What’s the most important thing you need in order to keep a business successful? If you said clients or customers, you are correct. Although every business can be unique in one way or another, the one constant they all share is the need for people (clients/customers) to sell to. That’s business 101. So, how does a small business owner who is just starting out generate clientele? What steps and action plan are needed?

Steps on how to Generate Clientele

These last few years have seen exciting times for small business owners. Social media has witnessed the uprise of new business brands and creative promos. When it comes to small business owners, either those that are first time owners or those who have been in the game for a while, there has or will come a time when your client base dwindles. For a business owner, this is the scariest time of your life. Next, comes the freak out and massive amounts of money spent on marketing that may or may not go anywhere. However, all hope is not lost. Here are five clear steps to generate clients.

1) Pop-Up Events
Entrepreneur hosting pop up event at venue
Entrepreneur hosting pop up event at venue

Pop-Up Events are surprise events where an owner sets up shop in a unique place that would bring a lot of new and old clientele out to inform the public about their service/brand. They usually only stay up for a few hours to a couple of days. Popular places such as retail malls or a venue in a busy district are great for business owners.

2) Instagram & Facebook Posting
Entrepreneur creating Instagram account for his business on cell phone
Entrepreneur creating Instagram account for his business on cell phone

We all know about Facebook and Instagram because we use them in our personal life, but did you know they can also be used to help promote your business? You can schedule posts in advance that mention your business and/or promotions you are currently running. You can also pay Facebook to post business ads that run for as long you like and the great thing is the ads can be customized to target the audience you want/need. The same thing can be said for Instagram. You can schedule posts through apps like Hootsuite and ScheduGram or through Facebook Creator Studio. You can also post videos to these sites, which is likely to draw more eyes since people love watching videos more than they like reading a post.

3) Podcasting
Entrepreneurs hosting podcast for their business
Entrepreneurs hosting podcast for their business

Now, this is the coolest way to promote a business that I can’t wait to try out for myself. I plan to do a podcast based off my life which will include the ups and downs of being a freelance business owner. The best thing is that podcasting is episode based. So if you dedicate a whole week to recording once a day, you’ll have content for a whole month if you post one episode a week. How awesome, right? You have the potential to reach millions of followers by utilizing this method. Plus, you can also get paid by hosting ads on your site or reading ads on air.

4) Themed Events
Entrepreneur hosting raffle tickets for wine tasting at an outdoor event
Entrepreneur hosting raffle tickets for wine tasting at an outdoor event

This is more of a personal one I plan on doing. I think a themed event, like Wine & Editing, can be a creative way to engage in your neighborhood and get new clients by having a raffle and offering prizes. The prizes can be:  “enter to win 25% off your future services” and/or “win a free brainstorming session with (your company name here).”

5) Business Mixers
Group of business owners attending social mixer after hours
Group of business owners attending social mixer after hours

These are essential to getting your company/brand more exposure with likeminded business professionals. Bring business cards and a friend and work the room. You can get maybe 5-10 potential new clients and/or referrals. The possibilities are endless and who doesn’t want to unwind after a hard day at work by drinking and listening to music while you make new friends and/or business partners? Check out Eventbrite to see when the next business mixer event is coming to your area.

Action Plan

Now, that we have discussed five creative steps you can utilize to promote your business. It is time for the Action Plan.  The Action Plan is where you put into practice one of the creative ways I listed above, or any other way you have come up with. Whatever you want. The first thing is to only pick one way and start building upon that. Focusing on one method at a time can maximize your exposure and experience. To better illustrate my point, I will post a picture of an Action Plan. Notebook and pen needed.

Action plan for a business mixer written in a notebook
Action Plan for a business mixer written in a notebook

I chose Business Mixers for my creative method. Again, you can choose any one you want. Don’t limit yourself. Think outside the box. Create a new way.

What is you Action Plan? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.