Networking is one of the most effective ways to get your first customer. Ninety percent of all independent consultants find their first contract through their personal, expanded network. If you're just starting out and want to find that first consulting client, here are four proven strategies to get you started.
Take Advantage of Your First-Degree ConnectionsYour first-degree connections are the people you know directly. These are the people who can introduce you to your ideal customer.
LinkedIn is a great tool for identifying your first-degree connections and who they know.
Reach Out to Second-Degree ConnectionsIf you don't know your ideal customer directly, but you know someone who does, then your ideal customer is a second-degree connection. LinkedIn can help you identify these connections and filter them according to certain criteria.
Direct CommunicationOnce you've identified your ideal customer, it's time to reach out directly. When doing so, focus on selling what they want to buy. Explain how you can help them achieve their goals and provide examples of your previous work.
Request Referrals from Friends and FamilyAsking people who already know you to introduce you to potential customers is an effective way to get your first consulting client.
Your current network can be a big help in getting your future customers, so make sure to provide value every time you work with someone. If you're just starting out as a consultant, these four strategies can help you get your first client. Take advantage of your first-degree connections, reach out to second-degree connections, communicate directly with potential customers, and request referrals from friends and family. With these strategies in hand, you'll be well on your way to success as a consultant.