How To Get Your First Customers: 4 Strategies That Actually Work

By Alex Berman

October 10, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

If you are new to your niche and relatively unknown to your market, knowing how to get your first customers can be a tough task. A lot of beginning businesses actually struggle with lead generation and acquiring customers.

In this post, I’ll give you the exact 4 strategies that I used to build up a content marketing company. I still use all of them today.

1. Know who you’re targeting

There are plenty of resources online when it comes to business ideas. You can just do a quick search and you’ll get thousands of ideas.

The most common and the easiest ones to start with are the following:

  • Web Design
  • App Development
  • Content Writing
  • Social Media
  • SEO or Pay Per Click Management
  • Whatever skills you have that can be monetized

Once you have a specific industry in mind, your next step is to determine your target customers. Try to be specific as possible when figuring out your market. The more specific you are, the easier and faster your search will be.

Try to look through job titles, company sizes as well as types to know your target group. You can also use their age, gender and habits as criteria.

See Also: 7 Ways to Get Leads For Your Business 

2. Start with your friends or co-workers


My first customers were actually my friends and people I’ve previously worked for. Since they knew me personally, it was easy for them to give me a chance. They were also a convenient choice for me since I already knew their contact numbers and types of businesses.

If you’re still learning how to get your first customers, you can start with this approach. It’ll be easier for you to reach out to them with quick emails or by inviting them out for lunch.

3. Ask your friends for referrals

Ask any professional colleagues or co-workers if they know anyone that matches your criteria. To make it easy for them to recommend, try to be as specific as possible.

For each person you reach out to, you can ask for at least 15 recommendations. This should be enough to help you land your first few clients.

See Also: 4 Tricks To Turn Your Buyers Into Loyal Customers 

4. Reach out to strangers


Use this approach only when you’ve used the other three. You can start with LinkedIn and AngelList to create a list of companies that match your criteria.

Once you are able to find these companies, work on identifying who their founders are as well as their key people. If contact credentials do not show up, you can use a free tool called EmailHunter to generate the emails of all the people working there.

After acquiring their email, you can start reaching out to them using a cold email. Make sure to personalize your emails as much as possible.

Knowing how to get your first customer can be tricky, particularly if you’re not sure how to approach them. Since you are reaching out to strangers, it’ll be helpful if you can establish an immediate connection with them.


Alex Berman

Alex Berman is a digital nomad and founder and of Experiment27 where he works with digital agencies to grow their inbound leads. Alex makes weekly videos about selling and charging more as a freelancer, check them out on his youtube channel.

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