There are many ways to measure success when you’re a business owner that have nothing to do with money. Lucky for me, my particular business has one of the most rewarding options. I know I’ve done my job when I see the creative, impactful women I work with get to do their job. Watching my clients land their own clients while sitting in the CEO seat of their dream business makes my heart feel like it’s going to burst How The Grinch Stole Christmas-style, except it grows way more than three times its size! 💗
There is one incredible image I like to reflect on when I think about women supporting women, and how together, we can all reach “the top.” In my mind, it looks like a massive human tower full of business babes of all shapes, sizes, ages, and industries hoisting one another up higher and higher. As the wise Lizzo once said, “If I’m shining, everbody’s gonna shine.”✨ And shine we will!
While organizing this human tower in real life is a little bit out of my pay grade, I am able to demonstrate the sentiment in another awesome way — by asking my clients how they got their clients + make sales, and then sharing that with you!
Here, some of my former and current clients share in their own words the secrets behind their successes for you, future female climbers, to carry with you on your own journey to the top!
See you all up there!
Kate Hutcheson, The Efficient Creative
“As much as I’m trying to build my list so I have a large pool of potential clients to reach out to, most of my work comes through current client and friend referrals. I hear a lot of horror stories about how hard it can be to find reliable Virtual Assistant services, so I know that when people are happy with the work I do for them, *they* are happy to spread the word! Making and keeping great relationships with clients and colleagues (plus working really hard on behalf of my clients) makes up the lion’s share of the reason why my business is growing!”
Rebecca Morgan, Choose Awesome Coaching
“I get my career and leadership coaching clients in multiple ways. My website, social media (LinkedIn is my go-to), and my favorite — where most come in from is word of mouth from previous clients and colleagues. Get that first client. Focus on getting them results and watch the magic begin!”
Miish Grixti, miishgrixti.com
“Most recently, I’ve been signing on clients through 1) my welcome sequence, 2) meeting people through in-person business events and 3) referrals from amazing coaches and programs I’ve invested in. (Yep – I’m still working with clients that I met through Michelle’s program over a year ago!) I’ve found that connection is everything when it comes to building a business that lights you up. That’s why it’s worth the time/money/energy to build something that scales that connection — like an amazeballs welcome sequence for your new subscribers. Give people a chance to get to know you as a real, relatable human, and show your genuine interest in getting to know them as a human too.”
Courtney Fanning, Big Picture Branding
“Popping into my previous clients’ inboxes with a ‘Hello/ Congratulations/ Here’s something new’ email has resulted in some great followup work and referrals! Giving people a little nudge is a great way to get back onto their To-Do list. Also, when business became slow, I focused on building partnerships with fellow When I Grow Up-ers. Our powers combined resulted in some exciting new work, and helping to build each others’ businesses feels amazing!”
Verô Souza, Vero Branding
“I’ve been open for business for less than a year and I’ve been experimenting with a lot of different methods and platforms. What has worked really well for me (so far) has been direct outreach, friend referrals and partnering with other powerful entrepreneurs.”
Carole Ann Penney, Penney Leadership
“Right now I’m focusing on speaking as a way of sharing my mission and message, and connecting with potential clients. Earlier this year I submitted proposals for a few conferences around New England, and I’ve been traveling this fall presenting a session that gives everyone a slice of valuable content and a taste of what it’s like to work with me. At each event, I’m building my email list and making meaningful connections with the people in my sessions. I follow up afterwards via email with additional resources and invitations to continue our work together.”
Lisa Townsend, Change Your Badge
“I’ve found success…
- From the connections closest to me including referrals from friends.
- Following up – don’t follow the advice of your inner critic. The reality is if you haven’t heard back from a client it’s probably because they’ve had a bad day, got busy and forgot, or have worries of their own. It’s not because they hate you and all your work is sh*t 😉
- Being open to new opportunities and having conversations where I’ve been honest and said ‘Shall we give it a go and see?’ Eek!
- Realizing that part of the service I provide is to help my clients make decisions to get them started i.e. when, where and how we will work together. My first instinct was to let my clients decide when and how they wanted to work and just make myself totally available. But this is people- pleasing behaviour, not running-a-business behaviour.”
Kristen Good, Kristen Good Collective
“I’ve been getting my clients from local networking groups that I found on Meetup.com. Social media is great but there is nothing like being able to meet people in-person to make connections and new business friends! I’ve also been using google ads and am still surprised when clients say they found me on Google!”
Karen Styles, Flow and Fire
“My biggest focus is to keep showing up with my target clients (both on social media and in newsletters) so my people can remember that I’m here and that I’m a person who can help them get the words right for their career and business. Everyone gets a lot of information on their social media and in their inboxes, so if I’ve said something only once they may not remember it. I have to keep showing up.
Another thing: I’ve noticed that having FUN with the content I send out has helped a lot! I wrote a blog/newsletter called “What I learned about Elevator Pitches from the Princess Bride” that was honestly a bit silly but I had so much fun with it, and even landed a client from that one newsletter! Keep showing up for your audience, authentically, in your voice. Then they’ll have a feel for you and be comfortable asking for help or saying YES when you put out an offer.”
Rachel Nusbaum, Orchid Story
“Working with repeat clients has been huge for me in recent months. These women know and trust me, have made progress alongside me and are looking to go further. I’ve also had success with onboarding women that have been circling my orbit for a few years without previously buying. Sometimes, it truly does take a while for your message to sink in – the beauty is that these women are ready to hit the ground running when they start.”
Paula Jenkins, Jump Start Your Joy
“Once I’d gotten clear with myself and owned that I’m a damn good podcast producer and coach (and I was able to articulate that to myself and other people), things got 100xs easier for me. My clients and sales have come from two key places: putting myself out there as a podcast producer and relationships that have stemmed from having a podcast myself. What this means is that I have a roster of clients that I’ve known for a long time (one for 35 years!?!), and that I love working with. My clients are all people I’d call my friends, and are all people I WANT to work with. When I lead with joy and share my love of podcasting with someone, I find that it very naturally flows to people sharing about the idea they have for a show, and that’s where the magic happens. In other words, I can’t stop talking about how much I love what I do and it seems like it’s infectious.”
Marietta Gentles Crawford, Mari Brands For You
“I’ve been getting my clients through being active on LinkedIn. It’s been my main platform for building my personal brand and connecting with ‘my people’ because it feels natural to teach what I know. I don’t feel like I’m ‘selling’ when I’m genuinely connecting with people and they in return reached out to me for help.”
Christy Tending, Christy Tending
“Lately, I’ve been getting clients through my podcast. While most of the people who listen to my podcast are already following me, the podcast has been a really effective way for me to show off what it’s like to work with me. Through the podcast, I’m doing a lot of teaching, so it’s a good way for folks to gauge whether I’d be the right teacher *for them*. Once they jive with what I’m talking about on the show, they get curious about what it would be like to go deeper.”
Feeling motivated and like you’re ready to grow your client base and expand your sales, too? Funny — I have just the program for that! I created Build Your Client Base so you can stop the busy work and set yourself up to elevate your sales and grow your own dream clientele. Applications open next week, so be sure to drop your name on the interest list for first dibs! Maybe I’ll be asking *you* to contribute to version 2 of this article in just a few months’ time!