In PR, attracting new clients is part of the job. Below are ten ideas to help you grow your client roster in 2013.
Offer an incentive
Make it a policy to reward those who send you business by offering a bit of moolah to existing clients, vendors and employees. Chances are, the people you enjoy working with are connected to others whom you would also enjoy working with. If you have a policy like this already, consider running a giveaway for most leads in a quarter.
Develop strategic partnerships
Set up a network with other agencies or entrepreneurs that work with similar clients but don't offer public relations as a service. Marketing agencies, photographers. caterers and web design shops are perfect for this type of arrangement. Agree to recommend only the other agency or professional to clients that are a fit and vice versa. You can have several different partnerships like this depending on client size, vertical , location or budget.
Provide a pro-bono preview
If there is a brand out there just begging for your love (but they don't yet know it), offer to give them a handful of consulting hours on the house. Or, send over a few recommendations, observations or tips. A quick, "Hey I love what you are doing. I noticed X and wanted to recommend that you do Y instead. Here are a few recommendations, take them or leave them!" can be a great way to break the ice and build a relationship with a prospective client while demonstrating not only your prowess but your generous personality.
Create a client prospect wall
Sometimes it helps to keep opportunities top of mind. At Red Door, we have a wall of logos in one of our conference rooms. Some are of existing clients and others are those we have identified as a good fit based on a variety of factors . This wall serves a few different purposes. Just seeing those logos day in and day out keeps them top of mind for employees (we do offer a new client bonus program as well). When partners or prospective clients come in for a meeting, they get a clear picture of our current list as well as a clear understanding of the type of clients we are looking for. Finally, it sparks conversations and connections around the brands, which can also open up inroads at a particular company. You never know has an uncle working at the company you have had your eye on, after all.
Advertise on PR Couture
Whether you choose to be listed on our Find an Agency Page or to sponsor a weekly Fashion PR Fridays post, getting your name out there through PR Couture can be a huge lead-generator for your business, sometimes driving as many as 7 leads in a single day from fashion brands and designers looking for representation.
Update your marketing materials
Having you updated your company mission statement, your about page, your case studies or your logo in the few years? Does your website look more 2003 than 2013? It can be easy to forget out own websites and marketing when we are busy making everyone else look great. However, your website, Facebook page and copy might be turning clients away if it is outdated or poorly branded.
Expand your thought leadership
Where are your prospective clients hanging out online, what are they reading and who do they define as credible. There are a ton of PR and marketing blogs out there as well as online blogs for major business publications. Contributing a guest article, op-ed or pitching yourself for a recurring series can be a great way to get your smarts, and your agencies reputation, in front of new prospects.
What about your friends?
Do your friends know the kind of clients you are looking for? Could they tell someone else what it is you offer? Send a quick email to your BFFs letting them know you are on the hunt for new clients. Add in a short elevator pitch they can use if they come across someone that fits your client profile.
Join a referrral group
I got my first two clients as a PR freelancer after coming as a guest to a friend's referral group. Essentially, it's a group of professionals who agree to refer each other business and it can be an option for building relationships and expanding your network.