How To Find Clients: Start Your Own Business

If you want to know the easiest way to start your own business, then you must understand how to find clients.

Starting an online business is usually made complicated because we think business cards, logos, and LLC’s are the best first steps.

(spoiler: that’s totally wrong)

In this post, you’ll learn exactly what I did to start making money online and how to find clients… Even if you’ve never started your own business before.

Follow along and you’re going to learn:

  • how to find clients online and the EXACT strategy I used to work with celebrity entrepreneurs
  • how to pick a skill and target market that guarantees you’ll get paid
  • how to make sure you’re focusing on the right tasks
  • how to start a business without making major mistakes along the way

I wanted to make sure you have everything you need to make this happen, so I’ve put together a strategy kit to help you take action.

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • the software you need to help make finding new clients manageable
  • exact swipe emails you can use to reach out (without getting rejected or ignored)
  • the resources I use to stay sharp and motivated along the way

Get the strategy kit here:

Get The Strategy Kit Now.

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One quick note…

A lot of people who come to me for help are bloggers, podcasters, and video creators who are crushing it at creating content – but aren’t yet generating any revenue.

If you’re wanting to leave your 9-5, or at least earn money worth speaking about, then you have to avoid the “content creation” trap that distracts most people.

Why is creating content such a distraction?

Well, let me start by clearing something up…

There’s no problem with creating content IF you have a business that’s already functioning to back it up…

In fact, in just a second, you’ll learn how to create content from the lessons you learn in building your client base. A one-two punch.

Do you already have a business that’s earning what you’d like? Great. Promote it with stunning content.

You don’t? Then keep reading…

You see, podcasting lured me in with the “there’s nobody doing it” conversation. Which, by the numbers, is true.

Yet, the amount of podcasts in iTunes isn’t the only number that matters on the scoreboard.

I went on to learn that there’s no way to know who’s listening to your show, and that making money with your podcast meant one of two things:

sponsorships, or doing things outside of your show.

Not a huge deal if you have time on your hands, but it poses a huge concern for those reading this who need to get dollars, like yesterday.

Remember, I am a podcaster, and I do think it’s on the verge of something much bigger, but that’s for another post.

So, unless you have a job that keeps the money coming in, or you have a lot of cash you’re sitting on, content isn’t going to be your best play.

Speaking of “best plays,” let’s breakdown a few of the most common options, and the ones I was facing:

Option A) Create content “hail mary” style and pray that your social media blasts get seen or heard by someone.

Even if you’re strategic about this, success online (or anywhere) doesn’t happen overnight.

Chances are your favorite people online weren’t magically discovered.

No.

They put years of effort into their business, or climbed the ranks in their industry before going all-in on their content.

This by itself, my friends, is a very long-term play.

Next…

Option B) Build an email list *fast* through a combination of guest posts, podcast interviews, giveaways, etc. Then survey subscribers and create an offer around the problems they share.

Most people don’t have the network (or the know-how) to build an email list from scratch and quickly sell a product.

If you did, you’d have huge email list and tons of happy customers, right?

This, in my opinion, is more of a mid to long-term play.

Don’t get me wrong, you should have a lot of your energy in this play, but it’s not going to help get the dollars flowing right away.

Option C) Assess your skills, strengths, and weaknesses, and go find clients who could use them in their business.

Yes, I’m talking about getting clients.

I know, I know, you just want to blog, podcast, and create courses just as bad as I do – hang tight, I’m about to share how this helps.

Let’s talk advantages and disadvantages of the option C approach…

Advantages of Option C:

  • you can use your skills and strengths or learn new ones
  • quick(er) to larger amounts of cash
  • you can choose who you work with
  • it doubles as great content you can then offer (info products, coaching, and membership sites)

Disadvantages of Option C:

  • you’re trading time for money (in the beginning)
  • it isn’t scaleable
  • clients aren’t always easy to work with
  • it takes a lot of hard work

I fought option C for quite some time, but I’ve realized how important it can be to starting an online information business.

Why?

Because it gives you stories, lessons, and examples to talk about on your blog and with your email list as it grows.

