When you’re just starting out with your side hustle, one of the biggest action’s you’ll be looking to take is in finding clients. Without clients, your side hustle isn’t going to even get off the ground.
But you need an ongoing way to get clients, not just when you’re starting out, and one of the best ways to do this is by building a potential client email list.
“That’s all well and good Lise”, I can hear you saying, “but how exactly do I do that?”
By implementing some key strategies, that’s how.
Now, none of the following strategies are going to be of use to you unless you have a website, specifically a WordPress website. So if you don’t have either of those, then go and check out some of the other ways that you can find clients instead.
If you’re all set website and WordPress wise, then read on to learn how you can continue to build your client base through email marketing.
Tips for Building Your Potential Client Email List
Before you get started, you need to make sure you’ve got a way to hold all those email addresses… which means you’ll need a subscription to an email service provider. I use Mailchimp because they provide some great features with the paid version and I love their user interface.
#1: Install Sumome
If you haven’t heard of the guys from AppSumo, then you must have been hiding under a digital rock somewhere! These guys are awesome and provide you with tons of daily digital deals, much like Groupon does for everything else. Definitely check them out.
Anyway, back to email list building! The guys at AppSumo have created a plugin for WordPress called Sumome, which, once installed, provides you with a ton of options when it comes to building your client email list.
These are the Sumome options that I use on OFS:
- Welcome Mat (which you’ll see when you click on the blog)
- Smart Bar (which you see at the top of the website)
- Scroll Box (which you’ll see if you are scrolling on the site for a little bit)
All three of these work to offer you guys different things and you can do the same for potential clients, particularly if you’re writing regular blog posts.
You could use the Welcome Mat to offer potential clients a discount in exchange for joining your email list. You could use the Smart Bar to give away something of value to a client in exchange for their email or to point them to another area of your site that they might find of interest.
Use the Scroll Box to get them to join your email list in exchange for a free consultation or offer them something that will help them in their business.
The Sumome plugin is free, although there is a paid version which provides you with even more customisations. Definitely consider checking it out and installing it.
#2: Utilise a Welcome Page
Similar to the Welcome Mat in Sumome, but different in that it’s your permanent home page. I’m looking to move to this in 2016 because it is very powerful, it focuses on your opt-in right up front.
Now while you might not have anything to give away just yet, you could simply use it to build a potential customer base by offering a discount or free consultation based on your service.
#3: Image Opt-ins
If you’re wanting to do something a little different in your sidebar, then think about doing an image opt-in versus a normal email opt-in.
This is a 2-step opt-in, requiring you to have a pop-up overlay feature installed on your website. I use OptimizePress as my theme, but they also have a plugin and part of their options includes an “overlay optimizer” — this is a paid option but well worth the investment if you’re looking to increase opt-ins.
To see this in action, check out SocialTriggers.com and check out the side-bar.
#4: Business Cards
This works really well if you’re looking for local work. Visit your local cafe’s and ask if you can leave some of your business cards for people to take. On your business card, provide a link that takes people directly to a sign up page, where you’re where you’re giving away a freebie, like a case study or something that will impact their business right away.
You could take it a step further and instead of using a business card, create a flyer. Hairdressers are another source of connecting you with potential customers as well as gyms.
Think outside the square!
These are just some of the ways that you can build your email list of potential customers. Once implemented, they work passively for you, requiring only a few minor tweaks here and there depending on what’s going on in your business.