Want to hear something embarrassing?
When I first pitched this guest post for Unsettle, I had exactly one article on my site.
Not a couple.
Not a few.
Laugh if you want, but there was a very good reason behind my teensy little blog.
Ever since I discovered how to get clients by creating high-value, eyeball-snatching, “client-getting” Facebook posts, I’ve been slammed with networking, calls with prospects, and landing paid freelance work that makes me more in a week than I used to make in a month.
I know what it feels like to be in the early stages in your fledgeling lifestyle business, with nothing more than an opt-in page and lonely blog post to your name.
But I want to let you in on a little secret:
You can launch your own (highly profitable) lifestyle biz. And you can do it:
- Without a fancy website
- Without scores of blog posts, and
- Without handfuls of impressive testimonials.
Because the reality is: the only thing holding you back from the success you want is the belief that you need all these things to get started in the first place.
I’ll prove to you that you too can set yourself free and claim the lifestyle business you desire without slaving away on a blog that gets more crickets than clicks.
In this article, I’ll break down step-by-step exactly how I turned a couple of social media posts a week into my own lifestyle business by focusing on one strategy, so you can take it and run with it to reverse-engineer your own “client-getting” posts (even if you’re just starting out with your biz, literally today).
This single strategy is exactly how I:
- Was featured as “member of the week” in a Facebook group of 40,000+ people.
- Was personally called out and thanked by the CEO of my favorite marketing tool on the planet.
- Landed my own hashtag (well… it’s a work in progress):
But most importantly: this single strategy is what Sarah helped me use to take my freelancing business from $0 to $10/k per month in under 6 months.
Before we get started though, these strategies aren’t a good fit for every type of business. For example, ecommerce and coaching-based businesses can use these tips once they’re a bit more established… but it’ll be hard to gain traction if you’re just starting out.
And while you should still take the time to read this post (you’ll find some golden nuggets regardless of your niche) these strategies work best for service-based businesses.
These are just a couple types of people who will feel especially amped up by the end of this post:
- Copywriters and freelance writers
- Facebook ads specialists
- Virtual assistants
- Funnel builders
- Social media marketing specialists.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and it can be applied effectively to any sort of freelancing or service-based business.
Everything I did is revealed for you step-by-step here (I’ll even give you the exact Facebook posts that got clients to come to me)… so put on your action pants and let’s get crackin!
What Clients Really Care About (Hint: It’s Not Your Website)
Here’s a question I saw in the Unsettle Facebook Group just last week:
“If you don't have a great website yet (or none), how do you get started building your online biz?”
I’m gonna be real with you for a sec: it’s scary, embarrassing and “white-knuckle” terrifying to start talking to prospects and getting in front of people who could potentially hire you when your website sucks.
But the one thing so many new business owners won’t admit is this: you’re not going to land a high-profile, internet-famous, dream client right off the bat.
And that’s 100% okay.
In fact, it’s a good thing. If I had landed my dream client right away, I’d have been so freakin’ nervous that I would have ended up screwing it all up.
Your dream clients will come soon enough…but how do you get your very first client?
Well, the easiest way is to find a sea of hungry people who already want what you’re selling. The easiest way to do that? Find a bunch of people who:
- Match your ideal client (aka your avatar)
- Have already assembled themselves into a neatly formed group (because why make it harder on yourself when you don’t have to?)
And guess what?
If you’re reading this blog post on anything other than an ancient stone tablet, you can find a couple of these right now. Here’s how:
How to Get Clients: The Hidden Power of Online Communities
Especially when you're just starting out, it feels overwhelming to find even one paying client. But with a sea of 3+ billion people on the internet to choose from… the opportunities to connect with prospects who could potentially hire you multiplies exponentially.
Which is why online communities are the way to go.
There are hoards of groups online that already exist, each centered around any given topic, industry, or niche. And a handful of them (at the very least) are within your niche, no matter how eclectic, weird, or “unique” it might be.
Play a quick game with me:
- How many Meetup.com groups are you a member of?
- How about Facebook groups?
- And LinkedIn groups?
Probably more than your fair share. Depending on the specific goal for the group and the niche your business is in, finding the right group is like discovering a gold mine when you’re starting a business.
Getting in front of your future clients (and having them come to you for paid work) is simply a matter of:
- Choosing the right groups, and
- Sharing helpful, educational, and high-value content with that community.
Let’s tackle that first step right now.
Choosing the Perfect Channel to Focus Your Efforts
You’ve probably noticed there’s an overwhelming amount of social media platforms to choose from.
And being on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Quora, and Youtube might be fine for your personal life, but it’s not for your business. It’s extremely important to pick just one social media channel to focus on.
Why? Because when you’re only faced with one, you can quickly become an expert at it, find what works, and dominate that platform.
You can always expand later, but for now, pick just one and ignore the rest.
So, this begs the question: which channel is right for you?
Well, it depends on your target audience and your business and service.
When I used to run a fitness blog, I noticed myself resorting to Quora for a lot of my own fitness-related questions, so I decided that would be a good place for me to start out. Focusing on just Quora alone got me my first 350 subscribers in 3 weeks flat.
For my funnel-building business, I stick exclusively to Facebook.
You might already have an idea of the perfect place to start getting in front of your target audience. But if you have absolutely zero clue (and even if you think you know), here’s what I recommend:
Start with a Facebook group.
Why Facebook? Two reasons:
- There’s a very low barrier to entry (anyone can ask to join a Facebook group).
- Once you’re in, if it’s big enough, you can start collecting valuable feedback and information within minutes.
Once you search around and find a couple groups that align with your niche and your target audience, go in and post a Facebook poll that asks: “What’s your favorite social media platform to hang out on?”
