New clients are the lifeblood of all businesses. What is the number one source of new clients in 2020?
That’s a great question. The answer will depend on which industry you’re in, but can even vary within an industry.
We asked business owners all over the world, in all different industries, what the number one source of new clients was for their business. This is what they had to say…
Other than referrals from happy clients, my only source for new business is LinkedIn! Hugely successful there… public relations and media company.
Tracy Lamourie, Lamourie Public Relations
My name is Jeff Neal, and I’m a project manager for an epoxy flooring contractor. We are a local business, who provides service to industrial and commercial facilities within a 2 hour radius.
Our top lead generator has been our Google My business page. Our website has mediocre rankings in Google search results for key terms like epoxy flooring company or epoxy flooring contractor. But our GMB page does really well when commercial and industrial facilities search that term within a 2 hour radius from our location. This has been the best lead generator for our company for the past 16 months.
Jeff Neal, Capital Coating
I am a financial coach. My main source of new clients is word of mouth referrals for current clients. I am so grateful that my clients talk to their friends and family–and at times share on social media about how working with me has improved their personal and business finances.
Sherry Andrew, Money Mindset Financial Coaching
My name is Ben Walker and I am the Founder and CEO of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC.
We get almost all of our new local business from Google searches these days.. We used to do print advertising as well as having booths at conferences, neither one of those has a very good ROI anymore though, so we stick with making sure our local, and national for that matter, SEO is up to date and doing its thing for us.
Benjamin K. Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
Word of mouth really helps us with our local customers. With out branched being spread out far and wide, giving the best service to a customer and them recommending you to someone else is the best thing you can ask for.
Since our company creates Awnings for both businesses and for personal use, locals seeing our work in the area is a great type of promotion.
As much as you can put work online and promote digitally, local businesses need local people, so work with them and give them the ability to be a part of what you are creating.’
Mike Falahee, Marygrove Awning Co.
Every time I get a new customer, I try to find out how they came about my business and most times I have found out they were referred from my existing customers which makes it easy for me to say referral from existing clients has been my number source for new customers. My business niche is B2B.
Manny Hernandez, OMNI, INC
My name is Akos Gabossy (33), CEO and co-founder of the PanIQ Escape Room franchise. We were one of the first companies who brought this new form of location based entertainment to America, the first PanIQ Room store opened up in Hollywood in 2014. We’re currently building 7 new premium escape room venues all across the US, it is extremely important to find the right marketing strategy for our stores.
When we started our first venue 6 years ago, it was very hard to find the right marketing tool for an escape room. First of all, nobody knew what are we trying to sell and why would anyone pay money for getting locked in a room for 60 minutes… Time proved we were right, when we started to use Groupon, big discount brought us customers and they helped us to start a buzz, get some reviews. Groupon is still one of our main marketing platforms, but we don’t have to give extreme discounts to acquire new customers anymore. In the past few years, Google’s relevance in our industry became unquestionable, our campaigns do better and better ROI on this platform than ever. Influencer marketing and facebook posts became less effective and I also believe, that Yelp’s and Trip Advisor’s reputation and revenue generating ability has significantly decreased. Tiktok and Snapchat is a fun tool to use as a customer, but I don’t feel yet, they can be a valuable marketing asset for a small company (with very limited advertisement budget) in 2020. We don’t really use any traditional marketing channels, billboards, magazine ads and radio commercials are very expensive and only useful to build a brand long term.
Akos Gabossy, PanIQ Escape Room
I am the director and founder of Net Lawman, est. 1991.
I have found that new leads are steadily becoming real clients through our efforts at retargeting them. This is when (now I’m sure you know), a client visits a page we pay to have an ad placed in front of them at a later date. Although the timing is everything in most instances, we have found that even several weeks after initial interest we can have clients return to our page and make contact. I suppose that is the nature of our business, where for some occasions, individuals or businesses need time to think and research, rather than impulse buying.
Andrew Taylor, Net Lawman
We get 90% of our leads and clients from our Google My Business listing. We have optimised it to the max – with reviews, Q and A’s, local citations and quality links.
It comes top of the google normal search and the map listings for anyone within 5 miles, and that is unheard of for London.
Brett Downes, Studio 54
Our #1 source of new clients is geoconquesting mobile advertising. With geoconquesting, we can target a specific address, such as an industry trade show, and serve mobile advertisements to those at the event in real time.
