Recently, I was asked a question I receive somewhat frequently and I thought the answer might apply to others in the same boat so I’ll share it here.
The question was this – How do I demonstrate that I can help a prospect when I have no proof – no case studies, testimonials or clients yet?
Lots of people find themselves in this situation when they are just getting started, go in a new direction or even open up an office in a new community.
The answer these days rests in working these 3Ps – Publish, Partner and Podium.
The best way to prove you have something of value to share is to share it. That’s true whether you’re just getting started or you’re an established leader in your field. In fact, you can always rely on these 3Ps as you build your business, but there’s no question they are the launching point when your have no customer stories to add further documented proof.
- Start sharing your expertise and point of view on your own blog
- Offer to write guest blog posts for blogs related to your industry or read by your ideal prospective client
- Join active LinkinIn groups in your community and share freely
- Follow relevant topics on Quora and share thoughts, opinions and answers to questions posed there
- Seek out other businesses that serve your ideal client and find ways to offer them value
- Offer to write guest posts for their blogs
- Create an eBook and offer to share it with their community
- Create an educational workshop and offer to share it with their community
- Offer to provide a low or no cost service as an add on trial
- Create gift certificates that your partners can give away freely
- Create a valuable and compelling presentation on a topic that will draw interest from your target client
- Seek out groups, no matter how large or targeted, and start presenting your point of view (More speaking comes from some speaking)
- Go back to your partners and offer to present to their audience
- Schedule Google Hangouts and create YouTube and Facebook videos and start sharing valuable tips and ideas in these networks.
Building your reputation and community through this path takes time and patience, but it’s the surest way to create a strong foundation and attract the right kind of client.
If you’re still in the “thinking” stages of your start up, don’t wait, start using the 3Ps right now so you can begin to build some momentum before you’re wondering where your first sale is going to come from.