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Struggling to connect with your potential clients?

Connecting with potential clients can be hard, especially if you’re worried about coming off as pushy or sleazy.

Like, how the heck do you talk to someone when your goal is to get them to buy from you–but you don’t want to sound like a used car salesman?!

It’s actually easier than you think!

Today, I’m breaking down how to connect with your potential clients in an authentic way that won’t leave you feeling sleazy. Let’s dive in!


Psst! This post is pretty reliant on you having read the other posts in this series, so here’s a link to all of them if you’re just now joining us!

Ready? Okay, let’s go!


New Audience Strategy

One of the biggest problems any business owner faces with marketing is getting in front of new people. They build up a social following and keep putting out content, but their growth plateaus after a while, and they stop reaching new people.

Eventually this leads to a lack of sales. Some people in your audience will take years to become customers, and many never will, no matter how good your marketing is.

If you don’t regularly reach out to new people, you’re just beating your existing audience over the head with your offer and getting increasingly frustrated.

Again, not everyone who follows you or subscribes will buy. That’s okay! They still might refer others to you, but you HAVE to have a plan to get in front of new potential clients consistently.

Reaching a new audience could look like:

  • Guest posting on someone else’s blog
  • Being a guest on podcasts
  • Joint venture webinars
  • Speaking at conferences
  • Attending meetups
  • Becoming a guest expert in someone’s program
  • Using new hashtags

You do not have to pay or stand on a stage to grow your audience and reach new people—though you can if you want! But you do have to work to get in front of new people regularly.

How will you get in front of new potential clients? Consider the work you did when creating your ideal client avatar.

I highly recommend starting with ONE platform for discoverability and ONE platform for nurturing potential clients.

For example, you might use Instagram to grow your audience and an email list to nurture them.

Or you might speak at conferences to get in front of people, and then get them on your email list to stay connected.

After you’ve mastered discoverability on one platform, you can add in others one at a time for a maximum of THREE discoverability channels.

More than that gets to be too much to keep up with for a tiny business, and spreads you too thin.

Establish know, like, and trust

People buy based on emotions, and they also buy from people that they know, like, and trust. Especially in the online business world, more and more people are looking to buy from someone instead of some faceless company.

As a micro business, you can use this to your advantage and tap into that personal touch and relationship with your potential clients.

Get known

If you’ve been following along on this series, then you’re well on your way with this! This is exactly what narrowing down to a niche and understanding your ideal client will help you do. You’ll be able to become “known” for solving problems for your audience. But in order to be known, you have to be visible!

Being visible means getting in front of your potential clients consistently. That doesn’t mean you need to be everywhere, but it means you need to show up consistently with the same consistent message–an answer to the problem your potential clients have.

The important thing here is to commit to consistency.

How will you show up consistently? Consider your platform, message, and what’s realistic for your business. You could go live on Facebook or Instagram every day, spend 15 minutes every other day actively interacting with your audience, or do whatever consistently puts you and your message out there.

Be liked

You can show up all day long every day, but if people don’t like you, they won’t buy from you.

That does NOT mean you want everyone to like you. It means you want the RIGHT people to like you. If you try to get everyone to like you, your messaging will likely be diluted, and you’ll end up being very bland.

The best way to do this is just to be yourself unapologetically. Tap into whatever weird things you like, share your opinions, and you’ll naturally attract people who like you–and repel those you wouldn’t get along with anyhow.

This doesn’t mean to be a jerk. You can take a stand on why you think Squarespace is the best platform without putting down people who use WordPress. Or vice versa. No one wants to be made to feel bad, and if you put other people down, you’ll repel clients who you otherwise would have been able to bring to your side.

Another way to be liked is to share some personal peeks at your life and business. That doesn’t mean you have to post your entire personal life online–how much you share is up to you–but giving peeks into who you really are will help people connect with you on a human level.

That means everything you share shouldn’t be selling.

What will you share to be liked? What will help show you as a human that others want to connect with? Again, how much you share is up to you, but you should create some personal connection!

Create Trust

To make a sale, you have to be trusted. In fact, this is the most important part–but it’s hard to establish without knowing and liking in place first.

One of the best ways to get people to trust you is to show up consistently, with a consistent message and a personal touch. Over time, this will build up trust as you become a regular message and appearance in your potential customer’s life.

You can also help create trust by showing how you’ve helped others achieve their goals via testimonials or case studies. When clients see that you have helped someone just like them, they feel more confident hiring you.

You can use testimonials from your past clients to show potential clients how you’ve helped them. This is also a great way to give a little peek at what working with you is like!

Or think about how some companies show the logos of those they’ve worked with. If you see that someone’s worked with a respected name in your industry, you’re likely to trust them!

How will you help customers trust you? How can you show them that you are “safe” to hire?

Help your clients by creating quick wins

How can you help your clients? Besides your service, I mean!

One of the fastest ways to build rapport and position yourself as an expert is to help your potential clients. But you don’t want to give away the farm–after all, you want them to buy from you, so you don’t want to teach them to do your job!

Going back to the stages of awareness will help you determine what your potential clients need at the stage they are at.

You should have already written down several content ideas for each stage. Stage 5 only really needs to be told how to buy your service, while the previous stages will need varying levels of education and persuading before they are ready to buy.

One of the best ways to help your clients is to give them not just knowledge but something they can take action on and implement right away.

While not every piece of content needs to do this, having content that does–whether it’s a blog post, downloadable checklist, or quick tip on social media–will give your client a quick win, which will not only help them work towards their goals but create a lot of warm fuzzy feelings towards you and your business.

