Terry Rice

How to get more clients (even if your business is new)

Published 3 months ago • 5 min read

Hi There,

This week we're going to revisit my best tip on how to find clients.

The reason for this rerun? For one thing, my newsletter has more than doubled since I last shared this advice – so this will be new to most of you!

The other big reason is because I've been busy working toward the launch of my new podcast, Elevate and Expand.

The goal of the podcast is to provide entrepreneurs with the guidance, accountability, and community that they need to grow a successful business. We just launched on Thursday, and I'd love for you to check it out.

One step further: If you leave a review and send me a screenshot, you'll be entered to win a free one-hour consulting session with me. More details on that here.

Okay, I'm all out of news. Here's my favorite way to find new clients: Using the golden link method.

I once spent two weeks cold-emailing members of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. My goal was to hop on a call and tell them about my services. I got one positive response that made me $100.

I then emailed the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce asking if I could put on a free event for their members. They said yes, promoted me to their database, and I got two clients that made me $4,000. Quick math will tell you that approach worked better and faster.

That’s when I discovered “The Golden Link” – the organizations that have access to your audience and could be potential partners in exchange for the value you provide.

I’m going to explain how you can take advantage of this same process by creating and pitching valuable speaking topics to relevant organizations. Let's dive in.

Create your speaking topic

There are three parts to crafting an engaging speaking topic

  • Title
  • Description
  • Key takeaways

We’re going to build yours in a slightly different so you can get it created a bit faster. For reference, you can see completed examples here.

1. Determine a valuable topic you can present to your audience

To get started, think about a powerful transformation you could provide in 30-60 minutes.

What should your audience do, think or know that would be helpful? Then, create a title that speaks to these outcomes. It could be as simple as “5 Common Mistakes Solopreneurs Make, and How to Avoid Them”.

Need help coming up with your idea? Check out the topics presented at conferences your audience might attend.

2. Jot down the key takeaways

Then, write down the key takeaways. What are 3-5 things they’ll learn from your talk? You’ll use these takeaways to structure your presentation and describe your topic.

Be sure to state what they’ll learn and why it’s important. Again, you can check out the examples to see how this can work for you.

3. Write your description

Based on your key takeaways and topic, write the event description. I often use the following framework

Situation: What’s going on?

Complication: What makes it even more challenging?

Question: Given this issue and the associated challenges, how can you solve it?

Answer: The information provided in your talk

I also suggest adding a relevant statistic or quote from a thought-leader to increase your credibility.

4. Make a list of the organizations that have access to your target audience.

You've completed your topic outline, so put that aside for a moment. Now it’s time to identify and contact organizations that have an existing relationship with your target audience and are a trusted source of information. These are the organizations you're going to partner with so you can deliver your content to their audience. This is your Golden Link.

These organizations include:

  • Public libraries
  • Chambers of commerce
  • Colleges and universities
  • Executive education programs
  • Apps, tools or products your audience uses
  • Accelerators, Venture Capital and Private Equity firms
  • Niche groups, masterminds or membership communities

You know your audience better than I do, but this should get you off to a good start. And as a heads up, you’ll be much more likely to get a “yes” if they’re already offering live workshops to their audience.

5. Find the right person to pitch

Now you’ll need to find the contact person who you can pitch your topic to. Again, if the organization is already offering events you may be able to find this person’s information by visiting the “events” page or a staff directory.

They’ll usually have some of the following words in their title:

  • Events
  • Content
  • Education
  • Coordinator
  • Partnerships
  • Programming

If you’re not seeing anything there you can also try finding the right person on LinkedIn.

  1. Search for the company name
  2. Select “People”
  3. Enter the titles referenced above (Ex. Events)
  4. Find someone whose title includes those terms
  5. Click on the person’s profile and hit “Contact info”

If you get their email address, great. We’ll chat about how to use that shortly. If not, you’ll send a connection request.

Another heads up. If you’re reaching out to them on LinkedIn, check their “Activity” to see if they’ve been engaging on the platform lately. If they haven’t posted or engaged in the past month, find someone else from their organization to reach out to.

Whether you’re reaching out via LinkedIn or email, keep your pitch super short and focus on the value you can provide their audience. Here’s an example.

“Hi Kim, I’m reaching out to see if you ever partner with external experts to speak to your community. I have a short talk ‘5 Common Mistakes Solopreneurs Make, and How to Avoid Them’ that I believe would be a good fit. This talk will help founders avoid wasting time and money. Is this something you’d be interested in?”

You’ll have to slightly shorten this if you’re sending a connection request on LinkedIn (there’s a 300 character limit) and you should include a sentence or two about yourself if you’re reaching out via email.

I should note, you may pitch 5, 10 or 20 orgs with no response.

You’re going to want to give up. Don’t.

It may take some time, but once you get that “yes”, it becomes much easier the next time around since you'll have street cred.

6. Create an easy way for the audience to contact you

Once you’ve landed your first event you want to focus on two goals.

  • Provide valuable content
  • Give your audience a reason to contact you

You’ll be able to provide value by delivering on all the promises you made in the key takeaways of your talk.

There are several ways you can encourage your audience to contact you:

  • Offer copy of your presentation in exchange for their email address
  • Provide a valuable resource or guide that aligns with your expertise (a lead magnet)
  • Ask them to to book a discovery call

Also, be sure to overtly state that they can hire you, but do so in a way that naturally flows with the conversation.

Ex. “And if you need help with any of this stuff, that’s what I do for my clients."

This same process has worked for me and several people I’ve worked with in the past. So if you’re concerned about or struggling with getting clients. Give it a try!

If you're looking for more practical advice to help grow your business, check out the Elevate and Expand podcast!

Every Thursday we're releasing a conversation with a small business owner about the ins and outs of growing a business (the good, the bad, and the ugly) so you don't have to reinvent the wheel.

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Terry Rice

I provide actionable ideas and frameworks to help you grow your business, overcome setbacks and perform at your highest level. I'm a staff writer at Entrepreneur magazine, business development consultant, fitness enthusiast and father of four.

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