Be warned: some groups don’t allow polls, so make sure to read the group rules beforehand so you don’t get yourself kicked out!
Take your best guess when creating your poll options, and let the results speak for themselves. With most polls, you’ll typically see a pretty clear winner, like this example where I got feedback on a ginormous blog post about pricing strategies I was working on:
Polls are an extremely powerful tool you’ll want to stick in your back pocket for later, because, as you can see, you can get insanely valuable feedback on just about anything you want.
Once you’ve found your winning platform, it’s time to…
Test the Waters to Find What Works
You’ve found where your target audience hangs out, and you’ve picked the platform you’re going to dominate.
Now it’s time to get out in front of your prospects so you can actually start landing paid work.
Before you start posting though, pull up a blank Google Doc, scroll through your chosen group(s), and take note of:
- The types of posts that do “really well”. This depends on the platform you chose, but take note of the posts that have lots of likes, comments, upvotes, or other interactions. Can you see any patterns between them?
- The types of questions that you see repeatedly. After a while, you’ll begin to notice repeat questions, or questions that are all around a similar topic or pain point. Those are the perfect place to start out once you’re ready to create your first post.
- Note any other ideas that come to mind about things you like (or things to stay away from) when creating your own posts.
Once you get a feel for the vibe of your new community, dive right in and start commenting and engaging with the other members.
Ask your own questions about their pain points.
Start responding to other people’s questions and comments.
But for the life of you, don’t just drop a link and run – you’ll come off as a spammer. Especially at this early stage, that’s going to get you nowhere (except kicked right out of the group).
Instead, interact with other members in an honest and genuine way that does not feel like you're trying to sell them something.
It could be something as simple as:
“Hey guys! I'm new here and I'm struggling with X … I’m curious if anyone else is struggling with X too (or has resolved it / moved past it) and what you've done to try and fix it?”
Don’t do any self-promotion at first! That means no links, no “contact me at”, no “send me an email if you want to learn more”… none of that. Just ask, engage, observe, and provide value.
If you do, the group admins will love you for it:
Continue creating helpful, valuable posts based off what you’ve learned, and save your most successful ones in a Google Doc for later.
Here’s what mine looks like (I made sure to note that this post landed me 2 clients, so I could really scrutinize this one later!
|Wanna get your hands on the EXACT swipe file I used to keep my winning posts, analyze what worked, and picked apart what didn’t? Click here to grab yours now.|
Once you’ve stocked up 7-10 posts that got good engagement and feedback, you’ll have a solid understanding of what’s working.
Which means, it’s time to sit those successful posts side-by-side, pick them apart, and find the patterns you can use to replicate this level of success any time you want!
How to Analyze Your Top Posts (and “Reverse-Engineer” Successful Ones)
At first, it's going to be hit-or-miss with the success of your posts. Even after this process, you’ll still have some that don’t perform well.
But the more often you post, the better feel you’re going to get for what does work so you can continue refining this process and maximize the “ROI” of each and every post you take the time to create.
Pull out your Google Doc where you’ve stuffed your 7-10 top-performing posts, and go through them all with a fine-toothed comb.
This process is going to look different depending on the channel you chose. I used Facebook groups, so here’s what I took note of when analyzing my “successful” posts:
- What was the subject matter of the post?
- What was the length of the post?
- Did I use any images? What did they look like?
- Did I use an emoji? (oh what a world we live in)
- Did I use hashtags? How many? Which ones?
- How are the aesthetics of the post itself?
- What formatting did I use in the post? (all caps, spacing between each line, etc.)
- In what ways did people react to your post? Likes, loves, comments, shares?
Here’s an example of what I’d consider a “successful” Facebook post:
112 likes + loves ain’t too shabby, not to mention how many people must have seen the post without actually hitting “like”.
After you go through your posts with this level of detail in mind, you will definitely start to see patterns.
Maybe you’ll notice that posts with bright images work. Maybe you’ll notice that posts with open-ended questions garner more comments and impressions.
Whatever you discover, create a new list of your observations that you can whip out any time you want to create a new post to get more clients.
Rinse & Repeat….And Watch What Happens
Now that you know the mechanics of a high-performing “client-getting post”, the hard work is done.
It’s time to keep your momentum going, keep refining your posting style (and time, and frequency, and the groups you post in) to fine-tune this process so you can squeeze as much value out of every post as you possibly can.
I can’t make any specific promises, but you’d be surprised how quickly you can establish authority in these groups when you show up, add value, and give people a reason to remember your name.
After just 2 or 3 weeks of regular posting, clients started coming to me – usually by way of a private Facebook message like this:
And once you’ve build up rapport and authority within the group, people will even start recommending you out to their own friends and business partners, too!
So not only are you getting paid freelancing clients with your Facebook posts, but also you’re building a powerful network of friends and business partners who’ve seen your work and the value you can deliver.
Just make sure you take note of which specific posts actually land you clients (since not every one will) and hone in on those specific posts even more to pick them apart with your “eagle eye” and analyze why they did so well.
And after a little while of contributing, engaging with other members, and making the groups you’re involved with better places, you’ll start to see all sorts of unexpected results!
From shout-outs by group admins:
To little gems that’ll put a smile on your face:
To people flat-out begging you to create products they can pay you for:
So if you have a Facebook account and 3 minutes, here’s my challenge to you:
Get started now. Join a couple of groups, create your first poll, and find out where your target audience hangs out.
And from there, you’re just a couple of posts away from making your dream come true.
Nico is a marketing psychology nerd and funnel-building badass. Click here to get your hands on the EXACT posts he used to get clients to find HIM on Facebook (and scale up to $10k/mo in 6 months).