You know that cycle where you hustle your butt off to get clients, and then you hustle your butt off to work with the clients, and then you stop working with the clients and realize that you don’t have any more clients, and then you freak out about how you’re going to make your rent payment this month? We have all been there. It’s a completely normal part of business, but what is not normal, however, is staying in this cycle for too long. The trick is to book our clients for a few months in advance. I’m going to share my four best strategies for booking out consistent clients in this post.
When I sat down to think about what I really did to take my business from struggling to have consistent revenue to 1.5x-ing my revenue every single year, I realized that there were four main steps that I took, four main things that I did to make that happen. The first step, which is the least sexy and the one you’re probably going to avoid the most and is probably the most important, is that I niched way the hell down. Picking a niche is not picking an industry. It’s not about picking something to do that has a ton of competition. The opposite, in fact. The way to get consistent clients when you’re a bootstrapping business owner getting started and trying to make a name for yourself is to conquer a niche that doesn’t have a ton of competition, yet people are craving.
Here’s the trick to niching down. Look at your industry that you’re currently in, whether it’s wedding planning, or web design, or photography, or whatever, and ask yourself, what is the sub-niche that I’m going to conquer within this industry? Then you’re going to go one step deeper. Now that you have that sub-industry, I actually want you to solve a specific problem within that sub-industry.
Okay, so when I did this, for example, I was a copywriter for entrepreneurs. That was my industry. My sub-industry is that I worked with creative service providers who had online-based businesses, sub-industry, and then very specifically I decided that I was going to focus only on sales pages for those people. A big sign that you are not niched down enough is if your potential clients and customers are price shopping. This means that they’re looking at a whole bunch of people in your industry and then going with the cheapest option.
Step number two to consistently booking out clients for months in advance is to show the F up with consistent and valuable content. I don’t care what vehicle you choose for your content, whether you want a microblog on Instagram, or write a blog on your own website, or do YouTube videos, or podcasts, or whatever. The key is that you need to show up and you need to show up consistently wherever you are creating content, and that content has got to be valuable for your target clients. I cannot tell you how powerful this is to have an array of blog posts, or podcasts, or videos that are already answering people’s burning questions. It makes you look like such a pro.
And that allows me to do step number three, which is a big one for service providers, and not enough service providers are doing this, is I would run promotions for my services. Now I am not talking about discounting your services, and giving people coupons, and dropping the price. Hell no. There are other ways of doing promotions for your services that will help you to get a slew of clients all at once and book out a couple of months of clients at a time. I like to call this doing a popup promo, and the puppet promo is something I teach in-depth in my program, Yay for Clients, but for the purposes of this video, I want to give you a rough outline of what that might look like for you.
When you do a popup promo, what you want to do is create a limited time offer. This could be offering a service like a mini service that you don’t normally offer. You could offer it for just a week and only have a limited number of spots, which is another way that you can get more people signing up to work with you. Or what I also love to do is run a promotion before I raise the price of my services. So let’s say I’m going to raise my service price from $500 to a thousand dollars. I would do a promotion around that before I raised it to a thousand dollars and get a slew of clients in at the $500 price. Whenever I did this for my signature services, I was able to book out at least two months of clients at once, which still allowed about a month of time for organic clients to come and hire me as well, and so it always had a steady stream of client bookings.
My fourth and final step for you to get your business booked out for months is to do what you say you’re going to do. It is astonishing how many service providers fall off the face of the earth while working with their clients, and oftentimes it’s not that the service provider is trying to be really shitty, it’s just that they don’t realize how important client communication is for their clients.
I have got a serious tip for you here, which is that communication is more important than quality. Meaning, you communicate with your clients regularly, and keeping them updated on the progress of your work is actually more highly correlated with client satisfaction than the quality of your work. So yes, there are always ways that you can go above and beyond for your clients and send them gifts in the mail and make them super duper happy, which is awesome. However, essentially you just need to do what you said you were going to do, and show up on time, and give them stuff, and maybe go like a little ounce above and beyond and you are going to do amazing.