You’ve decided! You’re ready to jump into the world of remote business. You dream of owning a successful, profitable company, and you imagine how far you can take it. Before you can build a six-figure enterprise, though, you have to do one thing…
You have to start somewhere.
Yes, big, lofty goals matter. They give you a place to aim your pursuits. A sense of direction for where you want to end up will help you make decisions for the long run. But in the beginning, you need to keep simplicity in mind.
To get the ball rolling, you have to first give it a push. Start with the first step. If you want to provide a service, you have to find someone who wants it. You need your first client.
How can you obtain that outcome?
Why Start Simple?
Your first priority with a startup is to make some money right off the bat. Otherwise, you don’t have anything to operate your business with. I like to say, you’re not truly a business until your revenue exceeds your costs.
When I got started, I knew I had to make my first sale before I could have the funds to go further. Once I got the first ball rolling, I could slowly start juggling more as I gained more resources.
As soon as you search the internet for ideas about starting a remote business, you get bombarded with a ton of advertisements about online courses and resources. How do you know which information is good, and which are coming from folks just trying to make a buck off of you?
Honestly, most of the courses out there will probably give you at least some helpful information. However, you really don’t need everything they promise you. To get your business started, you really just need a handful of things to get going in a good direction.
4 Steps to Landing Your First Paying Customer
When you make the first steps toward getting your first client, start with these four essentials:
Find a Hungry Market
You may or may not know what industry and products you want to work with. If you do, how do you know whether it will sell? Are there people out there who will spend money on what you have to offer?
If you don’t have an idea yet, that’s fine. It’s better to start with a hungry market than a good product idea. Even if you have the best product in the world in your head right now, nobody will buy it if the market is stale.
Some people think they need to have the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas out there in order to make their ventures succeed. You don’t need that. You don’t have to be a pioneer. All you need to find is people who want to give you their money. Anything that captures people’s attention and that they want to own can form the base for your market.
If you still have big dreams of pioneering a new industry or product, don’t worry. You can always explore those possibilities later when you’ve established your business and got some steady revenue coming in to fund it.
Build an Audience
Once you’ve figured out your market, build your audience. This is more specific than choosing your market—these are your customers, and you have their ear.
You need to establish a way to connect with them. This might be through social media, videos, podcasts, or an email list. Offer them valuable information that helps to establish you as an authority in the market—a source for them to approach for reliable help and information. You have to consistently create helpful and authoritative content.
With consistency, you will build up a group of followers. It does take time, though, and that’s probably the hardest part. There’s no way around it and no shortcut. Mark my words: Your dedication will be tested.
Learn Their Pain Points
As mentioned before, find the hollow that your clients need filled. Once you do that, figure out how you can ease that pain for them.
Learn the issues that capture the interest of your market. Gain an understanding of their frustrations and hopes. What kind of products do they tend to consistently spend money on?
Think about questions like this when it comes to creating ideas. If you can’t figure out any quality questions, think about common complaints you come across. Most people are pretty proficient when it comes to finding faults or lacks, so these provide rich potential.
Develop an MVP
While I don’t mean Most Valuable Player in the sports sense, you will find this element has the most valuable potential. I’m talking about the minimum viable product that meets the clients’ needs. Figure out a way to solve their most frustrating problems, and you will earn their business.
It’s called a minimum viable product for a reason, too. You don’t need to create the next iPod. Ideally it should be simple, launch quickly, and get improved over time.
Let’s put it all together. My first market was small business owners in my local area. I knew they were willing to spend money on advertising, because nearly all of them had that in their budget. I started to build a rapport with them by introducing myself in-person and starting a Facebook group.
Then, I found that most of their current advertising methods weren’t delivering the results they wanted. Things like radio ads and billboards were costly and not necessarily increasing revenue. A friend told me about a way to send tons of mass mail to residences for low costs. So, I decided to sell ad space on a mass mailer of my own. Then, I introduced it to all the small businesses around me, and many of them paid for the space!
If I had to go back, I would have spent more time building up my audience first, but I invested more energy into that afterward.
Try these no-fail tips as you set up your remote business and get your first client fast. Then keep going and find your next client—and the next!
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