The best way to do this is to consider what a potential client needs before working with you.

Quick win examples:

  • A photography client might need help deciding what to wear during a shoot
  • A web design client might need help planning their website content
  • A copywriting client might need help understanding their audience’s problems
  • A social media client might need help discovering which platform they should be focusing on

What quick wins can you create for your clients? What format makes sense to deliver this quick win? Consider the stage of awareness they are currently in!

Funnel to your email list

All of our hard work connecting with our clients and reaching new potential clients will be wasted if we don’t get them onto a list that we own.

As great as whatever social platform you’ve chosen may be, you have no control over it. So if the owners decide to change the algorithm, make you pay for your audience to see your posts, delete your account, or shut down the entire platform, you risk losing not just the time you’ve invested, but all the connections you’ve made too.

And it happens.

The best and easiest way for most online businesses to create a list of potential customers they own is to invite their audience to join them on an email list.

Email marketing is still the most effective form of online marketing. Why? To be on your list, your audience has to have opted in and chosen to hear from you. That means they have at least mild interest in you and your offering.

And once you get a potential client on your list, you can nurture your relationship with them much more closely and encourage them to become a paying customer by helping them.

So, how do you get people onto your list? The easiest way is by giving them something they want! A quick win, which you’ve already brainstormed, can be used as an incentive or opt-in freebie for joining your list. Then, the helpful content that you create can invite your potential clients to sign up for the freebie.

Pro tip: I like using ConvertKit for my mailing list. ConvertKit lets you easily automate the delivery of your freebie to your subscribers! Check out their free plan–it’s perfect for web designers!

How will you funnel potential clients onto your list? What freebie will you offer? What content can invite potential clients to get the freebie?

Nurture your list

Just having an email list isn’t useful. You have to nuture it.

That means you can’t just add people to your list and then email them weekly telling them to buy your service.

Or forget about them for a year and then pitch them.

You’ll get a lot of annoyed subscribers who will likely unsubscribe or report you as a spammer.

I recommend emailing your list at least twice a month, but weekly is better. Choose a day and stick to it. Being consistent will establish a relationship with your potential clients and make it much easier to transition into selling.

Fortunately, a lot of what you do to create, know, like, trust, and help your potential clients before they’re on your list can nurture your audience once they’re on your list, too!

That means you can repurpose a lot of the content you create to reach a new audience and warm up your existing one.

But because this list has expressed interest by taking the first step and joining your list, you want to be a little more persuasive.

What do they need to know if they’re sitting on the fence considering hiring you? What can you say or do to show them that you are the right person to solve their problem?

This might involve sending a welcome sequence to everyone who joins your list that showcases your best, most persuasive content on how you can help them—and case studies of how you’ve helped others!

Pro tip: ConvertKit is a great option for this because you can easily automate an email nurture sequence to help answer your potential clients’ questions and move them toward hiring you. Remember to check out their free plan–it’s perfect for web designers!

How will you nurture your list? What will you send them? When? Consider what a potential client needs to know if they’re on the fence about hiring you.

Pitch your potential clients

If selling makes you feel sleazy, it shouldn’t anymore. You are creating a service that solves your client’s problems. You’re not selling for the sake of selling. You’re offering a solution that they want.

Not selling is not helping them.

Depending on their awareness stage, your potential clients may be ready to hire you at the first interaction or may take a while to come around.

That’s why it’s really important that you have both options available. For those who are ready NOW you need to have information clearly available on how to book you.

For those who need warming up, you need the slower path of helping them first through great content and quick wins. And you’ll never know exactly when someone will be ready to buy from you.

That means you need a mix of content and a steady stream of pitching. Those who are ready NOW will take action. Those who weren’t ready a year ago but are finally ready can take action.

But no one will take action if you don’t pitch.

You don’t have to feel like a used-car salesman, all you need to do is show your potential clients their problem, the solution (your service), and give them a reason to take action now.

Adding a little urgency to the mix will encourage those who are on the fence to take action. Knowing that you’re booking up for the next several months, for example, will encourage someone who is “just thinking about it” to stop thinking and start doing, before they have to wait for months.

One of the easiest ways to add urgency is simply stating how many openings you have available.

If you take on two projects per month, this could be content shared to your chosen platform and email list saying something like, “Now booking for June, just two spots available!”

Two spots will light a fire for anyone who thinks they can waltz in at any time, and you’ll be able to drop what you’re doing and help them.

You can also create urgency based around events. For example, getting a new website online before the new year, or their sales page completed before a busy conference season.

This doesn’t have to be complicated. A weekly post on social media sharing how you can help them and inviting them to hire you. A call to action in every email about learning more and booking your services. The more you do it, the easier it will get.

Remember, you’re helping them. You can’t help if you don’t sell.

How will you pitch your potential clients? Will you announce your availability each month? Do seasonal pitches? A combination? Something else?

Tl;dr:

Connecting with potential clients without feeling sleazy involves a strategic approach to audience engagement.

First, make sure you’re consistently reaching new people. You have to continually get in front of new people if you want consistent clients.

Establish genuine connections based on know, like, and trust. People want to do business with people!

Help your clients by creating quick wins. This will show them how helpful you can be, establish your authority, and make them want to work with you.

Funnel your potential clients to your email list. Your email list is your most valuable asset because it’s made of of people who are interested in who you are and what you offer.

Nurture your email list by being helpful and showing your potential clients how you can solve their problems.

Finally, approach pitching as a natural extension of your service, offering solutions to your clients’ problems and creating a sense of urgency.

Dive Deeper