I've been absent from the forum for a couple months as I have focusing on building my SMS business, which is going fairly well so far. Since july, I have landed 6 clients, three restaurants, a liquor store, a bar, and a nail salon.
I wanted to share some tips on how I got over the hump and landed my first client, which was the liquor store:
At the liquor store, I was at the cash register paying for a bottle of Malbec, and I noticed that they had a flier next to the register promoting their bi-weekly wine tasting. After paying, I asked the cashier if I could talk to the owner/manager about the wine tasting. The owner was around and had some free time to talk.
I ended having a friendly conversation making small talk for a few minutes about the wine tasting with him. Towards the end of the convo, I asked him about how he promoted the wine tastings. He told me that he basically puts up fliers in the store about a week before the tasting, and also sends out an email a few days before the tasting.
At this point, I mentioned that I have a mobile marketing biz, and gave him a brief rundown of the benefits sms marketing. Since he mentioned that he has an email list, the fact that text messages get read at a 90% clip compared to only around 5% for email really resonated with him. I offered to give him a free trial of sms services to promote the upcoming wine tasting, which was 12 days away, which he happily accepted.
When I got home, I set up a keyword for the store, and then made up about 250 business cards for the cashiers to give to customers which had the keyword and shortcode that I had made for the store on it. After about a week, all the cards were given out, and I had 53 optins. I then sent out a text blast the morning of the wine tasting.
As a result, the owner told me that he had 44 people show up for the tasting, which was about about 15 or so more than he usually gets and he was really happy. I now manage his SMS campaign, for which I charge $247.00 a month. Over the last four months, the owner has seen a steady increase in subscribers(he now has 278) and most importantly sales. I send out on average 10 texts per month, which works out to 1.5 per week. And thats how I got my first client!
Here are a few points to take away from this:
- Look for places that you visit on your daily travels throughout the week that you may have some familiarity with already. This can ease your nerves of approaching biz owners, as they may already know you.
- Businesses that have email newsletters are good to target, as you can explain huge open rate advantage that SMS has over Email
- Look for businesses that have special events, ie the wine tasting, and offer to promote it for free. I suggest giving yourself at least 10-14 days time to do this to build up a decent number of opt-ins.
I hope this helps you guys out. I know first hand that it can be nerve wrecking when you first start out to find offline clients, but once you nail that one, you get a huge confidence boost.