I’m hosting a workshop on client acquisition for underestimated entrepreneurs. You might be curious about why I am diving into client acquisition for this group? Check out the transcript from this episode below so that you can find the nuggets that will help you grow your business:
“More seasoning” is missing from spaces that speak to underestimated entrepreneurs
I sat down this morning to jot down some ideas.
And then my mind wandered. I started procrastinating. Found myself on Pinterest. Scrolling through some recipes. Came across a good recipe for a new lentil dish and got started.
- Sauted the onions and added the spices
- Started adding vegetables
- Double checked to see if I added everything.
I looked at the pan. And was like “that’s not enough!”. I need MORE seasoning before it cooked all of the way down. I want the flavor to be imbued. I want every bite, every morsel, to have flavor. It’s not just serving the food. Every single bite has to be savory, right?
That’s how underestimated folks do things.
- It’s how we cook
- It’s how we operate
And it’s why we need a specific workshop on this topic. Underestimated entrepreneurs see things differently and we need guidance on how to translate how we view the world into wins for our business.
Why client acquisition from this lens?
There is a ton of content on how to grow a business. But far too often, it’s not coming from the lens of someone who views the world through underestimated eyes.
We see the same advice over and over again
- Blanket everyone with your marketing
- Talk to a ton of people and demand that they buy
While some of this advice is helpful, sometimes it just doesn’t hit right.
When I made the lentils and used the recommended seasonings, I kept pouring the seasonings until the ancestors told me to stop. THAT’s the lens that I want on the entrepreneurship content that I consume. I need someone to step in who does it like how I do it. It’s not enough to give just head knowledge. My great grandmother and my grandmother and my Mom…they didn’t have most of their recipes written down. My great grandmother was an amazing cook. She was well known for her sweet potato pies and Thanksgiving dinner. Anyone that comes from a community of of color – you’ll understand exactly where I’m going here.
You make moves based on what your heart tells you alongside your logic.
You need a different strategy for client acquisition when you are underestimated
It’s this undefined quantity around love, right? Our way of being comes from a different place. How we express ourselves and show up in the world.
Sometime, you just can’t quantify your ideas and execution down to specific metrics and measurements.
I think we need more support, guidance, advice and wisdom around that lens.
We always need more information about how to grow a business.
- How to make more money
- How to show up and be more successful without putting in 600,000 hours
- We also need KPI, tactics, strategy, metrics
But I also want my business to show up with the same level of heart that my food does. I want my customers to know that I care about them. I want my employees to feel this same connection. Yes, we need to earn money. But there has to be a way to marry the two that feels familiar
Now before you think that I’ve gone off the deep end – there is ROI in this concept. When your customers feel you care, they are more inclined to talk to you as soon as a problem arises. Or stay as a long term customer.
This also matters with employees. You want people honor the perspective of the clients you serve. People who will connect with your brand in a way that culturally familiar.
But still the challenge exists.
- How do you get to your first consistent six figures?
- How do you set the business up from day one to reach seven figures?
If you are going to put in the time and energy, then let’s make the money, right? I want to see the rewards, right? Capital and revenue is one of the ways that you see the rewards happen.
Here is what is missing from your formula
What I find is missing for service based entrepreneurs is the information on how to acquire clients.
There is a lot of tactics but no foundations to help you build for the long term. They will tell you to:
- Do this
- Here are 10 ways to do this…
I share those articles myself. And I’m happy to put together content using that format. But for alot of people, the fundamentals are not being delivered or taught.
So we show up ready to make things happen. And for a short while, we do. You have clients coming in – which is awesome.
But all of a sudden, you have no clients. And you are wondering:
- How do I I get more consistency?
- How do I start to see my numbers level off so that you are consistently busy?
What it used to look like in my business
I ran my business for years on 100% referrals. I get the ebbs and flow. My business revolved around the academic calendar. During certain times of the academic calendar – ie. exams or the start of school – that was my slow period. During the breaks – ie. holidays and summer – I was always busy.
I remember one time wondering how I could I get clients during my slow periods.
So I created a framework. I don’t want to give it away and say you can do it too. Because it may not necessarily work for your business. But I do know that there are principles that anyone could apply.
And it’s why I’ve been able to be in business for years and still consistently bring in profit. It’s all self funded too.
The marketing foundations are often not taught
Most of us don’t have a solid understanding of the marketing foundations. Even if your former job was in marketing, there is still alot to learn.
If you didn’t work in the field, you might be overwhelmed with keeping up.
I’m going to share a few themes to make it easier to start.
The key is to show up on
- weekly basis
- monthly basis
- quarterly basis
And examine these themes. It’s a game changer. This is the difference for your business being successful versus you having great business for a while and then you don’t see any clients.
Step one: How do you approach sales with friends and family?
The big one for me today about client acquisition is you have to think about acquiring clients on a long term basis. Period. Yes, you can definitely get a number of clients that come in short term. Just from friends. Family and the network.
That is always the first place we start.
And if you haven’t already, reach out to your networks. Where are you a member? Talk to them. That would be the first place that I would turn to.
And don’t miss this hint. Make sure your people know what you offer. You don’t have to beg them to buy. Just make sure that they are aware of what your company does. I have to make this distinction because far too often, we expect our people to buy. They might be the last ones to buy from you. Honestly, they may not be your ideal client.
But make sure that they know what you offer.
Step two: Think long term and reach out beyond your immediate circle
But after you’ve exhausted that list, you need to expand your outreach. You need to have a long term strategy period. I recommend one that you can sustain month after month.
For alot of people, they think they can do it a few months and that’s it.
It would be nice! But especially in today’s environment, they’re super busy doing their own things. So it’s not personal.
You need to plan what you are going to do every week – even when you are busy. I know that thought – oh my gosh, but I’m just so busy. I don’t have time then create a plan for that.
Your lack of time shouldn’t be an excuse. Plan how you’re going to acquire clients long term.
I hope you caught that. If you don’t have a plan, then you’re planning several months from now to not have clients. So think through – even if you are busy, even if you don’t know what to do – put your flag down in the sand around something and start crafting a plan.
I’ll give you a few things in the workshop if you’ve never planned like this before. Even if you don’t have a clue. We have to start thinking like this because that is where your long term money comes from.
You have to start from thinking from day one about what things will look like to show up consistently.
Being consistent as an underestimated entrepreneur is not always easy
We have been silenced in a lot of places and environments. There are all types of institutional isms that we experienced.
At the same time, there are so many strengths that we bring to the table. Strengths that have not been valued and recognized.
I’ll be the first to say this perspective is new to me. Yes, I’ve been Black for for umpteen years. But I’m still learning how to unpack how being underestimated is a strength in my business. I know I bring a different vision for what’s possible.
I want to highlight these themes. I have a few tools and techniques with the workshop that will let you see it for yourself and have a moment to shine. You’ll be able to take those cultural nuances that we frequently hide or just don’t know how to put it out there and communicate the value. We’re gonna start digging into that more so that you can start using it authentically. And communicate your value.
I hope that this episode has given you some ideas and some food for thought. If you have the opportunity to take the workshop, I highly highly recommend that you jump in and take this session.