Welcome, Carrie Ashley, owner of Carried Away Creative Co and guest today on KaylaRoof.com.
How to Get New Clients for Your Milspouse-Owned Business (& Keep Them Coming!)
Ready to get your very own business up off the ground, but feeling a slight twinge of anxiety at the thought of how you’ll ever find new clients to kickstart your dream? Not to mention, ones who will help keep your dream afloat?
Those feelings you’re experiencing are 100% valid. After all, you want to build a thriving business—one that will move and evolve with you no matter what the military throws your way next. And, doing that takes some serious grit and grace on your part.
So, why not put the proper steps in place before you embark on your amazing milspopreneur journey to get you those new clients you’ve been wishing for and keep them coming for years to come!
To get you started on the right foot, I’m here to lend a helping hand and share my two cents on how you can start today—and, most importantly, in an authentic way.
1. Hone in on who your ideal clients truly are
Far too often, business owners think they should serve all the people when they’re first starting out. Even the ones who roll into the inbox with a less-than-appropriate budget for your time and requests you typically don’t accept. I know I thought this same exact way!
Thus, you succumb to “yes” syndrome, and build your clientele list off of people you don’t envision your business serving for the long haul.
Doesn’t just reading that last statement give you some seriously bad vibes?
That said, before you do anything else, hone in on who your ideal clients genuinely are. And, no, I’m not just talking about “I want to tailor my business to women.” I’m talking about taking it a few steps forward—pinpointing the ages of those women, whether or not they have a family (and even how old their children might be), and so much more.
Yes, “niching down”—aka lasering your focus in on a select group of people—can sound absolutely terrifying. I mean, you do want to start earning an income, so why should you ever turn people away who don’t fit the mold?
But, trust me when I say that it’ll be so much harder for you to market your business and win new clients if you’re trying to be something for everyone.
2. Perfect your personal brand.
Even if you’re building a business that doesn’t necessarily have your name in the logo, you better believe you’re going to be the face of it. So, now’s not the time to be shy and only plan on talking about what your company stands for. It’s the time to perfect your personal brand and share it with the world!
Let me unpack that a bit. In the digital world we live in, any Joe Schmoe can go online and claim they’re whoever they want to be. And, that makes you and me—as consumers—have a difficult time handing over our credit card. We want to know we’re working with a human, not a faceless company. And, simply put, what that human looks like and the story they have to tell.
Therefore, when you’re crafting your social media accounts and planning out the content to go along with them, weave in photos of you (and even your family if you’re comfortable). And, control your narrative by pairing those photos with fun facts your followers (and potential clients) wouldn’t have known had you not kicked down that wall and gotten personal with them.
3. Perfect your client onboarding process.
This may seem a bit premature—especially if you’re just starting out. But, this is something I wish I had done right from the start! Take a second to map out what your client onboarding and relationship management will look like—from start to finish.
I’ll share what mine looks like below for my content creation package in particular to help you dominate the creation of your very own. (Note, you may have multiple processes—especially if you have multiple services!)
Initial Email >> Virtual Coffee Date OR Proposal (depending on how they framed their initial request) >> Follow-Up >> Contract >> Intake Questionnaire >> Work Begins >> Editing Begins (1-2 Rounds) >> Follow-Up >> Delivery of Final Product >> Invoice >> Thank You Happy Mail (along with a handwritten card!)
This, coupled with your personal brand, is one way you’ll make it easier for yourself to reel in new clients. And, you might’ve noticed I injected a few follow-ups into my process. I can’t stress enough how critical it is for you to touch base with your people at multiple points in your relationship!
For example, if you provided a potential client with a proposal and they drop off the face of the earth for a few days, it doesn’t mean you should call it quits. Reach back out to them and see if they have any questions, and that you’d be happy to connect with them over the phone or via video conference.
Your client process can be your differentiator! And, one that’ll ensure you have some happy people on your hands. And, best of all, people who are more inclined to refer you to others.
4. Show up—both in person and on social media.
Kayla is a fabulous example of how we all can show up in our business every day. So, follow her lead and master this both in person and on social media!
Identify a select number (ideally 2-3 max—any more than that and you’ll be overwhelmed!) of Facebook mastermind groups to not only be a part of, but also be active in on a regular basis. It’s no secret my top favorites are the Work From Anywhere Business™ Club, Milspo Member Mastermind, and MilSpouse Creative™.
And, as comfy as it is to sit behind your computer in your leggings and an oversized sweatshirt every day, get out from behind that computer of yours. Attend a coffee or lunch date with a fellow entrepreneur you admire, register for a conference or seminar that’s for ladypreneurs like yourself (or, better yet, milspopreneurs!), and just get to know others for more than who they are on social media.
You never know how much just one connection you make can help ignite your client roster and keep it growing for years to come!
5. Dish out free, invaluable tips and tricks your ideal clients want & need.
This is one of my most favorite tips! Because, if you don’t know by now, I love collaborating with fellow milspopreneurs and lady bosses to craft content for them that provides their ideal clients and customers with free, invaluable tips and tricks they want and need (and have a hard time finding elsewhere!).
So, remember way back when (at tip #1 to be exact) when I mentioned honing in on who your ideal clients truly are? Well, with them at the forefront of your mind, get to crafting blog post content that speaks to their hearts and gives them a little tidbit that’ll keep them coming back for more.
For example, are you an Etsy shop owner? Share a sneak peek at an upcoming launch or a tutorial on how to creatively use your product!
6. Guest blog on other sites related to the industry you serve.
Now, this definitely goes hand-in-hand with my previous tip. Consider guest blogging your opportunity to shine as an expert in your industry! And, one reason I suggested showing up on social media (specifically masterminds) earlier?
Because these places offer you the greatest opportunity to find (and land!) a guest blogging spot.
When connecting with a blogger’s readers, however, it’s important to remember to keep your content valuable, authentic, and non-salesly.
Just ensure the post includes a link back to your site and a brief bio (which will help level-up your SEO, too!), and you’ll be golden. You never know, someone may like what you have to say so much that they reach out to see if you’re available for hire!
7. Give Facebook ads a go.
If, after implementing the tips shared above, you find yourself struggling to reach your ideal clients and get them to join your roster as quickly as you’d envisioned (remember, it takes some serious time!), give Facebook ads a go! You can start with dedicating just $5 a day for a 7-day traffic run to your website.
They’re a relatively inexpensive way to advertise your products or services to your people, and connect with those you may not have otherwise had the chance to.
Now, I know this list may be a bit intimidating at first glance. But, these tips have been tested and approved by fellow entrepreneurs (including myself!). Go ahead and pick a few (3-4) to start of with, and go from there.
As soon as you do, I have a feeling you’ll find nothing but success when it comes to getting dream clients who will help fuel your milspopreneur dreams from here on out!
For more ways to get clients, check out 7 Incredibly Smart Ways to Power Up Your Military Spouse Business.