How to Get Your Next Ten Customers
Whether you’re starting a new online business to generate some side-income. Or you’ve decided that you’ve got to have new customers to stay afloat, this article is designed for you.
Listen, it’s an important principle in business. Without customers, you don’t have a business. Without new customers, (and repeat customers) you won’t keep your business.
So… how do we find our next ten customers?
Back when I ran a business writing articles for podcasters, I started off with an idea. It wasn’t a business, just an idea. I talked about my idea with people in podcasting. I tried to convince them that they needed written content on their websites, because Google had not (yet) devised a way to rank their Search Engine rank based on the content of the spoken word.
I knew I needed customers if I wanted to start my business.
What I did for the next 60 days brought in 50 customers. When I was thinking about this article, I thought through everything I did (some of them just downright CRAZY), and I include them in this as a guide to help you grow your business. Hopefully in the next 60 days.
Here’s my list:
- I Believed in My Abilities to Start My Business
- I Put My Name Out There to Build My Business
- I Hustled to Get Work Done to Grow My Business
- I Kept My Eye Out for New Customers to Grow My Business
I BELIEVED IN MY ABILITIES TO START MY BUSINESS
The year was 2011. I had just gotten married a year before. And, my online news service business had been taken over by another company.
Because of my experience in this business, I learned some great lessons. And, I had failed to learn some lessons, too. Yet, I had developed a freedom to believe in my own abilities to work — and succeed — in running and online business.
So, after working a few “real” jobs, I decided to take my journalistic abilities and put them to work for other clients and customers.
As a former radio announcer and newscaster, I had fallen in love with the art of podcasting. And, I knew that one of the biggest struggles for most podcasters was the issue of content on their website to get Google’s attention. Since I could write, I started to think that I should get paid to write show notes for podcasters.
So, while working a 3rd shift security job, I started my business.
Well… to start with, it was a hobby… I had zero customers.
But, I knew I could turn this into a pretty good business, and by the time I shut the business down, my brand had a pretty well-known name.
In two month’s time, I had 20 customers, and in 60 more days, I had grown to 50 customers.
Now, I’ll go through the process and principles of how I gained those 50 customers, but, I believe it is vitally important that I tell you that I believed in my ability to start my business.
Without that belief in your business, you might as well just throw in the towel before you even begin.
That’s because that lack of believe will undermine everything you do. It will put doubts and fears in your mind that you’ll never overcome. And, it will cause you to make poor decisions that will prove your doubts to be correct.
Just don’t do it! Do not ever give up and doubt your abilities to start (or keep growing) your business!
Get advice? Yes!
Seek help? Absolutely!
Hire a coach? Without a doubt!
But, advice, help and coaching will only take you so far… but, if you don’t believe in yourself, it will only take you about 6 inches down the road!
So, train your brain! Kill every doubt you have about your abilities. Destroy the demons of negativity. Build up your own confidence in your abilities.
If you don’t build up your own confidence, you won’t be able to content with the negativity of your family, friends, co-workers and others who don’t know you well enough to know that you can do this!
I could (and I probably will in a few months) write an entire 2,000 word article on this one part of your business — your faith in yourself!
I PUT MY NAME OUT THERE TO BUILD MY BUSINESS
When I first got started with this business, no one knew me. And, they didn’t know my business brand, either.
I started completely from scratch:
- No website
- No business name
- No business cards
- No “funnel” (that’s an online sales process, we’ll take about it in a few months, too)
- Not anything
I had reached out to a leader in the podcasting industry, though. And, I am forever grateful for Mr. Chris Cerrone and his podcast partner, Laci Urcioli.
Chris was my first customer. And, Chris helped me by promoting what I was doing for his show to hundreds of other podcasters in a private Facebook group. His word-of-mouth was invaluable to my business’ growth!
And, since I’m about to talk about hustling… let me tell you about a ballsy move I made to get my business known by others in the industry.
