How do I land my first client?

You’ve just started a business. The next step is to land your first client so that you can earn money, pay costs, and make a profit. But how do you do that?
We asked four established business people to share their advice for getting a quality first client.

Define your ideal client
If you don’t know the kind of client you want, you won’t find the kind of client you need. That’s why the first step is to define your ideal client. This depends on the vision you have for the company or brand you want to build, and the type of clients who will buy into your beliefs.

An entrepreneur should not go into business without knowing exactly who the client is, what the client requires, and what the client would pay for a solution. If your product or service is developed to address a specific need, they will find you.” – Marius Coetzee, managing director, Ideco Biometrics

Have a strong web presence
Once you’ve defined your ideal client, make it clear that you are the solution to their problems. Because so many people use the internet when looking for answers to their questions, you must have a strong web presence that makes them aware of what you have to offer.

Visitors to your website decide whether to stay or not within eight seconds of arriving, so first impressions are everything. You need to make the entire experience frictionless if you expect them to purchase. You need to be visible, you need to be fast, and you need to be slick.” – Nicholas Wallander, CEO, SA Florist

Show your credibility
Once a client makes the first purchase of your product or service, the real work begins in creating a long-term relationship. This is when you can use carefully timed content and communication to secure loyalty. Doing so will show your credibility, which is something you should build even before you make the first sale.

Credibility is everything. To build credibility for your business, use your personal achievements and your team’s successes in your company profile. You can even offer your product in return for testimonials to show that your business is credible and valuable. Without credibility, you will not win customers. Make sure you do this right to achieve success.” – George Golding, CEO, Euphoria Telecom

Ask your network
You can also build credibility by using references (external opinions of you and your business). Because clients often use their personal networks to select preferred suppliers, a good place to start is with your family and friends. They can often give you warm introductions to potential customers.

You should be able to find a client or several through your network of friends, family, past employers, and colleagues. But before you ask your contacts or anyone else to hire you for that first project, ensure your success by establishing a long-term vision for your business. Work hard to land that first client, but also put the marketing and consulting fundamentals in place that will secure your future success.” – Nick Caripis, founder and managing director, BNC Technology