My two year old woke up bright and early this morning while I was still in the land of nod...and found one of my red lipsticks and proceeded to scribble all over the carpet
Now, for the life of me, I couldn't get it out of the carpet - I tried everything from washing powder to soap to nail varnish remover. The damn thing wouldn't budge, so I got online and looked up a local carpet cleaner.
Bless him, he came straight away and had the stains out in less than 10 minutes. Now here's the thing. When I looked this guy up, I was looking for someone who specialized in difficult stain removal and whose work was insured.
The Google search I did meant trawling through several pages to find him and his website was TERRIBLE. Badly put together, bad design, spelling mistakes - the LOT!
So, not being one to waste an opportunity, I offered him a coffee and we got chatting about his website. I quizzed him on all aspects of his site, from the design and copy to the SEO and how he was marketing himself.
And so now, I have an order for re-doing his website completely, re-writing his copy and doing his SEO (this will of course be outsourced, and I just make money for doing nothing but re-writing his content). He has also agreed to a monthly retainer for SEO and Google places listings.
Not bad for an initial disaster
So what can YOU learn from this? I've seen so many newbies asking about client acquisition, and here's the thing: If you're not already, you NEED to start being an opportunist.
I never waste any time asking the right questions, doing my homework and grabbing as much opportunity as I possibly can. Put it this way, if I don't take the time to market my business, no one else will.
I've got several offline clients who have me on retainer (yes, some of these requests are very small, but guess what? They ALL add up and means I have work on a regular basis).
And this is where newbies can take some inspiration. Getting clients isn't that hard because there are opportunities absolutely everywhere you look. Local businesses such as health professionals, lawyers and professional services all have money to spend AND need good copy. Approach them directly - face to face is always better than over the phone.
Make the attempt to get to know them and perhaps sample their services and more importantly, ASK if they need help advertising and marketing. If you don't ask, you don't get - it's as simple as that.