“Not knowing what to talk about” in email and podcasts came up most as the biggest problem my subscribers faced when I surveyed them.

This solves that issue.

A few other benefits…

  • create content for building your authority by leading the conversation and sharing what works
  • knowing how to find clients is a skill (in my eyes) that will translate directly into selling coaching, courses, and other products to your email list
  • it shows your audience (and google) what your specialty is. Who do you think they’ll go to next time they have a problem you can solve?
  • it lets you start building a targeted list you can offer your services and your information products to
  • the fastest self-driven route if you want to leave your job ASAP, or you just need money to make ends meet

Trust me when I say that unless you’re broadcasting about wine, option C is the way to go ;)

What service should I offer?

Fire up your favorite note-taking app or pull out a fresh piece of paper for this next step – it’s time to pick what you’re going to offer.

At the top of your note, write “skills I have” and draw a line underneath it…

Now brainstorm out skills you have from past jobs or experiences, or from the content you’ve been creating.

If you’re like me, your list will have things on it ranging from graphic design to video creation and podcasting.

Don’t leave anything out.

You have a general list – now it’s time to go even deeper.

For each skill you wrote out, think through 3–5 specific ways you could use the skill.

For instance, you could use social media to help someone grow their followers, gain traffic, or find new customers.

With blogging, you could help with WordPress setup, post scheduling, and comment moderation.

I’m a big fan of picking a skill that leads your target customers to quick results and more money.

I went with list-building for a variety of reasons:

  • I’m genuinely interested in doing this for myself
  • I’ve failed many times, and I feel like that gives me some advantages
  • online businesses can’t exist without a list
  • the more people they have to market to, the more money they can make

A word of caution (from experience):

Pick the one skill/service that you’re most confident in, but also look at two or three others you could try out.

Your efforts are an experiment, so if one test ‘fails,’ you’ll have another skill to start pimping out.

If list-building didn’t work out for whatever reason, I decided that I’d test out email writing as a service, as well.

Decide now on what two or three skills you want to offer.

Got it? OK. Let’s move to the next step.

Congratulations!

You just decided on your niche. No small task.

Now it’s time to look at your target market.

Choose A Target Market

There are many ways you can go about doing this, but I’d start with the simplest and look inside first.

What do you consider yourself?

Blogger, podcaster, ninja, etc.

Don’t hesitate to market to people like you. Chances are you know something (or can quickly learn it) and help that market out.

Another (more advanced) way to choose your market:

If you have a keen business eye, or you know a particular industry well, write out what opportunities you see.

As a podcaster, and someone who’s in many podcasting communities, I noticed we usually focus on the wrong thing. Like sponsorships, what album art looks like, and what service will host their show.

Again. Content trap.

Maybe 10% (on a good day) know or are already focusing on the importance of having a strong, growing email list.

Needless to say, I chose podcasters.

What market did you choose? Tweet me and let me know.

Choosing Who You’re Going to Work With

I turn blue in the face from pounding “build your list” into people’s skulls, but I don’t grow tired.

You see, a list is theee most important asset you can have as a business owner…

… and yes, you NEED to be building a list of people who’ve signed up and given you permission to stay in contact with them.

But for now, we’re talking about a different kind of list… The kind where you get to choose who’s on it and who gets a VIP treatment only you can offer.

The list you’re going to create is just as – if not more – important than building an email list in the normal sense.

You will want to keep in touch with these people on a frequent basis and follow up until your face falls off.

OK. You’ve decided that creating aimless content is NOT the route you want to go. Now it’s time to start singling out individuals you’d like to work with…

Think about the people who have had the biggest impact on you and write them down.

(In today’s bonus, I share the exact applications I use to manage this process and stay on top of it.)

You’ll need a list of 30–50 people.

If you get stuck like I did, go through your podcasts, books, email list subscriptions, and people you follow on social media.

I share a few of the names on my list, and even some of the emails, pitches, and resources in today’s bonus.

Get the strategy kit here:

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It’s important that your list excites you, because you’re going to need that motivation as you progress.