Back in 2014, Jared Easley and three or four other podcasters joined together to start a major confront just for podcasters called Podcast Movement. This event broke records at the time for the most money raised by Kickstarter.
I had just launched my business a few weeks before Podcast Movement was opening in Dallas, Texas. So, I bought a ticket to the event. To say my existence in that conference was a major miracle of God would be a huge understatement… including my flight between Birmingham to Houston to Dallas. Especially the part between Houston and Dallas!
You Gotta Have Faith If You Want to Grow Your Business
So, I had a ticket to the event, and a flight to the event… but, I didn’t have a business just yet.
Well, I had ONE customer (Chris Cerrone), but, it wasn’t a business just yet.
I didn’t have a website, I didn’t have a way to invoice podcasters for the work I did for them. And, I didn’t have a way to market my business. (Talk about stupid!!!!)
The day the conference began, I met up with Chris and a few other podcasters in his group. We introduced ourselves and one of the group said “Oh! You’re that ‘Show Notes Guy!'” I had been using that phrase a little bit in the online groups, but, it seemed the name had stuck. So, I got on my iPhone that night, and registered “ShowNotesGuy” as my domain name. Then, I moved all the content I had created about podcasting and show notes to that site overnight.
The next morning, I went to the mall next door to the hotel we were in, and bought a t-shirt that said, on the front, “I AM the ShowNotesGuy” and on the back, my website domain.
I won’t lie, it was ugly! My grandma would have described it as “ugly as homemade sin.” Well, as a deeply religious man, I’m not familiar with the difference between store-bought or homemade sin, but, I know this… that shirt was just humiliatingly ugly.
But, when you’re in a crowd of about 2,000, I guess ugly does the job! It did the job for me that week!
By the end of the week, my clientele grew from 1 to 5! A 200% growth! That meant that I needed to hustle and get stuff done!
I HUSTLED TO GET STUFF DONE TO GROW MY BUSINESS
The process of creating a “show note” like I did, was a long process.
- Listen to the podcast (generally between 30 minutes to an hour).
- Take notes from the podcast
- Repeat sections of the audio over and over to get direct quotes from the podcast
- Write a cohesive, educational article of about 1000 – 1500 words about the podcast
- Add some researched elements: links, images, social media links, meaningful quotes from the podcast, etc.
- Send the show notes to the podcaster, or submit it directly to their website for approval.
On average, a 30 minute podcast translated to about 4 hours of work, minimum.
And, most podcasters created five podcasts a week back then! (OMG!!!!)
Looking back at my records, I was writing 18 daily podcast show notes, the rest (32) were just once per week.
My billing was great for the business! But, I had to work HARD to get all of those articles written. A journalist friend of mine (I used to be journalist), thought I was completely crazy for what I was doing!
In journalism, you have deadlines. But, NO ONE was responsible for writing an average of over 135,000 words per week! NO ONE!
And, that didn’t include the research to find other authoritative websites to link to in support of what was being said in the podcast. Or images to support the dialog. Or important quotes from the dialog to use to promote the podcast. Or images and links to products or books talked about in the podcast.
Yes, my hustle was ON! I was working an average of 20 hours a day, 6 days a week to get this work out on time, with high enough quality that other podcasters would hear of my work and want in!
I KEPT MY EYE OUT FOR NEW CUSTOMERS TO GROW MY BUSINESS
I’d like to say that I kept my eye out for new customers the entire time I was running this business. But, I can’t.
Eventually, as busy as I was, I needed to hire people to help me get more customers. I didn’t! It eventually killed the Show Notes Guy, I’m sad to admit.
The podcasting world is a business with a LOT of “churn.” That’s something. your need to think about with your business. The Oxford Dictionary defines church as:
the annual percentage rate at which customers stop subscribing to a service or employees leave a job.
REFOCUSING ON WHAT IT TAKES TO GROW MY BUSINESS
After you’ve listened to these videos, go check out the Eric Thomas YouTube Channel for some more inspiration.
Listen to one video per day!