Bob Bentz, Advanced Telecom Services
Our top source for new clients is Google. We have invested in really good SEO and our web rank right now is #1 so any new clients searching for any dance class terms in our area see us first. Since getting to the top spot our inquiries and enrollment have increased over 70%.
Bridey Kearns, Studio 8 Dance
Our business is OneClickAdvisor ( www.oneclickadvisor.com ) and we develop new business through face to face contact. OneClickAdvisor is an online platform that provides legal, marketing, operational, and financial solutions for owners of small businesses and startups.
I was an SBDC (Small Business Development Center) consultant and instructor for several years and also a small business banker in my city. These jobs gave me visibility in the space where we established our platform.
I gather business cards from people wherever I go and drop them a brief note later via e-mail. I always strive to personalize it by attaching a resource or article from my site that the person could use. By doing this I am building a mailing list, but more importantly, connecting our platform with real people.
James Chittenden, Triumph Business Communications
Referrals and local SEO has worked wonders for us in getting new web design clients.
Referrals keeps the revenue flow going and we reinvest it into online marketing to get new clients.
Rahul Gulati, GyanDevign Tech Services LLP
Digital Marketing Agency
The top source of new clients for Launching Labs Marketing is referrals. In the beginning this meant friends and family. Now it’s referrals from clients or past clients. It seems to work because they have an understanding of who we are and what we do and what service looks like for us. Often the company will come with one problem they need to solve but it takes us in a different direction to find the root of the issue. This has also taken us into different industries. We started with technology and health and it’s taken us to non-profit and travel among others.
Mary Cochran, Launching Labs Marketing
In the past I ran a local web design business with my father and the best source of clients, by far, was walking into different establishments and asking to speak to the manager (then pitching them on a new website). That’s terrifying for most people and it’s easy to talk yourself out of it, but the result was much better than any digital outreach we tried.
Katie Holmes, Outwit Trade
Social Media Agency
I´m the owner of a small social media agency. Here is the number one source on how we get new clients.
Since we are a service side business without having any foot traffic stepping in our doors, the number one source for new clients is through our network.
My Partner and I are heavy networkers because we understand how helpful a great network can be.
Since these people are also business owners, most of the time they are our clients. In the next step we get recommended by them to other business owners.
Max Runge, RocketWM
I am targeting information sharing industry, where people are selling informative books to their clients in solving their problems. i am currently targeting people through website conversion on Facebook.
Digital Marketing Agency
I have multiple services that are all connected. I offer marketing services, PR services, Hosting Services, and Web development services.
I can attract, say a web development client by connecting with him through social media, offer unique, quality service and establish trust. I can then help centralize his needs by doing his hosting as well. Then deal with his social media, and ultimately his PR.
Michael Peres, Hexa Web Systems
Digital Marketing Agency
Word of mouth. Even if your business is primarily online, like ours is, you’ll develop relationships and friendships with local customers and clients. When they need someone with SEO expertise, they have a name that immediately comes to mind: ours. It seems a bit old-fashioned, but it works!
Sarah Walter, The Whit Group
I’m a divorce attorney in Chicago, Illinois. My number one source of clients is writing articles that describe my clients’ problems and how to fix them. Of course, I always reference the locality in the article.
For example, I have articles like How to file an emergency motion in Chicago, Illinois or How to seal your divorce file in Chicago, Illinois.
People read the article, understand that I know how to do it and then give me a call. I don’t know why every service business doesn’t do this?
Russell D. Knight, RDK Legal
Regarding social media post, we have started building a Tools of the Trade list for post ideas. It lets us post about something we use in pest control, and educate our followers about services we offer that they may be unaware of. For other trades with lots of tools and parts (mechanics, electricians, HVAC) the possibility for 100’s of unique posts exist. It is also helpful to plan out in advance the posts you want to use, then sprinkle in spontaneous posts as they arise.
Nathan Vogt, Arrest A Pest
My name is Mercedes Eckert, owner and president of iShop, a mystery shopping organization.
Our number one source for new clients is referrals.
Mercedes Eckert, iShop
Digital Marketing Agency
I provide help organizations boost productivity and streamline operations with G Suite. I also offer business consulting and marketing services, including website design.
*My #1 source of new clients are backlinks to my website from previous clients. *
When people visit the websites of my clients, they experience my work first-hand, and if they like what they see, and are in the market for related services, they often click the Website by Rise Digital link at the bottom.
