Everyone’s journey as an entrepreneur will be different, but it’s possible to start getting clients right away when you launch your business. During my first year I did $46,656 in sales, and a few years later I did $129,400.
That said, the way I got my clients might surprise you: I never once used social media. I never once got a client from LinkedIn. I never once made a cold call to a company looking for work. And I never once used an online job service like Upwork.
And here’s exactly how I did it . . .
About ten years ago I started a solo book design and production business, to create books for publishers. Having once owned a publishing company, I figured there was a market for this kind of service.
I gave myself 30 days to gather samples of my work, write my marketing copy, and set up a website.
And from the beginning, I decided that my long-term goal was to work for high-quality clients only. In the short term, I’d have to take whatever clients came my way, assuming they could afford my rates.
After a couple of months, I got my first two paying clients — and one of them is still with me today.
From the day I sent out my first invoice, I did $46,656 in sales during my first 12 months as a solo entrepreneur. That’s almost $50,000.
A few years later I did $129,400 in sales, which surprises even me when I look back at it. (By that time I also had some outside help.)
That big year was a lot of work, to say the least — my average sales are usually $80,000 to $85,000 per year.
So while I’m not getting rich by any means, this business has given me a good lifestyle with no commute, and I can work anywhere in the world.
Six years ago I moved to Sarajevo, where the cost of living is quite a bit less than the United States, and that has worked out pretty well.
After reading this, though, you might be wondering, “How did you go from having zero clients to creating an income so quickly?”
And here’s the surprising answer: I never once used social media. I never once got a client from LinkedIn. I never once made a cold call to a company looking for work. And I never once used an online job service like Upwork.
I developed an entirely different approach. It involved a bit of research but was quite painless:
I would identify companies I could potentially work for, mail out a personalized letter with a full-color flier describing the benefits of my service (to the right person at each company), and then follow up by email.
I also developed a simple 4-step process that would allow me to get better and better clients over time, which worked perfectly. It just required a bit of patience.
If you’d like to learn how I did this, I recently created a free mini-course that explains the exact process I used to get my clients — and a process that anyone can use to get better clients over the long term.
I think this would be helpful resource for any freelancer, for anyone who runs a service business, or for anyone who is thinking about starting one.
If you’d like to check out the mini-course, click the link below.