In the next step, you’re going to figure out how you’re going to get their attention.

How To Get The Attention of Celebrity Entrepreneurs

I’ll be the first to admit that networking isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and I blew it with a few people I reached out to…

… like that one time I sent a response back to someone on my list meant for a business buddy of mine that was giving me feedback.

 

Email Flop!

Email Flop!

But here’s what I’ve come to realize: people are busy and they’ve been in your shoes before.

Embarrassment might set in for a second…

But if you want this to be a success, you’d better develop thick skin and dodge hurt feelings like Muhammad Ali dodges blows in the ring.

muhammed-ali-dodging-blows-jeremy-montoya

Don’t take it personally. Brush it off. Do a little dance. Keep going.

I wanted to work with the celebrity entrepreneurs in my industry (business/marketing) for a few reasons:

1) I look up to them and want to be one of them
2) They’re already bringing in money with content that changes lives in a positive way
3) They don’t have enough time to take action on every piece of that advice books, podcasts, or youtube videos recommend…

… but they want to!

(on the best, highest yielding advice, of course)

A quick side note on “the imposter syndrome”…

Some people laugh at this, but it was something I faced – and it’s very real.

If at any point you don’t feel qualified to offer your skills to the world, you have to remember a few things:

  • everyone has a starting point
  • no one comes out of the womb a genius business person or marketer. Every hero had an experience in life that enabled them to leverage their natural talents, AND THEN they found success
  • if you read 3 books about a particular subject, you know more that 80–90% of people in the world on that topic. Get it? That makes you an expert.

If all else fails, and you still feel like you’re a fraud…

Then do it for free.

Prove your capabilities to yourself and to a client first, and the feeling of entitlement to cash will quickly kick in…

… making the imposter syndrome a thing of the past.

Now, let’s focus on getting the attention of someone on your list.

Remember when I said these people are busy?

If not, let me rephrase it and circle back… These people are really, really busy.

It’s mission critical to start things off on the right foot, or fall as just another annoying person who wants their time.

There are a few ways you can get the attention of an influencer:

  • email
  • social media
  • referrals

I haven’t had much luck with social media to this point, and referrals just weren’t an option when getting started, so email it is.

Again, I’m not a natural networker and feel like I’m bugging people, so I had to leverage advice and resources from others to get over this hump.

You’ll receive the exact resources I used from people like Michael Port, Gary Vaynerchuck, Bryan Harris, and Sam Parr inside the Strategy Kit.

Get the strategy kit here:

Get The Strategy Kit Now.

Get the strategy kit delivered to your inbox plus weekly thoughts on how to get the most out of business, love, and life.

No spams. Pinky promise. Powered by ConvertKit

The bottom line for connecting with influencers is this:

You have to respect their time, prove yourself, and provide so much value that they have nothing left to say “no” to.

Let’s break this apart step by step…

First: know who you’re talking to.

You need to do your research to find what’s important to them, what quirks they might have, and what they’re currently working on.

The more personal, the better.

Second: get them chatting with you.

The last thing you want to do is to send a proposal over ‘cold.’ Sometimes that’s your only option, but if you can create a way to get them talking, do it.

If you can get them to give you permission to send an idea or proposal over, it’s game on!

Third: once you have their attention… CAPITALIZE

*A quick note on “pitching”…

I hate that word. It doesn’t do our efforts justice.

We’re coming from a place of giving and solving problems people want solved.

Let’s call our presentations, emails, and efforts ‘gives’ from here on out… If you aren’t already.

*fin

It’s time to go all-in and hit one out of the park.

Here’s what your mindset needs to be:

Going to help grow someone’s social media following?

Layout the exact steps you’re going to take and provide resources and numbers to back that shi*t up.

IN FACT, you’re going to get as close as possible to doing the work for them and your goal should be that they install your advice.

My most successful gives had zero theory and zero fluff.

They gave actual content and a finished product they could actually install…

… without expecting anything in return.

Not everyone will do what you advised, but this gets the conversation to the next level fast.