Christian Newman, Rise Digital
Have you ever seen a lawyer in space?! Well Darryl Isaacs, of Isaacs & Isaacs law firm, has found a new way to reach new clients and create brand awareness on a local and national scale with his over the top Super Bowl commercials.
Darryl began producing big budget Super Bowl commercials in 2017 and every year he has used popular movies / tv shows as his muse (Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, etc.). This year’s commercial featured Darryl fighting off Big Insurance companies…in SPACE! (Think Star Wars). The commercial was aired regionally in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana but has gained over 14 million views on YouTube!
Doing these cheesy, over the top commercials has been a way for our team to gain new clients and create enough buzz to stay on people’s minds in case they ever need a personal injury lawyer.
I think this feature will be a great addition to your story because one of the best ways to get new clients is to think outside of the box and allow yourself to have fun like Darryl has!
Monique Quarles, Isaacs & Isaacs
Digital Marketing Agency
What is your number one source of new clients for your local businesses?
Having an optimized Google My Business is a great Free tool to help businesses increase their online presence. It easily allows business to show up in their local area.
Mayra Martin, FirstPage Marketing
Marketing and Branding Firm
I started a global marketing and branding firm 18 years ago and most of my work comes by referral and word of mouth. I think having a good online reputation is incredibly important to building a strong professional service business like mine and it is a mistake to hide behind technology and CRM systems when prospecting. My advice is to disconnect from technology and focus on cultivating human, face to face relationships. Meeting for coffee or lunch can accomplish so much more than e-mail exchanges, social media posts, etc. and it is a great way to get to know people better, their interests, hobbies, and dreams. I have found that building relationships is what drives my business and technology supports them once they are solidified. Technology helps advance the conversation but it will never replace the human interaction that builds trust over time. I plan lunch meetings ~3 days a week and invite clients to events I think they might enjoy attending to spend time together.
Here are some other ways I can recommend:
- Do great work that people will talk about
- Give lots of talks and use examples from your experience, I do a lot of public speaking which leads to people talking about me online, tweeting, etc.
- Join networking groups to meet people who are the multipliers in your industry, they talk to everybody and know everyone, they have large followings so you need to connect with them online too
- Be active on social media so you can share your talks and content and your followers can help spread the word
- Generate lots of fresh content that will push down any potential bad comments online
- Monitor your online data to shut down trolls and misinformation, there are several online tools to alert you of potential problems (some are free others are for a fee)
I think referrals have to be genuine you cannot incentivize people to refer business they do not believe in, the more authentic the more effective it will be.
These ideas do not require big budgets but they do take time. It is a smart investment to get this right.
Paige Arnof-Fenn, Mavens & Moguls
Yelp has been the most successful application in finding us clients who need plumbing. Almost as soon as we created a Yelp page we were getting calls. Even Better, after we came to an agreement with Yelp for advertising, our exposure is through the roof! Compared to Facebook and Next-door it’s much less hassle and time wasted with poor programming. In my experience, Yelp is refined into a well functioning program that is as easy for the consumer as it is for the owner. They are always available and personally invested in your success.
Richard Dickson Dickson Plumbing
We are a small jewelry business with not only an online website, but a brick and mortar store right on Main Street. The biggest source of new customers for the past couple years has been Google My Business. Any new customer that comes in, we ask them how they found us, and even follow up with any email if they purchase asking them same thing. Overwhelmingly it has been Google and seeing our store close to them. This is why we spend so much time focus on the Google My Business listing with posts and pictures.
Jeff Moriarty, Moriarty’s Gem Art
What is your number one source of new clients?: Our number one source for clients is good old fashioned word of mouth advertising. The medical community is a very tight-knit community, and word gets around about companies that are providing helpful services. If you are in the medical niche, networking is one of your most reliable sources for new clients.
Konstantinos Tsilkos, PharMed
I manage a small photography studio in NYC. We get a lot of clients through search engines and are constantly working on our SEO, however all of our best and most lucrative clients/accounts happen by word of mouth. We specialize is corporate work, we are well respected by our clients(large banks and law firms) so when someone moves to a new firm, the usually take us with them, or when a colleague at a different firm asks for recommendations, we are often at the top of the list. We are a full service shop and handle everything from basic corporate headshots and events to editorial work of CEOs and high ranking partners. It’s a very random niche, but is a great business to be in.
Patrick Nugent, Corporate Headshots
We hope you found this article helpful. What is the number one source of new clients in your business? Leave a comment below!