Building Up Your Client List

Scaling / August 21, 2013 / Kristie

In any industry, I find the same  phrase thrown around between people trying to get ahead…

“It’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know!”

So why not try to use that statement and really focus on building your network? Everyday presents circumstances and opportunities to meet people and gain more potential clients. If you keep an open mind about everyone you meet, you may find that the connections you have can lead to a number of possibilities if utilized wisely.

In the case of freelancers whether that be photographers, writers, or designers, connections are vital to your success. Each person you come in contact with has their own web of contacts that you can tap into if approached properly and effectively. Each person you meet has a story, and the more you ask the more you find out about their story. Often you will find that the more you find out, the more people you realize they know. From there it expands and if you attach yourself to their story, then you weave the web of connections.

People love to talk about themselves. So start asking questions! Life never ceases to amaze me  how many different ways people are connected and all the opportunities that can come from each connection. Sometimes those instances are completely random like finding out that the person in front of you at the grocery store is looking for a photographer for her engagement photos and you happen to be standing in line behind her talking on the phone about a recent photo shoot you did. Other moments for connections are planned like attending a networking function and meeting someone dying for a graphic designer with your style!

99u has a great article about The 6 Fundamentals of Client Building by Sarah Horowitz. She touches on the importance of occasionally taking on a free project and how that can lead to new prospects because it will give you a leg up in the long run. Horowitz also explains how to create a bond with clients by finding things in common.

A great way to keep track of contacts is through Creating Custom Forms in Daylite. Through these forms you can link to contacts and compile a database of interesting notes about clients that you can pull from later. The whole point in gathering information about clients, people, or companies is to be able to Filter Forms in Daylite to sift through and find information at a later date when your memory may not be able to recall a detail as quickly. Something as simple as remembering that a client has two dogs and you recommend a dog walker that you met through another client can make a big difference. Non-profit organizations are another example of an industry that often uses forms to collect information about their donors to help establish strong relationships.

It’s always the little details that people recall when they think of who to contact for their next project.

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