This is the most fool-proof method of getting started for a few reasons:

  • it starts with questions, assumes as little as possible, and solves and problem your future clients are dying to solve
  • it allows for you to prove the quality of your work and what to expect
  • You made a personalized give for them and got them imagining what it would be like if they hired you
  • it details ROI and what numbers they can expect it to come out to
  • provides resources and references they can check into and see for themselves

If executed the right way, it makes it a “no brainer” to hire you on the spot.

babe-ruth-bleachers-jeremy-montoya

Following Through

I have a message that you need hear…

You ready?

The money is in the follow up. [ Share This ]

(repeat x2)

You can send out the best gives in the world, but as I said earlier, people are busy. If you go about it the right way, you can follow up a few times with a message like this and no one will mind:

Always be following up.

When you first start reaching out to people, you’ll feel like I did… Like you’re bugging people.

As long as you’ve identified a major pain point they’re dying solve, you shouldn’t have a problem.

Stay persistent and keep advancing the ball. No one said it was going to be easy.

Another quick side note, this time on work ethic and motivation…

There have been days (still) when I have so many follow-ups to do, and so many gives to put together that I don’t feel like doing any of them at all.

Believe you me, this ain’t easy.

But if you want to live life on your own terms and offer products online to earn money from the internet – then this is the best first step.

Somethings that make this easier:

*knowing ‘why’ you’re putting effort into this.

For me, it’s taking my family on vacation, building a business fund for my godson, and living anywhere in the world…

… and a couple of cars, of course ;)

*Your environment. This is a combination of where you’re working and who you’re working with.

I credit a lot of my success thus far to investing in a business coach and being around friends who are on a similar mission. It’s like having someone to spot you at the gym when you’re lifting heavy.

*Work smart and hard.

I use the Pomodoro Technique while working so that I can fit ‘life’ into the spaces of time and still go 100 MPH. Having a quick second to get a snack, check social media, do laundry, walk your dog, or call grandma makes things smoother.

I struggled with this for a while, but have started to find the balance.

If something works well for you, be sure to share it here.

It’s Time To Take Action

Use this post as a north star as you start putting together your business and reaching out to your heroes.

I’m going to keep this updated as time goes on.

But right now, here’s what you need to do:

1) Access the Babe Ruth Strategy Kit below (this has resources I use, examples of emails I send out, and how to ‘give’ to people on your list
2) Write out your skills using the exercise in this post, and post it on Twitter or InstaGram. Be sure to tag me @WhatUpJeremy so I can see
3) Choose a skill you’re going to start offering
4) Pick one specific person you want to work with
5) Identify one problem you’d like to solve for them, and craft your first ‘give’
6) Send it off

Do this right, and you’ll be drowning in customers.

Before you go…

Access the Babe Ruth Strategy Kit so that you have the resources, exact swipe copy, and ‘give’ examples from my archive.

Get The Strategy Kit Now.

Get the strategy kit delivered to your inbox plus weekly thoughts on how to get the most out of business, love, and life.

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Leave a comment below (yes, they’re open on this post) and share the one action step you’ll be taking to make this a reality.

About the Author

  • Robin

    Hey Jeremy! That’s an amazing article, I think that many people don’t understand the “it’s a numbers game”-part of it all (including me sometimes). It’s waay easier to say “oh I got rejected because I suck. Well, I should stop trying then” than admitting that sometimes you have no influence on the outcome of your pitch, even if you did a helluva job. Thanks for reminding me that :)

    • Robin – very true. Rejection is scary and very demotivating. You gotta push through and want it BAD. What kind of services are you promoting?

  • Andrés Doppler

    Hi Jeremy,
    Is the Strategy Kit link working?

    • yo! Should be brother :)

      • Andrés Doppler

        when I insert my email, I get “Sweet! You’ve subscribed. Now check your email for the link.”

        However, I receive an email to confirm my subscription, nothing more.
        I hoped to receive some kind of PDF link, but the “Ensue hot passion” brings me to the homepage

  • Satori Secrets Keller

    Cool stuff man (Michael here, gotta fix the random satori). Persistence is certainly key. P.S. “Szia” (hello) from Hungary!!