recruitment agency for engineers.”
You: “Oh, how interesting. That sounds like a demanding niche. Is it hard to get qualified engineers to sign up?”
Client: “We have connections in the industry, but we’re looking to scale our efforts.”
You: “Alright, I imagine you use LinkedIn to find them as well?”
Client: “Yes, we do.”
And on you go until you figure out what it is this client needs and how you can fit in.
For example, the client above might want someone to help them write better LinkedIn copy, web copy for more visibility, or blog posts to reach more engineers. Your job is to figure out how you can help them achieve what they want.
See how this is way different from launching a monologue about what it is you do (and realize halfway through that people’s eyes are glazing over)?
By switching from you to them, you’ll quickly start adding clients to your client roster.
And the last offline strategy to get more clients: Conferences.
I haven’t personally used this strategy to get clients, but the idea is similar to the other two steps we’ve talked about: Get to know your clients in-person.
A good way to do this?
Take Marie Forleo, who started her business by going to events and asking people to sign up for her newsletter.
That’s pretty powerful, right? And you can do the same.
For example, print out a business card where you offer a free PDF if people sign up for your newsletter.
You can also ask people about what their biggest problems are in their businesses and then ask them to sign up for your newsletter to get your emails that will help them solve this problem.
That way, you don’t have to try and convince anyone to work with you then and there. Instead, you build that relationship with your emails. You also avoid risking that your business card is thrown into a pile with all the other business cards from that conference.
Your next action step is to choose one of these strategies and take the first step to making it happen. For example, find a meetup group and sign up for a meetup or a co-working space and sign up for a tour or trial day.
Use these three strategies regularly. Together with your online strategies, you’ll quickly start positioning yourself as THE freelancer in your niche… And you will get more clients who’re happy to sign up to work with you.
Camilla Hallstrom | Freelance Writer
Camilla Hallstrom is a freelance writer who helps others work from anywhere so that they can live life in a more flexible, free, and fun way. Get her free 3-step plan to starting your own freelance writing business in 30 days or less (even if you have no experience)